Consolation Prize: Kvothe vs. Aslan

As those of you who were following the cage match already know, Bast couldn’t pull off the win against Rake.

What can I say? Dude can eat a *ton* of pie.

And before you ask, no, I won’t be writing up the Bast vs. Zaphod fight anyway. I was surprised at someone’s post on Wednesday’s blog when they said something along the lines of, “After he mentioned something like this, how can Pat not write the scene?”

The answer is this: “Quite easily.”

You see, *not* writing things is really, really easy. Believe it or not, there are an infinite number of stories that I don’t write every day. Adding one more to that list won’t appreciably increase the not-burden of that not-writing.

What I did find oddly galling were some of the comments along the lines of, “Bast could never win against X. X has a power level of 9000!!1!”

This bothered me for two reasons:

First, you have to realize that any time something like this is an open vote, it’s ultimately a popularity contest.

Here’s a mnemonic to help you remember: “When the internet votes on who will die, it comes down to Vox Populi.”

But vastly more irritating to me is the odd opinion that strength/power is the key factor when two people come into conflict.

The truth is, I find that sentiment more than irritating, I find it troubling. It means a lot of you haven’t been paying attention to the books I know you must have read.

If power is the only important thing, then Frodo loses against Sauron. Hell, if power’s the only important thing then Gandalf loses against Sauron. If magic is the deciding factor of a fight, then four plucky kids from England get their asses turned to stone by the White Which.

So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten.

I see too much fatalism these days, folks. The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

Man. I don’t know if this is going to make any sense to anyone. I meant this to be a lighthearted blog. A quick lead-in to the story below.

But the truth is,  folks, tonight wasn’t a good night for me. It was one of those nights where I wake up and can’t go back to sleep because I’m worried about things. I worry about so many things. The environment. The concealed carry law. Kids not having food to eat. Parents who have to work so much that they don’t have time to be good parents. The fact that people vote based on television ads. The fact that some guys out there want to kiss other guys, and some girls want to kiss girls, and other people really have a huge fucking problem with this, to the point where people get killed over it.

There’s just so much shit that is really wrong in the world. And it’s so big.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? Yeah. It’s big. What are you going to do? You can lie in bed, staring at the dark. Or you can get up and do something. Even if that something is as small as writing a blog that might make people smile.

Or, in this particular case, you write a blog that ends up as a great rambly mess that makes you look like a homeless guy preaching on a street corner. I should probably just erase this and start over. But fuck it. If I can’t write what I want in my own blog, then what’s the point of writing anything at all?

Okay. Back onto topic.

Simply said, I’m not going to write up the Bast vs. Zaphod fight. But when I wrote Wednesday’s blog, I dug out the scene I wrote for the Kvothe vs. Aslan match. What’s more, I was surprised at how well it held up. I wrote it two years ago sitting in a hotel lobby when I woke up in the middle of the night and, coincidentally enough, couldn’t get back to sleep.

I’m pretty sure it’s okay for me to post this up. While I am using a character that is Lewis’ intellectual property, I think it falls under fair use, as I’m not making any money off it.

Anyway folks, for those of you who wanted to see it, here it is:

*     *     *

There wasn’t any snow on the ground, but the early morning air was chill as the cloaked and hooded figure moved through the forest, brushing aside the fir branches as he went. Eventually the trees thinned and the figure stepped from the pale blue of early morning into a warmer, richer, light.

The cloaked figure smiled fondly and ran one hand over the iron lamppost. Then sighed and walked past it, moving deeper into the forest. After the better part of an hour he found a clearing where a small stream cut through the thick grass, making a gentle sound as it rolled over the stones.

Still wearing his hood, the figure looked around for a long moment. Then he spoke: “Aslan,” he said, and though he did not speak loudly, his voice was strangely resonant, striking the air like a bell. “Aslan.” He looked around, drew a breath, and squared his shoulders. “Asl–.”

“You cannot bid me come,” came a deep, sweet voice from the edge of the clearing. It was like distant thunder laced with honey. “Neither can you bid me go.”

“Of course not,” the cloaked man said. “You’re not a tame lion.”

There was a low, throbbing sound that almost sounded like a purr, and a lion padded softly out of the trees, his huge feet making no noise in the grass. The sun came out from behind a cloud, warming the air, and when it struck the huge animal he shone as if made from molten gold.

“Nice entrance,” Kvothe said pushing back his hood. His hair caught the sun as well, shining like copper and fire. He looked younger than his voice sounded, a boy just on the verge of becoming a man.

“I will admit,” Aslan said. “I did not expect you to come here.”

Kvothe unclasped his cloak and lay it carefully on a nearby tree and looked back up at the lion. His clothes were threadbare, only a half step away from being truly ragged. “I thought we should talk.”

