This is an index for the entire series, skip to Prelude.
In short, this theory will cover Auri's candle-making. In long...
The Kingkiller Chronicle's journey is powerful; it moves the heart. It's best if you experience it yourself, rather than me rob you of the joy. Journey before destination, and all that. In that vein, allow me to tell a brief story of a boy who ran too fast. It is only an echo of the stories told in Temerant, but hopefully, it will dull the ache of waiting for more stories from Rothfuss while appropriately setting the tone of the greater story I hope to unfold here. I have also put together a short poem about how to read the King Killer Chronicle and part of a stone that sits in my heart. I cast it into the water, I hope the river will take it where it needs to go. I call it the The hope a spring sun brings.
So, I suggest you read around a lot before tackling this. That means all the books a couple of times. See the last section, "Citations," for a list. It also means spending some time on the forums. I'm not suggesting I have the right of things. Or all of it. Instead, I'm saying it's a lot more fun to arrive at your own conclusions before hearing others. So capital S Spoilers and possible BS ahead, you decided which.
Enough of warnings, we look forward now, shadows on the horizon, drums in the deep.
Come sister Sparrow come brother Wolf
Warrens widdershins ways and woes
Summer squalls, winters rose
Now a tale every midwife knows
Listen close Ash and Elm
Nekkid toes, crooked noes
Hollow fallow, butter brine
How mother Rabbit stole time
The main theory is that Auri is Shaping Kvothes life from those of Lanre and Selitos. To go further, I must be sure you understand as much about the Fae, their magic, Waystones, and Alchemy as possible. I'll give an overview of the requirements in the next section called "A careful look". Then will pick up the main theory thread in the section titled "A Humerus Chandelier".
To understand the conclusion, that Auri is Shaping Kvothe. You need to understand the craft she uses to do it. Discussing the means, broadly speaking Fae magic and Alchemy. Are topics in their own right, and so it's better to break them out. If your not sure how Fae do what they do, then here is a piece on Fae magic, where we learn from Bast and observe him working his craft in the book "The Lighting Tree". Similarly, you will need to understand Alchemy to follow Auri's candle making. Most importantly, if you find your-self in doubt that Auri is visiting Newarre and the Mauthen farm the read How to get to Newarre where I isolate the topic. I won't be covering that here, as it's too distracting. If you doubt that Auri could get there quickly, then read Ways to safe places. Each post will try to have a summary or conclusion at the top. If you agree with it, confidently move on.
Our theory is that Auri is shaping Kvothe From Lanre and Selitos, who are represented by two items she finds in the Underthing. To clarify, ill be keeping track of the items (what) and who in a table. The starting point, which will explain shortly, is here:
We first need to establish how these items are like these historical figures. This is done multiple ways, mostly by association.
E.g If I said, my new boss sure is a bear. And later I said, he is really grizzly today. We would count this as two connections from my boss to a bear.
The starting point for this theory happens in the repeated use of a single body part where typically it's counter would be involved forms a pattern. There are two instances of this very close together in the narrative. The more unusual of the two repeats itself when Lanre is described as having "strength of arm" rather then "strength of arms" NOWT:26:184:
..Lanre had the strength of his arm and the command of loyal men...
..his (Lanre) power lay in the strength of his arm.
The second instance is also unusual, but also directly part of the plotline. And so receives an understandable amount of attention.
Selitos drew a deep breath. “By my eye I was deceived, never again....” He raised the stone and drove its needle point into his own eye.
Selitos One-Eye stood forward and said, “Lord, if I do thi....
From here we are going to follow these items separately for a bit tell they come back together, in different forms at the end.
In Slow Regard of Silent Things (SROST), Auri finds a bone. SROST:1:24:
she had found: a clean white bone. Long, but not a leg. An arm. The prima axial. She ran her fingers down the length of it and felt a tiny seam that ran all round it like a ring, showing it had broken and long-healed. It was full of pleasant shadows.
