Andoran, Two Rivers
Year of Birth:
MK (aka The Amyrlin Seat)/Daruas Sedai
Actions During the Story (Spoilers)
Character Summaries (Spoilers)
Mat is described as wiry and long-limbed as a stork, standing at 5'11 (182 cm) and weighing about 170lbs (77kg). He has brown hair that touched his collar and brown eyes that always appeared to see something funny in the situation. Mat is often seen as roguishly handsome, with a charming smile and a ready laugh for a pretty girl.
Mat was mischievous, even as a child, and was often found at the center of pranks, having been known for constantly being in trouble throughout his life. Mat was always looking for fun and adventure and was very charming with the ladies, having a knack for finding the women who enjoyed his charm. Mat was able to quickly win over companions from all stations of life, developing friendships with men and women of low and high birth, able to earn respect and trust from even the most arrogant people to cross his path.
He could often be seen in a negative light by those who grew up with him, because they still viewed him as the immature prankster from their village, however, they also always knew that Mat was a man of his word. If he could be convinced to give it, Mat would never go back on a promise he has made, even if that involves placing himself in grave personal danger.
Mat hated the idea of being seen as a hero or even someone who would do the right thing without personal gain, often going to great lengths to paint himself as someone without compassion or responsibility. But he never failed to help someone in trouble and at his core is a good man who would always do the right thing, all while claiming he was just looking for a good time, some gold, or a pretty girl and would gloss over any heroic action as though embarrassed by his own nature.
Actions During the Story
Actions Before the Story
Mat was born in 978 NE, close enough to the end of the Aiel war that Moiraine suspected he could have been the baby Gitara Moroso foretold on the last day of the fighting near Tar Valon, the Dragon Reborn.
Mat does not appear during the events of New Spring, he was a small child living in the Two Rivers village Emond’s Field.
Actions Between the Books
Mat spent his formative years in Emond’s Field as a close friend of Rand al’Thor and Perrin Aybara. During this time Mat largely spent his free time planning and executing pranks around the village, earning a number of punishments from the Wisdom and other authority figures and dragging his friends into plenty of misadventures. His father, Abel Cauthon, managed to teach Mat the finer details of horseflesh, fighting with a quarterstaff, and mastering the Two Rivers longbow. Like all Two Rivers youths, Mat spent most of his time as a sheepherder, milking cows and working in the tabac fields.
Eye of the World
We first meet Mat Cauthon in Emond's Field, when he joins Rand and Tam al'Thor in front of the Winespring Inn, as they talk with Bran al'Vere and Cenn Buie about current events. He admits to seeing a black rider a few days prior when Rand tells him about his encounter on the way there. Mat reluctantly helps his friend, Rand, carry barrels of apple cider into the basement of the inn, where Ewin Finngar tells them about the mysterious newcomers Lady Moiraine and Lan.
When they go back outside, they meet Moiraine, who gives Mat and Rand a special looking coin that they both decide to not spend. A peddler named Padan Fain then arrives in town. The villagers surround him as he talks of the goings-on outside of the Two Rivers. Mat and Rand's friend Perrin Aybara join them; we discover that he also saw the black rider and was given a coin by Moiraine. We are also introduced to Nynaeve al'Meara, the Wisdom, Egwene al'Vere, and a gleeman Thom Merrilin.
That evening, the village is attacked by Trollocs. We discover here that Moiraine is in fact an Aes Sedai Mat's family's farm has been scorched, along with Perrin's family's, the forge where Perrin works. Rand and Tam's farm is also attacked. Mat, Rand, and Perrin are told by Moiraine that the Trollocs came because of them, and in order to keep Emond's Field safe, they had to leave. Thom and Egwene decide to join them on the journey.
The group leaves in the night, and end up being followed by a Draghkar. They are chased all the way to Taren Ferry, where they get the ferry owner to take them across. Moiraine uses the One Power to mask them from their pursuer with heavy fog. The group makes it to the city of Baerlon, where they meet Min Farshaw. When they are all in the baths washing up, Mat foolishly starts telling people all about the Trollocs, but is stopped by his friends. That evening, Mat has a dream with Ba'alzamon.
The next day, he goes out into the city and bumps into Rand on the street. Rand tells Mat he and Perrin had the same dream as him. They decide to tell Thom and not Moiraine. They run into some Children of the Light, including Dain Bornhald, and end up pulling a prank on them, officially getting on their bad side. When they go back to the inn to talk to Perrin, they discover that Nynaeve had followed them to Baerlon.
After a meeting with Nynaeve, she joins the party. That evening, a Myrddraal and Trollocs show up and burn down the inn and the party immediately flees the city. They end up being followed by fists of Trollocs from all different directions. They realize they cannot escape so they charge the Trollocs, and Mat exclaims something in the Old Tongue, to the confusion of everyone.
Lan leads them to the abandoned city of Shadar Logoth for safety from the Trollocs. Mat talks Rand and Perrin into roaming around the city. They run into a mysterious man named Mordeth, who asks them for help with a treasure he found. The boys follow him into a building where they come upon a treasure room. Mordeth, having been discovered as not who he says he is, scares the boys, and Mat grabs a dagger with a ruby on its hilt from the pile of treasure to protect himself.
That night, Trollocs and Fades come into the city, once again causing the party to run, also having to avoid the deadly fog called Mashadar. The group escapes, but are split up. Mat stays with Rand and Thom. They come to a ship on the River Arinelle and jump aboard, meeting the captain, Bayle Domon, who agrees to take them. Thom tells him and the crew that the boys were his apprentices and starts teaching them to juggle and play instruments. At one point, Mat sees a tall metallic tower in the distance. He is beginning to act strangely and suspicious of everyone and Rand discovers that Mat still has the dagger he picked up in Shadar Logoth.
When they arrive in Whitebridge, they rest awhile in an inn where they learn that Logain has been captured by the Aes Sedai. They also discover that a Fade and a mysterious crazy man have been looking for them and there is no sign of the rest of their friends. When they realize they are in danger and have to leave quickly, they run into a Fade in the streets. Thom tells the boys to run as he prepares to take the Fade head-on. The boys run out of the city and have the realization that Thom is now gone.
Mat and Rand set off for Caemlyn with little money, sleeping under bushes, and barely eating. They attempt to get shelter for farm work and Mat grows even more suspicious and shifty, sometimes causing the farmers to kick them out. Rand suggests they sell the dagger and Mat gets very angry and protective of it. At one of the farms, we meet a farmer with a daughter named Else, who flirts with Rand. That night, the boys entertain with juggling and the flute, and the farmer suggests they play at inns.
They do just that for the next few nights and end up in a town called Four Kings. While they are performing, they notice the innkeeper eyeing their things and a mysterious looking man enters the inn. They decided it is unsafe, so they demanded to take a break. They are escorted to a tiny storage room where they were to sleep and during the night, the mysterious man, Howal Gode, knocks on the door and they discover he is a Darkfriend. He urges them to open the door and Mat desperately holds the door closed, dagger in hand. A bolt of lightning strikes that very spot, killing Gode and others who were after them, as well as temporarily blinding Mat.
On the rest of their journey to Caemlyn, Rand becomes ill and Mat has to take care of his friend, even as his own mental state is deteriorating. They are pursued by Darkfriends, including a woman named Mili Skane, who enters a barn they boys are sleeping in, and attempts to kill them both. Mat almost kills her with his dagger, but they end up locking her inside the tack room. They immediately leave town.
They make it to Caemlyn, along with mobs of people who are there to see the False Dragon, Logain, who the Aes Sedai are bringing forth to present to Queen Morgase. They go to the inn that Thom had told them to find, The Queen's Blessing, and talk to the innkeeper, Basal Gil, who tells them some of Thom's past, while the boys tell him what has been happening to them. They tell him they are waiting for Moiraine and the rest of their friends, and that if they don't show up in Caemlyn, that they will move on to Tar Valon. When they go to their room to settle in, Mat lays down, extremely despondent and withdrawn, suspicious of everyone, and refuses to go out into the city. He remains like this for a few days.
The rest of the party does end up finding them in Caemlyn, and when they go to see Mat in his room, they soon discover that something is terribly wrong. Moiraine realizes what the problem is, and when she gets close to Mat, he tries to stab her with the dagger. She tells everyone that the dagger is cursed and that Mat will die if he doesn't get Aes Sedai help, severing his connection to it and Healing him. She does what she could at the moment, though, sending everyone out of the room, and Heals him for the time being. She also explains that he must not be separated from the dagger or else he will die. After he is Healed, he goes downstairs to where everyone is, and is seemingly back to his normal self again.
The group meets Loial, an Ogier who Rand had befriended, and discusses things that have happened and Perrin tells of a story he and Egwene had heard about an Aiel who spoke of the Eye of the World. Rand and Perrin also convince Mat to finally tell Moiraine about their recurring dreams of Ba'alzamon, which have also mentioned the Eye of the World. After hearing much about Rand, Mat, and Perrin, Loial concludes that they are all ta'veren. The news of the dreams and the Aiel causes Moiraine to change their plans, knowing that they must find the Eye of the World, which is in a place protected by a creature named the Green Man, located somewhere in the Blight. They decide to take the Ways, which is an ancient mode of travel used by the Ogiers long ago, but has since been corrupted by evil, rendering it unsafe to use. Since Loial is the only one who knows where to find a Waygate and how to navigate the Ways, he reluctantly agrees to guide them.
The next morning, they head out to find the Waygate so they can enter the Ways. The party journey through with relatively no issues for the first day, but the next day, discovered there had been Trollocs using the Ways and that there was someone or something following them. When they come across a group of dead Trollocs, Rand says he feels a little bit of wind, which they all know did not exist in the Ways. It's Machin Shin, the Black Wind, which will eat your soul if it catches you. They run as fast as they can towards the Waygate that would take them to their destination: Fal Dara, in the Borderland nation called Shienar. They manage to escape through the Waygate, but not without trouble. The leaf from the Avendesora, the Tree of Life, which is the key needed to open and close the gate was missing, and Moiraine is compelled to use the Power to save them.
They make the rest of their way to Fal Dara after exiting the Ways, and arrive to a grand welcome for Lan, Moiraine, and Loial. We meet Lord Agelmar and over the course of that evening, he tells the story of Lan and his old kingdom, Malkier, of which Lan was the rightful king. Agelmar also stubbornly offers to help out their efforts in the Blight, but is told that everyone in their group needs to go, and only them. Someone comes to announce that a man tried to sneak into the city, and they had caught him. It turns out to be Padan Fain, the peddler. Moiraine takes Fain to another room to interrogate him and after hours of waiting, she comes back to tell them all that Fain was something worse than a darkfriend and has been searching for years for the boys.
The next day, they set off into the Blight in search of the Eye of the World. On their journey, the environment begins to change, getting hotter, with nature just rotting all around them. They stay overnight near a lake, and they are able to see the seven broken towers of Malkier in the distance. When they continue on, they are attacked by a number of shadow spawn, Mat loosing arrows toward as many as he could. Their danger escalates to the point where the party begins to accept defeat. In another instant, they find themselves in the place they had been seeking, which was full of greenery and life, completely unaffected by the Blight. The Green Man comes out to greet them.
He escorts them to an arch on the side of a hill, but the rest go down into it, leaving him behind. Inside was the Eye of the World, a very still and large pool of water. Moiraine explains that it is the essence of the True Source, untainted. Mat backs up into a wall, distancing himself from it. When they make their way back outside, they are met with two strange and extremely old looking men. They reveal they are Aginor and Balthamel, two of the Forsaken who are supposed to be bound inside Shayol Ghul, as Mat protests, disbelieving. Balthamel grabs Nynaeve by the chin and lifts her off the ground after she attempts to stab him with her dagger. Mat takes out his ruby hilted dagger and ran towards them, along with Perrin, only to slam into an invisible wall, created with the One Power. The Green Man comes and kills Balthamel, while also sacrificing himself. He stands up and runs into the trees as Moiraine tells them to.
