"...But sometimes I dream of Ariel an' I..." he shook his head. "I wish I had killed him..."
- Matthew, Farseekers p12
While re-reading TKP, it occurred to me that Matthew might be the Destroyer. The reasons:
- He has always idolised the Beforetimers (bringing them up in Obernewtyn, etc)
- He is idealistic and heroic
- He is in the Land of the Red Queen, where the Entina is (that Heather rightfully pointed out is most likely the sentinal), and is at risk of being 'fed' to it as a slave.
- He's been around since the beginning - and a main character.
- It would be a huge shock. Isobelle keeps reitterating that the end is going to surprise everyone.
- He HATES Ariel - so wouldn't it be awful if Ariel was actually leading him to become the Destroyer? Ariel could also be Salamander (not necessarily again, as Vivacia pointed out), and he could have brought Matthew to Red Queensland thus fulfilling the role of H'rayka by literally bringing Destruction. Or, on a different note, Ariel could be in charge of the 'feedings' into the pit containing the Entina. He could put Matthew in the pit himself, upon recognising him and remembering that he has Misfit Talents, thinking as Alexis did, that he can use Misfit Talents to unlock truths.
- We know it's going to be tragic - how tragic would this be?
I don't think he can be ruled out. He is obvious, because of his blatant fascination in the Beforetimers, his thoughts that they were magic and telling Louis that 'we wouldn't have to use the magic like they did'. He's not obvious, because he's Matthew.
Perhaps this is better explained in the 'scenario' I wrote on the old theories board when I was workshopping the theory:
I felt a probe frantically trying to make contact with me, and was immediately cautious. None in the Red Queens land could know who I was. Yet this probe had sought me as though it knew me.
I recognised the signature with a start and tried to remain externally passive.
Matthew. He was alive.
I went cold.
Matthew sounded relieved, but there was an underlying panic behind the shock of his recognising me inamongst all the other minds.
'What is it?' I farsaught quickly.
'They're takin' me to th' Entina. It's a -'
'I know what it is,' I cut him off. Ariel was doing to Matthew what his mentor Alexi had done to Selmar and Cameo, and later tried on me. I had lost them, and I could not loose Matthew to the same evil.
'Quickly, let me use your eyes,' but I couldn't miss this chance. The whole time I'd been here I had been at a loss as to how I would gain access to the Sentinal.
'All right, but Elspeth, ye mun do somthin', quick,' before I could take in the message properly, Matthew grew passive, and I opened my eyes.
Through the mist that came with use of the talent, I could make out an entrance, a doorway to something heavily guarded. More heavily guarded than anyone realised, I thought wryly. He was already there! Ariel, the cowardly snake, was not in my/Matthew's line of sight.
'They said there was a beast in here,' he sent faintly.
'There is,' I replied.
'Elspeth ye mun get out of here. They want me to try open th' doors with my Talent, but I don't know how an' all th' others have died trying. I'm ginna try use my Talent but if something goes awry an' ye dinney leave my mind, ye'll be..'
Matthew trailed off and with a sickly jerk, I realised that I had to make a deadly decision. I could almost hear Atthis' mental nod.
No, not Matthew.
The quest that had directed me blindly my entire life became clear to me now. I knew the password to gain entry to the Sentinal. I had the keys. I could tell Matthew how to enter, and he would be saved, but in doing so, I would be unleashing the Great White on the Land again. I had vowed to never let that happen.
Was I to let Matthew die, when I could save him? And what if I didn't aid him, and he died? Would it stop Ariel from using another Talented Misfit to open it?
I couldn't go any further. Just the thought of it is sad! The only way I could see Matthew getting out alive is if he, Elspeth, and possibly Dameon all worked together - Dameon calming so no rash decisions are made, Elspeth using Matthew as a vessel, entering the Sentinal and destroying the weaponmachines before Ariel can get to them. Hopefully in doing so, Matthew will not end up as the Destroyer!
Post-TSK edit: The Stone Key has given me a lot more fuel for this fire; particularly in the form of the dream-sequence, pp989-990.
'The Destroyer seeks ElspethInnle,' Maruman answered. 'Fly before it sees you!'
I obeyed instantly, leaping from the dreamtrail and letting myself fall like a stone. I fell so fast that rather than waking, my spirit form shredded and dissipated as I sank into the depths of my own mind. Before I could shield myself, a dream snared me.
