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Caemlyn in the Epilogue. Poll.


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  1. 1. Whose Fault Is Caemlyn



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I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

 

Didn't Mat address this possibility when the barmaid had the letter in her hands? I think he said he would feel obligated to follow the terms of his agreement even if someone else did the opening.

I can't remember Mat not following through on a promise he made. Nor can I remember him following it as worded, but not meant (ie - not say anything, well, write something, not open something, have someone else open it, do something - but not promising when so ignoring it and stating he'd do it at a later time... etc.

 

He made a promise not to open it, and to me, would mean he in his head promised not to have it opened. And he doesn't break his promises. It's why he tries so hard not to make promises because then he feels bound by them.

 

In this case, Verin seriously misjudged Mat, and honestly, I just cannot how she would do so. But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.

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I'm not entirely sure "blame" needs to be tossed around. In my opinion the letter given to Mat could not have been opened even if Mat had wanted to and Verin knew this.

Points for discussion:

1.) Verin was the DF not Mat, therefore the action of betrayal of the dark oaths had to come from Verin not Mat. Mat opening the letter isn't a betrayal of the oaths, the moment in which Verin wrote the letter to Mat was the betrayal.

2.) Due to the fact that Verin wrote the letter well before "the hour of her death", it would not be possible to open that letter until the information contained had already come to pass.

I disagree with that assessment. Verin wrote her notes years ago, for example - if the betrayal is the writing, then she could never have done that. No, she must keep the secrets until the hour of her death, but if she believes the secret to still be kept (Mat hasn't opened the letter, her notes are undeciphered) then she hasn't broken the Oath. The secret is still kept until the letter is opened, and as far as Verin knows that won't be for ten days. As we have seen in the past, the First Oath works on what the speaker thinks is the truth, not what is truth. The same applies here: if Verin thinks she is still keeping the secrets, she's fine even if Mat opened the letter the moment she left.

 

I have to respectfully disagree with you. The betrayal is in writing with the intent to pass the writings on, otherwise no communication could be passed through writing between DFs. Verins letters were obviously written with the intent of passing the information on. The act of betrayal cannot be committed by one not sworn to the shadow and so Mat in no way, shape, or form can cause a breach of that oath.

I think its a little too easy to simply say that an aes sedai can lie if she simply believes the words said to be true, or a darkfriend can betray the DO by simply believing that they are not. (if you have passages in the books that show Aes Sedai can lie if they believe the lie please post them) As is, I believe that if this were the case, as aluded to in ToM, Mesanna could have sworn the 3 oaths and still sworn to not be a DF because she is not a DF.

 

I think to explain my position a tad better:

The condition of an oath is written onto the thread on the pattern of the individual who took the oath.

That oath is present on all future weavings of that individuals actions until the oath is removed.

Verin wrote the letter while affected by that oath with information on the plans of the shadow for the future, and gave it to someone not turned to the shadow. (you argue that Verin could not write the letter if intending to pass sensitive info along, while I argue that the letter could not be read until the information was no longer sensitive)

The oath falls off the letter once its contents are no longer secret due to the shadow already bringing to pass its contents.

We see olver open the letter, by chance, but only after the invasion has begun.

 

But plz Mr. Ares, could you provide instances in which simple belief is enough to let an Aes Sedai break the first oath.

It's not a matter of breaking the First Oath, because it isn't a lie if you believe what you are saying to be true. By definition, if you believe what you say to be true you are not lying. Siuan made up a story, which was completely untrue, but she was unbound. Various AS in Salidar believed it, and were able to repeat it. How can they repeat something untrue? Because they believe they are speaking truth. How can AS say that the BA doesn't exist? Because they believe it doesn't. If the OR worked on objective truth rather than what was believed, then it would make many statements the AS make as a matter of course impossible. For example, they couldn't say no-one was strong enough to Travel, only that they don't know how. Now, as to Verin's letter, she can write a letter with intentions to betray Shai'tan's secrets but would be unable to pass it on. She could write it but then destroy it before passing it on. She could ask a non-BA to carry a message - if she believed the messenger wouldn't read it, then all manner of sensitive information could be passed that way, even if the messages were read unbeknownst to Verin. She could give a letter to Mat, and expect him not to open it until after the hour of her death - she has kept her secrets until the hour of her death in that case.

