ManyFacedOne, on 20 April 2012 - 12:12 AM, said:
I meant the others that come there -- lordling, squinter, etc. And, yeah, I guess they could be switching faces everytime but most likely there are limits to it. A fat man's face probably wouldn't fit Arya too well, the starved man wouldn't fit the fat man, and so on.
“Who?” he said, all innocence.
“Jaqen H’ghar. He gave me the iron coin.”
“I know no one by this name, child.”
“I asked him how he changed his face, and he said it was no harder than taking a new name, if you knew the way.”
“Will you show me how to change my face?”
“If you wish.” He cupped her chin in his hand and turned her head. “Puff up your cheeks and stick out your tongue.”
Arya puffed up her cheeks and stuck out her tongue.
“There. Your face is changed.”
“That’s not how I meant. Jaqen used magic.”
“All sorcery comes at a cost, child. Years of prayer and sacrifice and study are required to work a proper glamor.”
“Years?” she said, dismayed.
“If it were easy all men would do it. You must walk before you run. Why use a spell, where mummer’s tricks will serve?”
“I don’t know any mummer’s tricks either.”
“Then practice making faces. Beneath your skin are muscles. Learn to use them. It is your face. Your cheeks, your lips, your ears. Smiles and scowls should not come upon you like sudden squalls. A smile should be a servant, and come only when you call it. Learn to rule your face.”
“Show me how.”
“A girl is greedy.” Jaqen touched one of the dead guards and showed her his bloody fingers. “Here is three and there is four and eight more lie dead below. The debt is paid.”
“The debt is paid,” Arya agreed reluctantly. She felt a little sad. Now she was just a mouse again.
“A god has his due. And now a man must die.” A strange smile touched the lips of Jaqen H’ghar.
“Die?” she said, confused. What did he mean? “But I unsaid the name. You don’t need to die now.”
“I do. My time is done.” Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.
Arya’s mouth hung open. “Who are you?” she whispered, too astonished to be afraid. “How did you do that? Was it hard?”
He grinned, revealing a shiny gold tooth. “No harder than taking a new name, if you know the way.”
“Show me,” she blurted. “I want to do it too.”
“If you would learn, you must come with me.”
Arya grew hesitant. “Where?”
“Far and away, across the narrow sea.”
“I can’t. I have to go home. To Winterfell.”
“Then we must part,” he said, “for I have duties too.” He lifted her hand and pressed a small coin into her palm. “Here.”
“What is it?”
“A coin of great value.”
As in, someone's gotta be keeping track of it all. Who
who? who was trained? No one.
was trained, what faces they were given, where they went and on what task. Things like that. They wouldn't be able to operate so successfully without having some system of organization there.
they would as long the people they assign come back.
They wouldn't? How could they? It's the people in the group that matter, though.
No, because it's more than just how well they lie. Also, what makes you think Euron?
Beside the embers of their campfire, she saw Tom, Lem, and Greenbeard talking to a tiny little woman, a foot shorter than Arya and older than Old Nan, all stooped and wrinkled and leaning on a gnarled black cane. Her white hair was so long it came almost to the ground. When the wind gusted it blew about her head in a fine cloud. Her flesh was whiter, the color of milk, and it seemed to Arya that her eyes were red, though it was hard to tell from the bushes. “The old gods stir and will not let me sleep,” she heard the woman say. “I dreamt I saw a shadow with a burning heart butchering a golden stag, aye. I dreamt of a man without a face, waiting on a bridge that swayed and swung. On his shoulder perched a drowned crow with seaweed hanging from his wings. I dreamt of a roaring river and a woman that was a fish. Dead she drifted, with red tears on her cheeks, but when her eyes did open, oh, I woke from terror. All this I dreamt, and more. Do you have gifts for me, to pay me for my dreams?”
“When I was a boy, I dreamt that I could fly,” he announced. “When I woke, I couldn’t... or so the maester said. But what if he lied?”
Victarion could smell the sea through the open window, though the room stank of wine and blood and sex. The cold salt air helped to clear his head. “What do you mean?”
Euron turned to face him, his bruised blue lips curled in a half smile. “Perhaps we can fly. All of us. How will we ever know unless we leap from some tall tower?” The wind came gusting through the window and stirred his sable cloak. There was something obscene and disturbing about his nakedness. “No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap.”
“There is the window. Leap.” Victarion had no patience for this. His wounded hand was troubling him. “What do you want?”
“The world.” Firelight glimmered in Euron’s eye. His smiling eye.
It seemed as though he had been falling for years.
Fly, a voice whispered in the darkness, but Bran did not know ‘thow to fly, so all he could do was fall.
Maester Luwin made a little boy of clay, baked him till he was hard and brittle, dressed him in Bran’s clothes, and flung him off a roof. Bran remembered the way he shattered. “But I never fall,” he said, falling.
The ground was so far below him he could barely make it out through the grey mists that whirled around him, but he could feel how fast he was falling, and he knew what was waiting for him down there. Even in dreams, you could not fall forever. He would wake up in the instant before he hit the ground, he knew. You always woke up in the instant before you hit the ground.
And if you don’t? the voice asked.
The ground was closer now, still far far away, a thousand miles away, but closer than it had been. It was cold here in the darkness. There was no sun, no stars, only the ground below coming up to smash him, and the grey mists, and the whispering voice. He wanted to cry.
Not cry. Fly.
“I can’t fly,” Bran said. “I can’t, I can’t
How do you know? Have you ever tried?
The voice was high and thin. Bran looked around to see where it was coming from. A crow was spiraling down with him, just out of reach, following him as he fell. “Help me,” he said.
I’m trying, the crow replied. Say, got any corn?
