The Kingkiller Chronicle
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|Published||27 March 2007 – present|
|Media type||print (hardcover & paperback)|
The Kingkiller Chronicle is a fantasy book series by Patrick Rothfuss, which recounts the story of Kvothe, an adventurer and musician. The book is largely told in a "story-within-a-story" format, where the reader learns about the story of Kvothe's life as he narrates it to a scribe. The first two books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, were released in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Despite a decade having passed, the third novel titled The Doors of Stone has not yet been released. The two released books have sold over 10 million copies.
The plot is divided into two different timelines: the present, in which Kvothe tells the story of his life to a man known as the Chronicler in the Waystone Inn, and Kvothe's past, which makes up the majority of the first two books. The present-day interludes are in third person from the perspective of multiple characters, while the story of Kvothe's life is told entirely in the first person from his own perspective. The series also contains many metafictional stories-within-stories from varying perspectives, most of which are recounted by Kvothe, having been heard from other characters in his past.
Several TV networks have also negotiated for the rights to create a TV series based on the books, whose release date has not yet been announced.
Books in the series
The trilogy was published over the course of about 13 years: The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, were released in 2007 and 2011 respectively, and The Doors of Stone is still unreleased as of 2021. Patrick Rothfuss has said that The Doors of Stone will be the end of this particular arc in the story.
Three other works are set in the Kingkiller Chronicle world:
- "How Old Holly Came to Be" in Unfettered (2013), edited by Shawn Speakman – an experimental short story;
- "The Lightning Tree" in Rogues (2014), edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois - a short story about Bast;
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things (2014, ISBN 978-0756410438) – a novella about Auri.
The series is framed as the transcription of the three-day-long oral autobiography of Kvothe, a renowned musician, scholar, and adventurer now living pseudonymously as a rural innkeeper, with each day depicted in a separate book. In between Kvothe's accounts of his past, the narrator describes him interacting with the scribe Chronicler and his assistant Bast in the "present" era.
The portion of the world where the events take place (other than The Fae and unknown regions) is called the Four Corners of Civilization in the books, and the whole world has been officially named "Temerant" by Patrick Rothfuss in his blog. The world of Temerant features a time period similar to the Middle Ages as medieval technology is present; metallurgy, chemistry, agriculture, plumbing, domestication, early naval engineering, and Gothic architecture are present. However, throughout the story, it is hinted that a more advanced time period has existed and that such time period prominently featured arcane magics allowing tremendous feats of technology, the knowledge from that time period being lost and/or unknown even to the University's arcanists. The current system of magics present in Temerant is a direct proof of such speculated history: alchemy, sympathetic magic, Sygaldry (a form of runic magic combined with medieval engineering), and 'Naming' (a type of magic that allows the user to command the classical elements and objects) are present and practiced by arcanists.
The Commonwealth and Aturan Empire, the largest union of lands in Temerant, has many Tehlin followers (Temerant's equivalent to Catholicism) with the Iron Law of the judicial system being based on the morals and ethics espoused by the doctrines of Tehlinism. Heresy against the Tehlin and use of magic against people are punishable by either the judicial and military branches of Tehlinism or the respective judicial and police systems of these lands: it is widely known that anyone who uses magic to willingly harm people will be executed, if convicted. There are no known forms of slavery, although the disparity between classes of citizens is observable and oftentimes dictates the attitudes people have toward each other. The present day Temerant is in a state of civil war between unknown factions, with one faction being led by a person known as the "Penitent King". The lands involved in the civil war are impoverished, and voluntary conscription is seen as an attractive line of work due to the pay of the King - colloquially known as the "King's Coin". The present day Kvothe lives in Newarre, a small rural village situated within the borders of Vintas, although the story follows his adventures across Temerant set years before the present day.
Tarbean is the capital of the Commonwealth, and (informally) divided into two sections: Waterside and Hillside. Waterside is a slum and home of beggars, thieves, and sex workers, while Hillside is home of solicitors, politicians, and courtesans. Kvothe spends three years living on the streets in Tarbean after his family and performing troupe are killed, and before he attends the University. Pronounced tar-bee-en.
Situated across the Omethi river from the town of Imre, the University is the center of higher learning. The people of the University are well respected and even feared due to their magic capabilities. Master Elodin hints that the University is at least a couple of centuries old, with the subject of Naming having much more importance in its inception years. The faculty is headed by the Nine Masters (similar to "Roke Island" of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series), each specializing in a different field. One of the masters also holds the title of Chancellor, which confers additional administrative authority. Graduates of the University are known as "arcanists".
