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Mat's Arc (Full Spoilers)

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I love how Tuon thinks she can just claim people without their consent, talk about thinking of yourself as an empress before all else. I love and hate at the same time how she claims Min. Gotta wonder how long that will last. 

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Mat should have out-General-ed Demandred before he died. 

 

His plans ultimately came to nothing when Demandred died, and tactics went out the window. Many sacrifices were left seeming unnecessary. 

 

However, he did save everyone by keeping toe-to-toe with Demandred tactically. Demandred would have slaughtered them if not for Mat. 

 

Still, Mat's plans -specially sending the Seanchan away while everyone else died- were useless when Lan killed Demandred. Mat couldn't have predicted it, and he did the right thing, however, seeing it all go to waste in the end left a bitter taste in my mouth. 

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I loved Mat's character arc in AMoL. I know some people have addressed Mat's running away from the Tarmon Gaidon, but I think the way RJ and BS progress Mat's storyline in the early part of the book, I saw it less as him running away and unconsciously/having the pattern push him towards helping Rand garnering the Seanchan's support tpwards the Last Battle.

 

Also, I freaking loved how Mat evolved from third in command of the Seanchan military, to commander of both the Seanchan and Aes Sedai armies. Finally, to full on Last Battle commander. I had hoped for a storyline such as this for a long, long time. And it didn't disappoint.

 

Mat has been my favorite character ever since book three when he kicked Galad and Gawyn's asses with his Quarterstaff. Especially after he had the holes in his memories filled with thousands of battle memories, this final book gave me what I have always wanted for Mat's battle genius in a full out, large scale.

 

For a post-book theory. I think Mat having theoretically no more wars to fight, unless upon his return with Fortuona to Seanchan. He will create a game similar to modern day chess, to rival that of stones. As much as Mat loves to gamble, he also needs that thrill of a strategic battle, thus the introduction of chess to the Fourth Age.

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The whole time the fighting was going on in the Heights when Mat was there, I kept thinking how they were going to defeat Demandred. I was really hoping that mat would go fight him with the Quarterstaff since he was so skilled and defeated Galad and Gawyn in the training grounds at Tar Valon. It would have been such a spit in the face to Demandred to be beaten by a farm boy with a Quarterstaff. But then I had totally forgotten at that point that he had given the medallion to Galad so he wouldn't have been able to do so. Lan defeating Demandred wasn't what i was expecting, but it was still quite satisfying. ( But darnit i wish i was right in Mat beating him with a Quartersaff)

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I felt a bit sorry for Mat being married to Tuon though.

He asks her whether she loves him and she says 'an empress cannot afford to love' or something like that. He's going through a honeymoon

period at the moment with rose coloured glasses, so he'll put up with her cold nature with the occasional flashes of passion, but after a few years he'll start to get annoyed and give up,

Can you imagine being married to someone who never says they love you when you love them??

He is finding friends in Galgan, but to show him some respect he is going to send low level assasins after him??

He has a few years peace, then he will be off again to wage a protracted war

And on top of this the kids he has, whom he will love and Tuon probably wont (like her mother's realtionship with her), will be encouraged to kill each other!!!

Dont get me wrong Tuon is following a long line of Empress's who acted just like that, but poor old Mat is soon going to become miserable. The cultural

differences are way to big. It would be a good trilogy I think :D

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I love how Demandred thought he was facing Rand/ Lews Therin. I would've enjoyed it more when the Shadows greatest Military genius found out he was being outmanouvred by a farmboy gambler barely out of his teens. I would also have liked to see Mat and Demandred fight hand to hand but can understand why they didn't.

 

I can see Tuon changing a bit when it comes to children, especially if Mat talks about how great it was with his siblings.

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That scene where he and Rand start bragging about their achievements was incredibly anti-climatic and felt like horrible fan faction, not to mention completely out-of-character. WoT characters shouldn't talk like high school jocks from Midwest USA, and I've no doubt this is purely Brandon Sanderson's failing. He really dropped the ball.

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I have this question after looking at the other thread about Demandred:

 

Did the Shadow know Mat's abilities beside his ta'veren-ness (luck, memories of great generals)?

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I think that the Mat arc was mediocre  , if not boring quite routine. No real surprises. It is generally-  him being stubborn then a mediator then infuriating and at last save the day.   And all this with the common boots and quasi insulting oppinon on women ( i mean not that the quasi insulting opinions on women are bad in themself but rather that that particularly card has being overplayed to many times ). As for Fortuona i loved her in this book ( as i usually does ) especially in her dealing with both Eggy , Min and the Deathwatch Guard ( but not with Mat , for as i said it was quite routine- she being enraged with him and he being nonchalant to her will ) . 

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That scene where he and Rand start bragging about their achievements was incredibly anti-climatic and felt like horrible fan faction, not to mention completely out-of-character. WoT characters shouldn't talk like high school jocks from Midwest USA, and I've no doubt this is purely Brandon Sanderson's failing. He really dropped the ball.

On the contrary, it harkens back to their relationship as it was shown pre-TEotW (sans references to the others superior ability with women). The amount of growing up they've done notwithstanding, they're still young and haven't been spending time together.

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One thing I will say is that the writing for Mat, aside from that ridiculous pre-release chapter and a couple bad spots, actually was much better in this book.  Brandon did get his voice to the point where I could read Mat without shaking my head.  At least most of the time....

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Very much wanted to see the scene where Hawkwing visits on Tuon. I actually liked the Rand/Matt bragging interaction. That seemed to me much like how their characters would have interacted in the Two Rivers growing up prior to EotW and the road to Tarmon Gaidon. But I respect readers who don't feel the same way.

 

Q: Why wait until dawn to restore the river and split the DF battle line? Could be used to good tactical advantage earlier. Same with the cannon/gateways. Only residue readers could have located them, and in the meantime they could have been doing massive damage until the ammo ran out.