After a time, Lan goes into the woods to retrieve Mat, Perrin, and Loial. Rand is missing and Mat and the others want to go look for him, but Moiraine tells them to leave him to do what he needs to do. Lan takes him, Perrin, and Loial back down into the cavern where the Eye had been but instead of the still pool of water, there was a column rising out of it and steps up it. There were three items that were being protected by the Eye, which they collected: the Horn of Valere, the Dragon Banner, and the broken pieces of one of the seals to the Dark One's prison. When they leave the cavern, Rand is there, saying that he has killed Ba'alzamon and Aginor was also dead.
The group goes back through the Blight, Mat staying behind Lan with his bow and arrow ready if the need arises. When they get back to Fal Dara, they hear of the great victory they had at Tarwin's Gap. They speak with Lord Agelmar, and show him the items they had brought back with them. Moiraine says that the Horn of Valere needs to be taken to Illian.
The Great Hunt
After the events in Eye of the World. Mat stays in Fal Dara along with Rand, Perrin, Nynaeve, Egwene, Moiraine, Lan, and Loial. We first see him dicing with Shienaran guards while Loial and Perrin watch. Mat notices that his Luck has significantly improved. Rand enters during the game and after he tells his friends that he is leaving, he insults them when they assume they were joining him. During this exchange, Mat's hand goes to where the ruby dagger that he had taken from Shadar Logoth is. Moiraine had told him he could not be separated from it or else he would die.
Mat goes down into the cells with Egwene to visit with Padan Fain. When Fain escapes, he knocks Mat unconscious and takes the dagger from him, leaving with it as well as the Horn of Valere. Moiraine, along with Verin Mathwin, Leane Sharif who was the Keeper of the Chronicles, and the Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche, attempt to Heal Mat but from his sickness, the dagger has caused but were only able to Heal him a part of the way because the dagger was not with him. Siuan asks Mat to go along with the party that was going after the Horn so that he can help them find Fain by sensing the dagger.
He leaves with Rand, Perrin, Loial, Ingtar, Hurin, a Sniffer, and other Shienaran soldiers and they head South. He is still mad at Rand for insulting him. During a rest, Mat and Perrin discover Rand with the Dragon Banner and he tells them that he can Channel and that he was told that he was the Dragon Reborn. Mat wants to be as far away as he can from Rand. They wake up to find that Rand, Loial, and Hurin were missing and Perrin starts leading, claiming he was also a Sniffer.
Verin joins their group and they come across an Aiel named Urien who said he was searching for He Who Comes With the Dawn and Mat has a feeling he is talking about Rand. They get to Cairhien where they meet up with Rand, Loial, and Hurin again. When they find that the chest with the Horn and dagger are in Lord Barthanes' manor and that Rand had been given an invitation, Mat goes along with Rand, posing as his body servant, along with Loial, Ingtar, Hurin, and Verin. Hurin traces the trail that the darkfriends took All but Verin and Ingtar follow Hurin through a garden to a Waygate. Mat is told to get the others and shortly after, Rand and company join them inside, explaining that they can't use the Waygate because of the Black Wind. They all return to the inn and Rand tells them that Fain had gone to Toman Head. They all agree to go with Rand. Because Machin Shin (The Black Wind) was present at the Waygate at Barthanes' Manor, they plan to head to Stedding Tsofu, where another Waygate is located.
Being apart from the dagger, Mat's body is beginning to waste away and Verin has to keep on Healing him during their journey. He is eager to get to the Stedding. When they enter Stedding Tsofu, they meet a young Ogier girl named Erith. On the way to meet the Elders, the group runs into 3 Aiel Maidens, and while everyone except Loial is ready to fight, Mat is trying to leave, refusing to hurt a woman. One of the Ogiers comes out to stop the confrontation and takes them to a room to wait while he brings Verin to speak with the council of Elders, so she can ask permission to use the Waygate. When they are brought in, they are granted it and are led outside of the Stedding to where it is. The moment the Gate begins to open, Machin Chin is waiting there. Hurin suggests they use a Portal Stone to get to Toman Head quickly.
There is a nearby Portal Stone they are brought to and when Rand attempts to transport them, they all suffer an onslaught of alternate lives they may have lived, and Mat along with everyone freaks out. It turns out that Rand has succeeded and they arrive at Toman Head, although 4 months have passed. The party goes across Toman Head searching for Fain's trail and stops in a village overnight. Mat's appearance is looking sicklier by the day and reminds Rand that he needs the dagger.
Hurin, Perrin, and Mat go off to verify that Padan Fain was, indeed there, and when they return to camp to tell the others, Rand along with Ingtar, Hurin, Perrin, and Mat decide to go retrieve the items. Hurin attempts to track down Fain with his Sniffing abilities, but Mat ends up sensing the dagger in one of the houses and they follow him, right into the room where the dagger and horn are.
Before they could leave, the Seanchan High Lord Turak enters with a few more men. Mat uses the dagger to slice one of the men, killing him. Fighting ensues and the party defeats their enemies, and hurry to leave. While trying to escape, they find themselves caught amidst Seanchan soldiers and damane lining up to battle an army of Whitecloaks. Desperate to get away, Mat holds up the Horn of Valere and blows into it, summoning the Heroes of the Horn, assisting with defeating the Seanchan, sending them back to the ocean.
Mat is on the verge of death and is in serious need of Healing and Verin, Nynaeve, Elayne, Egwene, and Hurin leave to take him to Tar Valon.
The Dragon Reborn
Verin, Hurin, Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve arrive right outside of Tar Valon with Mat in tow, who was extremely sick from the ruby hilted dagger. The group is stopped by some Whitecloaks before they enter the city. When they get to the White Tower grounds, They are met by Sheriam, the Mistress of Novices, a few Accepted, and 2 big men, who are directed to take Mat into the Tower, and kept away from everyone since he was a danger to them as well as himself.
Mat is finally severed and Healed from the dagger by a Circle of Aes Sedai, during which he yells out the Old Tongue.
After a long rest, Mat wakes up in an unfamiliar room, with a very vague memory of what has happened, while having a very vivid memory from another life. He gets up to find some platters with food for what seems to be several people, that he ends up eating all himself. Lanfear pays him a visit using the pseudonym, Selene, attempting to sway him to her side. Siuan and Leann also pay him a visit, saying he needs to stay in Tar Valon for a while, so he will not starve after the Healing. Siuan also tells him he is linked to the Horn of Valere now and that he needs to sound it at the Last Battle. Mat just wants to leave.
A couple of days later, Mat takes a walk on the Tower grounds and comes up to the training yard for the Warders, where he finds Gawyn Trakand and Galad Damodred sparring. He makes a bet with them that he can beat them both at once with a quarterstaff, which he ends up winning. He also discovers that all the city guards were told not to let him out of the city.
Sometime later, Mat is visited by Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne with a letter from Elayne that she wants to be delivered to her mother, Morgase, in Caemlyn. They ask him to do it, and when he tells them he isn't allowed to leave, they produce a letter from the Amyrlin, giving the carrier permissions. Mat agrees to deliver the letter.
Mat goes out on the town, gambling and discovering that his luck has gotten significantly better and he ends up winning a lot of money. He is followed by some darkfriends and a gray man, and it turns out that his luck was not just with gambling. He stops to rest at an inn called The Woman of Tanchico and he notices that Thom Merrilin is there. When he talks to Thom, he convinces him to accompany him to Caemlyn.
Mat uses the executive order from Siuan to get through the gates and the two get on a ship called the Gray Gull, where more darkfriends attempt to kill Mat. They arrive in Aringill and stop at an inn called The Good Queen. They run into Aludra and save her from a group of executioners. To thank him, Aludra gives Mat a bundle of fireworks. On their way to Caemlyn, they camp for the night, and Mat checks out the fireworks while they are around a campfire, putting Thom on edge. They are attacked and end up killing the attackers and fleeing.
When they get to Caemlyn, Mat goes directly to the Royal Palace but is refused admittance. He returns to The Queen's Blessing, where Thom is, and he tells him and Basel Gill what had happened. When he goes back to try again, he recalls Rand talking about a wall that he could climb that would get him into the garden. He enters and sneaks up to the building, and under a window, he overhears a discussion between two men about a kill order on Elayne. Mat is caught by Tallanvor and Mat shows him Elayne's letter. He convinces Tallanvor to let him take it to Morgase himself.
Tallanvor leads Mat to Morgase who is with Lord Gaebril, her new advisor. When he hears Gaebril speak, he recognizes his voice as one of the men he had overheard. He makes up a story about how he got the letter. Tallanvor escorts him out of the palace and Mat returns to the Queen's Blessing, where he tells Thom about what he had overheard. Thom agrees to go with him to Tear in order to save Elayne.
They board the Swift ship and go to Tear. In Tear, they stay at The White Crescent. They start to hunt down the girls, and Mat finds the other man who was in the room, Comar, in a tavern, and kills him. They continue to search, but Thom gets sick. Mat asks where they can find a Wise Woman, and the innkeeper sends them to Mother Guenna, where it just so happens the girls had been staying. Mother Guenna tells them that the girls were taken by the Black Sisters into the Stone of Tear.
Mat runs into Juilan Sandar and a group of Aiel when he attempts to break into the Stone. Juilan agrees to help him out to make up for helping to get the girls captured. Mat uses the fireworks that he got from Aludra to blow a hole into the side of the Stone. They enter and have to fight their way through the hallways, including a fight with Tairen Lord Darlin.
They get to the cells where Elayne, Egwene, and Nynaeve are being held and he gets them out. The girls show him no gratitude.
In the aftermath of everything that happened, Mat meets some Aiel Maidens, Aviendha, Bain, and Chiad and quickly discovers that flirting with them is dangerous. Mat plans on leaving the group, to venture out on his own.
The Shadow Rising
After a few weeks staying in the Stone of Tear, Mat is gambling one night with a group of young Tairen lords, Carlomin, Edorian, Estean, and Reimon, when a Bubble of Evil causes the figures on Mat's playing cards to come right out and grow to human size, attacking him. He manages to fight them off. The lords disbelieve what they see and look at Mat as if he was crazy. He tells Thom about what had happened, and Thom convinces him to stay in the Stone after Mat says he wants to leave.
Mat is lost about what his next move should be and worried about the holes in his memories, and seeks advice from Egwene. She tells him about a twisted doorframe ter'angreal she heard about that would answer his questions.
Since the Bubble of Evil, Mat stayed away from the Stone as much as possible, spending much time in taverns. One night he hears a rumor that Whitecloaks are in the Two Rivers looking for the Dragon Reborn and a man fitting Perrin's description. He tells Perrin, wanting to leave but feels he cannot.
Mat decides to check out the twisted red doorframe, where he encounters the Aelfinn who answer questions that Mat poses to them. They tell him he needs to go to the city of Rhuidean or he will die, that he will marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, that he will die and live again, and that he will give up half the light of the world to save the world.
Soon, Mat is in the Heart of the Stone among a large group of lords and ladies, Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, and others are. Rand gives some orders to the lords and announces that he is going to the Aiel Waste and plunges Callandor into the floor. Mat knows that he must go as well.
Rand takes Mat, Moiraine, Lan, Egwene, Aviendha, Rhuarc, and the rest of the Aiel that were in the Stone, to a Portal Stone, where he Channels to get them to the Aiel Waste. They are met with 3 camps of Aiel in Chaendaer, and the group is greeted by 4 Wise Ones, Melaine, Amys, Seana, and Bair. Rand asks permission to go into Rhuidean and Mat asks if he can go with them. They grant the boys permission.
