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yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2011, 05:15 AM
Ok, so as most of you know, I have a certain dislike for Mat. As I'm rereading the series I am consciously trying to put some of my prejudices aside and just read the story but... now other things are cropping up. I finished FoH yesterday and I've got to say: the guy is even more horrible than I remembered the first time around :(

What annoys me most right now is his attitude towards the One Power. It's mentioned several times, and it's only becoming more pronounced as the series continues: Mat thinks that the One Power has done some huge disservice to him.

But let's examine the facts:
When Moiraine shows up in Two Rivers, Mat is most distrusting of the boys, because of what his mother thinks:TITLE: Eye of the World
CHAPTER: 10 - Leavetaking
"We left notes," Mat said. "For our families. They'll find them in the morning. Rand, my mother thinks Tar Valon is the next thing to Shayol Ghul." He gave a little laugh to show he did not share her opinion. It was not very convincing. "She'd try to lock me in the cellar if she believed I was even thinking of going there."

As we know, he then gets tangled up with the dagger, which inflates this initial distrust even more. What I find interesting is that while Mat's efforts to leave Tar Valon as soon as possible after his Healing are completely understandable, he later does not revise his opinion, he considers every single person even remotely able to channel to be "out to get him". He doesn't ever acknowledge that the Aes Sedai saved his life. He's continuously suspicious towards Moiraine even though she's meek as a kitten in FoH and (I think) because of his misplaced distrust he's taken completely off guard when danger appears from a different source.

Speaking of the One Power and its effects on Mat's life, up to the end of FoH, he's been saved by the One Power 3 times (once in the Tower and twice by Rand balefiring Darkhounds/Moiraine Healing him right after and 2nd time by Rand balefiring Rahvin) and only one time was he seriously damaged by the One Power - that would be when Rahvin's lightnings killed him. That's by the end of FoH, there's more to come, obviously, although technically even Tylin's death wasn't caused by the One Power.

Part of the problem seems to be that he absolutely refuses to understand that the Snakes and Foxes have nothing at all to do with the Power.

Mat is also the most vocally suspicious of Rand's channeling throughout the first 5 books, which, frankly, is highly hypocritical considering his own paranoid behaviour regarding the dagger. One would think that having experienced a madness like that, he would have a bit of empathy towards Rand but nooooo!

From this aspect Mat's affinity with Tuon is... well, let's just say they complement each other. One thinks all channelers should be leashed, the other... agrees.

The fact is, the One Power has not caused more harm to Mat than any other non-channeler in the series. in fact, it's caused less harm and more good than several other characters. Min can't channel, Perrin can't channel, Tam can't channel, Gawyn and Galad can't channel... And if we consider the characters that can channel: Rand of course has taken the most damage but the other characters have had their share also. Mat however seems to think that the One Power exists just to torment him and he's attributing things that have nothing to do with the Power but are instead manifestations of the Shadow or even completely different dimensions from Randland as something the One Power has done specifically to him. Although, he is sort of right to attribute the gholam's actions to the Power, seeing as the gholam were made by the Power. Then again, if we consider Dark One's creatures made by the One Power, again, Mat is not the martyr here, the Borderlanders are.

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2011, 05:30 AM
All right, so Mat has dynamophobia, and you blame him for that.

Loial has gynophobia, do you think he's unlikable because of that too? (If you do, that would probably bother him a lot, what with you being a woman and all.)

yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2011, 06:36 AM
All right, so Mat has dynamophobia, and you blame him for that.

Loial has gynophobia, do you think he's unlikable because of that too? (If you do, that would probably bother him a lot, what with you being a woman and all.)
no, it's not a phobia. A phobia is being afraid of something. Mat is not afraid of change, exactly (at least, that's what I think you mean by dynamophobia, although the actual name for a fear of change is kainotophobia or metathesiophobia depending on which site you believe. Or did you mean a fear of moving things? in which case your whole argument makes no sense at all). He is more... irrationally convinced in a Harm Done to Him and apparently unable to reconcile the reality to his prejudices.

Kind of like Felix is absolutely convinced that Terez's only reason for existing is to torture him. Sure, she sometimes pokes him but not nearly as much as he thinks she does. And, you know, a lot of Terez's energy is spent elsewhere as well, on annoying Younglings and a few particular Heroes and ... well, you get the point. And sometimes Felix only gets caught in the crossfire.

it's a case of... despite overflowing evidence to the contrary, every time the One Power is used in a way that makes Mat uncomfortable, he goes "see? see??? I was right all along!" Even though most of the time the One Power is not doing anything at all to him. Not even trying to do anything to him.

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2011, 07:02 AM
What I meant (it's all Greek to me, I'll admit) was Fear of Power. Yes, it is not entirely rational in Mat's case, but then, not all* phobias are always entirely rational.

Edited to add: Moiraine even calls it:
"Still afraid of the One Power, I see."
He bristled. "Afraid?"
"I should think you have good reason for that wariness." She looked away from him. "But take care. The most displeasing of events in our lives are sometimes for our good."

* Arachnophobia is, of course.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2011, 07:11 AM
What I meant (it's all Greek to me, I'll admit) was Fear of Power. Yes, it is not entirely rational in Mat's case, but then, not all* phobias are always entirely rational.

* Arachnophobia is, of course. ah, that was my next thought. I got confused when "dynamo" was only used in the context of an electricity generator :rolleyes:

I can see that being an actual fear of his. But then the question is: is he aware of the fear or is it something in his subconscious? Also, you know what's the best way of getting rid of a debilitating fear? facing it.

also, Loial is not afraid of women, he's got the sweets for one, and he gets on very amicably with several more, although those he gets along with are of a different species from him so I'm not sure if they "count. should though, seeing as the ogier women in WoT are portrayed overall quite similarly to the human women.

Davian93
09-21-2011, 08:47 AM
Perhaps, and this is way out there, its just a lasting after effect of carrying the dagger for as long as he did. It wasn't enough to make him hate AS and the OP but it was enough to amplify his already skeptical nature towards a constant level of distrust toward them.

I think one of the least explored topics of WoT is the lasting effects that the exposure to Shadar Logoth's evil had on the main characters. You could use it to explain your annoyance with Mat and my utter hatred and disgust towards Egwene (thanks to her daily communes with Fain in the dungeons of Fal Dara).

yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Perhaps, and this is way out there, its just a lasting after effect of carrying the dagger for as long as he did. It wasn't enough to make him hate AS and the OP but it was enough to amplify his already skeptical nature towards a constant level of distrust toward them.

I think one of the least explored topics of WoT is the lasting effects that the exposure to Shadar Logoth's evil had on the main characters. You could use it to explain your annoyance with Mat and my utter hatred and disgust towards Egwene (thanks to her daily communes with Fain in the dungeons of Fal Dara).

