The prologues and epilogues of The Name of the Wind and A Wise Mans Fear follow a consistent pattern describing "a silence of three parts". The passages open with: "The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts."

The first silence

The first silence is described as a hollow or echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. Elements include the lack of wind which would have stirred noise from a creaking sign, the lack of a crowd who would fill the silence with conversation or the lack of horses stabled in the barn. If any of these things had been present and made a noise they would have filled or chased the silence away. The first part is always concluded with "If there had been music… but no, of course there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained."

The second silence

The second silence is focused on intentionally silent action. Elements include people doing things which should make noise but they intentionally avoiding making any sound. The second part is concluded with "In doing this they/he added a small silence to the larger, hollow one. It made an alloy/amalgam of sorts, a counter point"

The third silence

The third silence is described as not an easy thing to notice. It is "of a man who is waiting to die". Elements include parts of the Waystone inn and center around Kote, specifically in his hands. The third part ends with "The Waystone (inn) was his, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate as it was the greatest silence of the three, wrapping/holding the others inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.

A Silence of Three Parts is refer to in:

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