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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Plot hole: Mat's death


agreddon
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Okay, so the official story is that Mat's bond with the horn was broken by his second death in tFoH when he was blasted by Rahvhin.  But Mat died a first time when he was in Rhuidean and slobbered on by those Darkhounds if Moiraine is to be believed.  Shouldn't that have severed it first?

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In regards to the Darkhound attack, Mat WOULD have died if Rand had not balefired the darkhound. He had not died yet, but he would have. He was still alive and mostly well by the time Rand did that. If you are talking about his hanging, I think he was near death but still able to be resuscitated, just like Rand did. Death by being hit by lightening is more final

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Okay, this is what happened:

The Darkhounds broke trough the door and slobbered all over Mats arm. The amount of slobber would have been lethal but not instantaneously, just maybe in a few seconds or so. 

 

Rand balefired the hounds, deleting them backwards through time. This means that the hound that slobbered all over Mats arm was dead before it inflicted that much damage and drooled that much on Mat. Balefire sort of reversed time, undoing the damage done by the darkhound. 

 

So when Moiraine arrived on scene, the amount of deadly drool on Mat was considerably less than what had been there before Rand balefired the dog. That amount could be healed. 

 

Either way, Mat did not die from the drool. The first time (prebalefire by Rand) the amount WAS deadly but not immediately. Postbalefie, the amount of drool was no longer fatal. 

 

Reread the chapter if it helps. Moiraine explained it very succinctly if I recall

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On 3/22/2018 at 9:01 AM, Forshookt said:

Okay, this is what happened:

The Darkhounds broke trough the door and slobbered all over Mats arm. The amount of slobber would have been lethal but not instantaneously, just maybe in a few seconds or so. 

 

Rand balefired the hounds, deleting them backwards through time. This means that the hound that slobbered all over Mats arm was dead before it inflicted that much damage and drooled that much on Mat. Balefire sort of reversed time, undoing the damage done by the darkhound. 

 

So when Moiraine arrived on scene, the amount of deadly drool on Mat was considerably less than what had been there before Rand balefired the dog. That amount could be healed. 

 

Either way, Mat did not die from the drool. The first time (prebalefire by Rand) the amount WAS deadly but not immediately. Postbalefie, the amount of drool was no longer fatal. 

 

Reread the chapter if it helps. Moiraine explained it very succinctly if I recall

 

 

Here's what Moiraine said:

 

Quote

“You begin to see the problems, the dangers? Mat remembers seeing one of the Darkhounds chew through the door, but there is no opening, now. If it had slavered on him as much as he remembers, he would have been dead before I could reach him. For as far back as you destroyed the creature, whatever it did during that time no longer happened. Only the memories remain, for those who saw or experienced it. Only what it did before is real, now. A few tooth holes in the door, and one drop of saliva on Mat’s arm.”

 

 

I'm not saying what you're suggesting is impossible, but it does raise some questions.

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I think that the tie to the horn was broken when he was hanging from the tree.  He was dead.  He wasn't breathing, and Rand had to basically use the one power to get him breathing again.  So, I think that is when it happened.   It makes far more sense than it being the reversal of his other death using balefire.  That raises too many questions, such as, why is the horn immune to the effects of balefire.  Wouldn't his death being erased, and his death never happening mean the horn should still be bound to him?  Those questions were never answered, and it's far simpler to say that he died in The Shadow Rising, and was revived.  Makes perfect sense.  His being revived wouldn't erase his death, and so the horn wouldn't be relinked to him.

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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No the horn isn't relinked since he was actually dead, so the link was gone.  Balefire can't restore the link.  Just like if you kill an Aes Sedai, then balefire her killer.  She is alive but doesn't mean it restores the warder bond.  You still died, so all the links are broken.

 

What do you mean how is the horn immune to the effects of balefire?

 

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Yes, that's my point.   You can not be revived, but the very act that killed you can be erased from existance.  They never explained WHY the link to the horn isn't effected by changes to the timeline.  Mat was NEVER killed by the darkhounds because the darkhounds did not exist to kill him thanks to balefire.  However, according to Sanderson, the horn wasn't effected by this, and the link was still broken by his non-existent death.  Sanderson made it clear that it was being killed by the darkhounds that broke the link to the horn, but he never explained why the link wasn't restored when his death was erased from the timeline.

