Welcome back to the Page of the Wind Blog! Jeremy here, with our latest installment of wild speculations and incomprehensible commentary. This week’s episodes cover pages 230-236, in which Kvothe says some final farewells, sets off on his journey to the University, and meets one of the most important, and most controversial characters in the book – Denna.
Denna is a divisive character in the fandom of The Kingkiller Chronicle. Heck, she’s even divisive on our own show! Some people see hers and Kvothe’s as a reciprocal, if doomed, romance. Others argue that Kvothe is projecting onto her everything he wants to see, everything he thinks would fix his life – the classic Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope.
And then of course, there are the wild-eyed fan theories. *squints accusingly at Nick*. Denna is a Chandrian. Okay, maybe she’s not a Chandrian, maybe she just works for them. Maybe Denna and Kvothe are on opposite sides of the same conflict, manipulated by powerful forces neither of them fully understand. Maybe Denna is literally the Moon. (Okay, I kinda like that last one.) At this point, there’s not much i would put past Patrick Rothfuss. He’s wily. (What is he hiding in that magnificent beard?)
Why has Denna generated so much speculation? Why all the intense interest? As we discuss on the podcast, perhaps it’s because we only ever see her through Kvothe’s eyes – and she remains largely an enigma even to him. He likes to think he understands her better than the other men she spends her time with – but their relationship is very guarded, very surface level. In fact, it’s in this sequence, 230 pages or so into the first book, that we arguably see Denna at her most unguarded.
The other component to all this speculation and uncertainty of course (and as one of our keen listeners has pointed out) is that The Name of the Wind is only book 1 of 3. We don’t know how it all turns out, so all our guesswork is based on where we think the ending might go, and what story Patrick Rothfuss might be trying to tell us. What we do know, and what Rothfuss himself has said over and over, is that the story we think he’s telling … is not the story he’s actually telling.
That’s it for this week listeners! If you’ve some thoughts on Denna that you’d like to share with us, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check us out on Twitter and Facebook @pageofthewind!