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Finnssss22

Mat (stubborn or not)

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I didnt mean to post several identical posts - they didnt come up on my computer, so I kept posting. Mods, feel free to delete the copies.

 

I am a woman, I am not alone and my experience is that most guys AREN'T like that. I have always had many male friends and none of them ogle all women they see. Some of them also get really mad when guys are disrespectful to women by touching them without permission or just pretending to care to get laid. Of course, I am Norwegian so I also think culturally our men are raised a different way. It is common for boys and girls to be friends.

 

Back to Mat: I still think he is reckless even if it turns out later he had to do what he did. He doesnt respect advice from others, and it can lead to potentially fatal situations. I have never thought about the knife/Fain being central in Rand figuring out how to cleanse saidin, though. I guess that makes sense.

 

And what I mean about the illuminators was, wasnt it Mat who deviated from their plan because he wanted to get his hands on some fireworks? Which made it all go wrong.

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Mat was suppose to be sort of the carefree bachelor one,  Mat even said himself, he wanted women to be happy to see him.  All he wanted was a smile,  if something happened fine, but all he wanted was for them to be happy.  He never expected anything to happen, but if it did then great.  He wasn't a love them or leave them type but he also wasn't looking for a relationship.  Mat was the one who wanted to just have fun.

 

Mat as we have seen doesn't really think things through, he acts on impulse.  Hence why he is the one who is the prankster.  Rand remembered when Mat got caught trying to cut open fireworks.  The taking the dagger, going in the doorway in both tear and Rhudiean, placing the fireworks on the stone in Tear, etc.   He simply jumped into action to save Auldra, he didn't think about the odds or anything, he just sort of acted.  I think are good examples of him not thinking things out and taking into consideration potential dangers.  It's not about if these things the pattern wanted to happen since he doesn't know that.  But Mat is reckless and impulsive.  Doesn't mean he is a bad person, just means he is one to act on impulse. 

 

Only contact I remember Mat having with illuminators was Auldra in the 3rd book when he saved her.  I might be wrong but I don't remember Mat doing anything with them.

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The thing I'm thinking about was with the illuminators' guild house, quite early in the series. But I don't remember the incident entirely, so can't really say for sure what that was about. It is possible I'm thinking about when he saved Aludra.

 

Yes, Mat is impulsive, and this can be a good, or a bad trait. Most of the time, he manages to deal with what happens, and then it becomes a good trait. But if you just rush into things without thinking it through, it's a bad thing.

 

He got much better in this department after he got all the other men's memories, though. 

 

And I agree, he was never mean or manipulative towards the women he was interested in, so he was in no way a jerk. I don't know, he still just... kind of annoys me, though. But he gets much better throughout the series, although he still has that annoying habit about being bitter  / angry that people aren't grateful enough for whatever he's done, yet he just brushes off what other people do. One example is when Mat is mad that the Aes Sedai woman in the Wandering Woman and the innkeeper weren't grateful enough for him opening the a'dam, yet later in that same chapter he thinks of Juilin as a fool for being annoyed that they didn't need the sul'dam outfits he had gotten after all. It probably took him quite a lot of risk to get those, but Mat just brushes it off. If you want to sulk about others not being as grateful as you think they should, then at least have the grace to thank others yourself. 

 

Whoever said that we have to remember the characters don't see much of each other, so it's not weird they would believe the others were the same wide-eyed "idiots" they had been back home, I guess that's true. I haven't really thought about that much, but of course we see a lot of things about the others that they don't.

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The thing I'm thinking about was with the illuminators' guild house, quite early in the series. But I don't remember the incident entirely, so can't really say for sure what that was about. It is possible I'm thinking about when he saved Aludra.

 

 

 

I'm pretty you're thinking about the burning down of the Illuminators chapter house in chapter 27 of the Great Hunt. That was caused Rand and Loial, some Trollocs and Selene.

Aludra was in charge of that chapter house so she was blamed and expelled for it all. We don't see her again until Mat saves her life in the barn tDR chpt 40.