Subjects studied at the University include history, algebra, geometry, sympathetic magic, medicine, rhetoric & logic, artificery (engineering), languages, alchemy and sygaldry. The University runs a modified quarterly-based semester system with a ranking system to determine the students' progression in their studies - the three ranks being E'lir, Re'lar, and El'the. Each student starts without a rank and gains the rank of E'lir upon being admitted to the Arcanum. After attaining the rank of El'the they can graduate from the University or stay there and contribute as a University Arcanist. At the last week of each quarter, a student has to undergo an assessment conducted by all the Nine Masters of the University to determine their progress (whether to be promoted or not) and tuition. Students can be expelled (usually involuntarily; by high tuition fees or administrative actions), can drop out, or stay at the University depending on their personal circumstances and the rank they want to achieve.
Unknown to virtually all of the students, the University itself is situated atop of The Underthing - a massive subterranean complex with interlocking rooms and tunnels that is speculated to be the remains of the previously constructed version of the University, as well as possibly being the remains of a now extinct town that once stood in the University's current location.
Vintas is an ancient and wealthy kingdom located many days' journey southeast of the University. Its people are known to be naturally suspicious of anything remotely magical. Its principal city, Severen, is divided by a large cliff, the Sheer, the higher section of which is inhabited by nobles and ruled by the Maer. Nobles of Severen often send rings as part of a summons, which is seen as a courtly game: one sends an iron ring to a lesser, a silver ring to a peer, and a golden ring to a superior, and nobles often make a game of displaying the rings they have received to show their influence.
A harsh, barren, rocky, and windy land inhabited by the Adem people, famous for their exported martial arts warriors-for-hire, who are known as "Adem mercenaries". It has many schools which teach different styles of fighting but are ultimately based on a fundamental philosophy known as the Lethani; it is similar to Eastern martial arts and their supporting philosophy, but ultimately emphasizes pragmatism. The people of Ademre communicate emotion using gestural language with almost no facial expression (other than laughter and tears). They believe that showing emotion is a natural thing, and thus barbaric, while controlling emotion and displaying it through a constructed sign-language is civilized, as they view the concept of civilization being superior to barbaric customs. The Adem also practice Ketan, an internal martial arts system similar to Tai Chi, while also integrating sword-fighting as the practitioner progresses. Teaching the Ketan to someone who is not one of the Adem is strictly forbidden.
Their architecture exhibits pragmatism, with the buildings being built by utilizing dry stone with the purpose of blending with the landscape. The society of Adem is matriarchal and governed by a modified Federal political system (as the schools each govern their respective areas within Ademre); however the stability of their societal system is largely based on their understanding of the Lethani philosophy and conflicts are settled according to the administration of the philosophy by the respective school leader. It is hinted throughout Kvothe's stay in Ademre that the culture of Adem emphasizes femininity and that the children are cultivated at a young age to become 'war children' as they undergo an almost militaristic training provided by the Adem schools using their respective martial arts curriculum based on the Ketan and their own variations of the Lethani philosophy. However, the Adem people do not view the cultivation of war children as a bad thing (partly due to their Lethani philosophy), instead it is a pragmatic decision by them as their main form of income to support their society comes from their exported Adem mercenaries who send money to their schools as part of their repayment.
A parallel reality inhabited by faeries and other species. In the Fae, the sun neither rises nor sets; but one can walk from lighter areas to darker areas, from morning to evening to night and back toward morning, or vice versa. The story's moon oscillates between the world of the Fae and the world of mortals; therefore, Fae beings can enter and exit the latter world easily during Full Moons, whereas mortals can become trapped in the Fae on moonless nights. It is hinted throughout the novels that the Fae environment is built using magic, hence creatures of the Fae are naturally imbued with the ability to use magic. Nothing much is known besides this of the society of the Fae, except that they seem to have a basic court system, as Felurian is regarded highly by Bast. It is also hinted that when mortal beings exit the Fae, the memories of their stay in the Fae realm are wiped out so as to preserve the mystery of the Fae realm.
The present day activities occur at the Waystone Inn, which is situated in Newarre and owned by Kvothe. Here Kvothe retells his life story to Chronicler and Bast.
