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at & the Horn of Valere

by shaihalud: 2004-01-18 | 2.67 out of 10 (3 votes)

Previous Categories: Heroes of the Horn

My first time posting so forgiveness if this has been brought up before but I could not find a mention of it in the archives. Anyways, this is more an observation than a theory but I was hoping to get opinions from other Wot fans.

Basically I was wondering what if Mat is no longer bound to the Horn of Valere. We know he was bound to it when he sounded it outside Falme towards the end of The Great Hunt and we find out in The Dragon Reborn (from the Amyrlin I think) that the only thing that can break that binding is Mat's death. Now the question is, does Mat's hanging in Rhuidean in The Shadow Rising count as a death?

If so, would that not have severed the link to the Horn of Valere? If the link is in fact severed it would mean the Horn is sitting in the White Tower up for grabs and no one knows it.
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2004-01-24

Typically, I wouldn't let a topic category come through like this, but I am allowing this because it is a good place to rehash the arguments (I know we have discussed this before, but I am too lazy to find it.) My opinion is, the link remains because Mat is alive. I don't think it has anything to do with the "momentary death." For all intents and purposes, I think Mat would have to actually be dead for his connection to be severed. Has Jordan said anything?

2

Callandor: 2004-01-24

Yes, he is still attached to the Horn. No, before any "proof" arguments come up, he did not die in Rhuidean.

From the WOT FAQ:

**Bill Garrett's report of RJ's appearance at Balticon 30 (April 1996) mentions: "Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again." Tim Kington reports that, when asked how long Mat had hung from the Tree of Life in Rhuidean, RJ replied, "Long enough to be ALMOST dead" (emphasis mine) [post-COT signing, Dayton, OH, January 16, 2004].**

Ok, then. So Mat died in Rhuidean, and was and was brought back by balefire. Balefired undoes all the actions of a person up till the point their thread is not burned back (proportional to the amount of power used in the weave). Mat is still alive because Rand balefired Rahvin, and Mat was still attached to the Horn at that time, since he did NOT die in Rhuidean, so, with his death being undone, the Horn's link to him would still be attached since he would've never "died".

Mat is still attached to the Horn.

3

Deathwatchguard: 2004-01-26

Mat was not killed by Ravin in Rhuidean, Ravin killed Mat in Caemlyn.

4

shaihalud: 2004-01-27

I had totally forgotten about Mat dying in Caemlyn. As coincidence would have it I just finished re-reading the Fires of Heaven. Now I see the point about Mat not having truly died in Rhuidean, however, having just finished TFOH I think there is still a possibility he may no longer be linked to the Horn.

There are some inherent paradoxes to the idea of Balefire. The idea that a subject ceases to exist before the subject is Balefired poses the same sort of paradox as travelling back in time and killing an ancestor so that you could never be born. If you were never born, how could you travel back in time and kill your ancestor? Similarly, if Rhavin ceases to exist *before* he is Balefired by Rand, then how could Rand Balefire him? Also, if Rhavin's actions are undone by Balefire how is it that anyone remembers those events if they never happened? In TFOH Moiraine explains to Rand what Balefire is and it effects. She explicitly states that all that remains is the memory of events.

"For as far back as you destroyed the creature, whatever it did during that time no longer happened. Only the memories remain, for those who saw or experienced it. Only what it did before is real, now." [Moiraine - TFOH, Chapter 6]

This seems to contradict slightly a passage about Asmodean at the end of the novel just before his mysterious death.

"He was not sure what had happened that morning, and not sure he wanted to be sure. Too many Aiel had expressed surprise at seeing him, had claimed they had seen him dead; he did not want details. There was a long gash down the wall in front of him. He knew what made that sharp edge, that surface as slick as ice, smoother than any hand could have polished in a hundred years." [Asmodean - TFOH, Chapter 56]

Mat remembers a Darkhound had "slobbered" all over his arm but he thought it was his mind playing tricks on him. Asmodean, however, does not remember dying even though he certainly experienced the event. Although the subject of an event may not remember what happened, it seems observers of an event do. Now if we consider the Horn of Valere and its link to Mat, we could call the Horn an "observer". Mat's death in Caemlyn was undone by Balefire, but people remember his death. In other words "observers" remember Mat's death. So why not the Horn? In the same way people are aware of Mat's death even though it technically never occurred, could not the Horn have lost its link to Mat as well?

5

dragonsceptor: 2004-01-27

Although Mat did get darkhound saliva (which will kill him) on him in Rhuidean and the only reason he did not die was Rand balefired the darkhound. Perhaps you got those mixed up Callendor:)

6

Callandor: 2004-01-27

**Mat was not killed by Ravin in Rhuidean, Ravin killed Mat in Caemlyn.**

Who are you talking to here? If it is me, read more carefully.