When Mat and Rand get to the center of the city, it is loaded with many angreal, sa'angreal, and ter'angreal as well as the Avendesora. The Tree of Life. Included in the collection of ter'angreal was another twisted red doorframe. While Rand is doing what he needs to do, Mat enters the doorframe and meets the Eelfinn who he inadvertently asks for the holes in his memories to be filled, to be free from Aes Sedai and the One Power, and to get back to Rhuidean. Rand discovers Mat hanging from the Avendesora, unconscious, and resuscitates him. Mat realizes that he was gifted a foxhead medallion and the Ashandarei. He is able to read and understand the Old Tongue script on his Ashandarei without realizing it. On their way back through the city, another Bubble of Evil appears, and the boys have to fight off dust creatures.
When they get back to Chaendaer, the Wise Ones bring Mat into their tent and tend to his wounds. They rest for a few days, waiting for Moiraine and Aviendha to come back from their journeys into Rhuidean. The two women finally return and the group, including the 3 septs of Aiel, set off to Cold Rock's Hold. They encounter a few peddler wagons and Mat purchases a wide brim hat right off the head of the peddler, Kadere, after a woman named Keille told him to. Rand tells Mat that the man is dangerous.
The group stop at a watering hole called Imre Stand, to camp for the night and they discover it had been raided by trollocs. Mat starts getting memories of battles from other people's lives. He didn't know what was happening to him, but he just wants to get out of the Waste and has decided to stick with the peddlers so he can leave when they do. There is a gleeman with them named Jasin Nateal who joined Mat for a bit, wanting to hear all about Rhuidean. That evening, the camp is attacked by trollocs, during which he feels his foxhead medallion, which was now around his neck, turn cold for the first time, not realizing why. Another young woman, Isendra, also accompanied the peddler's group has caught Mat's eye and he spends the next 11 days trying to pursue her.
They arrive at Cold Rock's Hold and are invited into the roofmistress's and Rhuarc's home. That night, while everyone was asleep, the canyon was attacked by trollocs and draghkar. After everything calmed down, they got word that Couladin and the Shaido were going to Alcair Dal ahead of Rand and the rest to attempt to get the other clans to oppose Rand. Rand plans to leave for there right at dawn as to not let that happen and Mat tells him he will come with him.
When they all get to Alcair Dar, Mat asks if he can accompany Rand into the bowl, to where a ledge is that acted as a stage, on which Rand was to announce that he is the Car'a'carn or He Who Comes With the Dawn. When they get to the ledge, Mat takes his horse and Rand's horse to the side as Couladin jumps up and steals the attention of the onlookers and claims that he was He Who Comes With the Dawn before Rand could, showing that he had dragons on both arms. Mat gestures to him to get back on the horse to get out of there, but Rand shows that he does as well, and they both try to prove themselves true, and Rand ultimately being accepted by the clan chiefs that he is the true one. When Couladin throws a spear at Rand, Mat follows the Maidens onto the ledge to help defend Rand.
After Rand comes back from his fight withAsmodean and Lanfear, Mat is still there off to the side, while their group, including Moiraine, Egwene, Lan, Aviendha, and the Wise Ones, are gathered talking. Rand says he is taking them back to Rhuidean.
Fires of Heaven
We first see Mat during the festivities in Rhuidean. He is intoxicated and bets he can throw his knife blindfolded and hit a target. He, of course, does it and catches the eye of a Shaido Maiden of the Spear named Melindhra. He sees Rand and tries to get his attention, but Rand doesn't respond to him until Mat calls him Lews Therin. He asks Rand if it is alright for him to leave and Rand tells him he can if he wants to. After the conversation, he goes off with Melindhra.
In the middle of the night, Mat and Melindhra's room is attacked by some darkhounds. Mat manages to keep the door shut but one of them manages to slobber on his arm. After Rand balefires the hounds, and it is discovered that Mat had been affected, Moiraine tries to Heal him, and they find out that his foxhead medallion deflects the One Power. He has to take it off and is then Healed. The next day, they set off toward Jangai Pass to follow the Shaido and the other clans Couladin has gathered.
When the group arrives at a town called Taien, they find that the people have been slaughtered by Couladin and his party. with bodies surrounding the town. Mat questions their defenses and is really starting to show his newly gifted knowledge of battle tactics. They camp outside of Taien. That even, while Mat is with Melindhra in their tent, trollocs and myrddraal attack the camp. He hears that Sammael was the one who ordered the attack.
They arrive in Cairhien and the group camps in a forest well outside the city. Mat decides that it is finally time for him to go off on his own once and for all. He walks over to Rand's tent, but the only one there is Asmodean. He plans to stay there and wait for Rand to get back and while he waits, he starts studying the maps that lay on the ground of Cairhien. Lan comes in after a while and starts talking to Mat about battle plans, impressing Lan. When Rand comes into the tent, Mat says goodbye to him and leaves the tent.
In the morning, Mat packs up after Melindhra goes out and leaves the camp on Pips before anyone else could notice. He looks out one last time at the hills outside of Cairhien, at the Tairen and Cairhienin armies marching towards the city, and notices a large unit of Shaido hiding in the brush beyond a hill, prepared to ambush. Mat reluctantly takes Pips to the lines of Tairen and tells them to halt, claiming it was the Lord Dragon's orders. He explains the situation to the leaders and commands them to do as he says, calling out orders. He moves down the line to do the same for the Cairhienin. He approaches one last group of Cairhienin lords and still reluctantly agrees to lead half of Lord Talmanes' men. Once in position, he leads them to charge into battle.
Sometime later, Mat leads the soldiers into a few more victorious battles. A group of Shaido is spotted coming towards them, during a lull in the fighting, with Couladin at the head. During the confrontation, Mat gets into a duel with Couladin and kills him. When all the fighting is done, everyone from the Aiel, the Tairens, and the Cairhienin celebrate their victory, during which Lord Talmanes from Cairhien and Lord Nalesean from Tear, swear fealty and pledge themselves and their armies to follow wherever Mat leads. They tell him he needs a banner and he needs to be heading the procession in Cairhien that is planned.
For 10 after Rand took Cairhien, Mat and the newly formed Band of the Red Hand were moving throughout the countryside, getting into skirmishes with armies they run into from Andor, and winning them all. He then returns to the Sun Palace in Cairhien where he informs Rand, Moiraine, Aviendha, and Egwene that Morgase Trakand was dead. Rand tells him in private that he needs his newly discovered battle tactics and the Band to go down to Tear and take over the army Weiramon has. When he goes back to his rooms, he is upset about having to help out Rand, as Melindhra walks in on him. She attempts to kill him and he kills her in defense, discovering that she is a darkfriend and that she was working for Sammael.
In the morning, Mat meets Rand outside his bedchambers and tells him that he would go with Rand to Caemlyn to fight Rahvin. Moiraine tells Rand that he needed to see something down at the docks, so Mat goes with them. Lanfear shows up at the docks, and Mat is kept outside of a dome Rand has made while he fights. After the fight, Mat sees that Egwene is hurt and fans her off until the Wise Ones come for her. After a while, Mat asks Rand if they could go to Caemlyn yet.
They go to Caemlyn through a Skimming Gateway along with Aviendha, Asmodean, and Aiel army. Rahvin strikes at them with lightning and kills Mat, Aviendha, and Asmodean. After Rand finally kills Rahvin with Balefire, the deaths of Mat and the others are reversed. Inside the palace sometime later, he talks to Aviendha in the courtyard.
Lord of Chaos
Mat and the Band of the Red Hand are staying in a town on the River Erinin in Cairhien on their way to Tear, called Maerone. There, the Band has been patrolling the streets, and on one of these patrols, Mat breaks up a fight over a small orphan boy named Olver, who he puts under the eye of one of the noble officers in the Band, Edorion. During his journey down to Tear, Rand has been visiting Mat in secret to discuss the plan, which is to make Sammael think that he is going to be attacked by Mat's armies. The next morning, he starts the Band off again, to get to Tear as quickly as they can.
On their way down, they set up camp and during the night, a group of Aiel get into Mat's tent via a gateway and attack the camp. Olver shows up afterward, surprising Mat and so Mat gives him a job as a messenger for the Band. One evening, Mat is playing Snakes and Foxes with Olver when Rand comes into the camp with Aviendha, ordering him to take the Band into Salidar to get Elayne and bring her to Caemlyn so she can take the Lion Throne. He added that Egwene was there as well and to get her out of there as well. He left Aviendha with Mat so she can come along with them so she can be with Elayne.
After the Travel to a spot a few days off from Salidar, the Band makes their way there. When they get closer, Mat sends out scouts and Vanin returns with the information that the rebel camp was just a few miles, that 2 of the scouts were taken by Warders, and that there was a huge army outside of it. Mat has them set up camp and puts Talmanes in charge when Aviendha starts to head towards the rebel camp and he follows after her with a small group. They arrive in Salidar and Mat is brought to talk to the Amyrlin Seat by Nynaeve, and is taken to a room with Elayne and Egwene, who is wearing the Amyrlin Stole. He thinks she is playing around at first, and he tells them all what he is there to do, attempting to take charge. He soon realizes that Egwene was, in fact, the Amyrlin. He still sticks to his beliefs and duty to Rand and tells Elayne that he was sticking by her until he can get her to Caemlyn and Nynaeve kicks him. He is flustered and asks if Thom was around, and left.
Mat sits down with Thom to discuss the situation and for Mat to give him the letter that Rand had given him. Thom tries to explain to him that he should start helping them do what they want to do and to follow them when they go to Ebou Dar. Mat walks away and takes Vanin aside to send him back to Talmanes and the Band what his plans are and for them to not send rescue.
For the next couple of days, Mat stays in Salidar and takes part in the festivities they have been having since Egwene was raised to Amyrlin. On the day, he is summoned to meet with Egwene, Nynaeve, Aviendha, and Elayne and Egwene gives him an ultimatum that resulted in him agreeing to go along with them to Ebou Dar, The next day, he rounds up some members of the Band, including Nalesean and Vanin, as well as serving men Nerim and Lopin, and Olver. The rest of the party joins them, including Nynaeve, Elayne, Birgitte, Thom, Juilin, and two other Aes Sedai Vandene and Adeleas. Egwene and a handful of other Aes Sedai send them off, Mat showing Egwene honor as the Amyrlin because no one else was. They Travel via a gateway to a spot which is several days away from the city. On their journey to Ebou Dar, Elayne asks Mat if she could study his foxhead medallion but he refuses. For the rest of the time, all the Aes Sedai continuously Channel at him. He grows increasingly annoyed with Elayne and Nynaeve avoids him completely. When they arrive in Ebou Dar, the women part with him to go to the palace, and Mat tells them he would be staying at a random inn across the square called The Wandering Woman.
Mat and his men have been staying at the Wandering Woman and Mat is told by Vanin that the girls have left the palace again. He is annoyed that they keep leaving without saying anything and has no idea how they are managing to do it without being seen. Mat decides that they need to look for the girls in the Rahad, across the river.
A Crown of Swords
Mat has been in Ebou Dar for over a month now and is at the horse track called the Silver Circuit with Nalesean, where Olver was racing his horse. During the race, Mat notices a woman in the crowd who he remembered as a darkfriend who had attempted to kill him and Rand while they were on their way to Caemlyn. When she leaves, Mat follows her. She stops at a shop and Mat stops at another while he watches her, and in a rush, he purchases a signet ring. When she continues, he follows and finally sees her entering a small palace. He meets Noal Charin in the street and he informs Mat that the palace belongs to Jachim Carridin, the High Inquisitor of the Children of the Light.
Mat goes to the Tarasin Palace to leave a message for Nynaeve and Elayne. He runs into the Aes Sedai who had already been staying there, Teslyn and Joline. Soon, three more Aes Sedai show up, Adeleas, Merilille, and Sareitha. They begin to argue over him when a maid comes to tell Mat that the queen has summoned him. He follows her to where the queen is.
