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Jokeslayer
11-10-2010, 03:09 PM
So the fact that we missed the significance of Mat's ashanderai has got me wondering if there was anything else in his dealings with the snakes and foxes that we overlooked. Giving up half the light of the world is obvious, and marrying the daughter of the nine moons is too, but what does it actually mean "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was"?


TSR 15
"Burn your soul for a craven heart," Mat growled, "I will that! Why will I die if I do not go to Rhuidean? I very likely will die if I try. It makes noŚ"
The man cut him off and spoke hurriedly. "You will have sidestepped the thread of fate, left your fate to drift on the winds of time, and you will be killed by those who do not want that fate fulfilled. Now, go. You must go! Quickly!"
The yellow-clad guide was suddenly there at Mat's side, tugging at his sleeve with those too-long hands.
Mat shook him off. "No! I will not go! You have led me from the questions I wanted to ask and given me senseless answers. You will not leave it there. What fate are you talking about? I will have one clear answer out of you, at least!"
A third time the bell sounded mournfully, and the entire room trembled.
"Go!" the man shouted. "You have had your answers. You must go before it is too late!"
Abruptly a dozen of the yellow-clad men were around Mat, seeming to appear out of the air, trying to pull him toward the door. He fought with fists, elbows, knees. "What fate? Burn your hearts, what fate?" It was the room itself that pealed, the walls and floor quivering, nearly taking Mat and his attackers off their feet. "What fate?"
The three were on their feet atop the pedestals, and he could not tell which shrieked which answer.
"To marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons!"
"To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!"
"To give up half the light of the world to save the world!"


Up to now, I think we've mostly assumed that Mat's dying and living again was either at getting hanged Rhuidean or killed at Caemlyn at the end of TFoH. But neither of those really fit.

His death at Rhuidean is the easiest to discount: it was the price of his bargain (or at least, being hanged was). It could be both the price and his destiny, although that doesn't seem likely. The finns don't fulfill destiny, they merely report it.

And at Caemlyn, although Mat did die and live again, I don't think it fits the prophecy very well. Specifically, his fate was to die, and since both the other parts of his fate had major consequences, shouldn't we expect that the third part would too? And although Mat being brought back was important, his death wasn't. In addition to this, it's possible that in the line "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was", the two uses of "live" do not refer to the same incident. That is, if the death is Mat's death at Caemlyn, the prophecy as given is identical to "to die and live again, a part of what was".

And what is the "what was"? This part of the prophecy seems to be overlooked normally, probably with the assumption that it's just fancy wording for the world or the pattern. But what if it isn't? What if it refers to something else - like Hawkwing's empire?

So perhaps Mat will die again in a way where the death itself is significant. What that might be, I don't know, but I thought I'd see what other people think.

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 03:17 PM
And what is the "what was"? This part of the prophecy seems to be overlooked normally, probably with the assumption that it's just fancy wording for the world or the pattern.
It's always made the most sense to me that the "what was" refers to the time-bending nature of balefire. Mat not only died and was brought back to life by the effects of balefire, but he was brought back in the past - i.e., he also lived "a part of what was" as well as living on from the moment the balefire hit Rahvin.

Landro
11-10-2010, 03:18 PM
"....and live once more a part of what was!"

I think this part refers to Mat's memories. Like for example the flashes he had while dancing with Betse or the memories he recalled after he chased Tuon on the Razor and recognized the hills called "the dancers".

tuon asking him if he remembered Hawkwin's face is also a good example of this.

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 03:22 PM
I think this part refers to Mat's memories. Like for example the flashes he had while dancing with Betse or the memories he recalled after he chased Tuon on the Razor and recognized the hills called "the dancers".

tuon asking him if he remembered Hawkwin's face is also a good example of this.
That would seem to imply, however, that the memories are directly connected to Mat dying. While I suppose the argument could be made that the 'Finn couldn't stuff the holes in his head until he was dead from hanging, the fact still remains that Mat didn't die when he was hanged, so that doesn't really work.

ChiefsFan
11-10-2010, 03:33 PM
So the fact that we missed the significance of Mat's ashanderai has got me wondering if there was anything else in his dealings with the snakes and foxes that we overlooked. Giving up half the light of the world is obvious, and marrying the daughter of the nine moons is too, but what does it actually mean "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was"?


Up to now, I think we've mostly assumed that Mat's dying and living again was either at getting hanged Rhuidean or killed at Caemlyn at the end of TFoH. But neither of those really fit.

His death at Rhuidean is the easiest to discount: it was the price of his bargain (or at least, being hanged was). It could be both the price and his destiny, although that doesn't seem likely. The finns don't fulfill destiny, they merely report it.

And at Caemlyn, although Mat did die and live again, I don't think it fits the prophecy very well. Specifically, his fate was to die, and since both the other parts of his fate had major consequences, shouldn't we expect that the third part would too? And although Mat being brought back was important, his death wasn't. In addition to this, it's possible that in the line "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was", the two uses of "live" do not refer to the same incident. That is, if the death is Mat's death at Caemlyn, the prophecy as given is identical to "to die and live again, a part of what was".

And what is the "what was"? This part of the prophecy seems to be overlooked normally, probably with the assumption that it's just fancy wording for the world or the pattern. But what if it isn't? What if it refers to something else - like Hawkwing's empire?

So perhaps Mat will die again in a way where the death itself is significant. What that might be, I don't know, but I thought I'd see what other people think.

Well, we know for certain that the Camlyn death was what the prophecy was talking about.