Perhaps. as I said, I find it interesting that it keeps getting worse as the story advances rather than remaining on the same level or even (too much to hope for, I guess) diminishing over time. Considering that the Dagger's physical closeness was removed in tGH already!

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2011, 09:33 AM
I think one of the least explored topics of WoT is the lasting effects that the exposure to Shadar Logoth's evil had on the main characters. You could use it to explain your annoyance with Mat and my utter hatred and disgust towards Egwene (thanks to her daily communes with Fain in the dungeons of Fal Dara).In Egwene's defense: she was that way before, already. It is already apparent in Ravens.

I think that one of their problems is that paranoia is actually justified: assuming that literally everyone is out to get them is by far the sanest approach to the situation they find themselves in.

Actually, come to think of it, it is surprising that Perrin hasn't drawn a lot more AS interest.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-21-2011, 09:42 AM
In Egwene's defense: she was that way before, already. It is already apparent in Ravens.


oh stuff it, both of you. Egwene is wonderful, kind, smart, honest, brave and amazing and you know it.

As for Mat... well, it's just one more aspect of moronic idiocy. c'mon, man up alrady! look at Lan - there's your non-channeler heavily abused by the DO and the One Power, mingling with Aes Sedai and holding his own, gorramit!

Davian93
09-21-2011, 09:57 AM
oh stuff it, both of you. Egwene is wonderful, kind, smart, honest, brave and amazing and you know it.

As for Mat... well, it's just one more aspect of moronic idiocy. c'mon, man up alrady! look at Lan - there's your non-channeler heavily abused by the DO and the One Power, mingling with Aes Sedai and holding his own, gorramit!

Egwene=Possibly more evil than Moridin, Demandred, Graendal and Taim combined and dumber than Elaida (if that's possible).

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2011, 10:17 AM
Egwene=Possibly more evil than Moridin, Demandred, Graendal and Taim combined and dumber than Elaida (if that's possible).Elaida does give her a very good run for her money.

As for Mat: on the plus side, there's the fact that while he dislikes the OP, he does not seem to hold it seriously against the channelers.
He could've become a Whitecloak, but he didn't.
He could've gone with the "marath'damane need to be collared" approach, but he didn't.

It's like whatshisname (former US president) and broccoli: he did not like the stuff at all, but was willing to let broccoli growers vote for him anyway. That's real nobility, that is.

the_collective
09-21-2011, 12:03 PM
Perhaps, and this is way out there, its just a lasting after effect of carrying the dagger for as long as he did. It wasn't enough to make him hate AS and the OP but it was enough to amplify his already skeptical nature towards a constant level of distrust toward them.

I think one of the least explored topics of WoT is the lasting effects that the exposure to Shadar Logoth's evil had on the main characters. You could use it to explain your annoyance with Mat and my utter hatred and disgust towards Egwene (thanks to her daily communes with Fain in the dungeons of Fal Dara).

I agree with all of this, most especially the bit about a lack of real exploration into the long-term effects of exposure to the taint of the Dagger/Mordeth/Mashadar/Shadar Logoth (nor is it entirely clear which of the 4 the effect emanates from in the first place). Even to understand the nature of Mordeth's (obviously very special) relationship with the Dagger or the nature of his prior imprisonment within the walls of Shadar Logoth would go a long way, I believe, toward answering these questions.

Yet, to date, most of what we have to go on came from the new guy (Sanderson) when he tiptoed around the topic of the origins of Mordeth's queerness when discussing it with Tamyrlin in one of those Terez-transcribed resources. It's not really even worth reprinting here, since the paltry information provided isn't worth the effort of looking it up. And this is not even counting the random "abilities" Fain has exhibited.

Obviously, RJ was playing his Fain cards close to the vest. I dearly hope we learn what the deal is with Fain eventually. In my opinion, there will be some good reveals re: Fain come AMoL and the Encyclopaedia WoT.

confused at birth
09-21-2011, 01:37 PM
c'mon, man up alrady! look at Lan

Lan, a man? since when? the guy is pathetic he has spent most of his life running from responsibility which is worse than Mat doing it because he is a farm boy not a king or lord.

he ignored his duty to his people until the end and now is risking the complete destruction of the few who remain. He has never really had to think for himself just did what he wanted until he got bonded then followed Moiraine around like a pet dog.

just being a good fighter doesnt make you a man. keeping the dragon alive is important but he abandoned his responsibilities to follow a stranger who just covered up a major threat to the whole world to protect Tar Valons reputation. Every time he told Rand to act like a man or to grow up i laughed.

he is a joke

the_collective
09-21-2011, 03:25 PM
Lan, a man? since when? the guy is pathetic he has spent most of his life running from responsibility which is worse than Mat doing it because he is a farm boy not a king or lord.

he ignored his duty to his people until the end and now is risking the complete destruction of the few who remain. He has never really had to think for himself just did what he wanted until he got bonded then followed Moiraine around like a pet dog.

just being a good fighter doesnt make you a man. keeping the dragon alive is important but he abandoned his responsibilities to follow a stranger who just covered up a major threat to the whole world to protect Tar Valons reputation. Every time he told Rand to act like a man or to grow up i laughed.

he is a joke

Wow. Umm...

That's kind of a good point.

And that's not even counting all of his refusal to man up to a committed heterosexual relationship with a suitably available lady-friend (one that he doesn't even deserve, in my estimation; she's way too good for the likes of he). He runs from her just as readily and hastily as he does from everything else that he'd rather die than face.

Very good point indeed. What's up with some youngling rep for C@B, here? Seems to me like that list you two (ZS & UR) keep in your sigs never changes...

confused at birth
09-21-2011, 03:28 PM
Ha and here i thought i was going to get banned by the first person to read this

the_collective
09-21-2011, 03:45 PM
Ha and here i thought i was going to get banned by the first person to read this

To be honest, I understand your distaste for Lan much more readily than what the OPer has to say about Mat (though she has a good point, too, I suppose).

I love both of these characters. In fact, I don't think I've ever had any negative feelings toward any one character throughout, the way that a lot of you seem to do with the likes of Egwene, Faile, Fain, Bryne, etc; I love 'em all.

This does not preclude me from enjoying the realization of a character flaw being pointed out to me. Thanks for that, C@B. I'd never really thought of Lan as the emotional pussy that he is.

Sarevok
09-21-2011, 03:47 PM
What's up with some youngling rep for C@B, here?
I gave him some real rep for you. He really does have a point. :eek:

confused at birth
09-21-2011, 03:55 PM
gave him the benefit of being a nobody hero when i started reading cant do it since i got new spring cannot stand him anymore he is a prick.

liked faile hated her now like her again but i cant do the same for Lan because we almost never get to see what he is thinking and if he has moved on from his prick stage to being a man or if he is just going along to get what he wants again.

he is dying for pride and taking his whole nation with him

yks 6nnetu hing

so you are basically doing the same thing as Egwene haters you are reading again and making your hate worse. if you hated something he did the first time you will hate it more now as you have had all of his future actions to back your opinion right or Wrong.