“We are to fight,” Aslan said. “It strikes me as odd that you should come here and give me the advantage of the home ground. It seems your best hope would be hold your ground, force me to come to you, so you might catch me with some trick or trap.”

Kvothe smiled. “That reminds me of a joke,” he said. “How do you catch a unique lion?”

The lion cocked his head.

“You neek up on it,” Kvothe said with a straight face.

Aslan’s tail stopped its restless motion. He turned his head slightly to look behind himself.

Kvothe continued, “How do you catch a tame lion?”

The lion turned back to look at him, but said nothing.

Kvothe gave a slightly embarrassed smile. “Tame way.”

There was a moment of silence, and then the clearing was filled with a low thrumming noise that could conceivably be the sound of a lion chuckling.

“It’s been a long time since anyone told me a joke,” Aslan said, then shook out his great golden mane. “But we still have to fight.”

“We do,” Kvothe agreed. “Though it might be more accurate to say that we are forced to come into conflict.”

“And you know you cannot win, especially here,” Aslan continued. “The only question is how much you might hurt me before the end.”

Kvothe shook his head seriously. “No, the real question is how much will winning cost?” The young man smiled a small, sad smile. “Believe me, this is something I have some personal experience with.”

“I… I don’t know if I follow you,” the lion said.

“If we fight, you’ll kill me,” Kvothe said matter-of-factly. “You’ll win, but there will be a cost.”

“You would bring your death curse upon me?” Aslan said.

“That’s Harry Dresden,” Kvothe said, obviously irritated. “Come on now. Except for point of view and a respect for thermodynamics we really don’t have much in common.”

“Oh,” Aslan cleared his throat. “Right. Sorry.”

“There’s nothing I could do to you if I lost,” Kvothe said. “And honestly, I’m not sure I’d want to. I’m not really one of those ‘from hell’s heart I stab at thee’ types.'”

“Actually,” Aslan said, “From what I’ve heard, you’ve…”

“Don’t believe everything you hear,” Kvothe interrupted, his eyes narrowing. “My point is this: if you kill me, there will never be a second book.”

Aslan was silent for a moment. “So you’re threatening me with reprisal from your fans?”

Kvothe shook his head again. “You’re missing my whole point. I’m not threatening you at all. I’m just saying that if you kill me now, people will never get the chance to read the rest of my story.”

Aslan looked thoughtful. “And the result is…”

“Despair,” Kvothe said. “Terrible despair in the hearts and minds of thousands.” He gave the lion a frank look. “You’ve always struck me as the sort of person…”

“Lion.”

“Sorry… You’ve always struck me as the sort of lion that was trying to make people happy in the long run. Not the sort that would actively cause despair.”

Aslan lifted one huge paw from the ground and then pressed it down again. He cleared his throat. “Tricky.”

Kvothe nodded. “Your books are all finished. You’re immortal in ways more important than the obvious. I’m not quite there yet.” He sighed. “That’s why I figured we should talk.”

After a long moment, the lion looked up. “So what’s the other option?” his voice was low and uncertain.

“Forfeit,” Kvothe said. “Just walk away.”

“*You* could forfeit,” Aslan pointed out.

Kvothe shook his head. “It’s not in my nature to give up or walk away. I’m psychologically unable to back down from something like this. Hell, I’m a short step from feral.” He ran his hands over his ragged clothes, half embarrassed.

Then he made a sweeping gesture to the huge lion. “You, on the other hand, are a noble creature. You have a precedent for martyrdom. It’s consistent with your character. You better than anyone know that sometimes the only way to win is to concede.”

Another pause, then Aslan spoke. “You’ve thought about this a lot, haven’t you?”

Kvothe smiled again, and for a moment his face was almost boyish. “It’s all stories,” he said. “That’s what I do.”

Aslan looked up and swished his tail. He drew an impossibly long, deep breath. “Fine. Fair enough. I concede.”

Kvothe sagged with relief. “Thank God.”

“You’re welcome,” the lion said as he turned his massive head and began to walk from the clearing.

“Um…” Kvothe said. And for the first time since he came into the clearing he looked unsure of himself. “Before you go…. I was wondering…. Could I?”

Aslan gave a great gusty sigh that was more amused than exasperated. “Very well.”

Kvothe stepped closer to the lion, moving hesitantly. Then he raised his hands slowly and sank them deep in the thick golden mane. He leaned forward and gave the huge lion a hug, burying his face in the lion’s fur.

After the space of a deep breath, Kvothe pulled his face away, but left his hands where they were. “I’ve wanted to do that forever,” he said softly, his voice a little choked. “My mom used to tell me your stories.”

“I would lick your face,” Aslan said gently. “But it looks like it’s been a while since you’ve washed it.”

