Friday, July 13, 2007
Kvothe vs. Harry Potter - Cage Match!


Those of you who tune into the blog regularly already know that a few weeks ago Orson Scott Card reviewed my book on his website. He said some very flattering things, and, generally I was a blushy with delight.

Yesterday, or maybe the day before, someone on FACEBOOK brought the following piece of comic fanart to my attention.


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I don't know what to say about it really. Except that I'm flattered, and I think it's funny as hell. And, personally, it looks like Kvothe might be getting ready to kick every inch of Harry's ass if he doesn't move out of the way a little quicker.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder how Kvothe and Harry would get along if they ever met. Wow. That's a weird though. Worlds collide. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I swallowed an ice cube with my brain.

Later all,

pat

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42 Comments:

Anonymous Josie said...

That is hilarious! I agree with you, Harry would be in for a bit of a reality check if he met Kvothe. Harry isn't used to having his ass kicked. But maybe he needs it, just to keep him humble.

July 13, 2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Hob Gammidge said...

*sniff sniff* I smell opportunity Pat.

July 13, 2007 10:23 AM  
Blogger Aidan said...

Awesome.

I think seeing someone take the time to realize your character like that (and alongside The Boy Who Lived!) must be one of the biggest thrills for an author... at least when it's done well!

~Aidan
A Dribble of Ink

July 13, 2007 10:51 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Alright, I'll be that guy. The lute only has 6 tuning pegs!

Awesome art, though.

July 13, 2007 10:57 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Ha! I actually didn't notice the six pegs. You're right....

Good job, Ben. Five points to Slytherin.

July 13, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Kvothe would SO take down Harry. But, I think Harry deserves it. ;)

July 13, 2007 12:09 PM  
Blogger Matt H. said...

It's a tough deal comparing Harry to Kvothe... The Harry books are children's novels through and through: they're plot-driven and fast-moving with relatively static characters... everything a kid is looking for in a book. Kvothe's story is deep, with a slow pace, character growth and lots introspection. A quality novel, but one intended for adults.

Unfortunately for poor Harry, his wide-spread popularity in the grown-up market has forced a comparision between him and richer, fleshier characters set in less-juvenile worlds.

I don't intend to knock on Harry, because I enjoy his books very much. With that said, it is safe to say that The Name of the Wind has put the Potter books back where they rightfully belong... in the hands of children.

You've set a new standard in the industry, Pat. Well done.

July 13, 2007 1:36 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Huh? I set a what?

I'd say more, but right now I'm too busy laughing my ass off at the though of me doing anything to the industry.

July 13, 2007 1:47 PM  
Blogger Matt H. said...

Your writing is unique in the way you tell your story. Kvothe sits perfectly at the very center, and the story unravels around him. It is the story of the building of a man. Most speculative fiction puts either the world or the epic conflict at the center of things, and this can deter many non-SF readers who prefer a more subtle reality.

The world you've created is rich yet subtle, and Kvothe's story will attract many readers from outside the speculative fiction genre. Remember the review that stated "... although attaching a genre qualification threatens to damn it with faint praise"? That's the new standard you've set. Or maybe 'setting the standard' isn't right, but your work will definitely make an impact on the industry, causing many to re-examine what's important in a SF novel.

July 13, 2007 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Sucky Writer said...

Puh- Kvothe would work Harry over like a pinata' at a five year olds birthday.

July 13, 2007 4:11 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I'd like to think Kvothe would take Ben's lead and teach Harry a thing or two, because he knows what it's like to be young and in over his head.
I mean, whaddaya think young Potter knows about history, lute playing or apothecary science?
I'm a bookseller. The last Harry Potter book comes out in a week. Those readers, many of whom have grown up right along with Harry, are going to need something more substantial to sink their teeth into. I'll take them right over to Sci Fi, to the "R" section, and hand them The Name Of The Wind.

July 13, 2007 9:35 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

To be honest, I think it's a little unfair to pit you against Rowling. Sure, they're both fantasy with magical involvement and things of fancy, but they're just .... too different to say one is better, or more sophisticated. I mean, well .... technically speaking, your book is much better worded, more involved, deeper, but Harry Potter works on such a different level. Whimsy and high-adventure. Not as probable, but just as magical.

