ManyFacedOne, on 20 April 2012 - 10:15 PM, said:
She enjoyed being Cat, but that's about it.
No she enjoys all of it.
Arya stood on one leg. She was getting much better at that of late. “Syrio says that every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better.”
Ned frowned. The man Syrio Forel had come with an excellent reputation, and his flamboyant Braavosi style was well suited to Arya’s slender blade, yet still... a few days ago, she had been wandering around with a swatch of black silk tied over her eyes. Syrio was teaching her to see with her ears and her nose and her skin, she told him. Before that, he had her doing spins and back flips. “Arya, are you certain you want to persist in this?”
She nodded. “Tomorrow we’re going to catch cats.”
“Cats.” Ned sighed. “Perhaps it was a mistake to hire this Braavosi. If you like, I will ask Jory to take over your lessons. Or I might have a quiet word with Ser Barristan. He was the finest sword in the Seven Kingdoms in his youth.”
“I don’t want them,” Arya said. “I want Syrio.”
Cat always stank of brine and fish by the time they pushed off for home again. She had grown so used to it that she hardly even smelled it anymore. She did not mind the work. When her muscles ached from lifting, or her back got sore from the weight of a cask, she told herself that she was getting stronger.
She found her smallclothes in a pile, sniffed at them to make sure they were fresh enough to wear, donned them in her darkness. Her servant’s garb was where she’d hung it—a long tunic of undyed wool, roughspun and scratchy. She snapped it out and pulled it down over her head with one smooth practiced motion. Socks came last. One black, one white. The black one had stitching round the top, the white none; she could feel which was which, make sure she got each sock on the right leg. Skinny as they were, her legs were strong and springy and growing longer every day. She was glad of that. A water dancer needs good legs. Blind Beth was no water dancer, but she would not be Beth forever.
“but you may keep your secrets if you wish, Arya of House Stark.” He only called her that when she displeased him. “You know that you may leave this place. You are not one of us, not yet. You may go home anytime you wish.”
“You told me that if I left, I couldn’t come back.”
Those words made her sad. Syrio used to say that too, Arya remembered. He said it all the time. Syrio Forel had taught her needlework and died for her. “I don’t want to leave.”
“Then stay... but remember, the House of Black and White is not a home for orphans. All men must serve beneath this roof. Valar dohaeris is how we say it here. Remain if you will, but know that we shall require your obedience. At all times and in all things. If you cannot obey, you must depart.”
And yet, when she breaks the rules. And do they beat her bloody like Wease? Or Yoren? Do the wrap her in a horse blanket like the Hound? Do they kick her out of the House? No they pass her to the next level of training. They are not slavers, they want independent free thinkers, problem solvers, intelligent people with a vast array skills and the requisite interests to acquire them. Again, these are not unsullied.
Weese would have beaten her bloody if he had caught her in a lie, but it was different in the House of Black and White. When she was helping in the kitchen, Umma would sometimes smack her with her spoon if she got in the way, but no one else ever raised a hand to her.
This time she did not hesitate. “Dareon is dead. The black singer who was sleeping at the Happy Port. He was really a deserter from the Night’s Watch. Someone slit his throat and pushed him into a canal, but they kept his boots.”
“Good boots are hard to find.”
“Just so.” She tried to keep her face still.
“Who could have done this thing, I wonder?”
“Arya of House Stark.” She watched his eyes, his mouth, the muscles of his jaw.
“That girl? I thought she had left Braavos. Who are you?”
“You lie.” He turned to the waif. “My throat is dry. Do me a kindness and bring a cup of wine for me and warm milk for our friend Arya, who has returned to us so unexpectedly.”
On her way across the city Arya had wondered what the kindly man would say when she told him about Dareon. Maybe he would be angry with her, or maybe he would be pleased that she had given the singer the gift of the Many-Faced God. She had played this talk out in her head half a hundred times, like a mummer in a show. But she had never thought warm milk.
When the milk came, Arya drank it down. It smelled a little burnt and had a bitter aftertaste. “Go to bed now, child,” the kindly man said. “On the morrow you must serve.”
That night she dreamed she was a wolf again, but it was different from the other dreams. In this dream she had no pack. She prowled alone, bounding over rooftops and padding silently beside the banks of a canal, stalking shadows through the fog.
When she woke the next morning, she was blind.
