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Mat's Arc (Full Spoilers)

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There is no direct evidence that Mat is not Santa Claus reborn either, but based on my years and years of rereading tWoT, I know that it would be a pretty silly theory. I would never even choose to consider it even if my life depended on it.

 

As for ''no other choices''... I live in a world of infinite choices. I never consider ANYTHING to be impossible.

 

 

Fish

 

Actually, Mat is kinda like Santa Claus reborn because part of the Santa Claus myth is based on Odin and so is Mat. ;)

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There is a good amount of evidence for the theory Fish. We also have this:

 

 

Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)
 

At the 35% mark we have Mat speaking the Old Tongue for the first time, books ahead of him getting memories stuck in his head.


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

I've always found this a very curious event. Of the five Two Riversers, Mat's powers are the most subtly foreshadowed in the book.


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

Unless you count the short exchange between Lan and Perrin about wolves in a much earlier chapter.


KRIT PETTY

 

I thought that Mat's Old Tongue was a small way of RJ letting you think maybe Mat was the important one, not Rand.


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

Yes, I think you're right on that count. It was certainly meant to make us think.


LEE DAVIS

 

The speaking the Old Tongue is from his bloodline though, not his memories in that case, isn't it?


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

Yes, but it's still foreshadowing. He's the one who does it, not the others.


SLEEPINGHOUR

 

In The Eye of the World, is Mat remembering the Old Tongue from his own past life or from his ancestors?


TEREZ

 

Good question. He seems to have confirmed Old Blood for the Old Tongue, but the Aemon memory?


FELIX PAX

 

That's what my belief is, Aemon. Mat Cauthon is the reborn soul of Aemon. Aemon's Old Tongue.


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

It isn't made clear. It could be either. The implication is his bloodline.


BRANDON SANDERSON

 

The Aemon connection is certainly implied strongly.
Edited by Suttree

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Oops. I just realized something REALLY STUPID.

 

For some reason I was READING ''Mat/Aemon'' in this thread but my brain was SEEING ''Gaidal/Mat'' - don't ask me why; it's been one of those days.

 

I agree that there is much behind Mat/Aemon.

 

My apoplogies.

 

Now I know what a TOTAL ARSE feels like :(

 

 

Fish

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Edit: Realized Berid Bel will give me probably a deserving ban on making fun of Fisher King's deficiencies, so edited out.

Edited by JustCharlie

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I LOVE Mat! He's the ultimate risk taker.

 

Random thought: I also see Rand, Perrin and Mat as part of a single unit. They all had a part to play individually, but in reality they were so utterly connected that the lines could be sometimes blurred. I could see this when D was calling for LT during the battle and thinking that Mat was being controlled by him. It was often said/remembered by D that LT had always tried to do everything by himself. Thoughts? It's such a tenuous idea, I'm not sure I've thought it all the way through. As Mat would think; there are holes in my memory :)

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Hey Charlie, Dragonmount gives us plenty of ways to contact each other when we feel we have something amusing to say. If you're so worried about being warned, (and have the stones to do so, which I HIGHLY doubt) why don't you go ahead and PM me with your ''clever'' remark about my ''deficiencies'' and I promise you that we can take it from there privately.

 

Yes, I freely admit that sometimes after working a 12 hour shift to support a family my mind can get a bit wacky.

 

Oh, and speaking of editing your post...his name is ''Barad'', NOT ''Berid'' - you might want to correct that, Mr Funny Man.

 

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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Yes, I freely admit that sometimes after working a 12 hour shift to support a family my mind can get a bit wacky.

 

Oh, and speaking of editing your post...his name is ''Barad'', NOT ''Berid'' - you might want to correct that, Mr Funny Man.

Fish mate, "Barad Bel Medar"? It's Barid and you my friend may need to shut it down for the evening. :wink:

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I LOVE Mat! He's the ultimate risk taker.

