Mat and His Memories

Posted by Jorge on 19.01.01 00:00

My theory concerning Mat might be a little far fetched, but I think it’s possible. This is long, so bear with me.

Some people think that Mat is a rebirth of all the people in his memories. It has been pointed out that some of the memories overlap in linear time, so Mat could not be the rebirth of all those people.

Now, for my theory, lets go back to The Eye of the World. In Chapter 18, "The Caemlyn Road," Moiraine, Lan, Thom, Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene and Nynaeve have left Baerlon and were heading towards Caemlyn when they are pursued by 500 Trollocs and five Myrddraal. A fist of Trollocs (one hundred Trollocs and a Myrddraal) catch up to them, and Lan, Rand, Mat and Perrin charge, while Moiraine fries Trollocs. In the charge, Mat shouts, "Carai an Caldazar! Carai an Ellisande! Al Ellisande!." After they escape the Trollocs, the Emond’s Fielders are discussing what Mat shouted, and Egwene says that for a moment, she understood it, but then it was gone, Mat himself didn’t know what it meant. Mysterious Moiraine appears right that instant and clarifies everything. Mat had shouted the ancient war cry of Manetheren, and the war cry of the last king of Manetheren (The Eye of the World, Chapter 18, "The Caemlyn Road," 271, paperback). Moiraine explains, "The blood of Arad’s line is still strong in the Two Rivers. The old blood still sings." Now, The Eye of the World, Chapter 19, "Shadow’s Waiting," 278, paperback, Thom gives an enlightening speech about the Old Blood that you might want to re-read, it’s VERY helpful with Birgitte and Gaidal Cain theories, etc. One particular part, Thom says to Mat, "It was your roots, boy. A line running from your father to your grandfather, right on back to Manetheren, and maybe beyond." Keep this in mind.

Also, Mat speaks the Old Tongue when he is being healed at Tar Valon, "I'm no Aes Sedai meat," etc. He also speaks it at various other occasions, all of them WAY before the twisted door ter’angreal at Rhuidean. So the twisted door ter’angreal isn’t completely to blame for Mat’s current situation.

Now, some scientists believe there is a thing called genetic memory. They think that people have a rough memory of their ancestors. They claim it is responsible, for example, for the fact that some people do not feel comfortable while sitting with their backs to an open door, the reason being that early cave men did not sit inside a cave with their backs to the opening, anything could come in. While I find the idea of genetic memory a little far fetched, Robert Jordan may not, and he’s writing the books, not me.

If you think about it, genetic memory is EXACTLY what the Old Blood is. Remember what Thom said?

Given that, I think that the people of Mat’s memories are his ancestors. This way, it doesn’t matter if Mat’s memories overlap, since every higher lever in Mat’s family tree would have twice the people in the level directly below it.

It also fits in perfectly in another sense, Mat says most of his memories are from Manetheren, and indeed, most of his blood is probably from Manetheren.

Given all this, I believe the foxy people gave Mat some sort of advanced genetic memory, so advanced that Mat remembers as if he had actually lived all that. As to why it’s genetic memory and not something else, well, think of this. Before the twisted door ter’angreal, Mat had normal genetic memory, he could speak snatches of the Old Tongue, etc. After the twisted door ter’angreal, and I mean, RIGHT after, Mat speaks the Old Tongue fluently. And I say RIGHT after because when Rand takes Mat down from the tree in which he was hanging, Mat shows Rand the weapon he got, with the inscription in the Old Tongue. The Old Tongue can further be connected to the memories when Mat finds out Birgitte is Birgitte, and she says he has many different accents when speaking in the Old Tongue, and he switches between them like quicksilver. So I guess the different accents are from the different people his memories are from.

