Patrick Rothfuss

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I remember sitting down once, [at] three in the morning and probably the only person awake in Stevens Point. And I stop, and I think: "This is crap! I've spent years of my life writing crap. This will never be published - it isn't good... I've wasted years of my life!" *shrugs and types on* You do it because you like the process. I mean... you write because you like to write.

Patrick Rothfuss is the author of The Kingkiller Chronicle and its companion stories, and the founder of the charity Worldbuilders.


Patrick "Pat" James Rothfuss was born in Madison, Wisconsin[1], on June 6th, 1973. His father Jim was an engineer.[2] He and his younger sister[3] were raised in rural Wisconsin.

In 1999, Rothfuss graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he had originally enrolled "to study the equivalent of chemical engineering".[4] He would later switch to clinical psychology[5]; three years into his degree, he became "Undeclared".[6] Nine years later, university policy finally forced him to graduate; he left with a BA in English, and minors in psychology, medieval history,[7] philosophy, and writing.[6]



These are novels or stories set in Temerant, the world of The Kingkiller Chronicle.

  • The Road to Levinshir (2002): An excerpt from the series published as a short story. It appears in Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy (July 2008; Subterranean Press), edited by William Schafer, and Epic: Legends of Fantasy Anthology, which was edited by John Joseph Adams (January 2012, Tachyon Publications). Originally written for The Name of the Wind, it would appear in a different format in The Wise Man's Fear.
  • The Name of the Wind (March 27, 2007): The first novel in the trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle.
  • The Wise Man's Fear (March 1, 2011): The second novel in the trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle.
  • "How Old Holly Came to Be" (June 21, 2013): A short story published in the anthology Unfettered, edited by Shawn Speakman. It is told from the point of view of a tree.
  • The Lightning Tree (June 17, 2014): A spin-off novellette published in Rogues. It was edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things (October 28, 2014): A spin-off novella. It was illustrated by Nate Taylor.
  • "The Boy Who Loved the Moon" (unpublished): A comic book adaptation of a section from The Wise Man's Fear, illustrated by frequent collaborator Nate Taylor.
  • The Doors of Stone (unpublished): The upcoming, final book in The Kingkiller Chronicle.

Temerant (Other Media)

  • Tunes from Temerant (unpublished): Tunes from Temerant is "musical anthology" featuring songs about and from Temerant. This was the final stretch goal for the 2015 Worldbuilders fundraiser, at $1,225,000. The band Paul and Storm agreed to help produce and organise the album, with Rothfuss contributing lyrics.[8] There has been no news on the album since.[9][10]

Non-Temerant (Print Media)

These are works of fiction set outside of Temerant.

  • Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide (January, 2005; Cornerstone Press): A collection of four years' worth of humorous "advice" essays written by Rothfuss, starting in 1998.[11] The book was illustrated by Brett Hiorns[12] (credited as "B.J. Hiorns").
  • Rothfuss has written a number of introductions and forewords to other books:
    • The "foreward" to The Order of the Stick: War and XPs (August 27, 2008; Giant in the Playground) by Rich Burlew.[13]
    • The foreword to Be Good, Little Puppy: A Penny Arcade Book (June 28, 2011; Del Rey), written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik.[14]
    • The foreword to Unfettered (June 21, 2013; Grim Oak Press), an anthology edited by Shawn Speakman in which the short story "How Old Holly Came to Be" also appeared.[15]
    • The foreword to Sword and Laser Anthology (April 6, 2014; Sword and Laser L.L.C.) edited by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt.[16]
    • The foreword to The Complete Coming Distractions (2015; King Sheep), written by Patrick D. Johnson and illustrated by Nate Taylor.[17]
    • The introduction to the Subterranean Press edition of Ready Player One (June, 2015; Subterranean Press), by Andy Weir.[18]
    • The introduction to Word Puppets (November 3, 2015; Prime Books), a short story collection by Mary Robinette Kowal.[19]
    • The introduction to The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins (July 17, 2018; First Second), by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Travis McElroy, and illustrated by Carey Pietsch.[20] The introduction can be read online.
    • The introduction to The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey (November 12, 2018; Tachyon Publications) by Peter S. Beagle.[21]
  • The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed (June 21, 2010; Subterranean Press): A not-for-children "children's book" about a princess and her teddy bear. It was illustrated by Nate Taylor.
  • "Lay of the Eastern King" (September 20, 2010): A Norse edda[22] published in Clash of the Geeks (Subterranean Press), a digital chapbook put together by John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton for the benefit of the Lupus Alliance of America. It was based on a drawing by Jeff Zugale of Wheaton riding a unicorn kitten in combat with Scalzi, who is an orc.[23]
  • The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Dark of Deep Below (November 30, 2013; Subterranean Press): A sequel to The Thing Beneath the Bed, again illustrated by Nate Taylor.
  • "Child's Play" (December 2, 2015): Rothfuss wrote a Lookouts webcomic illustrated by Penny Arcade co-creator Mike Krahulik entitled "Child's Play". It can be read online.[24]
  • Rat Queens #2: Rothfuss and Taylor collaborated to create a five-page backup comic for the series Rat Queens (April 12, 2017).[25]
  • "So Long as You Can See the Moon": A 12-page Torment: Tides of Numenera comic created exclusively for backers which Rothfuss and Taylor collaborated on.[26]
  • Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons (issue #1: August, 2018; trade paperback: March 12, 2019, IDW Publishing), co-written with Jim Zub and illustrated by Troy Little: A crossover comic between the cartoon Rick and Morty and the Dungeons and Dragons franchise.[27]

