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What is Olver's purpose?


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As for only me being the only one to say it, lol--with the exception of this thread, I havn't even been the one to raise the issue any of the times its come up.

 

Indeed, I have seen it mentioned a number of times since ToM was released. I always chocked the whole thing up to bad writing personally.

 

The question of Olver's perceived 'creepiness' goes back a lot further than that. To 2007, in fact:

 

http://www.dragonmount.com/forums/topic/13616-olver-little-bit-creepy/

 

For the record, I don't find Olver creepy - but then I'm a mother :ohmy: Also an Aspie, so my perceptions are non-standard.

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If anybody was Mat's weakness, it was Tylin.

At one point that might have been. He still regrets leaving her tied up and all. But imagine the impact of what would happen if the boy he has half raised and cared for so much dies because of him. I think that would destroy him ore than tylin.

i think oliver is in the story to help mat become more responsible towards his duties.

 

I think this is it exactly. I would also suggest he was in the story so someone could play snakes and foxes etc and flesh that whole part out. Both of these things have happened though so maybe his days are numbered... Ha no, he will grow up to be the next Farstrider or Thom, or a great general. Mat's protogy.

I second that agreement! and to you as well Rocky.

 

But mostly i believe that he is there to Teach Mat that it is olver's time to be a kid and mat needs to grow up. And you see mat growing up too. Where Mat scold's olver over things like pinching bottoms and snuggling the lovely ladies. Mat has more to learn from olver yet but i think in the end he will adopt olver

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I think Olver was there to help mat think outside the box and do the unexpected cause the only way to win at snakes and foxes is to cheat and the way to get out of the tower was to bring the things they dont like which is cheating so i think that OLver will help someway with the LB cause in order to win is to break the rules (break the seals).

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I believe Sanderson's said that Olver's role is signfiicant/meaningful, or something along those lines, so I"ve got to believe that he's got more to do than simply influence Mat's maturation.

 

The fact that he's apparently beaten an unbeatable foxes/snakes board game has to have some significance, but what?!

What we know about Olver can basically be boiled down to these few things:

  1. His parents were killed, and now Mat/the band take care of him
  2. He's really ugly and has big ears
  3. He is a total womanizer
  4. He's the only person to ever beat the fox/snake board game--it would seem this coincides with Mat's rescuing of Morraine, but Mat rescues Morraine without any knowledge of Olver's achievement, and so I'm not sure these two events are even related (not to say they aren't individually important, just that they're not directly related).

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The WoT is is a world of magic and wonder, not of science and cause and affect. Of course Olver beating the game is connected to Mat winning the game in real life. We've even seen this kind of reflection before. The game of Snakes and Foxes Olver plays while Mat is living it is a parrallel to the Toman Head battle where Rand and Ishi's battle is reflected in the battle arround them, While it is not impossible to beat Snakes and Foxes without cheating, it is, however implausable and the odds agaisnt it are pretty significant (i'm sure someone could work out the odds on a non-cheet victory, but I'm at work and that sounds like...work...). Mat knows that his luck would influence the roll of the dice and allow a win through the dancing probability factors arround him, which is why he never even touches the dice.

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The WoT is is a world of magic and wonder, not of science and cause and affect.

 

Well, it's actually all of them. Magic and wonder ... and science and cause and effect. It's one of the best features of the world of the Wheel, in my opinion.

 

Of course Olver beating the game is connected to Mat winning the game in real life.

 

I agree.

 

We've even seen this kind of reflection before. The game of Snakes and Foxes Olver plays while Mat is living it is a parrallel to the Toman Head battle where Rand and Ishi's battle is reflected in the battle arround them,

 

Well ... I'm not sure it's the same kind of reflection. With Rand and Ishamael at Falme, the Pattern was doing some pretty funky stuff, to announce the true Dragon Reborn. But in the limited sense that an event in one place affected an event elsewhere, yes.

 

While it is not impossible to beat Snakes and Foxes without cheating, it is, however implausable and the odds agaisnt it are pretty significant (i'm sure someone could work out the odds on a non-cheet victory, but I'm at work and that sounds like...work...). Mat knows that his luck would influence the roll of the dice and allow a win through the dancing probability factors arround him, which is why he never even touches the dice.

 

OK.