7

Dorindha: 2004-01-28

Callendor - I'm sure you are right - I know you are good with the facts but you did type that Mat died in Rhuidean and was brought back by Balefire - maybe a typo, but that's where the confusion comes from. The rest of the paragraph makes complete sense though.

8

Davian93: 2004-01-28

It's a paradox Mat was killed by Rahvin. Rand balefires Rahvin, his thread is burnt back to before the point where Mat is killed so Mat never dies. The memories remain, but it never happened. The horn, be an inanimate object doesnt have memory, so it would'nt be affected. Maybe the horn tracks the blowers thread in the pattern. As long as that thread doesnt end, it continues to be attached. The real question is how the pattern reweaves itself after balefire disrupts the threads of not only what is destroyed but what threads have been weaved by the individual/object that is destroyed.

9

Damer: 2004-01-28

I might be wrong but i thought that Mat's to die and live again prophecy wasnt fulfilled when he hung on the tree, but he died when Rahvin sprung his trap on Matt, Rand, and the Aiel when they came out of the gateway into Caemlyn. Then Rand's huge amount of balefire brought them back to life.

10

Callandor: 2004-01-28

Ah, see the typo. Yes, I meant Mat dying in Caemlyn, not Rhuidean. Sorry about that.

11

Ozymandias: 2005-09-02

I think shaihulud is on to something with his idea of paradoxes. However, I think one has to accept that when one is balefired, it doesn't become a circle of just not existing and therefore not being balefired. Besides, if you think about it, what balefire is doing, almost, is transporting you back in time, and erasing all actions within that time period, and then killing you when you arrive at that time. This gets rid of that whole confusing circle of death idea, where once balefired you didnt exist at the moment of balefiring and therefore werent hit... ugh, it hurts my brain.

A more important thing to think about is this (this is gonna resemble chaos theory); even the slightest moves Rahvin makes, such as walking, produce an effect like a small wind as he passes, which interact with other small winds, which end up causing a storm somewhere far off. This "butterfly effect" (I more or less ripped this example of Crichton) would therefore cause that storm to not exist exactly as it did, which might cause one less wave to hit the shore in Seandar, which might lead to one less death by drowning, and that one person who drowned might have killed another person, whose great grandson 40 times removed might have invented the plane. See how it goes? Balefire is not necesarrily a paradox, but just an impossibility. Even a second of balefiring would destroy the world for good.

12

Balinor: 2005-09-06

In order to answer this question, what we first need to know is, what is the nature of Mat's link with the Horn of Valere? If it is to Mat physically, then perhaps Mat dying and coming back to life (via Balefire) would be enough to break the link. But if the link is to Mat's SOUL (as I suspect it is), then it seems that Mat's soul would have to pass on (to Tel'aran'rhiod or wherever) for the link to be broken. One can make the argument that not enough time passed between Mat's death in Caemlyn and Rand's balefiring of Rahvin for Mat's soul to have lost its link to the Horn. We'll just have to wait for Tarmon Gaidon and see.

13

Callandor: 2005-09-07

**If it is to Mat physically, then perhaps Mat dying and coming back to life (via Balefire) would be enough to break the link.**

But Mat was brought back by balefire, so it's not as if he died at all. All the actions were undone.

14

Traveller: 2005-09-07

See the thing is, that I never thought that Mat died. He got really close and wouldn't have woken had Rand not breathed into mhis luungs, but to steal a quote from Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind, the kiss of life can't bring someone back from the dead; if the soul is still in the body, the body can breathe again, it just needs help. So yeah, I think Mat is still bound to the horn- he needs a place in Tarmon Gai'don, and that is as General, so he must call warriors to fight.

15

sogoloth: 2006-02-16

I can't agree with this theory. Doesn't Birgette refer to Matt as the 'Horn Blower' on more than one occasion, and well after his death and rebirth? Also, Tuon has indicated several times that the Horn Blower MUST bow before the Crystal Throne for the LB to succeed. She currently believes the Horn Blower to be Rand, but it seems to me that Matt would be a better bet. First, Rand probably won't be bowing before anyone, it just isn't in his character. Second, Matt already has, in a way. When he was courting Tuon he bought her that exotic horse, which she interpreted as him inferring that SHE was his superior (or something to that effect). Also, he is the BEST general in Randland, bar none. Who better than Matt to lead the Hero's of the Horn?

Tear it up...

