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ark One's Own Stolen Luck

by a dragonburned fool: 2005-11-01 | 5 out of 10 (6 votes)

Recent Categories: The Dark One

Originally this theory was intended only to explain a puzzling Jordan's answer about Mat's luck. But this explanation resulted in major implications about the nature of Mordeth's special talents and Shadar Logoth's supernatural element as consequence, and that's why I posted this theory under the Padan Fain category.

Part I: Mat's Luck

One of the answers RJ gave at DragonCon was the following:

"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’angreal 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."

I needed lot of time before I could think out anything believable about this revelation. Before I read this, I strongly believed that Mat's luck was ta'veren and nothing more. There's seems to be nothing such in Mat's luck that the tel'maral'alein wouldn't explain without any difficulties. But here Jordan says directly that something in Mat's luck originates from the Shadow. Mat is still a ta'veren and lot of his luck is normal ta'veren luck, but there must be also something from the Shadow. What could this mean? What and when the heck Mat received any gift from the Shadow, save the "own luck" of the Dark One?

Before answering this question let take a closer look of how Mat's extreme luck begun. The night in Tar Valon is the most visible manifestation of this beginning, but it's not the real beginning of Mat's unusual luck. As Mat himself reveals in his poV in this very night (tDR, ch.30):

quote: "He knew he was lucky. He could remember always being lucky. But somehow, his memories from Emond's Field did not show him as lucky as he had been since leaving. Certainly he had gotten away with a great deal, but he could remember also being caught in pranks he had been sure would succeed. His mother had always seemed to know what he was up to, and Nynaeve able to see through whatever defenses he put up. But it was not just since leaving the Two Rivers that he had become lucky. The luck had come once he took the dagger from Shadar Logoth. He remembered playing at dice back home, with a sharp-eyed, skinny man who worked for a merchant come down from Baerlon to buy tabac. He remembered the strapping his father had given him, too, on learning Mat owed the man a silver mark and four pence."

Mat always been lucky stuff here is insignificant, Mat feels how a different, unusual luck came to him after Shadar Logoth. The timing speaks so much here: we have to seek for the reason of Mat's luck first in Shadar Logoth and only after that on any other place. After mat was healed from the dagger, his luck gained after Shadar Logoth was only unleashed. Well, but why Shadar Logoth if Jordan mentioned a completely different Evil behind Mat's luck? Isn't "Dark One's own luck" exactly the opposite of anything to be eventually found in Shadar Logoth? Yes, it is opposite, and exactly that is my point. I'm stating that BECAUSE Shadar Logoth is the opposite of the Shadow, the dagger caused the DO's luck becoming part of Mat. An odd statement for the first glance, right?

Let see what consequences bearing the ruby dagger by Mat has for the Shadow:

quote: "Isabel: How did Aginor manage to sense the Shadar Logoth dagger in the eotw?

RJ: It’s an effect of resonance. The dagger is the same evil as the evil of Shadar Logoth. You can say it’s diametrically opposite to the taint, that’s the evil on saidin. Rand, in one point in Shadar Logoth feels it repulsing with each other. And especially in the wounds on his side. There is a resonance created. A positive and negative pulse of evil, you might say."

Now my theory: When Mat took the dagger from Shadar Logoth, it infected him, so Mat's whole thread became associated with the SL evil. So Mat became a source of resonances with the Shadow's evil. Opposites in WoT metaphysics both repel and attract each other, independently of what both opposites want. So Mat due to him being bearer of SL-Evil attracted something from the DO-Evil. Some of these resonance effects made him easy target to be detected by Aginor and Balthamel. But there may be also other resonance effects. If Mat's thread will cause resonance with the Shadow, it will most likely do it with some Shadow's metaphysical equivalent of something of Mat's properties. One of Mat's properties is that he is ta'veren. So if DO has some equivalent of the ta'veren function, it is likely that the resonance will occur between this DO's luck and the SL-infected ta'veren. So Mat gained literary the DO's own luck due to resonance with the dagger.

