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Rand's Power

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I always assumed the Luck to be Mat's manifestation of Ta'averen. We only know three TA "personally" although we have heard of several historical TA. Perhaps even Logain was a 'minor' TA considering his history and circumstances. Artur Hawkwing who pretty much conquered the world, and LTT who Sealed the Bore, were Emperor Ta'averen. They both impacted history in such a way that was overshadowed only by one other person, Rand al'Thor, the DR, who won the fight against the DO and saved the world. Rand could be considered to be an Ultra-Emperor Ta'averen, but the nature of how his Ta'averen manifested (until the taint, and his self-hardening started making him melancholy) was similar. He become a leader, a builder, and what he needed, the Pattern provided. (He needed an army, Bashere shows up at his doorstep. He needs Ashaman, and Taim shows up). He twists chance, as all TA do, but it worked in a meta-building and empire-building context, for the most part. It also provided him with luck, as did his channeling. 

 

Perrin's Ta'averen nature manifested more as leadership, lordship and nation-building. He was just an average man thrust into leadership, but his TA rather than need guided people to listen. He ends up raising an army almost as an afterthought; but the true nature of Perrin is that people were willing to listen, willing to trust.

 

Mat manipulates chance. The odds of a farmer stumbling into a Doorway Terangreal in a city so protected and revered and sacred by its culture, that to merely enter the city without permission invited a swift execution. One was not permitted to speak of the city, acknowledge its existence to outsiders, etc. Yet an outlander (and Wetlander to boot!) receives permission to enter - although it must be difficult to refuse two ta'averen, especially when they ask nicely. This is arguably the first manifestation of Mat's luck. Then on the side of this doorway he unwittingly asks for the one thing that will establish his "cred" and allow him to eventually fight the last battle - memories. Another form of Luck.

 

Mat can guide and manipulate chance, he can make the improbable probable, in short, he can "juggle the odds". It works best when his need is really great (such as his life being in danger) and occasionally does not work at all.

I'm not going to track down all the quotes, but I can give you a breakdown of the "Mat's luck is not ta'veren" theory. The first on screen instance of Mat's luck is in TGH, when Mat is gambling in Fal Dara, and he notes his win streak (it's not a Mat POV). In TDR, on the road to TV Mat gambled with Hurin, but his success lead to them playing only for coppers, and then not for money at all (this is off screen, and related later). When Mat makes his escape from the WT, we see his luck truly go off the charts, in a way we haven't seen seen before, and nor has he. During the chapters of him gambling in TV, he notes that he had always been lucky, but his luck increased after taking the dagger from SL, and has increased since the separation from the dagger (this being the first chance he's had to gamble since then). It's worth bearing in mind that all the boys became ta'veren shortly before the series began, and that some time passes before they reach SL, and Mat specifically notes that it was after SL that his luck increased. Further, he always considers the two things separately, at least in the RJ books - WH15 has a good example: "At first, he had believed it was his luck spreading, or perhaps being ta'veren finally coming in for something useful." Mat understands and accepts that he is ta'veren, but still sees it as separate and distinct from his luck. There's a lot of little bits of evidence which clearly suggest that Mat's luck is somehow related to his experience with the SL dagger, although the hows and whys are not clear.

 

 

Which brings up an interesting point. We have no idea how much of these last three books would have made RJ stand up and say "no way". It was initially surprising to see some of the things Brandon would get wrong in interviews. Then it came to light that he only studied the worldbuilding notes for a couple months, and then gave up instead relying on Maria to find the info he needed. We have seen a number of mistakes of varying levels since TGS. Not saying it's the case in this instance but can something be considered canon if it contradicts facts from RJ's books?

 

As for Mat and his luck we know he has always been lucky, we should be asking how much do we attribute to his "gambler" archetype/soul trait? As Mr Ares said the luck ramps up post WT, not when he initially becomes ta'veren. It is a fascinating topic to be sure. Also what did RJ mean by:

 

Interview: Sep 3rd, 2005

Question
In The Dragon Reborn, Lanfear visits Mat as he is recuperating from his One Power surgery over the dagger. At one point she stretches out her hand towards him and he feels a tingle going over him, somebody interrupts them, and she turns her head and sobs, at about the same time a member of Black Ajah stole angreal and ter'angreal out of the Tower cache, one of which was a ter'angreal that was known to have some effect on chance. So it was about this time that Mat's really really really weird luck and the dice rolling in his head began, is this a connection or coincidence?
Robert Jordan
That is a coincidence. When they say that Mat has the Dark One's own luck, he can get as mad as he wants to, but in a way it is true. It wasn't a gift from Lanfear, though.

 

 
Edited by Suttree

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My problem is that im almost always posting from work, so i dont really have time to write a coherent and well quoted, well-researched theory. All i can say is that after all my numerous reads of the series, I still believe that Mat's luck is related, if not part of, his ta'averen nature. As for his strange luck when he left the WT (TPoD?) I don't recall seeing anything that sheds light on it. A somewhat farfetched explanation would be that Lanfear put a weave on him when he was recovering in the WT.

So my personal opinion/theory is that its somehow ta'averen related. And RJ has stated on more than one occasion that what a character believes is not necessarily correct or accurate. 

