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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Ask Simple questions, get simple answers (aMoL version covering the entire series)


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That's kinda what I thought as well. Needing to oust the spy was part of the plan; in fact explicitly stated I think?

 

I believe so. At least if it wasn't stated "Yo, we need to get that spy" straight up, Mat was definitely aware of a spy, and that set Min actively searching for one. 

 

With regards to Mat's strategy - his plan was to prolong the conflict as long as possible. It was kinda a "Aragorn attacks the Black Gate" scenario. He wasn't planning to win, he was buying time hoping Rand did his thing before they all died. 

 

Mat wanted to do the exact opposite. He wanted to remove the large Seanchan force to create doubt in Demandred's mind, and make him cautious. Throwing his full strength into a 'last stand' would put Demandred on the offensive and he would attack without restraint and destroy them quite easily. 

 

The Seanchan plan had two aspects. 1) As above, to have a large force in 'reserve' and unknown to Demandred, so he would be cautious and not open himself up to any potential tricks. 2) Mat knew there was a spy. He fed the spy information that he and the Seanchan were at odds. This was a gamble, to bait Demandred into stretching his line and expose a weakness that Mat could exploit. Demandred didn't take the bait, and the Seanchan had to wait a while before an opening appeared. 

 

It seems as if the two are contradictory at first glance, but it does make sense. Both scenarios are plus' for Mat. If he doesn't take the bait; he remains cautious and doesn't stretch his lines in case the Seanchan return. If he does take the bait and launch a full attack, the Seanchan exploit the openings and force Demandred to re-form. Both prevent Demandred from delivering the 'death-blow' to the armies. 

 

I believe Mat also used any and every trick at his disposal to throw Demandred off in a hope that he made blunders in a hesitant state that Mat could exploit and buy a bit more time. 

 

As it turns out, Demandred (at least in his movement of the army) did not take any of the major bait (I think Mat did pull off a few small-scale tricks, but nothing too much) and kept things steady. Which favoured Mat as much as was humanly possible, even though he was slowly 'losing', his tactic of buying time worked well.

 

Of course, that's not to say that Mat ran circles around Demandred. They matched each other at the time and while Mat's plan was working, it was only barely working as Demandred didn't fall for any tricks that would have gained them MORE time. It was a close call, and only after Demandred's death was victory possible.

 

Also, re: the Horn. Yes, Olver blew it, and Mat was not connected after the FoH incident, but that doesn't mean 'anyone' could have just used it. Recall the inscription on the Horn

 

"Let whosoever sounds me think not of glory, but only of salvation."

 

The Horn can't just be blown in any random fight by any guy out. The Heroes come only at the call of uttermost urgency and need of 'salvation'. 

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Now I'm just remembering book 5 and how Mat's plan to open up gateways to blast them with the Dragons would've ended in disaster had Demandred been alive

 

Back in that book it as mentioned that Demandred is one of the only people who could hold Gateways open. I'm just imagining this nightmare of them popping open to blow him up and him just grabbing the gateway to hold it open and flooding the cave with fire.

 

It is slightly dissapointing that villains are never really allowed to pull off cool tricks and plans that actually work the way heroes do.

 

Like, Demandred was always winning but he never really outmaneuvered Mat. From the beginning Mat's entire plan was to slowly lose and hope that things would work out. So i didn't even get to see a "Holy crap" reaction from him that one would see if he was drastically outmaneuvered. It's not bad by any means. Just dissapointing.

 

Mat to me always felt like the Ta'veren who had it easy compared to the others. His life relied on luck far more than the others' did and he didn't earn anything he was given. EVEN MORE UNFORGIVABLY SO than the others. Sure, Rand was born powerful but he still learned from Moiraine, he still learned from Asmodean, he was still pushed to the brink of becoming pure evil and destroying the world. Perrin also had the wolf powers but he was always wrestling with himself over them and had to learn control and stuff from Hopper. Mat just felt like he wandered into everything and whined about it. He didn't learn anything. Nor did he have any character quirks that he NEEDED to grow out of because they spelt disaster, like Rand's egotism and insanity or Perrin's reluctance to be a leader.

