Lady Lackless Hat

Proving that last bit might be a little bit tricky, but I’ve had worse. It all comes down to triangles. Back when I was new at this game the very first ‘bell ringing, penny dropping moment was when I thought about Kvothe’s mum, who we are specifically told was once a noble woman. That one clue to the past fits very nicely in many small ways elsewhere in the text, such as among her own skills is a glimpse of a noblewoman’s education, knowing all about court etiquette and protocol in high circles. She also has a good ear for classical languages and is an accoplished writer of lyrics. So we have a woman od noble birth who was suduced by cords of chorded song, fell in love, and ran away with, an Edema Ruh trouper. By an amazing coincidence, this exact same thing also happened to the previous Lackless heir who we discover was called Netalia, who also ran away with the travelling ravel. Could it be possible that Netalia had simply changed her name to Laurian for the usual reasons and that in all actuality these two people were one and the same person? Possibly even like Kote has changed his name from Kvothe only that was for a few unusual ones too. Unsolved mystery concerning re-naming names does seem to run riot in the Lackless family.

The more I thought about it, the better it sounded and I was convinced I was onto something big… I later found out that I wasn’t actually the first to think that, just the latest in a long line of newcomers to the game who have spotted this easy clue first of all and this was the common theory that most people who were reading the books closely had arrived at. But we all have to begin somewhere, so this part takes me right back to a time when I didn’t even have a proper kkc notebook to scribble my mad ideas in. This is a Triangle problem and it goes something like this.

We are trying to establish a three way link between ‘Dark Laurian, Arliden’s wife’, the classical character ‘Lady Perial’ from For All His Waiting, and Meluan Lackless, the heir to the Lackless Family name.

Linking them all together correctly will allow us to arrange them more permanantly in a block of three things with all the other bricks in our wall, a bit like sygaldy only with triangles. The three points are to be called P .L. and M. for obvious reasons, and so if this was alchemy it probably would be a plum bob instead, but you know nothing about alchemy. Firstly, we are trying to justify that L=M until we are over a third convinced in our heads that it is true. If this was sympathy you would be focussing upon your Alar. OK? Then off we go.

Laurian {Lackless} Meluan

Sister Piece

Meluan hates all of the ruh with a passion for their part in her sisters’s infamy, although what she thinks of her sister herself is not known, Shame? Anger? Respect? The truth is well hidden but the story is well rumoured. Even history books tell of the eldest heir abandoning responsibility which means that if this is a recent publication and not talking about a previous member of the family from years ago, then the story of Netalia Lackless eloping with a Ruh trouper is pretty widespread news and not just a hushed up family secret. Court gossip and rumour might even put the name Arliden the Bard as the other half of the equation, who knows? Scandal does seem to happen rather frequently in this family’s long history. Perhaps Meluan wants to believe that her sister was tricked, or lied to, or kidnapped even, or perhaps underneath she really just hates her wayward sister not for breaking free from the chains of duty but for dumping all the eldest childs responsibilies onto her own shoulders instead. After all, in a parallel universe it might well be Netalia who would go on to court the Maer. But Kvothe’s mum is called Laurian, even the Cthaeh calls her that, so where did Netalia go to?

The clue here comes in the aforementioned song that Arliden wrote about his wife which got him into her bad books enough for her to throw him out of their wagon and to go sleep by the fire instead, as a lesson to mind his tongue in future no doubt. It seems likely that she prefers the life of an anonymous trouper, not a lady to be identified as noble to any casual, or even unfriendly, ears. She certainly didn’t appresiate the remarked upon appalling meter that Arliden had used to force the the words sounds to fit badly into a poor word pattern.

In the song, Kvothe’s father refer’s to his wife as ‘My sweet Tally’ which is clearly a private and personal thing between them but which doesn’t fit with the name being Laurian by any stretch of the imagination. Yet this nickname is later compounded with the line that he made his wife ‘Not Tally a lot less’ a very forced line which clearly plays on words sounding like the names Netalia and Lockless both. This is enough to convince most people of her true past.

Many other clues exist, not least when Kvothe causes affront to Laurian when he sings another song about the Lackless family women, one which can be taken in all sorts of lewd ways if you disect it enough, and begins with the line ‘Seven things has Lady Lackless.’

This also shows the infamy of the Lackless family since this song, and it’s sister piece which turns up in book two, are both ascribed to kids chanting it all the way from Vintas to to The Commonwealth. No wonder she was upset to hear her family name being mocked in rhyme by her own, ignorant son. Or perhaps she knew more about it’s meaning and import than she lets on, If she is Netalia Lackless then Kvothe is obliviously chanting a song whilst insulting his own mother too.