 

Random thought: I also see Rand, Perrin and Mat as part of a single unit. They all had a part to play individually, but in reality they were so utterly connected that the lines could be sometimes blurred. I could see this when D was calling for LT during the battle and thinking that Mat was being controlled by him. It was often said/remembered by D that LT had always tried to do everything by himself. Thoughts? It's such a tenuous idea, I'm not sure I've thought it all the way through. As Mat would think; there are holes in my memory :)

 

3 girls instead of one ( Avi , Min , Elayne vs Ilyena ) and 3 mans instead of 1 ( Rand , Perrin , Mat vs LTT ) ... don't know what to do about this but i agree with you :)

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Hello everyone.  I'm a long time fan of WoT fan, (first started reading them in early 1997) but until this last book I've never felt the need to join in the discussions on the forums.

 

Of all of the interesting characters that RJ has created, Matrim Cauthon tops the list for me. 

 

I can see where many people would think that Mat's relationship with Fortuona might seem jarring,out of place, and even forced in spots, but I think that had the original plan not been disrupted by RJ's untimely demise, (that being that RJ had already planned the Outrigger series as a tool to develop Mat/Fortuona and continue their saga) most everyone would have made allowances for their lack of development as a couple.  Honestly, I think each of them are marvelously developed as individuals and it would have indeed been quite an enjoyable series, but I digress. 

It just wasn't in the cards (pun intended) for Mat/Fortuona's storyline to fully flesh out within the parameters of the WoT series.

 

As Mat tops the list as one of my favorite fictional characters ever written, I feel as if I really do "get" him.  Oh I know that many others of you do as well, but I would love to take this opportunity to add my .02 if you please.

 

My personal observations on why Mat/Fortuona make sense:  Fortuona's traits highlighted in blue to show why I think they are a good balance for each other.

  • Although Mat is often seen on the surface as being immature and irresponsible, he never wavers on "doing the right thing" no matter the personal cost.   He will rescue a stranger in a barn.  He will break into an impenetrable fortress.  He will jump into the waterwood to rescue someone in spite of ridicule, he will go towards almost certain death to rescue a woman he doesn't particularly like because he knows he's the only one that has a chance to pull it off.  He will sacrifice half the light of the world to save the world.  I could go on and on.  Fortuona also seems to have some of those same characteristics within the limited scope of what we see of her actions.  She gave Tylin and Beslan the best chances possible to rule their nations.  She's outaged at the thought of someone  trying to be inappropriate with damane in the kennels.  She bravely accepts her abduction by Mat in the middle of the night when she easily could have done otherwise.  She unselfishly gives away of her favorite doll to the man who saved her-- then continues to show loyalty to the same man by giving him an "out" when he failed to protect her.  She thinks that she would deserve death if she didn't prove strong enough or capable enough to hold the Crystal Throne.  She delays to officially accept her role as empress (when her people desperately needed a leader to step up) to try to salvage the situation with DarkRand in TGS (hey, she had no idea those were false prophecies-- she thought she was doing what was needed to be done for the light to win)
  • Mat's reaction upon hearing that he would marry the DotNM.  Fortuona's reaction upon hearing the damane foretell who she would wed.
  • They both keep their word.  Mat always keeps A Promise.  Fortuona also keeps her promises.
  • Mat is a great fighter even if he doesn't look the part.  Fortuona can definitely hold her own and is actually expected to.
  • Mat hates being touched with the power.  In fact, he hates it so much the finns gave him the medalion.  Many times Mat will suffer being stitched up and having scars to avoid being touched by the OP.  Fortuona suffers severe burns and injuries with pretty much the same outlook.
  • Mat accepts being married to a woman he would have never in a million year chosen for himself had he not been Taveren and his thoughts start to adapt to this change.  For example, he starts telling himself that other women have too much hair, or that they are too buxon, etc.  Fortuona has to endure the silent ridicule and disapproval of most of her people (we know this from the limited POV's we get from some of the Seanchan) in order to be married to a man she would have never chosen in a million years to marry had he not been Taveren.  In fact, the whole fact that she renames him shows the amount of respect she has for her marriage to him and it allows him to get away with his antics without her having to call him out (or execute him) over it.  One of the most hilarious pieces of dialogue was when she had to try to answer Egwene's "you actually married him?" comments.
  • Mat has a very gallows sense of humor.  Fortuona does as well (the "I can kill you now" comment)
  • Can anybody seriously see Mat married to an original inhabitant of Randland?  All of the women there are just too.... mundane for him.  He needed someone who is as radical and as out there as he is. 
  • And last but not least....... Fortuona looking over her shoulder for the assassin.  That moment right there cemented Mat/Fortuona for me.

