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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Chapter 11


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I thought it got better as the excerpt went on. At first I wasn't a huge fan of Mat's voice. It seems that BS struggles more with Mat when he has "filler" thoughts to write.

 

Still, I'm extremely excited for aMoL. It's also curious that by chapter 11 Mat isnt directed towards the last battle. I'm starting to think Mat travels with Tuon on the WT attack. Especially if Galgan isn't around, as the end of the chapter hints at.

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I thought it got better as the excerpt went on. At first I wasn't a huge fan of Mat's voice. It seems that BS struggles more with Mat when he has "filler" thoughts to write.

 

 

I'm a fan of Brandons, but I agree he struggles with Mat a lot. I think Mat is probably the toughest character to write, as he's meant to be there for light relief then instatly switch to saves-the-day mode.

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If this chapter was in say, TOM I'd be cool with it. Chapter 11 in Book 14 and it's just walking and talking, ehhh. Of course I want a non-stop action book, or resolutions in every chapter, so it's my fault for the expectations.

Edited by JustCharlie
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I thought it got better as the excerpt went on. At first I wasn't a huge fan of Mat's voice. It seems that BS struggles more with Mat when he has "filler" thoughts to write.

 

Still, I'm extremely excited for aMoL. It's also curious that by chapter 11 Mat isnt directed towards the last battle. I'm starting to think Mat travels with Tuon on the WT attack. Especially if Galgan isn't around, as the end of the chapter hints at.

 

 

I agree Matt did seem a bit off but in the last few books that Sanderson has done he does seem to be getting better at writing matt. I do belive that even Sanderson has said that matt has given him the most trouble writing out of all the characters. It also seems to be that Matt will be out to kick some tail here shortly by the end of the chapter, as he pops on his hat and everyone in Ebu Dar knows of it and of him.Probally starting with that shoulder thumper with the heron on his blade.

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Congrats, Jennifer Liang! I knew that name sounded familiar... He's holding to that theme from ToM it would seem.

 

It seems odd that

a: someone with a heron marked blade would end up being a 'shoulderthumper' or anyone not in the army in the Seanchan Empire.

b: someone from Seanchan would react so mildly or not at all to Mat using Tuon's name.

 

Still trying too hard with Mat's humor. Lots of hyperbole. I guess that's what we're going to get, like it or not.

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Jame is my husband, jimmy. He's Chinese, Texan and he teaches the sword forms at JordanCon. So he's a Seanchan blademaster. And yes, I really do yell at Jimmy almost constantly and he ignores me utterly.

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I'm far from pleased. Too bad RJ couldn't have left a few more written pieces of Mat. The Mat BS writes is far too exaggerated with no subtlety at all. In particular that bit about Tylin was awful. *shudder* Thank god there won't be any outriggers with Mat having that kind of voice.

 

Also that Jame fellow really doesn't fit into WOT. He's a type of character that shouldn't exist in WOT.

 

EDIT: ahh he's fanservice. So that's why I thought he really didn't fit. No wonder.

Edited by b3arz3rg3r
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I don't find anything wrong with giving a nod to people who've done so much for the series, yet I kind of wish Jame acted more Seanchan than he did if he was going to be a Seanchan. It could have totally worked, but Brandon just didn't put the effort into it to make it that way. It doesn't have a single thing to do with being based on anyone IRL, it's just that if someone is Seanchan, or Aiel, or Tarien, or Saldaean, they should act that way.

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Okay, now that I've finished reading, does anyone remember whether Pips was left behind in Caemlyn when Mat Traveled to the ToG? Because if he was, at least we know the city didn't burn to the ground.

 

As to the feel of that scene, I didn't much care for it. It's partly the humor, but mostly that Mat seems really unbalanced (really, you hear of assassins and just decide to drop every act? Never mind that people who don't know you will probably be ready to cut your throat just for uttering her name? And the wrong name at that!)

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I don't find anything wrong with giving a nod to people who've done so much for the series, yet I kind of wish Jame acted more Seanchan than he did if he was going to be a Seanchan. It could have totally worked, but Brandon just didn't put the effort into it to make it that way. It doesn't have a single thing to do with being based on anyone IRL, it's just that if someone is Seanchan, or Aiel, or Tarien, or Saldaean, they should act that way.