Kvothe laughed and stepped back from the lion.

“When is the second book coming out, by the way?” Aslan asked. “I’ve been waiting frikking forever.”

“Soon,” Kvothe said.

“What does that mean?” Aslan said. “In a couple months? Sometime this year?”

“I call all times ‘soon'” Kvothe said.

Another deep, thundering chuckle. “I suppose I deserve that,” Aslan said, and turned to pad silently out of the clearing, where he was quickly lost to mortal sight.

*     *     *

That’s all for now, folks. Be good to each other.

pat

P.S. I’m going to be on WPR this morning with Veronica Rueckert from 10-11. I‘ll be chatting with her and Laura Miller about heroines in literature.

I think I’m going to need some serious coffee before I sit down to that….

This entry was posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Achievement Unlocked!, Stories about stories., things I shouldn't talk about. By Pat89 Responses

89 Comments

  1. JacquiO
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    Mission Accomplished: Smiles from this reader. Keep loving, Pat.

    • Beltizad
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

      Okay, I may be asking a bunch of people to jump on me in this forum for saying anything contrary to the post, but a couple things bothered me with the match-up. It seems as though you imposed an average reader’s intellect and motivations on Aslan. For example, it took Aslan a long time, relatively, to even understand the joke Kvothe told him. One could argue that it was given verbally, and thus was harder to understand. I disagree. A spoken joke is usually full of inflection and tone that make it easier to understand. But that question, in my mind, is moot anyway. Aslan is a God that has been around supposedly forever. He knows stuff. Like how humans think. His condescension to weakness in the stories was to the end of teaching people and characters in the story; for their benefit. Even his allowing the evil witch to reign was a test that allowed for the four kids and for the peoples of Narnia to learn of the nobility inside themselves as they struggled to overcome the challenges they were presented with. No good God does everything for his people. That would only result in their indolence and insecurity. Anyway, I digress.
      Another example is:
      “You would bring your death curse upon me?” Aslan said.

      “That’s Harry Dresden,” Kvothe said, obviously irritated. “Come on now. Except for point of view and a respect for thermodynamics we really don’t have much in common.”

      “Oh,” Aslan cleared his throat. “Right. Sorry.”

      and again:
      Aslan was silent for a moment. “So you’re threatening me with reprisal from your fans?”

      This seeming lack of insight on the part of Aslan I find disturbing. Also his seeming desire to fight Kvothe, who has done him no wrong. 1: Aslan doesn’t fight people who are not evil and who are not trying to actively destroy any good in the world. 2: If, for some cosmic reason, Aslan decided to fight Kvothe, he would kill him, then breathe him back to life to finish his story. I think it might even add a little humility and fame at the same time to Kvothe’s character to have been killed by a God and brought back to life; and it even might have served Aslan’s purpose to have taught Kvothe a lesson.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I clearly understand the function of Aslan’s questions and assumptions. I just don’t think the clothes of a rather obtuse and short-sighted average reader fit him very well.

      But please don’t think I’ve missed the forest for the trees. I love the message and the tenderness of the story. Almost every positive comment on here, I agree with.

      Anyway, even though it may seem otherwise, I’m an avid fan and I enjoy your work.
      -Thank You.

  2. Geekgirl
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    I, too, have always wanted to bury my face in Aslan’s mane.

    Thanks for making me teary-eyed over coffee.

    • Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

      that was my experience, too. cheers.

    • Valarya
      Posted March 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

      This. I’ve always wanted to bury my face in Aslan’s mane. :(

      Pat, I would say you’ve outdone yourself but really, this is par for the course; you are incredibly talented. Definitely got a smile out of me this morning.

      Happy Friday! :)

    • Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

      haha, I got teary eyed over my coffee too!

  3. arachnid
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    By the way, I was looking up some of the old cage matches, and although your writeup of the Kvothe vs Aslan match survived, your writeups of some of the others haven’t – there are links, but they’re broken. Any chance you could post those somewhere, too?

  4. Jabe12
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    Today, I wanted to crawl into a hole and quit. Then I read your blog and the hole was to small.
    Thank you.

  5. SarahS
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    “Another deep, thundering chuckle. “I suppose I deserve that,” Aslan said, and turned to pad silently out of the clearing, where he was quickly lost to mortal sight.”

    Ah, he didn’t though :( Not after that hug.

    Now I want to hug a lion. One kilometer from the zoo and 20 euro in my pocket says I can! *runs*

  6. Jeff_W
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    I kind of think Zaphod and Bast would just drink together, and hit on all the ladies in a 5 mile radius. I can’t see either of them really fighting the other, or even really wanting to.