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The WoT is is a world of magic and wonder, not of science and cause and affect.

 

Well, actually Jordan always based his magic and wonder in the sciences of cause and effect. He believed strongly that if you were asking someone to accept an out-there premise you had to base it as largely in realism as you could, and he did, utilizing his background in physics. Whilst I admit that the cohesiveness of the metaphysics of the Wheel has grown a bit... slippery... under Brandon (in direct disobedience to his own First Law of writing magic systems, but that's another discussion), Jordan always had a tight hold on his magic systems and the rules which goverened them. In fact I've always regarded him as the Master of the Hard Magic System.

 

Of course Olver beating the game is connected to Mat winning the game in real life. We've even seen this kind of reflection before. The game of Snakes and Foxes Olver plays while Mat is living it is a parrallel to the Toman Head battle where Rand and Ishi's battle is reflected in the battle arround them,

 

That's a really interesting point which I had not seen before, though its somewhat problematic in the fact that a lot of elements went together to create that moment at Toman Head--the push of the weave in a Pattern Level Event, the general haziness in reality created by the sounding of the Horn (I've theorized that the function of the Horn is to blur the lines between the waking world and the Dream World, and then perhaps tap into the function of Need to summon the Heroes, but however it works it does largely suspend the normal metaphysical rules), AND the presense of three ta'veren.

 

I suppose the point could be made that the Dark Ones destabalizing influence may have reached such an effect on the pattern that combined with the increasing strength of the three ta'maral'ailen it may have resulted in similar conditions--there might even be evidence of this in the ta'veren telepathy effect.

 

While it is not impossible to beat Snakes and Foxes without cheating, it is, however implausable and the odds agaisnt it are pretty significant (i'm sure someone could work out the odds on a non-cheet victory, but I'm at work and that sounds like...work...). Mat knows that his luck would influence the roll of the dice and allow a win through the dancing probability factors arround him, which is why he never even touches the dice.

 

I would phrase it that it is impossible under normal conditions to win, and that Olver's victory was the result of some other influence--which is saying more or less the same as you, but I wanted to draw specific attention to the 'some other influence'. It may be, as you suggest, a result of Mat's influence on the Pattern--or it could be indicative of the Dark One, or even that Olver himself is not the happy go lucky kid we thought he was, but something more.

 

It could also just be an off the cuff thing Brandon thought would be cool. *shrug*

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The WoT is is a world of magic and wonder, not of science and cause and affect.

 

Well, actually Jordan always based his magic and wonder in the sciences of cause and effect. He believed strongly that if you were asking someone to accept an out-there premise you had to base it as largely in realism as you could, and he did, utilizing his background in physics. Whilst I admit that the cohesiveness of the metaphysics of the Wheel has grown a bit... slippery... under Brandon (in direct disobedience to his own First Law of writing magic systems, but that's another discussion), Jordan always had a tight hold on his magic systems and the rules which goverened them. In fact I've always regarded him as the Master of the Hard Magic System.

 

 

Of course Olver beating the game is connected to Mat winning the game in real life. We've even seen this kind of reflection before. The game of Snakes and Foxes Olver plays while Mat is living it is a parrallel to the Toman Head battle where Rand and Ishi's battle is reflected in the battle arround them,

 

That's a really interesting point which I had not seen before, though its somewhat problematic in the fact that a lot of elements went together to create that moment at Toman Head--the push of the weave in a Pattern Level Event, the general haziness in reality created by the sounding of the Horn (I've theorized that the function of the Horn is to blur the lines between the waking world and the Dream World, and then perhaps tap into the function of Need to summon the Heroes, but however it works it does largely suspend the normal metaphysical rules), AND the presense of three ta'veren.

 

I suppose the point could be made that the Dark Ones destabalizing influence may have reached such an effect on the pattern that combined with the increasing strength of the three ta'maral'ailen it may have resulted in similar conditions--there might even be evidence of this in the ta'veren telepathy effect.

 

While it is not impossible to beat Snakes and Foxes without cheating, it is, however implausable and the odds agaisnt it are pretty significant (i'm sure someone could work out the odds on a non-cheet victory, but I'm at work and that sounds like...work...). Mat knows that his luck would influence the roll of the dice and allow a win through the dancing probability factors arround him, which is why he never even touches the dice.