And DO has some equivalent of Wheel's ta'veren function. Even if the mentioned "DO's own luck" could be just a figure of speech, DO will have an equivalent of Wheel's luck. Because the ta'veren are also described as "lucky" from a human perspective. From Wheel's PoV the whole ta'veren's "luck" is nothing else but altering the Pattern so that it could be fixed while the ta'veren is only the focal point. In DO's perspective it would mean the same. From a human perspective it would appear as something describable as "luck". Because what is "luck"? It's when events and circumstances in the world, that shouldn't depend on you, are too much in your favor. If one (e.g. the Dark One) is altering the Pattern itself (i.e. all the events and circumstances) in his favor, the effect is the same as the effect of "luck". From a human point of view the symptoms are similar, and the phaenomenon is likely to be called with the same name. People can call the fact that Rand gets the events needed for the Dragon to do Dragon's deeds Rand's "luck", and it isn't a traditional "luck", but people can still call it "luck".

What is said to be DO's ultimate goal after he would escape? To re-build the Pattern. I.e. from DO perspective it's a task similar to Wheel's task to use a ta'veren. Even before DO escapes he seems to be able to influence the world's very reality in very serious manner (especially at Shayol Ghul). The Pattern is the reality and nothing is outside the Pattern, so DO is actually re-arranging the Pattern. In a degree of course. But this means that he has an ability. He doesn't belong to the Pattern, but he has resource to re-arrange the reality. Re-arranging the Pattern in own favor is another way to speak about metaphysical luck. There is such thing like "DO's own luck".

Further, we see that something from DO's metaphysical forces to inflict the reality exists and acts as it seems without a direct will of the Dark One. The Bubbles of Evil for example seem to be accidental miasms independent of DO's explicit will. But the most striking example of Shadow-originated entity independent of the Dark One is the Machin Shin. Machin Shin is especially interesting here because it is also involved into the Shadow-SL resonances:

quote: "In the Great Hunt when Rand, Mat and Perrin are trying to enter the Ways Machin Shin is waiting there for them. It seems like Padan Fain has been waiting there for them. Is Machin Shin in any way related to the evil of Shadar Logoth?

RJ: In some ways. Machin Shin is linked or you might say drawn to that. It’s not a matter of linked, but more attracted by. In much the same ways as I spoke about the evils being attracted to one another due to opposite polarities. (Shadar Logoth and the Taint). In the same way there is an attraction because Machin Shin was created in effect by the Taint. It grew out. You can see is at a fungus that was constructed with the wrong type of materials. If you think about it as that way you get a more idea about its true nature."

I think that the resonance between Mat's dagger-infected Web of Destiny and DO's own luck created some parasitic standing effect on Mat, derived from the Dark essence, but standalone from the Dark one and adding additional Wheel-free features to Pattern-re-arranging capacities, a sort of dark plugin to his luck.

Because of it's Shadow origins, it is unleashed when Mat is Healed of the dagger. SL attracted the dark luck, but once attracted it already situated itself in Mat and doesn't need further attraction. But because being opposite to the Shadow the dagger also repelled the dark plugin and so restricted it's efficacy. With removal of the dagger the dark luck became unrestricted.

Maybe this could make Mat's mere presence at the Last Battle instrumental for Shadow's defeat, because a device of DO's luck will act independently of DO's will and could restrict the effects of DO's own luck, or just interfere in an unexpected by DO manner.

Egwene's dream about Mat playing dice against Ishamael could be an indication about dark luck balancing in game another dark luck.

But this theory has most far-going implication on Fain and the nature of Shadar Logoth Evil in general. Because if Mat unwittingly "stole" the luck of DO, then wouldn't Mordeth also steal a couple of goodies from the dark pool?

Part II: Nature of Mordeth's supernatural effects

I remember speculations about Fain being a ta'veren - something definitely not true, but if Fain has DO's luck instead of ta'verenness it could work. Because the dark luck is a Pattern re-arrangement, but it's also out of Wheel's control, because DO is outside the Pattern. This matches exactly Fain's unique wildcard position.

quote: "Question: Has the Padan Fain/Mordeth character been present in previous Ages, or is he unique to this particular Age?