    • Dianadomino
      Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

      Well, that would probably have been the contest, then, who “scores” first. ^_^

  7. DShannon
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    If you wake up at nights worrying about little kids having nothing to eat, you should do something about it! You might just be one guy, but I bet if you really put your mind to it, you could raise hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars to fill those little kids’ bellies not just today, but for years and generations to come! I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t be silly! There’s no way I could make a lasting impact like that. Hyperbole, I say!” But it’s true. In fact, I heard about an author recently who… oh wait.

    :D

    • sonya
      Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

      Well put, Shannon.

      And very well put, Pat. Thanks for encouraging us all. I’m going to Bilbo it up today. :P

  8. asheraven
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Well said Pat.
    I loved the Aslan/Kvothe write up you did. It really does show you that you can’t just rely on power to win the day.

    BTW, I saw Kvothe in another bracket on scifibracket.com. He won versus Drizzt! :)

  9. QWOPtain Crunch
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    This popularity vote seemed skewed for one match in particular. I went back and looked at the Tyrion and Ray Lilly. And, uh, Tyrion was the winner. But Ray went on to the next match, according to the bracket. Did I miss something? I was pretty sure Tyrion would kick anyone’s bum twenty times over.

    • priscellie
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      The contest folks forgot to close that poll at midnight. At the time the Ray/Tyrion matchup was set to end, Ray was in the lead.

  10. capblye
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    Quote:
    “It was one of those nights where I wake up and can’t go back to sleep because I’m worried about things. I worry about so many things.”

    Whew! Thank god im not the only one!!!
    Thanks

  11. scubacat
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    I don’t have to like an author nor agree with their views to enjoy reading their books but it doesn’t hurt. Your “rambly mess” was more clear, insightful and a whole hell of a lot more inspiring than any of those ads people base their votes on. Your fiction ain’t bad either.

  12. Tom
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    I too was up last night for much longer than I should have been. There is a lot to think about sometimes and sleep just isn’t an option. Though, in Wisconsin don’t you already have open carry laws? That said, I’m unsure your concern with concealed carry in that environment.

    Regardless, great story and a really great point about dragons being beatable. Thanks, Pat. You are forever an inspiration. Thank you.

  13. Dryft
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    What a beautiful story! I love how Kvothe asks for a hug.

    Sometimes that’s all any of us need.

    Thank you Pat!

  14. christie
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    It’s hard to keep from worrying about the world, and the world the next generation will inherit, but as my mom says “worrying won’t do any good”. I hope writing about it releaved some worry for you.

    I think we can try to do our best and teach children the same. Afterall…some order must win over chaos , good must prevail, Frodo can triumph, and ignorant people can learn.

    And now I look forward to reading Kvothe’s match…I was saving it.

  15. Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    My fundamentalist roots were quaking with fear at the somber tone you began with. There is such a tremendous burden in caring, more than Atlas ever dreamed of shouldering.

    Yet you bear it with all the grace a bearded, well-fed ballerina can muster – and never cease to amaze me.

    I just knew your sleep-deprived angst would pour forth in a rage from Kvothe, lashing out at Aslan for all injustice everywhere – but your heart spoke louder, and resonates in mine still.

  16. Master Freespirit
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    I’m glad you realized some of your fans are Narnians and despite the praise we give to Kvothe, Aslan is infallibly superior.

  17. Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    I really like the post Pat – thanks man.

  18. LostKaleb
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    Loved the part about Bilboing it up! :D

  19. enginesummer99
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    You see? There are few troubles big enough that a hug doesn’t help.
    …Except now I want an Aslan-hug and I’m afraid all others will pale in comparison.

  20. bremon
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    I remember that match: It made me want to grab everyone in a twenty mile radius and say “Listen. No. Shut up, sit down, and Listen to this.”

    When I get worried about the world, I either go donate money to Worldbuilders, go here (http://www.wishuponahero.com/), or listen to this(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLkIpk_uZ4M).

    But now I want a hug from Aslan.

  21. CrymsynEve
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    “You would bring your death curse upon me?” Aslan said.

    “That’s Harry Dresden,” Kvothe said, obviously irritated. “Come on now. Except for point of view and a respect for thermodynamics we really don’t have much in common.”

    I love this part. And now I really want an Aslan hug. It’s one of the items on my bucket list.

    And Pat, you’re awesome. You worry about this stuff but you’re one of the peoples who actually does something about it. *And* you give the rest of us a well needed kick in the rear. You may worry about sounding all rambly but, to us, it’s as a clear as crystal.

  22. spoonyspork
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    “… You’ve always struck me as the sort of lion that was trying to make people happy in the long run. Not the sort that would actively cause despair.” <— this is the part of the story that really made me grin :)

    This whole entry made me really happy though. Thanks man!

  23. Anna
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    I heart you, Pat. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life and your thoughts.

  24. Sommerset
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    You already know this — but just keep making. That’s the only answer. That’s the only way the Shadow is held back.