 

Maybe it's just me but throughout the entire series Mat just felt dissapointingly used. His stories held LESS tension than the others (and tension is a big isssue with this serie anyway because of the Pattern) because he had MORE luck on his side than the others and the story never did anything with it until book 13 where the pursuit of the Aelfinn kept Mat from using utterly "blind" luck to save them.

 

He robbed the Gholam from interacting with the rest of the cast. And his fights with it were never interesting because he had a foolproof method and luck to keep it from getting at him. Even in their final fight I never bought that it had a CHANCE of winning. It only landed a glancing hit on Mat and Mat himself looked to be more inconvenienced by the fire in the building than by the Gholam itself.

 

Mat is also paired off with - admittedly - the most morally grey character in the whole series. But he has no issues with Tuon. He seems to love all the stuff which infuriates me about her. Like her controlling, calculating nature. Mat is also FRIENDS with Aes Sedai yet never brings up having Damane as a big deal to Tuon.  It kinda just makes me feel less of him when he doesn't give a crap about the plight of Aes Sedai turned Damane. Either out a sense of self preservation or out of liking Tuon too much. Maybe on it's own this aspect wouldn't be too annoying, but when you combine the other stuff I don't like about him then it just makes me want to throttle him.

 

Of course though, I'm crap at reading people. Always have been. So maybe I'm utterly wrong about everything I just said.

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The Gateway thing was actually in there. Androl tried to mess with Demandred with his super-gateways etc.. but got blasted for it. 

 

Also, technically Mat's plan, although it did work to a degree, was about to fail. Towards the end, his only solution was to kill Demandred. If Demandred hadn't have died, Mat would have lost. Even had the DO been sealed, Demandred still would have won the battle. Well, the Horn being blown might have defeated his army, but I don't count the Horn in this. It isn't a case of being outclassed or failing. The Heroes are deu ex machina in battle.  

 

Demandred - with the help of Moghedien and Graendal - pulled off the biggest military decimation of the series. He utterly crushed 3 armies, with extremely subtle tactics so that the commanders doomed themselves, without anyone knowing. Lan found out, but too late. Mat also figured it out, but he is head and shoulders above Demandred or anyone else in military prowess and it's kinda expected. Mat is far above Demandred's skill (his memories are unparalleled. Demandred's 10 years of war in the AoL don't match it) but Demandred used his resources to match Mat. 

 

He destroyed the strongest force the Light had in the Aes Sedai trapping them perfectly, Lan's army was reduced to 1/4 of the Borderlands (the best warriors in the world, bar perhaps the Band) Elayne and co. were screwed. It literally took pouring a mountain of lava on the enemy just to save the remnants of her army.

 

So yeah, Mat was totally outnumbered at that final battle, and couldn't win, so he had to slow things down. However, it only got to that point because Demandred had destroyed most of their forces already. 

 

There's a case to be made that Mat would have fared better if he had full control from the start, and it's probably true, but that doesn't take away from the achievements of Demandred. 

 

Didn't you get that "holy crap" moment when they found out that all of their armies were literally dooming themselves via Graendal/Demandred? Or when he sprung his trap and destroyed a huge chunk of the White Tower forces? 

 

I mean, yeah, Mat is a lucky guy, and I certainly agree with some of your points, but the Forsaken did do a lot of damage. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I'll add one more thing: I say that the Heroes would have won, but that may not actually be true. They can be harmed, but not by normal means. 

 

It may be that with Sarkanen, Demandred could have won despite the Heroes. 

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I don't care about resources. I care about individual skills. And Demandred not being allowed to be as skilled a strategist as Mat because of complete crap that Mat didn't do a flaming thing to earn really does take away from him.

 

ANYONE can have resources. It says nothing about the skills of the characters.

 

I'd be fine if Mat and Demandred were EQUALS but no, you just said MAt was BETTER than him by a wide margain. Better for unfair reasons that are complete shit... (sorry, getting worked up. I utterly despise Mat's military prowess)

 

And I personally went holy crap at the rout of the White Tower forces but I mean Mat HIMSELF having a Holy crap moment. Those moments make me LIKE characters. Because it shows that they aren't as good as they think they are and there's room for improvement.

