Chandrian Signs- Thrall of Iron, Possibility 1
Now things start to get really fun! So, in my last post, we left off with this grid as a potential mapping between the Chandrian and their signs
So if we pare this down, it really leaves matching up the following as the logic problem:
We have 3 cards that we need to match to 3 Chandrian.
Being silent and not speaking aren’t necessarily the same as being mute. If all of their signs are some kind of curse/catastrophe (which the tale of Selitos turning Lanre’s name against him, Chan Vaen edan Kote, and the cards as “Calamities” suggest), well silence doesn’t seem like a good thematic fit. So maybe when Dalcenti speaks, something bad happens. Speaking and causing storms just seems weird, so I’m striking that. Left to choose between Death and Madness, I’d pick madness. There’s nothing to suggest people just literally drop dead of no cause around the Chandrian. (In fact it has been commented before how with both the troupe and the Trebon wedding, people were very clearly killed with physical violence.) However, the idea of someone having a voice that drives men and animals mad has a nice dramatic ring to it. Furthermore, if Dalcenti is able to hide her sign by not speaking, it would also explain why there’s less of the anecdotal/unreliable mentions of it compared to most of the other signs.
So, that leaves us with…. what does it mean to be in Thrall of Iron? Or at least, is it a better match for Death, or a better match for Storms? Throughout the books, especially book one, loden-stones come up a fair bit. (aka a lodestone, which is a real-world name for a naturally magnetized piece of metal.) In the books, the words magnet and magnetism are never used. But we know that’s the force we’re talking about, and it’s the force that causes attraction (dare we say binding?) between magnets and iron. The book does highlight multiple times that loden-stones work on iron. We also know in the real world that there is a connection between electricity and magnetism. At least some people in Temerant know it too. In NOTW, Kvothe twice refers to loden-stones as having galvanic forces. Then on NOTW page 558, Kvothe talks about galvanic force creating a spark. In WMF, p 197, Auri says that galvanic ionization is in lightning. And it is a “galvanic binding” that Kvothe uses to attract lightning when fighting the bandits. (I also suspect that the set of footprints they find from the bandit camp “sentry” was our Storm-signed Chandrian.) Lastly, in NOTW the Tinker tells us he found the loden-stone he trades to Kvothe in Trebon. Per the wikipedia article on lodestones: “The leading theory is that lodestones are magnetized by the strong magnetic fields surrounding lightning bolts.” It may well be that our (storm) lightning-causing Chandrian leaves loden-stones in their wake. So if we assume Thrall of Iron equates to Storm, we assign Death to Cinder by default (very thematically appropriate), and we get:
In addition to being interesting in its own right, this also sets the stage for Cinder’s Calamity card being Death. That will be important to some other theories I have, but first, in my next post, I want to discuss an alternative interpretation of “Thrall of Iron” from the Adem poem.