Here comes the analogies and metaphors we talked about before, were not going to discuss why this is important now, rather just note the alike this bone the "Prima Axial is" to Lanre:
Roughly seven associations. After retrieving the bone, Auri puts it near some holly, that she has on her. SROST:1:24:
The bone nestled almost indecently close to the holly berry.
Holly is a topic all on it's own that I ramble about here. You might want to refer back to it later, for now lets move on. What Auri does next is put, I would argue trades, the bone for Laurel Fruit, by placing the Bone inside the Laurel Tree. SROST:4:70:
Auri reached into her gathersack and brought out the bone that she had found the day before. She bent down and tucked it deep inside the dark and hollow space beneath the tree.
Then she began to pick the small blue laurel fruit and put them in her gathersack as well.
I dive into if this could be the Latantha or the Cthaeh's tree here. In the end I chose the Mauthen Farm, because there is more evidence. A gentle reminder that I cover the locations in detail in my post How to get to Newarre.
More importantly, what is our little Auri doing at barrow-hill? Is she just being cute whimsical harmless Auri? Dancing around seeing the proper ways of things? Is this connected to some magic we have seen or have yet to see? I don't recall an emphasis being put on any particular tree on the Farm, could the Laurel tree represent something else to Auri? The barrow itself? Could it stand for Kvothe's mother Laurel? What does it mean for the story? Will cover this at the end, in the section "The Book of Secrets".
This is the end of the arm bone's journey, though it continues through the Laurel Fruit which will pick up later. Next we will focus on the other item she finds, a Crystal and the similarities its shares with Selitos.
Auri finds a Crystal in the Underthing. SROST:1:27:
After a dozen steps, a glimmer on the marble floor caught her eye. Skipping close, she saw a crystal had fallen from the chandelier to lay unbroken on the floor. It was a lucky thing, and brave.
The Crystal is like the mountain glass Seltios used to stab his eye. The relationship here is thin here, only that Crystal is similar to glass. But it's immediately strengthened as the Crystal is put near a Ciridae doll. Given Selitos was the founder of the Amyr, of whom the Ciridae were the highest rank, this gives us two connections to the lord of Myr Tariniel.
Let's take a look at the relevant parts in SROST about the doll, just to show that indeed, she calls it a Ciridae and groups it with the Crystal. SROST:1:28
It was a tiny figurine carved from a piece of pale, retiring stone. A small soldier with clever lines to show his hauberk and his shield. But his truest treasure was the sweetness of his face, kind enough for kissing. It didn’t belong here, but it wasn’t wrong. Or rather, it wasn’t what was wrong with the room. The poor thing was simply lost. Auri smiled and put the doll in her pocket with the crystal
Later we learn more about the doll. SROST:10:146:
the design upon its shield. It was so faint. But yes. There was the tower wrapped up in a tongue of flame. No mere soldier, it was a small stone Amyr. Peering closer, Auri spied slight lines upon his arms as well. She did not know how she had missed these things before. It was a tiny Ciridae.
After that, Auri adds white tatted lace to the same pocket as the Ciridae and Crystal. SROST:1:32
she found a length of fine white tatted lace. She folded this up carefully and put it in her pocket with the crystal and the small stone soldier
The white tatted lace is likely symbolizes Nettie Williams, Rike's mom.
Finally, Auri trades the Crystal for the William's butter & honeycomb. She leaves the Crystal under the Lighting Tree near the Williams house. For reasons only Auri can truly understand. Though later, will do our best to put it all together.
This Tree isn't the Cthaeh, so near a farm with milk, honey and curious eyes. This could possible be the Sword Tree, but while the butter has knives, there are no mountains, mercenaries, or swords to see. So then, The Lighting Tree.
I gave an overview, but let me highlight the relevant sections in SROST where Auri makes this trade. This happens in three parts:
Carefully she brought out the length of fine white tatted lace. She folded it and left it near the churn. It was the careful work of many long and drowsy autumn days. It would find purpose in a place like this. Then Auri took the clean white cloth that had held the hollyberry earlier and rubbed it with some butter.