16

JakOShadows: 2006-02-16

I hate to hijack the thread here, but I don't remember where it has that quote. I know it does mention in the book several times, in Suroth's pov's I believe, that the dragon reborn has to bow to the crystal throne. It is possible that it could include the hornblower too, but if you could find a quote it would be nice. Another thought about that though is that we know Ishmael had a hand in events with the creation of the Seanchan prophecy and society. So that calls into question a lot of the prophecies you're refering to also. But your idea is a good one if you can back it up.

17

Callandor: 2006-02-16

**Also, Tuon has indicated several times that the Horn Blower MUST bow before the Crystal Throne for the LB to succeed. She currently believes the Horn Blower to be Rand, but it seems to me that Matt would be a better bet.**

The Seanchan believe the Dragon Reborn has to kneel to the Crystal Throne -- not the Horn Blower.

18

Leafburner: 2006-02-19

“Ok, then. So Mat died in Rhuidean, and was and was brought back by balefire.” – Callandor

I thought Mat died in Caemlyn. I was sure of it.

“Mat was not killed by Ravin in Rhuidean, Ravin killed Mat in Caemlyn.” – Deathwatchguard

Hmm… My suspicions are confirmed.

**Mat was not killed by Ravin in Rhuidean, Ravin killed Mat in Caemlyn.**

”Who are you talking to here? If it is me, read more carefully.” – Callandor

I read that first part pretty carefully. I’m pretty sure it is a mistake.

“Ah, see the typo. Yes, I meant Mat dying in Caemlyn, not Rhuidean. Sorry about that.” – Callandor

Ah, the long awaited apology of Callandor. Perhaps you should have read your own post more carefully before firing the return blow anyone familiar with this site has come to expect from Callandor, the self-proclaimed authority on all things Wheel of Time. I’ve lost count of the number of times you have belittled people and their opinions. It pains me to agree that I too still believe Mat is tied to the Horn, but I have to say that I am totally over you and your contrite, over-confident and often absolutely rude manner. This series of novels was not written for you to bully others that may interpret the text in a different way than yourself. You are not infallible and as such should treat each point of view with as much respect and courtesy as you would expect yours to be treated. We all know you’re very intelligent. We all know you have access to and the ability to collect quotes and use them to support your argument at a moments notice. You’re very clever. Show a little respect.

19

Callandor: 2006-02-20

**Ah, the long awaited apology of Callandor. Perhaps you should have read your own post more carefully before firing the return blow anyone familiar with this site has come to expect from Callandor, the self-proclaimed authority on all things Wheel of Time.**

I'm sorry, did you have a point, or were you just meandering through posts and deciding to take up issue with things not concerning yourself?

**It pains me to agree that I too still believe Mat is tied to the Horn, but I have to say that I am totally over you and your contrite, over-confident and often absolutely rude manner.**

Right....

**This series of novels was not written for you to bully others that may interpret the text in a different way than yourself.**

No really -- which is why only those shown incorrect are.

**You are not infallible and as such should treat each point of view with as much respect and courtesy as you would expect yours to be treated.**

No kidding I'm not infallible.

**We all know you’re very intelligent. We all know you have access to and the ability to collect quotes and use them to support your argument at a moments notice. You’re very clever.**

Oh, but I thought you were "over me and my attitude?"

20

Leafburner: 2006-02-26

“I'm sorry, did you have a point, or were you just meandering through posts and deciding to take up issue with things not concerning yourself?” – Callandor

I made my point, Callandor. And the fact that you felt the need to revert back to your old tactics of bullying in your response proved it better than I ever could. I believe this is an open forum. Are we now only allowed to reply to posts that mention us by name? Oh, how terribly boring.

“Oh, but I thought you were "over me and my attitude?"” – Callandor

I never claimed you had attitude. I for one am able to acknowledge intellect where I see it. However, I do not consider an individual with the ability to convey or disprove a particular point of view worthy of respect when he backs up his argument with cynicism and scathing remarks. I also consider those unwilling to be accepting of diversity of opinion to be truly ignorant. Oh, and you know those little 66 and 99 signs that you put in that line? They are what linguists, scholars and generally anyone who knows how to read and write the English language refer to as quotation marks. You use them when you quote someone. I was “over your contrite, over-confident and often absolutely rude manner.” If you’re going to attempt to belittle what I post, at least have the decency to quote correctly.

21

Callandor: 2006-03-01

**I made my point, Callandor. And the fact that you felt the need to revert back to your old tactics of bullying in your response proved it better than I ever could. I believe this is an open forum. Are we now only allowed to reply to posts that mention us by name? Oh, how terribly boring.**

You do know the purpose of the site, yes? Theoryland of the Wheel of Time -- discussing the actual theories proposed here and replies. If you want a flame thread, go to the message board.