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I actually thought Mat and Tuon had the most believable relationship and interesting romantic relationship in the series (hurrah Knife of Dreams!). Admittedly romance is not a strength of the series, but still.  Arguably Rand and Adviendha, were at least as good, I suppose, but the other women really detract from that relationship as well.  Plus, Mat is (1) a bit of a sub (2) who likes beating the odds and (3) loves the chase and games, and Tuon is domineering unavailable impossible quarry with hints of great depth, so it works ;).  Then, I like Tuon's character in particular a great deal.  Of course, I am also quite capable of really liking George Washington even though he participated in chattel slavery--certainly we can find him interesting at least.

 

I thought the discussion in this thread on Matt's tolerance of damane was pretty interesting too!  One thing to keep in mind is that, although Matt does not exactly condone the practice, he understands it.  He comes from a culture that really does not like channeling, and his fear and distrust (phobia level really) of the one power is a consistent character beat from him from the very beginning.  Plus, he is a little dark in general, and is probably the master of avoiding thinking about things that make him uncomfortable.  People underestimate (forget) how much the residents of Randland proper fear and distrust channelers (hey, remember that time they *broke* the entire world?  and also that time they constantly have disproportionate political power in every culture where they are permitted, in addition to the ability to reduce you to atoms with their minds? PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THEM, and Mat likes them less than most). Hopefully, this attitude will change now that the Dragon's peace is in effect, people have rifles and bombs, and power users are busy growing tasty food and setting up hospitals etc.  Plus one of them was Jesus, so there is that.  Maybe Mat will come around too.

 

Back on subject, I thought Mat fitting in with the Seanchan (in his...way) was quite consistent too.  He is a person living in bad faith--nobody else in the series lies to themselves like Mat does, though Nyneave does this too.  It is part of what makes him really fun to read.

 

"Oh, I hate nobles!  Rand is putting on airs!"  *Now let me wear as much lace as possible and consistently seek out positions of power and luxury*

"I hate fighting and battles!"  *Time to run into battle with the Aiel and constantly face danger at every turn while laughing*

"Those girls will have to fend for themselves, I'm not a hero" *runs to the rescue always*

"I'm no bloody leader" *leads everyone always*

"I hate Tylin" *has sex with, is attached to, and clearly really misses his time with Tylin [who I condemn, full disclosure, but Matt likes her]

"I'm a married man, I don't have interest other women" *eye humps every woman in sight always*

"I hate these Seanchan, and all their weird customs and games and nobility" *puts on a battle dress and finds their intrigue it exciting and interesting, if bizarre*

 

I'm somewhere in the middle as to the Sanderson's handling of him.  Clearly he didn't do the great job he did with Perrin or Egwene, for example (i.e. better than RJ), but he got the basics and it does not bother me as much as it seems to others.  I guess looking forward to Perrin chapters made up for the slight Matt oddness, even though he was my favorite.

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@crowl

 

1. RJ mostly wrote Mat in ToM.

 

2. Although I admire your faith after all the mistakes Team Jordan has admitted and the way these last few books have turned out I'm not sure it is at all realistic. At some point you can't keep turning a blind eye.

 

@Rhienne

 

BS's Mat is no longer a rogue. He is a court jester prancing around in motley.

 

I disagree with you. I loved the Mat of the last three books.

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@crowl

 

1. RJ mostly wrote Mat in ToM.

 

2. Although I admire your faith after all the mistakes Team Jordan has admitted and the way these last few books have turned out I'm not sure it is at all realistic. At some point you can't keep turning a blind eye.

 

@Rhienne

 

BS's Mat is no longer a rogue. He is a court jester prancing around in motley.

