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Mats Dice


Duskfire
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I've always been a bit dissatisfied with the dice Mat has rolling around in his head. There seems to be no clear indication of what they are, or what their point is in the scheme of things. They obviously start up when something important is about to happen, but on a few of the occasions no real luck was involved in what happened afterwards, so no basis there. Not to mention, why does Mat need an indicator of something important about to happen, but Rand and Perrin have no such thing?

 

All the other things in the characters heads have been sufficiently explained. Rand and his Lews Therin voice obviously has a somewhat logical basis there. Perrin is a wolfbrother and is attuned to wolves and that explains his heightened senses, etc etc. Mats dice on the other hand... nothing. In theory its meant to emphasise luck, but it stops when he agrees to something perfectly logical, when no luck was involved.

 

Am I looking too much into it, or have I missed something? Or is there more of an explanation to Mats dice then it seems? It doesn't fit the criteria of the big surprise; however that doesn't neccessarily mean there isn't something.

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Mat is a battle lord (against his preference ;) ). The dice seem to provide warnings of coming events, stopping when the events come to pass - the house falling on him in ED, his first encounter with Tuon. If he can learn to interpret them, much as Min interprets her viewings, they may give him an edge during TG.

 

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Oh, it's something alright, but we have no indication as to what it really means. A few things we do know:

a) It started at the end of TDR, when he came to Tear to help the supergirls. Hence, it can't have anything to do with the 'finns.

b) It might have something to do with his luck. If so, the question of where his luck's coming from becomes relevant. On that, RJ once commented that in a way, it's similar/connected to the DO's luck. It's not something Lanfear did to him in TV, and it has nothing to do with the dice ter'angreal stolen from the Tower.

That's everything I know on the subject.

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They seem to indicate points where mat has to make a choice between two or more courses of action, rather than just a general "something is about to happen". And in those choices Mats luck plays a role, since he almost never knows which choice that is the correct one until afterwards.

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I guess I must've just interpreted this a certain way and then assumed that my interpretation was fact, because I thought it was explained very clearly that the dice in Mat's head have to do with important events or decisions that have to be made.  When those things happen, the dice stop dead.  This are all important events that have to occur in order for the Pattern to "properly" thread a certain way...  This is what I thought the dice were.

 

To better explain, whether it has to do with luck, or winning a battle, or just saying certain words that seem to have no apparent significance to someone at the time, all of these things are important to the Pattern and Mat's ta'veren "power" making things happen a certain way.

 

When he says something weird to Tuon, and the dice immediately stop, it's because those words had significance to the overall Pattern of events that NEED to occur.  I don't think I'm explaining this very well, but I think the dice stopping are meant to give significant emphasis on events that occur to/around Mat at the time.  This makes sense in my head, but I don't think I'm explaining it well.

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I always understood the dice in his head as being part of Egwene's (I think) dream, where she see Mat dicing with the Dark One.  Usually, the dice began shaking somewhere prior to a major event in Mat's life - and then when the important event happens, it stops, for the dice have been cast.  I always took it that every time he hears those dice rolling, it is related to that vision of Egwene's.  Mat testing his luck against the Dark One's Own Luck, to see who comes up the victor (albeit unconciously on Mat's part).  Sort of like good fortune vs. bad.  The thing I'm not sure about, though, is whether it's really luck, or if the "outcome" of the die cast is decided by the actions Mat takes at the time.

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I guess I must've just interpreted this a certain way and then assumed that my interpretation was fact, because I thought it was explained very clearly that the dice in Mat's head have to do with important events or decisions that have to be made.  When those things happen, the dice stop dead.  This are all important events that have to occur in order for the Pattern to "properly" thread a certain way...  This is what I thought the dice were.

 

To better explain, whether it has to do with luck, or winning a battle, or just saying certain words that seem to have no apparent significance to someone at the time, all of these things are important to the Pattern and Mat's ta'veren "power" making things happen a certain way.

 

When he says something weird to Tuon, and the dice immediately stop, it's because those words had significance to the overall Pattern of events that NEED to occur.  I don't think I'm explaining this very well, but I think the dice stopping are meant to give significant emphasis on events that occur to/around Mat at the time.  This makes sense in my head, but I don't think I'm explaining it well.

 

I agree thats what they are, but why? Why does Mat need the dice? As I said in my first post, Perrin and Rand don't need some indication of something important happening, and you would think if anyone needed it it was Rand. Why are ta`veren who are so bound tightly to the Pattern needed to be told "hey yo, something important is happening." And why book 3? In theory if it was because of his ta`veren, it would have started happening before that.