 

 

 

I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

Didn't Mat address this possibility when the barmaid had the letter in her hands? I think he said he would feel obligated to follow the terms of his agreement even if someone else did the opening.

True, but given that I contend Mat's insistence on sticking to every promise he makes to be a character flaw, this does nothing to address the real problem. Mat had the opportunity to break his oath and didn't, and he had the opportunity to get around it, AS style, and he didn't. That resulted in a lot of people getting killed in Caemlyn - those people would have survived had Mat been an AS. While it is true that Mat fulfilled his side of the bargain and was under no obligation to open the letter, he had been told it was important and yet still made no attempt to open it and discover what was within, he simply acted out of paranoia, to avoid AS strings.

 

I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

No he couldn't have had someone else open the letter. He already stated to the bartender in Caemlyn that if she opened the letter it would be the same as if he opened it and he would have to do whatever it is says. This still leaves the fact that he could just not do what was on it, but Mat has made it clear over and over again that he keeps his word. Disputing this is to dispute the character that he is.

Yes, he could have had someone else open it - he chose not to do that, he chose to see that as putting him under the same obligation as if he had opened it himself. And I do not dispute his character being what it is, I simply contend this aspect is a flaw.

 

Verin is to blame. It's very simple. If she had told him "This contains important information, but you must promise not to open it for 10 days", the whole situation would have been easily avoided.

Well, she did. So you blame Verin when she did exactly what you think she should have done?

 

1. I believe what "Mystraka" meant was that Verin could have told him "This contains important information, but you must promise not to open it for 10 days" and leave out the part about him having to do what was on the letter.

If that was what was meant, it should have been what was said. And if she had done that, Mat would likely still have refused to open it to avoid AS strings.

 

2. Verin never tells him that what's in the letter is important.
Well, she never uses the word important, I agree. But there are other ways to phrase it. For example, one could say something needed to be done. You picked out the wrong part: ""Because I might not need you to go through with the contents. I hope to be able to return to you and relieve you of the letter and send you on your way. But if I cannot..." If she doesn't need him to do it, she'll be back to pick it up. She wasn't back, therefore she needs him to do it.

 

 

In this case, Verin seriously misjudged Mat, and honestly, I just cannot how she would do so.
Well, she hasn't met him since TDR. Remember, at the time she was busy Healing him from the SL dagger. Because he was the pillock who wandered off in Shadar Logoth - his curiosity got the better of him. So I don't think it's unreasonable she might have misjudged his character all things considered.
But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should. That is reason enough to blame him. Plus, Mat has been known to lie to himself. He might say he won't do it, but then he'll go ahead and do it.
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But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should.
Ah. Hindsight. Good argument.
But not mine. Mine is based on foresight: he was told this was important, and he failed to act on it. If you fail to do something that needs to be done, something bad could happen. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Mat didn't do something that needed to be done. What negative consequences might arise couldn't be realiably guessed at, but the fact that there might be some was quite probable.
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But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should.
Ah. Hindsight. Good argument.
But not mine. Mine is based on foresight: he was told this was important, and he failed to act on it. If you fail to do something that needs to be done, something bad could happen. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Mat didn't do something that needed to be done. What negative consequences might arise couldn't be realiably guessed at, but the fact that there might be some was quite probable.

 

As far as he knew, what was in the letter was important to VERIN. Not to the world. Not to him. He had important things to do aswell.

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I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

No he couldn't have had someone else open the letter. He already stated to the bartender in Caemlyn that if she opened the letter it would be the same as if he opened it and he would have to do whatever it is says. This still leaves the fact that he could just not do what was on it, but Mat has made it clear over and over again that he keeps his word. Disputing this is to dispute the character that he is.

Yes, he could have had someone else open it - he chose not to do that, he chose to see that as putting him under the same obligation as if he had opened it himself. And I do not dispute his character being what it is, I simply contend this aspect is a flaw.

