SisterWithoutBanners

Why did the faceless men train Arya?

43 posts in this topic

On ‎24‎.‎03‎.‎2017 at 4:12 PM, SisterWithoutBanners said:

I never got the impression that her training was that effective either

Arya learns languages (Braavosi, High Valyrian, Pentoshi and Lys), lost most of her accent, she masters the lying game; she learns about poisons and their uses and effects; she vastly improves her already developed talent to mingle unrecognized amongst other people; she learns to use her senses other than the eyes thus sharpening touch, taste, smell, orientation in the dark; she learns to control her mimic and other mummers skills; she improves her Reflexes in battle (with the stick). I call that quite a progress and a rare assembly of difficult skills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Greywater-Watch said:

Arya learns languages (Braavosi, High Valyrian, Pentoshi and Lys), lost most of her accent, she masters the lying game; she learns about poisons and their uses and effects; she vastly improves her already developed talent to mingle unrecognized amongst other people; she learns to use her senses other than the eyes thus sharpening touch, taste, smell, orientation in the dark; she learns to control her mimic and other mummers skills; she improves her Reflexes in battle (with the stick). I call that quite a progress and a rare assembly of difficult skills.

And over a short timescale given the concurrence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Greywater-Watch said:

Arya learns languages (Braavosi, High Valyrian, Pentoshi and Lys), lost most of her accent, she masters the lying game; she learns about poisons and their uses and effects; she vastly improves her already developed talent to mingle unrecognized amongst other people; she learns to use her senses other than the eyes thus sharpening touch, taste, smell, orientation in the dark; she learns to control her mimic and other mummers skills; she improves her Reflexes in battle (with the stick). I call that quite a progress and a rare assembly of difficult skills.

What she hasn't learned:  How to actually kill people, and how to plan an operation.  

Other than some unsystematic, ad hoc training on poisons, she doesn't know anything about killing people she didn't already know.  (And let's face it, poison isn't really Arya's style).  And she is no better at planning than she was before she arrived.  Her actions in the preview chapter reminded me of her departure from Harrenhal more than anything else.  Made up very quickly, and succeeding only because she was damned lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we don't spend every minute with these characters. She learned Braavosi from the poison girl, I imagine she learned a lot about poisons while that was going on. You act like it takes no planning when she killed the guard, and not too mention getting the horses and equipment together.

She is equipped with a terrifically nimble mind, maybe putting LF to shame with how quick she can put a plan together. In her Mercy chapter she maneuvered her prey to her abode, sliced a place that would shock him merely by loss of blood, and then killed him just like she wanted to and started making plans for how to dispose of the body.

She did effectively plan a murder down to the detail already once, if the other times she kind of rides the wave of circumstance with intention, it's no less impressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what the policy is on spoilers of GRRM's other works (non-ASOIAF/GOT/World Book/Dunk&Egg), so I will put most of this in spoiler tags - but I do believe I may have an answer to the OP's question. It is provided in GRRM's short story "In the Lost Lands" - I highly recommend reading it if you like digging for ASOIAF clues in other GRRM works. I will attempt to give away as little of the plot as possible while explaining how it relates to the Faceless Men and why they recruited Arya, a skinchanger, specifically.

Ok, here goes:

Spoiler

 

In this story, a mysterious character named Gray Alys is petitioned by a noble lady to provide her with the ability to change into a wolf (as it is known that Gray Alys can take on many different appearances, both human and animal). Without going into plot details, we learn in the course of the story that anyone can skinchange by literally wearing the skin of a skinchanger. WHAT?!

Let me explain. Let's say there is a skinchanger who changes into a wolf when the moon is full. If this skinchanger, in wolf form, is flayed (living - it has to be living, b/c the gray area between life and death is where the power is) then his pelt can be given to any normal person. This person then bleeds upon the pelt, and from then on he or she can put it on and become a wolf at will. 

It is strongly suggested that the same applies to human skins, as Alys has several "leather" cloaks as well and is known to be able to change her appearance into a young woman or even a man. 

