Thank you for reading my story! You are awesome.
As promised, here are notes and references for the fan theories in the story (I'm a scientist by training. We are big on citation. That said, you will have to forgive me for not citing page numbers for everything. This is a hobby, after all.). Really sorry about the crappy link formatting. It's the best I can do with this website's restrictions (It doesn't even let you copy/paste the links? What the hell.). Put a single period in the links where it says (dotdot) to make them work.
(Spoilers all, including one specially marked spoiler for The Slow Regard of Silent Things)
Made up with little or no evidence:
1. Bast is Kvothe's father. Oh, maybe. I would put good odds on the two being related. Bast's love for Kvothe is apparent, but I doubt that they are lovers because both are renowned womanizers. Of course, the most popular theory is that Bast is Kvothe's son by Felurian, the Lady of Twilight. I don't buy this - Bast is 150 years old and has cloven hooves, plus we know his father is Remmen (We could argue all day about how time works in the Fae and about the fact that we also know Kvothe's father is Arliden, but I don't see the point of going in circles ...) Pat opened the door to questions of Kvothe's parentage on purpose when Arliden joked that Laurian had "bed down with some wandering God" (NotW Ch 12). We also know that Bast can bear human children based on a side comment made by Kvothe in WMF Ch 85 (Kvothe accuses Bast of being a boy's father. Bast is offended that Kvothe would think that because the child is, god forbid, blond).
If you are mortified that I could even entertain the possibility that Bast seduced Kvothe's mother with music, don't read The Lightning Tree.
I also have a pet theory that Kvothe is the son of an angel, but I'll save that for another day.
2. Bast's father (Remmen, presumed King of Twilight?) is displaced by Iax upon his return. I made this up completely.
3. Elodin is related to Kvothe. Three things might suggest this (in a vague, unlikely sort of way): (1) His eyes are alternatively described as "green" or "dark," which could suggest that they change color like Kvothe's - a trait we know he inherited from his mother, a Lackless, and one which ties him to the Fae and to Iax/Jax "of the dark and changing eye." (2) We can guess that Elodin comes from a respectable family, since he became the youngest student ever accepted at the University at 14, and the beginning of his formal education must pre-date that. (3) If the power to Name is hereditary, Elodin and Kvothe could both have inherited it through the Lackless line.
4. Illien was an angel/Singer. This is unlikely, but not impossible. Illien is said to be one of the human Amyr. But, as Felurian states, there never were any human Amyr. We know there is some connection between the (true) Amyr and the singers, who I assume are angels (see #2 under "Almost certainly true" below). Their relationship remains unclear, though we know both are enemies of the Chandrian. Anyway, I only included this bit in the story because I enjoy the bitter irony of Kvothe failing his idol.
If you're currently thinking, "Uh ... What are the singers and why does this random fan fiction author think that they are angels?" you might enjoy the following links:
5. Haliax can drop his shadows on a whim. This is utter nonsense. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to write a monologue for a character that can't make any facial expressions and speaks entirely in italics?
6. The Chandrian's signs are given to them by the Amyr or the Singers. In Skarpi's tale, Haliax is cursed by Selitos, who is the only Amyr we know by name (indeed, he may be the only Amyr).
7. The Chandrian are screwing with the line of succession in Vintas, which somehow explains Kvothe's assassination of the King. Why on earth is Cinder waylaying the Maer's tax collectors? Is he guarding the Lackless door? Searching for it? Is he garnering power for himself or his allies (maybe the Jakis family)?
Likely to be true:
1. The thrice-locked chest holds Kvothe's name. He locked himself out of it by splitting his mind in two, which is why his Alar is weak. Jo Walton wrote up a nice review of all the popular theories related to Kote:
2. Bredon is Master Ash, or Cinder is Master Ash, or both.
3. Haliax is Iax, or is somehow tied to him, and aims to release him from his prison. Iax is imprisoned behind the "doors of stone." This sounds metaphorical but is actually likely to be the Lackless door, which appears to lie on the ancient lands where the Blac of Drossen Tor was fought (see #3 below under "Almost certainly true").
4. Folly is Cinder's sword. Neither sword reflects light well. One is associated with endings, the other with the dead of winter.
5. Auri is Princess Ariel. Who is that? Pat only knows. Roderic's daughter, presumably. I've read several great theories on this, but I can't find one now that hits all the major points, so I'll rehash here. Briefly, her primness and her refusal to wear hand-me-downs suggest a wealthy upbringing. Elodin bows unusually formally to her when they meet on the rooftops. Kvothe names her Auri, which is similar to Ariel (pronounced Au-riel in the audio books). Kvothe's choice of names suggests to Elodin that he has some talent for naming, so it must strike close to home. And if ever there were a character that might need saving from "sleeping barrow kings," it's the girl who lives in the underground palace. The Slow Regard of Silent Things suggests SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS she suffered sexual abuse as a child. Since Cinder is the only sadist in the series (a possible exception being Denna's patron) and also seems to be tied up in Vintic politics (or why would he be waylaying tax collectors?), I wonder if he is her abuser (so this theory found its way into the story as well). END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS.