 

Yes, he could do anything. He's not bound by anything to keep his word except that he always does. Contending that this is a flaw is disputing his character because we know that that is who he is. It is clearly stated over and over again that he will keep his word to the letter.

 

1. I believe what "Mystraka" meant was that Verin could have told him "This contains important information, but you must promise not to open it for 10 days" and leave out the part about him having to do what was on the letter.
If that was what was meant, it should have been what was said. And if she had done that, Mat would likely still have refused to open it to avoid AS strings.

 

It's not really necessary of you to be rude like that. Now you're contradiction yourself. You say he should open the letter because it's "so" important, but then you said if he didn't have to do what was in it then he still probably wouldn't open it because he'd still want to avodd AS strings (but there aren't any strings, just open it it's important information). If she says it's information, but she's not requiring him to do anything then he's not tied down by anything and she still knows he'll open the letter because he keeps his word.

 

2. Verin never tells him that what's in the letter is important.
Well, she never uses the word important, I agree. But there are other ways to phrase it. For example, one could say something needed to be done. You picked out the wrong part: ""Because I might not need you to go through with the contents. I hope to be able to return to you and relieve you of the letter and send you on your way. But if I cannot..." If she doesn't need him to do it, she'll be back to pick it up. She wasn't back, therefore she needs him to do it.

 

She never says she needs him to do it. In fact she implies that if he stays for 30 days then it's not important at all because he can just burn the letter. You quoted her saying "But if I cannot..." and that's all she says. She never says if I can't then I need you to do this. She basically says just stay there and then you're fee. I don't really blame Verin too much for this(because she was obviously very busy and she was restricted on what she could do), but you seem to be set on blaming Mat for something when, by your own admission, Verin only implies that it's important.

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ok, I didnt read beyond the first 4 pages so I dont know if this has been covered or not

 

DarkFriend Aes Sedai CANNOT reveal current plans to anyone that is not KNOWN to be a darkfriend. Its one of their oaths.

 

and the shadow has their own channelers. they have the Dark Ajah and the red veiled aiel.......

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I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

No he couldn't have had someone else open the letter. He already stated to the bartender in Caemlyn that if she opened the letter it would be the same as if he opened it and he would have to do whatever it is says. This still leaves the fact that he could just not do what was on it, but Mat has made it clear over and over again that he keeps his word. Disputing this is to dispute the character that he is.

Yes, he could have had someone else open it - he chose not to do that, he chose to see that as putting him under the same obligation as if he had opened it himself. And I do not dispute his character being what it is, I simply contend this aspect is a flaw.

 

Yes, he could do anything. He's not bound by anything to keep his word except that he always does. Contending that this is a flaw is disputing his character because we know that that is who he is. It is clearly stated over and over again that he will keep his word to the letter.

 

The point is that any moral/ethical absolute is a simplistic and immature way to view the world, much like the Whitecloaks' black vs. white mentality. It implies that while Mat knows he should strive to keep his word, he doesn't really understand why he should do so. Amazing how Mat and Galad, of all people, are similar in that regard.

 

If Mat simply wanted a choice in the matter, he should have waited 10 days before opening the letter, then, if he didn't want to follow Verin's instructions, wait another 20 days before leaving Caemlyn. That easily satisfies the spirit of the agreement. Yet his immature sense of ethics, coupled with his irrational fear of Aes Sedai, kept him from approaching the situation like a reasonable adult.

 

-- dwn

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I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

No he couldn't have had someone else open the letter. He already stated to the bartender in Caemlyn that if she opened the letter it would be the same as if he opened it and he would have to do whatever it is says. This still leaves the fact that he could just not do what was on it, but Mat has made it clear over and over again that he keeps his word. Disputing this is to dispute the character that he is.

Yes, he could have had someone else open it - he chose not to do that, he chose to see that as putting him under the same obligation as if he had opened it himself. And I do not dispute his character being what it is, I simply contend this aspect is a flaw.