So to summarize: flaying a living skinchanger produces a cloak, and any normal person can bleed upon the cloak and then use it to change into whatever it was, at will. Sound familiar??? Now, up until I read this OP, I always wondered whether this means that all the faces in the Hall of Faces, in the House of Black and White, were not the faces of the people who die in the temple but rather had to all come from living skinchangers. Wow, that certainly seems like it would make it much, much harder to collect so many, wouldn't it? And how is it that we have never heard about skinchangers disappearing and being found without a face? Well.... here comes the crackpot: What if all FM are skinchangers, and what if, as their final initiation test, they have to give up their face, literally? Presumably it is possible to remove someone's face without killing them, and so every FM would add a face to the hall - and, as a bonus, these "men" would literally be faceless! They could then wear any of the faces, of course, but they could do that before - it's the sacrifice of their own face that truly erases their identity and makes them "no one". 

What do you think? It's kind of out there, but it fits, doesn't it? We know that skinchangers can sense one another (i.e. Varamyr knowing that Jon is a warg), so that would explain why Jaqen gave Arya the coin. It also explains why she had to be blinded as part of her training (as are ALL recruits) - to open her third eye, and maybe to confirm 100% that they are skinchangers. She thinks she is tricking them, but the FM definitely know she is a skinchanger, and are promoting this gift. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 5/1/2017 at 9:04 PM, Whitering said:

Well, we don't spend every minute with these characters. She learned Braavosi from the poison girl, I imagine she learned a lot about poisons while that was going on. You act like it takes no planning when she killed the guard, and not too mention getting the horses and equipment together.

She is equipped with a terrifically nimble mind, maybe putting LF to shame with how quick she can put a plan together. In her Mercy chapter she maneuvered her prey to her abode, sliced a place that would shock him merely by loss of blood, and then killed him just like she wanted to and started making plans for how to dispose of the body.

She did effectively plan a murder down to the detail already once, if the other times she kind of rides the wave of circumstance with intention, it's no less impressive.

I agree completely. 

Her information gathering is being perfected inc, she can speak 5 languages, her ability to travel blind through the city of Braavos at night with just her sense of smell and memory is incredible. I think in Winds, we will see Arya in a different more grand setting - perhaps at the Sealord's Palace or maybe the Hall of Truth. Her escape from the FM might require some trickery (similar to her trapping Jaqen into her service by naming him) or some final test where Arya will have to find her way out. 

 

Edited by DutchArya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 24.5.2017 at 6:15 PM, MaesterSam said:

I'm not sure what the policy is on spoilers of GRRM's other works (non-ASOIAF/GOT/World Book/Dunk&Egg), so I will put most of this in spoiler tags - but I do believe I may have an answer to the OP's question. It is provided in GRRM's short story "In the Lost Lands" - I highly recommend reading it if you like digging for ASOIAF clues in other GRRM works. I will attempt to give away as little of the plot as possible while explaining how it relates to the Faceless Men and why they recruited Arya, a skinchanger, specifically.

Ok, here goes:

  Hide contents

 

In this story, a mysterious character named Gray Alys is petitioned by a noble lady to provide her with the ability to change into a wolf (as it is known that Gray Alys can take on many different appearances, both human and animal). Without going into plot details, we learn in the course of the story that anyone can skinchange by literally wearing the skin of a skinchanger. WHAT?!

Let me explain. Let's say there is a skinchanger who changes into a wolf when the moon is full. If this skinchanger, in wolf form, is flayed (living - it has to be living, b/c the gray area between life and death is where the power is) then his pelt can be given to any normal person. This person then bleeds upon the pelt, and from then on he or she can put it on and become a wolf at will. 

It is strongly suggested that the same applies to human skins, as Alys has several "leather" cloaks as well and is known to be able to change her appearance into a young woman or even a man. 

So to summarize: flaying a living skinchanger produces a cloak, and any normal person can bleed upon the cloak and then use it to change into whatever it was, at will. Sound familiar??? Now, up until I read this OP, I always wondered whether this means that all the faces in the Hall of Faces, in the House of Black and White, were not the faces of the people who die in the temple but rather had to all come from living skinchangers. Wow, that certainly seems like it would make it much, much harder to collect so many, wouldn't it? And how is it that we have never heard about skinchangers disappearing and being found without a face? Well.... here comes the crackpot: What if all FM are skinchangers, and what if, as their final initiation test, they have to give up their face, literally? Presumably it is possible to remove someone's face without killing them, and so every FM would add a face to the hall - and, as a bonus, these "men" would literally be faceless! They could then wear any of the faces, of course, but they could do that before - it's the sacrifice of their own face that truly erases their identity and makes them "no one". 