When Mat enters the room, Queen Tylin shows Mat a writing table where he can write his message to Nynaeve and Elayne, warning them about Jachim Carridin. He also warns Tylin, who starts to come onto him. Her son Beslan enters the room and before he knows it, he has plans to go to the festivals with Beslan.
Mat leaves the palace and returns to The Wandering Woman, where he meets some of the Band and tells them about Carridin. He commands Vanin to watch Carridin. They let him know that Nalesean put Mat's chest in his room and when he goes upstairs, two men attack him, and he kills them. While he explains what had happened to Setalle Anan, he finds a mysterious note in his pocket telling him that Nynaeve and Elayne were in danger.
During one of the festival nights, Swovan Night Mat gets attacked by two beggars in the street on his way back to the Wandering Woman. When he finally gets to his room, Brigitte is there to greet him, and they discover each other's secrets, speaking the Old Tongue. They end up going down to the common room to drink and have fun.
The next morning, Nynaeve and Elayne pay a hungover Mat a visit to apologize to him and ask for his assistance to find the Bowl of the Winds. They also are having him move into the Tarasin Palace. Mat and the Redarms move into the Tarasin Palace. Tylin aggressively comes onto him and he is barely saved by Thom and Juilin. Elayne and Nynaeve start him watching the Kin house. He has Olver moved to his rooms to avoid Tylin.
Tylin finally traps Mat and takes him to bed. He goes to watch the Kin house with Nalesean, Birgitte, and Beslan They are attacked by "beggars" on the way. On impulse, Mat follows a woman who leaves the Kin house. Having found the six-story building, Mat returns to the Kin house only to meet Elayne and the other Aes Sedai there and learn that they got the information, too.
The next morning, Mat organizes the expedition to get the Bowl. He is quite surprised to see Lan had come to be with Nynaeve. Mat and his companions go to the Rahad and reach the building they were looking for. He stays downstairs. They are attacked by Falion and Ispan but defeat them. He runs upstairs and is confronted by the gholam. He cannot hurt the gholam but discovers that the foxhead medallion burns it. He saves Elayne and others, but Nalesean is killed. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Mat meet with the five Rest of the Aes Sedai, the Kin, and the Sea Folk Windfinders who were staying in the palace to discuss a negotiation over the Bowl of the Winds. They prepare to leave immediately. Mat learns that Olver is out and goes to look for him. The women started to help find him but ended up leaving him there, along with Thom and Juilan and the rest of the Redarms in Ebou Dar. The Seanchan invade Ebou Dar and a brick wall falls on him.
Path of Daggers
Mat is not present in this book.
Mat has spent several weeks recovering from his broken leg and ribs after in the Tarasin Palace. He has been spending time with Valan Luca's Traveling Menagerie, which is camped outside of the city. He is visiting with Aludra, the Illuminator, who gives Mat a task to figure out why she wants a bell-founder. He returns to the city with Thom, Olver, and Queen Tylin's son, Beslan, who is planning a rebellion against the Seanchan.
While walking back to the Palace, Mat is attacked by the gholam and is saved by Noal Charin. To show his appreciation, Mat brings him back with him and lets him bunk with the Redarms. When he gets to his and Tylin's room and he meets Tuon and the dice in his head come to a halt.
Trying to figure out why Aludra wanted a bellfounder, he went to talk to one, but he didn't learn anything. He makes up his mind to start preparing to leave town finally and he begins moving his gold and belongings slowly to a hiding spot which is under the floor of The Wandering Woman.
While he is at the inn, Setalle Anan brings a frightened Aes Sedai, Joline, and tells him that she was the only Aes Sedai who was not caught and they needed to hide her. Egeanin and Bayle Domon, now of the Seanchan, walk-in and Mat pulls Joline on his lap and pretends to kiss her in order to hide her. He agrees to get her out of town. He goes to Teslyn, who is in the damane quarters, and makes a promise to help her and Edesina escape, along with a Sea Folk woman. He seems to run into Tuon quite often.
When Tuon takes Tylin away, Mat sees her off. He and Thom devise a plan to help the Aes Sedai escape Ebou Dar and the Seanchan. The plan fails because Setalle can't use the a'dam, Soon after, Egeanin and Bayle Domon ask to hire Mat, Thom and Juilin. When he tells them about his plan to get the Aes Sedai out, she offers up 3 sul'dam who would be able to assist.
The night of the escape plan, Mat met Egeanin and Domon at the stable yard to discover that the others had gone to the inn. He makes sure everything is in place and goes to his room to fetch his things. Tylin is there and he ends up telling her the story. She tells him to tie her up and leave. He then goes up to the damane quarters and frees Teslyn and a Windfinder. In the stable yard, they prepare to leave when Tuon and Selucia come to confront them. When Tuon is named Daughter of the Nine Moons, Mat is astonished and ends up stating that Tuon is his wife 3 times, which turns out to be the first half of the Seanchan marriage ritual.
Still near Ebou Dar, Mat considers his action in sparking a rebellion against the Seanchan. Concerned by the Sea Folk casualties, Mat is feeling the responsibility of knowing innocent bystanders died alongside those fighting to escape and realizes that the Seanchan are likely to be a permanent fixture on the continent as the Sea Folk have taken many of their ships. Despite his distrust of channelers, Mat is concerned about the treatment of re-captured Wind Finders, having heard rumors of amputations of hands and feet for damane who attempt escape. Egeanin joins Mat and the pair argue over the leadership of the group. They are still avoiding Seanchan military hunting for escaped damane with sul’dam active in the area waiting to leash any woman they find. He is worried that the dice are rattling in his head, a sign of something momentous coming in his life.
Mat’s mind goes back to the events of the past few days, recounting their harrowing escape from Ebou Dar with three Aes Sedai, two escaped damane, Wind Finders battling the Seanchan using the Power, both sides hurling lightning bolts. Leaving Tylin tied up under her bed and taking Tuon and Selucia as unplanned hostages, although Egeanin tells him that the Seanchan likely have not allowed the information to get out as it would seem a bad omen to the people.
Mat has commissioned Valan Luca’s Grand Traveling Show and Magnificent Display of Marvels and Wonders (The Largest Traveling Show in the World) as a cover for the group's escape. Due to Luca being a key figure in returning Seanchan S’redit and their handler back to the Empire he had received a special allowance from the Daughter of the Nine Moons to keep his horses. There are Seanchan officers at the show when Mat returns, but they are not searching for Mat, but talking to Luca about his horses. Juilin Sandar appears with the ex-Panarch of Tarabon, Amathera Aelfdene Casmir Lounault (now simply Thera). Juilin successfully helped her escape from the Seanchan High Lady Suroth and was now attempting to rehabilitate her from the experience.
Mat continues through the Show, heading to speak with Tuon, Egeanin becomes nervous when Mat speaks of her and cautions him to treat Tuon with respect. Bayle Domon also warns Mat that Tuon is tougher than he will expect, pointing to the fact that Tuon has shown no signs of fear even after being carried off in the night by a group of ruffians, one claiming they were married. Mat considers what he knows of Tuon and begins to realize that she was in fact more than what he originally suspected a pampered noble brat. Entering Tuon’s wagon he finds Setalle Anan and Selucia in her company. Tuon is offended to be labeled a “thieving servant” and throws cups at his head while berating him for such an offense, much to his irritation she persists in calling him Toy. She then answers Mat that she will be twenty in less than five months and is even angrier that he believed her to be a child. Tuon asks Mat if he remembered Hawkwing's face, and he lies unconvincingly. She then tells Mat that she will not attempt to escape or try to betray Mat, but that she is considering making him da’covale when she returns to Ebou Dar. When they agree to this bargain the dice, which have been thunderous until now, suddenly stop, causing Mat to whimper. Thom Merrilin comes and tells the group that Tylin is dead, her head ripped off, Mat correctly realizing she had been easy prey for the gholam which had been hunting him since the events in the Rahad. Tuon believes Mat is being superstitious, believing that shadowspawn exist and killed Tylin. Joline’s Warder, Blaeric, comes to tell Mat Joline wishes to see him, Tuon demands to know who Joline is and Mat informs her she is a “Bloody Aes Sedai'', and he is pleased to have finally shocked the woman.
Mat heads to see Joline and is less than happy about her summons. When he arrives he finds her in the company of the other two Aes Sedai, Teslyn and Edesina, both having been freed from the a’dam by Mat. Joline complains to Mat about the show beginning to leave the area and her Warders Blaeric and Fen tell him that it is inappropriate for the Aes Sedai to be forced to share a wagon with the former sul’dam. Teslyn is particularly affected by her time as a damane and argues with Joline about wanting to head to Illian rather than staying with the show and going to Lugard. The former sul’dam does not help matters by threatening the Aes Sedai, Joline then informs Mat that all of the women are on edge due to an immense amount of channeling happening to the North (the Cleansing is in process).
Egwene has True Dreamed at least twice regarding Mat (that also involved an Illuminator in some way she could not be sure of). Mat was playing “bowls” but the pins were men and each of the pins represented thousands of men. Mat repeatedly threw the ball and all nine-pins fell, being replaced by fresh pins each time.
Mat’s entourage continues to travel north with Luca’s show, hearing bits of news regarding battles between the Seanchan and Rand’s forces in Illian. Teslyn heard that the Seanchan military was confident that they would conquer Illian before the end of the Spring.
Tuon gives Egeanin a new name, Leilwin Shipless, who accepts this despite Mat insisting that she can ignore Tuon’s orders, but Egeanin tells him she is no longer even of the Blood now. Egeanin later explains to Mat about Seanchan marriage customs and that Mat had essentially initiated an official marriage with Tuon by claiming three times out loud that she was his wife. All Tuon needed to do was say Mat was her husband three times out loud and they would be married.
Mat takes Tuon and Selucia into the large and prosperous town of Jurador to buy fabric for Tuon to have clothes made for herself. When they return to the Show they find that Egeanin had been stabbed by Renna, Teslyn Heals Egeanin, even though Jolilne has better Healing abilities they couldn’t wait for her to arrive. Mat learns the secret that the a’dam works on the sul’dam and immediately realizes the implications to the Seanchan if this news gets out. Mat orders the Show to pack up and leave the area, and goes to find Renna who has fled on horseback, clearly heading to find Seanchan soldiers. Realizing he has no choice, Mat orders Gorderan to shoot the woman with his crossbow. Afterward, Mat swears to himself that he will never kill another woman. Tuon tells him he did the right and that she forbids him to mourn the death of a traitor, saying that ordering Renna’s death was justice for her betrayal of the Empire and of Mat.
Crossroads of Twilight
Moridin orders the death of Mat and Perrin in a meeting with the Forsaken, Semirhage noting that if this order had come sooner they might already be dead.
Perrin sees, in a swirl of colors, an image of Mat talking to a small dark woman.
Mat is still with Luca’s show outside of Jurador, Tuon has given Luca a warrant of protection, which specifically excluded Mat Cauthon from its protection. Mat is trying to pay Luca to move more quickly toward Lugard, but Luca is unwilling to do so, using the excuse that it would look suspicious if the Show did not stop at every town along the way to perform. Mat goes to the horse trader, Master Fearnim, where he finds a rare horse known as a razor, a horse only owned by Domani nobility. After bargaining and showing the Fearnim that he knew about horses, Mat purchases the animal for five gold crowns, four gold marks, and three silver crowns. Mat sees Aludra, who has supply wagons and was seeking a bellfounder, something that confused Mat.