 

Yes, he could do anything. He's not bound by anything to keep his word except that he always does. Contending that this is a flaw is disputing his character because we know that that is who he is. It is clearly stated over and over again that he will keep his word to the letter.

 

1. I believe what "Mystraka" meant was that Verin could have told him "This contains important information, but you must promise not to open it for 10 days" and leave out the part about him having to do what was on the letter.
If that was what was meant, it should have been what was said. And if she had done that, Mat would likely still have refused to open it to avoid AS strings.

 

It's not really necessary of you to be rude like that. Now you're contradiction yourself. You say he should open the letter because it's "so" important, but then you said if he didn't have to do what was in it then he still probably wouldn't open it because he'd still want to avodd AS strings (but there aren't any strings, just open it it's important information). If she says it's information, but she's not requiring him to do anything then he's not tied down by anything and she still knows he'll open the letter because he keeps his word.

 

2. Verin never tells him that what's in the letter is important.
Well, she never uses the word important, I agree. But there are other ways to phrase it. For example, one could say something needed to be done. You picked out the wrong part: ""Because I might not need you to go through with the contents. I hope to be able to return to you and relieve you of the letter and send you on your way. But if I cannot..." If she doesn't need him to do it, she'll be back to pick it up. She wasn't back, therefore she needs him to do it.

 

She never says she needs him to do it. In fact she implies that if he stays for 30 days then it's not important at all because he can just burn the letter. You quoted her saying "But if I cannot..." and that's all she says. She never says if I can't then I need you to do this. She basically says just stay there and then you're fee. I don't really blame Verin too much for this(because she was obviously very busy and she was restricted on what she could do), but you seem to be set on blaming Mat for something when, by your own admission, Verin only implies that it's important.

What I think is funny is that people are acting like Verin failed in some way here. Honestly, she convinced Mat to stick around Caemlyn for 30 days. That says to me that the timeline she knew of for the invasion was 30 days. If he was nearby he could help. Unfortunately he is not there, but the band is. TBH, I expect the band and other mercs to be able to take care of the trollocs pretty soundly, especially if mat arrives early in the battle (and if Elayne took the precautions I suggested were likely: Kin to send word to her, army + allies to support her in the fight). Honestly it is likely the battle of Caemlyn will be an easy win for the light.

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The point is that any moral/ethical absolute is a simplistic and immature way to view the world, much like the Whitecloaks' black vs. white mentality. It implies that while Mat knows he should strive to keep his word, he doesn't really understand why he should do so. Amazing how Mat and Galad, of all people, are similar in that regard.

 

If Mat simply wanted a choice in the matter, he should have waited 10 days before opening the letter, then, if he didn't want to follow Verin's instructions, wait another 20 days before leaving Caemlyn. That easily satisfies the spirit of the agreement. Yet his immature sense of ethics, coupled with his irrational fear of Aes Sedai, kept him from approaching the situation like a reasonable adult.

 

-- dwn

 

1. It's immature to keep your word?

 

2. I'm pretty sure the deal was that if he opened it then he had to do what it says or don't open it and wait 30 days. He couldn't open it then choose not to do it and just wait the 30 days. Verin made it specifically like this because she was counting on mat's curiosity to get him to open the letter. I do agree that his would be better though because as I already stated if she just didn't require him to do anything then he could have opened the letter and been able to warn Elayne. I don't get why she had to require him to do something, but Verin was doing so much and under so much stress I can't blame her.

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The point is that any moral/ethical absolute is a simplistic and immature way to view the world, much like the Whitecloaks' black vs. white mentality. It implies that while Mat knows he should strive to keep his word, he doesn't really understand why he should do so. Amazing how Mat and Galad, of all people, are similar in that regard.

 

If Mat simply wanted a choice in the matter, he should have waited 10 days before opening the letter, then, if he didn't want to follow Verin's instructions, wait another 20 days before leaving Caemlyn. That easily satisfies the spirit of the agreement. Yet his immature sense of ethics, coupled with his irrational fear of Aes Sedai, kept him from approaching the situation like a reasonable adult.

