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So, I read WoT before ever reading Sanderson's works, and I enjoyed the last three immensely (they were my bridge to Stormlight), however... Mat Cauthon. He is and was my favorite character before Sanderson took over the series. I liked the honesty of his selfishness combined with his reluctant honor/integrity. He was sneakily competent even before he got all the battle memories stuffed into his brain. Jordan always managed to balance the aspects of his character in which he was a deflecting, recalcitrant brat with his own brand of honor and leadership. I feel like, in the last three books, Mat was made into the near constant comic relief. A buffoon that more often than not needed a laugh track to accompany him and rarely as grim as I knew he could be. There were times when Mat was serious and intent during Jordan's run, and I feel that Sanderson used Mat's foreign-ness to the Seanchan and the loyalty of the Redarms as an excuse to let him get away with being near constantly quippy and flippant, even when he was quite literally gambling with the lives of men. Like, "oh that's just how he is. His competence makes up for it." The whole... Making up back stories for himself and others especially irritated me. It made him seem oblivious and childish, and I reject it entirely.

Anyway. Just wondering at my fellow WoT lovers' take on this.

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@officiumdefunctorum I promise I am not stalking you haha!

Honestly, I was a huge fan of Mat both pre- and post-Jordan. Sanderson did his best to blend his voice with Jordan's but I totally see where you are coming from. Many of the characters felt quite a bit different. Sadly, I think it was inevitable regardless of who finished the series.

That being said, however, one of my all-time favorite scenes from WoT involves post-Jordan Mat. When the Band is riding through the mountains after escaping Ebou Dar and Mat is ranting to Talmanes about women... oh man. It cracks me up every time! I generally read that monologue once or twice a year haha.

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Mat Cauthon is the best character ever

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As you may be able to tell, I absolutely love Mat.  For me personally, his sections were some of the ones that I looked forward most to reading.  He was the only one who really brought any enjoyment to the story, the only one to really make me laugh, and the only one who seemed capable of still having a good time.  I know the setting doesn't lend itself to it, but there has to be breaks, everyone cannot be full emo serious all the time.

Unpopular opinion, it was Perrin that I greatly disliked.  His sections I was half tempted to skip in the later books.  Him and Faile physically pained me to read.

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I loooove Mat. One of my favorite fictional characters.

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I have a group of friends that literally called me Mat for about 6 years. 

He is the only reason I was able to get through the slower books. 

1 hour ago, Fuzzybear said:

Unpopular opinion, it was Perrin that I greatly disliked.  His sections I was half tempted to skip in the later books.  Him and Faile physically pained me to read.

Right there with you. 

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1 hour ago, Fuzzybear said:

Unpopular opinion, it was Perrin that I greatly disliked.  His sections I was half tempted to skip in the later books.  Him and Faile physically pained me to read.

100% agree. The only parts worse than Perrin were the "Adventures of the Super Girls" parts. Ugh. 

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Agree with unpopular Perrin opinions. I think he was kind of boring, and didn't understand how his relationship with Faile became a thing. Not at all.

Mat is absolutely my favorite character. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed his sections in the final three books, and I do think the humor is necessary. A Memory of Light is like, my top two for being unable to stop reading. When he and Rand FINALLY see one another again, and have their little one-upsmanship conversation, I about died. Basically any time he talked with Talmanes. I love freaking everything about Mat Cauthon.

So in that sense, I think the "haha oh Mat" effect was too much in evidence. I feel like I'm missing a part of Mat that I know was there. Like... "okay, last battle is over, Rand is dying, Egwene is dead, just gonna ride off into the sunset and hope my wife doesnt kill me lol". DAMMIT MAT, CRY. GO HUG YOUR DAD. I guess I see the way Sanderson wrote Mat as being shallow.

Question: was anyone else really bothered by Mat's relationship with Tylin? Seriously dubious consent going on, there.

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I started the series hating Mat. By book 3 I liked him. By book 5 I loved him. By book 7 he was my favorite character. 

Brandon definitely missed with his character, specially at first, but I don't hold it against him. Mat must be one of the most complex characters to write I have ever read, and I truly doubt anyone could have done a better job without years of preparation to get "into his head".

I really enjoyed the Perrin adventures in the Two Rivers. But his adventures in Ghealdan bored me to death, and Faile always set my teeth on edge.

I didn't like any part of Ebou Dar at best, and hated it worst. Actually, thats a lie, I loved seeing Mat leave it as it meant he was going elsewhere :P.

Edited by WhiteLeeopard
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On 7/28/2017 at 0:40 PM, officiumdefunctorum said:

Seriously dubious consent going on, there.

It was rape but it was ok because it was a male author writing a man getting raped by a woman. Right? ... Right?