She only takes a bit of butter and the honeycomb.
a prickle on her neck told her that she was being watched... A little girl was watching her
She cast her eyes around and saw a tree, a dark hole in its trunk ...
The hole was perfect, just deep enough so that a little girl could reach inside and feel around. If she were curious, that is. If she were brave enough to stick her arm in nearly to her shoulder.
Auri pulled the crystal from her pocket. She kissed it, brave explorer that it was, and lucky too. It was the perfect thing. This was the perfect place. True, she was no longer in the Underthing. But even so, this was so true it could not be denied. She wrapped the crystal in a leaf and lay it in the bottom of the hole.
Does Auri mean for the girl go after this Crystal and fall down the rabbit hole. Going on mad fun adventures with queens and Cheshire cats? Or is this a bobble, a bait, a way to float her down into the maw of darkness.
Finally, what purpose does our white tatted lace find? TLT:
“I learned loads of things today, Reshi,” Bast protested. The innkeeper sat up, looking more attentive. “Really?” he said. “Impress me then.” Bast thought for a moment. “Nettie Williams found a wild hive of bees today,” he said. “And she managed to catch the queen …”
I'll leave you to ponder the implications for now. This is the end of the journey for the crystal, the begging of the honeycombs.
|Lanre||Arm Bone||Holly Berry||Laurel Fruit||Barrow|
|Selitos||Crystal||Ciridae & lace||Honey, butter & lace||Lighting Tree|
Auri use's the honeycomb and laurel fruit to make a candle for kvothe. Without elaborating, the ingredients are:
Sought, brought and paid for. She brings what craft she possess to bare to finish it just in time for him to arrive.
So Auri took some items that I claim are like Selitos and Lanre and traded them for some other items and then turned those into a candle which she gives kvothe. What of it? what does it all mean!
Were barefoot and covered in darkness. A light breaks through the night clouds and the road before us sparkles. It shimmers and shines, we draw sharp steal, we prepare powerful magics. But nothing comes for us, there is only the path. Our eyes adjust, the road is broken glass.
What comes next is no fairy tale. It's flesh and the Blood Beneath.
I see no mention of the candle after he receives it from Auri.
I came to my feet and she held out something wrapped in a piece of cloth. It was a thick candle that smelled of lavender. “What’s inside of it?” I asked. “Happy dreams,” she said. “I put them there for you.”
As far as I can tell kvothe puts the candle in his box in Ankers. TWMF:50:358
I finished loading my travelsack, then packed everything else into the trunk that sat at the foot of my bed. A few worn tools, a broken piece of slate I used for ciphering, a small wooden box with the handful of small treasures Auri had given me....
A cause which Rothfuss, the orchestrator of all good and bad times had on Temerant, believes in. And you should also buy all the Cool Worldbuilders KingKiller stuff, which really helps, um, build the world?
Though the idea and what follows is mine, I had plenty of help and encouragement through the process:
u/rhinatamorie, for kind words
u/throwawaybreaks, for listening
Yamus (on KKC discord), for careful criticism
u/quoo, for robing and saving me from writing about Auri's soap
u/aowshadow for a detailed review of this post
u/biologin for the Rothuss alchemy quotes, and likely other bits i picked up
u/mastersam for insights
elle, KKC discord, for encouragement and critic
They have some great KKC theories out there you should check out.
Additionally, Thanks to the all of r/KingkillerChronicle and r/kkcwhiteboard.
Finally, thank you to Rothfuss himself, for listening to Vi, for showing but not telling us about the hidden turnings of the world.
SROST Authors forward
If you love words and mysteries and secrets. If you're curious about the Underthing and alchemy. If if you want to know more about the hidden turnings of my world.... Well, then this book might be for you.
citations are as follows: Book:Chapter:page
Its likely the pages are inconstant between books.
Note i'll be citing the books OH and TLT by just Book::Page leaving out the chapter sense each story is just one chapter itself
Bonus books, it would be proper to have them, but not strictly necessary:
SROST Chapters so I can use numbers: