I have heard Patrick Rothfuss is a fan of George Lucas's Willow. Did that lead him to use the name Alora (like the baby in Willow, but spelt with an 'A') in his second Kingkiller Chronicle book?


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There's no evidence of this that can be found.

At most, an arguement can be made that there's a little punning there (Alora/Denna -> Elora Danan). The author is, in general, fond of keeping such references to other works very subtle, as they distract from the story. The only outside reference I can recall offhand is a little girl asking for a story that sounds a lot like Dune in Skarpi's hangout when Kvothe first meets him. There are a rare few others. So it's a minor possibility.

That said, the Denna and Danan names don't really sound the same at all, even if Alora/Elora do, so it's a stretch. There's no other link to be found except the name, Denna is not a baby, and as far as we know so far has no magic or prophecy attached to her. Also, the name is used in a single nearly throwaway line, as Kvothe describes his time with Denna in Severen, and the light barb of being unable to have her complete attention:

He didn't know her as Denna, of course. He called her Alora, and so did I for the rest of the day.

If that's a shout-out, that's so subtle as to be near invisible. Aside from some theorycrafting pulling at any detail to unravel the mystery of Denna, which appears to seize on this one line break from her alias pattern (Dianne, Dineh, Donna, Dianah), I cannot find any other considerations on this one name.

It is more common to find coincidences, than to find intentional references, especially when you're hunting for them. Unless the author is asked directly on whether it was intended (which I cannot find so far, and again is unlikely on a small detail), this falls into the former for now.

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