Great Lord of the Dark
09-21-2011, 08:35 PM
Most common folk mistrust the One Power, and Mat might be the only character representing that point of view among the main characters, especially given that so many of them channel. Whether the dagger accentuated it doesn't matter, it's a very legitimate (if wrong) bias, that he keeps confirming by ignoring contradictory information. I think that makes him more realistic, as I know quite a few folk who like to keep their prejudices intact...

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 02:13 AM
yks 6nnetu hing

so you are basically doing the same thing as Egwene haters you are reading again and making your hate worse. if you hated something he did the first time you will hate it more now as you have had all of his future actions to back your opinion right or Wrong.

not entirely - I have a dislike of Mat due to his gambling habits, and that's still something I'm extremely uncomfortable with when it comes to him. Which, as I said, have consciously tried to put aside this time. To be honest, I didn't even notice the OP and crazy-hypocricy the first few times around (I suppose I just read the story and when Mat said he'd been wronged by the OP, I believed him. gullible, gullible me), but ever since EotW, the guys' treating Rand, one of his best friends - someone who's gone through thick and thin with him, as if he's going to explode right then and there. Obviously he has a point, seeing as Rand IS going crazy and most likely will destroy the world. But he's leaving his best friend out for the darkspawn to play with rather than try and help him. Willingly try and help him, that is. Just look at Perrin or Nynaeve and the way they're handling the whole Rand situation: of course they're wary of his insanity but they're trying to help as best as they can. Mat's just running away. And why? because of something that he believes is happening but isn't actually happening...

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 04:41 AM
Well, Rand did get quite close to it on Dragonmount.
And, considering the fact that for more than 3,000 years, of all the men who learned how to channel a total of zero managed to remain sane and healthy for their whole natural life, I think that a certain discomfort around male channelers is not entirely unreasonable.

Out of curiosity: if a boyhood friend of Taim were to show up and appear distrustful of the M'Hael, would you then fault him for that too?

Do you fault Min for being frightened when she realised that Fedwin Morr had gone totally insane while she was alone with him?

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 05:08 AM
Well, Rand did get quite close to it on Dragonmount.
And, considering the fact that for more than 3,000 years, of all the men who learned how to channel a total of zero managed to remain sane and healthy for their whole natural life, I think that a certain discomfort around male channelers is not entirely unreasonable.

Out of curiosity: if a boyhood friend of Taim were to show up and appear distrustful of the M'Hael, would you then fault him for that too?

Do you fault Min for being frightened when she realised that Fedwin Morr had gone totally insane while she was alone with him?

Dude. did I say it was unreasonable of Mat? no, I said some amount of distrust is justified. I also said that considering Mat's own experiences with an insanity-inducing force, his attitude towards Rand is highly hypocritical.

Rand stood by Mat during the whole dagger-craziness, Rand tried to help Mat get better and believed in Mat's recovery, after he was Healed. And how does Mat behave towards Rand? hm? If he's that terrified/disgusted at Rand, then why doesn't he take a good look at himself and either do something about his attitude or go hang himself for real this time.

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 05:15 AM
He complains, but he does stick by Rand. About the only time that he really retreats is right at first, when Rand pulls that banner from his saddle bag and informs Mat and Perrin that the Tower is gonna push him into being a mad false Dragon. Not wanting to be caught up in that is sort of sensible.

Plus, he would've annoyed the Lady Selene far too much, if he had accompanied Rand then.

Nynaeve also grumbles, and she also supports her friends.
Egwene grumbles less, and is out for her own advancement exclusively.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 05:47 AM
He complains, but he does stick by Rand. About the only time that he really retreats is right at first, when Rand pulls that banner from his saddle bag and informs Mat and Perrin that the Tower is gonna push him into being a mad false Dragon. Not wanting to be caught up in that is sort of sensible.

Plus, he would've annoyed the Lady Selene far too much, if he had accompanied Rand then.

Nynaeve also grumbles, and she also supports her friends.
Egwene grumbles less, and is out for her own advancement exclusively.

Mat "sticks around". yeah, because the Pattern pulls him, not because he thinks it's a good idea to support his friend. In fact, he fights as much as he can against the Pattern pulling him, if you haven't noticed. The constant whining about ta'veeren this and Pattern that is almost as much a part of Mat as a character as his whining about the memories in his head.

Nynaeve thinks it's a good idea to support Rand even though she's worried about him. Egwene constantly tries to check up on Rand because she's worried about him (but of course she can't because his dreams are warded). She keeps having Dreams about him though and tries to take steps to ease Rand's way.

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 06:15 AM
What steps does Egwene take to ease his way?
That may be a bit off topic*, but it is something I haven't really noticed since she hid him in TGH.

Mat does think he should help Rand if Rand needs it. He just does not think that Rand needs such help all that much, and he doesn't think that Rand wants it either, for the most part.
Mat wasn't really eager to go and be a large red herring distracting Sammael, but he did it anyway. Then he wasn't really eager to barge into a swarm of AS and bully them into helping Rand, but he agreed to try anyway. He wasn't eager to accompany half a dozen or so AS to Ebou Dar, but he did it, in order to help Rand. He wasn't eager to get married, but he did it (though that was an accident, admittedly). When Rand was going to Caemlyn to avenge Morgase, Mat showed up to come too.

* Then again, Egwene bashing is always on topic in WOT discussions.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 06:30 AM
What steps does Egwene take to ease his way?
That may be a bit off topic*, but it is something I haven't really noticed since she hid him in TGH.

Mat does think he should help Rand if Rand needs it. He just does not think that Rand needs such help all that much, and he doesn't think that Rand wants it either, for the most part.
Mat wasn't really eager to go and be a large red herring distracting Sammael, but he did it anyway. Then he wasn't really eager to barge into a swarm of AS and bully them into helping Rand, but he agreed to try anyway. He wasn't eager to accompany half a dozen or so AS to Ebou Dar, but he did it, in order to help Rand. He wasn't eager to get married, but he did it (though that was an accident, admittedly). When Rand was going to Caemlyn to avenge Morgase, Mat showed up to come too.

* Then again, Egwene bashing is always on topic in WOT discussions.

you said it yourself, Mat isn't interested in helping Rand. He's interested in running away and/or getting rid of the memories in his head. sure, he "does it anyway", kicking and screaming, shiftily craftily looking for another option (=not to help Rand) every step of the way.

As for Egwene helping Rand, she tried helping him to learn to channel, she's carrying messages back and forth between Rand's supporters, she's keeping an eye on him in T'A'R, she's politicking the AS to support him, although admittedly as the series progresses this gets rather difficult and in the end she has to take an official position that is (in my opinion) not in line with her personal thoughts. But, as you said, this isn't about Egwene, it's about wimpy wussy hypocrite Mat.