What do you think? It's kind of out there, but it fits, doesn't it? We know that skinchangers can sense one another (i.e. Varamyr knowing that Jon is a warg), so that would explain why Jaqen gave Arya the coin. It also explains why she had to be blinded as part of her training (as are ALL recruits) - to open her third eye, and maybe to confirm 100% that they are skinchangers. She thinks she is tricking them, but the FM definitely know she is a skinchanger, and are promoting this gift. 

 

 

Wow, I've actually never even considered the fact that they might knew that she was a warg/skinchanger before! But that makes som much sense. Her being able to skinchange is good enough reason to recruit her on its own, since they probably could use a person who can kill without even leaving the house of black and white. I think your theory is quite interesting, but I'm not sure if all of the faceless men are wargs. However - when I read your post I started to think about whether they took her in to steal her skin, so that they could use it themselves and get skinchanging abilities. As you say, kind of crackpot, but I think it is a cool theory!

Edited by SisterWithoutBanners

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, SisterWithoutBanners said:

Wow, I've actually never even considered the fact that they might knew that she was a warg/skinchanger before! But that makes som much sense. Her being able to skinchange is good enough reason to recruit her on its own, since they probably could use a person who can kill without even leaving the house of black and white. I think your theory is quite interesting, but I'm not sure if all of the faceless men are wargs. However - when I read your post I started to think about whether they took her in to steal her skin, so that they could use it themselves and get skinchanging abilities. As you say, kind of crackpot, but I think it is a cool theory!

I have definitely wondered about this as well, I'm just not sure why they would bother to train her for years if they were just going to kill her and take her face. And they continue to train her even though she continues to disobey them (she lies, wants to kill for personal gain, and does so), which suggests to me that they want/need something from her - something she must give/do voluntarily. The Kindly Man constantly offers to find her some other place to live and work - again emphasizing that she is there by choice, and they want her to choose to be there (not just to stick around for lack of other options).

If they don't know she is a skinchanger, as you pointed out in the OP, it makes little sense that they would take her in in the first place, let alone train her despite her willfulness and no useful skills when she first arrives. Yes she takes a fake name in Harrenhal, but by that standard, every mummer should be given an iron coin. We know she is not a particularly good liar (hesitating, biting her lip whenever she lies), and she is stubborn, willful and clearly has a strong sense of identity that she struggles to let go of. She is a terrible candidate to be a FM, yet still Jaqen identifies her (at age 9!!) as a potential recruit. I can't imagine what she has to offer other than her skinchanging gift (which of course would be extremely useful to the FM, to use animals to gather information or even to kill). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not totally sure how or why the faceless men were in King's Landing (there are certainly a number of theories to chose from), but something I noticed on a recent re-listen stood out to me like it never has. It seems that the FM could have been in KL longer than some readers thought, and we know part of the method of the job is to watch and watch and learn information before making a move. So, maybe the initial target was Ned (who knows???), but then the target changed once they found Arya the skinchanger. Compare this Ned chapter that is crammed with symbolism to the later Arya chapter:

  • A Game of Thrones - Eddard VI

    The Street of Steel began at the market square beside the River Gate, as it was named on maps, or the Mud Gate, as it was commonly called. A mummer on stilts was striding through the throngs like some great insect, with a horde of barefoot children trailing behind him, hooting. Elsewhere, two ragged boys no older than Bran were dueling with sticks, to the loud encouragement of some and the furious curses of others. An old woman ended the contest by leaning out of her window and emptying a bucket of slops on the heads of the combatants. In the shadow of the wall, farmers stood beside their wagons, bellowing out, "Apples, the best apples, cheap at twice the price," and "Blood melons, sweet as honey," and "Turnips, onions, roots, here you go here, here you go, turnips, onions, roots, here you go here."
  • A Feast for Crows - Arya II

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. They only raise their hands to kill, she thought. (<<< by the way, this is probably something we readers should remember for later)
She got along well enough with the cook. Umma would slap a knife into her hand and point at an onion, and Arya would chop it. Umma would shove her toward a mound of dough, and Arya would knead it until the cook said stop (stop was the first Braavosi word she learned). Umma would hand her a fish, and Arya would bone it and fillet it and roll it in the nuts the cook was crushing. The brackish waters that surrounded Braavos teemed with fish and shellfish of every sort, the kindly man explained. A slow brown river entered the lagoon from the south, wandering through a wide expanse of reeds, tidal pools, and mudflats. Clams and cockles abounded hereabouts; mussels and muskfish, frogs and turtles, mud crabs and leopard crabs and climber crabs, red eels, black eels, striped eels, lampreys, and oysters; all made frequent appearances on the carved wooden table where the servants of the Many-Faced God took their meals. Some nights Umma spiced the fish with sea salt and cracked peppercorns, or cooked the eels with chopped garlic. Once in a great while the cook would even use some saffron. Hot Pie would have liked it here, Arya thought.
  • "Now," he answered. "Beyond these walls you will find the hundred isles of Braavos in the sea. You have been taught the words for mussels, cockles, and clams, have you not?"

