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Tamyrlin
10-28-2009, 04:06 PM
I've heard some criticism of Mat's voice in this book in comparison to his voice in previous books, but on this I give Brandon the benefit of the doubt. Mat has experienced a fundamental shift in personality because of Tuon's leaving. In the past, he has either run from women, used them or been used by them, but we have never seen Mat in love. However, I think we are seeing that the way he is used to reacting no longer makes sense to him, but he doesn't understand and wants to feel like he normally feels in this situation, but can't make himself feel it. He loves Tuon and now she is gone. He wants to be with her, but he's trying to convince himself that he doesn't that he wants to get as far away as possible and drink and dice till he dies. I'd rather detect this shift in personality, which seems more genuine to me, than the "same ole Mat" would have fit. I just don't think as readers that we've ever seen Mat mature much. Most of it has been forced by the Finns, in the case of his memories, or by the Pattern as Ta'veren.

Unfortunately - Brandon was forced to start Mat right at the moment of this change, so it's difficult to know how Jordan would have approached Mat's voice, but I think it would be a fair question as to whether Jordan left notes about this moment regarding Mat.

Neilbert
10-28-2009, 04:11 PM
That's not the part that felt forced to me. Mat's dialogue was what felt forced.

AbbeyRoad
10-28-2009, 04:23 PM
Agreed. His 'jokes' were off the mark and out of character, and just fell flat most of the time. He just seemed a bit forced.

Tamyrlin
10-28-2009, 04:35 PM
It comes out (and should) in his dialogue. His jokes should fall flat, to some. He should seem out of character to others. I'd be surprised that if Brandon was trying to write Mat from the previous eleven books, to sound just like Mat, that he couldn't have done it, considering that he did most of the other characters (I care for) well. There is enough content to have "drawn" Mat the same as five books ago.

Mat's is "trying" to be non-chalant. He is "trying" to be funny. He seems more on edge, more jumpy, but I'd be surprised if that wasn't purposeful.

Terez
10-28-2009, 04:48 PM
The voice was completely different, not just Mat's mood. Thom and Talmanes were also very different, but perhaps I just noticed them more because they're in the Mat chapters. You can't really explain away all the differences by Mat's experiences here.

But I'm not complaining - I think BS did a great job. Mat was just OOC.

Tamyrlin
10-28-2009, 05:21 PM
"You can't really explain away all the differences by Mat's experiences here."

Like I said, Brandon walked into Mat at a moment of changes, so beyond the question of differences, there really are some differences that he had to create. It's not meant to explain away all the differences, just trying to throw out a perspective that explains some of them.

Thom didn't seem different to me, but Talmanes did. I'd have to go back and read Talmanes before this...there was a different focus on Talmanes than we've seen before.

Terez
10-28-2009, 05:22 PM
He's usually just not that talkative, and he hasn't seemed to have much of a sense of humor before this. I know BS accentuated his stone face, and the contradiction there, but that was just a little weird.

Tamyrlin
10-28-2009, 05:24 PM
Yeah - that's what I want to go back and check. I can't tell if it is hyper sensitivity on our part, or if Jordan left notes about Talmanes that Brandon was pulling from, or if that was all Brandon.

Terez
10-28-2009, 05:33 PM
I'm not saying he had no sense of humor before. It just seemed more...subdued....before.

Davian93
10-28-2009, 05:34 PM
One issue I did have with BS in descriptors is when he called Tam "stout". It implies a completely different body type than we've ever heard before. It makes him sound like he's just fat instead of a thick older guy. It jumped out at me when reading.

AbbeyRoad
10-28-2009, 05:39 PM
Brandon had to take some allowances to change the characters a bit and put his voice in the series in the least jarring way possible. But as far as Mat's voice goes, I think BS could have done a better job characterizing Mat's maturation; I know he's changing and evolving as a character in this part of the series, but it just felt like BS was having more difficult of a time conveying Mat's POV than many of the other characters.

Regardless of his jokes falling flat, etc. Mat just seemed a bit flat in general. Maybe that's just me, and I'm biased because Mat has always been one of my favorite characters, but it just seemed to me that Brandon had a difficult time conveying the voice of Mat. I hope he figures it out a little better before Mat's voyage into the Tower of Genjei.

Davian93
10-28-2009, 05:40 PM
The ironic thing is that Mat was supposedly one of BS's favorite characters. Perhaps that had something to do it.