 

I just cant help but think there is something more at work here.

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Maybe it is directly linked to his removed link to the SL dagger?

 

I do remember, right after Mat escapes from Tar Valon in tDR, and he accidentally kills that "footpad" in the streets, and then a guy in a common room playing dice says something to Mat like, "You have the Dark One's own luck!" or some such, and Mat freaks out about it, wondering if maybe his link to the dagger and/or separation caused him to actually have the DO's luck.  </end run-on sentence>

 

Maybe this is part of it?

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I don't think the dice are part of his tavereness.  I think him having the dagger did it.  Remember when he touched the dagger Mordeth screamed.  I don't know whether some part of Mat's destiny hit Mordeth or if he would've responded that way if any of the taveren touched it.  So I agree with the previous poster who said it was the dagger.

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I don't think the dice are part of his tavereness.  I think him having the dagger did it.  Remember when he touched the dagger Mordeth screamed.  I don't know whether some part of Mat's destiny hit Mordeth or if he would've responded that way if any of the taveren touched it.  So I agree with the previous poster who said it was the dagger.

mordeth screamed because they mentioned AS, tar valon, and that mordeth did not have a shadow.

 

I dont think it can be chalked up to the dagger, can anyone tell me when we first see mats pov?

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I laid out a theory on my blog in January that the dice are how Mat feels the tugging of the pattern (which Rand and Perrin have also felt before, just in different ways):

http://telaranrhiod-awheeloftimeblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/dice-in-mats-head.html

In The Dragon Reborn, after being healed from the taint of the Shadar Logoth dagger and his extraordinary luck makes its first appearance, Mat begins to feel the sensation of dice tumbling in his head. While he eventually decides the dice mean something important is happening, he often has no clue why they start and stop or what they mean. Many believe that the dice are tied up in his luck, or merely indicate that Mat is coming to an important decision. However, the dice may be more significant. There is evidence that they are no less than the pattern’s tug on Mat’s thread.

 

We know that Mat is ta’veren. Ta’veren are woven more strictly by the Wheel– not only do they pull on the threads around them, but they are kept more strictly to the pattern laid out for them because the Wheel uses them to guide the whole weaving. Now that we have several books of information since the dice in Mat’s head first started, we can figure out what they mean by looking at specifically what events have caused them to stop rolling and then why those events ended up being significant later on.

 

As an illustrative example we will look at some places where the dice stop in ACoS, WH, and CoT and see how these events turned out to be important in later books (for a complete listing of dice events see the page on Mat on http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/).

 

· The dice stop when Mat agrees to move into the Tarasin Palace. We now know that this directly led him to meeting Tuon.

 

· The dice stop when a wall falls on Mat in the chaos of the Seanchan attack. This kept him from leaving the city, again making sure he meets Tuon.

 

· The dice stop when Mat meets Tuon. Obviously because she is the Daughter of the Nine Moons and he will marry her.

 

· The dice stop when Tuon and Mat agree to terms guaranteeing she will not try to escape. This continues to ensure the series of events that lead to the completion of their marriage ceremony.

 

The sequence of events above all led toward Mat marrying Tuon, as well as the course he has taken in getting to Caemlyn. For example, he would have left the city if the wall hadn’t collapsed on him. The events are all ways that his path has been set out before him, the Wheel tugging him into being in the right place at the right time. The dice appear to start when his course begins to be pulled by the pattern, then stop when he’s been tugged into place.

 

Perhaps a better question to ask is, if the dice are the pattern pulling Mat as a ta’veren, how come Perrin and Rand don’t feel the same thing? Well, each sort of does in his own way. Perrin has felt Rand’s pull before, or felt he had to be somewhere, and Rand often has similar hunches. However, Mat’s more acute awareness of the pull may in fact be the interaction between his luck and his ta’veren nature, or it may be a Talent all its own like Min’s viewings. Importantly, Mat starts hearing the dice at the end of tDR, before he has gone through either of the doorways to Finnland, so we know it has nothing to do with the Finns. Likely the exact reason he hears the dice will not be answered until we learn more about the exact cause of Mat’s luck, which will require its own discussion.

