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  #41  
Old 09-24-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FelixPax View Post
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".
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  #42  
Old 09-24-2011, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FelixPax View Post
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.
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  #43  
Old 09-25-2011, 05:13 AM
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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.
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  #44  
Old 09-26-2011, 02:41 AM
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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.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:39 AM
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if I had Mat's luck I wouldn't quit gambling either
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  #46  
Old 09-29-2011, 08:06 AM
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if I had Mat's luck I wouldn't quit gambling either
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.

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  #47  
Old 09-29-2011, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FelixPax View Post
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.
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  #48  
Old 12-04-2011, 10:46 AM
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Default My "thoughts" on Mat and Egwene

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
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  #49  
Old 12-15-2011, 07:50 PM
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Wink Mat's got some justifying factors...

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Originally Posted by yks 6nnetu hing View Post
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

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?

Last edited by leylaunknown; 12-15-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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  #50  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:13 AM
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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.
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Last edited by yks 6nnetu hing; 12-19-2011 at 10:38 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:35 AM
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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.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:39 AM
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And yet, he preferred an Asha'man sight-unseen to make a gateway for him over any of the women in Caemlyn.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:45 AM
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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
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
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.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:12 AM
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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.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:55 AM
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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.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:00 AM
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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.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:15 AM
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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.
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Last edited by yks 6nnetu hing; 02-02-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:28 AM
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Perrin never gave his wife a horse that suggested she needed a shave, did he? Mat did, without having promised to do so.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:34 AM
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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.
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