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Complaint from Chapter 11 excerpt: Paranoid Mat?

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I've thought about this and re-read the excerpt several times over. I can't escape the sense that Mat's avoidance of everyone and everything is contrived. I'll explain:

 

1) His fear that he might be implicated in Tylin's murder is plausible - a mild stretch - but plausible. Rumormongering would show that he is not, but this doesn't stretch believability too far. However;

 

2) Avoiding Petra at the Gate? The last thing Mat did was plant a purse of gold in his large friend's hand. Did he believe that Petra would be a forgetful sudden enemy?

 

3) Avoiding the Deathwatch Guards and especially Furyk Karede: This one really puts me off. How does Mat figure Furyk is an adversary after the way they parted? Seems to me they worked together really well to save Tuon's life. In fact, if I were writing the chapter myself, I'd have had Mat send coded word to Karede as a way of getting to Tuon.

 

4) And then he does send a coded message through Jame and Kathana to Tuon, Selucia, Karede, Musenge, and Hartha. His assumed name, Mandevwin, is one that he figures will get back to the Deathwatch Guard. Only those five people will (may!) remember Mat's captain and realize that Mat is in Ebou Dar.

 

The only thing I can figure is that this way of writing events allows him to deal with Galgan before the plot with Tuon advances? That I get, especially when you consider that he will lead the Seanchan armies once Galgan is dead.

 

The theory that Galgan is Demandred adds a dimension to this confrontation. I'm not sure I believe that Demandred is Galgan but what fun if he is, eh?

 

Still and always, the excerpt felt heavy-handed for me because of those issues.

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According the Encyclopedia-wot, there have been no Galgan POVs, which would help clarify whether or not he is Dark. For now, it's possible to speculate.

 

I agree with the Demandred = Roedran theory more, but you can't ignore this one entirely.

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This is just something I personally have to RAFO considering im in the boat that it was horribly written that I know some people don't like, but that's my perspective on it. I just felt like the necessary secrecy Mat gave up so quickly and how some characters acted, along with references to Tylin and the Rahad were stereotypes to fill in spaces and give reference to an audience that already knows better than to need it. Hopefully context will fill it out better.

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I think our ability to assess Mat's level of paranoia and the seeming incoherence of his actions is partly linked to our lack of knowledge as to exactly why he's in Ebou Dar. Was he sent by Rand? Did he decide it was about time he consummated his marriage? Or is there some other reason? We don't know - I'm assuming we'll be told somewhere in the first 10 chapters - so until we do, it really is a RAFO as TTH says.

 

That said, avoiding Petra doesn't strike me as odd - I doubt he expects Petra to be an enemy, he just doesn't want to be recognized at the gate (for whatever reason).

 

And for the record, I'm pretty sure Galgan is not Demandred - we had already seen him when RJ made the statement that we hadn't seen Demandred's alter ego yet, if he had one. Whether he's a regular Darkfriend or not - it remains to be seen, but I'm of the opinion that he's not.

 

But points 3 and 4 definitely do strike me as odd, in the absence of other context.

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Well Tuon did threaten to make him a Da'whatever. Mat has thought about it numerous times since then.

We also know Mat is more than hesitant to put himself in a position that he has no control which he will have none in Ebou Dar. Tuon invited him to come and he thought to himself no way would he put himself in a place where she had the upper hand.

Even still in ToM he thought to himself that he would need to go find Tuon after he dealt with Morainne.

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That said, avoiding Petra doesn't strike me as odd - I doubt he expects Petra to be an enemy, he just doesn't want to be recognized at the gate (for whatever reason).

 

And for the record, I'm pretty sure Galgan is not Demandred - we had already seen him when RJ made the statement that we hadn't seen Demandred's alter ego yet, if he had one. Whether he's a regular Darkfriend or not - it remains to be seen, but I'm of the opinion that he's not.

 

 

 

Agreed on both points, he would probably be worried that Petra would react too with too much familiarity when he is trying to be incognito.

 

And as far as Demandred, I would think he would have an interest in the Seanchan being unhindered so they can be left to continue messing with the Aiel and the WT.