 

If the horn and it's link are not effected by changes to time caused by balefire, are they also immune to balefire directly?  Would the horn not be destroyed if directly struck by balefire?

 

If Sanderson at least had some logical reasons why the horn should be immune to changes to the timeline caused by balefire, that would be one thing, but no such reasons were ever given, and so, I think it simply makes more sense for his death in the Dragon Reborn to be the cause of the link being broken.  He WAS dead, and Rand revived him using the one power.  It makes far more sense, and there is no plot hole to worry about.    

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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Because the hounds died not Mat.  Had Rand arrived and Mat was already dead it would be different.  But the hounds hadn't killed him yet.  The darkhounds never broke the link, because Mat never died.  He was going to die but at no time did he actually die.  Same with the hanging, he was really close to death, but hadn't died yet.

 

Mat actually died to the lightning, he wasn't saved before the lightning hit him.  So because he actually died the link was broken.  It doesn't matter that balefire reversed things, Mat was actually dead for a time.

Edited by Sabio
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On 3/24/2018 at 11:09 PM, Sabio said:

Because the hounds died not Mat.  Had Rand arrived and Mat was already dead it would be different.  But the hounds hadn't killed him yet.  The darkhounds never broke the link, because Mat never died.  He was going to die but at no time did he actually die.  Same with the hanging, he was really close to death, but hadn't died yet.

 

Mat actually died to the lightning, he wasn't saved before the lightning hit him.  So because he actually died the link was broken.  It doesn't matter that balefire reversed things, Mat was actually dead for a time.

 

Yes, but my point still stands.   Balefire is supposed to literally burn someone out if the pattern.  The reason Mat is alive after being skilled is because Rahvin literally was burned out of existance to a point before he killed him.  Rahvin did not even exist at the point where Mat died, and so Mat is alive, because he was never killed, because Rahvin did literally did not exist to kill him.   There is no reason given as to why or how the horn of valere is immune to these effects.  Why would the link still be broken even though the act that broke it was erased from time, and never even happened.  

 

This is the same reason why the pattern was forced to weave moridin and rand together and link them.  When their balefire was linked, it literally should have burned them both out of existance, but at the same time, since neither of them would have existed, it means that the balefire they used also wouldn't have existed, and so both should also still exist at the same time.  It created a paradox that could only be solved by the creation of a new entity, two people a linked soul.  

 

So, if balefire can directly alter the pattern itself, why would the horn of valere not be effected?  If Sanderson had at least given a clear, well though out reason why the link wasn't restored when Mat's death was undone, I would accept it, but he gave nothing.  

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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The person is back, but the link can't simply be restored.  The warder bond would still be broken, once the link is severed the pattern can't weave that link back.  You have returned but anything resulting from your death like bonds being lost are gone.  It was hinted at earlier when the Aes Sedai considered letting Mat die so his connection to the horn would be severed.  Death breaks the bond.  The big key is even though it was reversed Mat still died and was dead for the duration of the Rand/Rahvin fight.  Balefire brought him back, but he still actually died, the pattern just weaved him back in.

 

Why would balefire hitting balefire kill the weavers?  The actual weaves never touched them.  

Edited by Sabio
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I can't check at the moment, but I'm pretty sure that people remember what happened in the balefired time, which puts it into a position where those events both did and didn't happen, so mat did die even though he didn't

Edited by BFG
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Yes. The companion says people remember what the balefired person had done,  for instance if you built  a house and then were balefired to where the house was never built.  People would remember you building that house. they would remember helping you build the house, yet the house is gone.  The dead didn't come back to life, but people found that their memories of the time were completely false, that they remembered doing things themselves that apparently had never happened.  

 

So its not like the say 10 minutes from Mat's death to Rhavin's death are completely reset.  The events still happened, trollcs killed people etc, just Rhavin's deeds were gone.  Aiel shocked because they could of sworn they saw Avi dead.  