I disagree with you. I loved the Mat of the last three books.

Well Brandon agrees with me. By his own admission he botched the character and tried to make him so funny that he wrote the "him out of him". The quote has already been provided in thread.

 

Brandon

 

I didn't understand Mat. I tried so hard to make him funny, I wrote the HIM out of him.

Edited by Suttree

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Never understood the hate for the Mat of the last 3 books. I absolutely love how he gets more humorous and light-hearted the more dire the situation gets. 


To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit. The fact that "great captains" were influencing battles so much and that tactics and command mattered THIS much was stretching reality hard as it is. In video games, the commander of the army matters because his orders are carried out perfectly and as such they guide the battle. In real battle, orders matter very very little and command is awfully complicated, involving thousands of men. I can accept that stretched slightly to allow for fantasy, but the whole battle being a tactical fight between two people? That would have been awful.

 

But I understand and also feel the complaint that the Hawkwing scene was missing. I mean, the potential for that...could have been the best moment of the series. Hawkwing goes to Tuon and says he was commanded by Mat to bring her a message? Could have wrapped things nicely and even covered the awful writing that left Mat with a terrible future - Tuon won't love him, he will have to live with the insanity of the Seanchan....what if Hawkwing had said Mat was a good heir to his empire? Then Mat becomes emperor, Tuon is freed of her duty to keep her distance from him and she can love him and Mat can change the Seanchan as they had to be. Instead, it's left as it is and we can only guess in the future Mat becomes a sad drunk who cheats on his wife and the Seanchan remain awful people who keep taking Damane and such.

 

Still, Mat's arc for me was the brightest point of the book. Absolutely loved the whole thing with his hat and how he won over the Seanchan general (Galgan? or how was it spelled).

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It's not quite that bleak - Tuon does care for him

 

1. the assassin in the garden

2. after Min yells at her to do the right thing she states to paraphrase, 'I can actually do what my heart wants'

 

She may not love him yet, but the relationship is there.

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To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit.

What was bullshit is Demandred's claim of:

 

AMoL

 

"the finesse of it... the little details... these took centuries to master. No man from this age had lived long enough to learn the details with such care."

Demandred is centuries old but the War of Power only lasted around 10 years(before that it was unknown during the AoL). The Great Captains should have more practical experience in warfare than he does.

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To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit.

What was bullshit is Demandred's claim of:

 

AMoL

"the finesse of it... the little details... these took centuries to master. No man from this age had lived long enough to learn the details with such care."

Demandred is centuries old but the War of Power only lasted around 10 years(before that it was unknown during the AoL). The Great Captains should have more practical experience in warfare than he does.

 

I agree, Demandred was a general in the War of Power with completely different tactics, methods, weapons and so on. It makes sense that he has a knack for it, but he didn't master it for centuries as he himself says.

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We could expect Demandred to have a superiority complex over these "primitives," but his claim of centuries should be factually incorrect.

 

I do wonder how long Demandred had studied the old war manuscripts, though. Or did they only pull those out and look into them after the WoP started?

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We could expect Demandred to have a superiority complex over these "primitives," but his claim of centuries should be factually incorrect.

 

I do wonder how long Demandred had studied the old war manuscripts, though. Or did they only pull those out and look into them after the WoP started?

 

Didn't Rand say, somewhere in the middle of the book, that there had been no war before the WoP and they had practically invented it?

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@crowl

 

1. RJ mostly wrote Mat in ToM.

 

2. Although I admire your faith after all the mistakes Team Jordan has admitted and the way these last few books have turned out I'm not sure it is at all realistic. At some point you can't keep turning a blind eye.

 

@Rhienne

 

BS's Mat is no longer a rogue. He is a court jester prancing around in motley.

 

I disagree with you. I loved the Mat of the last three books.