Now, I also think Mat can channel. Bode, his sister, was born with the spark, Moiraine and Verin both say the Old Blood is the cause for there being so many women who can channel in the Two Rivers, channeling is a genetic trait, as we see when Graendal talks to Sammael about the Shara, and we also see in marrying habits in the Age of Legends, ie: Asmodean’s mother could channel, etc, Egwene also has the Old Blood running strong in her, she says various times that she could "almost" understand what Mat said in the Old Tongue, the Old Blood must run strong through her, and she was born with the spark, Manetheren had strong ties with the White Tower, the queen was Aes Sedai and the king a Warder, there are too many clues lying about for it to be just coincidence. Mat as Tamyrlin? Hmm...

wotmania says: Now that is what I call a theory! I love to see citations... There are definitely some interesting thoughts in there. I was kind of wondering where you would end up, but I never saw the Mat as Tamyrlin comment coming. Can you imagine the look on Mat’s face if he discovered he could channel? The entire explanation makes sense - next time I talk to Mr. Jordan I will ask him if he believes in genetic memory. Of course, I have never talked to him before, so the next time might still be a ways away...


A family thing

Posted by Call_me_Tim on 01.06.01 09:14
I agree that all of Mat's unexpected actions prior to the Rhuidean trip are attributable to the 'genetic memory' concept, as explained by Thom. But the memories that the Eelfinn filled his head with are from all across the land. He remembers battles in every area of the known world, and from many different perspectives.

When Mat recognizes Birgitte, and they agree to keep one another's secrets, she comments that when he's speaking the Old Tongue, his accent is different each time, and she never mentions Manetheren, but widely dispersed places of ancient times. When the Old Tongue slips out of him, it is in the accent related to the one who's memory is causing it.

Part of Mat's Old Tongue usage is "the old blood singing" out of his family past, and part is the various military memories that have been stuffed in his head to fill the holes caused by the Shadar Logoth Dagger's curse.

Call me Tim

Love it but...

Posted by calis on 20.06.01 23:48
Anything resonable about mat, i find great. I think Mat, with his memories and battle experiance is awsome

But anyway

I disagree, mainly because the twisted doorway people are VERY litteral. It has been said that the doorways were most often used by generals and princes, captains and high ranking military men, for help coming up (i have no idea where, i am realy sorry about that) Obviously, this would be what the people through the door way know the most about. When mat asked for his memories filled, he got the filled - with whatever was lying around.

OF course this is all for a purpose, mat will be Rand's top general for the last battle, before he gets fed up with being on the sidelines and runs into the thick of things. We all know thats the truth

Calis, Lover of many

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New blood

Posted by PTH on 28.06.01 07:30
Basic problem with concept old blood is that everyone should have it, bc every person living in Randland is descendant of people who survived breaking of the world just 3000 years ago. That time is too short for radical changes in genomes of people and I don't know any reason why people living in Manetheren should have had special abilities. So people in Manetheren had to get their special talents during 1000 years after breaking, bc bf that Breaking people mingled, or they moved a lot, so there could not be any groups of people who were different than another groups of people. People Traveled used Showings and so on. So how people of Manetheren got their special talents and where people with new blood came from?

Mat can channel.

Posted by Arok Manok on 03.07.01 04:29
I don't think he has the spark, but Mat can surely channel. If not all along, than since the doorways. Isn't the best protection against Aes Sedai to become one? The Foxhead is just a joke.

Arok Manok - Ex-admin Extraordinaire
Future Post-Apocalypse Warlord

I'd rather be throwing a frisbee right now

in addition to the genetic memory...

Posted by Laidya on 15.07.01 12:19
Correct me if i'm wrong, but don't the wolves remember their ancestors memorys of hunting with men?

just a thought.

just a small thought.....But i do agree!!

Posted by laranna on 18.07.01 14:28
well basically i thought that the author of this theory said that mat started speaking old tongue right after the twisted doorway...but mat spoke fluently in the old tongue b4 that ..wat about in these doorways...
after mat is thrown out of the first doorway he meets rand and moiraine and rand says sumthing about a translatlor.
But mat didnt have 1 he had been able to talk to these snakey folk neway. i believe that mat could always speak in the old tongue he just had to forget himself enough to do nyneaves block!-he had a block preventing him too...the finns just well removed the block (how kind of them!)