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 07:34 AM
Lemme see:

-Wimpy.
I don't think that is correct. He wants to be, but whenever it actually matters, he is brave. Then he berates himself again for having been a fool.

-Wussy.
If that were true, then he would accept Healing, instead of getting stitched up by someone who never even heard of anesthesia.

-Hypocrite.
No, he's quite honest about his attidude, he does not say it's wrong to use the OP and then benefit from it anyway (not unless it is to help others, at least), and he does not say that others have to do without either.
Still, it may be that this charge can be substantiated. I don't think the other two can. So, what've you got?

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 07:57 AM
you didn't address the fact that he's a bad friend.

wimpy: "When it actually matters" do you mean on the battlefield? Where he can't get away because of ta'veerenness? and where he's tried consistently not to end up? sure, if accident of location is bravery then Mat's insanely brave.

mind you, I don't think Elayne's type of reckless running into dangerous situations is bravery either.

wussy:your counterpoint has to do with his hypocricy, which you admit that he has. so your counterpoint is invalid. Mat is a wuss.

hypocricy regarding the OP: I'm sorry, did you actually read what I said he was hypocritical about? He HAS benefited from OP. By the end of FoH, the OP has saved his life, literally, 3 times! Not once has Mat thought "oh, look, I got saved by it this time, good for me". His hypocricy isn't even saying that OP is wrong in and of itself, his hypocricy is thinking (and pay attention here Gonzo, I laid it out in my first post already) that OP has somehow caused him enormous harm and every single wielder of the OP is specifically out to get him, Mat Cauthon when actually the OP hasn't treated him any different than anyone else and in fact has benefited him several times. 3 times (by the end of FoH) by saving his worthless little life. He's also hypocritical about madness when he himself suffered it and his friends stood by him and now a friend of his is suffering it and he's ready to desert him at first opportunity.

WinespringBrother
09-22-2011, 08:04 AM
I don't think Mat can give up his gambling, since it was the Pattern that chose that habit for him, and he will need it to help fight the Dark One. If nothing else, it already contributed to saving Moiraine, who is critical to Rand's success, according to Min (unless there is some other woman who is dead and gone that Min was thinking of, which doesn't seem likely-it would be funny if that viewing was about Lanfear though).

I also think that the whiny Mat has redeemed himself, becoming the General and embracing his fate rather than running away from it. And he does take his lumps with more humor than mopey Perrin and Rand.

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 08:14 AM
Well, the "wimpy" thing would also be disproven by his decision to run off to Tear in order to save some of his friends (who can channel), despite the fact that the a couple of Forsaken and the BA are out to get them.
Another case is his offer of letting either Nynaeve or Elayne have his medallion, when he learns that another Forsaken is out to get them. He could have ran away, but he didn't even consider that then.

I don't think I admitted he was a hypocrite, merely that I couldn't disprove that, yet.
And I think that I would want some quotes to substantiate that he is "thinking ... that OP has somehow caused him enormous harm and every single wielder of the OP is specifically out to get him". I do not see that. I do see that it makes him uncomfortable, and that his reaction is not entirely rational. He does not want anything to do with it.

As an aside, "thinking ... that Seanchan somehow caused her enormous harm and every single Seanchan is specifically out to get her" does describe part of Egwene pretty well. Amusing, that.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 08:47 AM
As an aside, "thinking ... that Seanchan somehow caused her enormous harm and every single Seanchan is specifically out to get her" does describe part of Egwene pretty well. Amusing, that.

I'm looking for quotes for the rest of it. While you're waiting though, read my first post again, I give a pretty good chronological summary there.

as for Gonzo's Mandatory Egwene-Hate: I'm sorry, when was the OP used to brutally torture, humiliate and incarcerate Mat? When was the OP used to force Mat do something he really didn't want to do, such as blow stuff up? I mean FORCE, not coerce. When was OP used to strip Mat of his identity, his name?

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2011, 09:00 AM
When was OP used to strip Mat of his identity, his name?In Caemlyn, when Rahvin lightninged him. Then he was pining for the fjords for a while, but Mat got over it. :p

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 09:13 AM
In Caemlyn, when Rahvin lightninged him. Then he was pining for the fjords for a while, but Mat got over it. :p

is that all you've got?

you know, come to think of it, I think Mat might be The Character Most Often Brought Back To Life By The One Power. I'll have to do some research on that though.

Davian93
09-22-2011, 10:28 AM
is that all you've got?

you know, come to think of it, I think Mat might be The Character Most Often Brought Back To Life By The One Power. I'll have to do some research on that though.

Of course, every time he's been brought back to life by it, its because he was originally put in that situation by it.

Its like an abusive spouse taking his wife to see the doctor after giving her a black eye.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 10:31 AM
Of course, every time he's been brought back to life by it, its because he was originally put in that situation by it.

Its like an abusive spouse taking his wife to see the doctor after giving her a black eye.

dude. again. killed by OP (Rahvin) once. killed by Darkhounds once. in the process of being killed by the Shadar Logoth dagger once.

Brought back by OP 3 times. 3>1 last I checked.

ETA: that's the count at the end of FoH, anyways.

Davian93
09-22-2011, 10:39 AM
The Dagger was the result of Moiraine (a channeler) taking him into Shadar Logoth but forgetting/refusing to properly warn them. All she says is a vague comment about how it was an ally of Manetheren in the Trollocs Wars and that Fades/Trollocs still fear it. Thus, she failed big time on giving them a proper threat briefing.

Killed by Lightning OP...brought back by balefile OP.

The Darkhounds (creatures created by the OP) are stopped by another OP channeler.

Thus, without the OP, he's living a nice easy life in the TR.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-22-2011, 10:45 AM
The Dagger was the result of Moiraine (a channeler) taking him into Shadar Logoth but forgetting/refusing to properly warn them. All she says is a vague comment about how it was an ally of Manetheren in the Trollocs Wars and that Fades/Trollocs still fear it. Thus, she failed big time on giving them a proper threat briefing.

Killed by Lightning OP...brought back by balefile OP.

The Darkhounds (creatures created by the OP) are stopped by another OP channeler.

Thus, without the OP, he's living a nice easy life in the TR.
lol, by that Moiraine point you're helping my argument against Gonzo, you know (that Mat thinks OP has done some Huge Harm to him).

Without OP Mat would indeed be in TR, probably getting his ass soundly whooped by Mistress Luhhan for stealing pies. And he'd probably be moaning and whining about his poor destiny, no adventures anywhere to be had, only milking cows day in, day out.

Then again, Without OP we wouldn't have Wheel of Time to read so the question is rather moot.

