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Mat's Arc (Full Spoilers)


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Mat clearly knew the LB was coming but he felt he had to take care of some stuff first, like Toun, getting the Seanchan involved, the first thing Rand says to him is about how the pattern sent him to her so rand could find Toun, Mat wasn't running from the war he also sent word to the WT that he needed his horn, as you can see both he and Perrin did unexpected things the slowly built great leader ( Perrin) doesn't lead anyone, and the unresponsible friend gets the most important battle ever laid at his feet

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The problem with Tuon is that Jordan spends most of the attention on her giving us the idea that she's very complicated but then never really cashes out that out.  Tuon's character probably had more potential mileage than most of the others in the series and did less with it than anyone.  With the damane/slave thing, the weight of becoming empress amidst a life of persistent danger, the vast culture shock of the the tradition fraught Seanchan clashing with the people of the new continent; she's got all the ingredients of an immensely nuanced character with potential for a lot of interesting transition across the series. 

 

But then instead of really doing that with her, Jordan just kind of implies and dances around all of those ideas, as if just hinting at them were enough.  We catch disconnected glimpses of her psychology throughout that sort of hint at her feelings about Mat and others, but they always seem to either trail off just when they're getting started or dead end into some stark, plot driving scene where she's issuing commands from some emotional vacuum.  Channeling was such a huge issue with her character, and yet it was usually discussed regarding her rather than through her POV.  Almost always he lets his stronger, better developed characters delve issues like that, where they can better imbue them with emotional resonance.

 

I think Rand is a great contrast here.  Here's a guy that's also got a lot of inherent potential conflict both within himself and with his situation and we see it all actualized.  He does some questionable things during the series, but I could always follow and understand him so much better either because his specific thought processes were well detailed or because his character was effectively and patiently developed.  He was written so much more strongly that usually even when you just saw him acting from another POV you could easily pick up all kinds of things about what was going on in his head.  Obviously, being the main character he deserves more attention, but this is a big reason why he worked form me so much better than Tuon, and why I was much more engaged and sympathetic even when I didn't like what he was doing.  Tuon was a cardboard character by comparison.  Her character does it's job of creating tension and ambiguity well enough, but it's almost always her platform or the ideas she represents doing the work rather than the character herself.   We got way too little from her too few POVs.  We got a fair amount of her courtship with Mat, but even that felt very unconvincing and stop-gap.  For a character that divisive and complex with delicate nuances of good and bad within, you really need the writer to be on their game.  Normally Jordan was; he's got a lot of really great characters, but I think he just bit off more than he could chew here.  Tuon evokes a lot of fascinating issues in the story that really never get satisfyingly addressed.  It's possible that Jordan might have evolved some of this if he'd been able to finish, but he had a lot of work to do if that was his plan.  As it was, it was just kind of dumped on the reader to think about themselves if they felt like it, or to just ignore it otherwise.  Sanderson didn't even pretend to try, he just sped straight through Tuon's plot resolution and then benched her for the whole last battle so he could make with the sword fighting.

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The problem with Tuon is that Jordan spends most of the attention on her giving us the idea that she's very complicated but then never really cashes out that out.  Tuon's character probably had more potential mileage than most of the others in the series and did less with it than anyone.  With the damane/slave thing, the weight of becoming empress amidst a life of persistent danger, the vast culture shock of the the tradition fraught Seanchan clashing with the people of the new continent; she's got all the ingredients of an immensely nuanced character with potential for a lot of interesting transition across the series. 

 

But then instead of really doing that with her, Jordan just kind of implies and dances around all of those ideas, as if just hinting at them were enough.  We catch disconnected glimpses of her psychology throughout that sort of hint at her feelings about Mat and others, but they always seem to either trail off just when they're getting started or dead end into some stark, plot driving scene where she's issuing commands from some emotional vacuum.  Channeling was such a huge issue with her character, and yet it was usually discussed regarding her rather than through her POV.  Almost always he lets his stronger, better developed characters delve issues like that, where they can better imbue them with emotional resonance.

 

I think Rand is a great contrast here.  Here's a guy that's also got a lot of inherent potential conflict both within himself and with his situation and we see it all actualized.  He does some questionable things during the series, but I could always follow and understand him so much better either because his specific thought processes were well detailed or because his character was effectively and patiently developed.  He was written so much more strongly that usually even when you just saw him acting from another POV you could easily pick up all kinds of things about what was going on in his head.  Obviously, being the main character he deserves more attention, but this is a big reason why he worked form me so much better than Tuon, and why I was much more engaged and sympathetic even when I didn't like what he was doing.  Tuon was a cardboard character by comparison.  Her character does it's job of creating tension and ambiguity well enough, but it's almost always her platform or the ideas she represents doing the work rather than the character herself.   We got way too little from her too few POVs.  We got a fair amount of her courtship with Mat, but even that felt very unconvincing and stop-gap.  For a character that divisive and complex with delicate nuances of good and bad within, you really need the writer to be on their game.  Normally Jordan was; he's got a lot of really great characters, but I think he just bit off more than he could chew here.  Tuon evokes a lot of fascinating issues in the story that really never get satisfyingly addressed.  It's possible that Jordan might have evolved some of this if he'd been able to finish, but he had a lot of work to do if that was his plan.  As it was, it was just kind of dumped on the reader to think about themselves if they felt like it, or to just ignore it otherwise.  Sanderson didn't even pretend to try, he just sped straight through Tuon's plot resolution and then benched her for the whole last battle so he could make with the sword fighting.

