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What's In The Future For Graendal?


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Im on the *the scene will be cheapened* camp, and will not be very pleased with it if she survives, even if it is because she is so super smart or whatnot. For one thing, she is apparently very afraid of confrontation, yet she hangs around to see what will happen, only to leave after a while instead of right away.. I dont like it.


I guess the theme of fighting fire with fire never working would be an explanation to her surviving and it would be nice from that perspective that evil Rand did evil things and achieved nothing. However, that perspective is somewhat lacking imo since he basically killed robots, that if they had any conscious thought at all, it was of the misery of their situations, that were impossible to redeem so death was basically a blessing to them.


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I really enjoy how Luckers can argue a theory even if he doesn't buy it himself. ;D


It helps that I would have liked her to survive because she's my favourite Forsaken.  ;D


But yeah, in truth, the argument that Graendal lives is actually very solid. I just don't think its the case.


Timing almost to the second the dissipation of a web of compulsion goes beyond masterful.


Which would be why I dismissed it. Have you read the first post?


For her to comfortably assume that Rand or someone he might have around him could effectively delve for compulsion might even be a stretch.  How could she be sure the "decoy" would even be noticed?


Logic. As I've stated, Ramshalan told her precisely what Rand was looking for. A way to kill her before she could run away, and a way to have proof that he'd succeeded in killing her.


So. She knew he wanted a way to kill her. Balefire is the obvious answer--and I detailed why at some length if you wish to look it up. From there it is a very simple logical progression that his proof would be to look for something she had done recently which would be then undone by the balefire, thereby proving she'd been hit.


From there, the singular blindingly obvious thing he'd look for is her compulsion on Ramshalan. It is her method of choice, unfailing and well known.


Guessing that it would be the compulsion that would be the work Rand was looking to be undone by the balefire is no great leap, not even for someone without Graendal's stated brilliance and craftiness.


That Rand would appear to be gunning for her should be pretty obvious to Graendal, but the extreme action that he took is arguably not something she could have foreseen, since it was so completely out of character for him.  


And again, I covered this. It's under a big shiny heading saying Seriously? The Entire Palace?. Here, I'll throw it up again.


Whilst Graendal predicting balefire is in no way problematic (and perhaps even likely), him balefiring the entire palace is a fairly insane step. Still, it's not impossible that she did predict it. She knew he had Callandor and the Choedan Kal, or even just Aes Sedai and Asha'men to link with, and she lived in an age were balefire did destroy entire cities, so she has prior experience, plus that whole 'insane' thing actually puts this right in the ballpark of Graendal's expertise, and she'd likely been studying Rand's mental state for some time in order to 'hurt him' as Moridin commanded, so she would be in a position to predict him.


There is another answer, of course. That she did not in any way predict that he would balefire the palace. That she left a decoy, as he'd suggested to Ramshalan, and thus indirectly to her, wrapped in Mirror of Mists. Her preparations to defeat the Compulsion Test would therefore be in anticipation of him attacking Natrin's Barrow and balefiring the decoy.


In some ways this seems more likely to me than her anticipating him balefiring the entire palace. Rand had informed her through Ramshalan that he was worried about her running, and not facing him, just as he'd informed her of his need for proof. Graendal may well have decided to give him exactly what he wanted. Her not running so that he could actually see her when he killed her, and proof of her death, meanwhile she escapes.


If someone else placed the compulsion on Ramshalan, how could we ever try to confirm that with the information we do have?


Presumably Graendal's POV would do that should she rock up alive in ToM or aMoL. The same as if she set the web to unravel following a delving, or after a pattern warping, which are the two other answers to the Compulsion Test question.


Oh, I get it. Your asking for proof now, from tGS, that that is the case. When we say there is none you'll cry 'Aha! See!"


This is a theory. If it could be confirmed it would be called a fact. And that it cannot be confirmed holds no implications about the validicy of the theory. For that you must address the validicy of the arguments, reasoning and efforts offered to support the theory.


If we can't confirm that Graendal could have been near clairvoyant enough to time the dissipation of the web down to the second, then for now we should assume that Graendal did not loosely knot the weave at all.


Firstly, no one is suggesting that Paerish, as we've told you about ten times.


Secondly the idea behind your point is fallacious. That we cannot confirm something doesn't infer the opposite. It doesn't in point of fact infer anything other than the fact that we don't know what occurred for sure--which means nothing to our ability to debate the likeliness of potential scenarios. That's what Theoretical Discussion is for--if you don't like it your in the wrong place.