 

-- dwn

 

1. It's immature to keep your word?

 

2. I'm pretty sure the deal was that if he opened it then he had to do what it says or don't open it and wait 30 days. He couldn't open it then choose not to do it and just wait the 30 days. Verin made it specifically like this because she was counting on mat's curiosity to get him to open the letter. I do agree that his would be better though because as I already stated if she just didn't require him to do anything then he could have opened the letter and been able to warn Elayne. I don't get why she had to require him to do something, but Verin was doing so much and under so much stress I can't blame her.

 

It's immature to hold to any moral absolute at the expense of everything else. Doing so is merely an easy way to avoid facing difficult ethical questions. Incidentally, Mat displays a further lack of ethical process by using his mystical luckiness to win at gambling.

 

In the case at hand, Mat, upon opening the letter, would have had three honourable options:

 

1) If the instructions were reasonable, follow them.

2) If the instructions were inconvenient, suck it up and follow them, or wait 20 more days in the spirit, if not the letter of the agreement.

3) If the instructions were abhorrent, ignore them or take some other appropriate action.

 

His paranoia over Aes Sedai and his simplistic understanding of honesty kept him from rationally dealing with the situation.

 

-- dwn

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But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should.
Ah. Hindsight. Good argument.
But not mine. Mine is based on foresight: he was told this was important, and he failed to act on it. If you fail to do something that needs to be done, something bad could happen. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Mat didn't do something that needed to be done. What negative consequences might arise couldn't be realiably guessed at, but the fact that there might be some was quite probable.

As far as he knew, what was in the letter was important to VERIN. Not to the world. Not to him. He had important things to do as well.
A cop out. You accept the importance of the letter was passed to Mat. If he fails to follow through on important instructions, he must bear some of the blame for that. Granted, he had important things to do and important to Verin isn't necessarily important to him or the world, but blaming him for his failings is still quite reasonable.

 

 

I think one important point is missed here. We all know the content of the letter.

 

Verin made Mat promise to follow the instructions... Not read it. Not act on it. Not any leeway whatsoever. It could be "Attack Seanchan now because of my dream" or "Move the band to location Y" for all he knows.

 

How anyone can possibly blame Mat for not opening the letter is beyond me.

He could have got someone else to open the letter or just opened it and not done what it said if he didn't agree with it.

 

No he couldn't have had someone else open the letter. He already stated to the bartender in Caemlyn that if she opened the letter it would be the same as if he opened it and he would have to do whatever it is says. This still leaves the fact that he could just not do what was on it, but Mat has made it clear over and over again that he keeps his word. Disputing this is to dispute the character that he is.

Yes, he could have had someone else open it - he chose not to do that, he chose to see that as putting him under the same obligation as if he had opened it himself. And I do not dispute his character being what it is, I simply contend this aspect is a flaw.

 

Yes, he could do anything. He's not bound by anything to keep his word except that he always does. Contending that this is a flaw is disputing his character because we know that that is who he is. It is clearly stated over and over again that he will keep his word to the letter.

I do not dispute that, so the repetition serves no purpose. But it is a flaw in his character, and criticising him for his failings is perfectly valid.

 

1. I believe what "Mystraka" meant was that Verin could have told him "This contains important information, but you must promise not to open it for 10 days" and leave out the part about him having to do what was on the letter.
If that was what was meant, it should have been what was said. And if she had done that, Mat would likely still have refused to open it to avoid AS strings.

 

It's not really necessary of you to be rude like that.

I wasn't rude.
Now you're contradiction yourself.
No, I'm not. The position is simple: Mat doesn't want to be caught up in AS strings. Verin says "open this and do what it says", he doesn't open it so he doesn't have to do what it says. Verin says "open it", he could still refuse to open it for the exact same reason - so he does't have to get caught up in AS strings. His reason for not opening it stays the same regardless of whether or not he is told he has to do as instructed. And now you are contending that she should not only not force him to abide by the instructions, but should not even tell him there are instructions.