The Black Wind
10-28-2009, 05:50 PM
In his defense I think he totally nailed Rand, Egwene, Nyneave, Aviendha, and many others.

Mat though... Mat was a little off. I didn't mind so much his inner thoughts. The changes were subtle and can certainly be ascribed to his maturation. But his dialogue was definitely wrong to me. I will say that I thought it improved as his chapters progressed. I'm still hopeful that in ToM he'll get Mat right.

jana
10-28-2009, 07:29 PM
I definitely agree that Mat was off. However, he improved with each chapter. Or maybe I became more used to it with each chapter.

Davian93
10-28-2009, 07:39 PM
Maybe it was more because his chapters were completely empty fluff. Hell, we didn't even get a good description of Joline's robe slipping open or anything...

The Black Wind
10-28-2009, 07:43 PM
Maybe it was more because his chapters were completely empty fluff. Hell, we didn't even get a good description of Joline's robe slipping open or anything...

Lol... married life is really putting a cramp on Mat's style. He should of at least made a comment to the affect of seeing some "pale bosom."

~shakes head in sadness~

Davian93
10-28-2009, 07:44 PM
Lol... married life is really putting a cramp on Mat's style. He should of at least made a comment to the affect of seeing some "pale bosom."

~shakes head in sadness~

Perrin is clearly better at checking out the goods when he walks in on AS bathing.

The Black Wind
10-28-2009, 07:49 PM
Perrin is clearly better at checking out the goods when he walks in on AS bathing.

True... Moiraine is far and away a better choice than Joline. You know what they say about the Cairhien behind closed doors... no reservations. :D

Davian93
10-28-2009, 07:53 PM
True... Moiraine is far and away a better choice than Joline. You know what they say about the Cairhien behind closed doors... no reservations. :D


"You're trying to seduce me, Moiraine Sedai?!"

~laughs~

"Perrin. you silly boy."

"You are, aren't you?"

Tamyrlin
10-28-2009, 08:17 PM
Apparently, I'm one of few that actually enjoyed Mat's sections. Jordan has been walking Mat and Perrin through the last few books...it would have been odd if he merely just jumped into the Tower. I like that Mat runs into some Zombie village, one of the more humorous parts of the book, and later Verin finds him while he is creating some elaborate plan to find this person that is looking for him. Some lines in it were off, often the last line of the dialogue, but overall, I enjoyed his parts.

Belazamon
10-28-2009, 08:52 PM
Me too. Infinitely better than Perrin sections.

I'm sure if I read KoD and tGS back-to-back, I'd be able to easily spot the differences in Mat's characterisation. As I was reading, though, it mostly just came across to me as him trying way too hard to prove to himself that Tuon hadn't changed him. ~shrug~

ShadowbaneX
10-28-2009, 09:30 PM
Apparently, I'm one of few that actually enjoyed Mat's sections. Jordan has been walking Mat and Perrin through the last few books...it would have been odd if he merely just jumped into the Tower. I like that Mat runs into some Zombie village, one of the more humorous parts of the book, and later Verin finds him while he is creating some elaborate plan to find this person that is looking for him. Some lines in it were off, often the last line of the dialogue, but overall, I enjoyed his parts.
I loved Mat's parts of the books. I particularly loved the several pages of backstory he created for the "characters" everyone was supposed to play when they were recon'ing the town.

Mat NEEDS to do something, something likely to do with/to Tuon, but he knows he can't, and in his way, I think this other stuff he's doing is some compensation for his inability to be with her. Yes, he is acting out of character, but that's because his character before now was a womanizer. After everything with Tuon, after all the effort he put into pursuing her...well, let's take another example from the book: Perrin. Perrin spent all that energy to rescue Faile and when he finally he, he felt, out of sorts.

Mat's the same way. He spent the last book or two chasing after Tuon, he got her and then immediately had to let her go. He's used to doing something and now he's just slowly walking down an ancient road. He needed something to occupy his time, his mind and that's why he was acting a littler differently, and yet, still being Mat.

SauceyBlueConfetti
10-28-2009, 09:40 PM
I liked the Mat chapters, though there were some differences. Picking out the RJ v. BS bits will drive us insane. I thought Nynaeve was off and Aviendha, but we really haven't seen much of her POV in the past, what one?

RJ wrote women, very very well. If I were to guess, I would say the Egwene chapters were 90% RJ.