 

Boy, it's funny how two people can see things so differently. I completely agree with Suttree, that mat is no longer a rogue but a court jester. I think that's perfectly stated. It felt like I wasn't even reading the same character. Even if the new "mat" were a good character, it was not Mat. This is one of the biggest disappointments I had with BS's writing, since Mat was one of my all time favorite characters (in any book). I can see why it might be difficult to write mat, though, since what was really interesting and enjoyable about him has to do with the complex interweaving of how others saw him, juxtaposed with how he really was. There was a lot of irony at work. The humor of the character was not so much in punchlines or in his prancing, but it was often in the irony (in the difference between the way he really was and the way he tried so hard to see himself, and how others saw him). I loved how others would underestimate him, roll their eyes, but how all the soldiers were in awe of him. And one of the things I really missed in this last book was how others came to see him differently--and from the perspective of enjoying the arc of his character, this was really important (since this played such a big role in the way he was written).

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To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit.

What was bullshit is Demandred's claim of:

 

AMoL

"the finesse of it... the little details... these took centuries to master. No man from this age had lived long enough to learn the details with such care."

Demandred is centuries old but the War of Power only lasted around 10 years(before that it was unknown during the AoL). The Great Captains should have more practical experience in warfare than he does.

 

 

Wow, I hadn't thought of that. Seems like a big mistake (but maybe there is a way to explain it?)

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Never understood the hate for the Mat of the last 3 books. I absolutely love how he gets more humorous and light-hearted the more dire the situation gets. 

 

To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit. The fact that "great captains" were influencing battles so much and that tactics and command mattered THIS much was stretching reality hard as it is. In video games, the commander of the army matters because his orders are carried out perfectly and as such they guide the battle. In real battle, orders matter very very little and command is awfully complicated, involving thousands of men. I can accept that stretched slightly to allow for fantasy, but the whole battle being a tactical fight between two people? That would have been awful.

 

I guess I see it differently. The way Mat was written was the biggest disappointment. But I'm glad you liked it.

 

You bring up an interesting point about tactics and "out-general-ing" Demandred. I don't have a lot of knowledge about military history, but I do know that battles have been won through tactics. Go back to Alexander the Great, and some of the stuff he pulled off, while leading the cavalry on the battlefield, at times against absolutely horrible odds. That's how I always pictured Mat. So I sort of expected Mat to do something similar, and "out-general" Demandred on the field of battle (or whoever the tactical commander was going to be). Tactics can win battles. And sometimes tactics need to be revised while in the heat of battle. But I think your point was that there was a lack of seeing a command structure that would have been capable of carrying out the precision necessary to carry out these battlefield movements. We weren't given much of a sense of this (I don't recall). But maybe the idea was that the one power would have made this easier.

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You guys don't think Mat was portrayed as having done a good job as general? They were grossly outnumbered. I thought he did well.

 

As for the court jester thing - I think Mat stopped being a rogue the moment Tylin dressed him and put him in lace. That was his last dance - she's the one who domesticated him for Tuon. Think of the story arc. I actually understand a lot of people's gripes about Mat's character but he was still changing and this was one of those changes. I'm sorry, if you read the books from the beginning, he was mostly a whiny useless character until book 3, and he goes from whiny and useless to fun and and usefull overnight.

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Never understood the hate for the Mat of the last 3 books. I absolutely love how he gets more humorous and light-hearted the more dire the situation gets. 

 

To the whole complaint that Mat should have "out-general-ed" Demandred, that is pure bullshit. The fact that "great captains" were influencing battles so much and that tactics and command mattered THIS much was stretching reality hard as it is. In video games, the commander of the army matters because his orders are carried out perfectly and as such they guide the battle. In real battle, orders matter very very little and command is awfully complicated, involving thousands of men. I can accept that stretched slightly to allow for fantasy, but the whole battle being a tactical fight between two people? That would have been awful.

 

I guess I see it differently. The way Mat was written was the biggest disappointment. But I'm glad you liked it.