    And just keep the Hyperbolic-Time Chamber handy for quick level-ups for your characters — if people want to use DBZ logic, it’s the perfect loophole.

  25. Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Because of things like this post, I read your work. This was beautiful and true AND you quoted friggin’ Chesterton (350 GDU). Thanks.

    • Posted March 23, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

      It took me a moment to realize that you were referring to the Gaiman-Day Unit. I’m glad my contribution to science hasn’t been forgotten.

      • Posted March 23, 2012 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

        Not at all. Also, I reread the Aslan vs. Kvothe thing and I humbly suggest one amendment: I think Aslan would totally lick a dirty face. I appeal to Eustice and Edmund.

        But thanks all the same for staying true to both characters.

  26. sortova
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Sorry to hear about your late night worries. I have similar ones, some that make me very angry.

    Here in North Carolina we are getting ready to vote on a constitutional amendment to outlaw same sex marriage, which is funny since it isn’t legal in the first place. To me it’s a thinly veiled attempt to get a certain part of the population to the polls, but then again I think if you truly self identified as conservative you’d be pushing for same sex marriage, since marriage is one of the cornerstones of a stable society, and the more people you have doing it, the better it would be.

    But then again the whole topic of “marriage” is a hot button. For a long time I refused to get married because I didn’t think the church nor the state should have a say with who I decide to spend the rest of my life (we ended up eloping on April Fool’s day, but that’s another story). And for those who think that this would somehow lesson the sacrement of marriage, two words: Kim Kardashian.

    Anyway, we’re not all bad down here in NC (I have photographic evidence that you spent a nice evening in High Point with my friend Jess and her boyfriend).

    In trying to understand the motivations of the far right, I found this article to be interesting:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/opinion/kristof-politics-odors-and-soap.html

    and hope things change soon.

  27. IvoryDoom
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Okay, I know I’m totally on “your list” right now, considering I was one of the people ranting about X can do this/that. I totally didnt mean to crush your hope for the human race or anything and now in return I’m thinking my reading comprehension is way lower than I previously hoped.

    All that aside, I’ve noticed in your tone on the comments/blog that you sound really down man. I know life can get’atcha sometimes, and just wanted to say
    1. sorry (I’m not too proud to admit when I’m ass, it really happens all the time, I have a terrible habit of saying everything that comes to mind.)
    &

    2. I hope you are feeling more chipper soon and can get better sleep. I’m always down coming out of Winter, so may the sun shine brightly on your part of the world. Try not sweat the small stuff. You’re an awesome guy who fights the dragons of the world the better than most. You cant do everything and no one expects you to. I dont know if thats something you need to hear or not, I’m a people pleaser myself so it helps me and thats about all the reference point I have to go off of.

    At the very least you definately gave me a different point of view reading your Aslan/Kvothe write up and I should have gave Bast more of a chance and tried thinking out of the box. Solution – not Problem. Yep. (Cut me some slack, I’m only 25 and I’m discovering every day I dont know shit)

    • Stina
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 1:11 AM | Permalink

      Yeah…that awkward moment when you realize that a maybe not so seriously posted comment has made someone you sort of admire believe that you are a rather despicable person…
      Sorry for making you upset and please don’t give up hope on humanity…there’s a lot of beauty out there…

      • IvoryDoom
        Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

        Yep…totally had that moment. :/

        Maybe it’d be a good time to mention I really do admire you Pat. I think all of us here do and not just for your writing, I mostly admire you for your general wittiness (I dont think thats a word) and because you take the time to think of others, not just yourself. Plus, you are basically better to your fans than any other author I can think of. I wrote you a letter once (one letter!) and you actually replied, to me. Which was more than any other author I respect has ever done, and it instantly made me love you (in a non-creepy way) because, as I said above, you take time to show people you care, and that moment really made my week when it happened, even though it probably seemed small to you. *tear*

  28. cantrell11
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    I couldn’t agree more with your commentary about the perception that strength/power is all that matters in conflict. Thank you for articulating it so beautifully.

    My greatest anxieties, and my greatest relief from anxiety come from my children. Go snuggle with Oot and I think you will feel a little better. My soon to be four year old son is always my refresher.

    Thanks for the post.

  29. kris.rudin
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Wow. Loved “Bilbo it up”! That is my new rally cry! (And, really, a very good point in this current world. *sigh*)

    And – wow! You totally captured Aslan’s character! Well done. Super write-up.

    And, yeah, the hug… really, REALLY want to do that, too. Thanks for the vicarious thrill.

  30. cognitioneducation
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    I find your post delightful for a number of reasons, but the point that compelled me to sign up and post a comment was this:

    “So yeah, Rake can turn into a dragon, but the point of fairy tales is that they teach us that dragons can be beaten. I see too much fatalism these days, folks. The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.”