Kvothe: Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as quothe with the "kv" sounding as in the Yiddish kvetch and the e being silent, is the protagonist of The Kingkiller Chronicle. At the young age of twelve, he is orphaned and forced to survive alone on the streets of Tarbean as a beggar. His most prominent physical features are his red hair and green eyes. Kvothe is a prodigy in the arts and arcane magic with an extraordinary memory - his prodigious feats earning him admission at the University and helping him become an infamous student during his stay. Later on, he receives informal training from an Adem mercenary and teacher, developing his martial arts education and skill. He is a very talented lute player, becoming a well-known performer at the pubs in Imre. For a majority of the story he is a student at the University, studying and working in the Fishery (the Artificers' workshop) making and selling tools and various items, which is his main source of income for the majority of his time at the University. Later in the story he becomes an arcanist, a renowned musician, a quasi-noble, and a novice adventurer. His extraordinary adventuring feats lead him to become a mythical figure throughout Temerant, the stories of his adventures being exaggerated, although very few people seem to know him or the truth behind these stories.
At the Waystone Inn
Devan Lochees: Also known as Chronicler, Devan convinces Kvothe to dictate his memoirs to him. Devan is a well-known author whose works include one of the first books Kvothe ever read while studying at the University, and is considered to be the foremost biographer of his time.
Bast: Kvothe's assistant and pupil; a Fae disguised as a young man. Bast's hope is that by recounting his life and adventures, Kvothe will return to his former heroism.
At the University and Imre
Denna: Described as dark haired with pale complexion, she is a young woman, at least a year older than Kvothe, who is romantically interested in Kvothe but seemingly rejects long-term attachment with him. Denna changes her name frequently whenever she relocates, referring to herself as Dianne, Dinah, Alora and many more. Denna is beautiful, graceful, intelligent, a talented musician, and a singer with a wonderful voice as shown when she performs with Kvothe during his first performance at the Eolian. Early on, most of her patrons are young nobles and she survives on their gifts as a vivacious and uncatchable courtesan (as she has successfully avoided sleeping with any of her patrons). Later on, she has secured the support of a mysterious wealthy patron, an older man she and Kvothe refer to as "Master Ash". Kvothe is informed by the Cthaeh, a cruel and omniscient being in the Fae, that Master Ash hurts Denna although he is careful to hit Denna in spots that can be hidden by clothing. Kvothe speculates that Denna stays with Master Ash because he provides Denna with knowledge that she's looking for, and if Denna had other ways of getting such knowledge she would have left already.
Ambrose Jakis: Kvothe's archrival at the University, and the firstborn son of a powerful and wealthy baron. Throughout the story, Ambrose and Kvothe often commit sabotage and subterfuge against each other. While their rivalry early on is mostly displayed by playing pranks on each other, it later escalates to physical violence, each also trying to outwit the other with clever tactics.
Master Kilvin: Master Artificer, one of Kvothe's most influential mentors. Kilvin spends much of his time inventing and fabricating devices, and has made numerous attempts to produce an "ever burning lamp". Kilvin is Cealdish, with thick shoulders and a bristling black beard. Artificing is Temerant's equivalent of engineering, as most products created in The Artificery are made for practical purposes.
Master Elodin: Master Namer, an eccentric but brilliant professor, considered insane by most of the students. Later initiates Kvothe into the arcane art of 'Naming'. Naming allows control and eventual mastery over the classical elements and any physical object, including people, by uttering their 'true' names. There is no conventional or standardized way to learn Naming. In fact, the art itself is a mystery and its students can only grasp the true Name of the object they want to master by spending time to contemplate its deep nature. It is subtly hinted throughout the later part of The Name Of The Wind and the middle part of The Wise Man's Fear that Kvothe is a prodigy at Naming: able to call the Name of the Wind subconsciously at first, and gaining complete mastery over it within the span of around 6 months.
Master Arwyl: Master Physicker, an older professor described as having a "grandfatherly" appearance. Arwyl presides over the instruction and day-to-day operations of the Medica. The practice of medicine ('physic') in Temerant is similar to medieval medicine with a large emphasis on herbalism.
Master Hemme: Master Rhetorician, who resents Kvothe for embarrassing him in a class he was teaching, and tries to make Kvothe's life in the University as difficult as possible. Jasom Hemme replaces Herma as Chancellor near the end of The Wise Man's Fear.
Master Herma: Chancellor of the University and Master Linguist during The Name of the Wind and most of The Wise Man's Fear. Herma falls ill near the end of The Wise Man's Fear and his duties are taken over by Master Hemme.