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I like Mat in book 3. Then he starts annoying me with all those ideas of trying to get away from everything. I only really start liking him again in book 9. He is far from my favorite, but he does have a great plotline. Perrin is awesome except once or twice when he is obsessed with getting Faile back.

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On 8/1/2017 at 11:52 AM, CaptainRyan said:

It was rape but it was ok because it was a male author writing a man getting raped by a woman. Right? ... Right?

RIGHT? When I finally got my sister around to reading it and she got to that part we had a rousing discussion of how much the whole thing bothered us. Tylin basically turning Mat into a bedslave was just handled so casually by everyone involved, except Mat himself.

I was pretty gratified when she died, tbh. I think memorializing her with the pink ribbon was an obnoxious reminder I really didn't need. Stockholm syndrome, man.

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We're talking about a series in which the main character can't choose one woman, and somehow all three agree to share him. That always struck me as some bizarre wish fulfillment on RJ's part.

The Mat Tylin situation was completely messed up, but it wasn’t exactly out of place in the series, just look at everything Lan went through after Moiraines death. 

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1 hour ago, Calderis said:

We're talking about a series in which the main character can't choose one woman, and somehow all three agree to share him. That always struck me as some bizarre wish fulfillment on RJ's part.

The Mat Tylin situation was completely messed up, but it wasn’t exactly out of place in the series, just look at everything Lan went through after Moiraines death. 

I think sex and gender roles were like... The core of WoT, so I agree that the consent issues were rife in the series. A New Spring made it even more clear, with their bizarre coming of age traditions.

I like that Jordan played around with gender roles and whatnot within his little universe, but it was flat out stated that Tylin was going to extremes with Mat and I can tell the intent was for it to seem humorous. Like "turnabout is fair play to the womanizer!" And I didn't think it was funny at all.

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Yeah I was very disturbed by Tylin too, that was what made me dislike Mat's plot line a lot in the middle of the series, not that it was his fault.  I agree that part of what made it so bad was how no one took him seriously about it.

I started out the series being very bored by Perrin, but by the end I really enjoyed his character.  (Maybe because comparitively to the others, his pairing felt way less weird and creepy.)

Honestly Pevara and Androl were my favorite pairing in the series.

New Spring was just really weird and a little disturbing too, I was sadly disappointed with that book considering I was looking forward to reading it for a long time.  I guess I had hoped for more Moiraine and Lan time and less "Moiraine and Siuan go shopping" time.  (Though her Aes Sedai testing was cool.)  I didn't expect it to take like the whole book just for them to meet each other.

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47 minutes ago, Taliax said:

Yeah I was very disturbed by Tylin too, that was what made me dislike Mat's plot line a lot in the middle of the series, not that it was his fault.  I agree that part of what made it so bad was how no one took him seriously about it.

I started out the series being very bored by Perrin, but by the end I really enjoyed his character.  (Maybe because comparitively to the others, his pairing felt way less weird and creepy.)

Honestly Pevara and Androl were my favorite pairing in the series.

New Spring was just really weird and a little disturbing too, I was sadly disappointed with that book considering I was looking forward to reading it for a long time.  I guess I had hoped for more Moiraine and Lan time and less "Moiraine and Siuan go shopping" time.  (Though her Aes Sedai testing was cool.)  I didn't expect it to take like the whole book just for them to meet each other.

Moiraine and Lan time was supposed to be another book, which, unfortunately, was never written. Androl and Pevara did great, but we had very little time with them. But I still prefer Siuan and Gareth and Nynaeve and Lan

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1 hour ago, rmmateus said:

Moiraine and Lan time was supposed to be another book, which, unfortunately, was never written. Androl and Pevara did great, but we had very little time with them. But I still prefer Siuan and Gareth and Nynaeve and Lan

Ah darn.  Well that makes me feel better at least, even if it never did get written.  Siuan and Gareth and Nynaeve and Lan were pretty awesome too. 

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3 hours ago, Taliax said:

Yeah I was very disturbed by Tylin too, that was what made me dislike Mat's plot line a lot in the middle of the series, not that it was his fault.  I agree that part of what made it so bad was how no one took him seriously about it.

I started out the series being very bored by Perrin, but by the end I really enjoyed his character.  (Maybe because comparitively to the others, his pairing felt way less weird and creepy.)

Honestly Pevara and Androl were my favorite pairing in the series.

New Spring was just really weird and a little disturbing too, I was sadly disappointed with that book considering I was looking forward to reading it for a long time.  I guess I had hoped for more Moiraine and Lan time and less "Moiraine and Siuan go shopping" time.  (Though her Aes Sedai testing was cool.)  I didn't expect it to take like the whole book just for them to meet each other.

YES. The whole situation with Tylin was this classic case of sexual abuse where they blame it on Mat and he's trying to retain his dignity by playing it cool, but she's also the queen and can do what she wants. The power dynamics in his relationships were not good (with Tuon as well). I was so satisfied when he shouted at Elayne and she finally realized what was going on and felt ashamed. But then of course nothing happened, ugh. 