Crispin's Crispian
09-22-2011, 11:01 AM
I don't think Mat can give up his gambling, since it was the Pattern that chose that habit for him, and he will need it to help fight the Dark One. If nothing else, it already contributed to saving Moiraine, who is critical to Rand's success, according to Min (unless there is some other woman who is dead and gone that Min was thinking of, which doesn't seem likely-it would be funny if that viewing was about Lanfear though).

I also think that the whiny Mat has redeemed himself, becoming the General and embracing his fate rather than running away from it. And he does take his lumps with more humor than mopey Perrin and Rand.

Well to be fair to Perrin, he's certainly redeemed himself for moping. As of the end of ToM, he's embraced his role and appears to be the only one of three who self-actualized. I don't count Rand, because he had supernatural help from LTT's memories. Plus his whiny, mopey, non-embrasure was way worse than Perrin's.

Mat, though, still can't seem to figure out exactly what he wants to do.

confused at birth
09-22-2011, 01:02 PM
Mat, though, still can't seem to figure out exactly what he wants to do.

i would say mostly Tuon at this point, and drink then stay alive to drink while gambling then Tuon again in the morning

FelixPax
09-24-2011, 10:05 AM
I don't think Mat can give up his gambling, since it was the Pattern that chose that habit for him, and he will need it to help fight the Dark One.

Yeah, but who's going to want to gamble with Mat? He already cannot gamble with any of the Aiel men from Rhuidean. Then he's got reputation problems elsewhere too, as the Prince of Ravens who never loses!

People just won't play that game with him, anymore. No fun. No chance of winning.

Sarevok
09-24-2011, 11:46 AM
Yeah, but who's going to want to gamble with Mat? He already cannot gamble with any of the Aiel men from Rhuidean. Then he's got reputation problems elsewhere too, as the Prince of Ravens who never loses!

People just won't play that game with him, anymore. No fun. No chance of winning.

When he's near a town, he can always dress up a little less rich and dice with people in the local inns. As long as he stays in a city, keeps switching inns and doesn't gamble every night, he'll just be "the guy that won a little last month".

WinespringBrother
09-24-2011, 12:39 PM
Yeah, but who's going to want to gamble with Mat? He already cannot gamble with any of the Aiel men from Rhuidean. Then he's got reputation problems elsewhere too, as the Prince of Ravens who never loses!

People just won't play that game with him, anymore. No fun. No chance of winning.

There is more to gambling than cards and dice... I'm talking about his taking chances in battle and negotiations based on his instincts and intuition and bestowed memories. Such as his skirmishes with the Aiel in TFOH, his "negotiations" with the Atha'an Miere in TPOD, his escape from the TOG in TofM, and other situations where he diced with the Dark One, so to speak. Don't forget, his soldiers follow him because of his reputation for luck in battle, not in games of chance.

GonzoTheGreat
09-25-2011, 04:13 AM
Question: In The Dragon Reborn, Lanfear visits Mat as he is recuperating from his One Power surgery over the dagger. At one point she stretches out her hand towards him and he feels a tingle going over him, somebody interrupts them, and she turns her head and sobs, at about the same time a member of Black Ajah stole angreal and ter'angreal6 out of the Tower cache, one of which was a ter'angreal that was known to have some effect on chance. So it was about this time that Mat's really really really weird luck and the dice rolling in his head began. Is this a connection or coincidence?
Jordan: 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.So when the DO is sealed away thoroughly, Mat's luck will disappear too.

Supporting evidence: Mat has gotten luckier throughout the series, while the Seals deteriorated and the DO got more influence.

fdsaf3
09-26-2011, 01:41 AM
Counterclaim:

Mat's luck is directly tied with The Dragon's ability to channel.


Proof: Mat's luck has increased with Rand's ability to control his channeling.

(and yes, I'm being facetious).

I like Mat, but not as much as others. The scene in Dragon Reborn when Mat says something like "How many bloody people are on the rooftops tonight?" was one of the funniest things I've read in the entire series.

DahLliA
09-26-2011, 06:39 AM
if I had Mat's luck I wouldn't quit gambling either :p

FelixPax
09-29-2011, 07:06 AM
if I had Mat's luck I wouldn't quit gambling either :p

Of course! But if your name and reputation was literally known around the world, who'd chose to gamble with you?

The House would toss you out!
Even the clueless would spit at your bets, and then walk out on you!
One look at you, and what do the people think?
He's a taxman! A thief! A destroyer of fortunes!


Matrim Cauthon's just too well known now. The only way he can gamble coins, is by trying to hide who he truly is.

GonzoTheGreat
09-29-2011, 07:55 AM
Of course! But if your name and reputation was literally known around the world, who'd chose to gamble with you?Those who do not believe the stories. There are always some.
Those who are willing to take the risk. Mat sometimes loses. If you win, that's instant fame. If you do lose, that's to be expected, so no big deal.
Those who think they are very lucky themselves.
Those who are convinced they have a rock solid system for winning.

If your objection were valid, no one would ever visit a casino, no one would ever play in a lottery, and so forth.

Oden
12-04-2011, 09:46 AM
I have always seen Mat as the young man raised with prejudice towards most things and people but he has feelings for individual cases, once involved, and feels responsible for them.
Where he comes from AS were considered the third worst thing in the world. Male channelers being the second and the Dragon and the DO tied for first place (that's the ranking I think the people from the TR had). This bias sticks with him throughout the series. His dislike for Rand in tGH was an exception caused by the influence of the dagger.
He does not back away from dangers even though he tries to stay out of them. Once he's in, he follows through. He has his peculiar honor that plays a role too. That honor contradicts all his other instincts and makes him hard to read/makes him unpredictable in the beggining. When I got to know him better, I saw that he used the means presented to him, although he disliked a lot of them, and he had goals to strive for (i.e. saving the girls from BA AS, releasing damane, keeping the Band alive etc.). Those goals was never selfish despite him being a seflish person.

Regarding him being a hypocrite:
He did not ask for or in any other way show that he wanted help when under the daggers influense. He thought that he was okay and normal, as everyone should be. He thought he had a right to feel and act (as paranoid) as he did. He did not know what the dagger did to him.
When Rand turned out to be the second worst thing in the world, he had a right to be scared (he was not yet free of the dagger and he did not know much of the world at this point). I figure that Rand turning into a mad channeler equals to my best friend becoming a werewolf that does not need the full moon to transform and go crazy (that would certainly scare me enough to stay clear of her. Egwene and Nynaeve had had some teaching from Moiraine and had a greater knowledge of such things + Nynaeve was with them to save them and Egwene loved Rand. Why Perrin didn't freak out more, I do not know. He might have had more trouble with the wolves than I thought and/or thought it through really slow and deliberately.

As I read the series, I found his parts the most amusing (that's probably the point of his witticism in the series) and he is the character I can relate to the most, not incuding his biases and dislike of being ta'veren.