“When you are not pouring, you must stand as still as if you had been carved of stone,” the kindly man told her. “Can you do that?”
“Yes.” Before you can learn to move you must learn to be still, Syrio Forel had taught her long ago at King’s Landing, and she had. She had served as Roose Bolton’s cupbearer at Harrenhal, and he would flay you if you spilled his wine.
“Good,” the kindly man said. “It would be best if you were blind and deaf as well. You may hear things, but you must let them pass in one ear and out the other. Do not listen.”
Arya heard much and more that night, but almost all of it was in the tongue of Braavos, and she hardly understood one word in ten. Still as stone, she told herself.
She has a safe warm home, with plenty to eat.
Hot Pie would have liked it here, Arya thought.
Supper was her favorite time. It had been a long while since Arya had gone to sleep every night with a full belly. Some nights the kindly man would allow her to ask him questions. Once she asked him why the people who came to the temple always seemed so peaceful; back home, people were scared to die.
She is frequently offered the opportunity to DOR http://information.u...-seal-buds.html
“You believe this is the only place for you.” It was as if he’d heard her thoughts. “You are wrong in that. You would find softer service in the household of some merchant. Or would you sooner be a courtesan, and have songs sung of your beauty? Speak the word, and we will send you to the Black Pearl or the Daughter of the Dusk. You will sleep on rose petals and wear silken skirts that rustle when you walk, and great lords will beggar themselves for your maiden’s blood. Or if it is marriage and children you desire, tell me, and we shall find a husband for you. Some honest apprentice boy, a rich old man, a seafarer, whatever you desire.”
She wanted none of that. Wordless, she shook her head.
“Poor child,” said the kindly man. “Would you like to have your eyes back? Ask, and you shall see.” He asked the same question every morning. “I may want them on the morrow. Not today.” Her face was still water, hiding all, revealing nothing.
No this is our Arya Stark. The same Arya Stark we me in Winterfell in aGoT
Even sewing was more fun than tongues, she told herself, after a night when she had forgotten half the words she thought she knew, and pronounced the other half so badly that the waif had laughed at her. My sentences are as crooked as my stitches used to be. If the girl had not been so small and starved, Arya would have smashed her stupid face. Instead she gnawed her lip. Too stupid to learn and too stupid to give up.
“Salty is known to Ternesio Terys and the men of the Titan’s Daughter. You are marked by the way you speak, so you must be some girl of Westeros... but a different girl, I think.”
She bit her lip. “Could I be Cat?”
“Cat.” He considered. “Yes. Braavos is full of cats. One more will not be noticed. You are Cat, an orphan of...”
“King’s Landing.” She had visited White Harbor with her father twice, but she knew King’s Landing better.
“Just so. Your father was oarmaster on a galley. When your mother died, he took you off to sea with him. Then he died as well, and his captain had no use for you, so he put you off the ship in Braavos. And what was the name of the ship?”
“Nymeria,” she said at once.
A water dancer needs good legs. Blind Beth was no water dancer, but she would not be Beth forever. http://awoiaf.wester...php/Beth_Cassel
This is probably the happiest and freest time of Arya's life. It no where near as onerous as Jon's (or Sam's) experience joining the Night's Watch. Or Jamie's joining the kings-guard. Areo Hotah and the priests of Norvos.
“Ser Gregor,” she chanted, as she crossed a stone bridge supported by four arches. From the center of its span she could see the masts of ships in the Ragman’s Harbor. “Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei.” Rain began to fall. Arya turned her face up to let the raindrops wash her cheeks, so happy she could dance. “Valar morghulis,” she said, “valar morghulis, valar morghulis.”
All of the removal of her personal items. Her suppression of her individuality. Its a fucking test.
Last of all she grasped her stick. It was five feet long, slender and supple, thick as her thumb, with leather wrapped around the shaft a foot from the top. Better than eyes, once you learn how to use it, the waif had told her. That was a lie. They often lied to her, to test her. No stick was better than a pair of eyes. It was good to have, though, so she always kept it close. Umma had taken to calling her Stick, but names did not matter. She was her.
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
Arya volunteered for FM training; the Waif did not.
The Waif is not a slave. There is no indication she cannot come and go as she pleases. The Waif's father offered her to the temple. That was his price, not the Waif's. No where does it say the waif is required to Stay there.
You're right. Apparently it's mentioned somewhere in the book that being a FM doesn't require any sacrifice at all.