Mat begins calling Tuon “Precious” since she refuses to call him any name other than Toy. She decides this will be a game, but Mat does not know what the game is and is frustrated by her response. Noal tells Olver a story about Shara and the Ayyad villages, where there are no men above the age of about 20. When asked, Noal admits to being a cousin of Jain Farstrider, and tells the group that Jain was a fool as he was so concerned with traveling the world that he didn’t realize his wife was sick and later died without him at her side, and cut himself off as he began saying Jain allowed himself to be made into a tool by…
Mat’s medallion goes cold due to nearby channeling and he goes to the Aes Sedai and finds Joline slapping former sul’dam Bethamin across the face repeatedly. When he attempts to stop her Joline slaps Mat as well. Mat responds by spanking Joline, the Aes Sedai suddenly realizing the One Power is disrupted around him. All the women present (Joline, Teslyn, Edesina, Seta, Bethamin, and Setalle Anan) are shocked by what is happening. Setalle correctly deduces that Mat must have a ter’angreal similar to one rumored to be in Cadsuane Melaidhrin’s possession and would appreciate seeing it. This is another bit of commentary from Mistress Anan that set the Aes Sedai speculating about how she knew information such as details of the Test for the Shawl in the White Tower. Setalle diverts them by saying she had owned an inn with many visitors who often spoke about things they should not have. Joline is not convinced, but her Warders' appearance shifts the conversation back to Mat. Joline threatens him, both Setalle and Teslyn warn her that they will not interfere if she starts another fight and Mat decides to take her across his knee again for being foolish. Eventually, Mat learns that Bethamin had actually channeled, which sent the woman into tears. Joline decides that the Aes Sedai must teach her how to use the ability from them, Teslyn hotly rebutting that the woman deserved to die. Mat leaves the argument and prevaricates to Joline’s two Warders about being involved in anything going on inside the wagon.
Outside the town of Running Crossing, Mat and Aludra discuss what Aludra has been creating under the cover of her fireworks. Mat correctly deduces her need for a bellfounder is related to creating bronze versions of the lofting tubes she uses for her night flowers but does not know why she would need such a thing. Aludra goes on to explain the details of creating a weapon that could hurl an explosive charge nearly two miles, Mat realizes that such weapons could be as potent as having Aes Sedai fighting with the Power. Wanting a distinction between the weapons and fireworks used for beautiful displays, Aludra has named her creation “Dragons” which will fire “Dragon eggs”. She has even begun planning how to move the devices (using “dragon carts”) and deeply desires vengeance on the Seanchan for the destruction of the Illuminators Guild. Mat invites Aludra to join his party when they leave the Show and tells her he plans on using the resources of Andor and Tear, under Rand’s control, to mass-produce the weapons. Thinking of Rand brings on a wave of swirling colors and an image of Rand speaking to Loail, which Mat was sure was happening right in that moment but did not understand how this was possible. He then tells Aludra about Rand being the Dragon Reborn, but that she must keep his secrets. Aludra strikes a match (amazing Mat) and agrees to follow Mat when he leaves. The dice stop in his head for a moment, then immediately start up again.
Mat encounters Egeanin (now insisting on being called Leilwin) as she and Bayle Domon come from the local Wise Woman, having decided to marry, meaning Mat has to vacate the wagon they had been sharing as part of their disguise.
Tuon asks Mat what he knows of the Dragon Reborn, and explains Seanchan prophecy saying that the Dragon must kneel to the Crystal Throne before Tarmon Gai’don. She muses that the Horn of Valere must have been found and that it may well have been sounded already as she was aware of the events in Falme. Tuon believes the Seanchan must acquire the individual who sounded the Horn as urgently as finding Rand himself. Mat is unnerved and loses to her in a game of Stones.
Mat gifts Tuon with the razor, and takes her and Selucia (to his irritation) to ride, being surprised that both women are excellent on horseback. Tuon chooses the name Akein, which means swallow, for the horse. They realize they have ridden to a spot that was once the location of a great statue of a woman in a crown, now faded into near obscurity. Mat’s had a number of memories which identified the location as what had once been the capital of Eharon, Londaren Cor within the range of hills known as The Dancers. His memory being detailed enough that he recalled his own death, or rather the Esandaran lord’s memory of dying while fighting a long-forgotten battle in the nearby area.
Mat continues to clash with the Aes Sedai, mainly Joline, the Green was making good on the promise to teach Bethamin and had gotten Edesina to join her, they didn’t seem to be harsh with her, only commanding. Seta, meanwhile, has become terrified of the Aes Sedai but has begun to realize that she too can channel. Mistress Anan is certain she will come around and begin learning soon. The women continue to channel at Mat, eventually discovering the loophole of throwing items at Mat with the Power. Many small incidents, likely from Joline, continue to occur after this point. Edesina and Joline attempt to bully Mat to gain the ter’angreal but Mistress Anan tells him they will not take it as that would be a crime, Mat again noting her extensive knowledge of the Tower. Mistress Anan is quite fond of Mat, finding him to be a charming rogue, but suspects his true feelings for Tuon and believes he will get his heartbroken.
Once the three Aes Sedai become aware that Tuon is a High Lady of Seanchan they begin to pester her, looking for angles to build a relationship between her and the Tower. Tuon wants nothing to do with the women, despite their veiled threats about the power of the Tower coming to destroy the Seanchan. Eventually, Tuon, with Selucia’s aid, collars Teslyn and Joline, using the Aes Sedai to also incapacitate Edesina. Mat stops her from acting further by reminding her of her promises to not harm his followers. Tuon eventually relents and releases the women and gives Mat the a’dam but she refuses to admit that she is like them, despite the ability to be sul’dam, implying that she is aware that sul’dam can channel. Teslyn, upon release, immediately swears to leave Tuon alone, as does Edesina. Joline agrees after offering to make Mat a Warder (which he declines) and stirs the pot by referring to Tuon as “Precious”.
The Show continues to travel through Altara, encountering a village of ghosts, once Shiotans. Tuon informs Mat that the dead-walking was a sign leading to Tarmon Gai’don. Mat notices Thom reading the well-creased letter Mat had brought him months before and eventually asks Thom why. Thom gives him the letter from Moiraine, which Mat reads only to discover Moiraine is not dead, she is a captive and only Thom, Mat (if he asks to read the letter) and an unknown third person can rescue her, saying Mat would know the way to find her. She tells them to recall everything they know of the game of Snakes and Foxes if they attempt the rescue, and that they may well fail and die. Discussing the meaning of the letter with Thom, Mat tells him of the Redstone doorway melting, but Olver informs them that Birgitte had told him of the Tower of Ghenjei and the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, but not the location of the Tower itself. According to Noal, not even Jain Farstrider had known its location, but when given the description of “a gleaming burnished steel tower, two hundred feet high and forty thick without a visible opening” Mat realizes he knows where it is, seen long ago from the deck of Bayle Domon’s riverboat fleeing from Shadar Logoth. Mat believes the Eelfinn would know if he was with the rescue party, but cannot decline his help and agrees to go save Moiraine.
The Show arrives in Maderin, home of Lord Nathan Sarmain Vendare, a peaceful seeming town with a Seanchan presence in place. Tuon wants Mat to take her to a common room in the town, something extremely lowbrow, known as a “hell”. Mat takes Tuon to a place Thom has found, The White Ring. On the way they see how little the populace resists the Seanchan rule, aside from those who have lost family members to the a’dam and a handful of nobles, most people seem to be unphased by the new rule. The small group (Mat, Tuon, Thom, and Selucia) enter the tavern only after surrendering their weapons, which caused an argument between Tuon and Selucia. Mat realizes the establishment is not a “hell”, but Thom assures him Tuon, having been very sheltered, would not notice. Thom is correct. Tuon wants to try Ale and discusses customs on this side of the Aryth with Mat when he cautions her to be careful in what she says to the patrons. Mat joins a dice game at Toun’s urging, winning of course. Thom hears rumors of a murder in Jurador, sounding like the work of the gholam and word of a Seanchan army at the border of Murandy forcing people to drink tea, which occasionally causes a woman to collapse, she is then immediately collared. This army is also searching for a “dark young Seanchan woman”, meaning to kill her as an impostor.
Mat insists on leaving the tavern and explains to Tuon what is happening, she begins to consider if this could be the work of one of her siblings. Suddenly the group is attacked, Mat shouting for Tuon to run as he enters the fight, killing several men quickly. Tuon kills a woman Mat would have let flee, and he explains to her that he promised himself that he would never kill another woman. Thom and Selucia had fought off another group of attackers, with Thom understanding that Selucia wished not to have been seen protecting Tuon, and he assures her he has a poor memory and would remember nothing. Tuon informs Mat that she has won the game because he used her name. Mat recognizes one of the dead men as a merchant who left the dice game upon their arrival, Vane.
Mat and his party leave the Show and cut East heading for the Damona Mountains toward a smuggler's pass known to Chel Vanin. Tuon asks him for a kiss, afterward, she notes that he is feverish and needs an ointment for his wounds. Vanin suddenly returns to the camp with a group that turn out to be led by Talmanes. Mat learns that Egwene is still Amyrlin and that she has taken control of the Aes Sedai and that they had left to besiege Tar Valon. Teslyn, Joline, and Edesina all seem shocked by this news. Talmanes goes on to explain the expansion of The Band while Mat had been in Ebou Dar and Mat introduces the man to Tuon, Vanin had already told Talmanes the situation so he is unsurprised. Talmanes briefs Mat on the Seanchan presence and that the pass was blocked by a landslide, leaving no path through the Damonas.
Tuon learns from Thom that Mat is ta’vern but believes this to be merely a ridiculous superstition not a fact of any kind. They continue on to join The Band and Tuon is surprised to find a well organized military organization, and even more shocked that Mat is far more than she suspected, clearly a leader to these men having earned deep respect from them all despite not being of the Noble. Tuon is amazed at the boldness of Mat’s plan to sneak around the Seanchan army.
Teslyn and Mat, along with several members of The Band, discuss the plan to ambush the Seanchan using the enhanced crossbow technology Mat commissioned for The Band. Teslyn believes his plan relies on luck, which they all acknowledge and accept because of Mat’s well-known luck. Teslyn warns Mat that Joline is childish and is fascinated by Mat, especially seeing him in this new light as a commander. Tuon tells the Aes Sedai that Mat belongs to her and that there will be consequences if Joline attempts to trick Mat into becoming her Warder. Tuon has even given Joline a damane name, Rosi, and refers to Teslyn as Tessi, enraging the Aes Sedai.
Mat’s ambush, making use of the One Power in a way the Aes Sedai could participate without using the Power to kill, and surrounding the enemy with crossbowmen annihilates the Seanchan lancers in moments. Impressing even to Tuon.
The Band is found by Seanchan officer Furyk Karede, a man of the Deathwatch Guard searching for Tuon. He is absolutely loyal to Tuon and has been tracking the kidnappers in an attempt to rescue her. He enters the camp with der’sul’dam Melitene and the damane and former Aes Sedai Mylen (Sheraine), who shields Joline, Teslyn and Edesina. Karede is surprised to find Mat is in charge and is clearly far more than the Toy of queen Tylin as they all believed. Tuon and Selucia decide to return to Ebou Dar, but before leaving Tuon finishes the marriage ceremony by saying “Matrim Cauthon is my husband, Matrim Cauthon is my husband, Bloody Matrim Cauthon is my husband”. He tells Tuon about being given his destiny through the ter’angreal and the Aelfinn, to Marry the Daughter of the Nine Moons, but she thinks he is lying to her. Edesina corroborates the possibility but Tuon ignores her. Mat then learns of the damane Lidya Foretelling to Tuon ‘Beware the fox that makes the ravens fly, for he will marry you and carry you away. Beware the man who remembers Hawkwing’s face, for he will marry you and set you free. Beware the man of the red hand, for him you will marry and none other.’ She tells him that she is not his enemy, but that she lives for her empire.