From RJ:

Balticon XXX April 1996 - Bill Garrett reporting


Mat's amulet blocks both saidin and saidar. Jordan answered this one straight-out when asked. He pointed out that the amulet only blocks actual weavings of the One Power, not the physical effects that could be caused by a weaving. For example, Elayne was able to use the One Power to hurl a rock at Mat. Rahvin was able to create a bolt of lightning which struck Mat. (Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.)

Belazamon
11-10-2010, 03:35 PM
Well, we know for certain that the Camlyn death was what the prophecy was talking about.

From RJ:
Hah. This is what I get for not being conversant with the interview archives. :D

tiredofbuttons
11-10-2010, 03:42 PM
Well, we know for certain that the Camlyn death was what the prophecy was talking about.

From RJ:

that makes it even weirder that in 1999 he said. Sigh.

Q: I was really referring to the scene where the wall falls on them and Rand uses balefire and they all come back to life. There's a prophecy about Mat how he was going to die and I'm not sure whether that incident is where he dies or not.

RJ: Well you're not supposed to be, are you! Once, Mat was hanging by his neck and Rand wasn't sure whether he caught a heartbeat or not. You see, the thing is Mat doesn't know. Mat thinks he's got a little ace in the hole but maybe he hasn't. Maybe he doesn't have that ace in the hole that he has a death to give yet, and still live, the way he thinks. Maybe. There's an acronym they use on the net, RAFO. Read and find out.

Jokeslayer
11-10-2010, 03:44 PM
Hah. This is what I get for not being conversant with the interview archives. :D

At least you didn't start a whole thread about it.

(Although I will be clinging to the semantic hole that it referred to "a prophecy" not the prophecy)

Callahan
11-10-2010, 03:53 PM
So the fact that we missed the significance of Mat's ashanderai has got me wondering if there was anything else in his dealings with the snakes and foxes that we overlooked. Giving up half the light of the world is obvious, and marrying the daughter of the nine moons is too, but what does it actually mean "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was"?


Up to now, I think we've mostly assumed that Mat's dying and living again was either at getting hanged Rhuidean or killed at Caemlyn at the end of TFoH. But neither of those really fit.

His death at Rhuidean is the easiest to discount: it was the price of his bargain (or at least, being hanged was). It could be both the price and his destiny, although that doesn't seem likely. The finns don't fulfill destiny, they merely report it.

And at Caemlyn, although Mat did die and live again, I don't think it fits the prophecy very well. Specifically, his fate was to die, and since both the other parts of his fate had major consequences, shouldn't we expect that the third part would too? And although Mat being brought back was important, his death wasn't. In addition to this, it's possible that in the line "to die and live again, and live once more a part of what was", the two uses of "live" do not refer to the same incident. That is, if the death is Mat's death at Caemlyn, the prophecy as given is identical to "to die and live again, a part of what was".

And what is the "what was"? This part of the prophecy seems to be overlooked normally, probably with the assumption that it's just fancy wording for the world or the pattern. But what if it isn't? What if it refers to something else - like Hawkwing's empire?

So perhaps Mat will die again in a way where the death itself is significant. What that might be, I don't know, but I thought I'd see what other people think.

The "what was" part refers to the memories he will receive in the Rhuidean Doorway.

Jokeslayer
11-10-2010, 04:02 PM
The "what was" part refers to the memories he will receive in the Rhuidean Doorway.

Really? I don't agree - I think that's the worst explanation I've heard so far.

morat'corlm
11-10-2010, 05:09 PM
The "what was" part refers to the memories he will receive in the Rhuidean Doorway.Yes, I think this is the intuitively obvious answer.

googly
11-10-2010, 06:35 PM
Well, we know for certain that the Camlyn death was what the prophecy was talking about.

From RJ:Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.It's interesting to note that the prophecy does not really say anything about "living, dying, and then living again". It talks about "dying and living, and then living again (a part of what was)". Does he have another get-out-of-death-free-card, or is it just an abstruse way of describing resurrection by balefire?

Terez
11-10-2010, 08:30 PM
Really? I don't agree - I think that's the worst explanation I've heard so far.
Why? It makes perfect sense.

ChiefsFan
11-10-2010, 10:05 PM
It's interesting to note that the prophecy does not really say anything about "living, dying, and then living again". It talks about "dying and living, and then living again (a part of what was)". Does he have another get-out-of-death-free-card, or is it just an abstruse way of describing resurrection by balefire?

"To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was!"

He is supposed to die and live again. That was the balefire. Living once more a part of what was is the memories since he is reliving past events with them.

Belazamon
11-11-2010, 01:33 AM
He is supposed to die and live again. That was the balefire. Living once more a part of what was is the memories since he is reliving past events with them.
He was already doing that before he died, though.

Jonai
11-11-2010, 01:43 AM
I'm cool with assuming balefire fulfilled this - there are too many other dead horses to beat in the 1+ years we have until aMoL.

Belazamon
11-11-2010, 01:46 AM
I'm cool with assuming balefire fulfilled this - there are too many other dead horses to beat in the 1+ years we have until aMoL.
No beating horses while I'm around, buddy. :mad:

Jonai
11-11-2010, 01:48 AM
Awww, why not Bela? *pout*

Enheduanna
11-11-2010, 04:28 AM
Awww, why not Bela? *pout*

Poor Bela has enough to put up with whenever Siuan gets on her back. :D

missbee
11-11-2010, 04:46 AM
"... and live once more a part of what was!"
I had always assumed that part meant that Mat had access to old memories in his previous lives too.

googly
11-11-2010, 02:31 PM
I had always assumed that part meant that Mat had access to old memories in his previous lives too.I don't like that "and live once more" part. It's suspicious!