I don't blame BS for a lot of this.  Sadly unless there as going to be another book some stuff was going to have to be sped through.  This was a 900 page boo kand loo kat al lthe stuff peopel were upset that got left out. 

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One of the things that made me the very maddest and saddest in the last three books was this seeming compulsion BS had to add these ''cutesy'' (or so he felt) lines in to Mat's parts. Often, I felt Mat would be doing something cool, and reading like himself, and then a few lines of Hee Haw type dialogue or Corny thoughts would be there just jarring the heck out of me. In AMOL, if you read the top and bottom of most Mat POVs you see several Brandon ''witticisms'' that just made me cringe. And, often, the middle part would be ok. It was almost like if BS had just left Mat ALONE and NOT had this irrestible impulse to ''make Mat Cute and Funny in the BRANDON SANDERSON way of cute and funny'' - then, Mat would have been fine.

 

 

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I loved Mat's arc. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and actually well written (best Mat chapters written by Brandon IMO). I got a couple of questions though - first, what happened to the medallion? If Tuon takes it away from Mat before Rand's visit, how/when does he get it back?

Second, is he supposed to lose his luck by the end of the book? I mean, I never really understood whether Mat's luck was an effect of the dagger's influence or of his being Ta'veren. If it's the second, should he lose it by the end? 

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I loved Mat's arc. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and actually well written (best Mat chapters written by Brandon IMO). I got a couple of questions though - first, what happened to the medallion? If Tuon takes it away from Mat before Rand's visit, how/when does he get it back?

Second, is he supposed to lose his luck by the end of the book? I mean, I never really understood whether Mat's luck was an effect of the dagger's influence or of his being Ta'veren. If it's the second, should he lose it by the end? 

I'm pretty sure his luck was a result of the daggers influence being removed in TDR by Siuan and her circle. I can't stand Brandon's Mat(worst Mat chapters written IMO). Go read the chapter "Boots" in TOM and you will see what I mean.

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I loved Mat's arc. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and actually well written (best Mat chapters written by Brandon IMO). I got a couple of questions though - first, what happened to the medallion? If Tuon takes it away from Mat before Rand's visit, how/when does he get it back?

Second, is he supposed to lose his luck by the end of the book? I mean, I never really understood whether Mat's luck was an effect of the dagger's influence or of his being Ta'veren. If it's the second, should he lose it by the end? 

I'm pretty sure his luck was a result of the daggers influence being removed in TDR by Siuan and her circle. I can't stand Brandon's Mat(worst Mat chapters written IMO). Go read the chapter "Boots" in TOM and you will see what I mean.

 

Most of Mat in ToM was actually written by RJ so you may want to confirm that before the chapter name you quoted ends up in your mouth :wink:

 

As far as Mat's luck...I'm just guessing here BUT since one of his pseudo names along with "Son of Battles", is "The Gambler", there's most likely a little more to it than just the removal of the Dagger's taint.

 

All three of the boys manifest their ta'veren will upon the pattern, each in their own way.

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I loved Mat's arc. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and actually well written (best Mat chapters written by Brandon IMO). I got a couple of questions though - first, what happened to the medallion? If Tuon takes it away from Mat before Rand's visit, how/when does he get it back?

Second, is he supposed to lose his luck by the end of the book? I mean, I never really understood whether Mat's luck was an effect of the dagger's influence or of his being Ta'veren. If it's the second, should he lose it by the end? 

I'm pretty sure his luck was a result of the daggers influence being removed in TDR by Siuan and her circle. I can't stand Brandon's Mat(worst Mat chapters written IMO). Go read the chapter "Boots" in TOM and you will see what I mean.

 

Most of Mat in ToM was actually written by RJ so you may want to confirm that before the chapter name you quoted ends up in your mouth :wink:

Brandon wrote boots.

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I loved Mat's arc. I had fun reading it, it was entertaining and actually well written (best Mat chapters written by Brandon IMO). I got a couple of questions though - first, what happened to the medallion? If Tuon takes it away from Mat before Rand's visit, how/when does he get it back?

