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Rumours about Mat


Lacanos
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Hi there,

 

So, I've just been re-reading ToM for about the 1100th time, just reached the part where Mat's off to see Elayne and the rumours got me thinking. One in particular caught the attention:

Page 285

"Well, there's this rumor that says you stepped into death's domain to challenge him and demand answers to your questions," Guybon said, looking more embarrassed. "And that he gave you that spear and foretold to you your own death."

Mat felt a chill. That one was close enough to the truth to be frightening."

 

At this point, Mat is thinking the Band are mostly to blame for the "true" rumours spread about him, such as the one about him defeating Couladin. However, the story behind this (about his visits to the Eelfinn and Aelfinn) are only known to a very select few. It seems unlikely to me that anyone could have simply made this up, as the details of it are so close that if you replaced "death's domain" with the "Finn's domain", it'd be true.

 

Who knows?

Rand may have some inclination. He was present both times Mat left the Finns, rescued Mat from being hung etc - and there is a rumour about him being hung spreading through Caemlyn - so that would be a true rumour too. However, Rand doesn't know what happened in the Finn's domain as far as we're told - and the rumour about hanging can be explained away by anyone who has seen the scars on Mat's neck - which the other three candidates presumably will have at some point.

 

The other three candidates are therefore Noal, Olver and Thom, as they are the only ones who to my knowledge were present at the chat in tGS.

 

Olver

Prima facie, he would seem the obvious candidate. He's known for talking out of turn, and earlier on in the same chapter he's told off by Mat for telling people about the trip into ToG - page 281

"I didn't tell nobody we don't trust, Mat," Olver said. "Don't worry. Most were Redarms."

Were this the case, it would fit with Mat's suspicions that the Band are responsible for the gossip and rumours around him.

However, for me this doesn't fit. We know that Olver places a high premium on his promises (rather like Mat), so while he may have discussed going into ToG with the Redarms, I think it unlikely that he'd tell them Mat had made him promise not to.

 

Noal

Least likely candidate for me. While he probably has the sophistication to change the rumour a little bit from the Finns to Death, he himself complains to Mat about rumours about him.

 

Thom

My favourite of the three. He's definitely got the sophistication to change the stories from being 100% true to enhance Mat's legend, and has the platform and ability to spread them well as a Gleeman, particularly as we know he has been spending a lot of time in taverns. The only problem is - to what end? I just cannot pin down why Thom would want to make Mat so famous, particularly as the Forsaken are hunting him and Thom himself remarks at one point that he's convinced the only reason Mat etc have survived so long is because the Forsaken haven't been able to find them (I believe in tGS when the pictures of Mat are being distributed, can dig this out if challenged).

 

 

And an off-thought. Death's domain - as usual, could this be a Moridin reference? Particularly in the context of Moridin likely being the one who went to Finnland to recover Lanfear - remember Moiraine at the end of ToM remarking on the man being present once when she awoke.

 

 

Any thoughts?

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I wouldn't dismiss Noal so quickly. He has a dark past (see, for example, KoD6) and his memory is damaged (ACoS17). There's been some speculation that he may be under some Compulsion (I'll check that one out in a bit more detail) and if so, he may be trying to point the FS at Mat.

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The other thing that I think you may be missing is Mat's love of drinking and women. How do we know he isn't the source of some of those rumors himself?

 

Couple of examples how this might be the case:

 

-Hanging rumor: Mat gets drunk, hooks up with a likely tavern-girl, who gets to see decidedly more of Mat than most (scarf gets removed during "pillow-play"), and she sees the hanging scar.

 

-Finns story: Mat possibly getting juicier than a fiddle and either bragging to his girl of the night, or to some of his companions.

 

Second one is a bit of a stretch, I think, but considering a) We have examples of where Mat gets so drunk and doesn't exactly remember the night before, and b) We know he gets drunk and hooks up with women "off-screen", I still think it may have some possibilities.

 

I do like the Thom idea, just kinda makes me chuckle. Thom may not want to compose the Ballad of the Dragon Reborn, but composing the Ballad of the Gambler, well, that might be more to his liking. Considering the way Thom and Mat like to tweak each other, I also really like the idea of Thom going behind Mat's back to ensure that he becomes famous and well known for his many acts, a somewhat private joke between them that we get to see play out in the world, lol.

