Image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures
Image courtesy of Kim Kincaid
Click here to see what author Patrick Rothfuss thinks will happen
It was dawn again. The world was coming alive with sound, and the sound was of three parts.
The most obvious part was a silvery and shimmering hum, made by things that were growing. If there had been trees, the sweet shivering rustle of their leaves would have hymned with it… but then, all of a sudden, there were trees, great and golden-leaved, with long shadows cast by the penny-bright sun, newly minted. If there had been creatures–mice and beavers and fauns and centaurs–their laughter would have glimmered in joyous counterpoint to the sound… and then, there they were, all the happy animals of Narnia, cavorting in the morning light.
Inside the forest stood a Lion, and he was quite unlike any other lion in the universe in that he could be heard to be singing. In doing this he rounded out the sweet, bright sound with something colossal and magnificent. A deep and ancient rhythm, in basso profundo.
The third sound was not an easy thing to notice. In fact, perhaps only Aslan could have heard it; he felt it murmuring in the loamy soil underfoot, sensed it thrumming in the very trunks of the trees. It was a single voice, much smaller than his own, the voice of a mortal. It was accompanied, every so often, by the strumming of a lute, a sound was even softer than that of the babbling brook Aslan had conjured.
But for all that, the sound the mortal Kvothe made was not dissimilar from Aslan’s song–for it, too, contained its own deep magic.
Kvothe was saying the true names of things.
And as he said them, the things Aslan brought into being… ceased to be. Aslan conjured a mighty river; Kvothe whispered its secret name and the waters ran dry. Aslan sang the sky and Kvothe’s naming drained the blue, blue, blue from it.
It was a strange kind of battle, but a battle it was: a clashing of high magics, as ethereal as an argument between angels. Still Kvothe tried to think ten steps ahead, knowing that even that was not enough to help him against a god’s foresight. Seeing something totally strange in the forest clearing–an iron lamppost–he tried to break his mind into three pieces and cursed the loss of his sympathy…
The Lion paced towards him, and Kvothe found himself lost for a moment in the black and starry depths of His eyes, so vast and infinite they could contain all the worlds Kvothe didn’t know the names of. It was then that he knew that Aslan was not even this creature’s true name, that it was only the pale shadow of a forgotten name…
“You can destroy, mortal, but only I can create,” Aslan said. Kvothe saw the muscles tensing beneath the creature’s golden coat.
The great beast flung himself on Kvothe. It might have been over in a moment if there did not come another sound, one that Kvothe heard reverberating over all the other sounds: the smashing of Kvothe’s lute.
It all came back to Kvothe in a rush: Ambrose’s accusations. Nearly being expelled from the university. The humiliations of the trial. The public whipping. The word, the single word, that had shone out from his dreaming mind that day. Kvothe said it with what should have been his next-to-last breath.
And now the only sound was the wind. It was like no other wind Kvothe had ever seen before: It roared through the forest, breaking trees and raising mighty waves and blowing the very clouds from the skies.
Aslan pulled away from him, and looked up at the sky, with the strangest look on His noble countenance; it looked almost like fear. He tried to sing his song again and still the wind blew; it fluttered away into a whimper. “I can’t make it stop,” he said. “I am the Alpha and the Omega. I created all there is and all that there shall be. But even I don’t know the name of the wind.”
When he turned again to Kvothe his eyes seemed smaller, dimmer, more ordinary. “But this is my world,” he said, sounding almost petulant. “I made it! Who are you, anyway?”
Looking at the lion, who seemed to have grown thinner and duller and shabbier by the moment, Kvothe suddenly realized he knew who his adversary truly was; he could almost hear His true name on the wind. Kvothe said the strange words: “Jesus Christ…” and the Lion began to shimmer out of his existence…
Before Kvothe could go on, he was interrupted by a heavy sigh. It was Chronicler. “Of all the stories you have told me so far,” Chronicler said, “this is perhaps the most incredible. Do you mean to tell me that you… killed a god?“
“Well, bested might be more accurate…”
“Kvothe Godkiller… I like the sound of that.” Chronicler smiled as he wrote it down.
Kvothe dismissed the title with a wave of his hand. “Oh, it was nothing. Not even my greatest adventure. It’s only the first day, after all. I haven’t told you everything yet, scribe. My story is far from over.”
Predicted Winner: Kvothe
(Aslan is a character from C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia; Kvothe is a character from Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.)