Don't read this writeup if you have not read (and intend to read) The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.
Mat is probably partly based on, or at least inspired by, Odin from Norse mythology. I base this on the following (there may be more details that have passed by me):
- Mat's weapon of choice is a spear. Odin wields a spear called Gungnir.
- Mat's spear has an inscription of two ravens, which reminds us of Odin's ravens Huginn and Muninn.
- Odin died by impaling himself on his spear in Yggdrasil, the tree of life. He returned from the dead much wiser. Mat died by hanging himself from the tree of life in Rhuidean. He returned from the dead, perhaps not as wise as he could have been... :)
If there is something in this, we might see Mat lose an eye to gain more wisdom. (As Odin sacrificed his eye to drink from Mimir
Note that in this writeup I am only pointing out some similarities between the two, there are lots of differences. As far as I know, no character in the Wheel of Time series is fully based on one other character.