Edited by EmperorAllspice
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I mean, I get that this is a series where none of the main characters earn a god damn thing, and with everything else I've just come to accept it.

 

But not with Mat. Military intellect is something I hold very dear, and someone getting that for absolutely jack diddly and ending up being infinitely better than ANY of the villains is unforgivable. As I said, being equal I might have accepted out of necessity, but not FAR better.

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I don't care about resources. I care about individual skills. And Demandred not being allowed to be as skilled a strategist as Mat because of complete crap that Mat didn't do a flaming thing to earn really does take away from him.

 

ANYONE can have resources. It says nothing about the skills of the characters.

 

I'd be fine if Mat and Demandred were EQUALS but no, you just said MAt was BETTER than him. Better for unfair reasons that are complete shit.

 

And I personally went holy crap at the rout of the White Tower forces but I mean Mat HIMSELF having a Holy crap moment. Those moments make me LIKE characters. Because it shows that they aren't as good as they think they are and there's room for improvement.

 

Well, I can't disagree with you about Mat kinda cheating. Although I would say that it's not as simple as "anyone can have resources". You have to be skilled enough to use them well. Still, that's only a minor point. 

 

To be clear, the BOOKS never state Mat is better. In fact, Mat believes that they are equal in skill. Mat being more skilled is simply my view, as I can't see how his memories and luck would only just equal Demandred's own skill, with only 10 years of first-hand military experience. However, it may be that this was supposed to be the case, and they were indeed equal. My word isn't necessarily correct. 

 

It is true that Mat's story is somewhat lighter than Rand or Perrin's, and although I didn't get any "holy crap" moments with Mat like we did with Rand, however, Mat certainly had character development, just not in such a dramatic fashion. 

 

First of all, Mat was arguably the stupidest of the original fellowship, what with nearly getting himself killed by picking up a dagger. He also nearly got himself killed again messing around with the Finns. If it wasn't for Rand, he would have been dead (3 times, at least. The Darkhound, being hung, and toasted by Rhavin). 

 

Mat's growth was from early immaturity and doing stupid crap, developing some sense and stop running away from responsibility. 

 

Edit: I disagree that the main characters didn't earn anything, but I know your view on the matter, and we can agree to disagree. 

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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I liked mats story line it adds reckless fun to it....if all three had to wrestle such big demons in the sense of character building it would have been just meh

 

Plus I liked his attitude towards aes sedai

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I don't care about resources. I care about individual skills. And Demandred not being allowed to be as skilled a strategist as Mat because of complete crap that Mat didn't do a flaming thing to earn really does take away from him.

 

ANYONE can have resources. It says nothing about the skills of the characters.

 

I'd be fine if Mat and Demandred were EQUALS but no, you just said MAt was BETTER than him. Better for unfair reasons that are complete shit.

 

And I personally went holy crap at the rout of the White Tower forces but I mean Mat HIMSELF having a Holy crap moment. Those moments make me LIKE characters. Because it shows that they aren't as good as they think they are and there's room for improvement.

 

Well, I can't disagree with you about Mat kinda cheating. Although I would say that it's not as simple as "anyone can have resources". You have to be skilled enough to use them well. Still, that's only a minor point. 

 

To be clear, the BOOKS never state Mat is better. In fact, Mat believes that they are equal in skill. Mat being more skilled is simply my view, as I can't see how his memories and luck would only just equal Demandred's own skill, with only 10 years of first-hand military experience. However, it may be that this was supposed to be the case, and they were indeed equal. My word isn't necessarily correct. 

 

It is true that Mat's story is somewhat lighter than Rand or Perrin's, and although I didn't get any "holy crap" moments with Mat like we did with Rand, however, Mat certainly had character development, just not in such a dramatic fashion. 

 

First of all, Mat was arguably the stupidest of the original fellowship, what with nearly getting himself killed by picking up a dagger. He also nearly got himself killed again messing around with the Finns. If it wasn't for Rand, he would have been dead (3 times, at least. The Darkhound, being hung, and toasted by Rhavin). 