    "Yes." She repeated them, in her best Braavosi.

    Her best Braavosi made him smile. "It will serve. Along the wharves below the Drowned Town you will find a fishmonger named Brusco, a good man with a bad back. He has need of a girl to push his barrow and sell his cockles, clams, and mussels to the sailors off the ships. You shall be that girl. Do you understand?"
    "Yes."
  • A Feast for Crows - Cat Of The Canals

    The Long Canal took Brusco's boat beneath the green copper domes of the Palace of Truth and the tall square towers of the Prestayns and Antaryons before passing under the immense grey arches of the sweetwater river to the district known as Silty Town, where the buildings were smaller and less grand. Later in the day the canal would be choked with serpent boats and barges, but in the predawn darkness they had the waterway almost to themselves. Brusco liked to reach the fishmarket just as the Titan roared to herald the coming of the sun. The sound would boom across the lagoon, faint with distance but still loud enough to wake the sleeping city.
    By the time Brusco and his sons tied up by the fishmarket, it was swarming with herring sellers and cod wives, oystermen, clam diggers, stewards, cooks, smallwives, and sailors off the galleys, all haggling loudly with one another as they inspected the morning catch. Brusco would walk from boat to boat, having a look at all the shellfish, and from time to time tapping a cask or crate with his cane. "This one," he would say. "Yes." Tap tap. "This one." Tap tap. "No, not that. Here." Tap. He was not much one for talking. Talea said her father was as grudging with his words as with his coins. Oysters, clams, crabs, mussels, cockles, sometimes prawns . . . Brusco bought it all, depending on what looked best each day. It was for them to carry the crates and casks that he tapped back to the boat. Brusco had a bad back, and could not lift anything heavier than a tankard of brown ale.
    •  

      "You lie. You are Cat of the canals, I know you well. Go and sleep, child. On the morrow you must serve."
      "All men must serve." And so she did, three days of every thirty. When the moon was black she was no one, a servant of the Many-Faced God in a robe of black and white. She walked beside the kindly man through the fragrant darkness, carrying her iron lantern. She washed the dead, went through their clothes, and counted out their coins. Some days she still helped Umma cook, chopping big white mushrooms and boning fish. But only when the moon was black. The rest of the time she was an orphan girl in a pair of battered boots too big for her feet and a brown cloak with a ragged hem, crying "Mussels and cockles and clams" as she wheeled her barrow through the Ragman's Harbor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

@MaesterSam  @The Fattest Leech  I don't see how they could know she was a skinchanger, since she herself has no real idea until "The Blind Girl".  The FM are very capable, but they are not (I think) mind-readers.  

I still think her true identity is what interests them.  Having the last (presumably) surviving member of the Stark family beholden and indebted to you would likely be quite useful for operations in Westeros.  And the skills they are teaching her (spying, functioning without seeing, etc.) would be very useful as a helper/agent.  I expect they have a whole network of washouts and retirees doing this sort of thing.

Edited by Nevets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nevets said:

@MaesterSam  @The Fattest Leech  I don't see how they could know she was a skinchanger, since she herself has no real idea until "The Blind Girl".  The FM are very capable, but they are not (I think) mind-readers.  

Oh yeah, I agree with this.

1 hour ago, Nevets said:

I still think her true identity is what interests them.  Having the last (presumably) surviving member of the Stark family beholden and indebted to you would likely be quite useful for operations in Westeros.  And the skills they are teaching her (spying, functioning without seeing, etc.) would be very useful as a helper/agent.  I expect they have a whole network of washouts and retirees doing this sort of thing.

