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at's luck is caused by the dagger

by Elder Haman: 2004-04-26 | Not yet rated

Previous Categories: Miscellaneous

I've had this "theory" as to the source of Mat's luck for a long time. I just never posted it because I thought it was so obvious that everyone already believed this. However, from recent discussions it has come to my attention that my view actually seems to be the minority position (or at least does not have any vocal defenders). Therefore I thought it appropriate to present the clear evidence for Mat's luck being caused by the dagger from Shadar Logoth.

I hesitate to take credit for this theory however, as it is actually Mat's own theory:

1) Mat's luck is unusual, even for Ta'varen. It is quite clear from the books that while both Rand and Perrin enjoy the "luck" of being ta'varen- it only occurs when it is necessary for the Pattern. Mat's luck is repeatedly identified as being unnatural and unheard of.

2) Mat realizes that this luck of his is unnatural (even for ta'varen) and begins to think back on when he became lucky. He identifies three stages to the development of his luck.

First: He identifies that he was always "lucky" as a boy- but more in the "happy-go-lucky" sense. His escapades atcually went wrong more often than not, and he specifically remembers losing money gambling with a merchant guard.

Second: He identifies his picking up the dagger in Shadar Logoth as the event immeadiatly prior to the development of his abnormal luck. The first evidence we see of this in the books is in TGH:

**TITLE: Great Hunt, CHAPTER: 3 - Friends and Enemies

"What's the matter, Rand?" Mat asked. "You're as white as your shirt. Hey! Where did you get those clothes? You turning Shienaran? Maybe I'll buy myself a coat like that, and a fine shirt." He shook his coat pocket, producing a clink of coins. "I seem to have luck with the dice. I can hardly touch them without winning."**

This continues into the start of TDR where Mat always won at dice, even as he was dying, (from the dagger). It's possible there were other examples that happened earlier "off screen". The important thing is that MAT identifies the dagger as the first causaul event- long before he gets to Tar Valon. If anyone should know when the luck started appearing it is Mat.

Third: His luck goes absolutly haywire- off the charts lucky- after his healing. Again Mat identifies an event dealing with the dagger as the probable cause of the sudden change (increase) in his luck- which then seems to fade back down to somewhere between pre-healing and post-healing levels.

3) Now Lanfear and the ter'angreal are a possible explaination for the Third Stage of Mat's luck since her visit occurs immeadiatly following his healing. But this still leaves his previous increase in luck, (pre-healing but post-dagger), unexplained.

Conclusion: Simply explaining Mat's luck as a ta'varen side effect is unsatisfactory since neither Rand, nor Perrin display this type of luck. Nor can being ta'varen explain the sudden changes in Mat's level of luck.

Lanfear and the dice ter'angreal is also insufficent because it cannot explain Mat's luck between finding the dagger and his healing.

I believe Mat is correct in identifying the dagger as the causal agent since it is logical to assume that both of his increases in luck were effected by the same agent, (changes in the status of the dagger).
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Comments

1

Tamyrlin: 2004-07-14

(Frenzy for Tamyrlin)
This is a good summation of facts and conclusions. I personally think that being ta'veren, the dagger, and inate ability all contribute to Mat's phenomenal luck. But my jury's still out on which plays a larger role: ta'veren or dagger. This theory has me leaning more off that fence.

2

Anubis: 2004-07-15

Well if it was caused by Taveren then Matt would not have been lucky as a child because he was not Taveren at that point. I like this theory. I would say that the dagger caused the luck, or perhaps instigated it. The broader cause would be Taveren in my eyes, or the pattern needing to make Matt beyond lucky.

3

a dragonburned fool: 2004-07-15

If the dagger caused luck, it would work also on Fain, and we must see some enourmous luck around Fain. I don't remember any though.

The unicallity of Mat's luck incomparison to the ta'verenness of Rand and Perrin is not enough an argument against Mat's luck being ta'veren only, because being ta'veren means being used by the Wheel in the way the Wheel decided to use specifically you (every ta'veren is used specifically for his/her case). So every ta'veren would have exactly the specific features, the Wheel wants in his case, features that would give this particular ta'veren to fulfil his particular purpose, different for each ta'veren.