RJ: He is unique to this particular Age. A very unique fellow, indeed. In some ways, you might say he has unwittingly side-stepped the Pattern."

Another quote: "- He also mentioned the fact that Fain is essentially his wild card, a character that is outside the structure of the work and can therefore act totally unpredictably."

Since everything in the world is controlled by the Pattern, side-stepping the Pattern is not something the Pattern could allow. Unless something outside the Pattern is brought into the game. But there is nothing outside the Pattern except the Creator (and Fain definitely doesn't use the Creator) and the Dark One. So there's no other thing to allow the Pattern-sidestepping save some messing up with Dark One's essence. Fain is side-stepping the Pattern, therefore he is using DO's resources.

Actually Fain doesn't express anything similar to Mat's luck. Fain/Mordeth was never a ta'veren, and there are no prerequisites for him to initiate resonances between the ta'veren and the DO's equivalent to ta'veren function as it was in the case of Mat. But Fain and Mordeth have other special properties and respective special skills.

quote: "- What is Fain? Mordeth + person. Mordeth is a human-made evil. The black wind gets along with Mordeth because of professional courtesy. Fain is anti-forsaken as well as anti-Rand. He has a lot of skills and abilities outside of channelling. He can not channel."

All that indicates that Fain is something, may I say, concurrent in some way to Pattern's luck-control. Fain is a challenge to Wheel's system of control over luck. And he has special powers of a quite evil nature. Mordeth can transmigrate himself into Fain's body - something that only DO seems to be able. Fain was able to arrange the trap for Rand in tGH when the time was hung up into an never-ending cycle - the trap with flies (RJ said it at the KoD book signings) - a very advanced skill in any case. Fain is able to torture Myrddraals and making them obey. Fain is able to "touch" a human person and make horrible things to him (as he did with the child of a darkfriend woman). All these abilities are frappant Evil, something that can be expected from Dark One's touch. Where from are these abilities? Actually the whole Shadar Logoth has powers that share the style. What does say Jordan about the Shadar Logoth supernatural element?

quote: "The Taint on Shadar Logoth did not come from the Dark One. The taint was created by humans, who believed that they must do whatever was necessary, anything that was necessary to defeat the Shadow. And because they would accept no limits to what they would do, to what could be done, to what needed to be done, they created their own destruction."

From one side RJ said here that SL-evil didn't come from DO. But from the other side it's said it's human-made. But if it is human-made, how do supernatural properties appear in it? Doesn't human-made mean made by something completely in human skills and consequences of it? SL definitely caused consequences. But WHAT was activated to bring these consequences? Is there something in the normal nature that can bring such consequences? Something besides One Power, because we know it wasn't One Power that created Shadar Logoth? Is there something else then Shadow-originated phaenomena, that could explain this effects.

If active in Shadar Logoth is not DO as sentient beings, but some side-effects of his "dark matter", it could be said that the taint of SL came not from DO. It was not from himself, because it was not from his will. But Machin Shin was also not from himself, it was only side-effect from the Taint of saidin.

Mordeth and Aridhol citizens may become so radically evil (even if in simple human evilness) that they caused a resonance with the Shadow and unwittingly (and without DO's will) downloaded some special Shadow's features. SL-evil is stolen from the Hell.

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Tamyrlin: 2005-12-12

I do like the idea that Mat's connection to Shadar Logoth in some fashion attracted properties from the Dark One. I tend to believe that something natural about Mat was accentuated, but you bring up some interesting possibilities. At another theory, we have been discussing Mat's luck as a function of being Ta'veren. How would you address his being a Ta'veren, according to your theory?


Anubis: 2005-12-12

I dont think Fain is particularily relevant to your theory... Fain is a very special case and Mat had the dagger before Fain fused with Marshdar. Though the idea that Mat might have somehow aquired a hint of the Dark Ones pattern warping abilities is interesting to say the very least. A few things I would like to contribute.

1. Have we seen food spoil around Mat? I cant think of any of that... something to consider.

2. Could this explain... I dont want to say his luck or the dice... but possibly the ammount of controll he exerts over his ta'verenness? Unlike Rand and Perrin he tends to make full knowledgable use of his Ta'verenness.