Mat, now the Prince of Ravens of the Seanchan Empire, the realization that he is now a noble irritates Mat to no end, shares his plans with Captain Musenge of the Deathwatch Guard on a way to destroy the army led by a Seanchan traitor in order to get Tuon safely returned to Ebou Dar. This plan involves using Aludra’s altered fireworks (proto-dragons) as part of the assault, again destroying the enemy quickly. Musenge realized that Mat’s force was much smaller than the Deathwatch Guard forces believed but well utilized. Musenge proceeds to find the body of the Seanchan traitor and leaves to bring it to Tuon.
Knife of Dreams
Rand sees, in a swirl of colors, an image of Mat, realizing that he could use the ability to keep an awareness of the other two ta’veren. He sees that The Band is outside of a city and wonders who the small dark woman was and where she had gone as he had not seen her with Mat in some time.
Mat and The Band are pushing hard through Murrandy toward Caemlyn, roughly 200 leagues ahead of them, about a twenty-day ride for the entire army. Mat is doing his best to avoid more fighting with the Seanchan and is worrying over Tuon’s safety. The three Aes Sedai are still with the group and now seemed in less conflict with each other. Joline continues to prod at Mat and intimidate the men in The Band whenever possible, forcing even Vanin into meekness. Mat tells them they are welcome to leave The Band at any time, as long as they agree to head North. Joline and Edesina are ready to leave, with Joline demanding Mat provide them with twenty horses, Mat refuses Joline’s request and realizes that his rudeness to the Green Sister had lowered Teslyn’s opinion of him, something that bothered him.
Mat prepares to head into the nearby village of Hinderstap with the intention of buying rations, however, the Aes Sedai insist on joining the group, wishing to enjoy a good meal at the local inn. Hinderstap is a decent-sized town, a little smaller in size than Baerlon, and has three or four inns. As they enter the town Mat and Thom discuss rescuing Moiraine, with Thom becoming impatient now that they had begun to plan. As the two men reminisce about the first days after they had met, Mat has a vision of Rand, who has lost a hand and was clearly struggling from Mat’s point of view.
The mayor of Hinderstap, Barlden, welcomes the group to the town and informs them they have little to spare, not even much cheese given the spoilage that has begun. He also tells Mat that they must respect the town curfew and be out of the town by nightfall, approximately three hours away. Joline tells the man that his rules should not apply to her and that the innkeepers must be struggling. Barlden claims they are compensated, something Mat thought very odd. The mayor tells Joline that despite their respect for the White Tower he could not bend these rules for anyone. The Aes Sedai and Warders head to the finer inn while Thom makes his way to a lesser location and Mat takes Talmanes to a tavern, The Tipsy Gelding, to find a game of dice. Talmanes notices something is wrong with the locals, but Mat begins throwing gold around and eventually hooks the mayor into his trap, getting the man to agree to trade more than he wanted to with The Band and as the hour of curfew approaches the man begins to become insistent that they leave immediately. Mat begins to see something terribly wrong in the townsfolk eyes and after winning his final bet with the Mayor he begins to hear screaming.
Mat and Talmanes are fighting for their lives as rabid seeming villagers attack them in hoards. The men make their way to join their soldiers and find the Aes Sedai and Thom. By this time the villagers seem to be completely mindless and pay no heed to injury, only killing blows had any effect on them. After regrouping, Mat convinces Joline to leave the town, but she insists on taking the serving girls with them. Edesina, a Yellow, Heals the injured Delarn and the group leaves Hinderstap.
Hours later Mat and Thom discuss the events, concluding it must somehow be the Dark One’s touch. Thom then shows Mat a paper he had uncovered in Hinderstap, a drawing of Mat being circulated by a mysterious woman. Joline’s Warder, Fen, tells Mat that the serving girls who had been tied up had somehow escaped, seemingly disappearing in the night. Returning to Hinderstap, only to find the town somehow reset, the dead living again. Barlden then explains that for several months the town had been experiencing this curse from the Dark One. Each morning the townsfolk awake back in their beds, not able to leave the town and any who die in the town are doomed to awake within, trapped along with the villagers. Barlden tells Mat to go to an inn in Trustair called the Shaken Fist to find the woman searching for him and then gives Mat the food he had won/purchased the night before.
Mat decides to go to Trustair, but is far more cautious of going into the situation due to the events in Hinderstap. Planning his approach to the Shaken Fist with Thom, Juilin, Talmanes, Noal, and Mandevwin, using a map of the town sketched out by a merchant. Mat comes up with an elaborate plan that even Thom thinks is going too far, but Mat insists on the precautions. Mat goes through the camp and sees Aludra elaborating on her plan for building the Dragons, including a daunting list of necessary supplies. Olver comes to tell Mat that someone has come to the camp, Verin Mathwin, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah.
Verin goes on to tell Mat that his ta’veren pull had interfered with her ability to Travel and that she had found herself in Trustair waiting for either him or Perrin. She informs Mat that the Taint on saidin has been cleansed and that despite being mad, Rand still had control over himself. She then offers Mat a bargain, she will provide a gateway for the Band to get directly to Caemlyn, but she has a price. She also tells Mat that the Forsaken are hunting for both he and Perrin, and that was the source of the pictures, not her, and that he should go into hiding. However, her price for her aid is for Mat to follow the instructions in her letter but only after waiting in Caemlyn for ten-day, or to wait thirty days and then be off on his business ignoring the letter if he chose.
The Gathering Storm
Now in Caemlyn, Mat has taken Verin’s advice to a degree and is attempting to keep his identity a secret, but he is frustrated with his own choice to make an oath to not open the letter she gave him. He is going through the city and learns that the gholam is nearby. The pictures of he and Perrin are also still being circulated and have made their way into Caemlyn as well.
Mat and Thom leave the city and head back to The Band’s camp discussing the gholam, the plan to rescue Moiraine and Thom notes that The Queen’s Blessing was no longer open, Basil Gill was gone from the city. Mat wants Thom’s advice on getting in to see Elayne, who has not yet responded to Mat’s inquiry asking to see her. Thom is surprised by her lack of response. When they arrive in the camp they are told that the Aes Sedai have returned. Teslyn comes to Mat and to tell him that she, Joline, and Edesina have agreed to go to Tar Valon and thanks Mat for saving her from the Seanchan and admits that she is still dealing with the trauma of being held as damane. She goes so far as to shake Mat’s hand, something which she found particularly difficult as she is physically repelled by men. Mat offers Teslyn remounts because of her sincerity. Mat steps into his tent and the gholam attacks.
Mat begins calling for men to help hold the creature off and begins to fight it with the ashandarei and the foxhead medallion, which he knows can harm it. The gholam begins to threaten all of the women Mat cares for, including Tuon, who it learned of from a soldier named Derrin who it also killed. Teslyn, who is still nearby, comes to Mat’s defense and saves him using weaves of air to pull him out of the gholam’s way. Mat tells her direct weaves will have no effect and the Aes Sedai begins to hurl furniture at the creature, Mat thinks she is very clever to have so quickly reacted in the situation. As soldiers begin to arrive the gholam is driven away, killing five of Mat’s men as it fled, including Gorderan, Fergin, Riddem, and Will Reeve, and perhaps most tragically, Mat’s loyal serving-man Lopin who had been in his tent. Mat realizes the creature is watching them and he arranges to have Olver hidden for his safety. The following morning the Aes Sedai left the camp along with sul’dam Bethamin and Seta, Juilin, Amathera, Domon, and Leilwin. Mat sends a contingent of soldiers with the group and gives Joline a “parting gift” of sweetbuns which he had dosed with sprinklewart which will turn her mouth blue. He is very amused by his prank. Mat goes to Mistress Anan, who has stayed with the Band for her own reasons, to ask her to care for Olver. Mat tells her he is sorry for whatever trauma she had experienced in her past.
Mat crafts a letter to Elayne, using his typically colorful language, that gets her attention and gives Elayne some ideas on how to use The Band, which had a large contingent of Cairhienin, to her benefit. Mat goes to the palace to meet with Elayne and ask her to fund the Dragons Aludra has planned. Mat is disturbed by the stories Charlz Guybon tells him are circulating about him, some are quite close to the truth, even if they are embellished. Birgitte and Elayne greet Thom and Mat warmly, and Elayne explains that she was not informed of his first inquiry as her steward assumed The Band was a mercenary group and she grants him permission to camp closer to the city.
Mat learns that Elayne is pregnant, with twins, and is stunned. Thom is amused that Mat has missed this rumor despite having spent time in the city. Elayne asks Mat to keep the paternity of her children a close secret. Birgitte asks after Olver, who Thom tells her seems destined for a life as a professional soldier, which Birgitte approves of. Mat considers the changes in Elayne and wonders why she seems more agreeable not that she is Queen than before. Mat goes on to explain the Dragons to Elayne and Birgitte is amazed by the idea. Mat is surprised that Elyane is excited and agrees to produce the Dragons immediately. Elayne, however, wants the Dragons for Andor, not The Band. Eventually, Mat and Elayne agree to terms that Andor will own the Dragons, hire The Band as the exclusive force using them, Mat even giving Elayne access to the foxhead medallion for three days of study as part of the negotiations. Mat tells Elayne and Birgitte that the gholam is in Caemlyn and is killing people and Elayne tells Mat she is going to Carihein, he deduces she means to claim the Sun Throne. Elayne asks Mat if he knew she may need to take arms against Perrin and the Two Rivers, but he insists it will not come to that.
Mat, Thom, and Noal discuss plans for Moiraine’s rescue from the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, looking to the game of snakes and foxes for ideas on how to circumvent the rules using fire, iron, and music to help them escape with their lives. Mat realizes that Birgitte knows how to enter the Tower of Ghenjei as she is the one who originally told Olver the story. Later he speaks to Birgitte, who eventually gives him information about the world of the ‘Finns and warns him away from making a rescue attempt, she had been killed in their world in one of her many past lives and still feared them.
Mat and Birgitte help Elayne after she is attacked by Mellar and Lunault while she attempts to question her captives of the Black Ajah, who she learned were planning on murdering Mat at the order of the Forsaken. Mat is with Elayne when she goes to Aludra for the demonstration of the Dragons.
Mat lays a trap for the gholam and lures the creature out into the New City portion of Caemlyn. Along with members of The Band, Mat clears out portions of the city streets and blocks in the shadowspawn. Engaging it with the ashandarei, the foxhead medallion as well as the copies Elayne has managed to create. After fighting through the streets and into burning buildings, Mat forces the gholam to a doorway, which is a gateway for Skimming created by Sumeko Karistovan and Julanya Fote of the Kin, he then kicks the creature into the never-ending black abyss.
Mat is reunited with Perrin, not having seen each other since Tear they each notice the changes in the other man and noticing that while they are in the same room the curious ability to see one another did not manifest, thankfully. The two fill each other in on their various adventures since they last saw each other and seem to pick up their friendship quickly. Mat explains the deal he made with Verin and tells Perrin the woman seemed to be concerned that something might happen to her and that he would consider opening the letter when he returned from the Tower of Ghenjei. Mat and Thom ask Perrin to lend them the use of an Asha’man for a gateway to the Tower and explain to Perrin that Moiraine is alive.
Setalle Anan comes to see Mat, telling him that she had received a letter from Joline letting her know they had arrived safely in Tar Valon. Mat is surprised to hear that Joline had often spoken highly of Mat to the others, praising him for his rescuing of the three Aes Sedai in Ebou Dar. Mat notes that he has puzzled out that she was once Aes Sedai and asks her about the loss of the ability, she explains as best as she can and is curious about why Mat hates Aes Sedai. Mat admits that he doesn’t hate them, or nobles, but simply likes being a free man who makes his own decisions. She tells him he is unconventional but wise.
