‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ Author Patrick Rothfuss: Reread Series Before Book 3 ‘The Doors of Stone’

Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind and its sequel The Wise Man’s Fear, the first two volumes in The Kingkiller Chronicle, doesn’t suffer questions about the in-the-works Book 3, The Doors of Stone.

“Is Book 3 still a real thing?” asked an audience member at the New York Comic Con panel “An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss.”

“It’s always funny,” Rothfuss responded grimly, dismissing the question and moving on. But amid questions about being a good Dungeon Master, translating his work into other languages and his best idea for a Kingkiller tie-in product (“I kind of do want to make a Name of the Wind lunch box,” Rothfuss said. “Name of the Lunch”), the structure of his Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy came up more once.

In particular, Rothfuss described the complexity of the series and how each of the three books would interconnect, suggesting readers give the series a second, or third, look. “Who’s read the book twice?” Rothfuss asked the audience. Hands shot up across the room, many stayed up as he kept going. “Who’s read the books three times? Four times? Five, six, ten?”

“There’s a lot in the books you simply cannot understand until your second read,” Rothfuss said. “There’s a reason a lot of people read them more than once.”

Book 3 will complicate the overall Kingkiller Chronicle even more. “There are things in Name of the Wind you can’t understand until you’ve read Wise Man’s Fear. There’s things in both of those books you won’t be able to understand until you read Doors of Stone,” Rothfuss said. “That’s the way I wrote them very deliberately, and it makes for a very long-lasting reading experience. If you read my books only once, you kind of miss most of them.”

Rothfuss also fielded questions about the in-development Kingkiller Chronicle movie and TV show, executive produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda (whom Rothfuss described as president of the “Don’t-Fuck-It-Up Committee”). Since the main character of The Kingkiller Chronicle, Kvothe, is a bard, music plays a central part in the narrative, even providing hints to the true nature of the ancient and villainous Chandrian. So has Pat heard any of the music Miranda’s writing for Kvothe?

“Yes,” Rothfuss said. “Next question.”

But more than details from the series, the movie, or Book 3, fans seemed to want to know how Rothfuss worked, how he pushed forward on such a complex project. For Rothfuss, it all came down to mental health, which is just as important to a writer as tools are to a carpenter. “Therapy. Everyone should go to therapy,” he said. “You would have Book 3 by now, had I started 10 years earlier.”

Join the Discussion