I still really, really liked this though. Different, yes. Disturbingly so? No.

jason wolfbrother
10-31-2009, 05:56 AM
I also really really liked the Mat chapters. Yes he was different. Yes you could tell. Did it matter? Not one bit. He was still Mat. as Tam said maturing, changing, growing up, coming to the realization that he does love Tuon and he is not the same "kid" that left the Two Rivers all those months ago.

Leanne
10-31-2009, 10:39 AM
I enjoyed Mat's chapters. I had heard the complaining about Mat's character before reading. However, like others have said, we should expect that the characters would change/evolve over time. Being married is a big thing for Mat. He is obviously having trouble reconciling his feelings for Tuon. He didn't expect to worry about her well-being as much as he is. It is very obvious that he is trying so hard to prove to the soldiers and himself, probably most importantly, that he is the same person.

I did notice a change in Talmanes, though if I remember correctly,even Mat mentions his change in humor in this book though. So, I think that was intentional. Maybe Talmanes humor is to balance the change in Mat. To bring out his humor more now that he is becoming more of a general and realizing that he can't run from battles.

I do think Mat's voice was better as the book went along. So, I will give Brandon the benefit of the doubt and say it's due to Mat's internal struggle that he appears so different. Sure, I'll be optimistic, I just loved the book so much and believe it will only get better in the next two.

Davian93
10-31-2009, 11:53 AM
In general, I doubt Talmanes as an upstanding Cairhienin would have been STARING at Joline's under robe action like that. Cairhienin are far too upstanding (in public) to have an issue like that. Also, Talmanes isn't 17, I doubt Joline is the first woman he's ever seen like that.

Other than that, the Mat chapters were "Fun" but like Perrin's brief appearance, nothing really happened.

1Powerslave
10-31-2009, 12:52 PM
I really didn't expect people to start "covering" for Brandon, in regards to the Mat chapters.
I thought they were very bad, on several levels. They felt sloppily written over all. Some of that is Brandon's style I must surmise. With the excessive dialogue and the lack of nuances, saying everything outright, that manifestated throughout the book in different degrees. The Mat chapters being the worst, I guess.
But it wasn't just that. The plot in them were bad. Practically everyone was out of character. Joline, Talmanes, Thom and even Egeanin. And Mat of course. Joline was a caricature of herself. Brandon using his own voice is one thing, but totally changing the voice of the characters is quite another. Don't do it Brandon! Read up on these characters before you write more of them. Please!

Zaela Sedai
10-31-2009, 03:03 PM
I liked the Mat chapters too, I actually LOL'd and got strange looks from my husband. I don't think Brandon did much wrong at all, and either way we cannot hold any of it against him. He's proven himself a great writer and then to take this on too makes him that much better. I believe he wrote most of this book and most of the next one too off notes. It's the last book that will be mostly RJ.

Trutino
11-01-2009, 12:54 AM
I remember years ago reading Mat scenes, enjoying them and worrying about how RJ would handle the transition. Mat's generally upstanding character meant that he would have to settle down once he met the DotNM. I actually think embracing the awkwardness of his new position was the right thing to do. Pretending that it could be a smooth transition would have been even worse. Tamyrlin is right that it was too bad that Mat's character evolved right after RJ's last book. That said, BS did a good job acknowledging that there was a change and showing us Mat's discomfort, just as we felt discomfort (and in my case, amusement) at the change.

I've also been waiting years for Talmanes to show another side. Strangely, new Talmanes felt right to me.

Callandor
11-01-2009, 01:52 AM
It's so hard to describe. I liked what Mat was saying at times. The elaborate joke about women being goats, the back stories (those were really good), continued insistence drinking and gambling will continue.

But something just felt really off. Best I can put it, the thing that tipped me off the most was that Mat has always sworn a lot. Here, it was twice or more every page, and it was as if each chapter had a swear word chosen for it. "Here is the 'Burn it/me!' chapter." "Next up is the "bloody ashes" chapter."

I still enjoyed Mat as a character, but it did feel clearly the most like an imitation here. As others have said Rand, Egwene, Aviendha, Cadsuane, Min -- almost all pretty flawless. Maybe some spots where it was off, but briefly. Mat was just strange here. Throughout while I was reading it kept coming up in my mind that Jordan didn't write these chapters. I don't know if that was true or not, but the feeling was just about never present in the rest of my reading.

I can get the aspect of Mat changing. Naturally, that happens. The parallel with Perrin is also good. But I don't think that was the entire thing with Mat's section. Though, I can't really pinpoint much of a reason why, which is basically why I think it just was due to Brandon being a different writer.

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