3. Could this explain the dice? Could the dice be a symptom of Mat unknowingly altering the pattern to counteract the dark ones direct influences?


JakOShadows: 2005-12-14

It is an interesting thought. It is entirely possible that it happened this way, but it seems a fairly complex thing. In all the situations we see Mat extremely lucky, we see that what ever he is doing relies on randomness and a need to succeed. So he is making full use of his ta'veren-ness. And it could be argued that since he puts himself it situations like this more often, he can better sense it than Perrin or Rand, who meticulously plan something so it works out without relying on luck. But I do believe that the dagger from SL affected him somehow and this could be it. Since they are polar opposites, it is logical to follow. And RJ's statement does help your case. I do not think it is just this though, I think it is an extra boost added onto what he already had.


Kuma: 2005-12-14

I think I agree with Tam in that I like your idea of Mat's SL connection drawing some of the DO's Pattern-warping ability to him. However, most of that connection you've drawn hinges very neatly on that first Jordan quote--something that I'm not sure does what you want it to. The problem I have is the phrase, "in a way." Your idea certainly is one way that Mat could actually have attracted to himself "the DO's own luck," however, why did Mat have to be the one to attract it? I suppose what I'm saying is this: why couldn't the people of Aridhol have (through whatever means) stolen/borrowed/replicated this Pattern-warping ability (far more than just luck) of the DO and then it was simply passed to Mat through the dagger? When it came into play with Mat's own ta'verenness, and the two complimented each other, couldn't it have created Mat's own exteme luck? Heck, couldn't the dice-rattling be those two functions--ta'veren luck and SL Pattern-warping--resonating off of one another?

The big problem is that aside from Moiraine's discussion of how Aridhol fell to its own SL-shadow (ie. using the Shadow's own tactics), we don't know much about how such a thing was created, and we don't know what means its people and Mordeth used to stand against the Shadow. Did they use the Power at all in their pursuits? My guess would be yes, since they would do ANYTHING necessary to defeat the Shadow. We've already seen that there are ways that the Power can be used to warp the Pattern in a localized fashion (ie. the dice ter'angreal). Could it be that the reason the taint of Shadar Logoth was so bound to its locale and the objects within it was due to some localized emulation/theft of the DO's Pattern-warping, engineered by Mordeth and some channelers he managed to convince? What effect might such a warping have had on the populace? Perhaps the suspicion and hatred that is described by Moiraine? The fact is, there's just too much about it that we don't know. I agree that there's something there--some interplay between the DO's powers and what Mordeth made of Aridhol--but I'm not sure that Mat was the one doing the stealing (for once!).

As to Padan Fain, I think I agree with you that at this point he's something of a byproduct of the DO's influence (a la Machin Shin), but not of the DO's express will (aside from his continued draw to Rand). My explanation for his "wildcard" status is, in short, this:

The way in which his soul had been warped by the DO during his days as a "hound" so strongly conflicted with the way in which what remained of Mordeth had been warped in Aridhol, that when they were joined in the same body, the resulting resonance of Pattern-warping disloged Fain from the Pattern entirely. It is, of course, also why he is hopelessly insane. He is essentially a free agent, a loose thread, no longer being woven by the Wheel, who instead moves through world at his own direction. I believe he has the ability to create localized and limited Pattern-warpings of his own via the taint/power of Aridhol--like a miniature Dark One, cruising the world in pursuit of Rand. He needs Rand dead at whatever cost because Rand is the one thing that still compells him, a remnant left over from Fain the hound. Aside from that, he is completely free of destiny, completely free from fate, and is powerful enough to walk the Pattern without being bound by it--in essence, a tiny god.


Lews Therin Tell-on-em: 2005-12-16

I'm Not so sure about this theory. I was kind of thinking that ta'veren IS responsible for Mat's luck, and the Shadar Logoth dagger was a bit like a puberty thing, allowing his ta'veren ability to take new form. Maybe the Shadar Logoth dagger is like a magnifying glass of what the Pattern brought this person in the world to do. We all know that evil wants its minions to be good at what they do, so why wouldn't the taint on Shadar Logoth do this for them?


