The Stone Stands
Once more, the Stone of Tear is attacked. This time, Trollocs, Myrddraal and Darkfriends sent by one of the Forsaken invade the Stone, searching for Rand, Perrin and Mat. For the Tairen Defenders, the stories, it seems, have come to life - a nightmare of desperate battle. A central theme to this chapter is action. To build the Tairen Defenders' backbone, Rand leaps into the fray. His action proves that the nightmares can be fought and, more importantly, that they can be defeated. Rand builds a small attack cohort that he then leads throughout the Stone, searching for more Shadowspawn. Yet, for all his recognition of the necessity of action in physical battle, Rand fails to act quick enough in his battle against Lanfear with the Power. Rand manages to pin her against a wall, after she relinquishes shielding him from the Power. As she hangs in the air, quietly assessing his next move, Rand attempts to figure the path ahead.
Once more Lanfear took the decision from him. The impact of severed flows jolted him, and she dropped lightly to the floor. He stared as she stepped away from the wall, calmly brushing her skirts. "You can't do that," he gasped foolishly, and she smiled.
Rand and Lanfear, The Shadow Rising, p. 136
Clearly, Rand never really had any advantage against her. He did recognize that she was trying to lull him into a trap, but beyond that, his inexperience proved the greater hindrance leading to his inaction. Against the Shadowspawn, it's clear: kill or be killed. Against Lanfear, he tries to think strategically and see multiple steps downstream. His daily practice with the sword gives him the confidence to make the quick tactical decisions in battle. In the strategic arena, he has no such daily practice. And he falters because of it.