 

Mat's growth was from early immaturity and doing stupid crap, developing some sense and stop running away from responsibility. 

All of the cast mature and get more responsible though. So it isn't anything that's unique to Mat.

 

It might be that his situation is similar to Egwene's. Egwene's low point is really early on in the series. From there she pretty much becomes perfect and undefeatable. Mat feels a bit like that. Flaws in his character don't lead him into problems after book 5, it's just the plot forcing him into situations because of his Ta'vereness

Edited by EmperorAllspice
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I liked mats story line it adds reckless fun to it....if all three had to wrestle such big demons in the sense of character building it would have been just meh

 

Plus I liked his attitude towards aes sedai

I just like my villains competent. And because of Mat's nature he just makes a lot of them look bad. Primarily the Gholam.

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The gholam pissed me off from the beginning with how powerful and indestructible it was

Well, it's Aginor's main claim to fame. And given how I like my villains competent... I'll take it

 

Not like Aginor got to do anything in the actual events of the series.

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I have a different problem with the Gholam, which is kinda in the middle of both of your opinions. 

 

Greatest assassin that ever walked the earth, almost indestructible = ordered to hunt the one person that can harm it. 

 

That said, perhaps that was the point. Get rid of the guy that can hurt you so that you have no rivals. Eh, it wasn't my favourite plotline. 

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Mat was in no way superior to Dem, nowhere in the book does it say he was.  The pattern is about balance, Mat getting stuffed full of memories was the pattern's way to balance the shadow.  For Dem I believe he was a little mad by this time since he was using the TP a lot, notice Mog said to the Sharrans did any of you sense me channeling.  Which shows Dem had been using the TP as the dragon slayer and not the male half when around the sharrans.  The bad guy is going to seem a little incompetent because in the end they have to lose.  The forsaken after all were human, sure they had great knowledge of the power but by the time you get to Rand's time history has made them out to be immortal godlike beings.  But they were superior channelers with strengths and flaws.  They bought into their own hype and had no respect for anyone of this age and couldn't get around to thinking of Rand as being Rand and not LTT.  Their biggest flaw is by their selfish nature is was hard for them to work together.  So instead of one unified team you had a bunch of individuals with their own goals and plans.  Aginor for one was described in one of the forsaken's POV (don't remember which one) as the only reason he was made a forsaken was because of his skill with creating things like trollocs.  Many of their plans made no sense to me, why not have Mog just balefire Tuon with the TP and vanish, why not use compulsion so you could be sure what she does with her forces?  Seems like keeping her as  spy was tying up a valueable resource.  But in the end the plans didn't make a lot of sense simply because the shadow had to lose.  Some forsaken look like fools but many Rhavin, Dem, Grendal, Lanfear (her plan to save the DO) and Messana to name a few I think were shown to of done a pretty good job before their demises.  So not all the forsaken could have good screen time, some in the end are going to look comptent while others will seem sort of foolish. 

 

Again the plan to hold Tuon back till the spy was found left me baffled, since again what had the spy never been located. 

"It is done," Neald said with a growl.

"What of Tuon"?

"They found the spy apparently", Naeff said. "The empress is waiting to return on your mark".

 

So that leads me to believe had the spy not been located Tuon still wouldn't of shown up.

Edited by Sabio
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Did the sealing of the Dark One affect any remaining effects He caused in any way?  If so, which effects and in which way?

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No sure what remaining effects, but anything he had a hand in, blight, food spoiling, weather etc  would be removed.  The weather should start to return to normal, food will no longer spoil unnaturally, the blight is receding and will eventually go away, and all DO minions such as Trollocs. fades. etc will die.  Everything will go back to normal in order for a future age to forget he even exists so one day a hole can be bored into his prison again.

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Mat was in no way superior to Dem, nowhere in the book does it say he was. 

 

I think he was. 

Mat's whole strategy was based being grossly out-numbered and despite this he came up with and executed a plan that countered Dem at every turn while maintaining a position to turn the tables on a break.

