Rioters Jenn and Preeti are revisiting the Wheel of Time series. Follow their What the WoT adventures here.
So, thanks a lot.
There’s a well-known joke about how the WB and Disney Princes and Mr. Darcy have ruined anyone who wants to meet the man of their dreams. We’ve been set up with unrealistic expectations; how are we supposed to get past DARCY?
There’s truth in it, I suppose. But I’m basing my truth on the fact that reading Robert Jordan at 14 was a huge mistake for my love life. Have you guys met Matrim Cauthon? Have you? Because if you have, I don’t know how you could possibly be happy with anything else.
He’s tall, thin, and has shaggy brown hair. He has some wicked scars, and fights like a whirling dervish.
What was it about him, though, that inspired ladies to get so excited? (I’m lookin’ at you, Tylin.)
Was it that when he lost his eye his first reaction was not self pity, but rather, “How is this going to affect my fighting ability?” and a close second, “What if Tuon doesn’t like me anymore?”
Or is it his cavalier ways? His love of gambling and ale, and his insistence that he is totally “not a hero” (even though he plays the hero more than once).
He’s a bastard with a heart of gold. He’s the reformed jerk. He is the bad boy who will change his ways for you. Just not all of them. He’ll be damned if he’s going to give up drinking. Because he won’t. No, sir.
No, it must be his penchant for coming up with ridiculously elaborate backstories for his schemes. He’s creative.
… Or maybe it’s that even though he can be a cad, he is really ready to be in love with his wife, and it’s so cute I can’t freaking take it.
He gets his angstiness out of the way pretty early on in the series (cursed dagger and all that), so while everyone else is depressed and dark, and just emo-ing all over the place, Mat maintains a lightheartedness that allows for moments of brevity in the last few books. And he somehow does this without sacrificing tension or excitement.
I don’t know if I can really pinpoint exactly what it is about Mat that gets me giddy, but I know that he’s the [fictional] one for me.
Some favorite Mat Cauthon-isms:
“Sheepswallop and bloody buttered onions!”
“First Rule: Never kiss a girl whose brothers have knife scars.”
“I read a book once.”
“Bad habits always pay off in the long run.”
“I’m a gambler, a farmboy, and I’m here to take command of your bloody army!”
“I don’t know. They could put up a warning sign or something. Hello. Welcome to Hindstrap. We will murder you in the night and eat your bloody face if you stay past sunset. Try the pies. Martna Maily makes them fresh daily.”
“The more tragic things get, the more I feel like laughing.”
Also, this entire exchange between Mat and Rand when they are finally reunited:
Mat: What did you do to your hand, by the way?
Rand: What did you do to your eye?
Mat: A little accident with a corkscrew and thirteen angry innkeepers. The hand?
Rand: Lost it capturing one of the Forsaken.
Mat: Capturing? You’re growing soft.
Rand: Tell me you’ve done better.
Mat: I killed a gholam.
Rand: I freed Illian from Sammael.
Mat: I married the Empress of the Seanchan.
Rand: Mat, are you really trying to get into a bragging contest with the Dragon Reborn? Besides, I cleansed saidin. I win.
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