Moving on to the other character in this thread. And I don't want to stir the kettle, just leave my oppinion for you to see. This is no Egwene bashing as I feel I do not like or dislike her, I only think I understand her mind. Bear in mind that I have not read Ravens (as I have not found a book with that chapter in my hometown*)!
Egwene has always wanted to do the best she can in her place with no regards to earlier events and experiences, she even cheats and lies if she thinks she gets away with it. She became an apprentice to the Wisdom and followed Nynaeve were she went. She then got an opportunity to be better as an AS. She listened to Moiraine AND channeled without supervision (cheating!). She later learned that she might be a Dreamer and Dreamwalker. She practiced and practiced and used it in her other chores, i.e. hunting the 13 BA. The three girls said they were full Sisters (lying!). When she found out she could learn from the WO, she went there immediately, leaving Nyaneve and Elayne with their mission from the Mother (the job they had gotten was still being carried out while she learned more about dreams (cheating!)). Was still posing as a full Sister (lying!) and Dreamwalking without the WO's approval (lying and cheating!). So far all her lying and cheating has gone unnoticed and she has learned and achieved a lot more than she would have, had she followed the rules and regulations. When she gets summoned to the SAS, she confesses her lies to the Aiel and gets her punishment. A normal cheater would have been happy to leave with no one the wiser but not Egwene. She got what she wanted and paid for it. When arriving in Salidar and gets her instructions from her superiors, she follows them. Egwene gets to be Amyrlin. Egwene didn't choose to be the Mother but she became her and she wants to be good at it while the SAS was thinking they would get a pet-Amyrlin. Siuan Sanche was thinking to use Egwene for her own plans and, therefore, thaught Egwene. Of course Egwene used Siuan's teachings to become good at her new chores. Some might consider that cheating but I think she were just using Siuan in Salidar as she would have been using the library in the Tower albeit using Siuan is more effective.
She showed that she has goals that she strives for, she wants to do a good job and be better. She is a career woman and has been isolated for some time. What she thinks to be doing a good job might go together with the reality of things, also, it might not.
At the moment she has a political job. She has managed one part of her job, to unite the "government" behind her and remove all out opposition in the "parlament". The other part she has to work with now, the realm she "governs", the real job.

It might look like ramble babble and it might be. I know what I think but I have trouble getting my message on print, I digress a tad (or sixty) to much (acording to my friends).

*it is the hometown that the band Wannadies are singing about in their song My Home Town :cool:

leylaunknown
12-15-2011, 06:50 PM
Ok, so as most of you know, I have a certain dislike for Mat. As I'm rereading the series I am consciously trying to put some of my prejudices aside and just read the story but... now other things are cropping up. I finished FoH yesterday and I've got to say: the guy is even more horrible than I remembered the first time around :(

What annoys me most right now is his attitude towards the One Power. It's mentioned several times, and it's only becoming more pronounced as the series continues: Mat thinks that the One Power has done some huge disservice to him.

But let's examine the facts:
When Moiraine shows up in Two Rivers, Mat is most distrusting of the boys, because of what his mother thinks:

As we know, he then gets tangled up with the dagger, which inflates this initial distrust even more. What I find interesting is that while Mat's efforts to leave Tar Valon as soon as possible after his Healing are completely understandable, he later does not revise his opinion, he considers every single person even remotely able to channel to be "out to get him". He doesn't ever acknowledge that the Aes Sedai saved his life. He's continuously suspicious towards Moiraine even though she's meek as a kitten in FoH and (I think) because of his misplaced distrust he's taken completely off guard when danger appears from a different source.

Speaking of the One Power and its effects on Mat's life, up to the end of FoH, he's been saved by the One Power 3 times (once in the Tower and twice by Rand balefiring Darkhounds/Moiraine Healing him right after and 2nd time by Rand balefiring Rahvin) and only one time was he seriously damaged by the One Power - that would be when Rahvin's lightnings killed him. That's by the end of FoH, there's more to come, obviously, although technically even Tylin's death wasn't caused by the One Power.

Part of the problem seems to be that he absolutely refuses to understand that the Snakes and Foxes have nothing at all to do with the Power.

Mat is also the most vocally suspicious of Rand's channeling throughout the first 5 books, which, frankly, is highly hypocritical considering his own paranoid behaviour regarding the dagger. One would think that having experienced a madness like that, he would have a bit of empathy towards Rand but nooooo!

From this aspect Mat's affinity with Tuon is... well, let's just say they complement each other. One thinks all channelers should be leashed, the other... agrees.

The fact is, the One Power has not caused more harm to Mat than any other non-channeler in the series. in fact, it's caused less harm and more good than several other characters. Min can't channel, Perrin can't channel, Tam can't channel, Gawyn and Galad can't channel... And if we consider the characters that can channel: Rand of course has taken the most damage but the other characters have had their share also. Mat however seems to think that the One Power exists just to torment him and he's attributing things that have nothing to do with the Power but are instead manifestations of the Shadow or even completely different dimensions from Randland as something the One Power has done specifically to him. Although, he is sort of right to attribute the gholam's actions to the Power, seeing as the gholam were made by the Power. Then again, if we consider Dark One's creatures made by the One Power, again, Mat is not the martyr here, the Borderlanders are.

Hey, this is my first post here, so be easy on me. I have been a loooongtime fan of the WoT (started reading when I was 11, am now 26).

Your comments on Mat make sense, but I think you can boil down his attitude towards channeling to one simple axiom: whenever he gets near channeling, something BAD tends to happen! He gets into the situation with the dagger because he follows Moiraine, a channeler (let's cut him some slack that he doesn't know she's saving his life, but may be using him in some White Tower plot). Also, he's been influenced by his parents, as we all are -- specifically his mother. This is a matriarchal society, so that means it's a greater impact than, say, his father having a huge fear and dislike of channelers/TV.

I think he acknowledges the fact that the AS saved his life... but right when he wakes up, he realizes that there are thousands of holes in his memory, something very strange is happening to him (speaking in the Old Tongue, his luck) and the moment he eats his first meal, Lanfear bursts in on him and tries to use the Power on him in some malicious way -- which he correctly deduces. Then, Siuan and Leane immediately follow her, and Siuan bullies him into taking responsibility for being bound to the Horn when TG arrives. That's pretty heavy stuff!

What you say about the events in the FoH reinforces my main point: whenever channellers are near, something BAD is likely to happen. The Darkhounds are products of the Power, and after both him and Rand. It's great that Rand balefires the DH, but after Moiraine Heals him, she immediately tries to steal away his ter'angreal by attempting to wheedle permission out of Rand -- even though she likely wouldn't be able to study it well. I say this because even Elayne was having trouble studying/replicating it. Then Rahvin kills him (with the Power), and he wakes up to a crowd of people wondering at how he's alive, which freaks him out even more.