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On 3/26/2018 at 11:44 AM, Sabio said:

The person is back, but the link can't simply be restored.  The warder bond would still be broken, once the link is severed the pattern can't weave that link back.  You have returned but anything resulting from your death like bonds being lost are gone.  It was hinted at earlier when the Aes Sedai considered letting Mat die so his connection to the horn would be severed.  Death breaks the bond.  The big key is even though it was reversed Mat still died and was dead for the duration of the Rand/Rahvin fight.  Balefire brought him back, but he still actually died, the pattern just weaved him back in.

 

Why would balefire hitting balefire kill the weavers?  The actual weaves never touched them.  

 

The way Jordan explained it me when I asked him about balefire at a book signing was that balefire literally burns a person from the pattern.  So, anything a person did in the time where they were burned out of ceases to be, as if it were never done to begin with.  By that definition, when Ravhin was destroyed by balefire, the act of him killing Mat was erased.  It was if he did not even exist, and Mat was never killed.  If balefire worked this way, then wouldn't all other results of Mat's death also be erased?  This is why I don't understand how the link would be broken, since Mat technically never died.  

 

Now, I would understand if they were going to give the horn of valere some special ability to be immune to the effects of balefire, so that the effects of Mat's death would still be in place, even if he were saved by balefire, but I would be nice if they actually said that and given some of the reasoning for why that is.  

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But that's the key, Mat did die.  Balefire reversed it but as Rand saw Mat was laying there dead.  So as soon as he died the link was gone.  Since the link needs someone to blow the horn, it can't simply be put back just because balefire reversed his death.  The pattern had no way to restore Mat's link to the Horn.  The same as if you built a house and then got balefired.  Just because the house is gone now, doesn't mean you really didn't build it.  Which is why other people will still remember that there was a house there.  The pattern wove that action in and then that action got yanked out.  So Mat being alive again doesn't mean he never died, his death was reversed or undone.  The fact people remember it shows that it happened.

 

 

 

For me if there is a big plot hole it's why did Moiraine tackling Lanfear through the door cut her warder bond?  Her going through the door in Tear didn't destroy the bond. So because the door was destroyed that cut the warder bond?

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16 hours ago, Sabio said:

But that's the key, Mat did die.  Balefire reversed it but as Rand saw Mat was laying there dead.  So as soon as he died the link was gone.  Since the link needs someone to blow the horn, it can't simply be put back just because balefire reversed his death.  The pattern had no way to restore Mat's link to the Horn.  The same as if you built a house and then got balefired.  Just because the house is gone now, doesn't mean you really didn't build it.  Which is why other people will still remember that there was a house there.  The pattern wove that action in and then that action got yanked out.  So Mat being alive again doesn't mean he never died, his death was reversed or undone.  The fact people remember it shows that it happened.

 

 

 

For me if there is a big plot hole it's why did Moiraine tackling Lanfear through the door cut her warder bond?  Her going through the door in Tear didn't destroy the bond. So because the door was destroyed that cut the warder bond?

Except Mat wasn't simply "revived".  The very act that killed from was erased from existance.  It NEVER happened.  That's how balefire works.  It literally burns away sections of the pattern itself, and erases the past.  That's why it was banned.  Mat was never killed to begin with because Ravhin no longer existed to kill him. 

 

 

Edited by Dagon Thyne
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Balefire undoes direct effects, but not periphery effects, is what others are trying to tell you I think. It causes a contradition, Mat died. Mat didn't die. Mat is alive but periphery effects of him dying still happened like the link being broken. Balefire, while brutal, isn't 100% effective at what it does.

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Barmacral explained it best.  It's not simply the pattern putting everything back to exactly how it was before.  It can't change memories, it can't restablish connections.  The pattern will tear out the thread of what Rhavin did but there are still consequences to a thread being torn out like that, such as it can't just make everything like it was before it happened.  Mat did die, balefire has him back on his feet. but since he was dead for a time the pattern can't change the after effects of that actually happening.