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It reminded me of the time he snuck into the royal palace to talk to Birgitte. Maybe he didn't NEED to do it, but what's life without a little adventure?

 

Besides all that, not sure he is ready for his new life with Tuon. You know how he feels about being trapped/controlled. Walking into/being brought by guards into a situation where she has all the power is probably the last thing he wants, as flinn mentioned above. In this vein, it's not that he thinks of Furyk as an adversary but more as a person who will treat him as the Prince of Ravens and almost definitely bring him directly to Tuon.

 

As for sending a message, he likes to do things with a bit of swagger.

Edited by ozimandias

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Brandon has said that Demandred was not in ToM. Galgan was.

 

As for the chapter, I can't say, it is one chapter taken out of context, I would need more information on the whole thing before judging

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OK, so I agree that it would be a really cool "holy cow" moment if we find out in aMoL that Demandred has been under-cover as a character we've been well acquainted with throughout the series...But is there any reason to believe that he's not just plain old Demandred? In other words, is there any real evidence that Demandred is for sure under cover as another character?

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OK, so I agree that it would be a really cool "holy cow" moment if we find out in aMoL that Demandred has been under-cover as a character we've been well acquainted with throughout the series...But is there any reason to believe that he's not just plain old Demandred? In other words, is there any real evidence that Demandred is for sure under cover as another character?

 

That was the most common belief once upon a time--what with him liking to work through proxies. There is a quote from Brandon that does seem to suggest he does have an alias of some form, but having met Brandon and seen him give answers, I am actually not one hundred percent sure he meant to give that inference so much as answer the question about a potential Demandred alias being seen on stage. *shrug*

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You would have met many of his proxys and they would have met him, many probably have no idea who he is though. But I don't think weve seen a hint of Demandred except in his real form in his POV or other forsaken.

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I didn't have a problem with Mat trying to avoid everybody that might know him as it was pretty clear he wanted to avoid notice upon entering the city. Everyone knows he isn't excited about being a Seanchan noble so not diving right in fits for me. Also, finding out the feel in the city and how the people feel about his wife is something I can see Mat doing. I just don't like how Brandon goes over the top with Mat making up background stories that are ludicrous, Brandon gives Mat way too high an opinion of himself for someone who spent so much time worrying about people realizing he's just a farmer with random memories stuffed into his head. Besides, who knows when he'll be able to have a drink in a tavern and go dicing again.

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Please forgive the re-focus - I didn't mean for this string to become a Demandred debate. I'm more interested in everyone's reaction to the way Mat is written in the excerpt. To the point: is he truly in character?

 

@Flinn: Don't forget that Tuon said to Mat, "You have an honored place in the Empire." Mat didn't refuse to return with her because he doubted her. He refused because he doubted that the Aes Sedai, Seta, Bethamin, Egeanin, Domon, etc, etc, etc would have a similarly honored place.

 

@ozimandias: You've got a point. He's been written as wanting to find the "back door" hasn't he? If you take that view, maybe I've read the passage wrong...

 

@TootthatHorn: You most definitely have a point. Context is everything. You've motivated me to try (honestly!) to imagine the interplay in Merrilor before Mat leaves for Ebou Dar. If I was writing it, I might come up with something like this:

 

Nynaeve and Rand are there with Mat, and Mat has already informed everyone gathered that he and Tuon are married. He tells them further that he intends to go back to Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, ever protective of Mat and the others, begs him not to go. "Mat, I can see that you have feelings for her, but she is the Seanchan Empress!"

 

Still he expresses, he's got to go.

 

"And," she continues, "you should have heard what she said about you! She isn't your friend Mat!"

 

He shrugs.

 

"Mat, please reconsider. Please."

 

Another shrug.

 

And then finally Rand chimes in, "Nynaeve, I think this is supposed to happen. Things aren't what they seem on the surface. Mat, you're determined to go?"

 

A quick nod.

 

"Alone?"

 

Another quick nod.

 

"All right then. May the Light be with you," as Rand gripped Mat's hand. Nynaeve just gave him a wordless hug.