    I see it compelled others too. Can you imagine where we would be as a country if the aims of education were to teach students in progressively more elaborate ways, how to “Bilbo it up”?! Problem solving is not on the tips of teachers tongues nearly enough in this high-stakes testing environment. Hence the fatalism. Something really needs to change there. That’s often what keeps me up at night.

    An a totally different note: though my childhood memories of the Narnia stories are riddled with “warm fuzzies,” thinking about hugging Aslan throws me into asthmatic spasms. I am very, very allergic to cats.

  31. Gutterfinn
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    I think most people have “those” nights! I mean I do and they suck but it also means that we are thinking about the problems that are out there instead of ignoring them and watch another episode of Big Brother or Cops! (talk about soul destroying!) When things get bad I usually remind myself that you cannot fix the world but you can try and change the stuff around you. You chat with your friends you sign that local petition, you or maybe you write stories/songs that inspire other people and give them hope!

    I think Kevin Smith has it right!

    “I always like to think of it as like, I’ve got ’em sittin’ there, whip a little message at ’em. Whip a little moral at ’em. Whip a little of what my view of the world is. Because that’s what every good filmmaker does. You can’t change the world. You can’t cure the world. All you can do is be like, ‘This is it through my eyes. Do you agree or not agree?'” – Kevin Smith

    Love the story! Would like to know why these two were fighting besides just to see who would win in a fight!

  32. patrick.klima
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    Thanks for posting this blog — all of it. You talked about a few things I’ve had on my mind lately.

    I went back to the old Suvudu matches from 2010. Is there any chance you’d be willing to repost your write-up of the match between Kvothe and Jaime Lannister?

    The link on Suvudu is broken. Thanks!

    Patrick

  33. Liam
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Bast could totally have kicked Rake’s ass. He’s got sly fae skills, and doesn’t need any fancy “swords that eat peoples souls” or “magical shapeshifting-into-a-dragon skillz” to take someone down. He definitely got my vote.

    ps. am I the first person to notice “White Which”, or am I just the first one anal retentive / asshole-ish enough to point it out?

    • Kamarachak
      Posted March 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

      Haha, I wanted to point it out, but was too afraid of angry comments. :) Which witch?

  34. richardt001
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    “Bilbo it up” – whoever thought that phrase could ever exist!? Thanks to Mr.R :)

  35. Lizzi
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Pat. As a person currently going through a rough recovery from a significant injury, I needed to be reminded that dragons can be beaten. I appreciate the truth in your words as well as the encouragement they have lent me. Also, the Kvothe vs Aslan story is beautiful. As fan of both characters, I thought it was absolutely perfect.

    Well done as always, good sir.

  36. MouetteSheridan
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    *sniffle* Two years later, and this is still wonderful. You rock, Pat. Tell that to your worries; maybe they will realize and pitch in to help you instead of beating up on you.

  37. TangentialMind
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Pat you’re an effing saint. Thanks for the story!

  38. L.Spangler
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat, thank you, you made me smile. It was one of those smiles that just appears and suddenly you realize you’ve been smiling for the last few minutes. You have a great heart.

  39. Posted March 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    I hear what you say about giving up when faced with a dragon. I’ve been pretty apathetic about the horrible things that politicians seem to be doing lately/all the time. Howeve, the “Wear White for Women” protest brought to my mind this sentiment: I normally try to avoid politics, but when politicians start sticking their noses in my vagina, I have to object.

  40. brendilon
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    The best compliment anyone ever gave me was to say that I make the world a better place.

    Mr. Rothfuss, you put me to shame in that regard. Thank you.

  41. Michael_kindle
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    It makes me wonder if our dear Kvothe the innkeeper is going to “Bilbo it up” in the third book like Bast wants. Thank you for the post pat! Put me in a good mood. Now I just might go write…

  42. justajenjen
    Posted March 23, 2012 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

    That made me cry the first time I read it, and it still does. I’m such a sap sometimes, I swear. It’s just so wonderful.

  43. CT_Spence
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.

    I cannot adequately express how much I like this.

  44. rappy7
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    Excellent post, Pat. Excellent post! You’ve outdone yourself, say I.

    This character of yours, Aslan, is awesome. I’ve mailed you a certified cheque for $1 million to show my appreciation.

    • IvoryDoom
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      pst…Aslan is from Narnia (just in case you didnt know)

  45. Lexxa
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

    Thank you.

  46. Posted March 24, 2012 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

    Hehehe. That made me smile.

  47. Imlekk
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    “Kvothe shook his head seriously. “No, the real question is how much will winning cost?” The young man smiled a small, sad smile. “Believe me, this is something I have some personal experience with.””