And why should he suddenly trust Moiraine when she acts as meek as a kitten? He correctly infers that she's playing a new game now -- which she is. It's funny, but his "paranoia" is never off when it comes to AS - he knows that they are expert manipulators and to assume that one will never stop scheming isn't a bad assumption to make.

I, too, was initially disappointed at Mat's reaction to channelling, but I put myself in the average person's shoes: think of yourself, in that world. A man channelling is considered just as scary as the DO, and in fact the two are always intimately tied together. It's a known fact that male channelers go mad, and when these men go mad isn't even known - it can happen very suddenly, or take years. I don't agree with an above poster who says that the dagger was influencing his reaction to Rand's channeling, for this reason:

Sometimes I think that, from a critical point of view, RJ drew the line between light/dark too strongly. It's like, you're either totally heroic in your reaction to Rand's ability to channel (like Perrin) or you're full of hatred and fear. (If you've read George RR Martin's books, the difference is so marked that when you go back to reading WoT, the characters seem almost like demigods in their deeds and emotions.) But in Mat, we finally have a somewhat grey reaction - fear, disappointment, but also hope. Note that when Rand was taken to a Mirror World, Mat was the most personally upset - he thought that his friend had abandoned them, maybe because of what he said about running to the ends of the earth. He feels guilty, and when he finally meets up with Rand in Cairhien, he says "I knew you wouldn't just leave me!" (paraphrasing). Also, Nynaeve, who is maybe his staunchest supporter in not being afraid of Rand's channelling, reflects to herself that she would never fully be able to become used to a man channelling, even Rand (this is mentioned in a few of the books).

As for Mat having empathy towards Rand b/c of his experience w/the dagger, he prob considers it 2 totally separate things (which it totally is, in fact, altho a different kind of evil). That is, IF he reflects on it much at all, b/c first, he's known to play the Fool character at times, and second, he's not the type to look back much on nasty past experiences like that. He likes to ignore or deny.

Tylin's death WAS caused by the OP, altho indirectly - it was caused by a channeller creating a gholam.

Whew, I know this is getting long, but I wanted to address every point, and here's one more - I think Mat is more distrustful/fearful of CHANNELERS of the OP, than the OP itself, if that makes any sense. That is, he knows all AS to be manipulative as hell, always pushing their own agenda, always wanting to use him in some scheme, and no matter what he does, he keeps collecting females who can channel around him - including his wife. It's like, imagine your biggest pet peeve is someone who constantly interrupts you. Then, over the next two or three years, ALL the people you come to be friends with have the habit of interrupting you all the time :D

Anyway, I love Mat as a character because he's realistic (somewhat grey), funny, foolish, savvy, loving, and courageous all at once. When I read his point of view, it almost feels like coming home...hard to explain.

Mat himself said that he has always been lucky, and ever since leaving the TR he became luckier. I saw that you had a problem with his gambling -- is that a personal factor for you? Like are you a person who thinks it's a sin? I mean, I personally think gambling is a total waste of money, but if anyone was born to gamble, it was Mat!

P.S. What did you mean about his inability to realize that the OP has nothing to do with Snakes and Foxes?

yks 6nnetu hing
12-19-2011, 04:13 AM
Mat himself said that he has always been lucky, and ever since leaving the TR he became luckier. I saw that you had a problem with his gambling -- is that a personal factor for you? Like are you a person who thinks it's a sin? I mean, I personally think gambling is a total waste of money, but if anyone was born to gamble, it was Mat!

P.S. What did you mean about his inability to realize that the OP has nothing to do with Snakes and Foxes?

Thanks for the reply :) and welcome to TL!

I'll answer the Snakes & Foxes question first:

THE hugest grievance Mat has is regarding the 3 answers he got, the memories planted in his head and being hanged by the Snakes&Foxes. He clearly associates them with the OP because he used ter'angreal to access their world. However, the Aelfinn and Eelfinn inhabit a different dimension, they do not use the One Power to do what they do. But because Mat used a ter'angreal, which he associates with the OP, he also blames the OP, he doesn't fully acknowledge that it's not the same thing.

As for gambling, I have a problem with it in the real world. Basically, when you think on it logically, most gambling relies on the so-called "luck" - the belief that a set of circumastances for one or another reason are in your favour, which in turn means that people who are gambling are in fact believing that here is a force, greater than ourselves, that is specifically working to help or deter them. Me, I am an agnostic so for me personally there is no problem, but for those people that are in fact religious and do believe in One God, gambling - with the belief in "luck"- is an act of blasphemy (the most intriguing case being "the luck of the Irish"). For me, gambling is simply an act of putting all your marbles on an outcome that is pre-determined on physics (and possibly cheating), which is just stupid (and strangely addictive and can land people in serious trouble. which I happen to know from very close range). Also, even if there is a higher being that can influence the way the world works, I rather doubt he/she/it would bother with games of "luck".

But that's the real world. In the world of RJ's Wheel of Time, we're absolutely certain that there are forces in play that influence the outcome of a toss of dice or reactions of people. Being ta'veren has such an effect, so in this sense I don't have a problem with Mat's luck in and of itself. However, I have a humongous problem of him taking advantage of his luck and stealing other people's money. If he knows in advance that very very likely he will win then the act of rolling the dice is simply a halfway step between meeting a person and taking their money, the only difference between highway robbery and Mat's version is that the mark doesn't realize he's been robbed. If two random people met in WoT and sat down for a game of dice, sure, there are actual factors in play that could influence the winning or losing of said gamble, but those factors could theoretically go either way. While in real world, I consider gambling an act of supreme stupidity, in Mat's case it is, in my opinion, morally wrong to take financial advantage of his ta'veren luck. So not stupid, but wrong. the Dark Side, Sin, all that lot.


also as a bit of a sidenote but a response to your point about matriarchality, while Randland in general is rather female-oriented, particularly the Tar Valon, Far Madding and Andor ruling classes, in the Two Rivers the situation is actually very egalitarian: note the Mayor being male, there being the male and female Village Council and Women's Circle and while they may squabble some, the Women's Circle does not, by default, outrank the Village Council.

Toad
01-31-2012, 04:35 AM
Ever think Mat might be distrustful of the power because everyone he has came in contact with who can channel has tried to manipulate and use him? Even Rand and Egwene, his childhood friends have both used him to further their own ends.

Terez
01-31-2012, 04:39 AM
And yet, he preferred an Asha'man sight-unseen to make a gateway for him over any of the women in Caemlyn.

Toad
01-31-2012, 04:45 AM
And yet, he preferred an Asha'man sight-unseen to make a gateway for him over any of the women in Caemlyn.