Anyway, not that I think you feel that way or anything, but it irritates me when people compare movies/books/songs because they can't seem to define something without the crutch of referencing.

Or something o__o

July 13, 2007 10:01 PM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

I will vote for Kvothe and The Name of the Wind as the cage match winner just because you, wonderful Pat- do not overuse the word "coolly". I feel strongly enough about this that I have blogged about it on myspace. Btw, I saw Order of the Phoenix tonight and thought of you during Hagrid's two minutes of screen time. ;-)

July 13, 2007 10:46 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Stephanie:

One of the things I've been happy about is how FEW Harry Potter references my book has attracted. I was worried that everyone was going to say, "Oh boy, another HP rip-off."

The fact is, I started writing the trilogy in 1993, finished it in 2000, then read Harry Potter in late 2001. I was pretty irritated at some of the similarities, as it made me look like a hack....

But I'm glad people recognise the vast difference between our two worlds. I think that's why it's hard to imagine the two of them meeting, they come from such different worlds.

July 14, 2007 3:22 AM  
Blogger Mr Pudifoot said...

I would think you would fear being compared to Wheel of Time more than Harry Potter. I don't know which is better, after all you only have one book under your belt (isn't that uncomfortable?), and Jordan has countless.

I am not trying to make the comparison, I am just surprised no-one else has.

July 14, 2007 9:02 AM  
Blogger Mary J. said...

I think that may be because The Name of the Wind is beautifully written without wasted words, with a finite number of engaging characters, and is obviously headed towards a conclusion within our lifetime. Whereas the WOT series in going to plod along for eternity with so many characters, plots, and recycled baddies that it never occurs to most people to compare them... I might be bitter. I jest but you have to admit its not by much. I am a little perturbed with Mr. Jordan lately.

July 14, 2007 9:32 AM  
Blogger Mr Pudifoot said...

well, i was more talking about the fact the both have created worlds with a rich history, a consistent 'magic' system. a handful of non-humans.

Robert Jordan seems to focus far more on the politics of his world, rather than the lives of the individuals characters.

don't get me wrong. i love both books, and i don't think pat stole a single word from jordan (like how Terry Goodkind did). I just think there is more room for comparison with the Wheel of Time books than the Harry Potter books.

July 14, 2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger Wes said...

Meh, Robert Jordan lost all the magic of his Wheel of Time series thousands of pages ago. There are exactly 3 Fantasy/Sci fi authors I recommend now.

George RR Martin
Patrick Rothfuss
Jim Butcher (Dresden series only).

July 14, 2007 8:50 PM  
Blogger Lincoln Rose said...

Hmmmm.....

I smell a fanfic series opportunity for someone with more writing talent than me. :-)

Lincoln
Seattle

July 14, 2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Wes: Jim Butcher has a bit more going for him.

I've just read the Codex Alera and it has some of the most interesting magic i've seen (excepting sympathy of course).
Don't write him off yet.

PS- Kudos, Pat. As someone just mentioned to me, there is a quality level in writing. Harry Potter is fun, and can be interesting, but it lacks that factor that really connects you. I know that something you write could make me sit down and cry, and I can't say that about Mrs. Rowling.

Yes. A man talking about tears. Sorry.

July 15, 2007 5:46 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

I have read Butcher's Alera series and it is OK, I am not eagerly awaiting its next volume. Interesting magic system but the story is a bit shallow and I feel no emotional ties to the characters. The Dresden series is excellent though from about the 3rd book on.

Oh, I forgot to mention Brian Sanderson. I really liked his book Mistborn (I read Elantris and thought it was decent for a first novel but nothing I would recommend to friends).

July 16, 2007 8:03 PM  
Blogger Jillian said...

RE: "I was pretty irritated at some of the similarities, as it made me look like a hack...."

For someone paying no attention at all to HP/NotW, similarities are easy to find- loss of beloved parents, wizard school, being picked on etc. However, Harry and Kvothe are very, very different people, defined by very different motivations.

A defining characteristic of Harry's story is that he usually isn't the one driving the plot. It's always mysterious stuff other people are doing that force him into a right vs wrong decision. I love Rowling's books (can't wait to find out what happens on Saturday!) but sometimes Harry's lack of driving force irritates me. If Harry has any goals, it's only because he's forced to.