They don't require any sacrifice. But you have to make it through the training process. And you have to get a Faceless Man to give you an Iron Penny
People just walk in there regularly and are ushered into a back room where they gain all their secrets, and then they walk out.
First they have to get an invitation, Iron Penny. Then if they don't mind being deaf, blind, losing taste and smell, for indefinite periods of time. If they can pass the tests. If they don't mind sleeping in an alcove. Being away from their friends and family.
Better than eyes, once you learn how to use it, the waif had told her. That was a lie. They often lied to her, to test her. No stick was better than a pair of eyes.
They're obviously just fucking with Arya because it's so rarely that someone that's not from Braavos walks in there that can be taken advantage of.
“What we offer cannot be bought with gold. The cost is all of you." Are we reading the same books here?
I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire, what are you reading is the question?
Do think they'd give her anything if she didn't do what she was told or wasn't of any use?
No. I don't. I don't think anyone would ever give anyone anything if they wouldn't do what they were told and weren't of any use. That doesn't distinguish the faceless men from the Cub Scouts or the Gold Cloaks
Show me some evidence that points to it being otherwise, then.
See you misunderstand my entire line of reasoning. I'm not saying they're disappearing. I don't think they're disappearing. What I said was, you don't know they're not disappearing.
And if they're stonewalled, they take it to the press, trying to gather attention to this perceived injustice.
If you have numbers now, by all means let's hear them.
If you noticed, he's not talking about her training here. He's unequivocally stating that she'll have no family life of her own.
First of all I thought you said the Kindly Man, whoever that is, was in charge?
“You lie. I can see the truth in your eyes. You have the eyes of a wolf and a taste for blood.” Ser Gregor, she could not help but think. Dunsen, Raff the Sweetling. Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, Queen Cersei. If she spoke, she would need to lie, and he would know. She kept silent. “You were a cat, they tell me. Prowling through the alleys smelling of fish, selling cockles and mussels for coin. A small life, well suited for a small creature such as you. Ask, and it can be restored to you. Push your barrow, cry your cockles, be content. Your heart is too soft to be one of us.”
The training takes place at the Coronado Naval Amphibious Base in San Diego, California. The training is so tough that on the first day of the Hell Week, the instructor makes it a point to tell the recruits one thing: “If you quit now you could go get a room at one of those luxury hotels down the beach and do nothing but sleep for an entire day!” In fact, Navy SEAL instructors keep repeating the fact that recruits can use the “Drop-On-Request” (DOR) at any time during the training.
He means to send me away. “I have no heart. I only have a hole. I’ve killed lots of people. I could kill you if I wanted.” “Would that taste sweet to you?” She did not know the right answer. “Maybe.”
“Then you do not belong here. Death holds no sweetness in this house. We are not warriors, nor soldiers, nor swaggering bravos puffed up with pride. We do not kill to serve some lord, to fatten our purses, to stroke our vanity. We never give the gift to please ourselves. Nor do we choose the ones we kill. We are but servants of the God of Many Faces.” “Valar dohaeris.” All men must serve. “You know the words, but you are too proud to serve. A servant must be humble and obedient.” “I obey. I can be humbler than anyone.” That made him chuckle. “You will be the very goddess of humility, I am sure. But can you pay the price?” “What price?” “The price is you. The price is all you have and all you ever hope to have. We took your eyes and gave them back. Next we will take your ears, and you will walk in silence. You will give us your legs and crawl. You will be no one’s daughter, no one’s wife, no one’s mother. Your name will be a lie, and the very face you wear will not be your own.”
So Plague Face is
talking about training, what what does it matter any way? The Kindly Man is the CEO, according to you.
She almost bit her lip again, but this time she caught herself and stopped. My face is a dark pool, hiding everything, showing nothing. She thought of all the names that she had worn: Arry, Weasel, Squab, Cat of the Canals. She thought of that stupid girl from Winterfell called Arya Horseface. Names did not matter. “I can pay the price. Give me a face.”
“Faces must be earned.”
“Tell me how.” “Give a certain man a certain gift. Can you do that?” “What man?” “No one that you know.” “I don’t know a lot of people.” “He is one of them. A stranger. No one you love, no one you hate, no one you have ever known. Will you kill him?” “Yes.”
Edited by Lord Littlefinger's Lash, 21 April 2012 - 05:01 PM.