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Graendal (GREHN-dahl; /ˈgɹɛːn.dɑɫ/), previously called Kamarile Maradim Nindar, is one of the thirteen servants of the Dark One known as the Forsaken. She is known to the wolves as Heartseeker. In the Old Tongue, her name means "vessel of pleasure"[1].

Strength and other abilities

Graendal is surely among the strongest female channelers ever. But we have some discrepancies if her true level of power is 3(+10) or 2(+11).

In 'The Wheel of Time Companion' the entry about Graendal classifies her strength in the power at level 3(+10), putting three female forsaken above her (Lanfear/Cyndane, Semirhage, and Mesaana) as well as some channelers for the light (Alivia, Sharina Melloy, and Talaan din Gelyn), and on an equivalent level with El'Nynaeve ti al'Meara Mandragoran.

But again in TWoTC when reading the entry about Talaan we find a contradiction to the entry cited above, in fact we can read that the potential power of Talaan is 2(+11) "higher than Nynaeve's or Moghedien's and equal to that of Graendal, Messana and Sharina."

Portrait of Graendal by Ariel Burgess Official Wheel of Time Artist

The second entry is more in line to what is described in the main novels of WoT were Graendal is always described as being the second strongest among the female Forsaken (even if it could simply mean that her combative abilities more than compensate for her lower level of raw power).

Graendal in the Age of Legends was famous as a great psychologist and a noted ascetic. After her conversion to the Shadow, she became a master manipulator and an extraordinarily skilled user of Compulsion weaves.


Graendal © by Seamas Gallagher

Graendal is beautifully full-figured woman with elaborately curled red-gold/sun-colored hair. However, she is described as merely "plumply pretty" beside Lanfear.


Nindar was a famous psychologist for nearly four hundred years, and was known to heal mental afflictions even the use of the One Power could not cure. She was also a distinct ascetic, living an unadorned life. So fervent were Nindar's beliefs that she thought that all who could not live up to her

The Forsaken Graendal

standards were morally inferior. She thought that the life that most lived was simply too complicated and fast paced. While Nindar was admired by the general public for her ascetic lifestyle, those who knew her well had no love for her since, after all, they could not live up to her standards either.

There is no evidence that Nindar's change of character was influenced by the Shadow, although she was the second of the Forsaken to swear her vows to the Dark One. Rather, it seemed that she realized that the world could and would never live up to her moral standards.[verify] Thus, she became the exact opposite of those beliefs, wearing the most fashionable garments and taking the most perverse sensual pleasures. She remembers her first steps towards The Shadow being full of pain.

The Forsaken Graendal

Her alter ego, Graendal, is a creature of decadence and excess. One of the most physically beautiful women to have ever walked the earth, she habitually wears revealing and seductive clothing and expensive jewelry and keeps only the most attractive men and women near her as her servants. She is very particular about her servants, often choosing people of great status, power, or renown and reducing their minds to empty husks (though her standards of beauty still apply).

Apparently Lews Therin Telamon had hated her deeply, at least in part for the murder of someone named Yanet.



After she escaped the Bore, she hid herself in Arad Doman under the disguise of the ailing Lady Basene. She teamed up with Lanfear, Sammael, and Rahvin to try to turn Rand al'Thor to the Shadow. Shortly after Rahvin's death, she secretely murdered Asmodean in Caemlyn Palace, perhaps in a panic at her presence being discovered. Her identity as Asmodean's murderer is left unknown for a long time. It is finally revealed by Shaidar Haran when he blames Graendal for the destruction of three of the Chosen. While he mentioned only Mesaana, it is clear she is also responsible for the deaths of Aran'gar and Asmodean[2].

She was present with Mesaana and Semirhage during the meeting with Demandred, who told them all of the Dark One's plan for them and to "let the Lord of Chaos rule."

Graendal from the CCG

She continued her alliance with Sammael, and showed him the Sh'boan and Sh'botay she had captured from Shara hoping to fool him with a red herring. The intention of the subterfuge appears to be to aim, and possibly launch, Sammael directly at Rand, not to hide the activities of the other Chosen. She hoped that Sammael would either kill Rand, against the directive of the Great Lord, or die in the attempt, ridding herself of a burdensome associate. Sammael later tricked her into revealing where Mesaana was residing and said that he had made a truce with Rand, claiming that he would sit back and watch the other chosen destroy each other. She accompanied Sammael when he meets with the Shaido Wise Ones and gave them a callbox. He referred to Graendal in front of them as Maisia, a name that seemed to infuriate her. She then helped Sammael to disperse the Shaido all over the continent to help spread chaos.

In Arad Doman

Graendal as the ailing "Lady Basene"

Graendal took advantage of the kidnapping of King Alsalam Saeed Almadar by Elaida's Aes Sedai, and sent out confusing and misleading battle orders to Rodel Ituralde in the king's name. The orders were to do exactly the opposite of what might have ended the war with the Dragonsworn in Arad Doman, thus fulfilling the Dark One's command to "let the Lord of Chaos rule."