Cirrus: 2005-12-23

i dont have much evidence for what im aboutt to say, but it makes sense in my head, so hear it goes: the dice rattling is the result of the shadar taint and mat's ta'veren abilities conflicting. My theory is that both of these abilities attempt to altar the pattern in small ways, but in opposite directions (ta'veren in the favour of the light, the taint in the f avour of the dark.) therefore, when both happen at the same time, mat hears the dice and the outcome can be either light or dark. it's possible that these moments of dice are the only moments where mat ISN'T being used as a ta'veren or shadar taint conduit, as they are both to busy battiling each other.


snakes-n-foxes: 2005-12-23

Certainly the timing of Mat's luck is coincidental to Shadar Logoth, but we also have to remember that Mat, Rand and Perrin became Ta'veren sometime around that stage too - as Loial recognises them as Ta'veren by the time they get to Caemlyn.

A point on the DO effecting the pattern though. The pattern is made from threads of lives, not the world itself. The DO has been directly effecting the physical world, but I don't know that he's effecting threads directly...maybe the ghosts.

I like the idea of a SL resonance in the dagger attracting a DO resonance, but in order for that to work, the comparisons to Mordeth must also work.

Mordeth was the Essence of SL evil...he started it...he survived it...he thrived on it. Much more so than Mat. He eventual merged with Fain, and then all these powers started coming out. Not just one power, but multiple types of powers. Mat only displays one type of 'power'.

Of course, Fain already had some 'powers' before SL, and Mordeth may have had some of these powers already - no one can really say for sure.

A point you raised about the DO remaking the pattern and Ta'veren...I don't think that the DO's desire to remake the pattern in his own image could in any way be compared to Ta'veren. That's like comparing the strongest Category 5 Hurricane ever to a rain droplet.

It may simply be that, as you say, Mat already being lucky, having picked up the dagger, attracted the DO's equivalent, and that was unleashed when he was healed...but how would that explain the difference between extreme luck at Tar Valon and just plain very lucky everywhere else ?


Avatar: 2006-01-01

Personally I think that the main reason behind Mat's luck isn't having the dagger but his being healed of carrying it. It was only after the healing that he began to be especially lucky (he wasn't really between Shadar Logoth and Tar Valon) and to speak in the Old Tounge (except for 'Carai an Caldazar', which he said before Shadar Logoth).

In conclusion, I think the huge amount of the Power used to heal him knocked something loose from his prevous lives.

On a totally separate matter I want to know if (in Crown of Swords) the strange mist in the Cairhien hills when Rand met the rebels (Caraline Damodred, Darlin, Toram Riatin, as well as Padan Fain) is another 'bubble of evil' or if it could possibly be a manifestation of Mashadar the mist-creature from Shadar Logoth (it seems to appear minutes after Toram Riatin can't find where Padan Fain has run off to)


jak o shadows: 2006-01-05

Interesting theory, but I think you may be over analysing a bit. As you pointed out Mat was always lucky. This is a natural ability of his, just like Rand's ability to channel and Perrins Wolfbrother thing.

Ta'veren are all lucky but it is both bad and good. The most extreme example of this is Rand's journey to Tear, with weddings and deaths and all sorts of strange effects. Falling out of a window and not having a scratch is good luck, a roof tile falling on your head is bad luck but they are both luck. If you combine Mats innate good luck with his Ta'veren ability to twist the pattern you will have a pretty good description of what happens Mat. I think most of it can be explained as luck just being Mats thing. Perhaps it was aplified to some extent by the SL taint and the Tar Valon healing but it would always have been there and would have manifested itself.

