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Weekly Topic: What is the most useful item Mat has acquired


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41 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the most important item that Mat has acquired

    • Dagger
      5
    • Horn of Valere
      1
    • Dice
      1
    • Ashanderai
      2
    • Foxhead medallion
      6
    • Memories
      19
    • His hat
      7
    • The ring
      0
    • Other
      0


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So during the course of Mats travels he's acquired a few useful items.  But out of all of them, which is the most important?

 

 

 

the dagger - this is loosely connected with Mats luck (he notices that despite always being lucky it increases drastically after he's been healed in TV).  More importantly Fain uses it to stab Rand.  It's the 'sealing' off of this wound and the 'fight' between the two evils that allowed him to cleanse saidin.  His immunity to the dagger is also important when it comes to protecting Rand from Shaisam in the Last Battle

 

The Horn of Valere - used at Falme to save all three taveren.  Even though Mat didn't blow it, it was also necessary in the Last Battle.

 

Dice - his entire fortune was built on these.

 

Ashandarei - not only does it suit his fighting style, he used it to fight Couladin, but it was also completely necessary for escaping the Tower of Ghenjei, upon which the future of the world hinged.

 

Foxhead medallion - protects Mat from direct contact of the Power, but doesn't stop objects thrown with the Power such as poo.  EDITED IN: kept Mat and Elayne alive against the gholam.  Most importantly, it allowed him to take control of the Last Battle, as it protected him from the compulsion of the Great Captains and then match Demandred blow for blow (as it were)

 

Memories - without these would he have his victories, would Tuon have completed the ceremony if he didn't remember Hawkwing?  Would they have won the Last Battle without them?

 

His hat - Saved him from severe sunburn and possible dehydration in the Aiel Waste.

 

The ring - this is one of the things that Tuon notices and one of the reasons she allows Mat to 'kidnap' her.  It's possible that this could be argued to be the basis of their relationship,  or at the least the first domino: without the ring she wouldn't have been kidnapped, she wouldn't have married Mat, she wouldn't have any ties with the heroes and would be a straight out disaster - can we imagine that meeting with Rand going any worse?
 

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I voted for the Foxhead medallion because it ends up helping others too via Elayne's ter'angreal making ability - which given enough time would provide a pretty effective defence against the gholam.  However, I think it is pretty hard to choose as without a lot of the items Mat (and other characters crucial to the LB) would have died.

 

I think at the very least the Ashanderei and foxhead medallion are crucial.  Mat (and Elayne) would have been killed without the former, and Mat, Thom, and Moiraine would have been trapped in Finnland forever without the latter.  I don't think not having any of the other items would have necessarily directly resulted in the death of a main character, although things would have gone very differently in a lot of situations. 

 

I don't think the Horn of Valere technically counts as Mat's item.  It was found by the whole group at the end of tEotW, and i don't think it really mattered whether it was Mat, or Perrin, or anyone else who blew it at Falme.

 

The dagger I suppose is pretty important, but maybe channeling of some kind would have been effective against Shaisam?  I think Fain's reappearance at the end of AMoL was so abrupt that the significance of Rand vs. DO/Mat vs.Fain/Perrin vs. Slayer & Lanfear didn't seem quite as important as perhaps it might have been intended to be.

 

Without the memories I suppose a lot of situations would have gone significantly differently, particularly the Band of the Red Hand wouldn't have formed.  But its difficult to work out all the knock on effects of this.  R.e. their affect (plus the ring) on Tuon, I'm not sure how much Mat really influenced Tuon's decisions regarding Rand, so I would put these slightly lower down than the Ashanderei and the foxhead medallion.

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I had to pick the dagger. That dagger kept triggering events and kept it’s significance throughout the entire series.

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I agree, I think the key point about the dagger is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing the source. 

 

I can't honestly decide which is the most important, although it's probably between the ashanderai, the medallion and the dagger.  The key thing about the dagger, for me, is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing saidin.  The medallion is the only reason the gholam didn't kill Mat and Elayne and the ashanderai is how they escaped the Tower. 

 

But there's a bit of a foretelling loophole with Min.  She (presumably) foresaw that Moiraine was needed at the Last Battle, and as I believe that Siuan/Gareth was her only either/or prediction (I think the Eg/Gawyn ones were all foretold by Eg?), if not her first, that meant Moiraine had to come out of the Tower.  Which means that Mat had to survive until then, as Moiraine saw that the only way she came out was if Mat went in.  So is it possible for him to find another way to defeat the gholam, or another way out of the Tower (for example said both snakes and foxes...), or was it only ever possible for him to have the necessary items? 

 

Alternatively - I think someone's said that foretellings don't hold if the pattern unweaves, so does that mean that if Mat had died (prior to the Tower) then the entire pattern would have unwoven? 

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I agree, I think the key point about the dagger is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing the source. 

