Study Guide

The Nine Masters in A Wizard of Earthsea

By Ursula K. Le Guin

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The Nine Masters

1. Master Chanter – who teaches the history songs, including the Creation of Ea, as mentioned in the epigraph.

2. Master Windkey – who teaches weatherworking.

3. Master Herbal – who teaches herbs and healing.

4. Master Hand – who teaches illusion (no, he doesn't teach about hands).

5. Master Changer – who teaches real change. Unfortunately, he's young and a little inexperienced, so he teaches Ged some magic before Ged's totally ready.

6. Master Summoner – who teaches summoning of powers. Ged thinks he's very stern at first, but he comes to visit Ged after Ged is sick, which shows Ged that this guy's also compassionate (4.106).

7. Master Patterner – who teaches … well, no one knows what he teaches, but we know he lives in the Immanent Grove.

8. Master Namer – who teaches the real names of things. Also, and we love this part, his name is Kurremkarmerruk, which has no meaning in any language (3.67).

9. Master Doorkeeper – who teaches … well, again, we're not sure what he teaches. Maybe he teaches the students that they have to trust and work with others. Mostly, he just watches the door.

These are all different teachers at the school of magic on Roke. Why are there all these different teachers, though? Well, for one thing, they help us learn more about how magic works in this world – while Ged is learning about magic and Earthsea, so are we. Also, it gives people more opportunities to tell Ged about the Balance. Not that he listens.

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