Bran reached into his pocket as the darkness spun dizzily around him. When he pulled his hand out, golden kernels slid from between his fingers into the air. They fell with him.
The crow landed on his hand and began to eat.
“Are you really a crow?” Bran asked.
Are you really falling? the crow asked back.
“It’s just a dream,” Bran said.
Is it? asked the crow.
“I’ll wake up when I hit the ground,” Bran told the bird.
You’ll die when you hit the ground, the crow said. It went back to eating corn.
Bran looked down. He could see mountains now, their peaks white with snow, and the silver thread of rivers in dark woods. He closed his eyes and began to cry.
That won’t do any good, the crow said. I told you, the answer is flying, not crying. How hard can it be? I’m doing it. The crow took to the air and flapped around Bran’s hand.
“You have wings,” Bran pointed out.
Maybe you do too.
Bran felt along his shoulders, groping for feathers.
There are different kinds of wings, the crow said.
Bran was staring at his arms, his legs. He was so skinny, just skin stretched taut over bones. Had he always been so thin? He tried to remember. A face swam up at him out of the grey mist, shining with light, golden. “The things I do for love,” it said.
The crow took to the air, cawing. Not that, it shrieked at him. Forget that, you do not need it now, put it aside, put it away. It landed on Bran’s shoulder, and pecked at him, and the shining golden face was gone.
Bran was falling faster than ever. The grey mists howled around him as he plunged toward the earth below. “What are you doing to me?” he asked the crow, tearful.
Teaching you how to fly.
“I can’t fly!”
You’re flying tight now.
Every flight begins with a fall, the crow said. Look down.
Bran looked down, and felt his insides turn to water. The ground was rushing up at him now. The whole world was spread out below him, a tapestry of white and brown and green. He could see everything so clearly that for a moment he forgot to be afraid. He could see the whole realm, and everyone in it.
He saw Winterfell as the eagles see it, the tall towers looking squat and stubby from above, the castle walls just lines in the dirt. He saw Maester Luwin on his balcony, studying the sky through a polished bronze tube and frowning as he made notes in a book. He saw his brother Robb, taller and stronger than he remembered him, practicing swordplay in the yard with real steel in his hand. He saw Hodor, the simple giant from the stables, carrying an anvil to Mikken’s forge, hefting it onto his shoulder as easily as another man might heft a bale of hay. At the heart of the godswood, the great white weirwood brooded over its reflection in the black pool, its leaves rustling in a chill wind. When it felt Bran watching, it lifted its eyes from the still waters and stared back at him knowingly.
He looked east, and saw a galley racing across the waters of the Bite. He saw his mother sitting alone in a cabin, looking at a bloodstained knife on a table in front of her, as the rowers pulled at their oars and Ser Rodrik leaned across a rail, shaking and heaving. A storm was gathering ahead of them, a vast dark roaring lashed by lightning, but somehow they could not see it.
He looked south, and saw the great blue-green rush of the Trident. He saw his father pleading with the king, his face etched with grief. He saw Sansa crying herself to sleep at night, and he saw Arya watching in silence and holding her secrets hard in her heart. There were shadows all around them. One shadow was dark as ash, with the terrible face of a hound. Another was armored like the sun, golden and beautiful. Over them both loomed a giant in armor made of stone, but when he opened his visor, there was nothing inside but darkness and thick black blood.
He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the Jade Sea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise.
Finally he looked north. He saw the Wall shining like blue crystal, and his bastard brother Jon sleeping alone in a cold bed, his skin growing pale and hard as the memory of all warmth fled from him. And he looked past the Wall, past endless forests cloaked in snow, past the frozen shore and the great blue-white rivers of ice and the dead plains where nothing grew or lived. North and north and north he looked, to the curtain of light at the end of the world, and then beyond that curtain. He looked deep into the heart of winter, and then he cried out, afraid, and the heat of his tears burned on his cheeks.
Now you know, the crow whispered as it sat on his shoulder. Now you know why you must live.
“Why?” Bran said, not understanding, falling, falling.
Because winter is coming.
Well, yeah. Originally I meant just the actual face changing. But yes, it's all part of the training to become anyone.
Who she was anyway. She's only a servant of the temple now. Still, the line isn't so clear cut. What makes a person who they are is part of what GRRM is exploring here with his characters switching names and identities, but that discussion is outside the scope of this thread, so I'll leave it there.
"What happens when Arya finds out her imposter is married to Ramsay?" I can't imagine what the title of discussion that pertains to identity would be then.
They're not religious in nature, no.
Well that's debatable.
Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori.
But what difference does that make anyway?
And the SEALS are also an officially sanctioned part of the US navy
How do you know their members aren't disappearing?
, and while their members might not be publicly known, they still have families and lives of their own.
How do you know the faceless men don't have families and lives of their own?
Somehow I doubt they'd be getting any recruits once their members all started disappearing. The FM are a murderous cult
Them and every other religion in the history of man kind. In fact you may as well just use that as your definition of humanity.
operating independently of the Braavosi
What makes you think they operate independently? They seem to have great interest in geopolitics and intelligence gathering. As does the Iron Bank of Braavos.
. They can kill whomever they want, and are good at making it seem natural too.
And that makes them different how... http://www.slate.com...atisfying_.html
And in the end, there's no one they have to answer to.
ok. Who does Ramsay Bolton answer to? Who does Gregor Clegane? Who does Euron Greyjoy? Who did Aerys? Who does Bloodraven answer to? Who did King Robert answer to? Who does Melisandre answer to?
Why would they when the person in question is just another no one?
Edited by Lord Littlefinger's Lash, 20 April 2012 - 01:50 AM.