If Graendal wove it, and didn't tie it off, and it disappeared right after the balefire . . . she must've gotten BFed.


Yes, that is true. And utterly irrelevent. You might as well say 'if Graendal died, then she's dead'. Of course if it happened then it happened.


Obviously this could all be completely wrong, but it wouldn't be wrong because of something we know - it would be wrong because of the things we don't know and could only guess at.


Ah. The "you don't know that for sure" last stand. Translated it means "I can't argue with your arguments, so instead I'll argue with the conception of theoretical discussion".


It's fellacious dude. A theory inherently involves elements that cannot be proven as fact. That is the purpose of theoretical discussion. Taking something we do not have the facts for and suggesting an explenation, followed by offering reasoning and evidence for why that argument may be true.


So yes, of course we don't know it for sure. If we did this would be the Fact That Graendal Lives, not the Theory That Graendal Lives. But that we do not know it for sure means nothing about the validity of the theory.


Address the points. Arguments like this are filthy.


Luckers, you made a wonderful list of all the things we could guess at, based on some really solid reasoning.  But I would still call it conjecture.  We just aren't privy yet to those facts.  If they exist.


We aren't privy to the fact that it was Graendal that wove the compulsion. Your guessing at something we don't know. Why are you proffering such conjecture?


It's easy for us, after the fact, to analyze and understand Rand's intentions.  It's really obvious to us, now.  He came right out and explained it to us.  That also makes it easy for us project on Graendal our own very unique perspective on the situation.  Everything lines up for us perfectly, so maybe it did for here too?  But we don't have any proof of that.


He came right out and explained it for Graendal too. No one here is claiming that it's proven Graendal survived. A lack of proof proves nothing.


I'm staring at the scene right now.  The dialogue moves quickly, and there are only two time markers in the narration - the first is vague and the second is concrete.


The sun appears to already be about to start setting when Ramshalan comes back up the ridge.  And then, very poetically, the sun officially set right before Rand began to explain what he planned to do.  He made his explanation in a minute or two.  Then he did the deed.  


Nynaeve tested the second time about 1 minute after the balefire.  It was pretty quick and pretty easy to estimate.  Nynaeve's first test happened several minutes before the balefire.  Maybe more than several, because this one is actually very hard to estimate.  But 30 minutes, to me, seems to be the absolute upper limit for this.


Still, she would absolutely have had to time it perfectly.


It's absurd to think she could do that. Therefore no one is suggesting she did it. Stop offering this as evidence--your arguing a point no one disagrees with. No one here is suggesting Graendal predicted the exact timing of things. No one is using this clairvoyance as an answer to the Compulsion Test.

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Well, this Graendal discussion led me to finally register ;D.


The question I always wanted to ask and now finally can, is:


Why do folks believe that Graendal would need to know that Rand wants to  balefire her, in order to set up some extensive exit precautions? Why wouldn't the fact that an extremely powerful ta'veren is actively looking for her - which Rand told everybody who'd listen in Arad Doman, be enough to plot something that would make him stop looking?


I mean, OK, Rand may have been loath to kill women in the past, but as far as Graendal knows, Lanfear is still dead. So, either Rand did in fact make an exception for a FS or people in his entourage are able and willing to do it for him. Neither of which is really reassuring.

Also, getting captured would be bad enough, as she knows quite well, having been present during the discussion of Semirhage's fate.

And again, against a ta'veren there is no guarantee that she'd be able to escape if she waits until the very last moment to do so.


So, however you look at it, Rand being focussed on searching for her is bad news. And him being such a strong ta'veren, she knows that no matter how well hidden, her base could never be safe as long as he has even a vaguest idea in which region she could be found.


Now, given that Graendal is supposed to be highly intelligent, according to Rand/LTT and her stated POV (in ACOS, I think) that she'd run at the first sign of Rand gunning for her, even if it meant abandoning everything, what would you expect her to do?

To sit oblivious in her base, having no clue that enemies have arrived in the easy strike distance? Or to do something else?


Now, a few facts regarding her options:


* Compulsion weaves can be set to dissipate at a given time interval. See Rahvin in TFoH.


* Forsaken are aware of the danger of detection if they leave active Compulsion weaves on somebody who might be examined. Ditto - and Rahvin was a man! How much more likely for saidar Compulsion to be detected?


* 3rd Age AS are capable of delving for Compulsion - see Verin's POV in TPoD prologue.


* Compulsion for questioning does no permanent harm - see Nynaeve and Elayne with Moghedien in TSR and Cyndane and Moghedien with Graendal.