    Am I the only one who thought that could be a pointer to anything in the third book?

    About Anomander Rake, I have to say he got my vote. He is one of my favorite characters ever. However, while he is obviously one of those über-powerful characters, that’s not really why he got my vote. One of the things I like about the Malazan series is that conflicts are not merely a matter of pure power. But rather about individuals imposing their will upon the world by sheer strength of character. And without giving away much of a spoiler, you’ll find plenty of defeated dragons in the series.

  48. Faewild
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Awesome stuff Patrick!

  49. He without a clever name
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    This was just one of those fantastic blogs that make us all root for you not just as a writer, but as a person.

    I had written more, but the above seemed to get my point across better than a few blundering paragraphs.

  50. Lemmons998
    Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    Whenever I feel like sitting alone at home doing nothing instead of going out and having an adventure, I will now tell myself to “Bilbo up” and get out there!

  51. Posted March 24, 2012 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

    “You neek up on it.” = HA! Take THAT Aslan!

    And the ending with the hug… that was just damn cute :)

    Write whatever you want on your blog, no one who matters is going to judge you for it.

  52. Raven Darkmoon
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Ah Pat, you asked for no spoilers, so it is hard to explain how Rake could have won this match. There is much more to him that simply being able to turn into a dragon. Of course we don’t know the full extent of Bast’s powers either so that makes it harder to come to a decision for a reader that is a huge fan of both series. When you get a chance I would definitely recommend you read Erikson’s books, as well the Ian Esslemont contributions to the same series. I have no doubt you will really enjoy the books.

  53. greg_d_from Oz
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

    I dont often feel a need to post something here but, this time………
    Pat, the fact that you feel worried is simply a sign you are aware, something that the general populace is normally not. But, as a one time offer to you and to all the other Rothfussieites ( lets see if THAT catches on….)
    when it all gets too much and you need an Aslan hug…..think of the one person that may help…..first person that springs to mind……and go hug them, because they are YOUR ASLAN!
    hope i didnt just make a dork of myself, but i needed to say it, so…….
    um………
    hago!

  54. ashley_capes
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    “Bilbo it up today” Awesome. Fantastic advice.

  55. SadiCarnot2012
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    I agree, more people should be allowed to carry guns.

  56. Artheos
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Yee fuckin’ haw Pat, that’s what I’m talkin about, more of this.

  57. hobrilyck
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you are a legend. I love your books, I envy your beard, I wait with good natured patience (mostly) for the next. I have been reading the blog and comments for a while and not commented but tonight got me.
    It wasn’t just the original entry, much as it touched something in me as it did with many others it seems. I just really liked the responses, the way everyone related to it. I have heard you say how you can get put off by the one asshat who puts a stupid or mean-spirited comment or question. I hope tonight’s responses made you smile like they did me. At least your late night sleep-deprivation might make someone go out and do something good in the world, even a little bit. At this rate mine will result in me firmly deciding before sleep to put the whole world to rights – you know, tomorrow….but maybe I will manage something, maybe I will be a bit nicer to one person or take some time out of my day to do some good. If I do you get credit, thank you.

  58. Jasmine
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now Pat, and I think you’re the best blogger I ever read, but only after reading this blog did I decide to register just to be able to tell you this :

    you are not only my favorite author, you did not only write my two favorite books ever, but after reading your blog today , you grew as a person in my mind , you are a great man, I think many people should be like you

    now I’ll just go back and read the match :D

  59. Hecuba
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this post! Rotten day so far, and it’s not getting any better (I must now sit and write a couple of thousand words for my dissertation), but the twenty minutes I spent savouring this post make everything much better!

    • Erzberger
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

      What´s the topic of your disseration? (out of random curiosity)

  60. scout458
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    This post was so wonderful it made me want to DO SOMETHING, so I decided to donate to Worldbuilders 2012….

    Dear Pat,
    Please open up Worldbuilders 2012.

    I don’t even care about the lottery part, or winning a cool Jayne hat.

    Aslan is on the move…

    Scout 458

  61. RegistrationIsStupid
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Hey there,

    don’t be sulking like this now. Only because Bast lost and ppl voted on it doesn’t make us all a bunch of thick heads that will turn and run from all of the bigger problems of life only because they are bigger than us on first impression.

    And I made it quit clear, that my vote wasn’t for popularity reasons, maybe that makes me just that one fish in the million swimming against the current.

    Anyways even though I felt a few too much thunder clouds swarming in reading your post, please take pride in this being a place where ppl go looking for reasons to smile, to feel better about themselves and about the world because we know folks like yourself are out there and the amount of hits on this page means that others might be listening to the likes of you. Makes me smile all over.

    cheers
    Armin

  62. rothgar
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Mr Rothfuss,

    I’m sorry to hear that you have problems with Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law. I can understand your concerns to a degree, but law abiding citizens should have the right to bear arms. In fact, it’s a constitutional right.