For me, I am curious of the possibility that while the FM were possibly already in King's Landing, and the FM have a thing against dragons but dragons have hatched again, that now we have Starks in KL, and the Starks also have a magical beast that has "hatched" again in the direwolves. No, I am not saying the actual wolves are in KL, we know they were both lost at the Trident, but the word about them existing again has spread and the FM could have a desire for the "magic" that is connected to these creatures. Arya has been waterdancing through all over the place, and it is the FM job to observe, and with Syrio Forell being somewhat questionable in his origin/intentions, things seem to be lining up that the FM may possibly want the Stark magic for some reason. I see it was mentioned above that the FM may have wanted Arya's skinchanger magic, and that is a clever thought, but I am not sure how true that is, but it may be worth some consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Nevets said:

@MaesterSam  @The Fattest Leech  I don't see how they could know she was a skinchanger, since she herself has no real idea until "The Blind Girl".  The FM are very capable, but they are not (I think) mind-readers.  

I still think her true identity is what interests them.  Having the last (presumably) surviving member of the Stark family beholden and indebted to you would likely be quite useful for operations in Westeros.  And the skills they are teaching her (spying, functioning without seeing, etc.) would be very useful as a helper/agent.  I expect they have a whole network of washouts and retirees doing this sort of thing.

Varamyr knew Jon was a warg, even though Jon did not. So, if @MaesterSam is right in the idea that FM are skinchangers, it may be that they knew. 
Another point to remember is that Jaqen was close to Arya, and might have noticed something about her changing skins while asleep (edit: while having her wolfdreams on the road to the wall or at Harrenhall)

Edited by SisterWithoutBanners

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately, I think Arya's purpose is to act as the dark angel.  I think in the end, she is being prepared to give the gift of mercy to Jon or Bran, perhaps even Lady Stoneheart. 

Quote

 

A Feast for Crows - Arya II

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 remembered how that pimply squire had wept when she stabbed him in the belly, and the way Ser Amory Lorch had begged when the Goat had him thrown in the bear pit. She remembered the village by the God's Eye, and the way the villagers shrieked and screamed and whimpered whenever the Tickler started asking after gold.

 

"Death is not the worst thing," the kindly man replied. "It is His gift to us, an end to want and pain. On the day that we are born the Many-Faced God sends each of us a dark angel to walk through life beside us. When our sins and our sufferings grow too great to be borne, the angel takes us by the hand to lead us to the nightlands, where the stars burn ever bright. Those who come to drink from the black cup are looking for their angels. If they are afraid, the candles soothe them. When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?"

Winterfell, she might have said. I smell snow and smoke and pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, and Jon and Robb battling in the yard, and Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone kings sit, I smell hot bread baking, I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf, I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me. "I don't smell anything," she said, to see what he would say.

 

As for who selected her; she is one of three 'prentice boys', along with Bran and Jon.  The Faceless Men take their orders from the many faced god.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. The FM have to recruit people and train them to keep their order alive. They apparently do not recruit often as - if I recall correctly - during the 2(?) years Arya serves in the HOWB no new recruits appear. The training is hard as we can judge from Arya's POV and from what the kindly man says. He is, offering her several times to quit the training and telling her that few people, even fewer women, where able to endure. Even Arya has sometimes to struggle to keep on with the training, and we know whow tough she is.

2. I do not believe that the FM know about Arya hiding away Needle nor about her skinchanger capabilities.

3. The fact that Arya is the highborn daughter of a Lord is - in my opinion - more a burden in the view of the FM, not a reason to have a special interest in Arya. Maybe the only benefit they see is that Arya's non-highborn behaviour (i.e. her capability to appear and act as a lowborn girl) shows that she is able to detach from her original character.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3.6.2017 at 8:09 PM, Greywater-Watch said:

1. The FM have to recruit people and train them to keep their order alive. They apparently do not recruit often as - if I recall correctly - during the 2(?) years Arya serves in the HOWB no new recruits appear. The training is hard as we can judge from Arya's POV and from what the kindly man says. He is, offering her several times to quit the training and telling her that few people, even fewer women, where able to endure. Even Arya has sometimes to struggle to keep on with the training, and we know whow tough she is.

2. I do not believe that the FM know about Arya hiding away Needle nor about her skinchanger capabilities.

3. The fact that Arya is the highborn daughter of a Lord is - in my opinion - more a burden in the view of the FM, not a reason to have a special interest in Arya. Maybe the only benefit they see is that Arya's non-highborn behaviour (i.e. her capability to appear and act as a lowborn girl) shows that she is able to detach from her original character.