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I would just like to put on the record that we do not know when Mat starts to hear the dice, as the first PoV from him I can recall is after he is cleansed of the dagger. Before that it is all rand or perrin with mat in the background so to speak. And after all this time with mat we know he likes to keep his problems to himself so no one would know of them most likely

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Come on, Durinax, Mat had plenty of PoVs in TDR, and the first time we hear the dice is at the end of the book. It's fairly certain that that was the first occurence:

Ahead of him, the Stone of Tear loomed over the city, impregnable, a fortress besieged a hundred times, a stone on which a hundred armies had broken their teeth. And he had to get inside, somehow. And bring out three women. Somehow.

With a laugh that made even the sullen folk in the street look at him, he headed back for The White Crescent, uncaring of mud or the damp heat. He could feel the dice tumbling inside his head.

 

Also, while I searched for that scene, I found this next Dream of Egwene's, which might relate to the dice in Mat's head (though it doesn't tell us much about them):

There had been dreams of Mat, too. Of Mat with dice spinning ‘round him – she felt she knew where that one came from - of Mat being followed by a man who was not there - she still did not understand that; there was a man following, or maybe more than one, but in some way there was no one there - of Mat riding desperately toward something unseen in the distance that he had to reach, and Mat with a woman who seemed to be tossing fireworks about. An Illuminator, she assumed, but that made no more sense than anything else.

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Is there any indication in legend that one of the HotH is spectacularly lucky? We don't know a lot about those. I'm thinking Mat may be one of them reborn (though one we didn't see at Falme).

 

there are many times forsaken think/speak of lews therin as having a lot of luck, or making a lot of luck. to me after awhile I just thought that mat was that luck come back, for rand, meaning of course perrin has a gap to fill but can't recall anything the forsaken may have thought/said in regards to him

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Maybe it is directly linked to his removed link to the SL dagger?
I think him having the dagger did it.
There is some evidence to support this position (but I'm not going to go hunting for quotes). Mat is shown to be having a good run of luck near the beginning of TGH, while still at Fal Dara. He has further runs of good luck on the road to TV near the start of TDR, and Hurin is willing to only gamble for coppers after a while, then not for money at all due to the frequency of Mat's wins. After he is Healed, in TV we have the first run of super luck. It is mentioned in Mat's POV that his luck had always been quite good, but it improved after leaving the TR (he became ta'veren before Moiraine arrived in Emond's Field), and then again after being Healed. He sincerely hopes the dagger didn't have anything to do with it, but the possibility is raised in the text. It's certainly the best supported position. Note that even late in the series (a mention in WH, another in either CoT or KoD that I am sure of) he references his luck and being ta'veren as separate, never as the same thing. The specifics of it, the precise hows and whys, are as yet unknown, but the indications are that Mat's supernatural luck comes from his encounter with the Shadar Logoth dagger. Given that the dice are unique to Mat, as is the luck, it is quite possible that the dice come from the same source.
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Is there any indication in legend that one of the HotH is spectacularly lucky? We don't know a lot about those. I'm thinking Mat may be one of them reborn (though one we didn't see at Falme).

 

there are many times forsaken think/speak of lews therin as having a lot of luck, or making a lot of luck. to me after awhile I just thought that mat was that luck come back, for rand, meaning of course perrin has a gap to fill but can't recall anything the forsaken may have thought/said in regards to him

 

In Knife of Dreams, Birgitte does mention that they'll need Mat Cauthon's luck for this plan to succeed.  When Elayne asks her what she means, she senses that Birgitte is amused, and asks Elayne if she's ever seen Mat play dice.  Elayne says, of course, that she doesn't frequent places where there is a lot of dicing, and Birgitte comments that Mat Cauthon is the luckiest man she's ever seen.  Elayne dismisses Mat from her mind, but at the end comments that if Mat is the luckiest man Birgitte has ever met, he must be lucky indeed.

 

Now, I know that it's not the best evidence, but I sort of get the feeling from the way that exchange is worded that when Birgitte says that Mat is the luckiest man she has ever met - she means EVER, speaking as a Hero of the Horn.  But, like I said, that's not the best evidence.

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Is there any indication in legend that one of the HotH is spectacularly lucky? We don't know a lot about those. I'm thinking Mat may be one of them reborn (though one we didn't see at Falme).