Master Lorren: Master Archivist. Keeper of the University's vast and legendary Archives. He notoriously bans Kvothe in his first semester for having a lit candle in the archives.
Master Elxa Dal: Master Sympathist. Often referred to as simply "Dal" or "Master Dal". It is in his sympathy classes that Kvothe competitively duels with other University students. After Kvothe's trial in Imre, Elxa Dal advises Kvothe to leave the University until the backlash from the trial has died down, by telling him a story called "The Ignorant Edema". Described as having severe dark eyes, a lean face, and short black beard. To Kvothe, Dal looks the part of an archetypal sinister magician in bad Aturan plays.
Master Mandrag: Master Alchemist, originally reminded Kvothe of his first mentor, Abenthy. Described as "clean-shaven and smooth-faced, with hands stained a half hundred different colors, and seemed to be made all of knuckle and bone."
Master Brandeur: Master Arithmetician. Brandeur does not feature prominently in the first two parts of the trilogy and is primarily known as a henchman for Master Hemme, thus often voting against Kvothe in any matter before the masters.
Simmon: Often called Sim. He is of noble birth and is a close friend of Kvothe's. Simmon is skilled in alchemy and poetry. Considered naïve despite his quick intellect, he is also a close friend with Wilem.
Wilem: Often called Wil. Cealdish, another close friend of Kvothe's, and a librarian ('scriv') in the University Archives. He and Simmon are the first to befriend Kvothe at the University.
Manet: A middle-aged student who has remained at the University for thirty years. He teaches Kvothe artificery in The Name of the Wind.
Fela: A beautiful young woman studying at the University. Kvothe and Fela help each other on several occasions. Fela was romantically interested in Kvothe, although Kvothe didn't seem to notice her feelings for him. She later develops feelings for Simmon, and they enter into a relationship.
Auri: A young woman and likely former student who lives in hiding in The Underthing. Auri is frightened by strangers, loud noises, and direct questions, but is befriended by Kvothe. Her name is bestowed by Kvothe himself, in a language he does not remember, meaning "sunny". Kvothe calls her his "little moon fae" and plays his lute for her in the middle of the night. She is the protagonist of The Slow Regard of Silent Things wherein it is implied that her current status is the result of trauma after being raped.
Mola: A high-ranking student at the University. She works in the Medica and has healed Kvothe's injuries on multiple occasions.
Devi: A moneylender in Imre who makes loans to Kvothe to pay his tuition. An infamously expelled University student who lives in Imre, she is extremely skilled in sympathy and perhaps one of the best sympathists, leading many locals to fear her due to her arcane prowess. It is known that Devi, Fela, and Mola are good friends as well. At first a harsh moneylender, Devi later becomes one of Kvothe's friends in The Wise Man's Fear. She continuously (and thus far, unsuccessfully) tries to find the Underthing's secret path into the Archives, which is only known by Kvothe and Auri.
Count Dennais Threpe: A patron of the musical arts, living in Imre. He tries without success to find Kvothe a patron. He is eventually able to recommend Kvothe to the service of the Maer.
Deoch: Co-owner of the Eolian with his business partner Stanchion, Deoch serves as the establishment's "bouncer" and is a good friend to Kvothe, often giving him life advice. He is implied to be bisexual, and Stanchion is both his romantic and business partner in an open relationship.
Stanchion: Co-owner of the Eolian with his business partner Deoch, Stanchion serves both as a part-time bartender and as part-time M.C. for the musical performances. He is in charge of awarding silver talent pipes to talented musicians. He is another good friend of Kvothe's, and Deoch is both his business and romantic partner in an open relationship.
Maershon Lerand Alveron: Also called the Maer; ruler of a major portion of Vintas, and descendant of the King of Vint. Unlike other nobles in his high peerage, he's kind and well-mannered, but he is also cunning - and unforgiving toward those who commit grave transgressions against him. Kvothe serves for a time as his adviser regarding personal matters. Kvothe assists him in various ways, including helping him woo the Lady Lackless to become his wife and ridding the Eld (an ancient forest) of bandits who ambush his tax collectors. He is eventually forced to dismiss Kvothe due to his new wife's hatred of the Edema Ruh (Kvothe's people) but not before promising to aid him in furthering his education at the University via letter of credit.