Kvothe, on the other hand... he *knows* what he wants, and he is *making it happen*. Yes, he gets bummed out and spends ages mooning over his lute when his parents die. He gets beaten up and exploited and tricked. But then he gets his crap together and does the hard yards to realise the dream he's had for so long.

Plus he's brilliant :) Harry's always been a bit dim (IMHO).

Conclusion? Anyone who compares you to Rowling at all and suggests in any way that your work and hers are related hasn't read the books. Their opinions are therefore of no value.

(Aside- I'd love to see Kvothe at Hogwarts. I reckon he'd be a lot like Voldemort, aloof yet compelling. But not evil. Most of the time...)

July 17, 2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Meiko said...

I just finished the book about an hour ago. I only put it down to sleep and go to work. It is a great book. I love the way it made my imagination work, way it made me feel, just like i good song. I don't feel that you can compare such a work of art to another to quote robert jordan it is like comparing to sunrises they are both beautiful. Also the question is not will Robert Joran finish in our liketime but his. He has other things on his mind.

but to close i love the way you have written this book and can't wait for the next installment. Thanks for enriching my life.:)

July 18, 2007 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, so who made this art? Where is it from? Am I missing where this information is written? I like their style, and taste :)

July 19, 2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous JoXn Costello said...

I think it's a category mistake to wonder whether Harry or Kvothe would win a cage match. First of all, Harry is simply not the main character of the books which bear his name; and secondly, Harry has always been a not-incredibly-powerful wizard -- it's kind of the point that the only thing particular to him that caused events to focus around him was the scar on his forehead. If you really wanted a fair cage match, you'd have to have one of these scenarios:

Kvothe vs. Dumbledore -- advantage Kvothe, because Dumbledore's not super-duper powerful

Kvothe vs. Voldemort -- advantage Kvothe, because Voldemort is dumber than a sack of hammers

Kvothe vs. Harry-Hermione-Ron-Ginny-Neville-Luna-Fred-George-etc. -- personally, I would say advantage Team Hogwarts, although half of them will die when Kvothe pulls the school down around their heads.

You want a fair fight? Kvothe vs. Ender Wiggin.

July 22, 2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

since everyone else has beat every other part of this post to death.... If Harry Potter and Kvothe met, I don't know if they would like each other. It would probably depend on what kind of mood they were in at the time, seeing as they both have tendencies to be asses when short on something (sleep, temper, answers, etc...). However, I think ultimately they would respect each other, since both of them have a good internal code of ethics deep down. Or, at least, they stick by their friends.

But I doubt they would be friends. To put it simply, Kvothe is a super genius, and Harry is more of a high average kind of guy. Hermione might be friends with Kvothe, but I'd see it as more of a "I can talk geek with you" friendship.

If we were mixing worlds, Kvothe would either be in Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, so if in Gryffindor they would have been friends because of the same house. Harry, on the other hand, wouldn't be at University, because he's too young. He might even be a story already (perhaps Voldemort would be one of the Chandrian or something).

Now that my utterly useless ramblings are done - Pat, I'm about to go friend request you on facebook because your writing is amazing. I'm just telling you so that you know this is the same person.

August 7, 2007 6:47 PM  
Blogger KYDS3K said...

you know what that picture makes me think of? Kvothe vs. Kim Possible . . .

September 7, 2007 6:44 PM  
Blogger captain brushpen said...

(In Harry's head: "Who hell is this punk? The UBER-WEASLEY?")

November 18, 2007 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Stormy said...

I really don't think these two series could come together AT ALL without like some kind of colossal world explosion.
Assuming that happens.
Kvothe is so incredibly different than Harry. I mean, I guess the Kvothe in the story is about Harry's age, but he seems so much older. When you read Harry, you tend to think of him as the age he is. When you read Kvothe, you tend to imagine someone much more mature and impressive and just older. Harry can be a bit old for his years sometimes, but Kvothe is like ten years above where he should be.
The difference between the worlds is just stunning as well. You don't really think much about the world outside Hogwarts with Rowling's books. Hogwarts is the world, it is the only piece of the world that matters. Kvothe's world is so much more real, like its layered and deep and there's all these different pieces and its not that they're different and magical. I think that's the fundamental difference. In Harry's world, the "bad" places are the places where Voldy is, making them full of magic. Kvothe's world has some magic in it, but the reasons for different places being bad are human reasons, with the exception of the draccus incident. Their problems and flaws are caused by human beings' problems and flaws, and that's what makes them real.