Second that

Posted by elite880 on 03.08.01 09:12
I agree with the block theory also. It just seems too shady for Jordan to fill his memories with whatever and have Matt speak the old tounge from the begining of the book also. Jordan has a way of tying things together, and I believe he will tie this up as well. In supporting the block theory...who said they were actually holes in matts memory? Maybe like Nyn he blocks those memories, and at the time those memories were begining to bust through (becasue of the tainted dagger experince) and matts block wouldn't allow him to realize these memories so it denied access to those memories and in replace left a feeling of emptiness like something is suppose to be there. All the finn guys did was lift the block and open the floodgates to his memories that were always there....Perrin and his ability to talk with wolves (a lost gift from the past), Rand and Dragon Reborn (enough said), and Matt and battles, memories, and the old way (almost like an ability). Anyway, just a thought


"I could die for you, but I couldn't and wouldn't live for you"--Ayn Rand 'The Fountainhead'

Philosopher of the Ages

Master of Time Wasting

One Who Does Nothing At Work

Mat channel? dont think so..

Posted by ashandareiiii on 06.12.01 17:50
Mat touches a a'dam in ebou dar, but dont feel any pain. It is proven that men whith the spark to channel or the ability to learn, cannot touch a adam whitout suffering horrible pain. Therefore Mat + channeling = NoWay


Posted by lytjan13 on 13.12.01 14:07
I agree with everything in your theory except the last paragraph i dont think Mat can channel and I would be very dissapointed if RJ made another main character a channie.

scarred warder of the orange death Ajah

Lyjan Morillin

No sparky for Mat

Posted by Maisac on 25.01.02 10:28
If Mat could channel he'd be alomost untouble. He could sit back and throw lightning bolts all over and laugh when ever some silly Aes Sedai tried to use the One Power against him. Ontop of that he always has his trusty knives and spear.

Hmm? That would make rand no longer needed I believe. Maybe I'm wrong.


Posted by lfe05 on 05.03.02 18:33
what is the tamrilyn?

Genetic memory = the death of reincarnation.

Posted by Khnopff on 11.04.02 20:41
The genetic memory link is a rather novel idea, in certain regards. However, the flaws in it are rather obvious if you stop and truly look at it. Genetic memory falls along the same lines as animal instinct and evolution, since it is an acquired 'trait' developed for survival. HOWEVER, one does not need a genetic memory to understand that 'fire is hot and will hurt you' and one can easily argue that if fire was even a RECENT discovery, it wouldn't take too long before people were wary of it, simply for its physical properties. Sitting with your back to the door, likewise, is something obvious to anyone who has a remote understanding of vulnerabilities; ie what you can't see can suprise and kill you. Again, it doesn't take a 'genetic memory' to teach us that. Simply being paranoid or put in threatening situations enough times will do that to a person. Sitting against a secured surface, with your face towards the open, is not that hard to grasp.

What does this have to do with Mat? Simply that the theory of genetic memory is what the scientific community uses to explain what could be, and is, best explained by the metaphysical theory of reincarnation. When Mat does something that points to his being there before (reincarnation,) very often the incident is simply too specific to have the general characteristics of a 'common ancestral acquired memory.' Speaking in the Old Tongue and leading men wisely or bravely into battle ,or declaiming 'I am no Aes Sedai meat' in the Old Tongue, is certainly not a 'generic human trait' and therefore fails the characteristics of a 'genetic memory.' Wild cats have learned to stalk and suddenly leap upon their prey, but they use those techniques against EVERY prey, whether it be wilderbeast, antelope, or, if you go back far enough to a sabre-tooth cat, a wooly mammoth. It is a generic, and essential, tool for survival, thus it would be necessary to pass it along as an 'instinct.'

Also, the more complex something is, the harder it is to master or gain mastery over. The reason animals can pass along instinctual behaviours is because those behaviours are very very BASIC and necessary to their survival, stripped down to their bare essentials. The harder you make something, the harder it is to remember. The sheer amount of genius and nuance it takes to command troops on a battlefield, especially back then when information was not instantaneously relayed via satellites and digital imagery, cannot be underestimated, and thus fails as something that could be passed on as a 'genetic memory,' but is more than possible as a memory related to an actual individual you once were (reincarnation.)