 

I don't have anything against giving a nod to such people either. What I have something against is the type of character he's been written as.

Okay, now that I've finished reading, does anyone remember whether Pips was left behind in Caemlyn when Mat Traveled to the ToG? Because if he was, at least we know the city didn't burn to the ground.

 

Why would he leave Pips in Caemlyn? Wouldn't he leave him with the Band?

Edited by b3arz3rg3r
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Why would he leave Pips in Caemlyn? Wouldn't he leave him with the Band?

Ah, yes, good point.

That begs another question: why doesn't Mat think at all about trollocs in Caemlyn if he had to return to the Band to get Pips before departing to Ebou Dar? My guess is he never returned to the Band outside of Caemlyn but met with whatever portion of the Band was in Merrilor, and then went (by himself apparently...another oddity) straight to Ebou Dar, and for some reason Pips was there for him to take instead of back with Talmanes and that part of the Band.

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I don't want to base my expectations on the book on this one excerpt so I'll wait till the full book is out. A couple things bothered me though:

 

1) I could understand Mat having a feeling of "nostalgia" returning to Ebou Dar, but him saying it had been one of the best times of his life is a crazy stretch.

2) Him reminiscing over Tylin and saying it had been a fun game is just ackward. I mean she was sexually assaulting him and while he did feel bad after her death, it didn't seem to me that he had much fun while she was alive.

3) If so many people know the general is behind the assassination why hasnt anyone arrested him (I'm pretty sure there are a lot of listeners and seekers hanging around Ebou Dar).

4) I dont know if its just me, but Mat talking in third person has gotten really distracting.

 

But other than that I'm really looking forward to the end of the book.(hopefully RJ wrote Mat's meeting with Tuon though, cause his character is just off right now)

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Not bad--I havn't read what anyone else has said yet, because I wanted to offer my thoughts untinged, so if I'm repeating or ignoring you, know that after I write this I'll be going through the thread and learning all your wonderful thoughts. :D

 

My dislikes are that Mat's 'cover story' was the same old overly verbose Sanderson-Mat--Mat the Jester, Mat the Fool, not Mat the Rogue, though after that he more or less tones back to something more Mattish with the dialogue. And Mat's reminiscing when he first entered the city read like Sanderson info-dumping everything he knows about Mat into the story to frame him and get him right, as per....

 

Essentially, when I get ready to write a scene from a character’s viewpoint, I dump everything into my head that I need, and I try to write all of those scenes in the book for that character while maintaining all of that knowledge.

 

... and too, whilst he had the information down, he missed the point a couple of times with his interpretation of how Mat would think about those things, but meh. This ones not a huge deal, and we can hope that if the info-dump occurred here then its Mat's first chapter and we be done with that now.

 

Jame and Kathana--James and Jennifer Liang for those who didn't pick it up--were hella blunt. More Jame, I think--he just didn't read like a Seanchan, and yet the extensive knowledge he had, the fact that he was a Blademaster, the fact that he was held up against Mat, all clue the reader into the fact that he's someone important. From there those of us who know Jimmy and Jenn will be able to clue in to the fact that he's important in the real world, but I can't help but think the so-called casual reader is going to be left scratching their perverbial head going 'who the heck is this dude, and why is someone who [i'm presuming] is never seen again ramped up like this?'

 

So yeah, the age-old--Brandon needed to be smooth with the fans he's put in the books--sliding them in so that they can only be found if you know exactly what you're looking for. Not having them standing there grinning at the camera and waving to mum.

 

As for the plot--the obvious direction seems a little bluntly-aimed to allow Mat to return to Fortuona as the hero, killing Galgan allowing him to assume his fated role as commander of the Seanchan forces. HOWEVER, there are a few little twinges that suggest the plots going to spin a different way--for one, that Galgan's assasins apparently were never intended to succeed. Now normally I would blatantly disregard this from joe-random character, but from Jimmy-in-a-wig we probably have to grant his knowledge and assessment some degree of credence. A random soldier, even a blademaster, should not in any way have such knowledge of the games being played between the High Blood and the Empress, but he apparently does, so there it is....