As Mat's luck was suddenly amplified after his Healing, and the ta'verenness of the three boys was turned on around the time of them leaving Emond's Field, and most the time Mat was with the dagger, so the dagger could act even as some brake of the luck.

4

Anubis: 2004-07-15

I wouldnt say that the Dagger makes luck. I would say that FOR MATT, the dagger was... the key? that unlocked the luck... or perhaps the stone that started the avalanche? The luck is not the daggers making but the timing is too good for there to be no connection.

5

brother of Battles: 2004-07-15

I've said this on other theories but here we go again....

I think Mat's luck has nothing more to do with anything except him being ta'veran. I do think, however, that the combination of the dagger, the healing to break the connection to the dagger, and whatever weave Lanfear never got to finnish on him. It does not have anything to do with the Ter'angreal. Mat never came into contact with those "dice".

I also want to point out is that, the reason Mat has all the luck and Rand and Perrin doesn't, it is because that is one of Mat's abilities. Just like Rand and Channel and Perrin has his Wolf skills. As I said above, his luck just is sharped because of the circumstances in his life.

6

Aelfinn: 2004-07-15

Everyone knows it's the DO's touch from the Ba'alzamon dreams that gave Mat his luck.

Okay, I'm backing down on that last statement. I'm willing to accept that the Shadar Logoth taint might cause it, instead of/as well as the Shadow taint. Undecided which it is.

7

Zader: 2004-07-15

How do we know Mat is any luckier than Rand or Perrin. All three are Ta'veren and yes Mat does have incredible luck when gambling. I think one of the things to take into account is the personality of the three Ta'veren. Mat is naturally a gambler, Rand will take certain gambles, and Perrin will hardly gamble at all. How do we know that if Perrin or Rand gambled as much as Mat that they wouldn't be as lucky.

8

Davian93: 2004-07-16

****How do we know Mat is any luckier than Rand or Perrin. All three are Ta'veren and yes Mat does have incredible luck when gambling. I think one of the things to take into account is the personality of the three Ta'veren. Mat is naturally a gambler, Rand will take certain gambles, and Perrin will hardly gamble at all. How do we know that if Perrin or Rand gambled as much as Mat that they wouldn't be as lucky. ****

That's a very good point. The answer is, we dont know how lucky Rand or Perrin would be at gambling. Mat's luck is caused by his ta'veren-ness, nothing more. He was lucky before the dagger, lucky with the dagger, and lucky after the dagger was removed. His luck increased at times when he needed something (like getting out of TV), a very ta'veren effect.

9

wattj69: 2004-07-17

**If the dagger caused luck, it would work also on Fain, and we must see some enourmous luck around Fain. I don't remember any though.**

I don't remember Matt getting any of Fain's powers either...a power like SL's wouldn't necessarily affect everyone in the same way, so it could very well be the dagger changed Matt's luck, while giving Fain new powers more suited to his personality (wacko)

10

Callandor: 2004-07-18

**I don't remember Matt getting any of Fain's powers either...a power like SL's wouldn't necessarily affect everyone in the same way, so it could very well be the dagger changed Matt's luck, while giving Fain new powers more suited to his personality (wacko)**

Fain also has a few different things about him that Mat doesn't. Off the top of my head, and least of all, he was a strongly bound Darkfriend, the actual recipient of Mordeth's soul (it merged with his own), and then got the dagger.

And Fain not lucky? The man who went bounding into a man eating bubble of evil, and didn't get a scratch?

11

charliec: 2004-07-18

Well stated theory Haman, it needed doing!

A couple of points: the pre-dagger Mat was more than just happy-go-lucky... he muses on his luck at one point, and comments that he had always won more than he'd lost, but it had become much clearer since Shadar Logoth.

The problem with speculation on this area is that we just can't identify I clear source, because it hasn't been categorically stated (which is of course why we can still enjoy the debate!).

His luck MAY be solely the result of the dagger, as a side-effect or otherwise.

It MAY be innate.

It MAY be "just" a ta'veren effect, although as you rightly point out this is very broad... his luck appears much more pronounced than Perrin's or Rand's (admittedly we don't see them gambling, but the luck also applies in more mundane situations), and of course there are the dice noises... but it could also be ta'veren in the sense that his peculiar influence on the pattern brought about this change in him.