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5 hours ago, Barmacral said:

Balefire undoes direct effects, but not periphery effects, is what others are trying to tell you I think. It causes a contradition, Mat died. Mat didn't die. Mat is alive but periphery effects of him dying still happened like the link being broken. Balefire, while brutal, isn't 100% effective at what it does.

 

Here's a question:

 

Suppose someone is in a very cold place and there is a cabin with a lit fireplace. If that person stays outside, he will die within the hour. The person goes into the cabin, spends an hour in there, and comes out.

 

Now someone powerful balefires the cabin, burning it out of the pattern back one hour.

 

Does the person die?

 

Question #2:

 

Someone goes into the cabin and sleeps for an hour. An earthquake happens and the cabin collapses, killing the person. Someone powerful in the One Power pulls that person's body out of the wreckage and balefires what remains of the cabin, again burning it back one hour.

 

Does the person live?

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The question would be does balefiring something like a tree or a house have any effect?  The companion describes balefire as a weave that burns threads out of the pattern.  Since a house/tree etc.. .takes no actions and is basicly just there, is there anything to undo, does it have a thread to burn out?  My guess is balefiring something such as a building wouldn't have much effect on the past.  If it did that  would mean if I balefired a bridge back an hour, everyone in that hour would suddenly be brought back in time an hour and plunge into the ravine.  Most likely the bridge would be gone, but everyone who drove over it would remember driving over the bridge yet discover later there isn't a bridge there.  Balefire can't undo everyone's actions in that hour.

 

I would say in the first example the person will die.  Since balefiring the cabin destroys the cabin but the person is still doing things, you can't undo all of the persons actions in that hour.  So I would assume the guy would remember being in that cabin warming up yet look about and see no cabin and then probably freeze to death shortly after, or notice the cabin suddenly gone and freeze to death in an hour.

 

The second my guess is the guy stays dead.  I think for him to be alive you would need to balefire the earthquake so it never happened.  

Edited by Sabio
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1 hour ago, Sabio said:

The question would be does balefiring something like a tree or a house have any effect?  The companion describes balefire as a weave that burns threads out of the pattern.  Since a house/tree etc.. .takes no actions and is basicly just there, is there anything to undo, does it have a thread to burn out?  My guess is balefiring something such as a building wouldn't have much effect on the past.  If it did that  would mean if I balefired a bridge back an hour, everyone in that hour would suddenly be brought back in time an hour and plunge into the ravine.  Most likely the bridge would be gone, but everyone who drove over it would remember driving over the bridge yet discover later there isn't a bridge there.  Balefire can't undo everyone's actions in that hour.

 

I would say in the first example the person will die.  Since balefiring the cabin destroys the cabin but the person is still doing things, you can't undo all of the persons actions in that hour.  So I would assume the guy would remember being in that cabin warming up yet look about and see no cabin and then probably freeze to death shortly after, or notice the cabin suddenly gone and freeze to death in an hour.

 

The second my guess is the guy stays dead.  I think for him to be alive you would need to balefire the earthquake so it never happened.  

 

 

Okay, you make a good point about inanimate objects.

 

How about this then?

 

Scenario 1:

- A murderer kills someone then gets balefired. I think we can all agree that the victim would come back to life.

 

Scenario 2:

- A doctor saves a dying patient and then gets balefired. Is the patient now dead (or dying) or alive?

 

Scenario 3:

- Two men are standing in a line in a battle. An arrow shoots out and hits the one in the front. The man in the front then gets balefired. Does the arrow hit the man in the back now?

 

Scenario 4:

- Person A pushes person B, causing the latter to fall and break a vase. Person A gets balefired. Is the vase broken or not?

Edited by solarz
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scenario 2 I think the person is dead. As evidence, I would put forward how in aMoL, when Taim balefires a bunch of AS, there are suddenly more Sharans, and even less AS.

 

Scenario 3, I would think the man is also dead, for much the same reason.

 

Scenario 4, I don't think so. I would draw this from the brief explanation we get of cities being destroyed. it says "ripples" that implies that the chain of events would continue beyond the first person.

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