Also, if you discount the theory of reincarnation, then you discount the entire premise of the series; namely that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. If Mat is not his memories, then Rand's claims fail, and thus is only Lews Therin's pupil, not Lews Therin himself. Certainly, the split between Rand and the voice in his head could be explained psychologically (seeing himself different from then, therefore needing to seperate the two aspects of himself, then and now) but if you see it as literal, then the entire series is shaken to its core. I am not sure you want to do that.

genetic memory needs long time to settle ...

Posted by goertschi on 30.06.02 04:05
in the blood, DNA ore habbits like the caveman thing.

But Mat´s memories all lie in the time between the Trolloc Wars and Arthur Hawkwing.

"Those were the earliest and latest of the memories that had been planted in his skull. Nothing after Arthur Paendrag Tanreall, and nothing before Maecine of Eharon." (The Fires of Heaven, Birdcalls by Night)

That´s just a period of about thousand years, that lie thousand years back.

And what about Brigitte´s fading memories of her past??

the real answer.

Posted by sha6ow on 25.08.02 10:36
in a interview with RJ, a question was just as if the memories Mat have was from his former lifes, as you remembner he got them after pasing true the ter- in the aiel desert.

The holes in his memory is a result of the sickness he got in Shador Ghul, in the seconds portal ter- he entered the rules was different but he did not know, he wanted to get ride of trhe holes in him memory so the tel- filled them with other memories.

Exeuse my really bad english now, but that is kinda whaty rj said.

s h a b

Just one thing

Posted by Mr Wealth on 17.10.02 12:46

<== Is she Min? I've always thought she has brown eyes

Just wanted to add

Posted by Greenie33 on 25.11.02 03:12
That if you look at it, Genetic memory would be passed down when a ancestor had sex with another ancestor. So why does Mat remember battles he didnt come out of alive? Just a flaw i saw in it, i guess he could remember if his ancestors like you know did it on the field while fighting but thats pretty err ahh messed up.



Posted by Fat Monkey on 05.12.02 11:49
I totally agree with you except the part about Mat channeling. I have seen theory after theory bashing it down, but people keep bringing it up. Oh well, it was good anyway.

I agree....mostly

Posted by Ashaman Dusma on 09.01.03 17:21
I agree 100% with the genetic memory bit, but Mat being able to channel is a bit far-fetched.. Wouldn't the "spark" have already manifested itself in him.. and you cant exactly say that his medallion has anything to do with it not mainfesting because he has taken it off for periods of time and didnt have it before the fox-folk gave it to him. Wouldn't it have manifested about the same time as Rand's did or before if he could channel?

Genetic Memory

Posted by loial01 on 11.09.03 22:51
Genetic Memory would not be a true memory. Your DNA doesnt change as you grow so how could you possibly pass memories of things that happened after you were born. Genetic Memory would instead be instintual(sp?).

This theory keeps popping up out of the damn grave....

Posted by Almira on 22.10.04 06:27
> Mat can't channel. He touched an a'dam. That makes his inability to channel a fact, not a theory, because male channelers can't touch the a'dam without feeling pain. Second of all, do you really want him to channel? I mean, come on. The point of Mat is that he's all weapons, and he's got that sexy ashanderai from the Age of Legends, and like a million knives up his sleeve. I do not want to see him trade those in for lightning bolts.

> Genetic memory is the memory of an instinct, not an actual visual memory, like what Mat had after being Healed. Let's use your door example. With genetic memory, you'll just feel uncomfortable doing it, because it's instinct (it's also logic, but that's another thing.) You won't remember actually sitting across from a door all those thousands of years ago, and what the door looked like, and who walked in at noon... Also, and I this --ing hilarious. You mentioned that there were too many clues lying around for Mat to channel, and yet you're willing to pass off his memories as just "genetic memory"? And there are no clues. Those are just so that we won't think, "Where the hell are all these channelers coming from?" Warders can't channel, so the King being the Queen's Warder means nothing. I think you're reading way too much into nothing, and far too little into everything.

> Thirdly, you lost all credibility when you said you believed that Mat's memories from the ter-angreal are from his ancestors, too. Jordan gave a flat out "no" when asked if that was the case. And then later on explained that they really were just memories from other men who walked through the doorway, with no relations to Mat at all.