The Shadow Rising - Chapter 2 [#120]

Leadership Development: Mat

    With Tear only a month under the Dragon Reborn's rule, the three Emond's Fielders have settled into a somewhat quieter routine.  Until the fabric of reality parts and the the three face variations of themselves and their habits that make a concerted effort to kill them.  Perrin gets attacked by his own axe, the deck of cards comes alive in Mat's hands with knives flashing for him, and Rand faces mirror images of himself with swords bared to kill. Just prior to that, Mat has an interesting dialogue with some of the other lords of Tear.

    "Didn't I say?"  The plain-faced man squinted at his cards and scratched his head, then brightened.  "Oh, yes.  His proclamation, Mat.  The Lord Dragon's.  His last one.  Where he said commoners had the right to call lords before a magistrate.  Who ever heard of a lord being summoned to a magistrate?  And for peasants!"

    Mat's hand tightened on his purse until the coins inside grated together.  "It would be a shame," he said quietly, "if you were tried and judged just for having your way with a fisherman's daughter whatever she wanted, or for having some farmer beaten for splashing mud on your cloak."

Mat and Lord Estean, The Shadow Rising, p. 49

    Despite Mat's bluster and exterior as a gambler and risk taker, he has a strong sense of justice and equality.  I suspect it's due to his upbringing; but likely also his traveling companions and recent experiences.  Despite Moiraine's status as Aes Sedai, she never mistreated any of the Emond's Fielders, or any other people they've encountered over the previous three books.  She treats everyone with respect and courtesy, regardless of social stature.  The same can be said about Thom.  Mat's interaction with Queen Morgase, provided Mat a glimpse of how rulers are capable of behaving; so to have lordlings behaving counter to that standard, just because of their social status, leads to Mat's subtle comment.  Mat continues to mature, and develop solid principles for his own leadership style.

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