:smile:

Lanfear did not put a weave on him. While what a character believes might be wrong, what evidence can be shown to say that Mat's luck and ta'veren are the same? Compared to a number of suggestive points that consistently indicate they are different. "But it was not just since leaving the Tow Rivers that he had become lucky. The luck had come once he took the dagger from Shaddar Logoth." TDR 30. Shortly after that, we see him trying to convince himself that it was something the bloody Aes Sedai did to him - better that than something to do with SL. Mat left the WT in TDR, by the way. And while you may not have the time to produce a well researched theory full of quotes, it is worth paying attention to those who can do so - true, a lot of those theories aren't right, but they can still be very interesting nonetheless.

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I'm not arguing with you - its a great theory. My personal belief is what i have mentioned before. I don't recall the exact scene where lanfear walks into mat's bedroom in TV and essentially offers him the world, but i think he shivers or something. maybe ill reread TDR on the way home.

But I"ll boil my theory down to the essence:

1. Mat is "lucky"

Mat's luck is almost always seen when he gambles - dicing, for example, or cards, or even horse races (which is more skill than luck). He later determines (i think at the end of TDR) that his luck is much better when it relies on chance - twisting chance.

It's first noticed after he escapes the WT, he gambles the whole night, wins purses full of gold, and escapes attack from assassins, etc.

Going back, one can pick up several hints of mat having unusual luck (none that i can recall offhand).

 

2. Mat's Luck twists chance

A Ta'averen is said to have the Pattern swirling around him, he tugs or twists at threads of the pattern. Being that we don't understand precisely how the Pattern works (other than that people are said to be threads, making up a fine lace or tapestry, etc.). Mat's Luck tugs slightly at the pattern, subtly pulling 'threads' to suit his needs (and sometimes wants).

 

3. Lucky Warrior

After Mat gets his battle memories from the bloody foxes shoved into his brain, his subconcious turns those memories into experience for him. If some person were to theoretically get a "memory transplant" just because its in his brain does not mean that he experienced those memories (read David Webers Mutineers Moon for a different, scifi approach to this topic). His Luck allowed him to not only obtain the memories, but to remember living them as well. 

 

Feel free to disagree, as i've said, this is the gist of my own theory.

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Rand making ancient trees appears within a few minutes, that is also impossible. Controlling the Pattern.

 

Rand making DF's go mad by his very presence, impossible.

 

Rand does many things which are impossible.

 

 

 

 

In Mat's and Perrin's case, I see no control of the Pattern, just affecting probablities. Although Odin and Thor are great...Perrin becoming nearly an Unstoppable Juggernaut once he became the Grandmaster of TAR.

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XKCD has an awesome interpretation of Mat's luck: (remember to read the hovertext!) http://xkcd.com/708/

 

Rand making ancient trees appears within a few minutes, that is also impossible. Controlling the Pattern.

 

Rand making DF's go mad by his very presence, impossible.

 

Rand does many things which are impossible.

 

 

 

 

In Mat's and Perrin's case, I see no control of the Pattern, just affecting probablities. Although Odin and Thor are great...Perrin becoming nearly an Unstoppable Juggernaut once he became the Grandmaster of TAR.

"If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways?"

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I think its kind of funny how much time certain people are spending trying to explain and make sense of the Jesus Rand and his post-sealing powers.  Jesus Rand was very clearly Brandon's invention and him getting carried away.  Then...in the last book, after he had been rebuked by Harriet, he inserts several scenes that are explicitly designed to retcon Rand and explain away his Jesus powers.  I mean it was done so poorly its a slap in the face to us.  He met with Moridin and Moridin just explained it all for us as if a sixth grader wrote the scene.  And later on, the entire battle scene where he tries to reproduce Maradon is only in the book to show that he can't do it again and it wasn't a miracle last time but was merely him with angreal against pathetically weak foes.

 

I mean it really is so poorly and obviously retconned that it is obvious.  I'm really confused as to why some people are debating it and saying it was all part of the plan originally.

 

Regarding his post-sealing "powers"...all I can say is that somewhere RJ is laughing at you guys right now.  He's laughing because the entire intent of Rand lighting his pipe like that was to get this reaction out of his fans.  There is nothing to it whatsoever and there is no explanation.  It is more of a "this guy just overcame death, saved the world, and sealed a deity back into his prison...he's not quite a normal guy anymore."

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This probably belongs in the Mat's Arc section, but an interesting quote from TDR, Chapter 8:

 

"Perhaps," Moiraine said. "Perhaps not. No one knows anything about ta'veren as strong as Rand." For just a moment she sounded vexed at not knowing. "Artur Hawkwing was the most strongly ta'veren of whom any writings remain. And Hawkwing was in no way as strong as Rand."

 

For just a moment she sounded vexed at not knowing. "Artur Hawkwing was the most strongly ta'veren of whom any writings remain. And Hawkwing was in no way as strong as Rand."

 
"It is said," Lan put in, "that there were times when people in the same room with Hawkwing spoke truth when they meant to lie, made decisions they had not even known they were contemplating. Times when every toss of the dice, every turn of the cards, went his way. But only times."
Edited by jedman67

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Been following this thread ever since I finished the series. Surprised to see no speculation on the significance of the dragon's fang saa. Anyone got anything?

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