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the Rand POV I was referring to was Path of Daggers Chapter 14.

from the paragraph::

 

[Rand] had asked once, warily, where he knew the answers would be true, how to cleanse the taint from saidin. And got a riddle for answer. Herid Fel had claimed the riddle stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy," but he had not seen any way to apply it to the problem at hand. Had Fel been killed because he might have puzzled out the riddle? Rand had a hint at the answer, or thought he might, a guess that could be disastrously wrong. Hints and riddles were not answers, yet he had to do something. If the taint was not cleansed somehow, Tarmon Gai'don might find a world already ruined by madmen. What had to be done, had to be done.

 

not sure if Rand heard anything while he was being Healed from the dagger cut.

if I remember correctly, those scenes (dagger cut, Healing) were Min POVs.

after Rand woke up, few comments were made about the cut/Healing.  and shortly after that, Rand went to fight Sammael.

not sure if Rand discussed the cut/Healing with anyone before the scene I quoted.

 

 

the encyclopaedia site says this::

 

Rand once asked the question of how to cleanse saidin.3 The answer he got was a riddle that Herid Fel said stated "sound principles, in both high philosophy and natural philosophy." Rand thinks he knows the answer.4

 

3. Of the Aelfinn during his trip through the twisted red doorway. (TSR,Ch15)
4. The riddle is never made clear, but the application of the answer is revealed in WH,Ch35.

http://encyclopaedia-wot.org/books/tpod/ch14.html

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correct,rand burned the illuminator's chapter house at cairhien,

when it happened,ingtar,his soldiers,mat and perrin haven't reached cairhien yet.

Edited by jack of shadows

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Ah. Sorry about that, won't lay that at Mat's feet :) 

It is mainly his complaining I dislike, although more of the characters do that. But, I don't think we really disagree all that much - and we all have some characters that just sometimes irks us, without necessarily being able to explain why.

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At first I hated Mat, his being so immature really annoyed me.  At times you would think he would be serious he was cracking jokes and such.  But as a character he really started to grow on me and Perrin quickly became the one I disliked out of the three guys. 

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At first I hated Mat, his being so immature really annoyed me.  At times you would think he would be serious he was cracking jokes and such.  But as a character he really started to grow on me and Perrin quickly became the one I disliked out of the three guys. 

I agree that Mat grows on you. And I notice that the first time I read, when I was barely 12-13, I liked him better from the beginning, but now, as 25, I really disliked him in the beginning, but it slowly beginning to like him better as the story develops. I think it is because he matures quite a lot after a while, and stops complaining, at least out loud. Being an adult IMO is very much about taking responsibility, even when you don't want to. 

Edited by OlwenaSedai

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I enjoyed Mat the most out of all the men.  He was comic relief of a sort for me.  No matter how stubborn he was about things, he always did what was right.   

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Mat and Rand both think they can make decisions for others, and they see everything else as virtually a delay/distraction. They can be really without respect. They were both convinced Egwene was just too stupid to realise she wasnt the "real" Amyrlin, for example. In some ways they are almost as bad ad Cadsuane when it comes to expecting everyone to do whatever they think they should do, and not respecting that people have other plans. And at least Cadsuane is somewhat of a badass, even though she can be really unlikeable. (She and Rand are similiar in some ways.)

 

Mat's complaining gets on my nerves because he seems to believe himself and his missions are the only important things in the world. And I guess I also sort of dislike him because he is exactly the sort of guy I dislike in the real world, who is unable to see women as anything else than either a potential bedmate or someone who needs his help but is too stupid or stubborn to realise it, and who aggrandizes his own importance. He is a self-assigned white knight, although he complains about it, and it irks me. But by all means, he is not the only one in Randland who needs to be taken down a notch.

 

While Rand is horribly arrogant and often foolish, and Perrin both insecure and sometimes blind, their change in behaviour and the way they develop makes sense, considering the way the story goes. I dont think the same holds for Mat, but I am open for arguments.