* It is possible to set triggers on a weave, which could be set off by specific circumstances. Also, this weave can somehow avert the channeler what has happened. See Sammael's ambassador to Rand.


* It is possible to teach AoL weaves to 3rd-agers very quickly, as has been done countless times during the books. Or to place knowledge of exotic weaves directly in their brain, as Shaidar Haran has done to Elza.


Given all this, why claim that Graendal would need split-second timing or exceptional luck to fool Rand? She had a full tool-box to make it happen and every reason to employ is. That is, if she really is moderately intelligent, rather than dumb as a stump, like many other Forsaken.


IMHO, if Rand's gambit - which wasn't particularly clever BTW, as he basically babbled out the whole plan to Ramshalan and didn't expect Graendal to take any precautions whatsoever, succeeded - _that_ would be cheap, IMHO.













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No it's bad writing if she's alive.


She is as dead to me as Sammuel is to me after a first read.

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No it's bad writing if she's alive.


She is as dead to me as Sammuel is to me after a first read.

I don't feel it's bad writing.  I was suspicious of Graendal's death from the first because we didn't see it first-hand.  Now I'm not saying because of that alone that it means Graendal is still alive.  It's suspicious because we've seen every other Forsaken death (with the possible  exception of Sammael's moment of death) first-hand in the books.


Sammael's death was different because that took place after an extended fight scene in Shadar Logoth.  I too was convinced Sammael was dead after reading that scene.


Both Jordan and Sanderson are crafty writers, and there's a reason they wrote the Natrin's Barrow scene the way they did.

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No it's bad writing if she's alive.


So, are you saying that it is good writing when a character touted as very intelligent turns out to be dumb as a stump? Because Graendal would have had to be that, to get killed in Natrin's Barrow. Not without precedent among her fellow tossers Forsaken, of course...

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All other arguements aside.  It comes down to does Graendal know that Rand knows where she is?  


What happened with the person who gave up her location is impossible for her to know.  It shouldn't have even been possible at all. That leaves her being able to get the information out of Lord Ram.  If someone can provide me a line of questioning that Graendal might have used to come to that conclusion that I am willing to concede all the possible weaves that we don't know about, timing, etc. In other words conjecture.  


Please keep in mind the limitations of compulsion. The compulsed only answers the question they are asked (see Nyn/Elayne and the ter'angeral on the necklace compulsion questioning for details).  Also, please look at what Ram knew when Rand sent him. I can't come up with a line of questions that gets me to the Dragon knows where I am hiding much less to Oh $$@!@$#! The Dragon is waiting outside to Balefire.


For those of you who believe help me get there.  

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 It comes down to does Graendal know that Rand knows where she is?


Nope. That he is actively searching for her, being such a strong ta'veren, is threat enough. Some clue could always turn up for him, no matter how careful she was. And I don't think that the whole string of events that led to Natrin's Barrow showed her being careful. Starting with conspiciously beautiful messenger and going down from there.


The compulsed only answers the question they are asked


And Graendal is supposed to be very intelligent - ergo ask intelligent questions.


I can't come up with a line of questions that gets me to the Dragon knows where I am hiding much less to Oh $$@!@$#! The Dragon is waiting outside to Balefire.


Well, that talk about how to kill an enemy who is more intelligent than you are and won't stand and fight and how to obtain proof of her death was very suggestive, don't you think? Coupled with the fact what an unlikely pick Ramshalan was for any kind of mission, as well as that Ramshalan knew that there was open gateway waiting for him and that Natrin's Barrow was the very first place he was sent to.


Balefire is completely irrelevant - Graendal wouldn't want to risk conventional death or capture  either. And cutting it close with a ta'veren and his also channeling posse could be very dangerous.




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I can't come up with a line of questions that gets me to the Dragon knows where I am hiding much less to Oh $$@!@$#! The Dragon is waiting outside to Balefire.


It's 3am here and I've been at a party and am drunk. Let's see how I go.


Graendal: What are you doing here?

Ramshalan: The Dragon sent me to find out if you are an ally.

Graendal: He sent your personally?

Ramshalan: Yes.

Graendal: Well that's not fishy. I'll ask no further questions.

Ramshalan: Really?

Graendal: No you idiot. Tell me exactly what he said. Word for word.

Ramshalan: [insert quote] = He wants a way to kill you before you run, and to ensure you actually died. [Feel free to check, the quotes in the first post, and all of that information is contained within it].


That work for you?



All other arguements aside.  It comes down to does Graendal know that Rand knows where she is? 