 

Interesting thoughts :) 
Why do you believe that they do not know about her skinchanging abilities? And why is her status as highborn a burden? Not asking to be rude or mean, I am just interested in why you think what you think!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Invalid Date at 2:22 PM, SisterWithoutBanners said:

Interesting thoughts :) 
Why do you believe that they do not know about her skinchanging abilities? And why is her status as highborn a burden? Not asking to be rude or mean, I am just interested in why you think what you think!

ad 1) Arya ha always been good at keeping secrets. She herself believes that the friendly man does not know about her skinchanging abilities. And the Situation implies this as well, as he seems to have no clue how she could have identified him as the one beating her with a stick. See: the very end of the chapter "The Blind Girl".

ad 2) I am sorry not being able to serve quotes here. But I remember that he tells her once or even several times that she was Arya of House Stark and links this to that therefore she had pride in herself, but to serve the Faceless Men she would need to give up all what she owns, her pride and all else. More difficult - I think - to give up your advantages being linked to a highborn origin than if you came to the House of Black and White already having nothing at all (i.e. being lowborn).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My guess is that most of it is that they will accept most anyone who wants to join. Who would want to join? I mean, in a fantastical sense, yes it sounds nifty. But, when you get down to it, you have to give up everything. You have to accept being nothing. You have to accept that you may never get to be an actual FM. You have absolutely horrible jobs/tasks/duties to perform in the meantime, which could be years/decades. I'm not saying they'd take anyone and move em up the chain as quickly as possible. But in a role where 99% of applicants will be self-weeded-out before the final goal, you need as large a pool as possible. 

The iron coin got her special notice, but she probably could have become a trainee, regardless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-5-27 at 6:33 PM, Nevets said:

@MaesterSam  @The Fattest Leech  I don't see how they could know she was a skinchanger, since she herself has no real idea until "The Blind Girl".  The FM are very capable, but they are not (I think) mind-readers.  

I still think her true identity is what interests them.  Having the last (presumably) surviving member of the Stark family beholden and indebted to you would likely be quite useful for operations in Westeros.  And the skills they are teaching her (spying, functioning without seeing, etc.) would be very useful as a helper/agent.  I expect they have a whole network of washouts and retirees doing this sort of thing.

If they are skinchangers as well, they would be able to sense that she is one. 

As for functioning blind being a useful skill.... I don't know. She spends weeks (months?) as a blind beggar; how does this relate to any assignment she is likely to receive? I can't imagine any scenario where it would be worth weeks/months of training to be able to get around without seeing - it's just not a situation that normally occurs. They could instead have spent this time teaching her any number of other useful assassination skills.... but then she wouldn't have opened her third eye. This is something that happens to Bran in the dark, and in the World of Ice & Fire, there is talk of Essosi priests who wear hoods to essentially be blind, for the purpose of opening their third eye. So it seems pretty purposeful to me, not to mention that she gains her sight back the moment she skinchanges for the first time. It seems she successfully completed this phase, exactly as they intended.

 

On 2017-5-28 at 3:14 PM, SisterWithoutBanners said:

Varamyr knew Jon was a warg, even though Jon did not. So, if @MaesterSam is right in the idea that FM are skinchangers, it may be that they knew. 
Another point to remember is that Jaqen was close to Arya, and might have noticed something about her changing skins while asleep (edit: while having her wolfdreams on the road to the wall or at Harrenhall)

Great point! 

There is also her and Jaqen's encounter at the Harrenhal weirwood, where he hears her scold the tree for not helping her father, even though he prayed to it all the time. This is a perfect parallel to the first faceless man, who noticed the slaves praying to their gods but receiving no answer. He wondered why the gods didn't answer, until he decided that he was their instrument and would answer the prayers (at least the prayers for death) in their stead. 

 

On 2017-5-29 at 8:47 AM, LynnS said:

Ultimately, I think Arya's purpose is to act as the dark angel.  I think in the end, she is being prepared to give the gift of mercy to Jon or Bran, perhaps even Lady Stoneheart. 

Maybe... but faceless men usually can't kill someone they know, so that complicates things a bit. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, MaesterSam said:

Maybe... but faceless men usually can't kill someone they know, so that complicates things a bit.

I'm inclined to think that Arya will not be bound by their rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2017-6-29 at 4:21 AM, LynnS said:

I'm inclined to think that Arya will not be bound by their rules.

That's quite likely, I agree. But what's stopping them from just killing her and using her face to infiltrate the North, if that is indeed their goal? Jaqen makes this look easy at the Citadel, and there he is infiltrating Marwyn's acolytes, not clueless Northerners who can't even tell the difference between Arya and Jeyne Poole. It seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to, to train this stubborn little girl, only to send her home years later to kill a family member. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now