Perrin has Grady open a gateway for Mat, Noal, and Thom to leave for the Tower of Ghenjei. The men find the Tower and enter, going through the maze that is the world of the ‘Finn. Upon encountering one of the Eelfinn, Mat, speaking in the old tongue tells it there is no bargain and refuses to leave the iron, fire, and musical instruments behind. Mat tells Thom to play something, which puts the Eelfinn in a sleep-trance. The men continue on to find a leader among the Eelfinn to make their bargain with. Mat figures out the rules of the word to some degree and the men find the chamber holding Moiraine.
Mat refuses to make a bargain until they have reached the center of the Chamber of Bonds, eventually having to fight through masses of Eelfinn using iron, fire, and music to achieve their goal. Thom pulls Moiraine free from her prison. Mat makes a bargain with the Eelfinn, giving his left eye to secure passage through the Eelfinn to the way out. However, the Aelfinn pursue the party as Mat had not included them in his deal, a mistake he comes to regret. Running for their lives the group struggles to find the way out. Noal Charin tells the others that he will pay the price for their freedom and that Mat should tell any Malkieri he meets that Jain Farstrider died clean, admitting to his true identity and going to die with honor. Finally, Mat thinks back to his first encounter and the bargain he made and realizes the ashandarei was a key to exiting the world of the ‘Finns, able to cut a way through the Tower and return them to their own world.
Now safe, Mat speaks to Moiraine and learns what happened to her and Lanfear on the other side of the redwood door frame and catches her up on events since she disappeared. Mat is stunned when Moiraine asks Thom to be her Warder and Husband, shocked that he had missed this connection between the two people.
Towers of Midnight
Mat is not present during the attack on Caemlyn, leaving Talmanes in charge of The Band after finalizing the contract with Elayne. The shadowspawn pouring through the Waygate and destroying the city as an opening salvo for the Last Battle. Demandred likely hoped to antagonize Elayne into foolish actions out of revenge. Perrin, Elayne, and Faile discuss collecting the Horn of Valere from Egwene and ensuring it is in Mat’s hands, as they still believe he is connected to the Horn. Perrin informs Elayne that Mat is currently in Ebou Dar with the Seanchan and explains that there is some kind of connection between the ta’veren.
In Ebou Dar Mat sees a virtual city of Tinkers, but he considers how this city felt more like a home to him than even the Two Rivers had. He understood Ebou Dari more than he did other people. Mat discovers that there is an assassination plot afoot against Tuon, now Fortuona, stemming from General Lunal Galgan, but it doesn’t seem to be a serious effort as the man is hiring people he thinks will fail, testing the Empress for weaknesses.
Mat breaks into the Tarasin Palace and makes his way to Tuon’s rooms and encounters Selucia who is carrying a small crossbow. Selucia tells Mat that Galgan is not the one to worry about, rather Krissa who has brought Seanchan assassins with her, but Selucia has managed to catch two of the three and had hoped Mat was the third. After some consideration, Selucia tells Mat that Fortuona is in the palace garden with an entire squad of the Deathwatch Guard. She also tells him that Galgan may be looking to kill Mat as the Prince of Ravens is often given control of the Seanchan Armies, a role Galgan currently holds.
Mat finds Tuon and saves her from a Gray Man. Tuon inquires about Mat’s missing eye and asks him if he rescued the woman, her knowledge surprising him. Tuon and Mat sleep together, only after Mat tells her that he will not merely be her toy. She tells him he is far more than that, but that an Empress must put duty first, she needs to provide an heir to the Empire.
Mat wakes up in the garden with Tuon to find Rand has come to the Palace in disguise. Tuon believes Mat has set her up, but Rand tells her he came of his own accord and that she knows they needed to meet again. Tuon had managed to pilfer Mat’s medallion and the damane were able to bind him in air while they shielded Rand. Mat and Rand begin bantering about their various accomplishments one-upping one another. When Tuon tells Rand she plans to bring him to Seanchan Rand begins to sing. Green grass began to grow and thunder clapped in the distance and trees began to grow fruit and leaves rapidly. The sul’dam swearing he was still shielded. Mat tells Tuon that Rand is a good man and that he vouches for him, having grown up together Mat tells her she can trust Rand with the world itself. Tuon and Rand proceed to negotiate a treaty, fulfilling the prophecy to “bind the North to the East and the South to the West”. As Rand departs, Mat tells him that he saved Moiraine, the ultimate one-up between them.
Mat becomes a Military leader of the Seanchan, Tuon naming him Knotai, bringer of destruction to the Empire’s enemies and gives him the title Rodholder, ensuring that should Galgan fall Mat would take command. The Seanchan are still in reserve, seeming as yet uncommitted to the fighting in the Last Battle, Mat works to convince Tuon not to abandon the Aes Sedai forces who have just been ambushed by the Sharans.
Mat is with Tuon when she meets with Egwene, who ends up laughing at the realization that Tuon has married Mat, thus binding herself and the Seanchan to a ta’veren and the will of the Pattern. Egwene assumes the marriage is against Mat’s will and offers to help him free, but he tells her he can handle his situation.
Mat encounters Min during the ongoing Last Battle, he asks her to help him by reading those around him, Galgan in particular, Min tells him she sees “a dagger rammed through the heart of a raven” which immediately sets Mat on alert. Min tells Mat she does not believe the reading is regarding Mat but does not know why. Tuon enters the room and Mat introduces her to Min. Min sees a vision around Tuon of “a bloody flower around her head, a death lily” which means someone will try very soon to kill her. Tuon’s guards seize Min and Tuon demands to know how Min could know this. When Mat explains Min's ability, Tuon names her Doomseer and announces Min is her new Soe’feia, Truthspeaker. Mat and Min discuss their situation with the Seanchan, Mat telling Min that Rand would want her to stay. Min knows this is true but doesn’t like it.
Mat, Tuon, Selucia, and Min ride together toward the battlefield on the western border of Arafel. They observe Demandred yelling for Rand to face him in a duel. Mat believes the man has gone insane. Mat sees that General Tylee is out of position and asks her why she is not engaging with the Sharans, she tells him she is on orders from General Bryne, Mat realizes something is wrong and sends Tylee to fight the Sharan army, Mat himself joining the fighting, taking out a Shanchan Ayyad woman, capturing her for questioning. After being within the battle Mat concludes that Gareth Bryne is a Darkfriend who is deliberately trying to lose the war. Tuon, recognizing that Egwene would not listen to any Seanchan places Mat in command of the Seanchan military. Tuon notes that Mat has raised one of his officers to the Low Blood and brought great honor to himself as one of the rare men to capture a marath’damane on his own, but if he is wrong she will lose influence with the Seanchan.
Min goes to Egwene and tells her Mat’s suspicions about Bryne. Egwene thinks Mat is wrong but does see the irregularities in how the army was being led. Egwene is hesitant to give Mat control of the White Tower armies but tells Min to have Mat submit his ideas for her to consider. Egwene considers Mat’s character and realizes that he is a man who will make the effort to save people and that she does indeed trust him. When Egwene speaks to Bryne she realizes that he has been compelled, as have the other great captains, Mat is then given command of the armies of the White Tower.
Mat observes the battle using the gateway holes as surveillance tools. The Seanchan woman he captured now a damane, he struggles with this, but ultimately decides it is better than her fighting for the shadow. Mat has turned the battle in the favor of the White Tower forces, impressing even General Galgan.
Mat meets with the Aes Sedai and learns that the compulsion of the great captains has devastated many of the forces of the Light. Mat wants to make a unified stand against the shadow and has the Aes Sedai contact Elayne and he convinces her to give him command of her forces as well. Mat decides the fields of Merrilor are the best location to make their stand.
At Merrilor Mat sets the inexperienced men and women who had come to fight to build fortifications and helps set up training for them to learn the basics of fighting in a battle. Mat discusses battle plans with Egwene and tells her that there is no retreat and no way to leave this battle without utterly destroying the shadow’s forces. Mat then frantically begins managing the entire battle working with Elayne, Egwene, and Tuon to keep Demandreds forces engaged. Mat is trying to keep the fight on a knife's edge to give Rand as much time as possible to defeat the Dark One and seal the Bore.
Mat realizes someone near them is a spy for the shadow. Mat is attacked by a Gray-Man and a group of Sharan channelers attacks Mat and Tuon’s command post. Min saves Tuon from another Gray Man, but Siuan is killed in the attack. Mat devises a plan to flush out the darkfriend in their midst, telling leaders that the Seanchan have left the battlefield, abandoning the rest of the forces. On the front lines, Mat encounters Teslyn who is fighting alongside Dragonsworn troops and she creates a gateway for Mat and the troops around him including Ogier and The Band. Mat then seizes the Heights and as a diversionary tactic to draw Demandred’s forces to him. Mat sees the Sharans being destroyed from the Heights.
Mat learns that Egwene has fallen in battle, after defeating Taim and the entire force of Sharan channelers. He is devastated that he lost one of his oldest friends but is thankful that Egwene had taken out such a powerful enemy. Two Asha’man appear and tell Mat that the spy with the Seanchan had been exposed and that the Empress was waiting for Mat’s signal to return to the fight. Lan kills Demandred and Mat, despite his despair, rallies the forces of the Light, Olver blows the Horn of Valere and Mat recognizes the sound and hopes that it has been blown by someone from the Light. The Heroes appear and tell Mat that they would never fight for the shadow. Mat’s forces press forward and his ploy to retrieve the villagers from Hinderstap through gateways comes to fruition. Jur Grady destroys a dam to flood a canon full of Dreadlords being attacked by rabid Hinderstap villagers.
As the fighting begins to die down, Mat asks Hend, one of the Heroes of the Horn, if he will be bound with them, Hend calls him Gambler, but tells Mat he has not been chosen, but not for lack of accomplishments. Mat discovers that Elayne is actually alive and once he confirms with Artur Hawkwing that the battle is under control Mat realizes he must go to Rand. Mat has Grady make a gateway to Shayol Ghul, but Gray tells him he cannot as gateways are not working in the area. Mat has Grady take him to the Seanchan camp and then takes a to’raken to Shayol Ghul.
Mat sees Fain/Shaisam within Mashadar destroying Shadowspawn in the valley of Thankan’dar. Finding Perrin amidst the Last Hunt Mat tells him Faile brought the Horn to Olver who sounded it but Faile was missing. Mat is attacked and feigns being killed by Fain, only to surprise the creature and kill it, destroying Mashadar and the dagger. Mat is last seen with Tuon after the Last Battle who tells him she is pregnant, and that she can kill him now if she wishes to which he responds “do you ever play dice?”.
A Memory of Light
Mat has a number of extraordinary abilities, Like Rand and Perrin he is ta'veren, meaning Mat is often in the right place at the right time. The Pattern draws people and resources to him that he might need to accomplish its goals. Like all ta’veren Mat’s very presence in a location can alter the Pattern with sometimes amazing results. The people around Mat may make decisions or utter comments which they might otherwise have made only once in a thousand times just by being in the same room as Mat. Similar to Rand and Perrin, Mat begins to be able to see the other ta’veren when he discusses or thinks about them for more than a few moments. This ability appears along with a swirl of colors and allows the three to see each other in that specific moment.
Mat also has an incredible amount of luck, which may or may not be related to being ta’veren, he seems to be able to sense the strength of the ability in any given situation, something the other ta’veren do not seem able to do and has been seen using his luck to deliberately affect the course of events. Mat’s luck appears shortly after he is Healed from the corruption of the Shadar Logoth dagger and is much more overt than the chance twists-of-fate seen with Rand and Perrin. Mat also seems to have a rather unique sixth sense. He begins to have a feeling he equates to dice rattling in his head when important decisions/events are imminent. This ability may be akin to Nynaeve’s ability to sense danger coming or could be an effect of his ta’veren nature, although neither Rand nor Perrin exhibit such an ability.