May 21, 2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger Danny Santos said...

I think Kvothe needs a movie of his own, it would be cool if Peter Jackson got a copy of The Name of the Wind right. But, that would mean all the Harry Potter books and DVDs would end up in the garbage lol.

July 7, 2008 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Josef Green said...

I only discovered The Name of the Wind recently. sidenote: I'm in the navy, not that it means anything, but Kvothe is really relatable to my life, and probably now one of my favorite literary characters to date. When I was a kid (very long ago haha... jk) everyone wanted to be like Micheal Jordan. Screw that! Someday(hopefully soon) when I start writing seriously, I want to be like Pat.
That's all I got.
I already ordered day two btw....
Party on!!!

December 3, 2008 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Barentanz said...

the two worlds are in no way compatible, and Kvothe is WAAAAAAAAAAY too old for harry. Having said this, I am a huge fan of both series and find the cartoon entertaining

March 10, 2009 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried Steven Erikson and his books set in the Malazan universe? Great reading too.. of course, The Name of the Wind and Kvothe is marvellous stuff too!

June 3, 2009 2:33 AM  
Anonymous Vinny K said...

That's just fantastic; and I'm pretty sure that if Harry tried to keep the thrown, he would gain another scar on his forehead.
I'm actually a recent fan of yours, Patrick. I just finished NOTW at 7 a.m. this morning after 42 1/2 sleepless hours(not all of it spent reading the book, I don't read that slowly). I've got to say, it was an amazing book and well worth the buy. I'm eargerly awaiting the sequel; that will undoubtedly call out another famous fictional character.
Sincerely, Vinny

June 18, 2009 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

Ok, couldn't keep my mouth shut.

When you mentioned the worlds colliding, I definitely thought of fanfiction. Then I thought of cross-over fanfiction (a bane to the fanfic world that is very close to a Mary-Sue). And then, being a writer who used to breed fanfic plot bunnies, I began to wonder...

What ages are we talking about here? Shall we insert Kvothe into one of the school years or make some sort of interdimensional time-space continuum rift that causes him to be dropped into the current-day wizarding world with Harry being 29 years old. And is it the Kvothe who is a tavern keeper and probably in his late 20s or early 30s (because you kept mentioning he was younger than he looked), or the teenager who has yet to be thrown out of the university? Is it the Kvothe who may (possibly? maybe?) know the skill of naming with a strong profiency in sympathy magic, or the one who lost that ability?

So we either have two children, one who relies on a wand and one who doesn't; two adults, one who is a strong wizard and one who used to be; or one child and one adult of varying degrees of magic.

And now I've gone off on a geeky tangent and possibly birthed a very complicated breed of plot bunny... hmm...

Most of the people on here were comparing the writing styles and plot, a few compared characterization and some compared the magic systems. Honestly, a collision of this magnitude would involve everything to be a decent story. Both characters have specialties, neither wish for much fame, and both are (in one way or another) pitted against a strong foe that killed their parents. But their personalities are vastly different (see Book 5 and on).

And I do have a question for you, but I figured it would be best to do my homework to see if you've already answered it. So fair warning, you might see more comments from me. ;) And because this turned out to be far lengthier than intended, I hope I haven't annoyed/offended/evoked some sort of negative response from you...

July 15, 2009 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Except that.... Similiarites between Harrpy Potter and Kvothe's story are fucking ridiculous. In all honesty, some of the things I have seen between the two almost pissed me off because it was like you were ripping off from Potter.

Both they're parents are dead
they both want revenge on the killer(s)
Abenthy = Sirius Black
University = Hogwarts
Ambrose = Malfoy
Kvothe's talent with the lute = Harry's talent with a broom
Kvothe's dad a pro musician = Harry's dad a pro quiditch player

Look for yourself, they're are many more.

January 26, 2010 5:41 PM  
Blogger Botch said...

Someone mentioned the Malazan book of the Fallen- I wouldn't mind reading a fanfic in which K'rul drags both Harry and Kvothe to the Imperial Warren, the loser is left in a world of ash and charred bones.
It would be so metal.

March 5, 2010 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Coolio said...