Edited by DaoineSidhe
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I was always under the impression it was Noal, given his skill at telling tales. I mean, he IS Jain Farstrider after all. Who better to spread Mat's legend then someone who is a legend himself? I'm sure he knew Mat would never tell those stories himself, but he probably felt like they deserved to be heard.

 

Thom I don't think would do it simply because he would've started those stories a long time ago if he was going to. Plus, Thom knew Mat from the beginning and thus, is sorta eased into the things Mat has done. Whereas Noal is first introduced to Mat when he is facing down a Shadowspawn that could've literally walked right out of a nightmare, and his story has only gotten bigger since. Every time Noal thinks he has a handle on Mat, something else is revealed that is even more amazing. Knowing Noal I don't think he could shut up about that.

 

I'd discount Olver for the simple reason that he's a boy, and boys tell all kinds of wild stories and nobody believes them.

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I would guess on Olver/the Redarms, just because Olver is a boy. As mentioned above, he doesn't always realize when to keep his mouth shut. And I think the Redarms are so in awe of Mat, they would be willing to believe almost anything about him, even if it came from a boy. And even if they didn't really, really beleive it, making a legend out of their own leader would not seem so far-fetched. They are an army, and what better way to boost your morale and intimidate possible future enemies, then to have a living legend as your commander?

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I would guess on Olver/the Redarms, just because Olver is a boy. As mentioned above, he doesn't always realize when to keep his mouth shut. And I think the Redarms are so in awe of Mat, they would be willing to believe almost anything about him, even if it came from a boy. And even if they didn't really, really beleive it, making a legend out of their own leader would not seem so far-fetched. They are an army, and what better way to boost your morale and intimidate possible future enemies, then to have a living legend as your commander?

 

They certainly believed Noal's tales of far lands, though Mat himself was sceptical: tales about "some place called Shibouya, supposedly beyond the Aiel Waste, where women who could channel had tattoed faces"... I wonder if he met Graendal there..? (TFoH Prologue)

 

I'm still looking for the bit where Noal turns up in a Stedding, but am a bit busy ATM.

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I would guess on Olver/the Redarms, just because Olver is a boy. As mentioned above, he doesn't always realize when to keep his mouth shut. And I think the Redarms are so in awe of Mat, they would be willing to believe almost anything about him, even if it came from a boy. And even if they didn't really, really beleive it, making a legend out of their own leader would not seem so far-fetched. They are an army, and what better way to boost your morale and intimidate possible future enemies, then to have a living legend as your commander?

 

They certainly believed Noal's tales of far lands, though Mat himself was sceptical: tales about "some place called Shibouya, supposedly beyond the Aiel Waste, where women who could channel had tattoed faces"... I wonder if he met Graendal there..? (TFoH Prologue)

 

I'm still looking for the bit where Noal turns up in a Stedding, but am a bit busy ATM.

 

I wish, but i think Noal is gone for good this time=/

 

imo Olver telling the redarms stories about mat and they in turn spread the rumors seems most likely. Thom has no reason to spread rumors about mat- he needs him to get moraine out of TOG and with the pictures of mat everywhere he needs mat to keep a low profile

Edited by Siswai_Dar
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No, that was earlier. I'm trying to dig it out of the books at present.

 

Encyclopedia WoT is very handy for that sort of thing. Here's their summary page on Noal:

 

http://encyclopaedia...oal_charin.html

 

It doesn't mention Ogier or Steddings, but I'm sure I came across it somewhere. I'll keep digging.

 

For now, here's the interesting bit from TFoH Prologue:

 

"Did someone mention sport?"

 

Rahvin had not even noticed the opening of a third gateway, showing a large room full of pools and fluted columns, nearly nude acrobats and attendants wearing less. Oddly, a lean old man in a wrinkled coat sat disconsolately among the performers.

 

One possibility was that this man was King Alsalam, but in ToM32 we see this:

 

"The King of Arad Doman. Where did she {Cadsuane} find him?.. How did you know?"

 

"A friend left me a secret," Rand said. "The White Tower collected Mattin Stepaneos to 'protect' him. Well, it wan't too much of a leap to wonder if they might have done that with other monarchs.. Graendal never had him."

 

So perhaps this old man was Noal!

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I thought there was a BS or Maria quote saying it was Noal. Came out around the same time the palace/SG rock thing did.