It MAY be a result of Lanfear's weaving, but I implore all the sane to join me in rejecting this idea ;)

Or it may be a blend of some or all of the above... your theory lends more weight to the dagger, and like Frenzy I'm inclined to lean further from the fence...

P.S. dbf- **unicallity** not sure it's a real word... but I like it!

12

logains glory: 2004-07-19

**Well if it was caused by Taveren then Matt would not have been lucky as a child because he was not Taveren at that point.**

Isn't a soul born taveren? I was always under the assumption that it was. Matt was taveren as a child, he just wasn't being used by the pattern yet.

**If the dagger caused luck, it would work also on Fain, and we must see some enourmous luck around Fain. I don't remember any though.**

I would consider Fain lucky. He escaped Machirin, imprisonment, and not to mention he has been able to survive being on the bad side of the Dark One and the Dragon Reborn. The fact that he isn't dead yet I would think is very lucky indeed.

Matt may have always had some taveren luck, but I think the dagger either added a different kind of luck, much akin to the "Dark One's own luck", or it enhanced his already existing luck.

13

charliec: 2004-07-19

**Isn't a soul born taveren? I was always under the assumption that it was. Matt was taveren as a child, he just wasn't being used by the pattern yet. **

no doubt there'll be a flood of similar replies, but no souls aren't born ta'veren, they become ta'veren for a period of time.

14

Anubis: 2004-07-19

No, Callandor quoted it somewhere around here. People become Ta'veren when the pattern wants or needs them to. RJ said that Rand Mat and Perrin all became Ta'veren right before Moirine arrived (i think that was it, it was very recent anyways). And my god, think about it. Three Ta'veren, one the strongest ever, in one small village? Random freak occourances would not even make people blink anymore.

15

Anubis: 2004-07-19

I like this theory alot. There IS a correlation between dagger and luck. Correlations are tricky because they do not prove cause though, and your wording in the theory deals with that very nicely. I dont know if i agree with the off the scales luck being not Ta'veren though. The fact remains that Matt did NEED a large ammount of money and FAST to meet up with Rand at tear.

I offer this as a possible explination. Most, in fact a the vast majority of people would NOT have survived the dagger. Matt had to be VERY lucky to survive the whole ordeal, and VERY VERY VERY unlucky to survive unscathed. Perhaps the patern needing him alive so badly kicked his luck into overdrive so that he COULD survive. Matt is not much of a philosopher so he would just think of it as unnatural luck and he does not like that he is Ta'veren.

16

Callandor: 2004-07-20

**Isn't a soul born taveren? I was always under the assumption that it was. Matt was taveren as a child, he just wasn't being used by the pattern yet.**

No.

**RJ: One becomes ta'veren according to the needs of the Wheel. No one is born ta'veren. Rand, Mat and Perrin became ta'veren just before Moiraine appeared.**

From the Glimmer's Q&A at the WoT Encyclopaedia found here:

http://www.photeus.com:8090/~ewot/main/wot.html

17

Cambo: 2004-07-22

I just don't buy the idea that the dagger is responsible for Mat's luck. The thing is evil and almost killed him, why would it then go and bestow an incredible gift of almost perfect luck upon him?

If you ask me it is purely down to him being Taveren and the Pattern's need.

For Rand to succeed at the Last Battle he needs brilliant Generals. The Pattern is turning Mat into one. One of the things that Mat needs to be an effective General is to have an army. Once again the Pattern has manipulated things so that Mat was forced into leading the Band, when all he wanted to do was run away.

This is where his incredible luck comes into the equation. As a General Mat is responsible for the upkeep of his men. Food, weapons and wages don't come cheap so Matt has been using his winnings to meet these costs.

That is why he is so much luckier than the other two Taveren.

18

Oatman: 2004-07-26

I'm not discredditing the dagger idea, but I would just like to point out that the time Mat started to get really lucky was the same time that Rand and Perrin started altering chance in a noticeable way. Dont have any supporting quotes, but i can say that its all in tDR.

19

Birgitte: 2004-07-27

I think that the timeline matches up too neatly for there not to be a connection between the dagger and Mat's luck, but I have a hard time believing the dagger caused the luck.