When you think about it Mat really isn't all that lucky in some respects. He tends to find trouble even when he is trying to avoid it, it is just that his innate good luck pulls him through more often than not.


a dragonburned fool: 2006-01-12

Quite a pity I dissapeared for long time exactly when this theory of mine was published. I really wanted to speak and reply about, and now my replies would be ... late. :( But better late than never.

to Tam:

Mat being ta'veren would explain without problems all the effects of Mat's luck. Even the dependance of the beginning of Mat's luck to his dagger-related experience could be just coincidence. The only reason for this theory is the RJ's answer quoted by me in the beginning of the theory, an answer that cannot be interpreted as just ta'veren effect. So the Shadow must be involved, and having in mind the importance of the dagger, Shadar Logoth is the best candidate to explain the Shadow's involvement. So I came to my theory.

However I don't dismiss the ta'veren as explanation of Mat's luck. Ta'veren is too likely to have the effects we see around Mat independently of any other concurrent factors also affecting his luck. In Mat's case, as I think, the dark luck and ta'veren luck work together in the same direction and either produce similar effects, or produce the luck effects with combined force of both factors. Mat's has, so to say, dual backing for his luck. JakOShadows' said something similar in his reply. It was originaly also part of my theory and maybe it was not expressed well. Both factors would differ in some details from each other, and that could have multiple consequences, but about the detailed interaction between both luck and determening what exactly comes from the ta'veren and what from the dark luck, I have not the sufficient evidence and it could be only speculation. Both lucks are different in their principle, but they are similar in their conduct, and this similarity is behind the resonance that brought the dark luck in Mat's possession.

As I said int he theory, I think that Mat being ta'veren is the reason that he gained exactly the dark luck among all other possible dark abilities that the dagger-induced resonance could produce. Resonances occurs between similar poles, and Mat's resonance was shaped by what was already there in Mat. This explains why Mordeth doesn'treveal luck like Mat's while he has other supernatural abilities. Mordeth's abilities are IMO due to resonance with special abilities that Mordeth uniquely had before his resonance.

This leads me also to answers of Anubis' questions:

My theory is explaining the differences of the effects between Mat and Fain with differences of how the resonance of both Evils happened. In each case, so I state, the resonance is dependent of the initial special abilities of the human part, that invokes specifically it's Shadowy equivalent.

Fain is relevant to my theory because of Mordeth's presence. Mordeth already had his resonance with the Shadow and gained special abilities before he met Mat and Fain. And it is interesting that Fain-Mordeth re-gained most of his abilities after he stole the dagger from Fal Dara.

About Mat's more control over the ta'verenness - yes this is one of the implications of my theory. In a way. Additional luck-factor will give Mat a ... say it .. an independent referenve point to deal with the ta'veren engine, the point that Archimedes needed for to turn over the earth. However there is also the other side - both lucks could interfere between each other in unpredictable manner and this will make any control more difficult. But, regarding your point #3, yes, a statement of my theory is that Mat unwittingly is countering DO's influence over the Pattern-weaving. And the unpredictable interferences between both luck in Mat would be very helpful for this countering of DO's influence.

to Kuma:

You're right, that my theory hings solely on RJ's quote, and that the "in a way" phrase adds an element of uncertainty in it. My interpretation can fit into the "in a way", but who knows what else also could eventually fit in it. But I have answer to the question why exactly Mat and not any Arhidol citizen attracted the dark luck. It's because Mat was already ta'veren, and no Arhidol citizen was. If a "resonance" happens it happens between equivalents from both side - it's in the nature of "resonance". Mat had ta'veren inside and it resonanced with luck-related part of DO's abilities. Mordeth had other special abilities and it resonanced with other part of DO's nature and Mordeth gained different set of dark gifts.

It's really a problem that we don't know enough about how Aridhol Evil was created. But we know that Mordeth himself was never a channeler, that whatever it is, it was a human deed, and already in the end of Aridhol Mordeth had at least since some moment supernatural abilities - one of them his undeed state and his ability to steal the body of somebody passing Shadar Logoth (something similar to DO's abilities to transmigrate souls, and not similar to anything from the Pattern's own arsenal). Also when Fain becomes to torture Myrddraals and have other destructive abilities, it seems that he thinks about them as about old skills, i.e. as skills that Aridhol-time Mordeth already had.