Non-Temerant (Other Media)

  • Torment: Tides of Numenera: Rothfuss joined Tides of Numenera as a writer in 2013,[28] creating and writing the companion character Rhin.[29]
  • "The Story Board": Between August, 2012[30] and March, 2013,[31] Rothfuss hosted an eight-episode Google Hangouts podcast with a variety of guest stars on writing.
  • Hero's Song: Rothfuss created the lore for Hero's Song, an open world roguelike fantasy game by Pixelmage Games. Following a failed Kickstarter campaign[32] and lack of resources, [33] the game was cancelled and the company closed down in 2016.[34]
  • Rothfuss co-wrote Mystery Science Theater 3000 for Netflix with Rick and Morty creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.[35] The show debuted in 2017 and ran for two seasons.[36]
  • Starting July 7th, 2015, Rothfuss and Cards Against Humanity creator Max Temkin created and hosted Unattended Consequences, a weekly podcast in which the two discussed various topics.[37] On December 27th, 2016, the show stopped[38] until another episode was uploaded on December 10, 2018.[39] An archive of all episodes can be found at various websites, including Mixcloud, Castbox, Podyssey, and others. As of January 2020, the show has had 31 episodes.[40]
  • On October 27, 2017, Rothfuss hosted an episode of Myth or Monster, entitled "Mothman," for the Travel Channel, a show "about how myths evolve and grow".[41]

On Hold

Personal Life

Rothfuss lives in Wisconsin[45] in a house he bought with his girlfriend Sarah in 2007.[46] The couple has two sons, [47] nicknamed "Oot"[48] and "Cutie Snoo"[49] online to protect their privacy.[48]

The Kingkiller Chronicle is dedicated to his "marvellous"[50] parents Marge[51] and Jim.[52]

Rothfuss has been a Dungeons & Dragons player since the fifth grade, and has cited his inclusion in the Fifth Edition's Inspirational Reading appendix as "wonderful".[53] He has played on episodes of TableTop,[54] on four episodes of Critical Role (as the character Kerren),[55] and Acquisitions, Inc.[56] (where he plays the character Viari, a reference to a character in The Kingkiller Chronicle).

On July 1st, 2018,[57] Rothfuss became a part owner[58] of A Room of One's Own, a Madison, Wisconsin-based independent[59] bookstore "serving [the city's] intersectional, progressive, feminist and LGBTQ+ bookloving community for over 40 years,"[60] a venture in which he first expressed interest in November, 2016.[59] Rothfuss is a silent partner, not involved in managing the store.[59]


