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2.1.1: What's up with Mat's ring?

In [ACOS: 14, White Plumes, 280] Mat acquires a signet ring, by pure "luck." The ring is gold with a dark oval carved stone, and is in the "long style"; the stone is as long as the joint of Mat's finger [ACOS: 14, White Plumes, 279]. Here is a description of the carving: "Inside a border of large crescents, a running fox seemed to have startled two birds into flight." [ACOS: 16, A Touch on the Cheek, 300] We get a more specific description in WH: "...a running fox and two ravens in flight, all surrounded by crescent moons..." [WH: 17, Pink Ribbons, 371].

The fact that Mat was "forced" into buying the ring by his luck made us suspect that the ring would play some important role in his future. Most people thought that this role would have something to do with the Seanchan (and the DotNM) even before we knew for sure that the birds were ravens and the crescents were moons. (Ravens are an Imperial sigil to the Seanchan [WH: 18, An Offer, 387].) Jason Kraftcheck observes, "Ravens for Seanchan, moons for The Daughter of the Nine Moons, and Tylin later refers to Mat as a fox [WH: 31, What the Aelfinn Said, 582]."

When Tuon and Mat meet for the first time in WH, she inspects him closely and seems to pay special attention to his ring [WH: 17, Pink Ribbons, 371]. It is immediately after examining the signet that Tuon offers to buy Mat from Tylin, and later she demands to know why he isn't wearing it [COT: 3, A Fan of Colors, 140]. Coincidence?

Of course, what exactly the ring signifies to Tuon is yet to be seen. The ring could be related to whatever fate the damane Lidya foretold for Tuon (see section 4.3). Perhaps the ring was part of the fortune (though it could as easily have been Mat's ashanderei, which Tuon shows even more interest in than the ring, or Mat himself, or all three).

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