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  1. #1

    Kingkiller Chronicles Speculation (Spoilers for both books)

    This thread is for speculation about the content of the Kingkiller Chronicles. This thread is not for discussion of the relative merits of the series, so please do not be part of it degenerating into one of those oh so fun internet brawls .

    Here be Spoilers!

    I am currently listening to The Wise Man's Fear and am intrigued by the trouper boy's rhyme about the Lackless door.

    Seven things stand before
    The entrance to the Lackless door.
    One of them a ring unworn
    One a word that is foresworn
    One a time that must be right
    One a candle without light
    One a son who brings the blood
    One a door that holds the flood
    One a thing tight-held in keeping
    Then comes that which comes with sleeping.


    Of these I think "a son who brings the blood", is probably the most obvious - which may make it the most suspect given Rothfuss's predelictions . I suspect most people have heard this all before, but for the benefit of those who have not...

    Kvothe's mother "Laurian" was a noble who ran away with his father. There is a brief mention of Kvothe recalling staying with a noble family when he was very young, but I think we can dismiss this as a red herring - can't seem to find it and I don't think it too important.

    It is revealed that Melowyn Lackless has a sister who was seduced by a Ruh trooper engendering her hatred of the "ravel", "I'd started a second bottle of wine by the time I read that young Netalia Lockless had run away with a troupe of traveling performers. Her parents had disowned her, of course, leaving Melaun the only heir to the lackless lands." Kvothe feels like he recognizes Melowyn the first time he meets her, presumably because of the similarities between her and his mother. We almost get this identity confirmed if we look back at Kvothe's drunken conversation with Wil and Sim while waiting to cross the bridge. Kvothe sings them a song his father wrote which got him kicked out of the wagon for the night, because of the bad meter rather than the lyrics according to Kvothe.

    Dark Laurian, Arliden's wife,

    Has a face like a blade of a knife
    Has a voice like a prickledown burr
    But can tally a sum like a moneylender.
    My sweet Tally cannot cook.
    But she keeps a tidy ledger-book
    For all her faults I do confess
    It's worth my life
    To make my wife
    Not tally a lot less...


    To make my wife Not tally a lot less = To make my wife Netalia Lackless. Too much of a coincidence, especially when coupled with Tally being used as a name. It makes a deal more sense that Laurian would be angered over him endangering them by risking revealing her identity than because a song had bad meter - especially one that was obviously very tongue in cheek. Kvothe also repeats a rhyme he heard about Lady Lackless - might have been Lockless but its mentioned the name morphs a little - which upsets his mother, and she says he can make it up to her and the lady by gathering nettles, etc. And here, thanks to Contrarius, is that rhyme,

    “Seven things has Lady Lackless
    Keeps them underneath her black dress
    One a ring that’s not for wearing
    One a sharp word, not for swearing
    Right beside her husband’s candle
    There’s a door without a handle
    In a box, no lid or locks
    Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
    There’s a secret she’s been keeping
    She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
    On a road, that’s not for traveling
    Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”


    Rothfuss is not exactly being subtle with this, which to my mind is the biggest reason to be sceptical about the theory!

    As for the other six things...

    One of them a ring unworn - There is a mention of Kvothe's rings, a poem even,

    On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
    Iron, amber, wood and bone.
    There were rings unseen on his second hand.
    One was blood in a flowing band.
    One of air all whisper thin,
    And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
    Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
    and the final ring was without name.


    There are also a few rings which may or may not be those mentioned in the rhyme. Auri gives Kvothe a ring that "holds secrets", Stapes gives him a ring of bone, and Melowyn gives him a ring of wood - the later two are probably those mentioned in the rhyme. It seems odd perhaps that the rhymn suggests these rings are actually worn by Kvothe, but given the nature of stories and the fact that the giving of the rings of wood and bone were significant and unusual that might make sense. For me those three are the prime candidates for "a ring unworn". Though Denna's blue stone ring might also be a candidate.

    "One a word that is foresworn", could well be a name, perhaps the name of the fellow who stole the moon? I don't believe he is named by Felurian, though the female mercenary - what was her name? - does name him in her story as Jax I believe. The word foresworn could be his true name.

    As for, "a time that must be right", I would guess that this might have something to do with the moon and ites relationship with the doors between the fae and mortal worlds. Felurian tells Kvothe that a full moon allows easy access between the worlds for those seeking to pass between them, and that a moonless night makes it possible to slip betweenworlds accidently and become trapped in the fae. Of course I am sure there are plenty of other options here, but the aforementioned is the only one which springs to my mind.

    "One a candle with out light", has me pretty stumped, at a stretch perhaps something to do with Kilvin's search for an everburning lamp? Kilvin also has some ancient magical artefacts - though I am sure they are not so called - do any of them fit the bill? Not that I recall.