That question isn't even relavent. She had Ramshalan to tell her he knew where she was.



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Q1. "What exactly did the Dragon say to you?"


Answer by Ramshalam: "He posed a problem - what was he to do about a cunning female adversary - blah-blah"

Note that this is a conversation that has occurred in the immediate past - she can get an exact word for word playback of the dialogue. That makes it clear that Rand is thinking about her.


Q2. "He opened a gate for you and said he'd hold it open till you came back"?

A: "Yes"

(Deduction: Ok, he knows this locale and he can get here anytime he pleases)


Q3. "Who was with him when you spoke?" 

A: "Nynaeve Sedai" 

(Deduction: Woman who may be able to detect saidar Compulsion, so maybe the need to make sure it dissipates)


Q4. Has he sent you anywhere else?

A: " No this is the first place."


As Rand explains earlier to Nyn and Min, Natrin's Barrow is a forgotten solitary location that even the royal archivist had trouble locating information about.


(Deduction: Somehow he's worked it out since it's an almost unknown locale and wouldn't be a logical first choice to do what Ramshalam is supposedly being sent to do.

Who knows how he found it?

Maybe being ta'veren he blindfolded himself and just stuck a pin in the map,)


Does she really need any more info to jump to approximately the right conclusions and get set to run?


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Oh boy. Went out of town for a friend's wedding, and when I come back I find this. You guys sure have a lot to say on the topic :)


I just wanted to ask this. We have all read the book, right? We know everything that happened to Rand, and even his thoughts about how he needs to be like cuendillar, right? We've heard what he told Ramshalam, and we know he decided well before that time that he MUST use Balefire when facing the Forsaken. We even know that he decided he needed to revise his policy on not killing women (remember he has killed women before, and never made that decision. He was always remorseful after). Last but not least, we know he carries the CK with him everywhere he goes, which he didn't use to do. With me up to here?

Now, which one of YOU can honestly say that they predicted what Rand did? I know I can't. Now, Greandal should admittedly be smarter than me, but come on. I'm not saying it isn't possible that she survived. I've conceded that point. I just think we should acknowledge how very unlikely it is that she knew what he was planning beforehand.

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I just think we should acknowledge how very unlikely it is that she knew what he was planning beforehand.


Graendal knew what Rand was planning because he told everybody who'd listen that he intended to find her at all costs. She didn't need to know anything else to prepare accordingly. She had all the tools at her fingertips. The details of Rand's plan are irrelevant and a complete strawman - although he did mention destroying the whole fortress to Ramshalan, so it is very plausible that she could have learned that. 

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Jeangray, I noticed that you refrained from saying you had any inkling as to what Rand was planning when reading the scene. My whole point was that Graendal wasn't privy to any information that was kept from us, and yet, I don't think it was as obvious as people are making it sound. By ignoring my question, you defeat the point of my post.


And as to whether it's important for her to foresee his intention to BF the entire palace, I think there isn't any explanation to how she could have circumvented that test without anticipating it (Luckers, I do remember your original post. I don't think she'll make the decoy weave the Compulsion if she expected Rand to meet her face to face. There's just no strong enough reason for her to do so).

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Luckers, you said in your first post (which I had read, and now reread, thank you) that:


Her death seems pretty straightforward.  The compulsion on Ramshalan vanished, so its weaver must have been caught in the balefire stream, no?


And you then proceeded to lay out all the possible points as you saw them for how Graendal might have managed to stay alive.  20 to 25 paragraphs worth of points.


But then you say things like this:


Secondly, though I'm falling in on the side that she is in fact dead, there are many ways she could have survived. They aren't even unlikely. You may believe she is dead, but these declarations I'm seeing that 'there's simply no way she could still live' are baseless, and a little disrespectful to those that think she is. If you have points to make dismissing the logic of her being alive (as layed out in the first post), then go for it, or alternatively simple state your personal belief that she is dead, but don't dismiss an argument out of hand.


It appears that you are on the fence a bit about whether or not she's dead, but leaning towards the idea that she is in fact toast.


But you've never actually offered any points as to why you feel that way.  You have quite vociferously advocated for the arguments of the opposing view, but never for your own purported view of the situation.


I tried (have fun with that word if you will) to set out some of the points that convince me that Graendal is dead, but apparently they are the wrong points, according to you.


So enlighten me, please!  What are the right points for our supposedly shared arguement.  Our shared belief.