 

2. Verin never tells him that what's in the letter is important.
Well, she never uses the word important, I agree. But there are other ways to phrase it. For example, one could say something needed to be done. You picked out the wrong part: ""Because I might not need you to go through with the contents. I hope to be able to return to you and relieve you of the letter and send you on your way. But if I cannot..." If she doesn't need him to do it, she'll be back to pick it up. She wasn't back, therefore she needs him to do it.

 

She never says she needs him to do it. In fact she implies that if he stays for 30 days then it's not important at all because he can just burn the letter. You quoted her saying "But if I cannot..." and that's all she says. She never says if I can't then I need you to do this. She basically says just stay there and then you're fee. I don't really blame Verin too much for this(because she was obviously very busy and she was restricted on what she could do), but you seem to be set on blaming Mat for something when, by your own admission, Verin only implies that it's important.

Ive already pointed out the reasoning - she says if she doesn't need him to do it, she will be back to pick up the letter. Therefore, what does it mean if she isn't back to pick up the letter? Having the option to wait in Caemlyn for 30 days was something she had little choice but to agree to - if she hadn't given him an option for not opening, he wouldn't have gone with her. Doesn't mean it's not important, it just means she really has to stress how important it is. She didn't do enough to stress that, as I've already said, but she did do something, she did give Mat good reason to think it was important. I fail to see how her implying it rather than stating it outright is important, unless you wish to contend that Mat is so stupid he wouldn't pick up on the implication?
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But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should.
Ah. Hindsight. Good argument.
But not mine. Mine is based on foresight: he was told this was important, and he failed to act on it. If you fail to do something that needs to be done, something bad could happen. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Mat didn't do something that needed to be done. What negative consequences might arise couldn't be realiably guessed at, but the fact that there might be some was quite probable.

As far as he knew, what was in the letter was important to VERIN. Not to the world. Not to him. He had important things to do as well.
A cop out. You accept the importance of the letter was passed to Mat. If he fails to follow through on important instructions, he must bear some of the blame for that. Granted, he had important things to do and important to Verin isn't necessarily important to him or the world, but blaming him for his failings is still quite reasonable.

 

I accept that the importance (many people dead if warning is not heeded) was passed to Mat? Where are you getting that from? Mat had no clue that thousands of lives depended on his decision.

 

He followed through on all important instructions given him.

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But either way, blaming Mat, is weird, because he straight out tells her that he won't open it, and she doesn't change her mind - and she should know better.
He doesn't open it, but he should.
Ah. Hindsight. Good argument.
But not mine. Mine is based on foresight: he was told this was important, and he failed to act on it. If you fail to do something that needs to be done, something bad could happen. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Mat didn't do something that needed to be done. What negative consequences might arise couldn't be realiably guessed at, but the fact that there might be some was quite probable.

As far as he knew, what was in the letter was important to VERIN. Not to the world. Not to him. He had important things to do as well.
A cop out. You accept the importance of the letter was passed to Mat. If he fails to follow through on important instructions, he must bear some of the blame for that. Granted, he had important things to do and important to Verin isn't necessarily important to him or the world, but blaming him for his failings is still quite reasonable.

 

I accept that the importance (many people dead if warning is not heeded) was passed to Mat? Where are you getting that from? Mat had no clue that thousands of lives depended on his decision.

 

He followed through on all important instructions given him.

"As far as he knew, what was in the letter was important to VERIN." So you accept that it was passed on to Mat that the letter was important, just that it wasn't made clear to him just who it was important to.
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I wonder if it wasn't just a mis-interpretation.

 

I don't have the text on hand, but doesn't she require that he wait in Camelyn? This would have put the band on scene at the start of the attack, and more readily able to defend the city.

 

But Mat didn't wait in Camelyn. He waited near it, causing a delay in reaction time.

 

Too little, too late, due to Mat not following the agreement to the letter.

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Reposted from the Elayne thread:

 

She cannot return instantaneously. Someone has to realize that Caemlyn is being attacked, that information has to travel to the palace, someone at the palace has to send the message to Elayne by gateway (which requires finding her), once through the gateway that messenger has to find her in the camp, she has to marshall her troops, someone has to create a gateway, she has to move her forces through the gateway, and she has to attack from the spot her forces are gated into. All of those will take time and all represent a potential bottleneck*, and with the Trollocs exiting the Waygate into New Caemlyn, hours matter. Hopefully she has plans in place to ensure the above run as smoothly as possible, but Elayne hasn't shown herself to be one of the stronger characters when it comes to either contingency planning or adjusting her plans on the fly.

