View Full Version : Mat - The One Who Is No Longer?

11-14-2010, 11:56 AM
Bear with this. It's an alternate theory for the Dream foretelling about the Bowl of the Winds. [Mods note: Posting this here because it includes a dream about Mat from ToM.]

The original dream is as follows: "All three Dreamwalkers had this dream, which makes it especially significant. Rain…coming from a bowl. There are snares and pitfalls around the bowl. If the right hands pick it up, they will find a treasure perhaps as great as the bowl. In the wrong hands the world is doomed. The key to finding the bowl is to find the one who is no longer." -- Aviendha

Now I'm aware that the popular pick for "the one who is no longer" is Setalle Anan, for 2 reasons. The first being, she was once Aes Sedai and is "no longer" so. Of course, the dream makes no specific mention of "no longer *something" meaning "*Aes Sedai".

The second, more important reason is that Nynaeve & Elayne encountered Setalle who in turn led them to the Kin and thus the bowl of the winds. But the reason they ran into her in the first place was because they were looking for Mat.

Aviendha who knows of the dream wording, first suggested they seek Mat's help in finding the bowl of the winds.
"We prepare for success, but we are as far away as when we began. Does it make sense not to use every weapon at hand? Mat Cauthon is ta'veren, yet we work to avoid him. Why not take him with us? With him, we might find the bowl at last." -- Aviendha

Asking for directions to where Mat stayed at the Wandering Woman Inn led the serving girl there to inform Anan about Elayne and Nynaeve posing as Aes Sedai. That's how Anan finds them, right outside the door to Mat's room. Setalle says the only reason she'll help them, take them to the Kin, is because of Mat.

On the way to the Kin, both Elayne & Nynaeve consider, reluctantly since they're not on the best terms with the man, that the credit to finding the bowl would have to go to Mat: "We would never have gone to the inn without Master Cauthon, so we'd never have met the remarkable Mistress Anan or been taken to this Circle. So if the Circle does lead us to the Bowl, we have to say he was the root cause." -- Elayne

Once Setalle takes them to the Kin, her involvement with finding the bowl ends. Yet before the Kin reveal the location to Elayne & Nynaeve, Mat pops up and tells them he's found it having located the storeroom. Again, Mat is credited with the progress they've made: "I must thank you, though, Mat. It is entirely due to you that we have found what we were looking for." -- Elayne

When they go to retrieve the bowl, they have to deal with snares and pitfalls mentioned by the dream in the form of Darkfriends, the Black Ajah and the Gholam. In the end it's Mat who fights the gholam, saves the day and ensures that the right hands get the bowl.

RJ repeatedly plays up Mat's role in events leading up to the finding of the bowl, beyond the norm I mean. Most major prophecies and foretellings that we know of have involved the 3 ta'veren characters. Since Mat's clearly the hero in those chapters of the story, one might want to ask if & how the dream foretelling here could fit him.

The real question is, how is Mat "the one who is no longer"? The phrase doesn't quite specify what the person no longer is, unless it means death. Otherwise it could mean anything such as, no longer a simple farmer, no longer a commoner, no longer infected by the dagger, no longer with holes in his memory, etc..

Speaking of those holes, prior to sending Aviendha off to Rhuidean to become a Wise One, Amys refers to her as a "girl no longer". What if the usage is the same in this case, i.e. "One no longer"?

Mat has memories of Other men in him. He speaks the Old Tongue without knowing it, has flashbacks that have nothing to do with his own experiences yet thinks of them as his own, etc. There's both a distinction and a blurring between him and those other identities. One no longer?

Before approaching him about the bowl, Elayne & Nynaeve send Birgitte to feel Mat out. Birgitte & Mat's first conversation is quite telling:"Some people speak a few words, a phrase or two, because of the old blood. Usually without understanding what they say, or not quite. But you.... One sentence, you're an Eharoni High Prince and the next a First Lord of Manetheren, accent and idiom perfect." -- Birgitte

Birgitte makes the above distinction right before they make any breakthrough with the Bowl. RJ hinting at Mat again?

There are plenty of other examples of those other memories from Mat's POV. Mat is Mat but he's also influenced by those other memories when he needs them and even when he doesn't. He's not singular in that sense. A newer, compelling piece of evidence comes from Perrin's recent dreams in ToM:Mat stood there. He was fighting against himself, a dozen different men wearing his face, all dressed in different types of fine clothing.

This has wider implications for Mat as a character. He's known as the Gambler, the Fox who Makes the Ravens Fly, Hornsounder, Prince of Ravens, the One-eyed fool, etc.. No title in prophecy really refers to his other memories, his most defining attribute besides his luck. The closest is 'Son of Battles' used by the 'Finns and that could simply be a reference to the Old Blood of Manetheren, since it implies a descendant/inheritance.

I know this goes in the face of a fairly "established" theory but I hope we can keep an open mind. We shouldn't totally ignore the possibility here of Mat being the subject of the Bowl dream, maybe referred to as "one (who is) no longer".

11-14-2010, 12:31 PM
The usual assumption is that it is about Setalle Anan, the one who is an AS no longer.
Mat seems less likely, but not impossible.

11-14-2010, 09:09 PM
Well-thought-out, but do we gain anything from reinterpreting the Dream in such a way? Nothing wrong with it as s thought exercise, but there doesn't seem to be any potential "revelations" that could come of us realizing our original interpretation was wrong... so it probably isn't. :)