It’s been over a decade since Patrick Rothfuss first enchanted readers with the first Kingkiller Chronicle novel. The Name of the Wind has since become a staple in modern fantasy. If you hear the great names in the genre, chances are Rothfuss’ name will come up — even if fans are impatient for this trilogy-capping novel. The Wise Man’s Fear hit bookshelves back in 2011, and since then, they’ve been eager to see how Kvothe’s story ends.
Sadly, as it stands, Rothfuss hasn’t given much of an update on when we will see the third book, The Doors of Stone, release. It’s actually become a huge point of contention among overzealous readers, but we won’t really touch any of that drama here. Instead, we will point our eyes optimistically to the eventual end of the road, where we will finally see Kvothe’s tale reach its conclusion, leading up to the present. But what can we expect?
In a new video that’s surfaced featuring Rothfuss at a speaking event, he told an interesting anecdote that saw two fans arguing in front of him over how the story will end. One fan said he expected the end of The Doors of Stone see the story catch up to the present day, with Kvothe a broken man, and for him to dust himself off and go fix the world. The other fan said he expected to see the Kvothe do the same thing, only about halfway through the book, giving time for readers to actually see Kvothe save the world.
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As amusing as this was for Rothfuss, he wanted to make one thing absolutely clear — we shouldn’t expect a happy ending.
“You guys haven’t really considered the third option, have you?” Rothfuss mused. “I through about that a lot working on the second book. I need to make you all really aware of the possibility that he does not win. And it’s really hard to go against that, because every fantasy story, every movie, most everything you’ve consumed in your story diet — of course you win in the end. And the thing is, it doesn’t matter what actually happens. If I don’t make you aware of tha possibility, I’ve failed as an author. I need to make you acknowledge the very real possibility that this is it. That there is no happily ever after for him. Otherwise, all you’re doing is waiting for the happy ending. And I don’t want you waiting for something. I want you to be afraid.”
So, it’s worth pointing out that as much as Rothfuss is teasing a tragic ending to the Kingkiller Chronicle story, he never outright states that tragedy is inevitable. What seems to be most important to him is that readers don’t go into the story expecting things to shake out exactly as one would expect in a standard story. Now, that may ultimately happen, but if he hasn’t geared up his readers that the worst is still possible, then he doesn’t think he’s doing a good job captivating you with a story.
Honestly, I can see where he’s coming from, even if I don’t agree. Personally, I have never cared much about spoilers and loathe spoiler culture. Even if an ending gets ruined, if the execution is awesome, I won’t care. The author will have won me over through sheer power of his or her storytelling abilities. At the end of the day, it’s the story itself, not the ending, that is truly captivating.
But, that’s just my opinion. Either way, it’s clear that Rothfuss has put a lot of thought into the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy. I can’t help but wonder if his desire to subvert expectations has at least partially been why this third book has taken as long as it has.
What do you think? How do you think the Kingkiller Chronicle will end? Sound off down below!
SOURCE: The Eolian