Second, is he supposed to lose his luck by the end of the book? I mean, I never really understood whether Mat's luck was an effect of the dagger's influence or of his being Ta'veren. If it's the second, should he lose it by the end? 

I'm pretty sure his luck was a result of the daggers influence being removed in TDR by Siuan and her circle. I can't stand Brandon's Mat(worst Mat chapters written IMO). Go read the chapter "Boots" in TOM and you will see what I mean.

 

Most of Mat in ToM was actually written by RJ so you may want to confirm that before the chapter name you quoted ends up in your mouth :wink:

Brandon wrote boots.

 

I know but I at least wanted him to find it out for himself.

C'mon Sut, don't ruin all my fun dude.

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Brandon wrote Boots and A Seven-Striped Lass.

 

Thats confirmed.

 

If you can't tell who wrote Mat's TOM interactions with Perrin and Elayne then we have serious problems - alsmost as problematic as the severe pain those parts caused me.

 

RJ wrote MOST of the TOG Sequence.

 

The one I have a HUGE DESIRE to know it the duel with the Gholam and ''blood in the air'' - I enjoyed both of those chapters quite a bit. If Brandon wrote them, way to go Brandon! If RJ wrote them - I'd like to know.

 

 

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I didn't read all the posts on this topic, so I apologize for my laziness, but I was not surprised that Mat is not a Hero of the Horn.  The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, and that which once was will be again... but there will only ever be one Matrim Cauthon.

 

 

Also, since people still posit the "Olver is Gaidal Cain" theory, even though it has been turned down flat, I'm going to just say that time flows differently in Tel'aran'rhiod, and that Olver is actually Mat reborn - spun out by the pattern after Mat got fried by Rahvin to fulfill his role as the Hornblower, and thus Olver fills that role while Mat, who is supposed to be dead but was balefired back into existence, is now cast adrift.  Does it work logically?  Not really... but oh well, I'm going to say it anyway, just for fun.

Edited by Cirin
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I'm going to just say that time flows differently in Tel'aran'rhiod, and that Olver is actually Mat reborn - spun out by the pattern after Mat got fried by Rahvin to fulfill his role as the Hornblower, and thus Olver fills that role while Mat, who is supposed to be dead but was balefired back into existence, is now cast adrift.  Does it work logically?  Not really... but oh well, I'm going to say it anyway, just for fun.

Time does flow differently in Tel'aran'rhiod, but in the real world it flows the same way for everybody. Olver was born about eight or nine years before the beginning of the first book, and that's a fact. Yup, I know, you were just kidding, I just felt like being annoying. BTW, I loved Olver's POVs. 

 

@Anver @Finssss: thank you! What about the medallion instead? I went through all of Mat's chapters between 17 and 32, and I still missed the part where he takes it back.

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I'm going to just say that time flows differently in Tel'aran'rhiod, and that Olver is actually Mat reborn - spun out by the pattern after Mat got fried by Rahvin to fulfill his role as the Hornblower, and thus Olver fills that role while Mat, who is supposed to be dead but was balefired back into existence, is now cast adrift.  Does it work logically?  Not really... but oh well, I'm going to say it anyway, just for fun.

Time does flow differently in Tel'aran'rhiod, but in the real world it flows the same way for everybody. Olver was born about eight or nine years before the beginning of the first book, and that's a fact. Yup, I know, you were just kidding, I just felt like being annoying. BTW, I loved Olver's POVs. 

 

@Anver @Finssss: thank you! What about the medallion instead? I went through all of Mat's chapters between 17 and 32, and I still missed the part where he takes it back.

 He does say, I dont remember where, something about he was glad he was able to convince Tuon to give it back. Maybe when Egwene was asking if he still had his fox pet. Which would have been somewhere in CH 37.

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for the first time I enjoyed Mat chapters all through the book. he was really funny.

 

there was one moment (I think it was with egwene) that I stopped the audiobook and laughed aloud for a minute.

It gives me pain that I don't remember what that was about. anyone remembers that hilarious dialogue?

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Aside from the bit of bragging between Mat and Rand, I thought Sanderson wrote a pretty solid Mat in this book. It was still Sanderson, but he the character no longer seemed grossly misinterpreted. Did Sanderson write Olver? Or was that RJ? I felt like Olver's POV was very much like how Mat should have been written from the start.

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for the first time I enjoyed Mat chapters all through the book. he was really funny.

 

there was one moment (I think it was with egwene) that I stopped the audiobook and laughed aloud for a minute.