After Sammael's death, Cyndane and Moghedien were sent to Graendal as messengers. They reported that she was no longer a free agent and told her that she was now under the command of Moridin, a supposedly unknown man who had been named Nae'blis. Infuriated and incredulous that a man she did not even know had apparently become Nae'blis, she placed both of them under Compulsion. She then ordered them to tell her the truth, as she believed that Moghedien was simply attempting to manipulate her with false tales of the supposed Nae'blis. Shaidar Haran arrived moments later to confirm Moghedien's story, and was amused and approving of Graendal's immediate subservience.

She participated in the Battle near Shadar Logoth, but was forced to retreat when she was attacked by Verin Mathwin, Shalon din Togara Morning Tide, and Kumira. Kumira was killed during the exchange.

She attended the meeting with the other Chosen in Tel'aran'rhiod, which was made to look like the Ansaline Gardens. There she was told that Rand is not to be harmed and that Matrim Cauthon and Perrin Aybara are to be killed if found. Aran'gar flirts with her and proposes an alliance with her.

Compulsion on Jain Charin/Jain Farstrider

Graendal picked him up because he was famous and used him for her interest until Jain met Mat and frees himself somehow from her. See more in the article of Jain Charin.

Graendal in a cover of the Japanese edition

Apparent demise

As reward for working so well for the Great Lord she is summoned to Moridin's meeting with Demandred and Mesaana in the Blight. There, Graendal is allowed to hear everything. After the meeting, Moridin hints to her that there will be a place, a promotion for her, subordinate to him but above the rest of the Chosen if she causes Rand great anguish, while not harming him. She must not allow Rand to restore order in Arad Doman. [3]

With the aid of Nynaeve al'Meara, Rand discovers Graendal's hideout is Natrin's Barrow. Lord Ramshalan is sent as an emissary to determine if Graendal is present.


Delana Mosalaine and Aran'gar are residing within Natrin's Barrow with Graendal. After Aran'gar's failure in losing control of Egwene al'Vere, she is placed to serve Graendal. Graendal reveals to Aran'gar that the Dark One has begun to favor her and creates a weave of Air formed from the True Power. However, she keeps quiet the fact that it is only a sliver that she can work with. When Ramshalan arrives, Graendal orders Delana and Aran'gar to place Compulsion on him and send him back to Rand. She watches Ramshalan make his way back to Rand and Nynaeve through a special weave that allows her to look through the eyes of a dove. When Nynaeve checks Ramshalan for Compulsion, Graendal then realizes that Ramshalan was bait. She creates a gateway and leaps through, shielding Delana and Aran'gar and leaving them to die. She escapes before al'Thor uses balefire on her fortress out of existence. Ramshalan is now freed of the Compulsion immediately after the balefire struck the fortress. Thinking that Graendal was the one to put Ramshalan under Compulsion, Rand takes this change to be confirmation of her death by balefire. In reality, though, it just indicates that Delana and/or Aran'gar died. It is also revealed that Graendal was the killer of Asmodean.

Graendal retreats into hiding on a desolate island in the Aryth Ocean. Moridin finds her and chastises her for her failure and for causing the death of another Chosen. She attempts to redeem herself by promising the death of Perrin Aybara, which Moridin agrees to allow her to attempt, loaning her a dreamspike and the services of Slayer. However, when Slayer fails to kill Perrin, the blame falls upon Graendal, as Slayer was merely the tool being used by her. Shaidar Haran arrives to punish her for her failure.

Without forgiveness

Graendal is killed and resurrected for her failure. When she is next seen, she is hideously disfigured and astonishingly ugly; Moridin introduces her as Hessalam, without forgiveness in the Old Tongue, and says her old name is not to be spoken of again.


The name Graendal may be an allusion to Grendel, one of the three antagonists in the epic poem Beowulf, along with Grendel's mother and the dragon. The Grendel from Beowulf is, however, a male monster/fighter and bears no resemblance to the Graendal of WoT; rather it is Grendel's mother who's been repeatedly portrayed in film as a shape-shifting seductress more fitting with Graendal's description. An argument could be made that Graendal is, nonetheless, still a monster whose name is used to scare children and Jordan conflated the two characters into a single persona.

In keeping with the themes of the Wheel of Time, the story of Graendal will have been mixed with and conflated with her larger than life persona in the Age of Legends along with her revolting appearances as Hessalam as it is likely that she will have revealed who and what she is to Aviendha after the Last Battle.

These pieces of information, passed down person to person, generation to generation, will have devolved further than the ones the people of the Third Age will have known of Graendal and will eventually end up mixing in the ugliness of Hessalam with the beastly appearance and how she has "survived" the death of Gaendal and the terrifying stories of her that survived the Age of Legends.

The eventuality that people will see this as a family line, that males are predominantly seen as more dangerous and beastly than women and that the Mother appearance of Graendal to the child of Hessalam is very likely, which would lead people to take the story of the monstrous evil of Graendal that the people of the Third Age knew as a woman and transpose that to the ugly monster of Hessalam, who then through generations is recontextualised as a male (due to propensity that males are seen as being more dangerous) can have the name forgotten as Hessalam is unknown to people and Graendal is, which through simplification leads to Graendal-(Hessalam) Graendal's Mother-(Graendal) and the Dragon-(Rand) being defeated by the heroic legend based on Perrin-(who is the misunderstood "hero" of the legend through generational decay of the stories, with people mixing in that he defeated two enemies and protected Rand with who eventually defeats Graendal).