    If everybody was a good, decent, human being like yourself, people wouldn’t have to carry weapons for protection with them. Unfortunately, that’s not the way the world works. I love that you try to see the good in everyone and you trust human nature; we need people like you to show the rest of us what trust in our fellow man is all about.

    It reminds me of a saying we had when I was in the Marines. “Nobody wants to fight, but somebody has to know how”

    Anyway, I’m a big fan of yours and wish you nothing but continuted success.

  63. Jessica Brown
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    soon

  64. Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Sidenote: Can you release an Advanced Copy with your publisher at an upcharge to help let the fans donate to a possible nonprofit?

    Centernote: The difference between intelligence and wisdom is timing, between power and strength is transinterextoliation [yes I invented a word] and between winning and losing is perception.

  65. Alessa
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Oh my. What a great story, it made me laugh, and chuckle happily, and smile, and cry. :D You’re a wonderful storyteller! :)

    Also, “hell yes!” about the dragons.
    And just because something is set down in a constitution, doesn’t mean it’s always good and necessary until the end of time.

  66. I3ratPrince
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    In an effort (admittedly a small one) to make you feel less perturbed about the ficitonal matchup, I’d like you to know that I have mutliple tattoos from Steven Erikson’s series. I’ve reserved my left shoulder for Anomander Rake. (Who can turn into a dragon, yes, but who is also a Christ figure on crank…vaguely like Aslan, actually.) But I’ve reserved the entirety of the left side of my back for when your series is done and I can commit my favorite scene to skin. (Right now it’s the scene where Kvothe plays the lute for the first time since leaving Trebean. But I’ll wait, in case that changes. ^_^)

  67. Gonzolubitsch
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    I just logged in to say that that was brilliant. I loved that Kvothe used the fact that Aslan’s story is already told, and Kvothe’s unfinished, to persuade Aslan to forfeit. Also the beautiful hug at the end. Who wouldn’t?

    Also, you are awesome in pretty much every way I can think of. Love you!

  68. 8ncient1
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    Wow Pat, I really loved that matchup, you really captured Aslan’s character well! My imagination tingles though at the potential for epicness here…

    Aslan roared! And cracks formed in the fabric of reality itself as leaves, twigs, and entire trees were sent flying toward Kvothe who stood perfectly still.

    Standing in the center of this maelstrom his clothes whipping wildly about him, Kvothe muttered a quick binding, and the air around Aslan started to sizzle…

    That kinda thing! ^^;

  69. Alari
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    A wonderful story! I love such stories about stories :) You made my morning a little sweeter!

  70. ASamuelson
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    The Kvothe vs Aslan story is as good now as it was two years ago.

  71. jenk0975
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    Professor Rothfuss,

    I just want to say thank you for saying:

    “The truth is that the world is full of dragons, and none of us are as powerful or cool as we’d like to be. And that sucks. But when you’re confronted with that fact, you can either crawl into a hole and quit, or you can get out there, take off your shoes, and Bilbo it up.”

    I am working on a big personal project right now, and struggling to find support. Your quote will help me articulate that it’s ok to be afraid. It’s ok to doubt. It’s ok to feel like a task is too big. And – more importantly – it’s ok to take it on anyway. It’s ok to try. It’s ok to work really hard for a really long time and not get far. It’s ok to fight even if it looks like you can never win. That’s the whole point. The dragon isn’t the obstacle, we are. I’ll go take off my shoes now and try harder…

    So thank you – for your general awesomness! The would would be less without you.

  72. ron6632
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Well Pat

    Another post that has made me smile uncontrollably today and almost made me forget about why I registered…..

    oh yeah…..

    You bastard – you made me cry.

    A 34 year old hairy Scotsman – I turned a page in your book and it just made me well up (and I was laughing out loud the previous page). I wont say what it was, but it is early in book 2 (I’m not that far through).

    I can’t believe how touching both of your books can be – I can be happily reading along then bang, you sneak up your readers and hit them squarely between the eyes (this is a good thing btw!). I can relate to the horror of a lost instrument as a musician – I felt Kvothes despair :)

    Thank you for an engrossing, entertaining and fascinating (musical) journey – thankfully there is still a long way to go for me :)

    P.S. I can’t help feeling that Elodin is suspiciously like you – just a hunch! The character just cracks me up.

    Thank you for you wonderful books!

  73. k1400
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

    Kvothe vs. Aslan: Brilliant. Perfect. Utterly beautiful. Your skill almost makes me despair to write. Almost.

  74. kempisosha
    Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    I found part of your post inspirational:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mwyhnfmuvnmqs5b/BilboItUp.png?dl=0

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