As for Perrin, I respect him as a character who grew into his roles more gracefully than some of the others, but in a believable way. Jordan was really good at making those transitions. Granted, he had a planned series of thirteen books to do it, but still. In the end I just think Perrin was too... Level headed and sane for him to be my favorite. My favorites are the functionally broken ones. Matt, Rand, Mazrim Taim, Ituralde...

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On 8/3/2017 at 7:41 AM, rmmateus said:

Perrin is awesome except once or twice when he is obsessed with getting Faile back.

See, I agree with you here, except that he was obsessed with 'getting Faile back' from basically the day he meets her on the Ferry until the absolute last book (maybe it was second last?)  So there's a good 9-10 books in there where I dread every time it's another Perrin scene.  Dealing with two novels of him freeing her from the Shaido was enough to absolutely kill any enjoyment I had of him finally coming into his own in Tel'Aran'Rhiod later (which were scenes that I could tell should be awesome and entertaining and enjoyable, but instead I just wanted them to end because I did. not. care.).

Still, more enjoyable to read than Elayne.

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Just now, kaellok said:

See, I agree with you here, except that he was obsessed with 'getting Faile back' from basically the day he meets her on the Ferry until the absolute last book (maybe it was second last?)  So there's a good 9-10 books in there where I dread every time it's another Perrin scene.  Dealing with two novels of him freeing her from the Shaido was enough to absolutely kill any enjoyment I had of him finally coming into his own in Tel'Aran'Rhiod later (which were scenes that I could tell should be awesome and entertaining and enjoyable, but instead I just wanted them to end because I did. not. care.).

Still, more enjoyable to read than Elayne.

Well, I actually prefer Elayne to Perrin, though she gets a little annoying sometimes (maybe because of the pregnancy). I do enjoy Perrin's scenes in all books, but in WH and CoT his plot doesn't advance much

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Perrin's drudgery is worth it for Gaul. As for Elayne? Don't like her... Really at all. Jordan didn't put much effort into explaining why she and Rand fall in love and she's just so... Entitled. I want to punch her constantly when she's with Mat in Ebou Dar. Much like Mat himself, I imagine.

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Mat is and remains my favorite character. And yes, Brandon didn't write him that well (whereas he rocked Perrin). Brandon did a decent job with Mat, but he lacked the nuance that he had with Jordan all through Gathering Storm. He was actually pretty good in Towers of Midnight, and a mixed bag in Memory of Light. It's a forgivable offence - Brandon did a fantastic job elsewhere, and Mat is an incredibly nuanced and complex character. 

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On 7/28/2017 at 3:40 PM, officiumdefunctorum said:

Agree with unpopular Perrin opinions. I think he was kind of boring, and didn't understand how his relationship with Faile became a thing. Not at all.

Mat is absolutely my favorite character. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed his sections in the final three books, and I do think the humor is necessary. A Memory of Light is like, my top two for being unable to stop reading. When he and Rand FINALLY see one another again, and have their little one-upsmanship conversation, I about died. Basically any time he talked with Talmanes. I love freaking everything about Mat Cauthon.

So in that sense, I think the "haha oh Mat" effect was too much in evidence. I feel like I'm missing a part of Mat that I know was there. Like... "okay, last battle is over, Rand is dying, Egwene is dead, just gonna ride off into the sunset and hope my wife doesnt kill me lol". DAMMIT MAT, CRY. GO HUG YOUR DAD. I guess I see the way Sanderson wrote Mat as being shallow.

Question: was anyone else really bothered by Mat's relationship with Tylin? Seriously dubious consent going on, there.

Of course there was dubious consent going on there and that is kind of the point. Different people are into different things and dubious consent is one of them. There is even a name for it CNC or consentual-nonconsentual. Matt also states that he is used to being the one chasing like Tylin which would mean he is into dubious consent as well? I think there was love there, and I think it was selfless love on Tylin's part since instead of keeping him she ultimately help him escape the result being her brutal death. And didn't Matt end up tying a pink ribbon to his spear in the last battle? I wasn't bothered by his relationship with Tylin in fact I felt it was one of the truly genuine relationships in the series. Tylin loved Matt unconditionally and she helped him escape and gave her life helping him.

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Put me in the anti-Tylin camp.  Whoo boy was that ever a misfire of a plot. 

Also, put me in the "Tuon sucks and Mat deserves way better" camp.  I still can't believe people are cool with "hey, kid, you're going to marry this proudly abusive slaver empress whose attitude towards the possibility of ending slavery or her personal abuses makes Jefferson Davis look sane, reasonable, and compromising". 

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Anyone else ship Mat and Birgitte for the longest time?

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