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iokepa
08-11-2010, 07:56 PM
After having the book out for close to a year, and several re-reads, I find that most of the characters in TGS ring true to me - except for Mat. I don't know why, perhaps its because he was my favorite for so long, but he just seems to have become immature even for Mat in this book.

I'm not saying I don't like the book, or that I don't enjoy Brandon's writing. I've read the mistborn series, and plan to read the Way of Kings. It's just Mat, he feels like Mat, just Mat from back in the early years...

Am I just crazy Theorylanders? Does anyone else have these thoughts about their favorite characters?

Terez
08-11-2010, 08:09 PM
I think Brandon hit the nail on the head here, with why Mat freaked everyone out so much:

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist interview with Brandon - 25 May 2010 (http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-brandon-sanderson-interview.html)

For this entire interview, I've tiptoed around one issue: the fan reaction to Mat in THE GATHERING STORM.

You kindly didn't ask directly, though I did sense that you were trying to get at it. And your own comments about THE GATHERING STORM are among those I did read. I know what you've said about Mat.

It's curious. I've gotten around 1500 emails about TGS so far. (Of those, by the way, only one person didn't like the book. I'm not arrogant enough to assume that person is the only one--I'm guessing that most who didn't like the book didn't feel the need to email me and chew me out for it.)

Of those 1500, only a handful mention Mat. However, he IS the one brought up the most often. Oddly, it's almost exactly divided between people saying, "I love how you did Mat, he's my favorite part of the book," and people saying, "I loved everything about the book, except Mat didn't feel right."

That has been very interesting to me. One thing this does for me is that it actually relieves a big burden off my back, because it means that I did everybody else right. It also means that Mat is noticeably different to a small number of people. Was this done intentionally? No, it was not. I worked on Mat like I worked on all the rest of the characters, and I feel as close to Mat as I feel to the rest of the characters. I asked Harriet, and she said, "You did Mat perfectly. Don't change him."

So...where does that leave us? I'm not sure. I do realize that my sense of humor is slightly different from Robert Jordan's sense of humor. And perhaps if I had to do it again, I wouldn't lead with the monologue from Mat that I used, because that's where the difference is most obvious. A person's sense of humor is like their thumbprint. And I'm not sure that I could ever replicate Robert Jordan's thumbprint when it comes to that, and it never has been my goal to replicate him exactly.

I think that in the narrative, though--the places aside from the monologues--Mat is still Mat. Of course, Mat had some really big things happen to him in KOD, things that have shaken him and the way he sees the world. But at his core, he's still the same person.

However, if you were worried about him, it should help you to know that the large bulk of the Mat sequences Robert Jordan wrote are in TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. There is a lot more Robert Jordan Mat to come. So maybe it's not really an issue at all.

iokepa
08-11-2010, 08:32 PM
Man I swear, I'm just not gonna post anything else until I finish reading through your interview database... :)

Thanks though, you're right - he hit it right on the mark about that opening monologue. I think what makes it worse is I listen to the audio books a lot, because I travel with work - and the actor delivered that monologue pretty 'whiney'(spelling?) too..

One Armed Gimp
08-11-2010, 08:45 PM
Man I swear, I'm just not gonna post anything else until I finish reading through your interview database... :)

I wish more people would say that, too many people post without thorough research, but everyone misses stuff from time to time.

BS is right, the monologue threw me off, humorous as it was, and I had a prejudice towards TGS Mat scenes after that. It took a couple times through to realize that was my biggest issue with it. Brandon is also right in pointing out the differences between his and RJ's sense of humor, with a character like Mat, it makes an impact. I think he hit Mat dead on in the latter scenes, especially the scene with Verin.

greatwolf
08-12-2010, 02:16 PM
I wish more people would say that, too many people post without thorough research, but everyone misses stuff from time to time.


I'll try to be both honest and fair, if I may. Nobody can replace RJ for me. And if they tried, I think it would take a decade of research to get it right. RJ was into a lot of things as a person: military, history, conan, hunting, fishing (did Suian give us the fishguts?) chess, vietnam and a whole lot of other things.


He's even of a different generation. L'amour's one of his favourite authors and he was my favourite before wot. BTW I didn't read other RJ novels. All this without adding the complexity of the wot plotline.


So I think he's done a wonderful job but not that he got it the way RJ would have. He cant do that. But I beleive he'll learn and do it better. To me, it would have been wonderful if we had only one book not three. I felt it would be less painful. Anything that came after could be manipulated to fit the authors who wrote it, a little like the star wars novels.

But now that we've had tGS and ToM is on the way, perhaps I'll wait and see what happens.

Sukoto
08-12-2010, 03:58 PM
I still liked Mat in tGS, but there were just a few places where I thought BS went too far. Here are some of my <sarcasm>favorite</sarcasm> Mat lines from tGS:
tGS, ch. 34
"I'm not going to be surprised again, Thom," Mat said. "Burn me, but I'm not going to let it happen. I'm tired of walking into traps unprepared. I plan to take command of my own destiny, stop running from problem to problem. It's time to be in charge." "And you do that with..." Julin said. "Elaborate aliases with backstories," Mat said, handing Thom and Noal their sheets. "Bloody right I do."
tGS, ch. 36
She reached into a pocket of her dress, pulling out several pieces of paper. One was the picture of Mat. "You didn't ask where I got this." "You're Aes Sedai," Mat said, shrugging. "I figured you... you know, saidared it." "saidared it?" she asked flatly. He shrugged.
Let me make it clear that I think these lines are funny. A little cheesy, but more funny than anything I had previously read in the series. But that's what makes me uneasy about it. The jokes are too current. In these lines I feel like I'm getting the present-day Brandon Sanderson injected into the story instead of Mat from the Two Rivers.

Terez
08-12-2010, 04:24 PM
One thing that struck me as off about Brandon's comments was that he said since Mat was brought up most often that he must have done everyone else right. I think that a large part of what made people freak out more about the style difference when it came to Mat was the fact that Mat is everyone's favorite character. He was the one everyone was most worried about, and those worries might have led to us being more critical than we otherwise might have been.

Ieyasu
08-12-2010, 08:52 PM
One thing that struck me as off about Brandon's comments was that he said since Mat was brought up most often that he must have done everyone else right. I think that a large part of what made people freak out more about the style difference when it came to Mat was the fact that Mat is everyone's favorite character. He was the one everyone was most worried about, and those worries might have led to us being more critical than we otherwise might have been.

I thought he did a good job with Mat, it was a little off, but not out of character off.

Aveindha is the character I think he was the most off on personally.

GonzoTheGreat
08-13-2010, 05:31 AM
Aviendha was having a bit of a crisis.