 

I would phrase it that it is impossible under normal conditions to win, and that Olver's victory was the result of some other influence--which is saying more or less the same as you, but I wanted to draw specific attention to the 'some other influence'. It may be, as you suggest, a result of Mat's influence on the Pattern--or it could be indicative of the Dark One, or even that Olver himself is not the happy go lucky kid we thought he was, but something more.

 

It could also just be an off the cuff thing Brandon thought would be cool. *shrug*

 

The WoT is is a world of magic and wonder, not of science and cause and affect.

 

Well, actually Jordan always based his magic and wonder in the sciences of cause and effect. He believed strongly that if you were asking someone to accept an out-there premise you had to base it as largely in realism as you could, and he did, utilizing his background in physics. Whilst I admit that the cohesiveness of the metaphysics of the Wheel has grown a bit... slippery... under Brandon (in direct disobedience to his own First Law of writing magic systems, but that's another discussion), Jordan always had a tight hold on his magic systems and the rules which goverened them. In fact I've always regarded him as the Master of the Hard Magic System.

 

Of course Olver beating the game is connected to Mat winning the game in real life. We've even seen this kind of reflection before. The game of Snakes and Foxes Olver plays while Mat is living it is a parrallel to the Toman Head battle where Rand and Ishi's battle is reflected in the battle arround them,

 

That's a really interesting point which I had not seen before, though its somewhat problematic in the fact that a lot of elements went together to create that moment at Toman Head--the push of the weave in a Pattern Level Event, the general haziness in reality created by the sounding of the Horn (I've theorized that the function of the Horn is to blur the lines between the waking world and the Dream World, and then perhaps tap into the function of Need to summon the Heroes, but however it works it does largely suspend the normal metaphysical rules), AND the presense of three ta'veren.

 

I suppose the point could be made that the Dark Ones destabalizing influence may have reached such an effect on the pattern that combined with the increasing strength of the three ta'maral'ailen it may have resulted in similar conditions--there might even be evidence of this in the ta'veren telepathy effect.

 

While it is not impossible to beat Snakes and Foxes without cheating, it is, however implausable and the odds agaisnt it are pretty significant (i'm sure someone could work out the odds on a non-cheet victory, but I'm at work and that sounds like...work...). Mat knows that his luck would influence the roll of the dice and allow a win through the dancing probability factors arround him, which is why he never even touches the dice.

 

I would phrase it that it is impossible under normal conditions to win, and that Olver's victory was the result of some other influence--which is saying more or less the same as you, but I wanted to draw specific attention to the 'some other influence'. It may be, as you suggest, a result of Mat's influence on the Pattern--or it could be indicative of the Dark One, or even that Olver himself is not the happy go lucky kid we thought he was, but something more.

 

It could also just be an off the cuff thing Brandon thought would be cool. *shrug*

 

lol, I think the new master of the "Hard magic system" is Brandon himself; everything he writes sounds like a rulebook for a "Magic: the Gathering"-style card game. But of course RJ's magic system also leaves significant room for the fantastic and sometimes unexplained like for instance the Battle of Toman Head. I love the theory that the Horn creates a bridge from reality to the dream world. It answers so many questions and it feels right.

 

Mat was using his dice to figure out a way out of the Tower at the end, which is the only way he made it. I've writen about it before, (I'm not nessessarily complaining, just observing) that Brandon has timeline issues where events that should be taking place concurrently are in completely diferent parts of the book (and--ahem-- sometimes scenes in continuity sometimes take place at the end of the last book ... but nevermind). That makes it dificult to put some scenes on a timeline, but the (the only way I know how to decribe it) poetry of the series almost nessessitates that Olver was playing that last game at the exact same time that Mat was escaping the Tower. It just fits. The rules of the Finn universe seem flexible enough to allow for this, and who knows what could happen when you throw a ta'veren as powerful as Mat into an Escher-physics universe.

 

Point being no matter how tight the system there has always been room in the WoT for the poetry of fantasy rather than the clear cuts of real life or harder fiction. I think we tend to forget that in these forums sometimes, when we disect into minitae that sometimes magic Just Happens.