    "One a door that holds the flood", um, the door in the archives? No idea really.

    "One a thing tight-held in keeping", seems the most ambiguous, Denna's ring perhaps? Kvothe treasure his lute, but he goes through so many that hardly seems likely .

    "Then comes that which comes with sleeping", nightmares perhaps? We could assume that the Skrael and the bodysnatching thingemy are from beyond the door, and they might be justifiably called nightmarish. Still that seems a little obvious for Rothfuss, I am expecting something clever.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 07:07 AM.

  2. #2
    For the sake of completeness, here's the Lackless rhyme that Kvothe recites early in NOTW:

    “Seven things has Lady Lackless
    Keeps them underneath her black dress
    One a ring that’s not for wearing
    One a sharp word, not for swearing
    Right beside her husband’s candle
    There’s a door without a handle
    In a box, no lid or locks
    Lackless keeps her husband’s rocks
    There’s a secret she’s been keeping
    She’s been dreaming and not sleeping
    On a road, that’s not for traveling
    Lackless likes her riddle raveling.”

  3. #3
    I will also put forward a pet theory, which is likely way off the mark and supported by little or no evidence. I wonder if Denna might be a Lackless to. There is a sliver of a chance she is Netalia Lackless, but I think it more likely she is the daugher of Melowyn Lackless. Melowyn seems to have the right look, and the right age to be Denna's mother - if we assume she had her at a tender age.

    If Denna is Melowyn's daughter and Netalia is Kvothe's mother then they are cousins. Being related might explain them being drawn to each other, and Rothfuss's careful choice to have them avoid doing anything that given that relation might be icky.

  4. #4
    Ah, excellent, thanks Contrarius! I will put that into the first post if you do not mind

    What about Denna's patron? I've seem a lot of theories, Cinder, a Jackiss, another of the Chandrian, an Amyr, etc. But for me the most convincing is Bredon, Gavin advanced this theory on facebook,

    "Denna's Patron is Bredon: he plays a game old enough for the Fae to know of it;, he mentioned starting to take dancing lessons the same time Denna mentioned her suitor doing so; his trips coincide with the time Denna leaves Vintas; and his wolfhead walking stick is mentioned prominently and Cthaeh reveals that Denna's patron has recently taken to beating her with his walking stick."

    If all of that is true, which I believe it is, but cannot confirm, then I think him a prime candidate.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 07:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    Being related might explain them being drawn to each other, and Rothfuss's careful choice to have them avoid doing anything that given that relation might be icky.
    I looked up the subject of cousin marriage recently, because of a Dick Francis book -- and, actually, it is legal for first cousins to marry in almost all countries, and even in the majority of US States. It seems to be most firmly opposed in states like Utah, where its illegality is used as a tool against closely bred polygamous sects.

    Just one of those bits of trivia you never really wanted to know....

  6. #6
    Legal, but icky, and if television and film has taught me anything a surefire way to end up with a family of mutant looking perverts who live in the back of beyond and don't have cable.

    While I'm theorizing, how about Bast being Kvothe's son? I don't think its likely he mentions being one hundred and fifty years old or something, but if we consider that Kvothe was in the fae world for three days and appeared to spend many months there it becomes a slim possibility. If 3 days equals a year then it would only take a year for Bast to be 100, etc. It might explain Bast's tender devotion to his Reshi. If so I would suspec that Kvothe did not know about it. Feluruan would seem to fit fairly well as Bast's mother.

    "Chronicler, I would like you to meet Bastas, son of Remmen, Prince of Twilight and the Telwyth Mael..." page 120 NOTW, would seem to counter this though, and I think Bast being his grandson is reaching a little too much for even for me, though o0f course he could have simply lied to Kvothe.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 23rd, 2011 at 09:16 AM.

  7. #7
    Analyze That
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    Yeah, there's a lot of theorizing to be done in these books. I'll state my thoughts on the ones that have been mentioned so far as well as adding a few more that have come up in the TOR re-read. Well, one in particular that I subscribe to and one that is a bit off in my opinion.

    Netalia Lackless This is a good theory. I wouldn't be so quick to think something has been found just because the last line of the poem sounds so much like the name (coincidences do occur), and the age gap between Kvothe's mother and the other Lackless sister we meet in the book is a little on the big side. However, there is without a doubt quite a bit of evidence for this between Kvothe's mother's reaction to the poem, to the running off with the Edema Ruh that Netalia did, to, yes, the poem's last line cannot be dismissed. So I'd say there is a very good chance this is the case, although it is not a sure thing. I'd put it at maybe a little bit higher probability than the major theory of aSoIaF.