Very true, and a good point, but Mat choosing to do so did not put the Asha'man in danger as did the situations other people had put him in.


edit: spelling

GonzoTheGreat
01-31-2012, 06:33 AM
And yet, he preferred an Asha'man sight-unseen to make a gateway for him over any of the women in Caemlyn.
Which he could do, because that Asha'man was following orders from Perrin, who knew what the mission was about. Said Asha'man wasn't too likely to try to use or manipulate him in those circumstances.
In contrast, if he'd asked Elayne, then he would have had to explain why he wanted to go there, and then she almost certainly would have started meddling.

So I would say that Mat's judgment here was accurate.

Daekyras
02-02-2012, 06:12 AM
Bear with me on this:

In 2007, a scruffy guy in a baseball cap went down into a Washington, D.C., metro stop with a violin. He set up his case, put in a few coins and started to play. He fiddled for 45 minutes. Over 1,000 people passed him, and he earned 32 bucks. Not bad. That's about average for a subway musician.

But this guy was actually Joshua Bell, one of the best violinists in the world. A few nights before that subway performance, he had played Boston Symphony Hall, and you can bet he made a lot more than 32 bucks.

It's a very nice illustration about a broader idea about pleasure, which is that when we get pleasure from something, it's not merely based on what we see or what we hear or what we feel. Rather, it's based on what we believe that thing to be.

And so, someone listening to the music of Joshua Bell is going to hear it differently and like it more if they believe it's from Joshua Bell. If you hear the same music and think it's from some scruffy, anonymous street performer, it doesn't sound so good.

And I think that's a more general fact about pleasure. I think wine doesn't taste as good if you don't know it's expensive or special wine. A painting is going to look different to you, and you're going to value it differently, if you don't - depending on who you think created it.

Now what does this have to do with this particular debate?

Well, ykks, dislikes Gambling. To her(for she is a lady, which i made an error on before!) Mat is a gambler. Therefor her interpretation of all things that Mat does is taken from the standpoint that gamblers are bad and therefor all their actions are bad.

In a situation like this we all make our decisions and tend to stick with them. I believe it is a futile discussion trying to change a persons "likes".

In a similar way it is a wasted effort arguing about whether we should like Egwene or nbot. People have made their minds up and we won't change them.

However, it can be fun to read the different points of view as long as you accept that people have a right to feel whatever way they like about a character.

Ishara
02-02-2012, 07:55 AM
We've actually talked about the Joshua Bell experiment before, but my perpsective of it has always been that the quality of the musician is secondary to the time one has to appreciate and reward the quality when bustling through a commuter corrider every day (which I do). I hear excellent musicians some days, and I simply can't get to my wallet fast enough without interrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic. OR alternatively, it's that yes I appreciate the music, but am late for a meeting or it's raining, or I have too many bags - or whatever.

With regards to yks' perception of Mat being coloured solely due to his being a gambler, I would be careful there. She's more than capable of being objective, and her refusal to make Mat the pinnacle male character as so many of us are wont to do is less a function of his being a gambler and moreso a well reasoned, multi-level rationale. Much like my dislike of Berelain. ;)

Terez
02-02-2012, 08:00 AM
I think it's true that a lot of people can't appreciate the quality of something if there's not a name attached to it. I'm a music connoisseur, but not a wine connoisseur. If I heard Bell playing, I'd know he was good, though I wouldn't recognize him through his playing (don't listen to violin recordings much). Give me a wine taste-test, though, and I'll fail.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-02-2012, 09:15 AM
Well, ykks, dislikes Gambling. To her(for she is a lady, which i made an error on before!) Mat is a gambler. Therefor her interpretation of all things that Mat does is taken from the standpoint that gamblers are bad and therefor all their actions are bad. As I stated at the beginning of this thread, I am aware of my bias. Historiographical theory teaches us that nobody is free of bias, not even computers if they're operated by humans because while a fact remains a fact, its presentation in context is what determines how it's seen. However, most of the time it's possible to counteract one's own bias by being very explicitly clear about it and actively trying to find counterarguments.

Which is what I have been *trying* to do during my reread: with Mat-parts I've consciously told myself to disregard all Gambling-references when it comes to Mat and his personality.

Frankly, very little remains. What remains is a highly egotistical* immature brat with a potty mouth and poor grasp of Human Nature (which he sadly allocates to "Bitches be crazy"), though that last is actually a common trait in almost all the main characters. He whines all the time: he whines that girls don't like him, he whines that they like him too much, he whines that people don't take him seriously and then he whines that he has to take responsibility of feeding a company of soliders, he complains about not wanting to marry, and then he whines when Tuon won't give him the time of day...


*yes, he helps his friends but every single time it's against his own wishes. The constant griping and whining about "I gave my word" lets the reader know just how little he really wants to do with anybody other than himself. Compared to Perrin for instance the difference is huge: Perrin does nice things for other people without being pinned down and made to swear, he does it because he wants to, because he's a genuinely nice person.

GonzoTheGreat
02-02-2012, 09:28 AM
Perrin never gave his wife a horse that suggested she needed a shave, did he? Mat did, without having promised to do so.

yks 6nnetu hing
02-02-2012, 09:34 AM
Perrin never gave his wife a horse that suggested she needed a shave, did he? Mat did, without having promised to do so.

yeah, Mat did thorough research on how to manipulate DotNM into liking him, all the while griping about how he doesn't *really* want to get married.

that's crazy right there. Either insane or intensely hypocritical, I can't really decide.

Stormchi
02-02-2012, 10:24 AM
Mat just always does the opposite of what he says.

If he says he wont do something you can pretty much be sure he'll end up doing it eventually. Which for me is part of the humor of Mats character. He says he doesn't like channelers and the OP, then he goes and rescues several channelers (Elayne, Nynaeve in Tear, collared aes sedai in Ebou Dar). He says he doesn't want to be in a battle and would rather avoid them (sounds sensible to me)then ends up with all this battle knowledge, and as leader of a company of soldiers. He says how he doesn't like nobles, and doesn't want to ever get married... He doesn't like fancy clothes... well you get the idea.

I've always thought that was pretty funny, but I could see how it would be seen as hypocritical too, although if you're looking for hypocritical I'd go with Nynaeve. She's constantly telling people not to do the thing she's doing, or has done. "Stop screeching!" She screeched. Oh my look at what a bad temper everyone else is in good thing I'm totally patient. That sort of thing. I find those moments pretty funny too.

She does however grow quite a bit throughout the series, and I think by the time she tests for the shawl she's really grown up quite a bit. So perhaps it's Mat's unwillingness to change that you find a bit less than desirable.

Another factor may be the way the other characters view him, especially most of the female main characters. They spend most of the series sniffing at him, and considering him some sort of lout. Then when he does do something good, he doesn't get any credit for it, and they continue to consider him a pie thieving hoodlum.

Personally I find him to be the charming, handsome, rogue, who gets a majority of the funny one liners, and probably the character I'd most like to get horizontal with, but I see what you're saying too.