 

there are many times forsaken think/speak of lews therin as having a lot of luck, or making a lot of luck. to me after awhile I just thought that mat was that luck come back, for rand, meaning of course perrin has a gap to fill but can't recall anything the forsaken may have thought/said in regards to him

 

In Knife of Dreams, Birgitte does mention that they'll need Mat Cauthon's luck for this plan to succeed.  When Elayne asks her what she means, she senses that Birgitte is amused, and asks Elayne if she's ever seen Mat play dice.  Elayne says, of course, that she doesn't frequent places where there is a lot of dicing, and Birgitte comments that Mat Cauthon is the luckiest man she's ever seen.  Elayne dismisses Mat from her mind, but at the end comments that if Mat is the luckiest man Birgitte has ever met, he must be lucky indeed.

 

Now, I know that it's not the best evidence, but I sort of get the feeling from the way that exchange is worded that when Birgitte says that Mat is the luckiest man she has ever met - she means EVER, speaking as a Hero of the Horn.  But, like I said, that's not the best evidence.

 

That is how I've always interpreted that quote too - and I'd take that to mean that Mat was not a Hero of the Horn before this (though one would think he might be after this life  ;))

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The main reason why I believe Mat is a Hero of the Horn is by RJ...

 

Gender/soul rebirth he said is best illustrated by Mat and Birgitte. But he then said that there was more to it than that. Not sure what he meant exactly. Probably the point.

 

The argument against it however is that none of the heroes at Falme seemed to really give a crap about Mat, except for him being the Hornsounder. Birgitte however seems to be quite impressed with him, but that could be because she actually sees the value in him.

 

And its possible the luck is manifested by the dagger. I noticed on my reread that Fain has been accused of having the Dark Ones own luck, although the only character I can expliticly remember saying it is Dain Bornhald. While this saying has been attributed to a number of characters and is quite a common term, its interesting nonetheless - and could potentially be a link.

 

 

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Well, there is fairly strong evidence that Mat is Aemon reborn, the last king of Manatheren.  After all, he began shouting Aemon's battlecry even before they went to Shadar Logoth, and had a dream of leading the King's personal bodyguard into battle against the Trollocs.  So I think he's definitely reborn... I'm just not sure if Aemon was super lucky or not... although his battlecry was "It is time to toss the dice" so it's certainly possible.

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Well, there is fairly strong evidence that Mat is Aemon reborn, the last king of Manatheren.  After all, he began shouting Aemon's battlecry even before they went to Shadar Logoth, and had a dream of leading the King's personal bodyguard into battle against the Trollocs.  So I think he's definitely reborn... I'm just not sure if Aemon was super lucky or not... although his battlecry was "It is time to toss the dice" so it's certainly possible.

 

Well, thats also explained with the Old Blood as well. I am just not sure why Mat would be remembering his previous life at all when no other character really does (with the exception of Rand, and thats a strange case there.) Perrin for instance has no weird memories, or Egwene or Elayne or anyone. Unless theres some strange situation behind it (i.e Rands insanity) it doesnt seem to fit with everything else. Its not impossible however, I just find it unlikely.

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Well, there is fairly strong evidence that Mat is Aemon reborn, the last king of Manatheren.  After all, he began shouting Aemon's battlecry even before they went to Shadar Logoth, and had a dream of leading the King's personal bodyguard into battle against the Trollocs.  So I think he's definitely reborn... I'm just not sure if Aemon was super lucky or not... although his battlecry was "It is time to toss the dice" so it's certainly possible.

 

Mat could be Aemon reborn without being a hero of the horn - everyone gets reborn over and over in WoT, normal people too. I don't know that he necessarily is Aemon though, because some of it could be just the old blood thing, enhanced by the dagger and later by the finns.

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Mat's Dice is similar to another warlord in Randland, Pedron Naill.  In LoC or CoS, I think, he was thinking about a battle during the Whitecloak War where he left some forces guarding a mountain range.  Every one said the range couldn't be crossed at that place but Naill had a "tickle in the back of his mind" so he left the army there anyway.

 

Well Mattin Stephenos, king of Illian, crossed his army over the mountains and the two sides fought.  The Whitecloaks almost captured Stephenos but the Companions road in and cleared the field allowing Illian to escape.

 

But if the army hadn't been there Illian would have suprised the Whitecloaks and have been in a postion to catch them off guard and crush them.

 

I think the dice is Mat's way of thinking about the "tickle in the back of his mind."

 

Another point when comparing Mat to Perrin and Rand's ta'vereness is between the three of them he is the only "plotter" (he is the fox) Rand and Perrin plan the broad general view but play things the details "off the cuff" (the only exception was Rand's scheme to capture Asmodean) but Mat also plans the small things and make contingencies for contingencies for contingencies.

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