How Many Chandrian Are There?
So the namesake of this website provides the simple answer to this question: Chaen-dian means “seven of them.” But seven of who? Is Haliax one of the seven or does he make eight? Are they all still alive, or have any been killed over time by the Amyr, the Singers, or the Sidhe?
A while back I posted the NOTW 10’th anniversary edition picture of Cinder in front of the other Chandrian on the KKC facebook group, utterly convinced that I saw 8 including Cinder. Others disagreed. At the end of an awesome discussion, I became convinced Rothfuss has deliberately instructed the artist to be vague about the number. Check out the pictures below. (The originals, all by Dan Dos Santos, all come from https://www.theartofthenameofthewind.com/ )
Looking at the final image, there was contention about whether the two circled shapes were hooded people, or smoke/fire. Depending on what you see in the circles, there are between six and eight people in this image. Additionally, Kvothe tells us Haliax “sat apart from the rest, wrapped in shadow at the edge of the fire.” Is he one of the shapes in the back? Did the artist take creative license with that fact? At the most extreme interpretation, there could be nine Chandrian present in this scene.
Now let’s look at the thumbnail. I loooove that Dan Dos Santos posted the thumbnails. Having worked with artists on RPG’s before, thumbnails are extremely valuable for getting a sense of what the core concepts of the artwork were before the details were added. This thumbnail in particular is fairly different from the finished product, suggesting Pat and Dan discussed changing it after Pat saw the rough:
This more clearly looks like six people including Cinder, plus Haliax wrapped in shadow in the back. Of course, we don’t know for a fact that all the Chandrian were there in the scene. We suspect they don’t always go out together, and Kvothe also said “the sky was still bright with sunset.” The sky is referenced several times, but not once a storm or even clouds (other than smoke), so if there is a storm-signed Chandrian, where were they?
So honestly I don’t think the pictures tell us that much about their number. We can only guess at how much input Pat had on the first thumbnail before they changed it to be more ambiguous in the final image. At a minimum there are six including Cinder and Haliax. But there is an argument to be made for up to ten! (eight in the finished image, plus Haliax plus storm-signed being absent.)
Now, I don’t really think there are ten Chandrian. My point above is that Pat wants to keep us guessing about their number.
Other than “Chaen-dian,” what does the book tell us on this front? Well, once again, let’s start with every reference to the Chandrian’s number, and most of the other references to things in groups of 6, 7, and 8 for good measure. Reliable means what it did before. Relevant is marked Y if it was stated to be about the Chandrian vs. something else. DAS is the Dancing Among Stones module from True Dungeon.
We have two reliable references (the pot and the Adem tale) that tell us Haliax should be counted among the seven- three references if you consider Pairs reliable and agree Haliax is Darkness. As long as we assume that “Haliax and his Seven” and “Lanre and his Chandrian” can be interpreted like “King Arthur and the knights of the round table or “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” then there are no reliable sources that contradict this idea. Seems like this one is pretty clear.
Now of course it doesn’t address whether any of them have been killed off prior to Kvothe’s in-frame story, but I have to think Pat would have hinted at it at least once if this was the case. I’m also going to assume (rumors of the red-haired new Chandrian to the contrary) that you can’t “add” new Chandrian, for the same reason that “there were never any human amyr.”
Lastly, simply because this is as good a place to put it as any, here is the referenced information out of the Kingkiller-themed True Dungeon DAS module. This is the solution to a map puzzle described by a Tehlin priest as “the six-day journey that Tehlu undertook to chase down and finally capture Encanis.”
(as Pat would say, click to embiggen)
After I posted this in the KKC facebook group, I was told that Pat deliberately tried not to be involved with the puzzle solutions, so that may explain why all the names on the map don’t match up with the cities in Skarpi’s story. (I assume those names are reasonably correct, since Felurian later confirmed one of them.)
I’ll be posting more tidbits from these modules in future slides, some of which are definitely more interesting and telling than this map.