    Bredon as Ash This one I don't like. All we have to connect the two is some appearance similarities and the fact that Bredon and Denna are in Vintas at the same time (though we have no evidence to suggest that Bredon is ever not in Vintas). I see nothing of Bredon's character that lends to a man who is a tyrant and abusive master. One would think that teaching styles would not change between students, and where Ash basically beats Denna to learn to play properly, Bredon eases Kvothe into the game he is teaching, but reminds him that he still has a long way to go to learn. Why would he be a considerate teacher with Kvothe and an abuser with Denna? It does not make sense to me. I suspect we have not yet met Master Ash, or he could possibly be one of the Chandrian (though I doubt it).

    Other theories brought up here The Bast as Kvothe's son and Denna as a Lackless theories are kind of baseless speculation. I need more evidence for a theory before I consider it.

    OK, some more:
    The Importance of Names This was touched upon in the "Dislike Kingkiller Chronicles" thread, and the basic gist of it is that the power and abilities within a person are associated with their name. If they were to change or "forget" that name, they no longer have those powers and abilities. This is the state Kvothe is in during the frame story, as he has changed his name, which is why he is no longer available to use his sympathy while he is masquerading as the innkeeper Kvothe.

    This is also the state Kvothe is in when he is in Tarbean for three years. If you read the section, you'll find that he seems to snap out of his normalcy when Skarpi says his name, at which point he gains back that brilliance. This is all subsequent to when he hid his former life (and presumably his name) behind that door of forgetting after his parents were killed.

    To support this theory, in Wise Man's Fear when Kvothe asked Elothe about Denna, he talks about changes one's name. Elothe is beside himself at the idea of someone changing their name, indicating the name has a great deal of importance. This is an excellent theory and I'd have to think there is a great deal of truth to it.

    Denna as the moon/ wind This one is a bit weird, and I don't have all the specifics about it, so if you are interested in this one, check out the Tor re-read of the books. The basics of it that Denna has an ever-changing nature, kind of like the moon. This is combined with the story of Jax and the moon that gives the moon such a personification that it has led some people to believe that the moon is actually a person. And if the moon were to be a person, Denna would fit well. She is someone who is loved by all men but allows herself to be claimed by none, like the moon does not allow itself to be claimed. It's a bit too out there for my tastes, but some may like the theory.

    However, there are certainly parallels between Denna and the moon presented, as well as Denna as the wind, as two different chapters were called "The Ever Changing Wind" which is also the nature of Denna.
    Last edited by molybdenum; August 23rd, 2011 at 12:57 PM.

  8. #8
    cynical master of time Cymric's Avatar
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    personally I was always of the thought that master Ash was Ambrose or Ambrose's father. They have the money and motovation to take talented women place them with powerful men to learn their secrects and gain yet more power.

    honestly I believe the King Kvothe kills is either Ambrose himself or the father. Hence the sword "Poet-Killer"

  9. #9
    I doubt Denna would fail to recognize Ambrose, she did date him for a time afterall. Also it seems that his absense from the University during the Trebon Wedding would have been remarked on. I suppose his father is a possibility, but I see nothing to suggest it other than the Jakis's streak of cruelty.

    I've seen a great deal of speculation that Ambrose is the King in question, and yes he is a poet. I have my doubts again, to my mind he is a more probable Penitent King. There definitely seems to be a whittling away of those above the Jakis's in the royal line, but I cannot believe that Alveron would be thrown away. Of course he might come to some grand end in the next book. Its probably a good bet, but it strikes me as perhaps being a little too obvious.

    As for "Poet-Killer" my money is on something more bitter than Ambrose's death, with Sim being the poet who springs to mind.
    Last edited by Ornery Wyvern; August 24th, 2011 at 01:19 AM.

  10. #10
    Here's another name to keep an eye out for --

    Denna mutters "Moteth?"while she is drugged with the denner resin. That must be someone significant to her....

  11. #11
    cynical master of time Cymric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    I doubt Denna would fail to recognize Ambrose, she did date him for a time afterall. Also it seems that his absense from the University during the Trebon Wedding would have been remarked on. I suppose his father is a possibility, but I see nothing to suggest it other than the Jakis's streak of cruelty.

    I've seen a great deal of speculation that Ambrose is the King in question, and yes he is a poet. I have my doubts again, to my mind he is a more probable Penitent King. There definitely seems to be a whittling away of those above the Jakis's in the royal line, but I cannot believe that Alveron would be thrown away. Of course he might come to some grand end in the next book. Its probably a good bet, but it strikes me as perhaps being a little too obvious.

    As for "Poet-Killer" my money is on something more bitter than Ambrose's death, with Sim being the poet who springs to mind.
    It just seems to convenient that we have been informed twice that i can recall where Jakis stands in line to the throne. Plus remember alot of this story is a circle where Kvothe's own myths are brought to life thru him, if a bit different.