  1. Patrick Rothfuss's official website, The Author
  2. Interview with Lightspeed Magazine (March, 2015). This is loose, but I'll confirm from something more solid later.
  3. Pat's blog: A blog, if only barely
  4. Pat's blog, On the Making of Methelgin
  5. SFBook, Patrick Rothfuss bio
  6. 6.0 6.1 Denvention 3 biography
  7. Pat's bio in the Gollancz edition of The Wise Man's Fear: "Patrick Rothfuss had the good fortune to be born in Wisconsin in 1973, where the long winters and lack of cable television encouraged a love of reading and writing. After abandoning his chosen field of chemical engineering, Pat became an itinerant student, wandering through clinical psychology, philosophy, medieval history, theater, and sociology. Nine years later, Pat was forced by university policy to finally complete his undergraduate degree in English. When not reading and writing, he teaches fencing and dabbles with alchemy in his basement."
  8. Pat's blog, Tunes From Temerant and Books From Pat’s Treasure Hoard
  9. Pat's blog: A search shows no mentions of the album since 2015.
  10. Twitter, PatrickRothfuss: A search brings up exactly one Tweet from 2016.
  11. Goodreads, Pat's review of Your Annotated, Illustrated College Survival Guide
  12. Pat's blog, The Traditional Pat Rothfuss Donation Blog: "This edition is annotated, and illustrated by my longtime friend Brett Hiorns"
  13. Giant in the Playground, The Order of the Stick: War and XPs
  14. Pat's blog, Webomics Galore!: Pat erroneously notes that he wrote the introduction. However, looking into the book at Amazon shows the introduction was written by Jerry Holkins, and the foreword by Patrick.
  15. Orbit Books, UNFETTERED – featuring Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and many others
  16. Boing Boing, The making of the Sword & Laser Anthology
  17. Worldbuilders Market, Coming Distractions: Complete Collection
  18. Subterranean Press, Ready Player One: "Introduction by Patrick Rothfuss"
  19. Mary Robinette Kowal's official website, "Word Puppets": "A new short story collection from Hugo Award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal, with an introduction by Patrick Rothfuss."
  20. Goodreads, Patrick's Reviews: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins: "When the McElroys asked me if I wanted to write an introduction for the upcoming comic book adaptation, I gave an enthusiastic hell yes."
  21. Tachyon Publications, The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey
  22. Goodreads, Patrick's Reviews: Clash of the Geeks
  23., Clash of the Geeks
  24. Penny Arcade, Child’s Play Strip, By Patrick Rothfuss
  25. Kurtis Wiebe
  26. Torment RPG Tumblr, Digital Add-Ons
  27. Io9, Rick and Morty Are Going to Save the Universe With a Game of Dungeons & Dragons
  28. Pat's blog, Concerning Games, Torment, and a Sense of Play
  29. Twitter, PatrickRothfuss
  30. YouTube, Urban Fantasy: Threat or Menace? - The Story Board Ep. 1
  31. YouTube, Storytelling in Video Games - The Story Board Ep. 8
  32. PC Gamer, The Hero's Song Kickstarter plug has been pulled
  33., Pixelmage Games closes before completion of Hero's Song
  34. PC Gamer, John Smedley's Hero's Song cancelled, Pixelmage Games shut down
  35., Rothfuss, Dan Harmon, and Justin Roiland will Join the MST3K Revival!
  36. Forbes, ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Reboot Canceled By Netflix After Two Seasons
  37. Each episode of the podcast discusses something completely different.
  38. "No More Email" was the last episode for just under two years
  39. Unattended Consequences on Simplecast, Sixty Six Thousand and Six Thistle Sticks
  40. Castbox, Unattended Consequences episodes
  41. Pat's blog, So… I’m going to be on TV tonight.
  42. YouTube, Patrick Rothfuss reads "The Tale of Laniel Young-Again": "The standing, awful title for this is The Tale of Laniel Young-Again"
  43. YouTube, Projects after book three — Patrick Rothfuss on JoCo Cruise 2017
  44. Kingkiller Chronicle subreddit report at a reading
  45. Conquer Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers from Wisconsin
  46. Pat's blog, Why I Love My Editor....: "Back in the late summer of 2007...[I] had grown-up money for the first time in my life, and I used it to buy a house with my girlfriend."
  47. Pat's blog, Using Your Words
  48. 48.0 48.1 Pat's blog, A Dream of Cows...
  49. Pat's blog, Cutie, Crying, and the Weirding Way
  50. Dedication at the start of The Name of the Wind.
  51. Pat's blog, Not Your Usual Mother’s Day Post…
  52. Pat's blog, The Things My Dad Has Said
  53. Pat's blog, Thirty years of D&D
  54. YouTube, Geek & Sundry: Lords of Waterdeep: Felicia Day, Pat Rothfuss, and Brandon Laatsch Join Wil on TableTop SE2E10
  55. YouTube, Geek & Sundry: Hope | Critical Role RPG Show Episode 56
  56. YouTube, Dungeons & Dragons: Acquisitions Incorporated - PAX Prime 2013 D&D Game
  57. Twitter, Isthmus: "BREAKING: @RoomofOnesOwn, Madison’s longtime feminist bookstore, has announced that the store will change hands as of July 1 — and it’s staying in the family. More details on our Facebook page."
  58. Twitter, Room of One's Own Bookstore
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 Wisconsin State Journal, New ownership group for A Room of One's Own knows its way around bookstores and includes author Patrick Rothfuss
  60. Twitter bio, RoomofOnesOwn: "Serving Madison, WI's intersectional, progressive, feminist and LGBTQ+ bookloving community for over 40 years!"