 

Mat gave them a wink and sauntered out of the tent.

Edited by aross

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" That I get, especially when you consider that he will lead the Seanchan armies once Galgan is dead. "

 

Hmmm, interesting ... hadn't considered that Mat would lead the Seanchan armies ... sounds very cool and not too much of a stretch ... hope this comes to pass.

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I think it's quite likely Mat will lead the Seanchan armies, perhaps inevitable. He has been set up as a great military mind ever since book 5 and a fast way to achieve a peace with the Seanchan is to have an important ally of Rand's become a highly ranked leader in the Seanchan hierarchy. The whole "Galgan hiring inept assassins" thing is probably an excuse to see the demise of his character, as a plot point, since those unquestionably loyal to Tuon (such as Mat) will not see Galgan's attempts as an astute political manuever, but a clear danger to the woman they care about (and that Mat loves). Ironically, it's Tuon who views Galgan's actions with the strange Seanchan aplomb; she thinks he's clever, not dangerous (yet). Furthermore, I cannot see how Galgan would be pleased with a competing, not to mention probably better, general arriving in town to challenge his command, even if it is the Prince of Ravens. So introduce a side plot to kill off his character and install Mat as paramount Seanchan military commander all in one go.

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There are 10 full chapters plus some of 11 (before the excerpt) that could explain why Mat is paranoid. My knee-jerk reaction is that Fortuna wants Mat back, and she has issued a "be on lookout" type of command that Mat catches wind of along the way. Plus, at this point do we know the wide spread knowledge of Fortuna being married. Perhaps Mat is in great danger now that he is married to the Empress, may she live forever.

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The obvious answer is that it is BS doing a poor job rushing through finishing the book to get it off his desk. A lot of people don't like to be overly negative about BS and his work, but I have a hard time accepting some of the blatant lack of effort he has put into certain parts of the story. Some parts and characters he does well on, some he falls short on because his writing talents are not comparable to RJ's, and other parts are just blatantly "off" in a way that makes me want to throw the book down. I can accept that he can't write Mat as well as RJ, or that some of the grand scenes we've been waiting for don't turn out the way we wanted...what I can't accept is when the tone of the writing (Chapter 11 is a perfect example) is so far off that the entire thing looks like it's written in another series and has no place whatsoever in WoT. What I can't accept is when SMALL DETAILS are consistently wrong in a way that suggests a flat out lack of preparation and effort. The same details everyone is noticing and pointing out throughout all of chapter 11. These details are important and they matter because when added up they contribute to immersing the reader into the story. Brandon doesn't seem to get this and just flies through details in a manner that suggests he is making them up as he goes along without any planning. The result is that he gets the tone wrong, the story wrong, and a lot of die hard fans of the series finish reading with a frown on their face.

 

It's just a shame IMO. Brandon may not be the author that RJ was, but he is a lot better than what he's giving us in some of these WoT scenes. He is supposed to take over the role of WoT Master in becoming the author...instead he doesn't seem aware of details even half as much as most of the forum contributors here. That's sad.

Edited by Mark D

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Have you ever done anything aside from complaining about BS? ^^

 

As for Mats paranoia, it's just Mat being Mat. He has acted pretty similar throughout all the books, trying to avoid attention, especially regarding his connections with Rand and him being a Ta'vereen. He simply doesn't like to be the center of attention, because as he says, those people tend to end up getting killed.

Edited by Manscher

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A lot of people have made accounts for no other purpose than to bitch about BS. Never cared to post until they decided they "can't accept" the way he's doing things. Yet they're reading the books still. So I guess, when it comes down to it, they can and will accept it.

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Have you ever done anything aside from complaining about BS? ^^

 

As for Mats paranoia, it's just Mat being Mat. He has acted pretty similar throughout all the books, trying to avoid attention, especially regarding his connections with Rand and him being a Ta'vereen. He simply doesn't like to be the center of attention, because as he says, those people tend to end up getting killed.