I think that they have both got great differences

1. Kvothe actually knew his parents properly

2.If someone killed your family or destroyed something you loved then you would probably want revenge. (I would)

3.Abenthy is acctually nice, cool and a traveller(arcanist)person, also kvothe idolised him and Abenthy left at a very early stage in his life.

4.Kvothe's goal was to read at the archives from the moment he heard about it also he studied not just magic, he studied medical, mathimatical and other subjects too. He also had a deal with the university were they pid him for a little while, kinda like a schoolarship!!!

5.Are you stupid there's always some jerk snob at scool or some enemey you compete against.

6.Kvothe was good at everything and both his parents were very talented with music, he also learned to play until he was a total master at it at a super young age stranded in a forrest with the shock of the sudden death of his parents.

7. Both his parents were pro's not just one and also they both grew up with music with their lives as well as Kvothe so duh they were good.

And Anonymous if you do read this I'd like to see you write a book or serise that thousands or maybe millions love and know of so shut up and stuff it there are so many authors now days that you can do a lot of opitions but pat made work invinity times better then you could even do.

It's a lot harder than you think, you don't know everything just like me and everybody else.

March 7, 2010 1:26 AM  
Anonymous MLBurt said...

Point-by-point breakdowns are fun.

- Both they're parents are dead

The key differences are that Kvothe knew his parents at a young age, and also never got a secondary father figure (at least not yet). At the same time, if you think orphan-heroes in fiction are all rips from Harry Potter, history would like to have a word with you. James Bond was a British orphan, that make Harry Potter a James Bond ripoff?

- they both want revenge on the killer(s)

Books. Do you read them? Orphaned kids wanting to take vengeance for the death of their parents isn't some great literary masterstroke that Rowling came up with. She did it well, and so did Rothfuss.

- Abenthy = Sirius Black
I'm not even sure how you got this one. Supplementary father figure? There are vague similarities between the two at best.

- University = Hogwarts
Fair enough, it's pretty safe to say that Hogwarts did popularize the notion of a magical school.

- Ambrose = Malfoy
We call those antagonists.

- Kvothe's talent with the lute = Harry's talent with a broom
Seriously? So is my friend who's really good at hockey a Harry Potter ripoff?

Kvothe's dad a pro musician = Harry's dad a pro quiditch player
See above.

More to the point, those are all superficial similarities. The characters of Kvothe and Harry are vastly different: Kvothe, for example, is much more of an asshole, and much less annoying (I love the Harry Potter series, but Harry got to be a bit weighed down by admittedly unavoidable angst after a while).

March 10, 2010 6:22 PM  
Blogger Arthur said...

I'm with MLBurt, and probably everyone who thinks you're a troll...but I'll add in two cents
- Kvothe's talent with the lute = Kvothe grew up with music and the arts. There is inherent talent (and his almost savant like learning ability), sure, but he was taught it, practiced it, etc. He didn't suddenly pick up a lute and discover "Wow, I'm pretty damn good at this, cool!" That's not how it works with instruments.
Whereas Harry DID get on a broom, first time, and find "Hey, I'm pretty darn good on this!"


Kvothe's dad a pro musician = Harry's dad a pro quiditch player
yeah...dad was a master musician, so, what does he teach his son? Go figure? Harry finds out AFTER that his dad was a pretty shiny seeker, wow I'm just like my dad, he must have passed on the broom flying magi-gene to me!
From a literal tool POV, the quidditch was to give Harry a bond with his missing father, to give him the sense that he "knew" his father on a level.
For Kvothe, the music is a link that grounds him, giving him a continuation from his past life, to his new life. The one thing that was not stripped from his life when his LIFE was destroyed by the Chandria. Not just his parents, but his life. His parents, his friends, his travelling tribe.
It would be like if Harry had grown up with his parents, gone to Hogwarts, and then all his friends in Gryffindor, and all his family, and their friends were killed by Voldemort. His quidditch would then be Kvothe's music, but not until then.

March 31, 2010 6:11 AM  
Blogger Arthur said...

Ohh, and I just gotta toss in that I think Harry's kind of a daft prat...still enjoy the HP books though!

March 31, 2010 6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry looked at Kvothe and tried to conjur some silly spell that reminds me to much of Latin... while Kvothe bends Harry like he is a spoon in the Matrix because Kvothe is tank

April 4, 2010 8:31 PM  

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