As a matter of curiosity, here is a lovely list of the Vintic peerage. Note that Roderic may have a missing heir (Ariel?):
6. Kvothe is a Chandrian, and his sign is silence.
7. The Eolian is going to burn down. NotW Ch 54, in which the Eolian is first introduced, is titled "A Place to Burn." This is metaphorical, but it reeks of foreshadowing to me, as does Stanchion's comment to Kvothe in WMF Ch 5, "Is this the sort of surprise that's going to cause a riot or make folk set my place on fire?"
8. Kvothe kills the king (or someone) outside of the Eolian. NotW, Ch 3 (spoken by the visitor who recognizes Kvothe): "'I saw the place in Imre where you killed him. By the fountain. The cobblestones are all shathered.' He frowned and concentrated on the word. 'Shattered. They say no one can mend them.'" Compare this to NotW Ch 54: "The Eolian lay at the heart of Imre, its front doors facing out onto the city's central cobblestone courtyard. There were benches, a few flowering trees, and a marble fountain misting water over a statue of a satyr chasing a group of half-clothed nymphs whose attempt at flight seemed token at best."
9. Kvothe's left hand is damaged, which is why he can't play music. See the section "Hands" in
10. Skarpi is an angel, or is at least aligned with them. I can't find a good source for this theory either. Briefly, Skarpi says Kvothe's name the second time they meet in Tarbean (probably his true name, not his calling name), even though Kvothe never told it to him. This, plus his story about Lanre, brings Kvothe back to himself and sets him on the road to the University (fueled by fantasies of revenge). When Skarpi is arrested, he tells the priests that he has friends in the church and makes personal comments about the angels like "Erlus, Tehlu hates you even more than the rest of the world does." (NotW Ch 28) Note that, when Chronicler says he has been traveling with Skarpi, Kvothe also responds, "Taken you under his wing, has he?" (NotW, Ch 6)
11. Cinder has the ability to alter his appearance. I base this solely on the Cthaeh's comment to Kvothe about the ability of the Chandrian to hide their signs.
12. Caesura will not rust in the presence of the Chandrian. Well, it is a shaped blade.
13. Somebody (the Singers? the Amyr? the Chandrian?) invented the Tehlin church. I love this theory.
14. The king that Kvothe kills is Roderic of Vintas. The comment by thistepong in this post is the best treatment I've read on the subject:
Almost certainly true:
1. Netalia Lackless is Kvothe's mother. Nothing in the series is more certain than this. This is either true or it's the best red herring I ever heard.
2. The angels (singers?) are important players, even though Kvothe is ignoring them. Recall that there were three parties in Skarpi's story: The Chandrian, the Amyr, and the unnamed third contingent led by Tehlu, who became ephemeral creatures of white fire.
This contingent (obviously "angels," since they are led by Tehlu and transformed by Aleph) appears to be wielding Kvothe as a weapon against the Chandrian (which raises the question, why do they think he will succeed where they have failed?): Skarpi, who speaks of Tehlu as if they know one another, attempts to awaken Kvothe in Tarbean and send him after the Chandrian; to the Justice, he says, "It's not as if I expect you to bound off looking for Halax and the Seven yourself. 'Small deeds for small men,' I always say." (NotW Ch 28) (Note his use of "the Seven" rather than "the Chandrian." This is their preferred name, and suggests a deeper knowledge of them than other storytellers might have.) Similarly, Nina tells Kvothe that the angels brought images of the Chandrian vase to her in a dream so that she could draw it for him. As noted in Chapter 4 (this story), Cinder flees after a column of white fire strikes the bandit camp in Vintas, which only occurs after Marten prays to Andan and Ordal.
Andan and Ordal's names rest on the Amyr's shoulders (this is presumably Selitos) in Nina's drawing ("almost as if she were hoping the names would weigh him down, or trap him"), so we can guess that the angels provide a check on the Amyr (WFM Ch 35). Based on Skarpi's comments, they don't much seem to like the Tehlin church.
I call these creatures Singers in the story because the angels are said to sing "songs of power," and the Singers are known enemies of the Chandrian. Haliax says to Cinder, "Who keeps you safe from the Amyr? The singers?" (NotW Ch 16) Singers could be men like Kvothe's father, or they could be creatures like the angels. They could also be one and the same - note that, when Kvothe's sleeping mind is awoken and he sings Felurian's name ("four clear lines of song"), he says "my power rode like a white star on my brow" (WMF Ch 97). When Skarpi describes the angels, he says "the fire settled on their foreheads like silver stars and they became at once righteous and wise and terrible to behold." (NotW Ch 28)
3. Kvothe will open the Lackless door, releasing Iax and restarting the Creation War. That Kvothe will open the door is made clear by the rhyme Kvothe hears - "Seven things stand before the entrance to the Lackless door ... One a son who brings the blood." That the door lies on the battlefield of Drossen Tor, and likely contains Iax's prison, is suggested by the relationship between this rhyme in WMF and an earlier rhyme in NotW ("Seven things has Lady Lackless, Keeps them underneath her black dress ..."), particularly the way that "black dress" was carefully chosen to bring to mind "Drossen Tor." The linguistic similarity is intentionally conserved across different translations of the book.
See comment #290: asoiaf(dotdot)westeros(dotdot)org/index(dotdot)php/topic/75050-the-wise-mans-fear-ix-spoilers-speculation/page-15