I'm more inclined to believe that the Pattern caused the luck to keep Mat alive from the whole dagger ordeal. Now his luck is pretty much a part of him and he depends on it, so the Pattern can't take the luck away without Mat getting pretty much screwed.IMO

20

Saldean Farm Boy: 2004-07-28

I agree that Mat's luck helped keep him alive through the dagger ordeal. I beleive it actually started to manifest about the same time that Perrin began to become aware of his unique abilities. The dagger negated Mat's luck until the healing which caused his luck to come on full force.

Examples: In his first two days out of bed he defeats not one but two almost/blademasters. He gets a "get out of tarvalon free letter". Barely escapes having Lanfear do something unpleasnt to him. Then goes on to win a load of gold playing dice, escapes an assasination attempt, finds Thom, and just makes it out of Tar Valon with out getting caught. Nothing like this in TGH but then he was constantly fighting the effects of the dagger. One other thing, when Moraine found him in TEotW she stated somthing to the effect that much longer and she would not have been able to help. (We can give Rand being ta'vern a little credit on that one)

21

snakes-n-foxes: 2004-07-28

Thanks for the post Haman, I always liked this theory (now just have to wait for someone to post the Ta'veren theory).

Mat does think to himself that his luck started changing around the time he got the dagger...in the same chapter he also thinks to himself "maybe it was something the Aes Sedai did to him".

Of course whilst Mat thinks this, he also has holes in his memory -he can't recall much clearly...and we have no book evidence of him gambling until Shienar...but still...they are his thoughts.

There is a 4th possibility, that Mat's luck could be something like Mins ability (of course, that's not provable one way or another)

As for both Fain and Mat having the dagger...Fain has all those powers...which could equate to Mat's luck (as in Fain just received a different set of powers)...but that's rather arguable.

The argument that the dagger acted as a brake seems rather weak...after all, that would assume that his luck started to increase after his got the dagger...and there's no way to prove or disprove that...so it's pure conjecture.

As for Mat having to have an ability because Perrin and Rand do...2 people of three does not make a pattern. So the argument that Mat has to have an ability because Perrin and Rand do is more because people like the idea than from any obvious/discernable pattern.

I rather like the theory (and yes, for those of you that say "what happened to the Lanfear theory" I like that one better, but this was always my second favourite)

22

nick: 2004-07-29

In the middle of a reread of The Dragon Reborn I came across this quote from Ch.30 the First Toss.

"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 remeber also being caught in pranks that he had been sure would suceed.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 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 but tabac. He remembered the strapping his father gave him, too, on learning Mat owed the man a silver mark and four pence."

23

a dragonburned fool: 2004-07-29

The hypothesis that the dagger worked as brake on the dagger is based on:

1. the sudden hyperluch just after the dagger was removed: it is similar to what happens when a brake is suddenly released, or when a damm gets hole.

2. Dagger would be expected to hinder ta'verenness, because pdagger corodes personality and therefore affects the thread, making some episodes of the life (i.e. some parts of the thread) inaccessible, while ta'verenness is using the thread of the ta'veren for to weave the other threads around it. So the dagger will have impact exactly on what is important for the ta'verenness. So there is reason for the dagger to hinder the luck.

Of course the dagger hinders it not entirelly, Mat has luck little more then usually, but when dagger is there Mat has nothing like the luch he has after the removing of the dagger.

24

snakes-n-foxes: 2004-08-01

ADF, I figured the first part of why you think it acted as a brake before you posted it, though thanks for the post :)

For the second part, if I remember the quote right about ta'veren "The pattern twists a thread in such a way that other threads are drawn in"...this makes no distinction about the personality of the Ta'veren having his thread twisted (For example, are you a Ta'Veren just because you are a great orator, or a great leader ?...if not, then personality does not determine if you are Ta'veren or not, pattern twisting does).

Nor do you see any obvious evidence of a sudden increase in Mat's Ta'vereness in Tar Valon after Mat is healed...you see no strange things happening 'around' Mat, but you do see a strange thing happen 'to' Mat...Ta'veren effects more than just the Ta'veren (the pattern twisting draws in other threads).

For example, Mat stumbling into every battle with The Band of the Red Hand...this effected a lot more people than just him, and would definately be the pattern twisting of Ta'veren, drawing in other threads... the stumbling into fights was something that was also independent of personality.