 

Believe it or not, I actually have. I just find it amusing that so much discussion takes place about why minute details occured in Chapter 11 that were pretty clearly flubs by BS with little to no plot synergy/explanation behind them.

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The obvious answer is that it is BS doing a poor job rushing through finishing the book to get it off his desk. A lot of people don't like to be overly negative about BS and his work, but I have a hard time accepting some of the blatant lack of effort he has put into certain parts of the story. Some parts and characters he does well on, some he falls short on because his writing talents are not comparable to RJ's, and other parts are just blatantly "off" in a way that makes me want to throw the book down. I can accept that he can't write Mat as well as RJ, or that some of the grand scenes we've been waiting for don't turn out the way we wanted...what I can't accept is when the tone of the writing (Chapter 11 is a perfect example) is so far off that the entire thing looks like it's written in another series and has no place whatsoever in WoT. What I can't accept is when SMALL DETAILS are consistently wrong in a way that suggests a flat out lack of preparation and effort. The same details everyone is noticing and pointing out throughout all of chapter 11. These details are important and they matter because when added up they contribute to immersing the reader into the story. Brandon doesn't seem to get this and just flies through details in a manner that suggests he is making them up as he goes along without any planning. The result is that he gets the tone wrong, the story wrong, and a lot of die hard fans of the series finish reading with a frown on their face.

 

It's just a shame IMO. Brandon may not be the author that RJ was, but he is a lot better than what he's giving us in some of these WoT scenes. He is supposed to take over the role of WoT Master in becoming the author...instead he doesn't seem aware of details even half as much as most of the forum contributors here. That's sad.

well he obviously won't be as good as RJ, RJ probably was constantly thinking and working things out about WoT. That being said, do you think it would be easy to write for a character you do not connect with, or like? BS has had the same experiences as us, and he may hate or love characters, which makes them harder or easier to write. As for the details, thats the hardest of all, especially if you don't live and breath WoT (and considering he has his own series that take up some of his mind space, he has done very well)

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Mat's paranoia was thrown out the door when he donned his hat and walked out of the inn, where the innkeeper and her Seanchan husband recognized him. He stopped caring whether he is recognized or not. He seems to be on his way to the Tarasin Palace and knows he'll be there before the first report about him reaches the seekers.

 

As mentioned earlier there will be 10 chapters, and the prologue, preceding Mat's Ebou Dar entrance. We know that this is his first PoV; and the Black Tower has to be brought up to date; and Moiraine and Thom have to go to Merrilor; and the Merrilor conference is a few hours away from starting. Maybe one of those will have an explanation of why Mat is in Ebou Dar. But if this is his first PoV, how would his Ebou Dar trip be explained without a Mat PoV?

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As mentioned earlier there will be 10 chapters, and the prologue, preceding Mat's Ebou Dar entrance. We know that this is his first PoV; and the Black Tower has to be brought up to date; and Moiraine and Thom have to go to Merrilor; and the Merrilor conference is a few hours away from starting. Maybe one of those will have an explanation of why Mat is in Ebou Dar. But if this is his first PoV, how would his Ebou Dar trip be explained without a Mat PoV?

 

Mat will be in scenes in chapters 1-10. Not his POV, but certainly on scene. Most believe (as I do) that one of those scenes will reveal his recent marriage to all gathered and that reveal will lead to a discussion of Mat approaching Tuon on Rand's behalf.

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Lets see...somewhere in the blossoming posts someone mentioned Brandon writting "Mat as a third person" and he never has refered to himself that way. Well in Winters Hearts,Chptr.30 leaving Ebou Dar we see...

"Now and then he grimaced at the darkening clouds in the sky and shook his head. No, Mat Cauthon did not like being out in this weather. Mat cauthon would be somewhere warm and dry until the skies cleared,yes, he would" So he has refered to himself as a third.

As to Mat back in Ebou Dar, he feels a responsibility to her( Tuon ) after getting to know her, not the typical woman Mat Cauthon normally would have chosen for himself, and learning thru Kadre,her Deathwatch Guard, that someone was/ is trying to kill her. It is his wife after all.

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