Lady Meluan Lackless is a Vintish noble, the daughter of Aculeus Lackless and the sole heir to the Lackless lands. In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe successfully helps the Maer court and eventually marry her. She is the only woman who is powerful enough to not be under the king’s control. She has a deep hatred of the Edema Ruh, because she believes they kidnapped her sister (see Theories). Because of this, she forces Kvothe out of Severen after learning of his heritage.
When Kvothe first meets Meluan Lackless, he is struck by her extreme familiarity. It is speculated that this is because her sister, Netalia Lackless, is Kvothe’s mother, as evidenced by a song that Kvothe sings:
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
The line “My sweet Tally cannot cook” capitalizes Tally, which may be a nickname for Netalia. Additionally, the line “Not tally a lot less” sounds like “Netalia Lackless”. The name Netalia is referenced in Wise Man’s Fear Chapter 74. Netalia ran off with the Edema Ruh, which matches a story Kvothe tells about how his mother ran off with his father, and they only visited their family (presumably the Lacklesses) once. Finally, when Kvothe chants a rhyme about the Lackless, Kvothe’s mother sternly tells him off, potentially because it talks about her family.
- The Wise Man's Fear, Chapters 67-74
- The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 58, "Courting"
- The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 67, “Telling Faces”
- The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 36, "All This Knowing"
- The Wise Man's Fear, Chapter 74, "Rumors"
- The Name of the Wind, Chapter 8, "Thieves, Heretics, and Whores"
- The Name of the Wind, Chapter 11, "The Binding of Iron"