And may I add that almost all the theories for Graendal's survival are dependent upon her knowing what Rand was up to, but we don't know that.  I know you say that it should be soooo obvious to her, but I've been reading and rereading that whole scene and it's not actually that obvious.


It's obvious to us after the fact (as I have stated), but not necessarily to her.


That Rand wants to kill her before she can run away and have proof of it is something she should have already known.  If she, one of the Forsaken, didn't already think that about Rands intentions, then she's not that smart.  Nothing new there.


None of what he said to Ramshalan indicates his chosen method of dispatching Graendal, or even that he intended to try to take her out that very second.  Actually, the conversation implies that he expects her to bolt 5 seconds after Ramshalan gets there.  


He says, "she will vanish the moment I threaten her, running to one of a dozen other refuges she is sure to have set up."  


It sounds like Rand might actually know of a few of those other haunts.  Maybe Rand has linked circles of men and women set it multiple locations, ready for Graendal to Travel to once Ramshalan provides her the evidence that Rand knows where her main digs are (which is certainly a direct threat to Graendal, don't you think).


Oh, but we know that that's not what Rand's plan was, so Graendal must have known that, too.


Here's a new theory:


Moghedien was sent by Moridin to check in on Graendal, but she wasn't home.  Moggy decides to snoop around a bit.  She uses the MoM to impersonate Graendal to see if she can extract a little info from G's little pets.  Then, what do you know!, Ramshalan comes a knockin'.


Moggy decides to compel him to get some information, which she thinks might put her in better stead with Moridin.  She sends Rammy away and goes back to her snooping.  Whoops!  She stayed to long and got balefired.  Poor Moggy  :'(


Aren't stories fun?!  Now . . . someone prove that I'm wrong.


Well, you can't!  Since there is no scene of what happened inside the palace, we can try to fill in those couple hours with almost anything we want.  Nothing says the compulsion was Graendals or that she was even there at all that day.  Maybe she took another trip to Shara.  Why couldn't it have been Moggy?




So, that has kind of been my point all along.  We can fill this gap in time and gap in pov with 25 paragraphs of complex narrative that we have no proof for, or we could accept the situation on face value.  Filling in the narrative is actually the easier one to do, because we can take it almost anywhere we want to.  There are so many more options, and no one can refute them as long as they're remotely "possible."


Face value, or fill in the blank?  Neither are even close to perfect.


People are choosing their sides.  Great.  Let's see people actually advocate for those sides.


Now, what are the "right" points in the case for Graendal being toast?  I'm going to wait patiently for an education on the matter.


Thanks for starting it off, yoniy0.


Point #1 :  No way to prove that Graendal knew Rand's intentions.  We didn't see it coming while we were reading it (or at least yoniy0 and I didn't), and we know Rand better than Graendal does.  Where is the evidence that she figured out what Rand was planning?

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first of all, unraveling of weaves was impossible in age of legends, morridin proved that. so there is no way graendal could have used a conpulsion that would unravel.


after rand balefired the place, the compulsion simply was not anymore. so whoever did the compulsion was indeed bbqed. unless you want to tell me there was another female channeler who could cast compulsion there, graendal is dead.


furthermore, i honestly cannot see rand having to think that he killed the wrong people after dancing around dragonmount.

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She's dead, else it's bad writing.


We can just as easily say "bad writing" about Rand mentioning too much in front of Ramshalan. (It's on p567 of the hardcover.) Whether or not Graendel lives, it was foolish of Rand to jeopardize his plan this way, and it feels out of character since the plan itself is brilliant. If Graendel capitalizes on the mistake, then at least it serves a purpose in the story. If she doesn't, then it was just a mistake.

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OK, but you do agree that Graendal knew that Rand knew that she was in Arad Doman and was actively searching for her? Because otherwise she would have had to be a complete idiot, IMHO. I mean, spending all that time in the country and not acquiring a single agent among the many, many people to whom Rand announced his intention of rooting her out...  


And as to whether it's important for her to foresee his intention to BF the entire palace, I think there isn't any explanation to how she could have circumvented that test without anticipating it


I beg to differ - there are quite a few:


1. Graendal knew that no matter how careful she was (and she wasn't very, to judge by the story with the messenger), the strongest ta'veren ever could still find her base. So, she decamped some time ago and left a decoy channeler (Delana, IMHO, but that's unimportant) to pretend to be herself and perform her signature move. The decoy was supposed to die and convince Rand that he needn't look for Graendal any further.