Aside from the abilities related to being ta'veren, Mat possesses unparalleled skill as a military genius, which he achieves due to the multitude of memories implanted in his mind as part of an unwitting bargain he made with the Eelfinn. These memories have also given him fluency in the Old Tongue and allow Mat to pair his already impressive skill with the quarterstaff to the Power-wrought Ashandarei making Mat one of the best individual combatants in the Wheel of Time; even before he gains the Ashandarei and other men’s memories he is able to overcome multiple near-blademaster level swordsmen with a quarterstaff. He goes on to defeat the Aiel warrior Couladin in one on one combat and has faced and defeated a variety of shadowspawn. Mat’s fighting skills are so developed that he is able to survive the ultimate supernatural killing machine, the gholam, on multiple occasions, and with the aid of his foxhead medallion and the Kinswoman Sumeko he is eventually able to defeat the creature. Mat is also incredibly skilled with knives, which he always keeps hidden about his person and is a skilled archer using a Two Rivers longbow. Thom Merrilin notes that Mat has some of the quickest hands he’s ever seen and has an almost uncanny ability to go unnoticed/sneak around that is impressive even to the old gleeman who was himself a gifted spy/provocateur. Mat can also juggle and is a master horseman.
In addition, Mat has a high level of natural intelligence as he is able to weave together the disparate memories of hundreds of men into cohesive action plans relevant to his current situations and is able to puzzle out several mysteries and pull off some of the most complex rescue operations throughout the series. He often uses his quick wits and his impressive personal charm to get himself out of sticky situations.
Mat is associated with many notable items throughout the series, in roughly chronological order:
Shadar Logoth Dagger: A ruby hilted dagger Mat obtains when the boys explore Shadar Logoth and come across the entity known as Mordeth. Mat grabs the dagger from a pile of treasures and carries it out of Shadar Logoth. The dagger is imbued with the essence of human evil, known as Mashadar, which has tainted everything in the ruins of the city. This corruption begins to spread in Mat, making him angry and paranoid. The dagger is also a deadly weapon, even the smallest cut from the blade will spread and kill nearly instantly. Eventually, Mat is separated from the dagger, but the process leaves many holes in Mat’s memories, later filled by the Eelfinn. The dagger ends in the possession of Padan Fain, but the long exposure to the corruption grants Mat immunity to Fain’s powers, allowing Mat to kill the hybrid creature Fain has become, Shaisam.
The Horn of Valere: Discovered inside the Eye of The World and later stolen by Padan Fain, the Horn plays a central role in The Great Hunt. Near the end of the book, Mat blows the Horn at Falme and calls back dead heroes from the Ages to help fight off the invading Seanchan. This action connected Mat to the Horn until his death. After Mat is brought to Tar Valon and Healed of the corruption from Sharad Logoth, the Horn is put into hiding by then Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche. Later, Mat’s brief death at the hands of Rahvin severed his connection to the Horn, allowing Olver to blow it during the Last Battle.
Bundle of Fireworks: Mat is given a large bundle of fireworks by the Illuminator Aludra. He uses these to destroy a section of the wall at the Stone of Tear and realizes the explosive power they contain. Something that will come in handy down the road.
Foxhead Medallion: a powerful ter’angreal given to him by the Eelfin. The medallion is capable of blocking any direct weave of the One Power attempted on anyone wearing it next to their skin. In some unknown way, the medallion is also able to injure the gholam, another One Power immune construct. Elayne Trakand eventually uses Mat’s medallion to create somewhat less effective copies of the ter’angreal that are used by Mat to defeat the Gholam, these are later given to Fortuona and Olver. Lan Mandragoran eventually uses the medallion to fight and defeat the Forsaken Demandred in a duel during the Last Battle.
Ashandarei (old tongue for “sword-spear”): A Power-wrought weapon also given to Mat by the Eelfin. A polearm or naginata-style weapon, it appears as a long, black-hafted spear with a two-foot-long sword blade in place of a spear point, slightly curved and single-edged. Mat is able to translate his skill with the quarterstaff along with the memories of past warriors to become a master of the Ashandarei with skill on par with the greatest Blademasters in the series. The weapon also serves as a key to exiting the Tower of Ghenjei.
Hat: The plain wide-brimmed black hat, while mundane in every way, is an integral part of Mat’s appearance throughout most of the series. He obtained the hat in the Aiel Waste, buying it from the Forsaken Lanfear while she was in her disguise as Keille Shaogi, making a literal “deal with the devil” (one of several Mat is known for). The hat originally belonged to the darkfriend peddler Hadnan Kadere.
Crossbow Crank: Mat implements a new form of a crank for crossbows, allowing for rapid reloading and giving The Band of the Red Hand a weapon that is both long-range and rapid-fire. Mat uses this technological advantage to win many battles, decimating two Seanchan forces in minutes.
Dragons: Mat, after reuniting with the illuminator Aludra, is a driving force in the creation of the fearsome canon-like Dragons and their accompanying Eggs and Carts. These quickly become the most effective combat weapon outside of the One Power available to a military force.
In addition to the physical items Mat was given, the Eelfinn also gifted Mat with memories from a great many men who lived throughout more than a thousand years during a golden age of military strategy; these memories stretch from the end of the Trolloc Wars up until the time of Artur Hawkwing. These memories are so seamlessly integrated into Mat’s mind that he is able to speak the old tongue fluently, become a master of the Ashandarei and an expert rider, he also recalls some unpleasant moments from other men’s lives, including dying in battle on many occasions and some mundane details such as insults to the Atha’an Miere. However, the memories most significant contribution was making Mat the greatest military mind of the Age, tactically outmaneuvering even Demandred in the Last Battle.
Matrim Cauthon is a key player throughout the series, as one of the three ta’veren bound to the Wheel Mat is critical to the Pattern as it weaves the world toward the Last Battle. While Perrin and Rand each fight their own meta-physical battles in the World of Dreams and at the Bore, Mat leads the more human efforts of Tarmon Gai’don, leading mankind to defeat the hoards of darkfriends, dreadlords, Trollocs, Myrddraal and other shadowspawn. Mat uses his array of personal skills and military genius to win the physical war against the Shadow and at the end of the series is set up to become one of the great leaders of humanity.
Mat is responsible for many major actions during the main series events, as well as several seemingly small moments that later reveal to have huge implications. Nearly everything Mat does throughout the series ties back directly back to military action during the Last Battle.
In roughly chronological order:
Being infected by the evil of Shadar Logoth/Mashadar, ultimately allowing Mat to kill Padan Fain, the creature now known as Shaisam, before it could destroy Rand’s forces and enter Shayol Ghul.
Blowing the Horn of Valere, setting up the events which ensured the Horn was taken to Tar Valon and in place for the Last Battle.
Saving the life of the Illuminator Aludra as she tries to flee Cairhien, she goes on to create the Dragons, a technology critical to winning the Last Battle.
Uncovering Lord Gaebril (Rhavin’s) plot to kill Elayne, Egwene and Nynaeve, bringing him to the Stone of Tear, indirectly aiding Rand in taking Callandor and thus fulfilling part of the Prophecies of the Dragon.
Entering the world of the Aelfinn (snakes), learning key pieces to his destiny and setting him on a path to Rhuidean.
After entering the red doorframe ter’angreal in Rhuidean he obtains key possessions and abilities from the Eelfinn (foxes), listed above, which enable the Light’s victory in the Last Battle.
Killing Couladin during the battle of Cairhien in single combat, leading Mat on a path to establishing an elite military force, The Band of the Red Hand, alluding to Mat’s heritage to the historical nation of Manetheren, and it’s last King Aemon. Mat’s memories give him the knowledge to eventually structure large military organizations enabling significantly larger and more effective fighting forces.
Accompanies Rand and a small fighting force to Caemlyn to confront Rhavin, being briefly killed and then resurrected thanks to balefire. Fulfilling a part of his destiny to “die and live again, and live once more as part of what was”
Unknowingly severing his connection to the Horn of Valere allowing Olver to blow the Horn in the Last Battle.
Adopting Olver and providing him a place with The Band of the Red Hand, essentially fostering/raising his own successor as Sounder of the Horn of Valere.
Accompanying Nynaeve and Elayne to Ebou Dar, being an instrumental part of finding the Bowl of the Winds, which is both successful in resetting the weather and used throughout the Last Battle to combat the forces of the Shadow.
Befriending Noal Charin, Jain Farstrider, who will go on to become a Hero of the Horn.
Kidnapping the Daughter of the Nine Moons, leading to their marriage and eventually bringing the Seanchan into the alliance to fight the Last Battle.
Working with Aludra and Elayne to manufacture and tactically integrate the Dragons into The Band of the Red Hand and Andoran military forces.
Hunts down and kills the gholam with the aid of The Band of the Red Hand and Sumeko Karistovan of the Kin.
Tells Teslyn Baradon to inform the Amyrlin Seat that the Tower has something of his (the Horn of Valere) and that he will need it for the Last Battle. Teslyn goes on to rejoin The Band and fight alongside men during the Last Battle.
Enters the Tower of Ghenjei with Thom Merrilin and Noal Charin (aka Jain Farstrider) and rescues Moiraine from the Aelfinn and Eelfinn, bargaining his left eye for her freedom and fulfilling a part of the Prophecies, “To give up half the light of the world to save the world”.
Noal/Jain sacrifices himself to save the group and goes on to become a Hero of the Horn, saving Olver’s life during the Last Battle which kept the Heroes on the field of battle.
Moiraine goes on to a vital role in convincing Rand and the various rulers to work together and later goes with Rand and Nynaeve to Shayol Ghul where they combine to defeat Moridin and the Dark One and Seal the Bore.
Helps establish the Dragon’s Peace between Rand and Tuon.
Takes command of the combined forces of the Light after the Great Captains are revealed to be under Hessalam/Graendal’s compulsion, going on to defeat Demandred through brilliant military tactics.
Destroys Mashadar by killing its host Padan Fain/Shaisam. Coming full circle to where his journey began.
Mat, while seeming to be a wastrel at the start of the series, ends up as one of the greatest heroes of the Last Battle. He is the consort of the Seanchan Empress and the military leader responsible for winning the Last Battle, Matrim Cauthon will likely have untold stories written about him throughout the Ages and as the Wheel turns and historical record fades into legend and legend fades to myth he may well be a future Age’s inspiration for beings such as the Norse gods Odin and Loki or the Japanese Kitsune, from whom Jordan pulled inspiration for Mat!
Mat is however, the ultimate gambler in the series, and has a tendency to interact and somehow survive against some shady characters throughout the series, usually because he’s taking a risk of some sort either to protect someone or to get himself out of an even worse situation and once or twice to win a bet. This list includes: Mordeth, Millie Skane (i.e. Lady Shiane), Lord Comar, Gaebril/Rhavin, the Aelfinn, the Eelfinn, Melindhra, Lanfear and Asmodean. The Seanchan, Verin and a number of less than pleasant nobles can be placed on this list as well, even though they are not truly agents of the Dark One, just morally ambiguous. Mat enjoys frequenting establishments known for dicing and drinking and is often seen dealing with people from the seedier side of society, making a variety of deals with devils.
Mat is a fan favorite character who has many memorable quotes throughout the series, and prior to Robert Jordan’s death he was reportedly planning a series of “outrigger” novels centered on Mat and Tuon.
“Dovie’andi se tovya sagain” … “It’s time to toss the dice”
“I’m no lord. I’ve got more respect for myself than that.”
“A beautiful battle is one you don’t have to fight.”
“I’m a gambler, a farm boy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army.”
In Other Media
Twenty-three year old actor Barney Harris has been cast in the role of Matrim Cauthon for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV series being produced by Amazon Studios. The character is set to appear as a major recurring role throughout season one and beyond.
Harris has a list of film and television acting credits including roles in Billionaire Boys Club, The Hollow Crown, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and All Roads Lead to Rome, his first career credit from 2015.
Harris won Best Actor at the 2020 Oxford Film Festival for his work in the short film Starboy.