This might sound like a silly question, since he's ta'veren, but read on!

As early as book 1 of WoT (at least by the time they meet Loial), we know that Rand, Mat, and Perrin are all ta'veren. I assume this is something you're born into, so they must always have been ta'veren. This shows itself in various ways over the course of the books in coincidences and unlikely events happening close to them. By far the most obvious manifestation of Mat's ta'verenianity is his incredible luck,

which allows him to win almost every time at dice and cards and which, along with his memories from past war leaders, brings him such vast success in battle that by the time of book 6 he's gathered his own army.

But this only manifests itself in the middle of book 3, when Mat moves from tavern to tavern in Tar Valon:

He had always won more than he lost, as far as he could remember, and there had been times with Hurin, and in Shienar, when six or eight tosses in a row won for him. Tonight, every toss won. Every toss.

And later on the same page (p.343):

He knew he was lucky. He could always remember being lucky. But somehow, his memories from Emond's Field did not show him as lucky as he had been since leaving. Certainly he had gotten away with a great deal, but he could remember also being caught in pranks he had been sure would succeed. [examples] But it was not just since leaving the Two Rivers that he had become lucky. The luck had come once he took the dagger from Shadar Logoth.

So what's going on here? Is it just to do with being ta'veren? Is there really a Shadar Logoth connection, and if so why does it stay even at this point, after

his bond with the dagger is broken?

He always remembers that one night in Tar Valon as being the time when his luck was at its height. Since then he's won most of the time but not every single time. So what was special about that one night? Was someone channeling using that dice ter'angreal that Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene talked about in the same book?

So here are some theories for why Mat's lucky:

  • ta'veren (but why does it kick in so late?)
  • dagger (but why does it stay on?)
  • ter'angreal (ditto, unless someone's planted it in his dice cup - now that's an intriguing theory!)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

  • It seems the wheel of time crowd is scare around here haha.
    – Himarm
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:01
  • @Himarm - Should be a few more lurking around: scifi.stackexchange.com/tags/wheel-of-time/topusers :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:46
  • 2
    You are wrong about when one becomes ta'veren: it comes and goes. At the end of the last book, it is stated that the trio is no longer ta'veren, for instance. Mat's luck appears to be like Perrin's wolf-brotherhood: something special.
    – Ryan Reich
    Aug 8, 2014 at 21:19
  • 1
    @RyanReich - Interesting. Is there any canon info on when they became ta'veren?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 9, 2014 at 10:12
  • @RyanReich: That's stated? I don't recall that at all! Aug 26, 2014 at 23:40

4 Answers 4


okay, after searching for this one i found a quote from sanderson that went along with what i was thinking. I think that Mat has above average luck as the people from the horn call him the gambler so in his past lives he was always lucky, Now being a Ta'veren just amplified his luck. Jordan said that the Luck ter'angreal is not connected to Mat, and that the dagger also had no effect on his luck. So we always knew he was lucky back home, and that his luck was always good, But in this one particual day he was just having his luckiest day ever.

Here's Sandersons quote.BestQuotes Ever

Being a ta'veren has a distinct effect on him, but I think there is an innate luckiness to Mat, partially drawn from the fact that the Heroes [of the Horn] call him Gambler. And so in other lives where he would not have been ta'veren he was still a gambler and still lucky. However, I do think being a ta'veren meant that the luck was greatly magnified, and I think it grew stronger and stronger through the series. That's my read on it from the notes, and I'm pretty sure on that one. I have to give the caveat that there could be something out there that contradicts me

Mats luck, and Ta'veren'ness is also affected by the persons emotional state. Mat needed desperately to win that night, he had just gotten out of the white tower after months of being depressed and sickly due to the dagger. He needed a win. Other places in the story especially while hes fighting he always gets "lucky" right when he needs it.

