Welcome back Pagerinos! It’s Jeremy here with your latest edition of the Page of the Wind blog post – the only blog dedicated to everyone’s favourite Name of the Wind-themed podcast. (Well … okay, maybe not everyone’s … but it’s your favourite, right?) This week’s episodes cover pages 202-208, in which Kvothe awakes from Skarpi’s story, and with the help of a beer, puts together his own connection to the Lanre of Skarpi’s tale.
It seems self-evident to the reader that Kvothe should be able to connect the dots between the shadowy Haliax who was present at his parents camp three years ago, and the Lanre the Selitos curses to have his face “forever hidden in shadow” in Skarpi’s story. But it takes Kvothe some mulling over to connect those dots (and in so doing, set himself on his quest to discover the true nature of the Chandrian.) So why does it take Kvothe so long to get there?
Well, that ties in with what’s turning out to be a major theme of this book – a theme that I, the pooh-pooh-er of close reading, didn’t really pick up on until this close read. The Kingkiller Chronicle is about a character dealing with (or not dealing with) their trauma. And not just in the classic fantasy trope way of “my parents were killed by the Bad Guy, and I must seek revenge”. Patrick Rothfuss is playing with that idea of orphaned heroes seeking revenge – and exploring the less-glamorous underpinnings.
After all – Kvothe doesn’t immediately go seeking revenge on his parents’ presumed killers. He goes semi-catatonic in the woods for a few months and then spends the next three years in a state of misery in Tarbean, actively repressing the memories of his old life. And even when he “wakes up” – possibly with the help of Skarpi using his name – he doesn’t go off in search of someone to teach him how to kick ass and Name Names – he goes in search of knowledge and truth. The Name of the Wind is a book that questions and plays with those old-timey fiction tropes.
It’s also worth noting, structurally, that this moment of awakening, which I would call the beginning of Act II (or the tail end of Act I) in classic 3-Act storytelling structure, comes 200+ pages into the book. Patrick Rothfuss is playing a long game here, and even though his book doesn’t rush headlong into the “plot” or “action” we might expect, it’s the character’s complex emotional journey that’s really keeping us all engaged.
That’s it for this week, faithful readers! Got beef (or praise-chicken?) for this week’s blog? Think my placement of the “Break into Two” is totally off? Sound off in the comments below! Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org! Tweet or Facebook us @pageofthewind! Check out our Patreon full of bonus content at patreon.com/pageofthewind !