 

I can't honestly decide which is the most important, although it's probably between the ashanderai, the medallion and the dagger.  The key thing about the dagger, for me, is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing saidin.  The medallion is the only reason the gholam didn't kill Mat and Elayne and the ashanderai is how they escaped the Tower. 

 

But there's a bit of a foretelling loophole with Min.  She (presumably) foresaw that Moiraine was needed at the Last Battle, and as I believe that Siuan/Gareth was her only either/or prediction (I think the Eg/Gawyn ones were all foretold by Eg?), if not her first, that meant Moiraine had to come out of the Tower.  Which means that Mat had to survive until then, as Moiraine saw that the only way she came out was if Mat went in.  So is it possible for him to find another way to defeat the gholam, or another way out of the Tower (for example said both snakes and foxes...), or was it only ever possible for him to have the necessary items? 

 

Alternatively - I think someone's said that foretellings don't hold if the pattern unweaves, so does that mean that if Mat had died (prior to the Tower) then the entire pattern would have unwoven? 

I had kind of forgotten about the role the dagger played in the cleansing, or perhaps don't really think of it as Mat's dagger after Fain gets it back.  

 

Does the removal of a ta'veren cause the pattern to unravel, or rather would the pattern unravelling cause a ta'veren to die when they shouldn't?  I don't know which would be cause and which would be effect.  Was there any evidence of any of Min's visions becoming less reliable from KoD onwards, i.e. once other symptoms of the Pattern unravelling began to show up (e.g. dead people walking, towns disappearing, buildings rearranging themselves, etc.).

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I would have to say that Mat's memories are his most important plot point, followed very closely by the dagger.  While the dagger did continue to tie into events in very important ways, the many battles in between would not have ended so favorably without those memories.  I also really enjoy the changes to Mat as a character as a result of the memories he gained.  It gave him that extra edge of mysticism that his character would have overwise lacked. ... Random speaking of the old tongue aside.

 

As to this:

Does the removal of a ta'veren cause the pattern to unravel, or rather would the pattern unravelling cause a ta'veren to die when they shouldn't?  I don't know which would be cause and which would be effect.  Was there any evidence of any of Min's visions becoming less reliable from KoD onwards, i.e. once other symptoms of the Pattern unravelling began to show up (e.g. dead people walking, towns disappearing, buildings rearranging themselves, etc.).

 

I think Min's visions were certain so long as the pattern remained stable.  As the pattern began to unravel, the outcomes were cast into doubt, with visions scryed after the fraying became more and more uncertain.  The best analogy I can think of is the selfsame one RJ used: that of a pattern woven from threads.

 

When weaving a tapestry, if the warp and weft of the thread is properly handled, the cloth will have a destinct image (the Pattern).  This image can be easily predicted by someone looking beyond the edge of the completed weave, as Min does.  Drop a few threads and the predicted image will blur or details will be lost.  Pull threads out in their entirety (balefire them, in WoT terminology) and the weave will begin to fray or, worse, fall completely into horrible tangles of loose thread.  So, Min's predictions are valid only so long as the weave of the pattern stays tight.  If it loosens or is otherwise damaged, the pattern changes or completely disappears.

 

On a quick aside, a lucky few born as Taveren are like a special bit of brightly colored thread that is used sparingly.  They direct the eye along the image, or twist the pattern into something new and unexpected.  I believe the reason Min can see so many visions around them is because their "color" is easily picked up from the more common background hues.

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Without the Dagger, none of the others would have happened. I think it's the key to his whole thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dagger is what started it all. So it is the key; but not the most important thing. The stuff he got in Rhuidean is what's important; and they are a total package: medallion (guardian against compulsion), Ashendarei (saves Moiraine), and memories (wins Merrilor battle). 

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I picked the Ashandarei, only because, to me, it is the only item that we know for SURE affected the outcome of everything.

 

Without the horn, maybe Falme would have turned out different, but considering teh Seanchan cam back anyway...

And it's possible someone else could have blown it at the last battle.

 

No dagger...maybe no immunity to the mist, but then maybe the mist never would have escaped either. And as for the dagger's role in cleansin Saidin, it's possible Rand may have figured it out, and we simply don't know what would have happened with his Ishamael wound without the dagger's wound to "fight" it.

 

The dice, well, he never knew what they meant until it was too late anyway.

 

The foxhead, it wouldn't have been Mat to constantly fight the gholam, and it might have racked up some more kills, but it still could have been taken out the same way; some intrepid AS could have knocked it into a gateway.

 

The memories are a close second.  We'd have to hope someone else managed to take the reins at the last battle and pull out a win.  Unlikely, but not completely impossible.  Maybe another AS could learn to remove compulsion, and heal the great captains?

 

His hat?  Was that important in some way that I don't remember?

 

The ring...Mat is charming, I'm sure he could have still gotten on Tuon's...erm..."good" side even without it.