 

You bring up an interesting point about tactics and "out-general-ing" Demandred. I don't have a lot of knowledge about military history, but I do know that battles have been won through tactics. Go back to Alexander the Great, and some of the stuff he pulled off, while leading the cavalry on the battlefield, at times against absolutely horrible odds. That's how I always pictured Mat. So I sort of expected Mat to do something similar, and "out-general" Demandred on the field of battle (or whoever the tactical commander was going to be). Tactics can win battles. And sometimes tactics need to be revised while in the heat of battle. But I think your point was that there was a lack of seeing a command structure that would have been capable of carrying out the precision necessary to carry out these battlefield movements. We weren't given much of a sense of this (I don't recall). But maybe the idea was that the one power would have made this easier.

 

I can't explain it to you but....read War and Peace. When Tolstoy stops the story and starts explaining things about the war and Napoleon, he perfectly explains the truth of it. 

 

I'm sure it's been explained in a simpler and far less tedious way somewhere else, but it's the only one I can think of.

 

See, in a battle, the chain of command and such given are very different from a single commander sending orders to people which are carried out. In order to handle a large army, as the one in the last battle is, a very complex and different chain of command with people with different expertise and freedom to act upon changes in the situation is created. A single person, even with a view of the battlefield as Mat had cannot correctly judge positions and the flow of the battle and act accordingly, acting as a single commander over the rest. Most commanders will disagree, many orders will be carried out differently, messengers will relay wrong messages....it's just so complicated that you can't explain a battle with the actions of commanders. In most cases, they are carried by the flow of events and their "tactics" matter in just the overall scheme of things - whether the plan is to retreat, flank, advance, etc.

 

The reason history focuses around commanders, generals and individuals is because it is not viable to explain battles in their entire truth. You can say that "Napoleon made his infantry move through the woods and ambush the enemy" or you can spend 7 pages explaining why it REALLY happened, why it was successful and so on. Academically, both are the same, so historians explain them in the simpler, clearer way. Fantasy and sci-fi take this route, because the other one is boring and has no appeal at all.

 

About your use of the tactics of Alexander the Great, for example - the reason his tactics seemed genius is a huge combination of endless factors, mistakes, differences in equipment, etc. etc. etc.

 

It's terribly complicated and boring as hell, hence why I agree that it was OK to portray the whole battle as it was portrayed - my point was that it would have been terrible if Mat had "out-general-ed" Demandred, as such a thing would have shattered any sense of reality.

Edited by Vaikaris

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Some more oddities around Mat as noted by Dom over at TL.

 

Dom

 

Short of Brandon rewriting the whole episodes I guess there isn't much Maria can do to fix the fact that Min and Mat have been given the sort of relationship that she's rather developed with Perrin over the months spent in the mountains (while she barely ever met Mat, who got carried away by Verin right after the events of Falme, but some of the bigger continuity errors in the scenes might perhaps be smoothed out, e.g:

- "I don't see anything new around you," she said, "though I assume the eye on a balance scale finally makes sense to you."

Min never discussed that Viewing with Mat, nor any of her Viewings of him, actually. She only talked to Rand (and off-screen presumably to Moiraine) about this one, in TEOTW. It's Perrin she discussed her ability with, never Mat.

Mat shouldn't know much at all about Min's Talent (Rand kept it all to himself originally, Moiraine went and told Egwene and Nynaeve about her in Caemlyn. Perrin learned from hanging around Min off-screen for months in TDR), but since the resolution is built around that, there isn't much helping it now.

Page 490:

Min POV again: "Mat wore silken Seanchan clothing—she had heard he was in this camp—but he topped it with his familiar hat."

The hat shouldn't be familiar to Min as she's not crossed Mat's path since the end of TGH. She rejoins Rand in LOC, when Mat has already left Cairhien for Maerone.


----

Mat POV: "More and more, he was thinking that battle maps were about as useful as a heavy coat in Tear."

"Looking back at the maps, Mat felt like cursing again. Maps, maps and more maps. Pieces of paper. Most of them had been sketched by Tuon's clerks in the fading light of the previous evening. How could he know they were accurate?"