There is also the moment when Kvothe meets Meluan for the first time and is absolutely convinced that he has seen her before although such a meeting was declared nigh impossible. The best answer to that would be a subliminal family resemblance that just needs pointing out for you to go ‘Oh, YEAH!, I get it now,they could be sisters’ in which case it might be possible that the once remarked upon visit to ‘relatives at three- rivers’ was actually a meeting of the two sisters. Baby Kvothe could well have been present at a time when he could remember faces without understanding details like names so clearly. That’s about as far as most folk need to go as far as the Lackless link is concerned, enough to convine them that Yes, L=M is a solid link. It cannot ever be 100% proof, but we only want it to be 33 1/3% to do it’s job.

Perial (Lady) Lackless


Introducing P to the equation is much less obvious. But if we are to have three legs to stand upon…

When we get to the family fall out from the ‘Seven things’ song, young Kvothe, rather conveniently for us, compares the allusions the songs words make as being no different from those in the play ‘For All His Waiting’ when Fain asks ‘Lady’ Perial about her hat.

‘I heard about if from so many men I wished to see it for myself and try the fit.’

It’s pretty obvious what he’s really talking about.’

‘The difference is’… explaination given was beautifully, and probably deliberately, interrupted whilst Laurian sent Kvothe to go and get the Tripod!!! HA!!! she then reitterrated that ‘The difference is…’ that it is all about being rude directly to someone’s face or from out of earshot , and Kvothe had unwittingly just done both! Which can be properly read as meaning that as far as Laurian in concerned at least one of these two people is actually there in the present company. Almost certainly confirming her as being Lady (Laurian) Lackless. She bangs this nail further on the head by giving another difference (which means that Laurian was officially telling Kvothe three times!) that one is a real person and the other is a character. But sometimes, two people can be the same person, rather like Laurian once telling Kvothe that she knew a man having two titles and by a quirk of fate finding that actually owed fealty to himself. Bredon confirms that this happens more than you would think, especially among the old families, and you don’t get much older than the Lackless family. That small and otherwise innocuous inclusion in our text could imply that a title may be a useful legal ‘hat’ which may be donned at need.

I suggest that you could make it up to both lady lackless and myself if you found some sweet nettle for the pot tonight.

This last line puts Laurian herself firmly into the cauldron of this tripod shaped equation straight from her own mouth as if this answer implies that she is currently the injured party whilst wearing her Perial ‘hat’ so to be speak instead of that of her role as the current Lady Lackless. If Laurian was not involved in any way then she would not personally feel insulted and nor would she have any need for the sweet nettle as an apology. Yet she has clearly placed herself within this three legged tripod of names as being one of the injured parties. It appears that Laurian believes that she can wear either ladies costume with ease since she has equal experience and entitlement of being both.

The question of who is Laurian really is quite like a costume drama where she used to be Lady Lackless the current heir to the family name, but now she is more like lady Perial, who is The Historical heir to the same family name, meaning that she is both and neither, it really depends which hat she chooses to wear today putting another small link into making P=L=M.

Trying to correlate The church Perial more closely with Lady Perial is also tricky work, but Pat is nothing but consistent across all of his writing in that characters do not share names, each is a clearly defined and individual name tag because Names are important. However, Perial is one of the exceptions to this rule and that is a pretty good indicator that as far as he is concerned ‘All Perial is One Perial.’

I’ll be the first to admit that the veracity of these latest ‘P’-links are not nearly as strong as that of L=M, yet if it was that obvious a theory then it would likely be common knowledge among fans and like L=M be considered as ‘old hat’ by now as well. The last argument is that it would be folly to insist that any such link was definitely Not possible as that would enter the territory of faulty logic since you can’t prove non-existence. Do you want to crack this thing or don’t you?

Depending on how much faith you have in each link, that Perial was the original founding Lackless, that Larurian was the previous heir to this house’s legacy and that Meluan is the current encumbent of Holy Perial’s historic position will dictate your Lackless triangles strength. It may be perfectly Equilateral, or it may be unwieldly and Scalene or maybe part-skewed into an Isosceles shape by over reliance upon only one part. In order to shore it up into a more solid building block we need to dig a bit deeper and stand a bit further back as we move into what exactly is the ‘Secret she’s been keeping’ line in the 7 things song is all about, and that’s an even bigger tincan of tin-foil worms.

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