As an aside, yes, personality does play a part in getting people to follow you, and seemingly would play a part in how big a ta'veren you could become...However it is also obviously not necessary to be a leader to be Ta'veren, nor is it necessary to effect things with your personality to be Ta'veren (ie, the boys became ta'veren when none of them were leading anything, and none of them had much say in anything that happened to them).

25

Callandor: 2004-08-03

**(For example, are you a Ta'Veren just because you are a great orator, or a great leader ?...if not, then personality does not determine if you are Ta'veren or not, pattern twisting does).**

Pattern "thinks", "I need a ta'veren to do such and such job." Hero that can do such and such job is spun out so that at the time the Pattern needs him, he is a ta'veren.

It's really both, through a subtle field. If the Pattern needs a general, let's say it spins out Hawkwing. Hawkwing is not born a ta'veren (no one ever is); but when he is needed by the Pattern, since it spun him out at the time exactly before it needed him, he is then made ta'veren. Example:

In year 1000, say there will be a great threat to the world. Battles going all over, and countries falling apart and disappearing. The Pattern knows this since it is going to weave the event. In doing so, seeking the balance (can't have evil triumph, nor good), it spins out Hawkwing 20 years before the battle, so that at the time, he is ready to perform his task. He is then ta'veren, at the Pattern's time choosing, to do whatever it takes to win (gather education, gather soldiers to him, raise an army, lead the people, and win the battle, etc.).

**As an aside, yes, personality does play a part in getting people to follow you, and seemingly would play a part in how big a ta'veren you could become...**

I don't see it as personality as the thing stopping Mat or Perrin from being as big a ta'veren as Rand. The Pattern simply made Rand the stronger of the three. Souls being reborn (which ones) could also play a part in this. Say Hawkwing's and Rand's souls were reborn at the same time, who would be stronger? Well it seems to be the Dragon's soul, and Hawkwing would be a lesser, but still powerful, ta'veren.

The job needed (the amount of change to be corrected), the soul, the timeframe, all are factors for the Pattern to take in and select a ta'veren, and the personality is most likely built subtly by the Pattern itself (Rand's dislike of killing women is a cultural aspect of his personality, and a part of the Two River's (as well as a majority of Randland of course), which was influenced by events obviously woven by the Pattern; also events that led to him scaring his personality by the killing of women such as the lady Darkfriend, Lanfear, all the Maidens, etc.). The personality is more or less insurance to make sure said ta'veren will go through with the task, not simply kill themself when contronted with it.

26

snakes-n-foxes: 2004-08-04

Callandor - hey, I completely agree with you...those are also my thoughts, although I didn't express them quite that way (if you read my post as a whole it says what you say, only in a different way...and perhaps not as concise on some points)

27

Joram: 2015-05-26

Sorry to necro this thread, but I was just re-reading the Dragon Reborn, and something occurred to me that I haven't seen anyone mention in any of the threads about Matt's luck. There is a correlation to the dagger, but it is not causation.

Theory: It is the "healing" done to Matt that supercharges his luck. In TDR Jordan goes out of his way to mention a Ter'angreal in the White Tower that suspends chance. The dagger didn't make Matt sick in the sense of a physical disease, so any healing done wouldn't have been knitting wounds, or killing viruses. It had to be something to protect him from the effects of the dagger.

Supporting evidence:
After Moraine, a single Aes'Sedai, "heals" him the first time in Camelyn nothing specifically happens with him to show him being lucky or not, he's in Rand's shadow at that point in the story.

After the second "healing" in Shienar which was done by The Amrylin and several Aes'sedai using an Angreal, he gets very lucky with the dice, winning most rolls.

After the third and final "Healing" in the White Tower by a circle of Aes'Sedai wielding the most powerful Sa'Angreal the tower has, his luck goes off the charts, winning every roll, rolling the same 5 dice repeatedly.

I do believe his Ta'verenness plays a part in this, and is the ultimate reason behind the luck, but what if something about the healing they did was similar to, or used the same weaves as the ter'angreal that suspends chance? Moraine needed to keep him alive, what if her weaves unknowingly were related to suspending chance? In the same passages that mention the dice ter'angreal, they also mention that even the ones they know how to use, they aren't sure if they are the uses they were originally created for. They are stumbling through the dark with so much of what they do know, it makes sense they could be using a weave for suspending chance in a way entirely different than it was used in the Age of Legends.