Meluan Lackless: Heiress of the Lackless family, an ancient family of Vintas that was once among the most powerful families in Vintas. The 'Lackless' surname (originally 'Loeclos'), being a bastardization of the word 'Lockless', is due to the rumor of a secret door in their ancestral estate without any handle nor hinges. She possesses the Lackless family's heirloom - the Loeclos Box, a box without handle, lid or hinges that has subtle secret engravings around it and is at least a millennium old, with the contents of the box speculated to be a stone or glass object of importance due to the box's weight and the way the object tumbles inside it. She loathes the Edema Ruh (Kvothe's ethnic people), as her sister, Netalya Lackless, was wooed by an Edema Ruh man and later eloped with him.
Stapes: The Maer's manservant and most trusted friend. Initially hostile to Kvothe, Stapes softens when Kvothe saves the Maer from slow poisoning by Caudicus. Stapes then gives Kvothe his 'ring of bone' - a ring that signifies his unconditional loyalty to Kvothe.
Caudicus: An arcanist and alchemist in the employ of the Maer. Kvothe discovers that Caudicus has been poisoning the Maer (by lacing his medications with metallic lead) over the course of years, for reasons unknown.
Bredon: A Vintish noble who lives at the Maer's court. He befriends Kvothe, teaches him the game of tak, and teaches him court customs. He also has a kind of beer named for him.
Skarpi: A relatively minor character in The Name of the Wind, though he has (in the present day) befriended Chronicler, and was instrumental in discovering Kvothe's current whereabouts. He enters Kvothe's narrative in Tarbean as an eccentric old man at a tavern, who will tell any story asked of him. Although it seems at first glance that he's just a mere rumor monger, it is hinted later that he has actual knowledge of his stories and that those stories at least contain fragments of truth.
Trapis: A kindly old man who lives in the basement of a burnt out building and feeds and tends to the needs of street children. Kvothe was befriended by Trapis, during Kvothe's three years living as a street urchin in Tarbean. He is hinted to be a priest.
Pike: An orphan boy who also lives as a street urchin in Tarbean. He was Kvothe's enemy in The Name of the Wind.
In the Fae
Felurian: One of the immortal Fae, Felurian enters the mortal world to seduce men and lead them to her pavillion, where she reduces them to madness through magic and sexual debauchery. Kvothe spends time with her and manages to resist her influence by calling the name of the wind and, according to Elodin, possibly the true name of Felurian herself. Kvothe convinces Felurian to allow him to return to the mortal world as long as he promises to finish and spread a song about her and then return to her. Felurian later weaves a magical cloak for Kvothe called the shaed.
Cthaeh: (pronounced kuth-hay) An omniscient being imprisoned in a great tree in the Fae realm guarded by the Sithe - a coalition of armed Fae beings tasked with preserving the Fae realm's security. To the inhabitants of the Fae realm (i.e. Felurian and Bast), the Cthaeh is malevolent, and anyone who has managed to converse with it has brought disaster. According to Bast, the instigators of the Creation War and of the Fastingsway War had conversed with the Cthaeh, and Haliax, the current leader of the Chandrian, had also talked to the Cthaeh before his awakening. Bast regards the Cthaeh as the most evil being in existence due to its omniscient nature and cunning manipulation, while Felurian also seems to regard the Cthaeh as dangerous. It is unknown if the Cthaeh has any objective goal in mind when it manipulates those who converse with it or if it is simply an oracle imbued with a malevolent nature.
Tempi: An Adem mercenary whom Kvothe meets in Vintas under the employ of Maer Alveron. Tempi introduces Kvothe to the Ademic language as well as the Ketan and Lethani. Tempi is a capable fighter, though he is considered only mediocre by Adem standards.
Shehyn: An old woman and master of the Ketan fighting style as well as the head of the school in Haert, where Kvothe stays. She approves allowing Kvothe to be taught the Ketan and the Lethani.
Vashet: Nicknamed "the Hammer", she is the teacher assigned to Kvothe to determine whether he is worthy to learn from her people. She proves to be a very capable but strict teacher to Kvothe, and she teaches him the culture of the Adem and the proper forms of Ketan.
Penthe: A young woman and a prodigious fighter, being able to defeat Shehyn in one of their sparring matches. She is the first among the Adem to speak to Kvothe willingly. Her friendliness with Kvothe is primarily motivated by her desire to learn 'barbarian customs' as she hasn't ventured outside Ademre yet.
Carceret: A female Adem who rebukes Tempi for teaching Kvothe their secrets and hates Kvothe for committing transgressions against the customs of Adem, particularly his use of Ketan.