**I never claimed you had attitude.**

**You: It pains me to agree that I too still believe Mat is tied to the Horn, but I have to say that I am totally over you and your contrite, over-confident and often absolutely rude manner.**

Oh, I'm so sorry, you said manner, not attitude. For shame.

**However, I do not consider an individual with the ability to convey or disprove a particular point of view worthy of respect when he backs up his argument with cynicism and scathing remarks.**

And I am so caring about what you feel towards my replies. Or do you have a similar problem with sarcasm?

**I also consider those unwilling to be accepting of diversity of opinion to be truly ignorant.**

As do I -- if you pay attention, you will see that I am one of the most tolerant of ideas that make sense.

**Oh, and you know those little 66 and 99 signs that you put in that line? They are what linguists, scholars and generally anyone who knows how to read and write the English language refer to as quotation marks. You use them when you quote someone. I was “over your contrite, over-confident and often absolutely rude manner.” If you’re going to attempt to belittle what I post, at least have the decency to quote correctly.**

There used for seperation indications, as well as personal style (the true genesis of it was that my previous keyboard's apostrophe key had broken soon after I started posting here so I refered to this method to compensate till I replaced it. I just didn't change habits, nor will).

If you read other replies here, other than ones apparently when you just want to retaliate at replies made 5 months to over a year in the past, you will see it can be quite difficult to distinquish " " when used multiple times in many instances throughout a reply. The asterisks do it with ease for which you have picked up on, without seeming to grasp the intuitive point, since they do not occur in such ways commonly.

22

Allchaos: 2007-04-27

I'm sorry if this was answered in another topic or theory, but I'd like to have a concrete answer...Uh...I was wondering which of Mat's deaths applied to the Aelfinn (or the other one)'s predictions.

The quotation was "To die and live again, and live once more a part of what was."

To me, this would apply to the Rhuidean death, because when he was brought back, he had the memories of the past and "what was." But, apparently, RJ has refuted that by saying he didn't actually die at that time, and was only "almost dead". Does anyone have like a verbatim quote of that interview, because it would be really helpful.

So, for the Balefire death...if Rand balefiring(is that even a word?) Rahvin undid Mat's death, can it really be said he died and was brought back to life? Because the death didn't really happen at all, right, and that doesn't really have anything to do with living again a part of what was.

Just a question, rofl.

23

Allchaos: 2007-04-28

Oh, to clarify my last statement. If Rand balefired Rahvin which undid Mat's death, then he never truly died at all, like Callandor said "But Mat was brought back by balefire, so it's not as if he died at all. All the actions were undone."

In that case, how can that fulfill the prophecy if he didn't die in the first place, and so couldn't be brought back to life to live again?...

Some more reasons for believing in the death in Rhuidean;

Mat himself believes he died there. I can't remember the exact quote, but I believe it was from Lord of Chaos. He says "He had died, hanging beneath those branches." That might not be the exact quote, but I think it's pretty close.

And the scar; why mention it all the time if it wasn't his actual death...the balefire death is hardly ever mentioned again, but the scar pops up all the time. I always thought the Rhuidean death was cooler and counted because Odin himself died that way, for knowledge of death. Mat, after being hanged, has that same knowledge through the memories given to him. The Cairhein death seems a little anti-climactic after that death, especially since he shared the death with Aviendha and Asmodean...

24

Birgitte: 2007-04-30

Allchaos, This is from the FAQ

***It turns out, though, that the latter question is a moot point, because RJ has clarified the matter.

Bill Garrett's report of RJ's appearance at Balticon 30 (April 1996) mentions: "(Jordan noted that Mat's death by lightning and subsequent undoing of his death when Rand balefired Rahvin, fulfills a prophecy about living, dying, and then living again.)" Tim Kington reports that, when asked how long Mat had hung from the Tree of Life in Rhuidean, RJ replied, "Long enough to be almost dead" (emphasis mine) [post-COT signing, Dayton, OH, January 16, 2004].

So, it is the Caemlyn incident and not the Rhuidean one that fulfills the prophecy. ***

Personally, I've never really liked that, though. It doesn't fit my poetic sense, I guess. But, there it is. ~shrugs~ Mat isn't dead when he is cut down from the Tree of Life (fitting, isn't it?) and the death in Caemlynn wouldn't break his connection to the Horn, because of the balefire effect, so he's still the Hornsounder (as Birgitte names him in Ebou Dar).

25

Allchaos: 2007-05-01

Oh, ok, thanks!

That sucks though, I thought Mat would have a cool death, but he just gets hit by lightning because he's standing next to Rand...

26

shaihalud: 2014-08-04

Wow, found a link to this while purging my old email account. I'd totally forgotten about it. So ya ... I was right. :P