It’s now 2021, and we still don’t have The Doors of Stone, the much-anticipated third book of The Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss. For reference, the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, was published back in 2007, and its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear, arrived in 2011. That means fans have been waiting a decade for the third book, and some seem to have given up.
For those still invested, Rothfuss has been happy to engage with fans on Twitch, answering questions while spreading the word about things like his Worldbuilders charity. Sometimes he gives fascinating insight into his writing process and offers up unknown details about the world of Temerant. Other times he plays video games, occasionally joined by his kids. Some of his previous Q&As have included info on which characters would appear in book 3, whether there will be more books in the series, and upcoming storylines.
And in a more recent stream, he addressed yet more questions. Is the Cthaeh really a tree? How does book 3 compare in length to The Wise Man’s Fear? Will there be a sequel to The Slow Regard of Silent Things, the novella about fan favorite character Auri?
Watch the Q&A in full below, and then we’ll hit the most interesting points:
Firstly, let’s get to what everyone wants to hear: How does Rothfuss feel about writing The Doors of Stone now compared to how he felt a year ago? “Better about the state that the book is in and better about doing the work,” he said. “I’ve managed to square away certain elements of my life that leave me with enough emotional space to do more work and have it be better work.”
The actual writing it is usually good and fun. I enjoy the process of writing.
That said, he also compared the process and pressure of writing Book 3 to being in a long-term relationship and not having a baby, which disappoints his parents. “Imagine you have five million parents and every time you go on the internet, they’re like, ‘Why aren’t you f*cking?’ Like, it kinda takes some of the joy away from it.” Quite an analogy.
Rothfuss has been writing The Doors of Stone, which is supposed to be the final chapter in this particular saga, for a long time. Does that mean it’s going to be longer than The Wise Man’s Fear, which clocks in just shy of 400,000 words? “No, probably not,” Rothfuss said. “Just because Fear of a Wise Man is about as long as a book can physically be. And also because I don’t think it will need to be that long.” He also confirmed that he didn’t plan to split it into multiple parts.
“What is the Cthaeh?” and other Kingkiller questions
And those are all the specific Doors of Stone updates he provided. But Rothfuss continued to answer more questions about the series in general. For instance, for a long time, readers have thought that the Cthaeh — the evil being that Kvothe encounters in the Fae — is literally a tree. The tree seems to be talking to Kvothe, at any rate, but while Rothfuss won’t confirm specific theories about what it really is, he does caution readers against the obvious: “The Cthaeh is not a tree. I cannot be more clear than that.”
Rothfuss even sites text to support his point, and he would know it. “I am no more a tree than is a man a chair,” the Cthaeh tells Kvothe.
Finally, a fan asked Rothfuss to name his favorite character. “I mean, Auri is so much fun,” he said, not quite committing to anything. Still, that led to someone later asking This later sparked a question asking whether there will ever be The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part 2. “No, it’ll never be called that,” Rothfuss said. “I might write another story just about Auri though.”
Be sure to check out the Worldbuilders charity, which supports humanitarian efforts worldwide. Most of the live-streams Rothfuss does are to raise money for it. Since its inception in 2008, Worldbuilders has raised over $11 million!