 

I wouldnt say the women manipulated him into going to Ebou Dar, they merely knew he would not give up "taking them" to Caemlyn, and figured it was easiest if he comes along. He is incredible - those women, not even bound by the rod could take out most threats themselves, but he seems to consider them helpless. That way of thinking he is the only capable person is his worst trait IMO, but I guess it does have an appeal to quite a few people ;)

Spoilers ahead.  Mat only pursued women who were of like mind, who liked the company of a man as much as men like the company of women.  Any others that might have been of a mind eventually, he always used his winning smile and gave them a silver coin for their smiles.

 

And you have to remember, Mat hates work and battle.  He does everything he can to get out of those situations but the pattern thrusts him into them again and again and he meets them head-on despite his protests and complaints about it.  Remember him trying to flee the Band shortly after the battle for Carhien?  He ran into the White Lions and the others thought that he was leading them to another battle and they had an easy and sound victory.  It cemented his position with them even more following him becoming their permanent commander by saving them, and leading them into battle after battle before eventually killing couladin.  

 

Mat was totally manipulated into accompanying the girls to Ebou Dar.  This was shown with their holding Thom and Julien away from him, and the girls even met and talked about it.  Thom warned him that they were doing it and convinced Mat that it would be easier to give in than to try to force Elayne to return to Andor.  There were some subtleties, but it was pretty obvious.  They even didn't tell him that they would need a few days to reach the city leaving him and his men without provisions as another thumbed-nose to Mat trying to bring him down a peg, along with Elayne winning over his men.  I would also like to point out that he was bullied by the sisters, manipulated by many people while in Ebou Dar, and despite saving the lives of the Aes Sedai and spiriting them away, he was poorly treated by the women, hounded, starved(Tylin, anyone?)  My hat went off to him when he finally spanked Jolene later after leaving Ebou Dar.  Even Eguanen treated him badly and he helped her escape too.  However we do see that he gains respect from both Setalle Anan and the Red Sister.  When it comes down to it Mat wins us over because he is an average guy with a prankster streak who deals with the many adverse situations thrust upon him with deadpan complaints and humor and his skewed view of things.  I love the long-running joke between Rand, Mat, and Perrin that the others know women better than the current POV does.  

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I believe this thread is a testament to how skilled RJ was at crafting characters. Olwena, you embody those female characters who found Mat disgusting and those same women give almost your exact reasoning for finding him so annoying. He is the example of a type of male ego, one of his flaws just like so many other characters, mixed with his loyal heart and other redeeming other qualities.

 

Finnssss, you represent Mat wonderfully, as well as all the men in the Hand who admired him and would follow him to death. You also see those women in the same light as Mat. Their up thankfulness and overly proud, haughty attitudes.

 

Look at how different these personalities are and how polarizing they are. Many times in a poorly written book the characters scream that they were all written by the same personality. Not in this case. As mentioned above, these characters' constant source of conflict and frustration is an unwillingness to communicate, to trust a person they had every reason to trust. I would argue that, as annoying as certain characters come off, the fact that on this site we have so many "camps" for almost every character is a great examples of a very skilled writer who could create personalities with only matching themes and challenges but not copy and paste characters. And for that matter make them so relatable to the reader.

 

I think I need to start a thread about pride being a universal theme in the series.

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eguanen? did you mean egeanin?

Sorry, I haven't seen the books in years, I listen to the audiobooks almost daily so it's hard to remember all the odd spellings of names. :rolleyes:

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I believe this thread is a testament to how skilled RJ was at crafting characters. Olwena, you embody those female characters who found Mat disgusting and those same women give almost your exact reasoning for finding him so annoying. He is the example of a type of male ego, one of his flaws just like so many other characters, mixed with his loyal heart and other redeeming other qualities.

 

Finnssss, you represent Mat wonderfully, as well as all the men in the Hand who admired him and would follow him to death. You also see those women in the same light as Mat. Their up thankfulness and overly proud, haughty attitudes.