Celean: An exceptionally talented student of the Ketan who becomes Kvothe's sparring partner. She is only 10 years old, and, although being much smaller than Kvothe, wins their sparring matches on a regular basis. By the time Kvothe leaves Ademre, Celean talks about him often to her friends.
Magwyn: Grandmother of Vashet, Magwyn gives Kvothe the name 'Maedre', meaning either 'The Flame', 'The Thunder', or 'The Broken Tree' depending on intonation. Later, Magwyn helps Kvothe memorize the history and names of the carriers of his sword 'Saicere', known as its 'Atas'.
Mythos and history
The story of Tehlu
While recovering from a fever in Tarbean Kvothe is told a version of the Messiah like story of the Tehlin mythos by Trapis. In the story long before the events of the current narrative the world is infested with demons and wicked people, save for one woman, Perial. Perial prays for her neighbors and sees the world in a kind light. One night Tehlu visits her in a dream and tells her the wicked deeds of the neighbors she loves. She remains kind and selfless and says that the way of the world forces people to become evil. Tehlu is impressed and impregnates her with himself as his own child. She gives birth and the child grows with unnatural speed. Believing Tehlu to be a demon the village comes to kill him. Tehlu says he is himself born of himself son of himself father of himself and shows he is not a demon. Tehlu then explains that they can be saved with his forgiveness but not without punishment. He draws a line in the dirt and asks people to come to his side. The blacksmith steps forward first and is beaten with his hammer by Tehlu. After the beaten he "rewards" the blacksmith for joining him first by taking away most of the pain and praising him with a new name. Most of the other villagers come forward to him as well and receive the same treatment. There are a few who remain on the other side and Tehlu steps forward to kill them, some were possessed by demons and driven out of their stolen bodies. Tehlu then goes village to village cleansing demons and making the world repent. Tehlu sets his sights on the king of the demons, Ecannis. He chases him for days without rest and eventually catches him. He asks if Encannis is willing to repent, the demon refuses. Tehlu orders the people to dig a large pit and give him all of their iron. With the iron he forges a wheel, which became the symbol of the Tehlin church, and binds Eccanis to it with iron chains. The wheel is thrown into the pit where a fire has been lit. Eccanis struggles against the fire and iron and is able to break the chains. With no other option Tehlu throws himself into the pit and holds Eccanis to the wheel, as he was stronger than any chain. Eccanis screams that they will both be killed, but Tehlu continues to hold until they are both burned.
The church celebrates Tehlu's sacrifice in a holiday similar to the real world Easter, called Mourning. People dress up as demons and do acts of mischief and flee at iron and the name of Tehlu. Kvothe's family would sometimes be hired to play the demons in smaller villages, in Tarbean to cover the entire city the church sells demon masks to people in the poor parts. On the final day of Mourning the church processes in a parade and the demons are supposed to leave and end the performance. It's implied the church can take you in for heresy or sin if you are caught drinking during Mourning.
Origin of the Lethani
According to Vashet, the Ademic understanding of the Lethani originated from 99 stories told by the dying archer 'Rethe' to her instructor 'Aethe' after she was mortally wounded in a duel against him.
The Chandrian are also known as the Seven and, by the Adem, as the Rhinta. The term "Chandrian" is mentioned in a popular children's rhyme, and most humans are familiar with it only in this context. Their character, origins, and purpose are unknown to most human characters, but they are presumed malevolent. Led by Lord Haliax, popular superstition describes "signs" of their presence, such as fire turning blue and the rusting of iron.
Skarpi tells a tale of Lord Haliax's origins as Lanre, legendary warrior, hero of the embattled Ergen Empire, and husband to the sorceress Lyra. Lanre is killed in the battle, but Lyra revives him with her magic, and they go on to win the war. However, after the war, Lyra dies mysteriously, and Lanre finds himself unable to revive her despite gaining great powers. Filled with despair, he changes his name to Haliax and resolves to destroy the world, betraying the great cities of Ergen. While destroying the last city, Myr Tariniel, Lanre reveals to its king Selitos that his power has rendered him unable to sleep, forget, go mad, or die. Selitos curses Haliax to be surrounded by shadow and troubled by any mention of his name, extending the curse eternally onto Haliax and his followers. Another of Skarpi's tales has Selitos gathering Myr Tariniel's survivors to form the Amyr, sworn to hunt the Chandrian whenever and wherever they can.