 

 

Edit: Read everyone's thoughts. I see most of what I picked up on had already been discussed. :) Also it should be noted that Mat didn't experience the colours when he thought about Rand. Odd.\

 

Edit the second: Linda at the 13th Depo confirmed that this is Mat's first POV in the book. Also, I didn't notice the third person Mat, but now I've read about it, I do. *sigh*

 

 

Why would he leave Pips in Caemlyn? Wouldn't he leave him with the Band?

Ah, yes, good point.

That begs another question: why doesn't Mat think at all about trollocs in Caemlyn if he had to return to the Band to get Pips before departing to Ebou Dar? My guess is he never returned to the Band outside of Caemlyn but met with whatever portion of the Band was in Merrilor, and then went (by himself apparently...another oddity) straight to Ebou Dar, and for some reason Pips was there for him to take instead of back with Talmanes and that part of the Band.

 

That's my guess too--though you're right and it doesn't appear that Brandon went through the mechanics of it in any particular detail--and it would make sense in regards to the viewing of a severed red hand around Elayne. We've all lone speculated to that meaning Elayne will use the Band, or be saved by the Band, seperate from Mat (i.e. that being the reason for the red hand being 'severed'). All of which seems to be how the situation in Caemlyn is evolving--the Band taking action without Mat.

Edited by Luckers
added line.
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Edit: Read everyone's thoughts. I see most of what I picked up on had already been discussed. :) Also, on the tor discussion, someone noted that Mat didn't experience the colours when he thought about Rand.

 

That was actually the first thing that jumped out at me. In combination with the specific way that he thinks that "Rand should have just hidden [in the Rahad], instead of going up to fight the Last Battle" it makes me think that while this might be Mat's first PoV chapter, it's not the first chapter in which we've seen him, and the meeting at the Field of Merrilor has already taken place, and they have somehow resolved what caused the swirling colors. If it is a simple oversight that would be ... disappointing.

 

But that makes me wonder - has he already been back to the Band? Does he know that they were fighting in Caemlyn, and if so was he involved? He seems awfully ... chipper ... if he's already seen Rand ... and maybe Caemlyn in ruins ...

 

Is he in Ebou Dar at Rand's request? Somehow I think there's more to it than just visiting his wife.

 

On another note ... What Galgan is doing is probably some subtle level up from making inquiries about an assassination and then strangling the assassins, which Fortuona knows about and even seems to subtly approve in ToM chapter 47. Maybe deliberately hiring incompetent assassins means "I disapprove of your current strategy" or "I want a promotion" or "I didn't like the flavor of tea you served last week" in Seanchan High Blood everyone-else-is-a-pawn-for-the-Empire speak. Fortuona may be only slightly irritated by whatever message Galgan is trying to send - she may be quite upset if Mat tries to take his head.

 

The Seanchan are a subtle people - in slightly more technical language, they use a great deal of indirect/high context communication, and have the cultural cues/habits that go with that. Mat (and unfortunately, Brandon) doesn't seem to hit all that just right. That is one of the reasons that "Jame" doesn't read like a Seanchan character - he is far too direct. It actually strikes me as less odd that he would know (or at least, be fairly certain of) the motivations behind certain actions of the High Blood than that he would just come out and say what he knows directly to a stranger. People in high context cultures are often able to divine the intentions of people in certain social situations from a minimum of cues - but they are very unlikely to share that information in such a blunt way.

 

At any rate - I agree with the apparent general consensus that Mat still seems slightly "off." I've made the decision, though, as a matter of my personal equilibrium, to simply enjoy these books as much as they can be enjoyed, since we're certainly not going to get anything else at this point (with the possible exception of an Encyclopedia). Whether or not Brandon could have done better, or another author could have done better, we'll simply never know for sure - and even if we DID know, literally (and literarily) nothing can be done about it now. So, I will enjoy what can be enjoyed here, and be glad that the story is at least finished in some form. The flaws that are in these last books are not so serious as to make them unreadable, to me, and being upset about Brandon's flaws in execution literally helps nothing.

 

That's not meant as a shot at anyone who is feeling or chooses to express their well-founded dissatisfaction, it is merely a description of my state of mind at this point.

Edited by Neophyte
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