It was a queer dream, for although it felt like a true dream, it could not have been so, for in it, Matthew was running along the tunnel that had appeared repeatedly in my dreams for as long as I could remember. It was filled with a thick, yellow mist and through it, I saw the dull regular flashing of the yellow light, and heard the familiar dripping of water into water.
'Elspeth?' Matthew called urgently. 'Elspeth?'
There was no answer but his own voice whispering my name back to him over and over, growing softer and softer, until it faded into a barely audible sibilance.
I slipped free of the dream, but as I rose to wakefulness, I heard the infinitely mournful howl of a wolf.
Elspeth would never
think of Matthew as the Destroyer, because Elspeth believes the destroyer to be evil.
The obscure dream that Elspeth had, of Domick in a cell was brought up in this book - he actually, physically was in that cell, even if Elf couldn't explain it at the time.
So - Matthew might actually be in that tunnel, with Elspeth (since he's calling her, and he'd have no good reason to call for her unless she was in there somewhere), and possibly when she goes to take on the Sentinel. Whether he's the Destroyer or not...well, there's a LOT pointing to him now. He'll be in the right place at the right time...unless there's loads of misfits running around that tunnel at the same time.
Other than it being a future event I see no reason for that dream sequence with Matthew in it to exist. Elspeth wasn't thinking about him, she wasn't worried about him since she'd seen him, so I don't see why her mind would make it up *nods*
Firefall on the Theories board tagged the dream-sequence at the end of ch27 of Ashling (p311 in my edition), where 'something huge and savage was pounding along the tunnel after me'
This may be another Matthew sighting. It is directly
after Matthew is lost. In the sequence directly before that dream, Elspeth has been seeking Matthew every hour, trying to track him down (this is while Matthew is in the warehouse drugged, prior to his being taken by slavers).
This could possibly indicate why Matthew would seem to be chasing Elspeth in such a fury - because despite all else, he was probably petrified about the situation he was in. He was probably wanting to do exactly what Elspeth was trying to do in the safehouse - make contact. Tell them he was okay. But he wasn't able to use his Farseeking, while he was drugged. Our dear, heroic Matthew was probably trying all he could do, with his addled mind, to get through to them.
So perhaps that pushed him onto the Dreamtrails. Maybe it's the first time, because it was the only, first desperate situation where he was forced to try?
The next question, is where does Ariel fit into all of this
Ariel is the H'rayka. Maruman confirmed this, straight out in the open to Elspeth in Ashling. H'rayka is a beastspeech word that translates to one who brings destruction
. The bringer, or leader, of the Destroyer. Expanding on what I said above about Ariel leading Matthew; in TSK it is revealed that Ariel does visit the Red Land from time to time, on Salamander's Black Ship. We also find out two important things; that Ariel is using machines to create his nulls - misfits, that he tampers with - using similar methods to Alexi in Obernewtyn. We also know that Ariel's residence on Norseland is over a Beforetime weapon silo, that is (we can assume from the passage), empty of weapons, but still active with technology. Why would Ariel build his residence over this place? To try and learn what he could from it's technology. Why? To apply it elsewhere.
I have no doubt that Ariel knows the Entina is the Sentinel, and it's in the Red Land. And I have no doubts that Ariel will try to use Matthew to gain entry. Why? Because Ariel lets his special nulls do all the dirty work for him. And Ariel's special nulls are always people that he's known, from his past. Domick. Rushton. Lidgebaby (probably).
Matthew is in the right place, at the right time, Ariel will bump into him and recognise him (if he hasn't already). And Ariel will try to use Matthew to get to Elspeth - just like he did with Rushton in TSK.
Summing up, the two dream sequences (TSK, and Ashling) support the possibility that Matthew is the Destroyer; one occurring when Matthew's mind and talent was overtaken by slaver's drugs - so his subconscious was forced to do the searching. And another where he's directly referenced, being in the tunnel that Elspeth has always dreamed of, calling her name. Along with the new information we learn about Ariel, I think this also heightens the fact that if the opportunity arose, Ariel would use Matthew, over any other Talented mind currently in the Red Land, to get to Elspeth. Which is what Ariel wants; to bring destruction to Elspeth's life.
Matthew being the Destroyer would be a pretty big blow to her.