Both Generals knew that Mat had to gamble for that break and was going to be on the defensive the whole time while Dem only had to control and wear down.

 

I think that Mat gave his side a chance that Dem himself couldn't have provided if the situations were reversed.

 

Either way, I very much doubt that Dem, who was only about 400 years old (born the day after LTT remember), was Mat's (around 1500 years of battles in his head) equal.

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Mat was in no way superior to Dem, nowhere in the book does it say he was. 

 

I think he was. 

Mat's whole strategy was based being grossly out-numbered and despite this he came up with and executed a plan that countered Dem at every turn while maintaining a position to turn the tables on a break.

Both Generals knew that Mat had to gamble for that break and was going to be on the defensive the whole time while Dem only had to control and wear down.

 

I think that Mat gave his side a chance that Dem himself couldn't have provided if the situations were reversed.

 

Either way, I very much doubt that Dem, who was only about 400 years old (born the day after LTT remember), was Mat's (around 1500 years of battles in his head) equal.

 

Doesn't that kinda demean Demandred? Who was built up as the biggest threat in the whole book and probably the only Forsaken who lived up to his fearsome reputation?

 

I mean, if he was infinitely inferior to Mat then why did the book even bother with him? Why even build him up as a GENERAL if he can't even remotely match the heroes? Just have any old person command the forces of shadow if raw power was the only thing they had going for them.

 

SOrry, I'm so so so so so so so so so SOOOOOOOOOO bitter about Mat being that much better than Demandred. Like, my hands are trembling on this keyboard

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I dont think mat was that much better, he won the battle but it was close, and even mat acknowledges how good demanded is. Lets not forget that but for dem thinking he had to be LTT, he would have just travelled to the command centre and fried him. And who knows what would have happened if Lan hadn't of killed dem, most of the slaughter of the shadows forces near the end was down to them being leaderless, he was winning when he died, i doubt the stunt with the dragons in the cave would have been so effective with dem about.

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I dont think mat was that much better, he won the battle but it was close, and even mat acknowledges how good demanded is. Lets not forget that but for dem thinking he had to be LTT, he would have just travelled to the command centre and fried him. And who knows what would have happened if Lan hadn't of killed dem, most of the slaughter of the shadows forces near the end was down to them being leaderless, he was winning when he died, i doubt the stunt with the dragons in the cave would have been so effective with dem about.

 

Indeed. When I say Mat is probably 'better' than Demandred, that's just in terms of pure skill. It doesn't take into account any other factors. Just because Mat is more gifted, doesn't necessarily make him invulnerable.

 

It's pretty rash to say just because Mat was the better strategist, it negates everything and there was no point of Demandred being General. If Demandred hadn't been commanding the forces of the Shadow, it wouldn't have been close at all. The 4 armies sent out at the beginning of the book likely would have held far better and not suffered such casualties, Mat could have taken command and wiped the floor with the Shadow and called it a day. 

 

There's also the fact that Demandred wasn't actually really trying to 'win' the war. He didn't care about the Shadow's victory. He was trying to bait Rand. That's why he gave Sarkarnen to Taim, and didn't just take everyone out. Demandred wanted to win - as surprising as it may be for one of the Forsaken - fairly against Lews Therin. 

 

Also, Mat didn't 'win'. Demandred died. He had already destroyed the Light far enough that the greatest military mind couldn't save them, only buy them time to have a miracle occur. 

 

I'm not sure how this makes Demandred look bad, just because Mat is a more skilled strategist in the technical sense. The battle that literally decided the fate of the world hinged on one factor: Mat admits towards the end that he can't hold out much longer, and only one thing could save them. Killing Demandred. 

 

One man literally held the power to win/lose the Last Battle. See how after his death, everything basically broke down and the Shadow was disorganised and routed. 

 

If that doesn't show the power of one of the Forsaken, I don't know what does. 

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I dont think mat was that much better, he won the battle but it was close, and even mat acknowledges how good demanded is. Lets not forget that but for dem thinking he had to be LTT, he would have just travelled to the command centre and fried him. And who knows what would have happened if Lan hadn't of killed dem, most of the slaughter of the shadows forces near the end was down to them being leaderless, he was winning when he died, i doubt the stunt with the dragons in the cave would have been so effective with dem about.

