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WoT If... Mat is Still Ta'veren?


Mashiara Sedai

Hello, and welcome back to "WoT If?", Dragonmount's weekly theory blog.  Today's topic is the state of ta'veren-ness within Rand, Mat, and Perrin at the close of the story.  Please remember:

 

SPOILER WARNING.  This will include content from A Memory of Light.  Please DO NOT read this if you have not completed the book.

 

At the end of the series, all our ta'veren have had a transformation of some sort.  Perrin realizes that there is no longer a tug pulling on him.

 

A Memory of Light

Epilogue, "To See the Answer"

 

What of Rand?

 

No colors swirled in his vision. No image of Rand. Perrin felt no more tugging, pulling him in any direction.

 

 

He knelt down, resting a hand on Rand’s shoulder.

 

I couldn’t feel your tugging, or see the visions, Perrin thought. You’re no longer ta’veren. I suspect neither am I.

 

Perrin thinks he is no longer ta'veren.  And he assumes Rand is not either.  But Rand's powers seem to transcend those of a ta'veren anyway.  He is able to manipulate the Pattern by his will alone.  This seems quite logical to me since, during the battle with the Dark One, Rand learned how to weave Weaves of the Pattern.  I think an apt comparison is from The Matrix film where Neo finally learns how to see the numbers.  Rand is able to see the world as it naturally is, weaves woven by the Wheel.  Therefore, Rand no longer has a need to be ta'veren

 

Perrin, as well, no longer has a need.  He accepted his responsibilities while he had to, and now that the trial has passed, he will be able to move on.  He will be a King, and help lead the world into the new Age. 

 

So, Rand and Perrin have moved past needing their ta'veren abilities.  But what about Mat?  Brandon Sanderson answered this—kind of—at a recent signing.

 

Question: Perrin felt his ta'veren-ness melting away. If Mat lost it too, does he lose his luck?

 

Brandon Sanderson: I don't believe that he does. Being a ta'veren has a distinct effect on him, but I think there is an innate luckiness to Mat, partially drawn from the fact that the Heroes [of the Horn] call him Gambler. And so in other lives where he would not have been ta'veren he was still a gambler and still lucky. However, I do think being a ta'veren meant that the luck was greatly magnified, and I think it grew stronger and stronger through the series. That's my read on it from the notes, and I'm pretty sure on that one. I have to give the caveat that there could be something out there that contradicts me.

 

Notice that Brandon doesn't state that Mat is no longer ta'veren.  He says in past lives, Mat was still a lucky person, so some of his lucky nature is innate.  But what if Mat will keep his luck after the Last Battle because he is still ta'veren?

 

We never get a scene where Mat thinks about the swirls, or his luck, or anything.  I'm sure the swirls will be gone, since his connection to Rand has been severed.  But I think Mat is still ta'veren.

 

My reasoning for this might seem a bit thin, but I'll explain my logic.

 

1. Mat without his luck would be weird.  We've become so use to Mat's luck, that it would just seem strange seeing him without it.  Albeit, Brandon said Mat would keep some of his luck, but I don't think that would satisfy us.  Ever since his gambling spree at the beginning of The Dragon Reborn, one of the only things in the series we could count on 100% has been Mat's luck!  If he lost that, he'd stop being Mat.

 

2. He resisted when the others gave in.  To me, this could be a sense of irony.  As stated earlier, Perrin hated being ta'veren, but he did what he had to.  He shouldered the heavy burden and fulfilled his part in the responsibility.  Mat did not.  He spent most of his time hiding from his responsibilities and trying to weasel out of what was expected of him.  So it would seem fitting, in a twisted way, that Mat would have to put up with being a ta'veren  longer than the others.  He's paying for his attitude towards his ta'veren abilities and towards Rand—Mat's flippant treatment of Rand even got him scolded by the heroes of the Horn: "Remember him,” Amaresu snapped. “I have seen you murmur that you fear his madness, but all the while you forget that every breath you breathe—every step you take—comes at his forbearance. Your life is a gift from the Dragon Reborn, Gambler. Twice over" (A Memory of Light, Chapter 39, "Those Who Fight").  

 

3. The outrigger novels were going to be based on Mat's journey to Seanchan.  Since more of the story centered on Mat, I think the Wheel and the Pattern weren't done with him yet.

 

My conclusion, Mat is still ta'veren.  I don't see any reason why Rand and Perrin can finally step out of the Pattern's influence, but Mat remains.  The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, after all.  And I think the Wheel likes messing with Mat.

 

That's all for this edition.  For next week, we'll look at who or what Nakomi might be.  Thanks for reading!

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For his sake he had better hope he is till Ta'veren. I mean he is married to Tuo... i mean Fortuona after all. With her as a wife he will need all the luck he can get. I was really hoping they were going to tone down her attitude a bit in the end of the series or at last have her soften up a bit, but she stayed pretty wicked and serious to the end. I suppose she had to be being the empress and all but i mean come on already.....

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Mat will always be lucky, just not quite as much. Loosing his Ta'veren-ness will mean that the dice will finally stop rolling in his head, but he'll still be one of the luckiest S.O.B.s in the world.

 

If the outrigger books would have been done, it would have been interesting to see Mat try to find a way to get the dice started again due to some urgent need. Maybe through another visit with his friends the "Snakes" and "Foxes."

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I'm more worried about what will happen to his depth vision if he loses the ta'veren-ness. I do presume that's the reason he still can operate normally with only one eye... So if he stops being ta'veren, does he then suddenly lose his depth vision, like any other one-eyed man? No more knife throwing on Mat then...

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I'm more worried about what will happen to his depth vision if he loses the ta'veren-ness. I do presume that's the reason he still can operate normally with only one eye... So if he stops being ta'veren, does he then suddenly lose his depth vision, like any other one-eyed man? No more knife throwing on Mat then...

 

 

I'm more worried about what will happen to his depth vision if he loses the ta'veren-ness. I do presume that's the reason he still can operate normally with only one eye... So if he stops being ta'veren, does he then suddenly lose his depth vision, like any other one-eyed man? No more knife throwing on Mat then...

He already lost the deph vision. It's stated so a few times on the book. He is still able to throw knives with perfect aim because of his luck. In his own words "Luck works better when you can't see anyways" (paraphrasing).

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When asked about Mat and his visit with Lanfear in the White Tower, RJ said:

 

 


"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."

 

I really don't have any idea what that means, since recent talks with Brandon have insinuated that Mat's luck (as Hawkwing calls him "Gambler") is innate, not a part of being ta'veren or anything like that.  I can't imagine it comes from the Dark One, but RJ seems to imply there might be some connection.

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Look at towers of midnight, what one of the finn's says right after they take mat's eye.

 

 

Towers of Midnight, Chapter 54: The Light of the World

 

"How it twists around him!" said the one who had taken his eye. "How it spins! Scents of blood in the air! And the gambler becomes the center of all! I can taste fate itself!"

 

During the last battle, Mat was sure important but not necessarily the center of all. So it can go to reason that this will extend to after the last battle, and he will have to continue to be ta'veren. 

 

 

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