    I believe that the person running the "escort" service is the Elder Ambrose at the least or someone who benefits from having the Ambrose family in power.

    but than again with a writer like Rothfuss i could be wrong

  12. #12
    I suspect a king might get killed

    I am not really into the speculation thing, particularly with stories I really enjoy, but the nature of KKC does lend itself to speculation given how Rothfuss sprinkles clues throughout the books.

    @ OW - The Lackless speculation I suspect is spot on.

    @ moly - On the Importance of Names. Agreed. Sympathy is an interesting thing but naming is where the real power lies. I am really looking forward to seeing how powerful Kvothe actually becomes when he truly masters naming. Hell he is more powerful than Elodin right now. Let's not forget Kvothe could have killed Felurian. During pages 640-642 Kvothe knew with absolute certainty that he could have killed her. I think the Kvothe we will see develop in The Doors of Stone will be that fantastically powerful wizard who completely dominated a powerful Fae being in her own realm.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ornery Wyvern View Post
    On his first hand he wore rings of stone,
    Iron, amber, wood and bone.
    There were rings unseen on his second hand.
    One was blood in a flowing band.
    One of air all whisper thin,
    And the ring of ice had a flaw within.
    Full faintly shone the ring of flame,
    and the final ring was without name.


    There are also a few rings which may or may not be those mentioned in the rhyme. Auri gives Kvothe a ring that "holds secrets", Stapes gives him a ring of bone, and Melowyn gives him a ring of wood - the later two are probably those mentioned in the rhyme. It seems odd perhaps that the rhymn suggests these rings are actually worn by Kvothe, but given the nature of stories and the fact that the giving of the rings of wood and bone were significant and unusual that might make sense. For me those three are the prime candidates for "a ring unworn". Though Denna's blue stone ring might also be a candidate.
    Just a note -- the ring that Auri gives to Kvothe is also wooden. I haven't gotten to Melowyn's ring yet. And whether or not Kvothe wears it constantly, he does at least put it on -- because there's a whole passage about it fitting and why it fits him.

    edited to add -- I thought it might be helpful to also add the details about the old pot that was dug up with the gray stones at Trebon.

    -----
    “It was a big fancy pot,” she said softly. “About this high.” She held her hand about three feet off the ground. It was shaking. “It had all sorts of writings and pictures on it. Really fancy. I haven’t ever seen colors like that. And some of the paints were shiny like silver and gold.”
    “Pictures of what?” I asked, fighting to keep my voice calm.
    “People,” she said. “Mostly people. There was a woman holding a broken sword, and a man next to a dead tree, and another man with a dog biting his leg…” she trailed off.
    “Was there one with white hair and black eyes?”
    She looked at me wide-eyed, nodded. “Gave me the all-overs.” She shivered.
    The Chandrian. It was a vase showing the Chandrian and their signs.
    “Can you remember anything else about the pictures?” I asked. “Take your time, think hard.”
    She thought about it. “There was one with no face, just a hood with nothing inside. There was a mirror by his feet and there was a bunch of moons over him. You know, full moon, half moon, sliver moon.” She looked down, thinking. “And there was a woman…” She blushed. “With some of her clothes off.”
    -----
    Last edited by Contrarius; August 26th, 2011 at 04:35 PM.

  14. #14
    adem mercenary drider's Avatar
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    my question is who is the amyre that the cthea mentioned to kvoth. it said somthing about the maer coming close to the amyre and if kvothe stuck with him it would lead him to them. just sothing ive been pondering

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by drider View Post
    my question is who is the amyre that the cthea mentioned to kvoth. it said somthing about the maer coming close to the amyre and if kvothe stuck with him it would lead him to them. just sothing ive been pondering
    Hello and welcome to SFFWorld. Always nice to meet another KKC fan.

    The Amyr are a group started by Selitos. Selitos was the leader of Myr Tariniel. If you remember Lanre (Haliax), tricked Selitos and destroyed Myr Tariniel. Aleph offered what amounted to demigod status to Selitos, Tehlu, and a number of others. Selitos however, refused the offer and was joined by some of the other Ruach. Their sole function is to fight the Chandrian. Later, they became extremely powerful church knights in the Arturan Empire. Their numbers at one point were around 3000. However, even as the strong arm of the church, their true fight has always been with the Chandrian. The Alpura Prolycia Amyr was a decree that forced the disbanding of the Amyr 300 hundred years ago. There is inconsistency between accounts as to whether it was the church who issued the decree or the Emperor. What is most relevant, however, is that they basically, for all intents and purposes, disappeared.

    The Chandrian and The Amyr have been locked in conflict since the fall of Myr Tariniel. Haliax reminds Cinder in a moment of anger that it is he that keeps them safe from the Amyr. The closer Kvothe gets to discovering the truth about the Amyr, the closer he gets to finding the truth about the Chandrian.
    Last edited by 3rdI; August 30th, 2011 at 08:03 PM.

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