Your idea that the SL-Evil amy be result of something Arhidol's cahnnelers did under Mordeth's guidance, is very interesting. But, as you said, we know nothing about that, and that are rsther speculations. However I think, that whatever was the means Mordeth and Aridhol achieved the resonance with the DO, this resonance happened. It is possible that the resonance happened after Mordeth gained the special abilities, but in any case the resonance at least seriously influenced and shaped these abilities. Whatever was responsible for the resonance, mordeth gained something from it. This is less than what my theory states - it states that the supernatural abilities are first gained through the resonance.

to Lews Therin Tell-on-em:

It could be that SL is a "magnifying glas" only, but in this case I wanted to know why Mat's luck would be called "DO's own luck in a way". It is not impossible that such interpretation exist, but I cannot see it.

to Cirrus:

yes, your hypothesis is one of the possible implications I also drove from my theory. I'm glad you drove it. But unfortunately it's only a speculation.

to Snakes-and-foxes:

DO can effect the Pattern both in sence effecting the physical world and effecting sentient lives. The first thing DO made after the Bore was drilled was to corrupt people's minds inducing in them various perverse passions - it was a mass worldwide effects. And the Pattern is not only the sentient lives threads but also the whole physical world. Pattern's dissipation means the whole physical reality becoming less real, and the Blight e.g. is the Pattern at this location altered so that it e.g. isn't reflected in TAR and the land returns to health after the Blight turns back. So the Blight is a bright example of direct Pattern-bound mass direct Shadow's effect on the whole physical reality.

My theory works with the Mordeth case. All Mordeth's special abilities have no good equivalents in the normal natural world, but have equivalents in the Shadow - the immortality and transmigration and posessing other-ones bodies, and Myrddraal control and the abilities to do awfull things to people with simple touch, etc.

"Powers" Fain had before SL are discernible form 'powers' he has after. Sensing Rand is something from before. But torturing Myrddraals and other people is definitely only after Shadar Logoth, before SL Myrddraals did to Fain anything they wanted and he suffered a lot from them, and Fain hadn't anything special in affecting people.

And the extreme luck at Tar Valon in comparison to lesser luck after it... isn't it right that when a dam breaks, in the first moment the water flows stronger than afterwards when the dam remains broken. The first moment after the breaking of the dam... that was what ahppened after Mat's Healing in Tar Valon.

to Avatar:

No, Mat had unusual luck between Shadar Logoth and the Healing. His own thoughts after being Healed reveal it, as I quoted it above. Mat sees specifical difference between his luck before and after SL. After the Healing it is significantly boosted, but the luck was special also before the Healing. Plus if it was effect of the OP used in Mat's Healing, then why Jordan would say that his luck is "DO's own luck in a way"?


Traveller: 2006-01-27

"2. Could this explain... I dont want to say his luck or the dice... but possibly the ammount of controll he exerts over his ta'verenness? Unlike Rand and Perrin he tends to make full knowledgable use of his Ta'verenness."

I wouldn't think that this theory would affect his knowingness of how to manipulate Ta'veren, I just think that he copes with it in a different way:

Perrin tries to avoid the fact that he is Ta'veren and seems to think that it doesn't really affect him;

Rand understands the effects of being Ta'veren, but he also sees that the effects are random, so sometimes they will happen, sometimes they won't make a difference- so he doesn't rely on them;

mat is a gambler, and he sees that for him the gains outweigh the risks, so I see this as just part of his nature- to take advantage of everything he is given, not a s some side effect of... Mat having been influenced by the DO, Fain, Shadar Logoth,...or whatever.

Perhaps you have looked a little deep into this, although it was thought-sparking to read.


Callandor: 2006-01-29

**Perrin tries to avoid the fact that he is Ta'veren and seems to think that it doesn't really affect him;**

Perrin doesn't avoid it; he's resigned to it. He was actually one of the first (I'd say first, but it was around the same time Rand did, too).

His attitude about it is kinda similar to Mat's: "I've never seen it work out for me, for once." While others tell him they've seen it, he'd deny it and such.

