At the 35% mark we have Mat speaking the Old Tongue for the first time, books ahead of him getting memories stuck in his head.
I've always found this a very curious event. Of the five Two Riversers, Mat's powers are the most subtly foreshadowed in the book.
Unless you count the short exchange between Lan and Perrin about wolves in a much earlier chapter.
I thought that Mat's Old Tongue was a small way of RJ letting you think maybe Mat was the important one, not Rand.
Yes, I think you're right on that count. It was certainly meant to make us think.
The speaking the Old Tongue is from his bloodline though, not his memories in that case, isn't it?
Yes, but it's still foreshadowing. He's the one who does it, not the others.
In The Eye of the World, is Mat remembering the Old Tongue from his own past life or from his ancestors?
Good question. He seems to have confirmed Old Blood for the Old Tongue, but the Aemon memory?
That's what my belief is, Aemon. Mat Cauthon is the reborn soul of Aemon. Aemon's Old Tongue.
It isn't made clear. It could be either. The implication is his bloodline.
The Aemon connection is certainly implied strongly.
"A metal tower?" Rand said. "I'll bet there's treasure inside," Mat said. "A thing like that must have been made to protect something..."
This is the start of Mat acting tainted, which always makes me sad. It will be a while before I can read him as himself again.
First time one of the boys thinks, "I wish [insert other boy] were here. He knows what to say to women" happens at the 48% mark.
I love that in the scene in Four Kings, the fact that the innkeeper is thin seems almost as ill an omen as a flock of ravens.
I wonder if Mat wearing the scarf around his head here is foreshadowing intentionally, or by coincidence, of the scarf on his neck.
Either way, there's some other strong foreshadowing there of events in Towers of Midnight, though I won't say specifics to avoid spoilers.
I've been wondering for ages is Mat going to wear an eye patch? Or will he wear a strip of cloth like Gemmel's Grymauch?
Not sure what I think of the "start chapter, flashback to what has happened since last chapter" narrative style RJ prefers here.
I don't think he does it as much later. In these first books, he seems more worried about characters going chronologically off of each other.
Note that I do like flashbacks, and think that Chapter 33 is interesting structurally. I don't know if it fits just right, though.
A good point: Some note that the erratic timeline here does help reinforce the sense of sickness from Rand and Mat's growing paranoia.
Also, it's fun that Mat is getting paranoid and crazy because of the dagger—except when he's thinking about food or a nice bed.