The scene also has mere "clerks" draw hasty maps of the area etc. We know from TPOD and KOD that in fact the Seanchan have excellent mapmakers and lieutenants and scout lieutenants (morat'raken) keep the battle maps up to date as a battle goes on:

(POD 24): " From his seat on the dais he could see the map table clearly, where helmetless under-lieutenants checked the reports and placed markers to represent the forces in the field. A small paper banner stood above each marker, inked symbols giving the size and composition of the force. Finding decent maps in these lands was next to impossible, but the map copied atop the large table was sufficient. And worrying, in what it told him. Black discs for outposts overrun or dispersed. Far too many of those, dotting the whole eastern half of the Venir range. Red wedges, for commands on the move, marked the western end as thickly, all pointed back toward Ebou Dar. And scattered among the black discs, seventeen stark white. As he watched, a young officer in the brown-and-black of a morat’torm carefully placed an eighteenth. Enemy forces. A few might be the same group seen twice, but for the most part they were much too far apart, the timing of the sightings wrong."

The whole sudden annoyance with maps is quite out of character for Mat and his military memories. He should be amazed by Bryne's new tricks and such - and it's okay he wished to see the battlefield for himself, but he's always valued battle maps massively before (TFOH episodes and the most telling: the episode with Talmanes mentioning the Band's new mapmaker Master Roidelle in KOD. Not only was Mat quite happy with maps, but he asked immediately for the new mapmaker to be brought to him so he could question him directly. In that scene Tuon considers those maps as invaluable as the new weapon designs.

Mat should actually have been impressed and pleased by the Seanchan extremely well-oiled command posts, with everyone knowing their jobs and doing them well, the speed they get updated from the frontlines by rakens. This is much better than anything Mat has got to work with in the series before.

In those AMOL scenes in Kandor and Altara, he's way, way too contemptuous of the Seanchan military. His assessment of their skills, discipline and tactics from what he's witnessed since their taking of Altara used to be... knowledgeably and professionally respectful. In AMOL he suddenly treats them all like a bunch of bumbling fools who know nothing to nothing "except Tylee". Galgan's gone from an ultra-competent and very politically cunning to a near complete fool Mat treats condescendingly.

It's very weird no Seanchan even suggested if Mat wanted to survey the battlefield himself so badly Yulan could arrange a ride with a morat'raken.

---

Mat: "He had to be careful around Min. He was certain that a smile in the wrong place would earn him a knifing not only from her, but from Tuon"

Min picked up her knife skills after she's last met Mat. He shouldn't know how much of threat she can be.

Mat on Min: "How much relief do you think it would bring Rand if he knew that someone he trusted had Tuon's ear"

Mat knows Rand and Min have sex from the colour swirls, he suddenly speaks as if he knew how really close they are and how much Rand relied on her.

 

 

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Boy, it's funny how two people can see things so differently. I

completely agree with Suttree, that mat is no longer a rogue but a court

jester. I think that's perfectly stated. It felt like I wasn't even

reading the same character. Even if the new "mat" were a good character,

it was not Mat. This is one of the biggest disappointments I had with

BS's writing, since Mat was one of my all time favorite characters (in

any book). I can see why it might be difficult to write mat, though,

since what was really interesting and enjoyable about him has to do with

the complex interweaving of how others saw him, juxtaposed with how he

really was. There was a lot of irony at work. The humor of the character

was not so much in punchlines or in his prancing, but it was often in

the irony (in the difference between the way he really was and the way

he tried so hard to see himself, and how others saw him). I loved how

others would underestimate him, roll their eyes, but how all the

soldiers were in awe of him. And one of the things I really missed in

this last book was how others came to see him differently--and from the

perspective of enjoying the arc of his character, this was really

important (since this played such a big role in the way he was written).

I agree with a lot of this.  For me, the Mat of AMoL was a character that was enjoyable to read about, and made me laugh.  This was a big improvement on the previous installments where I found his POVs cringeworthy.  As BS stated, he couldn't write Mat.  My impression (probably wrong) of AMoL was that BS had accepted he wasn't able to give us RJ's Mat, so instead he made him more of a caricature, and took him in a direction he could write him in.  I personally enjoyed reading Mat's scenes in AMoL.  Although he is a different character, and not the RJ version of him, I found it a big improvement from the previous two installments.

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