 

That leaves the Ashandarei.  Without it, he never escapes the tower of Ghenjei.  No Mat, no Thom, no Moiraine, no ghost Jain Farstrider.  That requires someone else to help Rand in the bore, someone else to win the last battle, someone else to watch Rand and Co's back while in the bore, someone else to protect Olver (hornblower), someone else to influence Tuon's policies (good luck on that).  \

 

So yeah, Ashandarei for me :)

Edited by clutzyninja
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I agree, I think the key point about the dagger is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing the source. 

 

I can't honestly decide which is the most important, although it's probably between the ashanderai, the medallion and the dagger.  The key thing about the dagger, for me, is that it showed Rand the key to cleansing saidin.  The medallion is the only reason the gholam didn't kill Mat and Elayne and the ashanderai is how they escaped the Tower. 

 

But there's a bit of a foretelling loophole with Min.  She (presumably) foresaw that Moiraine was needed at the Last Battle, and as I believe that Siuan/Gareth was her only either/or prediction (I think the Eg/Gawyn ones were all foretold by Eg?), if not her first, that meant Moiraine had to come out of the Tower.  Which means that Mat had to survive until then, as Moiraine saw that the only way she came out was if Mat went in.  So is it possible for him to find another way to defeat the gholam, or another way out of the Tower (for example said both snakes and foxes...), or was it only ever possible for him to have the necessary items? 

 

Alternatively - I think someone's said that foretellings don't hold if the pattern unweaves, so does that mean that if Mat had died (prior to the Tower) then the entire pattern would have unwoven? 

I had kind of forgotten about the role the dagger played in the cleansing, or perhaps don't really think of it as Mat's dagger after Fain gets it back.  

 

Does the removal of a ta'veren cause the pattern to unravel, or rather would the pattern unravelling cause a ta'veren to die when they shouldn't?  I don't know which would be cause and which would be effect.  Was there any evidence of any of Min's visions becoming less reliable from KoD onwards, i.e. once other symptoms of the Pattern unravelling began to show up (e.g. dead people walking, towns disappearing, buildings rearranging themselves, etc.).

 

 

Additionally, I guess that Fain is something 'unique' to this turning, so there must be different methods of cleansing saidin, since I think that the taint of saidin is one of the constants, and since at some point it's clean there must be another method or methods, so it's possible that even without the dagger Rand could have cleansed saidin, maybe one of his answers from the Finns if the dagger didn't exist would have hinted at a different method (assuming that was one of his questions).

 

I wonder if Min starting to view either/or viewings (and Egwene's dreams) are a consequence of the pattern falling apart.  I'm trying now to remember when the balefire 'scream' was compared to her viewing of Siuan/Gareth, although I guess her viewing of Perrin and Rand trumps all major balefire action, assuming that the pattern can withstand more than Moiraines balefire at the Eye.

 

I think all of them were equally important, so I chose the hat.

 

:)

 

I picked the Ashandarei, only because, to me, it is the only item that we know for SURE affected the outcome of everything.

 

Without the horn, maybe Falme would have turned out different, but considering teh Seanchan cam back anyway...

And it's possible someone else could have blown it at the last battle.

 

No dagger...maybe no immunity to the mist, but then maybe the mist never would have escaped either. And as for the dagger's role in cleansin Saidin, it's possible Rand may have figured it out, and we simply don't know what would have happened with his Ishamael wound without the dagger's wound to "fight" it.

 

The dice, well, he never knew what they meant until it was too late anyway.

 

The foxhead, it wouldn't have been Mat to constantly fight the gholam, and it might have racked up some more kills, but it still could have been taken out the same way; some intrepid AS could have knocked it into a gateway.

 

The memories are a close second.  We'd have to hope someone else managed to take the reins at the last battle and pull out a win.  Unlikely, but not completely impossible.  Maybe another AS could learn to remove compulsion, and heal the great captains?

 

His hat?  Was that important in some way that I don't remember?

 

The ring...Mat is charming, I'm sure he could have still gotten on Tuon's...erm..."good" side even without it.

 

That leaves the Ashandarei.  Without it, he never escapes the tower of Ghenjei.  No Mat, no Thom, no Moiraine, no ghost Jain Farstrider.  That requires someone else to help Rand in the bore, someone else to win the last battle, someone else to watch Rand and Co's back while in the bore, someone else to protect Olver (hornblower), someone else to influence Tuon's policies (good luck on that).  \

 

So yeah, Ashandarei for me :)

 

Excellent point about the dagger!

 

The gholam had been sent to find various of the Superkids, Mat fought the gholam before anyone else was aware of the problem, and it had already taken out several channelers before they figured out how they could beat it.  Without the medallion the gholam would have undoubtedly killed Mat and Elayne before anyone could figure out how to stop it, unless the pattern (or Mats luck) intervened to keep the gholam away from them

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don't know what books you guys read, his hat is obviously most important! It keeps the sun out of his eyes so he can use everything else! :p

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Nice, a tad gruesome, but a good shout :)

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