2. Rand is ta'veren and this effect was working mostly negatively for him while he was in Arad Doman. Graendal set the weave on Ramshalan to dissipate at a certain time (as Rahvin did before her) and it so happened that it dissipated just in time for Rand to be deluded. Stuff like that happens around him.


3. Compulsion on Ramshalan was a trigger weave (as seen with Sammael's messenger), that was supposed to dissipate and inform Graendal if he was delved, ergo she was discovered.


In cases 2 and 3 she would have run immediately after letting Ramshalan go, as per her stated intentions in her POV. She didn't need to know about balefire - she was just recently reminded what a bad idea it would be to get captured either.


And finally, there is always the possibility that Graendal was competent enough to have agents in Rand's entourage and knew that he already BFed Semirhage.  




The plan could have been brilliant if Rand added some verisimilitude/plausibility. Like truly sending Ramshalan (or better yet, somebody more logical) to a few other likely places first. And of course if he didn't babble out most of the plan in front of Ramshalan and didn't mark the location of Natrin's Barrow on map that many might have seen.


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I hate to point this out (well, not really, but it's impolite enough that I won't do it again regardless of how you answer. It's all in good spirit :)) but you still haven't told us whether or not you anticipated that move by Rand.

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I don't think whether she's alive or dead really matters, because now the rest of the Forsaken now have to anticipate Rand using the CK to balefire any of them out of existence at the slightest whiff.  Rand didn't even ask Ramshalan anything after, the only effort he was going to spend on verifying her death was the presence or absence of a compulsion weave.  I think that's pretty much a Forsaken's nightmare (for those still alive).

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For me either Graendal is alive, or she is very incompetent. From compelling Ramshalan she must know that Rand knows her location, and is planning to attack her, and he has at least Nynaeve with him.  It is common knowledge that Rand has at least one powerful Sa'Angreal.  A competent Graendal would avoid a head on assault from Rand, it would be very risky for her.  I have a hard time imagining that she would stick around.  She doesn't need to know that Rand will use BF, she just needs to know that Rand will come.  As a reader I did anticipate that Rand was going after Graendal.  Yes, the tricky part is that the compulsion was gone after Rand used BF, and that is harder to explain, but not impossible.  It is plausible that she could make the weave dissipate when BF was being used.  It's not that she needed to know that Rand was going to use BF, but she could have set the weave to dissipate just in case Rand did, and then she does not need to know Rand would BF the whole place.  Rand could have made it inside before he started using BF, in normal, un-aided amounts, and the weave dissipating would have been just as affective.  If Rand did not use BF at all the weave would still be there, and Graendal could escape.


On the other hand she could be a complete idiot and under estimate Rand, but then I would be disappointed.

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 I'm pretty sure she's toast.  Logically, there is an argument for survival, but from the writing/story point of view, I'd guess it would make more sense to have her dead.  If she survived, I'm guessing she had another channeler do the compulsion, as that would be the most full proof way to have the compulsion disapear and disapear at the right time.

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I don't think either Brandon or RJ (whose notes B would probably have working from) would have a problem developing a story arc, where she was either dead or alive. In fact, her being the Third Age equivalent of Schrodinger's Cat may add an interesting twist.


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I'm staring at the scene right now.  The dialogue moves quickly, and there are only two time markers in the narration - the first is vague and the second is concrete.


The sun appears to already be about to start setting when Ramshalan comes back up the ridge.  And then, very poetically, the sun officially set right before Rand began to explain what he planned to do.  He made his explanation in a minute or two.  Then he did the deed. 


Nynaeve tested the second time about 1 minute after the balefire.  It was pretty quick and pretty easy to estimate.  Nynaeve's first test happened several minutes before the balefire.  Maybe more than several, because this one is actually very hard to estimate.  But 30 minutes, to me, seems to be the absolute upper limit for this.


Still, she would absolutely have had to time it perfectly.  Because, I ask, through what conceivable thought process might Graendal have assumed that Rand would wait any length of time before making his move?  If she had the foresight to deduce that Rand was going to balefire the entire palace, that he had changed so drastically as to flippantly make the decision to do something that practically borders on being evil, why would she also think that he would wait around any longer than he had to?


Wouldn't that have been embarrassing for Graendal if the very second after Nynaeve tested Ramshalan, Rand had just unleashed his fury.  Then ten seconds later Nynaeve tests again, and . . . the compulsion hadn't unraveled yet!  Whoops!


I guess Graendal is just lucky that Rand took his sweet time.

She doesn't have to time anything, just set the compulsion so it'll unravel after being delved. That way when Nynaeve checks a second time it's gone, even if only 1 minute has passed.

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