 

Indeed. When I say Mat is probably 'better' than Demandred, that's just in terms of pure skill. It doesn't take into account any other factors. Just because Mat is more gifted, doesn't necessarily make him invulnerable.

 

It's pretty rash to say just because Mat was the better strategist, it negates everything and there was no point of Demandred being General. If Demandred hadn't been commanding the forces of the Shadow, it wouldn't have been close at all. The 4 armies sent out at the beginning of the book likely would have held far better and not suffered such casualties, Mat could have taken command and wiped the floor with the Shadow and called it a day. 

 

There's also the fact that Demandred wasn't actually really trying to 'win' the war. He didn't care about the Shadow's victory. He was trying to bait Rand. That's why he gave Sarkarnen to Taim, and didn't just take everyone out. Demandred wanted to win - as surprising as it may be for one of the Forsaken - fairly against Lews Therin. 

 

Also, Mat didn't 'win'. Demandred died. He had already destroyed the Light far enough that the greatest military mind couldn't save them, only buy them time to have a miracle occur. 

 

I'm not sure how this makes Demandred look bad, just because Mat is a more skilled strategist in the technical sense. The battle that literally decided the fate of the world hinged on one factor: Mat admits towards the end that he can't hold out much longer, and only one thing could save them. Killing Demandred. 

 

One man literally held the power to win/lose the Last Battle. See how after his death, everything basically broke down and the Shadow was disorganised and routed. 

 

If that doesn't show the power of one of the Forsaken, I don't know what does. 

 

I think it's just because his general skills were what was built up so much. It wasn't his channeling prowess nor his skill with a sword. It was his ability to command an army.

 

It'd be like if you had a story where the main villain was one of the world's greatest swordsmen and spent the whole story mentioning it without demonstrating it, but then had his final fight against the hero happen with the hero limping and with a busted sword. and have the hero still hold his own.

 

It might just be me, but having the heroes fight with a handicap just makes the villain look worse, because it implies that on an even battle field the fight would be far different and just makes the hero look awesome for winning against the odds.

 

Again, it might just be me, but I don't want Mat to look impressive because I don't think he deserves his skills. Again, it only bugs me with Mat. It didn't bother me that Lan was heavily fatigued when he fought Demandred for instance.

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Are we talking about aMoL, or the series? 

 

Because military power wasn't Demandred's reason for being among the best Forsaken. In aMoL I can understand, since it's the whole battle scenario and Demandred is the best left. He believes that he outstrips Lews Therin in war, but that's just his own opinion. 

 

Demandred is built up as the second greatest man in the AoL below Lews Therin. He excelled in a wide range of areas, channeling included. We don't hear about his sword skill until aMoL, but as Lews Therin was one of the best blademasters, with Demandred being touted as just below Lews Therin, he was also a blademaster. 

 

I do understand where your coming from, because he played such a big military role in the end, and it was his military expertise that was mainly shown. 

 

But Demandred's quality wasn't that he was the greatest military general in the world. He wasn't like Aginor, who was this super scientist, or Semirhage who was a super healer/torturer. Demandred was among the best because he excelled in numerous areas, making him so dangerous. 

 

If we look at what he did, it's a combination of skills he combines to become so powerful - something which Mat doesn't have. None of the other Forsaken tried messing with him or his plans. He convinced a large following of Sharans to fight for him, and stay loyal even when they found out they were fighting with Shadowspawn. Their loyalty to him kept them there. He set up Taim and did stuff with the Black Tower. He found the second most powerful male sa'angreal in existence. He did all of it undetected, even by Graendal or Moghedien, the greatest info-brokers so-to-speak. 

 

For me at least, that's what Demandred was built up to be, not just a great General. 

 

In regards to Mat, I can agree. I like Mat and he is a good character, but no, he didn't really work hard for his abilities. It was almost literally all luck. However, for me that just makes the fact that Demandred was so dominant even more impressive. 

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