It gives me pain that I don't remember what that was about. anyone remembers that hilarious dialogue?

maybe it's chapter 36? he meets up with Egwene and Gawyn and he's like "does everyone like to bash me? gawyn, you wanna try?" gawyn "yes" and mat "shut up. as i was saying..."

that made me laugh a lot. sanderson really has improved and, honestly, all this bashing gets old after a while. i much prefer these last three books to no books at all

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that was kind of OOC to me. I mean, by the end of LOC (last chapter with both Egwene and Mat in that I remember) the two of them seemed to get along quite well and, after Mat let the Band with her to go with Elayne and Nynaeve, it looked like they had a somewhat mature relationship. In this book, we're back to square one, with Egwene who acts towards Mat as if he were a kid in troubles. It was anticlimatic, and I still can't understand if that's the way it was supposed to go (to show that Egwene, as a character, is somewhat flawed and prejudiced, as most Aes Sedai are) or it's just Brandon/Team Jordan not getting it right. 

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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.

But that part was fun. Medieval age ribbing
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I am also disappointed we never learn more about Mat's memories.  I don't mean the ones the Finns gave him, I mean the ones he had before them (e.g., when he screams "Carai an Caldazar" as he throws himself into battle in tEotW). 

It's a pretty good bet that Mat is Aemon reborn, but I don't like hearing "No, you're not a hero of the horn" and getting no follow-up on this. 

 

i have never thought that it could be different memories ... for me , the Finns just gave him access to his old memories ( from previous lifes ) , they didn't create anything ...

 

that's why his memories are always those of a Manetheren's soldier and that's why one hero of the horn thinks that Mat is the oldest one on the battlefield ...

 

due to this , i don't think that he is Aemon reborn as he was fighting side by side with Aemon in one of his old memories ...

 

and for the last question , Mat is the hornsounder and i think that as a hero ( the gambler ) , he is always supposed to be alive when the horn is sounded ... so as he obviously can't be dead and alive at the same time , he can't be a hero of the horn ...

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I am also disappointed we never learn more about Mat's memories.  I don't mean the ones the Finns gave him, I mean the ones he had before them (e.g., when he screams "Carai an Caldazar" as he throws himself into battle in tEotW). 

It's a pretty good bet that Mat is Aemon reborn, but I don't like hearing "No, you're not a hero of the horn" and getting no follow-up on this. 

 

i have never thought that it could be different memories ... for me , the Finns just gave him access to his old memories ( from previous lifes ) , they didn't create anything ...

 

that's why his memories are always those of a Manetheren's soldier and that's why one hero of the horn thinks that Mat is the oldest one on the battlefield ...

Wrong and wrong. http://wotfaq.dragonmount.com/node/77

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Of all the major character arcs, I was most satisfied with Mat's. Ok, so his voice was still a bit "off" in places, and some scenes jarred, but these were minor niggles in an arc that I found thoroughly enjoyable.  I particularly liked his interaction with [For]Tuon[a] (maysheliveforever), and I think we started to see much more of 'Tuona's inner self, which was also good.  I agree that her development was disappointing in many ways, particularly because she is a character with so much potential, but given the lateness of her introduction, I'm not sure how she could have been substantially developed without adding another book or three to the series.  I wonder if RJ was aware that she was not being fully exploited, and had plans to remedy this in one of the outriggers.  We will never know.

 

I didn't like Olver, but then, I've never liked Olver.  I am allergic to small children.  I could have lived with less of him.

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Of all the major character arcs, I was most satisfied with Mat's. Ok, so his voice was still a bit "off" in places, and some scenes jarred, but these were minor niggles in an arc that I found thoroughly enjoyable.  I particularly liked his interaction with [For]Tuon[a] (maysheliveforever), and I think we started to see much more of 'Tuona's inner self, which was also good.  I agree that her development was disappointing in many ways, particularly because she is a character with so much potential, but given the lateness of her introduction, I'm not sure how she could have been substantially developed without adding another book or three to the series.  I wonder if RJ was aware that she was not being fully exploited, and had plans to remedy this in one of the outriggers.  We will never know.

 

I didn't like Olver, but then, I've never liked Olver.  I am allergic to small children.  I could have lived with less of him.

I think he intended to keep her as mysterious as he could so he could slowly unpeal that onion in the outriggers.

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It's a good FAQ except it's wrong about there being no support for Mat being Aemon himself.

The memory sequence Mat has upon waking from his healing at the Tower (something the FAQ doesn't go into enough detail on) pretty much leaves almost no other conclusion to be made.

It's at the right time at the exact right place of a man who is in command of not only the Heart Guard but also the Manetheren army itself.

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It's a good FAQ except it's wrong about there being no support for Mat being Aemon himself.

The memory sequence Mat has upon waking from his healing at the Tower (something the FAQ doesn't go into enough detail on) pretty much leaves almost no other conclusion to be made.

It's at the right time at the exact right place of a man who is in command of not only the Heart Guard but also the Manetheren army itself.

Indeed, we also have comments from Brandon confirming it's either a connection from his bloodline or that he's Aemon reborn.

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