 

*E.g., what if the Kin on duty in the gateway room is killed by a Gray Man?

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Reposted from the Elayne thread:

 

She cannot return instantaneously. Someone has to realize that Caemlyn is being attacked, that information has to travel to the palace, someone at the palace has to send the message to Elayne by gateway (which requires finding her), once through the gateway that messenger has to find her in the camp, she has to marshall her troops, someone has to create a gateway, she has to move her forces through the gateway, and she has to attack from the spot her forces are gated into. All of those will take time and all represent a potential bottleneck*, and with the Trollocs exiting the Waygate into New Caemlyn, hours matter. Hopefully she has plans in place to ensure the above run as smoothly as possible, but Elayne hasn't shown herself to be one of the stronger characters when it comes to either contingency planning or adjusting her plans on the fly.

 

*E.g., what if the Kin on duty in the gateway room is killed by a Gray Man?

or one of the other gholam, or the forsaken leading the attack. good point, but, assuming she told the kin where she is going, it should take moments for someone to reach her once someone notices the attack. People are already dead at this point, now is time for damage control. she should take little time at all to attack/send runners/etc. Rand is on the fields with her, so too, I assume, is Bashere. They both worked out the plot for the attack on ilian, seems possible they could accomplish troops being hot dropped into the city within half an hour of warning.

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Reposted from the Elayne thread:

 

She cannot return instantaneously. Someone has to realize that Caemlyn is being attacked, that information has to travel to the palace, someone at the palace has to send the message to Elayne by gateway (which requires finding her), once through the gateway that messenger has to find her in the camp, she has to marshall her troops, someone has to create a gateway, she has to move her forces through the gateway, and she has to attack from the spot her forces are gated into. All of those will take time and all represent a potential bottleneck*, and with the Trollocs exiting the Waygate into New Caemlyn, hours matter. Hopefully she has plans in place to ensure the above run as smoothly as possible, but Elayne hasn't shown herself to be one of the stronger characters when it comes to either contingency planning or adjusting her plans on the fly.

 

*E.g., what if the Kin on duty in the gateway room is killed by a Gray Man?

or one of the other gholam, or the forsaken leading the attack. good point, but, assuming she told the kin where she is going, it should take moments for someone to reach her once someone notices the attack. People are already dead at this point, now is time for damage control. she should take little time at all to attack/send runners/etc. Rand is on the fields with her, so too, I assume, is Bashere. They both worked out the plot for the attack on ilian, seems possible they could accomplish troops being hot dropped into the city within half an hour of warning.

 

Every along the way takes time. Even really mundane things can slow you down. Even assuming they know where to Travel to find Elayne, they're going to Travel to some sort of defined Traveling grounds. Once there, they're in the middle of hundreds of thousands of troops. That's a big dang camp. Then they have to figure out whether Elayne is in her tent, visiting Egwene or taking a sweat bath with the Aiel. And go talk to her. Etc.

 

Assuming the goal of the attack isn't to seize and hold Caemlyn, the Trollocs can do a lot of damage, and a lot of very important things (Dragons, Kin, objects of the power) can disappear. I assume the Shadow has something along that lines in mind (of course, if Elayne herself is the target, not so much).

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On the other hand, it might in fact be easier to orchestrate a counteroffensive from a major army camp than it would be if Elayne were in the Royal Palace with nothing more than a few hundred guards immediately available and had to send Kin to fetch the Queen's Guards from their various garrisons and camps around the country.

 

Whether the Queen's Guards ordinarily have enough men inside the walls of Caemlyn to contain an enormous Trolloc invasion force after it had established a beachhead is uncertain, and afoot it would possibly take them up to an hour (and hundreds more Trollocs loose) to reach the combat zone. Unless, of course, the Guards were pushed through gateways, which creates the same problems you raised for transport from Merrilor.