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That scene where he and Rand start bragging about their achievements was incredibly anti-climatic and felt like horrible fan faction, not to mention completely out-of-character. WoT characters shouldn't talk like high school jocks from Midwest USA, and I've no doubt this is purely Brandon Sanderson's failing. He really dropped the ball.

On the contrary, it harkens back to their relationship as it was shown pre-TEotW (sans references to the others superior ability with women). The amount of growing up they've done notwithstanding, they're still young and haven't been spending time together.

I agree with you. I don't feel it was out of character. It may have felt a little out of place due to the gravity of the situation around them, but it served its purpose in their friendship, and I think they needed the distraction of levity for a moment to remember when they were just young and friends together.

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That scene where he and Rand start bragging about their achievements was incredibly anti-climatic and felt like horrible fan faction, not to mention completely out-of-character. WoT characters shouldn't talk like high school jocks from Midwest USA, and I've no doubt this is purely Brandon Sanderson's failing. He really dropped the ball.

On the contrary, it harkens back to their relationship as it was shown pre-TEotW (sans references to the others superior ability with women). The amount of growing up they've done notwithstanding, they're still young and haven't been spending time together.

I agree with you. I don't feel it was out of character. It may have felt a little out of place due to the gravity of the situation around them, but it served its purpose in their friendship, and I think they needed the distraction of levity for a moment to remember when they were just young and friends together.

It felt natural to me.  The back-and-forth was reminiscent of a few scenes from tEotW, where we see the three boys acting like any three boys would.  Here, Rand is approaching what he believes to be the end of his life, and gives himself one final moment to tweak one of his best friends.  It absolutely works in the context of the series and in the context of the two characters.

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Very much wanted to see the scene where Hawkwing visits on Tuon. I actually liked the Rand/Matt bragging interaction. That seemed to me much like how their characters would have interacted in the Two Rivers growing up prior to EotW and the road to Tarmon Gaidon. But I respect readers who don't feel the same way.

 

Q: Why wait until dawn to restore the river and split the DF battle line? Could be used to good tactical advantage earlier. Same with the cannon/gateways. Only residue readers could have located them, and in the meantime they could have been doing massive damage until the ammo ran out.

 

He had to wait until dawn so the Zombies would be back to normal people.  If Grady would have broken the dam before, the Dreadlords would have just stopped the river again.

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Q: Why wait until dawn to restore the river and split the DF battle line? Could be used to good tactical advantage earlier. Same with the cannon/gateways. Only residue readers could have located them, and in the meantime they could have been doing massive damage until the ammo ran out.

 

Mat probably didn't know about horizontal gateways until recently, and didn't realize the risk to the cannons because he did not fully understand the One Power threat (previously he'd mostly seen what some da'mane or Moiraine could do).  When he first envisioned the cannons he thought about them firing from 2+ miles away out of range of channelers, but not out of range of berzerker-robot Demandred in a 72-link + sa'angreal.  Also, he didn't have to wait till dawn per se, but he needed to wait for roughly half the Trollocs to cross the river so he could split the army. He's outnumbered overall so he needs to outnumber the enemy in local concentrations wherever he can to reduce their advantage.

 

That part was mostly clear.  What I understood less was why he sent the Seanchan away so they could make a surprise return.  I mean, it's not like he sent them away to flank the enemy, but just to kill time and come back later?  That seemed kind of odd, because in the meanwhile his troops were getting decimated.  

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Did the dice ever stop?

 

I remember specific mention that they started spinning at one point. And in past books we always see when they stop. But I don't recall that heppening happening this time. Was this an oversight? Or did I overlook it in my haste to finish a late night read?

 

Unrelated to that, my one genuine LOL moment was Mat's jab at Galad regarding their quarterstaff vs sword battle.

Edited by paltas

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Q: Why wait until dawn to restore the river and split the DF battle line? Could be used to good tactical advantage earlier. Same with the cannon/gateways. Only residue readers could have located them, and in the meantime they could have been doing massive damage until the ammo ran out.

 

Mat probably didn't know about horizontal gateways until recently, and didn't realize the risk to the cannons because he did not fully understand the One Power threat (previously he'd mostly seen what some da'mane or Moiraine could do).  When he first envisioned the cannons he thought about them firing from 2+ miles away out of range of channelers, but not out of range of berzerker-robot Demandred in a 72-link + sa'angreal.  Also, he didn't have to wait till dawn per se, but he needed to wait for roughly half the Trollocs to cross the river so he could split the army. He's outnumbered overall so he needs to outnumber the enemy in local concentrations wherever he can to reduce their advantage.

 

That part was mostly clear.  What I understood less was why he sent the Seanchan away so they could make a surprise return.  I mean, it's not like he sent them away to flank the enemy, but just to kill time and come back later?  That seemed kind of odd, because in the meanwhile his troops were getting decimated.  

 

Also, why in the Light did Androl only use the lava-spewing gateway that once?  He should have gotten himself in control of a large circle and dumped lava on the whole lot of them.

Edited by Sentinel78

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That scene where he and Rand start bragging about their achievements was incredibly anti-climatic and felt like horrible fan faction, not to mention completely out-of-character. WoT characters shouldn't talk like high school jocks from Midwest USA, and I've no doubt this is purely Brandon Sanderson's failing. He really dropped the ball.

 

You have to keep in mind that Harriet approved everything in this book.  She knows the characters and series and what RJ would have done more than anyone.  If she approved it, it's good enough for me.  I do agree with others that it's reminiscent of banter in the first book.

Edited by Crowl Rife

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I have to completely disagree with you, sorry.  None of us know the characters like RJ did or Harriet does, regardless of how many times we've read the series.

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