  • 1
    Interesting, especially the bit about his other lives! (Do those old memories all come from previous incarnations of himself?) But on the same page you link to, Jordan himself says, "When they say that Mat has the Dark One's own luck, he can get as mad as he wants to, but in a way it is true." How does that fit in...? And in #11 on that page, Sanderson seems very unsure about Mat's luck. (BTW, wasn't #9 there absolutely hilarious!)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:37
  • and its funny on sandersons opinion on his luck those 2 quotes are within 2 days apart.
    – Himarm
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:49
  • @randal'thor I don't have a 'canon' quote for that, but the memories are supposed to come from all the 'fools' who used the same portal ter'angreals as Mat. The *fins take pleasure in absorbing memories, and so have stores of them from the people who went inside. The fact that Mat remembers dying means there's a bond created by that too.
    – jv42
    Feb 11, 2015 at 9:42
  • @jv42 yeah there isnt a good quote for this because mat reveals pieces of this idea throughout like 6 books, but yes mat has a suspicion that anyone who goes through the door will be forever connected to the people on the otherside, and so those are the memories that he received, HOWEVER, we also know that its not everyone who goes over, its a specific basically "soul" as it weaves in and out of the web over and over again, because all of the heroes of the horn know him, and have known him again and again through out history.
    – Himarm
    Feb 11, 2015 at 14:02
  • 1
    @randal'thor That Jordan quote about Mat in some way really having the Dark One's own luck is high on my list of things I wish RJ had explained more. My pet speculation on a possible meaning is that the increased amplification of Mat's luck over time is in large part in inadvertent side effect of the DO's damage to Pattern over time. As chaos increases and the Pattern becomes more unstable, the world becomes an increasingly ideal random environment where Mat's luck works best.
    – David H
    Mar 1, 2015 at 18:13

We know that Mat's luck fluctuates over the course of the series. My theory for this is that since Mat was woven into the pattern to counterbalance, as RJ called him, the wildcard Padan Fain. Mat's luck as ta'veren naturally got a boost after he received the dagger, as the dagger was also the catalyst to Fain's transformation. Mat's ta'veren luck is the Pattern weaving balance into itself, the same for Rand and the dragon except this may be the first time the Pattern needed to put in a corrective ta'veren weave of this nature.

The implications of this theory would then lead us to think Mat's luck would begin to fade after the Last Battle, that is unless the Pattern for the sake of efficiency may use him to rebalance something else beyond the Last Battle - perhaps something to do with the Seanchan? RJ did say he intended books from Mat's PoV after the Last Battle.

  • Welcome to the site. We like to see fact rather that opinion here. If you have a good reason for your theory (which I'm sure you do), I recommend that you include that reasoning and the facts that back it up. It will make your answer much better. Good luck.
    – amflare
    Dec 29, 2017 at 21:00
  • Interesting idea, thanks for this! When I was still in the early stages of WoT, I imagined that Tarmon Gaidon would involve the main protagonists squaring off against the various forces of evil: Mat against Aridhol/Mordeth and Perrin against the Whitecloaks seemed like natural pairings. Of course, it all got more complicated after that ...
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 29, 2017 at 21:04

I believe the reason for his luck was because of the dagger's curse. It's mentioned that someone can have "the dark one's luck himself" then Mat attacked the man for calling him a dark friend. His luck showed up the first time he went to gamble after being disconnected from the dagger.

  • I mentioned this as a possibility in my question, but - if it is because of the dagger - why does the luck stay with him after he's disconnected from the dagger?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 16, 2020 at 9:11

When did Robert Jordan ever said the dagger had nothing to do with his luck? It was the dagger. Mat identifies his luck was never as good since Shadar Logoth. Even Siuan even states after the healing that who knows if the dgger will have any permenant effects on him. He was winning in dice in Fal Dara and vs. Hurin even before healing. I think the healing got rid of the evil taint, but the luck remained.

Now, if people bring up Fain, well the SL dagger probably affects people differently, but I'd say he's very lucky too, even Slayer recgonizes this. Dude won't die!

  • 2
    Can you provide some citations?
    – Adamant
    Jan 9, 2017 at 5:38

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