 

Really, even in the best possible circumstances this would be a complete nightmare to bring a military end to barring major use of the One Power as a weapon, which itself would probably destroy a good chunk of Caemlyn. The only way to avoid that would have been the preemptive destruction of the Waygate, or an elaborate ward like the one Rand placed on Shadar Logoth. Inverted, of course, since I think we can assume there will be Dreadlords accompanying this invasion.

Edited by moratcorlm
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I wonder if it wasn't just a mis-interpretation.

 

I don't have the text on hand, but doesn't she require that he wait in Camelyn? This would have put the band on scene at the start of the attack, and more readily able to defend the city.

 

But Mat didn't wait in Camelyn. He waited near it, causing a delay in reaction time.

 

Too little, too late, due to Mat not following the agreement to the letter.

While Mat might be able to get himself accommodation in Caemlyn, it is rather less likely he would be able to arrange that for the Band. Also, if he was to wait 30 days then he couldn't go to the ToG until after that time, and as he wasn't back with the Band by the attack came it was after the 30 days, therefore they could have been in the city for 30 days after arriving, but within their rights to have left before the attack came.
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Every way I've tried to count it out–even pushing the clearly screwed up timeline for meeting Verin in TGS forward by a month or more, which is where it needs to be to fit with every other plotline–Mat's 30 days expire nearly a week before he actually goes to the Tower of Ghenjei, presumably (by Olver's victory) the same day the invasion begins. I don't know what he was doing with his time, but his oath to Verin wasn't holding him.

Edited by moratcorlm
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I wonder if it wasn't just a mis-interpretation.

 

I don't have the text on hand, but doesn't she require that he wait in Camelyn? This would have put the band on scene at the start of the attack, and more readily able to defend the city.

 

But Mat didn't wait in Camelyn. He waited near it, causing a delay in reaction time.

 

Too little, too late, due to Mat not following the agreement to the letter.

While Mat might be able to get himself accommodation in Caemlyn, it is rather less likely he would be able to arrange that for the Band. Also, if he was to wait 30 days then he couldn't go to the ToG until after that time, and as he wasn't back with the Band by the attack came it was after the 30 days, therefore they could have been in the city for 30 days after arriving, but within their rights to have left before the attack came.

 

Though it could be that Verin only knew the attack was imminent, and not the actual time. So what ended up being 35 days or so, she assumed would have been under 30.

 

Just a thought...

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I wonder if it wasn't just a mis-interpretation.

 

I don't have the text on hand, but doesn't she require that he wait in Camelyn? This would have put the band on scene at the start of the attack, and more readily able to defend the city.

 

But Mat didn't wait in Camelyn. He waited near it, causing a delay in reaction time.

 

Too little, too late, due to Mat not following the agreement to the letter.

While Mat might be able to get himself accommodation in Caemlyn, it is rather less likely he would be able to arrange that for the Band. Also, if he was to wait 30 days then he couldn't go to the ToG until after that time, and as he wasn't back with the Band by the attack came it was after the 30 days, therefore they could have been in the city for 30 days after arriving, but within their rights to have left before the attack came.

 

Though it could be that Verin only knew the attack was imminent, and not the actual time. So what ended up being 35 days or so, she assumed would have been under 30.

 

Just a thought...

I think that very likely - remember, she initially asked for Mat to wait 50 days, but he refused. If she was hoping to keep the Band around as a contingency in case he didn't open the letter, then she got the longest wait she could and it just wasn't long enough.
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I had forgotten about that bit where Verin tries to get Mat to wait 50 days which really means she only knew the very rough schedule for the attack on Caemlyn. I think one of the reason she only knew that an attack was coming but not how soon was based off of Rand's actions because, correct me if I am wrong, he had not found "inner peace" or what have you when Verin gave Mat the letter. I am sure Moridin or the DO wanted to base their moves off of how Rand was doing mentally. So they might have sped it up if Rand went to join the DO but he didn't so maybe they delayed it a little until they knew when would be a good time. I say Moridin but it could be Demandred.

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