The Fae's account
Among the Fae, it is held that before Lanre betrayed the empire he had spoken to the evil Cthaeh.
The Creation Wars and the stealing of the moon
The Shapers sought mastery over the world, going against the principles of the Knowers. They created a parallel world: Fae. Iax, the most powerful of the Shapers, attempted to steal the moon from the mortal world to Fae, triggering the Creation War. The moon has since been trapped between the two worlds.
The stealing of the moon ended the last chance for peace; whereas before men and the Fae were divided, two factions existed: the knowers and the shapers. The shapers created the Fae realm, and one shaper named Iax lodged the moon between the worlds. Among the Fae, it is held that before Iax stole the moon he had spoken to the Cthaeh.
A variation of this tale is told by Hespe, a female mercenary in Vintas, in which an unhappy boy named Jax bet a tinker that he could not make Jax happy. In the course of the contest, Jax decided to possess the moon. Taking his winnings, all of the tinker's packs and his hat (an unlucky sign), Jax traveled for some years, until he met a wise hermit with a vast knowledge of true names and a talent for listening. Impatient to capture the moon, Jax built a crooked mansion and called to the moon by playing a sad song on a magic flute found in the tinker's pack. The moon came to him; and when she left, Jax said, "I have given you three things. My song, a house, and my heart" and asked for a touch of her hand, a kiss, and her name, Ludis. With these, he took her partially prisoner, which (in this story) explains the lunar cycle.
In other media
In July 2013, 20th Century Fox announced that The Kingkiller Chronicle was optioned for a TV series. The production team included Arnon Milchan, Andrew Plotkin, Brad Weston, and Robert Lawrence. The option expired by October 2015, and the rights to the books reverted to Rothfuss.
In October 2015, Rothfuss announced that Lionsgate would be involved in adapting the series through a film, TV series, and video game. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will executive produce the television series along with John Rogers, Jennifer Court, Robert Lawrence and Rothfuss, with music composed by Miranda. In October 2017, Showtime began developing the series but ended their involvement in September 2019 – causing the rights to return to Lionsgate TV, who are shopping it around. In January 2018, Sam Raimi was announced as the director for the upcoming film.
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- "Lionsgate Wins Rights to Fantasy Book Series 'Kingkiller Chronicle' (Exclusive)".
- "Patrick Rothfuss explains why The Doors of Stone is taking so long to write". Winter Is Coming. Winter Is Coming. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Hester, Patrick (September 27, 2012). "Podcast Episode 153: Interview with Author Patrick Rothfuss". SF Signal.
- Rothfuss, Patrick (July 16, 2014). "Our Triumphant Conclusion, Chocolate Malts, and the Name of the World".
- Rothfuss, Patrick. "Ask the Author #4: How Do I Pronounce Kvothe's name?". Patrick Rothfuss - Official Website.
- WMF, Chapter 4, while Kvothe is still at University, before Maer.
- McNally, Victoria (July 19, 2013). "Rothfuss Fans, Your Time Has Come: The Kingkiller Chronicle Optioned for TV Series". Geekosystem.
- Siegel, Tatiana; Kit, Borys. "Comic-Con: Fantasy Novel 'Name of the Wind' Sparks Heated Bidding War (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Rothfuss, Patrick (October 1, 2015). "Hollywood News".
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda to Produce Feature Film, TV Series Adaptation of 'Kingkiller Chronicles'". TheWrap. 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
- Kain, Erik. "'The Name Of The Wind' Could Be The Next 'Game Of Thrones' With New Movie, TV And Video Game Deal".
- Bradley, Laura. "Secret Geek Lin-Manuel Miranda Might Be Making the Next Game of Thrones".
- "'The Kingkiller Chronicle' Is About to Take Over Your Life".
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Kingkiller Chronicles' Series Set At Showtime". Deadline. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Kingkiller Chronicle' Not Moving Forward At Showtime, Being Shopped By Lionsgate TV". Deadline. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- Kroll, Justin (2018-01-29). "Sam Raimi to Direct 'Kingkiller Chronicle' for Lionsgate and Lin-Manuel Miranda (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- The Kingkiller Chronicle series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- The Kingkiller Chronicle at the Internet Book List
- Patrick Rothfuss' Web site
- Knackerman song, from lyrics Rothfuss had written for The Name of the Wind. Performed by Vi Hart, per the request of Rothfuss as part of an event for Rothfuss' Worldbuilders charity.