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Meluan Lackless is the sole heiress of the ancient Lackless family, and becomes the wife of Maer Alveron during The Wise Man's Fear.


Meluan is described as "strikingly lovely," with a strong jaw and dark brown eyes. She has pale skin, chestnut hair, full red lips, and a "proud and graceful" neck. Kvothe finds her features to be "maddeningly familiar," but cannot place where he'd seen them before.[1]

She is intelligent, well educated, forthright and well spoken. She enjoys boldness and has a fondness for romance.

She has an intense hatred for Edema Ruh, to the point of condoning genocide, which is likely due to her older sister Netalia Lackless running away to join a troop. Despite her charms, this fact paints her in a decisively antagonistic tone.

In the Chronicles

Kvothe first heard of Meluan when Maer Alveron commissioned him to write love songs for her, so that he could court her. After sending Kvothe to get the history of her family from Caudicus, the Maer seated them together at a formal banquet so that Kvothe could get to know her personally. Kvothe, under the guise of a member of nobility, was charmed by her, despite his discovery of Meluan's hatred for Edema Ruh.

He spent the better part of a month helping the Maer with this task, writing twenty-three letters, six songs, and a poem. The Maer revealed himself as her mysterious suitor, eventually winning her over, and they got betrothed and married within a few months. It was revealed that Meluan's older sister, Netalia Lackless, had run away with an Edema Ruh troupe and been disowned, leaving Meluan the sole heir to the Lackless lands. This is believed, by Kvothe, to be the reason behind her hatred of the Ruh.

When Kvothe returned to Severen, the Maer and Meluan revealed to him, under strictest promise of secrecy, that she possessed an ancient box without a handle, lid, or hinges, which is assumed to have been passed down to every Lackless heir since remembrance. Meluan hoped that Kvothe could help her find a way to open it without damaging the contents. Kvothe was able to discern that there was some faint engraving on one side which looked to be a Yllish story knot, but had no recommendations of how it might open. He also noted that the box had a faint scent of lemon, and could possibly contain another box inside.

Shortly thereafter, Meluan discovered that Kvothe was one of the Edema Ruh, and became furious. She gave him a wooden ring, accompanied by a scathing letter. The ring symbolizes that Kvothe is so low class that he should be considered inhuman and beneath contempt. Despite Bredon and Stapes advising otherwise, Kvothe wore the ring for all to see. Maer Alveron was forced to dismiss Kvothe from Severen completely to appease her.


It has been speculated by fans of the series that Kvothe's mother is Netalia Lackless, meaning that Meluan Lackless is actually Kvothe's aunt. The evidence for this comes from the facts that:

  • Kvothe mentions that his mother was a noblewoman who was wisked away by his father, but that she never talked about her family, and they'd only ever visited her relatives once, when he had been very young.[2]
  • There is a chapter in which Kvothe sings the child's rhyme about the "Lady Lackless," and his mother becomes quite adamant that he shouldn't be singing it.[3]
  • Kvothe recites a song for Simmon and Wilem that his father had once written, which had gotten him into trouble with his mother, apparently for having an awful meter. The song goes:

Dark Laurian, Arliden’s wife,
Has a face like the blade of a knife
Has a voice like a pricklebrown burr
But can tally a sum like a moneylender.
My sweet Tally cannot cook.
But she keeps a tidy ledger-book
For all her faults, I do confess
It’s worth my life
To make my wife
Not tally a lot less …

  • Of particular interest is the last line of the song, which sounds very much like a phonetic pronunciation of "Netalia Lackless." Also, in the song, she's given the nickname "Tally," which could easily be a shortened form of Netalia.
  • There is another reference toward a relation between Kvothe's mother, Kvothe, and Meluan when the two (Kvothe and Meluan) first meet when the Maer is courting. He's struck by a strong resemblance to someone that he'd met before, but quickly discounts anywhere near the University or Imre. It's highly likely that she is a relative of someone that he knows, and since she has no other close relatives aside from her older sister, then it would seem that Kvothe has met her sister before—the obvious candidate being his mother.

Meluan also shares a striking physical resemblance to Denna. Though Denna is likely too young to be Meluan's older sister herself, it's possible that they have some unknown relationship to each other.



  1. The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 67, "Telling Faces"
  2. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 8, "Thieves, Heretics, and Whores"
  3. The Name of the Wind, Chapter 11, "The Binding of Iron"