 

You aren't wrong..http://www.theorylan...ain.php?i=754#4

 

And it mentions the stedding! I knew I'd seen that somewhere. It's significant because the 'old man' in question was in a lot of distress and (IIRC) had problems with his memory.

 

So it seems that dear old Grae, who is quite good at Compulsion, did get her hands on our Noal. But he did seem to be able to fight it. I think..

Edited by FarShainMael
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Band could have put it all together as a theory. In LoC Mat and his generals were in a tavern when a Cairheinen barmaid (of course) caught his eye. She tugged at his neck scarf and saw the scars and treated them all to theories as to whether or not he was a lord or not, and who and why he had been hung. His friends were there during this discussion so they could have put it together from that. After all, when Rand and the Aiel first took The Stone, I think Matt played cards in The Stone with a couple of them (before going through the twisted doorway terangreal) and never had the scar or spear then.

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Mat pretty much spelled out his past when Tuon completed the ceremony. He told her about the Aelfinn and Eelfinn; about the ter'angreal in Tear; about his destiny. And the Band knew he was married to her and saluted her as she left camp. Word travels.

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No, that was earlier. I'm trying to dig it out of the books at present.

 

Encyclopedia WoT is very handy for that sort of thing. Here's their summary page on Noal:

 

http://encyclopaedia...oal_charin.html

 

It doesn't mention Ogier or Steddings, but I'm sure I came across it somewhere. I'll keep digging.

 

For now, here's the interesting bit from TFoH Prologue:

 

"Did someone mention sport?"

 

Rahvin had not even noticed the opening of a third gateway, showing a large room full of pools and fluted columns, nearly nude acrobats and attendants wearing less. Oddly, a lean old man in a wrinkled coat sat disconsolately among the performers.

 

One possibility was that this man was King Alsalam, but in ToM32 we see this:

 

"The King of Arad Doman. Where did she {Cadsuane} find him?.. How did you know?"

 

"A friend left me a secret," Rand said. "The White Tower collected Mattin Stepaneos to 'protect' him. Well, it wan't too much of a leap to wonder if they might have done that with other monarchs.. Graendal never had him."

 

So perhaps this old man was Noal!

 

 

Yet at the time Grandeal did not have the command from Morridin to kill Mat and Perrin , she was entirely focused on Rand and Arad doman at the time.

The command was given in ToM and Noal was already in Mat company , the compulsion perhaps only concern is memory at the hand of the shadow or information about the world Grandeal craved .

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She may have grabbed him on spec, knowing who he was, knowing he could be useful in the future. Recall that we first saw him at the races (ACoS14) in the company of a woman Mat recognises as someone who attacked him and Rand (Mili Skane, EotW33). Mili reports to Carridin at the Chelsaine Palace, and Carridin orders her to kidnap Mat. Noal is hanging around outside the palace.

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He disappeared mysteriously in early COT; the implication is that he was reporting to someone. Or something.

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She may have grabbed him on spec, knowing who he was, knowing he could be useful in the future. Recall that we first saw him at the races (ACoS14) in the company of a woman Mat recognises as someone who attacked him and Rand (Mili Skane, EotW33). Mili reports to Carridin at the Chelsaine Palace, and Carridin orders her to kidnap Mat. Noal is hanging around outside the palace.

Actually that was my point , Graendal curious grabbed one of the most schooled person about the world , Noal is welll schooled , to instruct her trough compulsion on the way of the world.

Do you remember the meeting between Sammael and Graendal where she told him about the Sh'boan and Sh'botay?

I reread the passage you mention about Noal , and couldn't find the mention of him been in the company of Mili Skane , Mat said he recall him from the race where he had seen him not far from her .

Was he there to spy on the Darkfriend ?

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Yes, Sammael visits her at her Arad Doman palace (the one Rand nukes, later!) and, of course, Noal was telling tales about Shara.

 

I don't think Mili's name was mentioned in that meeting - just that Mat saw her, trremembered her, and the connection is made later.

 

As for who was spying on who, that's anyone's guess, but there are a lot of pointers to Noal being coerced by Graendal and others.

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oh there is no doubt on my mind that the forsaken have coerced Noal one way or another , Ishamael instruction on the Eye of the world , Graendal for information .

But I don't think anything harmful aimed at mat was put into him

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