**Rand understands the effects of being Ta'veren, but he also sees that the effects are random, so sometimes they will happen, sometimes they won't make a difference- so he doesn't rely on them**

He has before, notably in A Crown of Swords.


: 2006-02-03

I like this idea, and believe it has merrit. While I'm not convinced that the scenario portrayed here is exactly the explanation, I definitly agree that Mat's luck goes way beyond his natural Ta'veren abilities.

For one, Rand and Perrin don't have luck like Mat's. If it was simply Ta'veren then Rand should have the best luck on the planet, since he is the strongest Ta'veren in the world. Also, I believe that RJ's quote clearly indicates there is something more to Mat's luck than simply being Ta'veren.

An alternate explanation would be that SL and it's taint are a 'mini me' version of the DO's evil. Similar to Sauruman contriving to overthrow Sauron in LOTR. Saruman was a 'mini me' version of Sauron. His powers were very similar, especially since Saruman spent many long years studying the techniques and tactics of Sauron. Saruman once used these techniques to defeat Sauron (who at that time in the Hobbit was calling himself the Necromancer). Of course Saruman was working FOR Sauron, but he still hated him, and envied his power. Later on in the story, Saruman began to transform his realm into a 'mini me' version of Mordor. He decimates the forests, employs Orcs, and even tries to make his own rings. His own ambitions and greed for power corrupted him, and he fell from grace into squallor.

This compares in many ways to the SL scenario. The denizens of SL studied and copied the Shadow's methods at the bidding of Mordeth. Aridhol thus became more and more like the Shadow, even while opposing it. While in the beginning their intentions were good (as were Saruman's) they eventually fell prey to the evil they created and it cost them their lives and nation. It may be that the SL evil, being a 'mini me' version of the Shadow, would obtain capabilities or 'powers' similar to the Shadow. This 'mini me' version of the Shadow certainly spawned a number of supernatural scenario's. Mordeth's powers and Mashadar for example. Consider this:

1. When Mat stole the dagger, he tied himself to this 'mini me' evil. He may have drawn supernatural powers from it. But Mat's exposure to this evil was very limited, and was eventually removed.

2. Mordeth was the origiator of the SL evil, and it seems likely that he himself had supernatural powers, possibly even before his physical death.

I speculate that Mat, given enough time with the Dagger, would have developed powers similar (though probably weaker) to Fain's. I would venture a guess that if the 'mini me' version of the Shadow (SL) emulated the Shadow's powers, the 'Dark One's onw luck' could very well have been one of those powers. Furthermore, I believe that Mat's Ta'veren abilities further tweaked this power into the luck-generating machine that is Mat (don't ask me to dice against the guy).

OK, tear it up folkes...


dweeb: 2006-02-04

wow...euridite...well thought out ... only one misspelled word (check merit)...what's it doing here;)?


JakOShadows: 2006-02-05

I do see your point that Mat seems to have more luck than all the others, but the point could be made that the pattern gave him that luck because he needed. For example, the luck at dicing, could be means for him to get the money he needs to support his army. And his luck in battle could be because he needs to win those battles to perform his task. And in all the stuff he has done, he has made use of the natural luck a ta'veren has much more than the other two. Of course, your theory coincides with the time too, but we have no evidence for or against this. I don't think Fain is very lucky, he's been elusive and been able to infect all these different organizations, but that is due to Mordeth traits. We haven't seen him in any relationship to luck. Both are possible, I just think that the ta'veren theory is more plausible.


Callandor: 2006-02-09

**I do see your point that Mat seems to have more luck than all the others, but the point could be made that the pattern gave him that luck because he needed.**

I would completely disagree. Rand by default has the "most luck" since he's the strongest ta'veren. Mat has the most visible luck to many readers, simply because they don't attribute many of the things that happen to Rand to be his luck. Look at how Rand deals with the Sea Folk, the rebels, and gets key knowledge about how to Cleanse saidin all in one day in A Crown of Swords. That's not luck? That's not incredible luck? That's not ta'vereness?

**And in all the stuff he has done, he has made use of the natural luck a ta'veren has much more than the other two.**

Again, I'd say Rand has, but all three have to a great amount.