My wife is all about reading non-fiction these days, but I love me a good fantasy novel. Even a newborn could not prevent me from (gradually) indulging in a new trilogy called The Kingkiller Chronicle, which came highly recommended by friends (despite the terrible cover).
Briefly, here’s why the series is notable:
- The main character is your classic bard. He sings, sneaks, bluffs, and dabbles in the arcane. Not your typical orc-slashing protagonist.
- It’s written as an auto-biography, with the story gradually catching up to the current time.
- There are few characters. Contrast with other fantasy series where the characters could fill a phonebook.
- The author had a plan and is actually sticking to it: 3 days of storytelling, 1 book per day. No filler material to perpetuate the storyline.
There’s a small catch: only the first two books are out so far. The final book, tentatively titled “Doors of Stone”, probably won’t be out until 2015.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, I’ve figured out exactly what will happen, thanks in part to clues left behind by the author in the books.
There are a bunch of things that Kvothe is supposed to accomplish. But that’s childplay. Let’s dig deeper.
Kvothe opens the door of stone (“Velaritas”) in the Archives, believing answers about the Amyr lie therein. As a result, bad things happen. My best guess is that locked within is Jax, the “shaper” who (partially) imprisoned the moon during the Creation Wars, as per Hespe’s story and Felurian’s details about the moon.
At least some of the masters at the University are Amyr. Elodin, for example, said he knew what was within the door of stone, though it’s a matter for the masters, not students. The masters have been actively covering up the Amyr’s continued existence in the Archives, and meanwhile keeping Jax securely locked away.
Don’t forget that Auri knows about the Amyr. In fact, she may have learned too much and that’s why she is “cracked”. It’s likely that she helps Kvothe open the door.
Kvothe’s mother was Laurian, aka Netalia Lockless, who ran off with the Edema Ruh. Therefore, Meluan (the Maer’s new wife) is actually Kvothe’s aunt. That’s why, upon meeting Meluan at the banquet, Kvothe said she looked intensely familiar but he couldn’t quite place her. That’s also why his mother didn’t like him singing the song about “Lady Lackless” in Name of the Wind.
Because of his Lockless blood, Kvothe is able to open things others cannot. The Lockless box Meluan showed him is likely the box that Jax used to contain part of the moon…
From Kvothe to Kote
Things aren’t looking good for Kvothe. He’s accused of killing Roderic, the king of Renere (capital of Vintas). And Jax and/or the Chandrian are after him. So Kvothe goes into hiding, but how do you hide from the Chandrian?
Kvothe locks away part of his name in a thrice-locked chest. (The “v” and the “h”, to be exact.) His new name, Kote, means “disaster”, incidentally, if you translate what Kilvin says about “disaster every 7 years”.
If you think this sounds crazy, remember there is precedent: Jax also locked up part of the moon’s name in a box upon learning her true name was Ludis. The name change is foreshadowed at end of Wise Man’s Fear by Elodin’s shocked reaction when Kvothe mentions someone changing their name.
Changing his name keeps Kvothe safe, but also fundamentally changes his identity. As a result, he (currently) cannot open the chest to recover his true name. But there is hope at the end of WMF: he’s starting to practice the Ketan again.
Everyone’s favourite “demon”
Bast likely has a connection to Felurian, given he’s the “Prince of Twilight”. He may even be Kvothe’s descendent, given how time flows differently in Faeland. In any case, Bast comes (or has been sent) from the Fae to help Kote become Kvothe again, because the world needs him.
The main conflict needs resolved, obviously. Kvothe eventually recovers his identity and confronts the Chandrian, probably with the help of the Amyr. He ultimately defeats the baddies because he knows their true names, which he learned from an Adem story in WMF (eg Alaxel for Haliax), and of course his own naming prowess.
Full disclosure: my last crack at theorizing was about Lost and I may not have been 100% correct.