 

It's a little hard to say if no one has ever worked out the mechanics of the game, and it may just be my stuborn optimism rampaging here, but I refuse to believe that the game can never be beaten. Maybe not in the time of a human life even playing constantly, but I'm sure some combination of rolls can allow the odds to be overcome, or why else would Mat not touch the dice? Is there a mathematician in the house?

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lol, I think the new master of the "Hard magic system" is Brandon himself; everything he writes sounds like a rulebook for a "Magic: the Gathering"-style card game.

 

Yes and no--no one can deny that Brandon is probably one of the most innovative fantasy world developers out there today. His creative lean, both in terms of his literary techniques, and his world, are very often brilliant. But for all that I don't consider him a master. He lacks the technique to truly follow through on his ideas, a reality which has only grown worse during his work on the Wheel. Work which, in so many ways, rewards the idea of the work rather than the quality work itself--which, obviously, for a man with brilliant ideas but issues with his follow through is both ideal because it appeals to everything that he is good at without challenging the elements that he is not, and thus the worst thing he could have ever have been exposed to if you care about his development as a writer.

 

It's really sad because I think Brandon could have become a master to rival the best of them--the raw talent is there, it just needed to be refined. You can even see through the evolution between Elantris and the Mistborn books that he was going through that refinement period. Then came the Wheel, with the fandoms screamed demands for speedy delivery, and gratification for sheer plot revelation all intent on teaching Brandon all the wrong lessons by rewarding all the wrong things, and as a result, unless he pulls himself back and takes stock, then he's never going to reach his potential--certainly no one else can do it for him.

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the three ta'maral'ailen

Do you think there are three separate webs?

 

Is there a mathematician in the house?

Well, sorta, but since we don't know the rules there's not much anyone can do. Except to say, characters have been very clear that it's unbeatable; Talmanes even thinks Olver made a mistake, or he couldn't have won.

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the three ta'maral'ailen

Do you think there are three separate webs?

 

Yes, each centred around one of the ta'veren. It's how it's described, and we see it in effect several times.

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What is a real world game that can't be won? Say knocking down a Weeble Wobble and it staying down. I think in terms of that. All adults accept it cant be knocked down and made to stay down which is why Uncle Talmanes is so shocked when Olver does beat S&F.

 

I am sure there is some quirk of physics that makes it possible, but in real terms it is so unlikely as to be considered impossible.

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You know, I always liked the rather neat inversion on 'Oliver Twist'.. the situation in Charles Dickens' novel where Oliver is one of a gang of boys used by the arch-baddie Fagin as petty thieves. Here we have just the one boy, being 'employed' by a band of.. well, not thieves exactly, though there are more than a few of those around (LoC22). Chel Vanin for one!

 

@donk.. Weeble Wobble is simple physics, but S&F is strategy. In anything more than the simplest of games, the number of possible ways it can be played is so huge as to defy analysis. The very same problem is faced by software designers, which is why so much software is so flaky!

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They're connected, though, so I always thought it was just one big web with three focus points.

 

See, I see it as three webs, tangled together--hence the attractions and telepathy, and the sensation that occurred when Perrin broke free of Rand in tSR--it was two webs ensnared upon one another being pulled free. But definately three webs--Alar makes clear that a web forms around the ta'veren, rather than the ta'veren coming to be at the focus point of the web--and it works too with how the effect has grown.

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@donk.. Weeble Wobble is simple physics, but S&N is strategy. In anything more than the simplest of games, the number of possible ways it can be played is so huge as to defy analysis. The very same problem is faced by software designers, which is why so much software is so flaky!

 

Absolutely, I understand the difference, it was the mindset of the situation that I was trying to reconcile. Throughout the series Olver repeatedly plays the game to win, all the adults 'know' he can't win but humour him. That was what I was driving at, a real world analogy that we would just insist was impossible (physics being the guiding reason with the Weeble Wobble). We do not have the rules or a framework for Snakes & Foxes so we cannot be specific as to why it is considered unwinnable, I always imagined Talmanes reaction to be akin to that of mine if my two year old told me the Weeble Wobble had stayed down and then showed me the thing on it's side:)

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Just want to point out that if Olver is a Darkfriend there's a whole lot of interesting possibilities to be explored regarding his story of what happened to his parents.

 

Seems almost too good to pass up.

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