 

Look at how different these personalities are and how polarizing they are. Many times in a poorly written book the characters scream that they were all written by the same personality. Not in this case. As mentioned above, these characters' constant source of conflict and frustration is an unwillingness to communicate, to trust a person they had every reason to trust. I would argue that, as annoying as certain characters come off, the fact that on this site we have so many "camps" for almost every character is a great examples of a very skilled writer who could create personalities with only matching themes and challenges but not copy and paste characters. And for that matter make them so relatable to the reader.

 

I think I need to start a thread about pride being a universal theme in the series.

This was a great post. You are probably right.

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Pride actually is central to the story when you think about it. It was pride that helped open the DO's prison and it was pride that helped seal it up again, and caused all the funny and annoying misunderstandings and miscommunications throughout the series.

Edited by wotfan4472

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I enjoyed Mat right through the series. As much as Rand and Perrin. All three did what was needed their own ways that pretty much cements them as Fantasy's Trinity in my opinion. As great as DC's Trinity, but with more to the characters.

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I often read criticisms of Jordan's writing of women. It's interesting to see that some, at least, find the women more identifiable.

 

Mat is the quintessential Rogue Hero, never wanting to be tied down and always seeking the easy way out, yet somehow always end up doing the Right Thing and saving the day.

 

If you like that kind of archetype, then Mat is amazing. If not, then he may come off as untrustworthy and annoying.

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I often read criticisms of Jordan's writing of women. It's interesting to see that some, at least, find the women more identifiable.

 

Mat is the quintessential Rogue Hero, never wanting to be tied down and always seeking the easy way out, yet somehow always end up doing the Right Thing and saving the day.

 

If you like that kind of archetype, then Mat is amazing. If not, then he may come off as untrustworthy and annoying.

I think some of that criticism is deserved - the main problem is that all his female characters are very similiar - proud, angry, independent, but good-hearted. There are some variations to this, but this is the block they were all chiseled from. It's just that I identify with that sort of archetype, at least partly (the women can annoy me a lot aswell, they are too proud for their own good sometimes, not wanting to admit there are some things they need advice or help with). 

 

I don't think Mat is untrustworthy - he keeps his promises. I just think he has a slight hero complex, for all his complaining about not wanting to do any of the stuff he does, he sure seems to think that he's the only capable one and everyone needs his help, too. 

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I often read criticisms of Jordan's writing of women. It's interesting to see that some, at least, find the women more identifiable.

 

Mat is the quintessential Rogue Hero, never wanting to be tied down and always seeking the easy way out, yet somehow always end up doing the Right Thing and saving the day.

 

If you like that kind of archetype, then Mat is amazing. If not, then he may come off as untrustworthy and annoying.

I think some of that criticism is deserved - the main problem is that all his female characters are very similiar - proud, angry, independent, but good-hearted. There are some variations to this, but this is the block they were all chiseled from. It's just that I identify with that sort of archetype, at least partly (the women can annoy me a lot aswell, they are too proud for their own good sometimes, not wanting to admit there are some things they need advice or help with). 

 

I don't think Mat is untrustworthy - he keeps his promises. I just think he has a slight hero complex, for all his complaining about not wanting to do any of the stuff he does, he sure seems to think that he's the only capable one and everyone needs his help, too. 

 

 

He doesn't, he just thinks the *women* need his help. He's a gallant, for better or worse.

 

As for the WOT portrayal of women, I think "proud and arrogant" mold comes from the type of women being featured. Most of the female characters are Aes Sedai, Wise Ones, or Nobility (or both). They are used to taking charge and expecting deference. On the other hand, ordinary women like Min, Aludra, or even Birgitte (though she's far from ordinary) do not have this air of arrogance.

 

Nynaeve is a subversion of that trope. She starts out as the most prominent example of the "angry proud woman" trope, then through a dozen books turn into this wise, compassionate, and sympathetic character.

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