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My first few reads through the Wheel of Time series, I was under the strong impression that Jaret Byar was corrupted solely by his proximity to Padan Fain (his own inherent character being somewhat suspect to begin with). However, on my recent re-read, I noticed this passage in the epliogue of Towers of Midnight that may contradict that assumption.

Apologies for any transcription errors, all I have available is the audiobook. My emphasis added for the specific passage in question.

Graendal hurriedly gathered what she needed from her new palace. Off of her desk, she took a small angrael Mesaana had traded her in exchange for information. It was in the shape of a small, carved ivory knife. She'd lost her gold ring in al'Thor's attack. Graendal tossed it in her pack, then snatched a sheaf of papers from her bed. Names of contacts, eyes and ears, everything she'd managed to remember from what had been destroyed at Natrin's Barrow.

Waves surged against the rocks outside. It was still dark. Only moments had passed since her last tool had failed her, Aybara surviving the battlefield. That was supposed to have worked!

She was in her elegant manor house a few leagues from Ebou Dar. Now that Semirhage was gone, Graendal had begun placing some strings around their new, childlike empress. She'd have to abandon those schemes, now.

Perrin Aybara had escaped. She felt stunned. Plan after perfect plan had fallen in place, and then... he'd escaped. How? The prophecy! It had said...

That fool Isam, Graendal thought, stuffing her papers in her pack, and that idiot whitecloak. She was sweating. She shouldn't be sweating.

Was he a darkfriend? Was he under compulsion? Was he even corrupted by Fain at all?

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    Eh, I always believed he was a little off his rocker ever since we met him. He doesn't seem bad enough to be a Darkfriend, but given his unstability and utter hatred for Perrin he probably only needed a little "nudge" to do the deed. (Other Mat here) – Mat Cauthon Feb 15 '19 at 15:06
  • @MatCauthon At least we're not as bad as Rand! – Mat Cauthon Feb 15 '19 at 15:25
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I hunted down my copy of The Wheel of Time Companion to see if it contained any information on this point, and indeed:

Jaret Byar. A Whitecloak officer. He was tall and gaunt with dark deep-set eyes. ... He was very angry when Perrin's punishment was delayed by Galad; Perrin's rescue of the Whitecloaks did not ameliorate that anger—not surprising, given that he had been Compelled by Graendal—and he attempted to kill Perrin, but was killed by Dain.

No mention of Byar specifically in the entry for Graendal, but that makes sense as there is more to cover when discussing one of the Foresaken

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  • I'll hold off on accepting to see if anyone can find any other corroboration. – Mat Cauthon Feb 15 '19 at 15:32
  • I don't think there's any mention of Compulsion in the actual books though. He was a fanatic and held plenty of grudges against Perrin. – Amarth Feb 15 '19 at 16:18
  • I think this is the answer by fiat... but I also think it's one of those cases where RJ proclaimed something that he might not have actually gotten around to leaving any breadcrumbs for (or at least ones that were non-subtle enough for some reader somewhere to figure out.) – gowenfawr Feb 15 '19 at 17:35
  • @gowenfawr Yeah I the breadcrumb in my question is the only one I was able to find. – Mat Cauthon Feb 15 '19 at 17:51
  • @MatCauthon And that breadcrumb is thin... I feel it more easily applies to Dain Bornhald than it does to Jaret Byar, given the vagueness. – gowenfawr Feb 15 '19 at 17:55

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