Probably the most theatrical scene in The Wise Man's Fear is when Kvothe

calls down the lightning in the bandits' camp.

He does this by

placing an arrow in the ground in front of him and having Marten shoot a second arrow into the giant tree in the middle of the bandits' camp.


obviously this gave him a pretty good sympathetic link to the tree. But despite the stormy conditions, he was never able to manipulate electricity before this. And putting his own body heat into the tree would only set it on fire, if it did anything at all. And he certainly didn't know the name of lightning.

So how did this happen? Did I miss something?

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    My impression - he was grounding the electrical energy of the lightning through the arrow link. Making a makeshift lightning rod long enough for the tree to go boom. It never really tells you exactly what he was doing though, and by this logic, he channeled the lightning through himself to ground it to his arrow and should be pretty damn dead, or at least another, separate, ground zero. – Radhil Mar 28 at 15:53
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    It's been a while - are we sure that he did the lightning intentionally? It wasn't just another wild coincidence that he took the credit for in his usual tricksy fashion? – DavidS Mar 29 at 11:36
  • We're led to believe he created a lightening rod. There are fan theories that indicate it may have been intervention by a supernatural entity such as an Amyr as counter theories. – sevvack Apr 13 at 0:29

He made a lightning rod through Sympathy... with some amount of luck

Kvothe very clearly prepares to use sympathy as he divides his mind in six parts before binding the arrows. Later he explains the nature of the bind, without discarding some luck coming into play.

The lightning? Well, the lightning is difficult to explain. A storm overhead. A galvanic binding with two similar arrows. An attempt to ground the tree more strongly than any lightning rod. Honestly, I don't know if I can take credit for the lightning striking when and where it did.

Rothfuss, Patrick. The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (p. 619). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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