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Great Lord of the Dark
11-23-2010, 09:49 PM
Graendal survived?

I didn’t read the prologue early, and I so I knew zilch about Graendal. However I always was sure she could not have found a way to escape. So of course, a week before the release, I set about trying to think of ways she could have survived the balefiring of her fortress. It took 15 minutes. Tam rejected it for the main page, but I will not deny you this epic bit of reasoning! I also found some old theories from last year where some theorylanders had proposed how she survived, but there’s one extra bit at the end of mine as to how the balefiring of the fortress could have killed her even if she wasn’t in it. Shame on Brandon for not thinking this through. But I provide an out as to how Graendal would have overcome this balefire effect, so Brandon is off the hook! Weird Harold seems to be the current resident balefire expert, so I look forward to his examination of this theory.

Firstly, Graendal likely has defences, somewhat like Sammael’s ward-boxing of Illian.

A Crown of Swords, Ch. 41 A Crown of Swords
Long ago he had decided that Sammael must have wards woven throughout the city, set to give an alarm should anyone channel saidin. wards inverted so no one except Sammael himself could find them, wards that would tell Sammael exactly where that man was channeling so he could be destroyed on the instant. With luck, every one of those wards was being triggered now. Lews Therin had been sure Sammael would sense them wherever he was, even at a distance.

Graendal’s wards don’t need to do anything more than tell her if someone in sight of her fortress is channelling saidin. As soon as she detects it, she will flee.

Lord of Chaos ch. 6 Threads woven of Shadow
If al'Thor ever discovered her, she simply would abandon everything and re-establish herself elsewhere—or else surrender before he could strike a blow, then begin convincing him that she was indispensable.

Graendal will flee if she thinks Rand has found her. Ramshalan would have revealed that Rand was right outside the palace once Graendal questioned him under Compulsion. Her second cue to flee.
Which means she is fleeing now, now, now.

Especially since crafty Graendal has considered how to defend herself against balefire. So many chosen have died of balefire, it’s only natural to consider how to escape it.

Her protection is that Graendal keeps a pet Aes Sedai, or other channeler. Graendal does not weave the Compulsion herself, she directs her puppet channeler to do so in her place. The channeler can certainly retain the ability to do this (as examples of retaining abilities to reason and act, Graendal has told messengers to apply human blood to orders, but not too much. The people in her fortress must yet retain the ability to hunt, and cook, and clean chamberpots and such, because Graendal sure won’t do those tasks). “There was no real person in this head, only layered weaves of Compulsion. Instructions cleverly designed to wipe whatever personality this poor wretch had and replace it with a creature who would act exactly as Graendal wished.”

The channeler compulses (I will always use Compulse over Compel) Ramshalan to spill the beans, and he is then sent up the hill to Rand, while Graendal makes a Gateway out of her fortress. Rand then balefires the castle back a month or so.

So what effects take place from the balefire?

Everyone in the fortress is dead.

Everyone dead has their actions undone back a month. The pet channeler is balefired, so Ramshalan was therefore never compulsed, and returns to normal. Rand has his proof of Graendal’s death.

Ramshalan would remember who had done the weaving on him, and would have acted as though compulsed. He could easily have told Rand whether Graendal had done the deed, had Rand only bothered to ask him. Tsk, tsk.

The Fortress never existed for the past month. So Graendal has been outside in a bare patch of woods imagining she was in a castle, when in fact she was exposed to the elements. The food gathered by the hunters that she ate was never presented to her, and therefore never eaten, although she imagined she was feasting. Wherever Graendal Travelled to, she likely looks like a ragged beggar queen, if not dead of hunger and exposure.

Unless…, she has been diligent about eating and washing and all that on most of her forays to spy on the others, or when she visits Moridin. Then she can avoid the worst of famine from eating the food from her imaginary palace.

And unless… she had protection from the elements:
Lord of Chaos ch. 6 Threads woven of Shadow
None of the sun's blistering heat penetrated; the air was cool, though he felt it only remotely. Graendal had no more need than he to make such an effort, but of course she would. The wonder was that she had not extended the net to the entire palace.

Graendal’s temperature control net would have been woven for an imaginary room, but she still would have woven it, and it would have shielded her from the worst.

Yes, if Graendal had spent a little time considering a potential balefire attack, and stuck to her plan of run first, ask questions later, then she could easily have survived Rand’s balefire column, even if it undid her fortress a month back.

Well, I'm happy to see my unpublished theory had been maybe 80% right, with a few details about Aran'gar completely unforeseen. I am disappointed we didn't get more discussion on the effects of balefiring such a large number fo people at once.

Belazamon
11-23-2010, 10:13 PM
I remember seeing this theory, and agreeing that it was possible, and hoping that it was true - I was distinctly unsatisfied with Graendal's apparently anticlimactic toasting. So, kudos. :)

Squocka
11-23-2010, 11:22 PM
Balefire

Graendal wasn't killed so everything she did happened as she saw it happen, yes the food she ate didn't exist but that only happened after the fact as balefire rips threads backwards. Everyone would have seen her as normal the same as if she had died they would have seen her and remembered the conversation but could have found out she was dead prior to the conversation so be a little confused but only if they found out.

Just like Mat remembers getting bitten by the darkhounds at Rhuidean but it didn't happen, so everyone would remember Graendal as she was when she visited them not malnourished.

So the actions of the food handlers didn't happen so Graendal remembers living in a palce and eating food that was never prepared for her. Ramshalan went into a fortress that didn't exist. Rand sent someone into a fortress that didn't exist. Only their memories of it existing at the time apply.

I think this is the Balescream, the pattern trying to figure out what to keep and what to change. Can the pattern instantly make Graendal malnourished because threads connecting to her got removed.

Does food and the fortress itself even have a thread or is it just people who do so the food existed but the preparation didn't happen so she ate raw stuff but still got nourishment.

Who knows?


Story:
28 days ago a random boy running through the forest from a white dove that looks evil crashes into the side of the fortress and falls unconcious, Graendal happy that her first TP dove test works so well sees the ugly boy and gets her servent to kill him and throw him out into the woods. If the servent didn't exist 30 days ago by a ripped BF thread then would the boy appear at the location of his death now and not have existed for the last 28 days or would he have appeared back then but nobody remembers him for the last 28 days even if he went home immeadiatly they would never remember seeing him.

I guess the pattern has to sort it all out and quickly.