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The Others Take Ya

Missandei is a Faceless Man/Woman perhaps Izembaro

162 posts in this topic

So here's an oft repeated theory that Missandei is a faceless man, but I thought my favorite crackpot theory could use some investigation so we can see if the pieces of the pot fit together. :-) This is a real long post, but as you can tell, I like quotes, and I think I used every mention I could find to make as complete a compilation as possible.

If you're pressed for time, here's what I consider my top 3 you can skip to and then there's a FAQ at the very bottom:
#10 Missandei knows Quentyn's skinless face is smiling with his lips burnt off (near the end after "Late edits/additional text")
#4 Missandei sneaks up on Ser always-on-the-alert-kingsguard Barristan
#7 Missandei hears the Astapori scratching desperately - from half a mile away.


1) The assumption is she's a little girl, but Arya thought the Waif was a little girl too and she was 36. We know that CotF and Naathi (hey, Naathi... Braavosi... hm.) are rumored to share a common ancestry. Perhaps Missandei isn't the age she's saying she is.

Arya and the waif:

The waif nodded. Arya nodded back, and in her best Braavosi said, “How many years have you?”
The waif showed ten fingers. Then ten again, and yet again. Then six. Her face remained as smooth as still water. She can’t be six-and-thirty, Arya thought. She’s a little girl. “You’re lying,” she said. The waif shook her head and showed her once again: ten and ten and ten and six. She said the words for six-and-thirty, and made Arya say them too.

I know the KM tells her her appearance is because of poisons, but maybe that's just a half truth and she's actually Naathi as well. At this point Arya isn't good at the lying game yet. (edit: And neither was I when I first wrote this paragraph - right before you read #9 you'll see a more complete analysis of this conversation)

SoS Naathi people as explained to Dany:

Dany had grown very fond of Missandei. The little scribe with the big golden eyes was wise beyond her years. She is brave as well. She had to be, to survive the life she’s lived. One day she hoped to see this fabled isle of Naath. Missandei said the Peaceful People made music instead of war. They did not kill, not even animals; they ate only fruit and never flesh. The butterfly spirits sacred to their Lord of Harmony protected their isle against those who would do them harm. Many conquerors had sailed on Naath to blood their swords, only to sicken and die. The butterflies do not help them when the slave ships come raiding, though. “I am going to take you home one day, Missandei,” Dany promised. If I had made the same promise to Jorah, would he still have sold me? “I swear it.”
“This one is content to stay with you, Your Grace. Naath will be there, always. You are good to this - to me.

golden eyes, wise beyond her years - CotF had golden eyes and look like Children
made music - the Children sing the songs of the earth
the conquered, but would sicken and die - I wonder if Missandei ever explained HOW the soldiers got sickened. Tears of Lys?
to this - to me - slip up! actively corrects herself!

2) Her brother who died in Mereen, perhaps he wasn't her brother per se, but her partner in delivering the gift among the slaves at Astapor. I think he was killed by the harpy, but his role as a slave was either a cover or perhaps she's taken over the role of what used to be a real 11 year old girl who went through hell as a young slave.

ADoD, Dany, after death of M's brother:

“He taught me how to climb a tree when we were little. He could catch fish with his hands. Once I found him sleeping in our garden with a hundred butterflies crawling over him. He looked so beautiful that morning, this one … I mean, I loved him.
“As he loved you.” Dany stroked the girl’s hair. “Say the word, my sweet, and I will send you from this awful place. I will find a ship somehow and send you home. To Naath.”
“I would sooner stay with you.
On Naath I’d be afraid. What if the slavers came again? I feel safe when I’m with you.”

Slip up number two with Dany. If it isn't a big deal to say "this one" why is she correcting herself?
Now you can't keep tabs on the queen if she sends you home. Also, with her brother dead you would not think feeling safe with Dany is a good reason for staying. Maybe it was the best excuse she could come up with on short notice, or maybe this was what the FM heard from an 11 year old girl slave who wanted to die.

**edit aug 15 2015: If we take the time it takes to train an unsullied soldier into account against the age Missandei is claiming she is it literally does not add correctly.

She claims to have 3 brothers, 2 fully trained and also has memories of Naath with them when unsullied training takes a minimum of 9 years and she's 10. How could she be climbing trees and catching fish at 1 year old at the most, minus time for her to be captured and shipped to Astapor. She can't have memories of being a child playing with at least 2 of 3 brothers fully trained with how long the training takes.

The math on the lenght of that training according to what we're told in the book works out to this: unsullied start training at 5 years of age, Dany sees soldiers for sale ranging from 14 to 20 in the ranks. (ACOK when first inspecting them) That's a minimum of 9 years training and her brothers are all older then her because at least one of them is full unsullied, a commander even.

In order for her to be older then 10, but still be able to plausibly have the memories she claims she does, she would have to have injested some sort of no-growth age-arresting potion, like the waif must have been exposed to in her daily duties managing the FM cocktails of poisons.

Or she's picking them up from the dead girl's face she's wearing. ;)

**end edit Aug 18 2015**
3) Missandei is one of the few who express their objection of the upcoming marriage to Dany. Perhaps because she knows more then she lets on and its a trap.

ADoD, Missandei talking with Dany before the wedding:

When he was gone, Missandei brought the queen a simple meal of goat cheese and olives, with raisins for a sweet. “Your Grace needs more than wine to break her fast. You are such a tiny thing, and you will surely need your
strength today.”
That made Daenerys laugh, coming from a girl so small. She relied so much on the little scribe that she oft forgot
that Missandei had only turned eleven.
They shared the food together on her terrace. As Dany nibbled on an olive, the Naathi girl gazed at her with eyes like molten gold and said, “It is not too late to tell them that you have decided not to wed.”
It is, though, the queen thought, sadly. “Hizdahr’s blood is ancient and noble. Our joining will join my freedmen to his people. When we become as one, so will our city.” “Your Grace does not love the noble Hizdahr. This one thinks you would sooner have another for your husband.”


Maybe she forgets she's 11 because she's NOT! And Dany can't see golden eyes is trying to warn you off! Her serious gaze is set to ON beware! lol

4) Barristan, who expounds earlier in his POV's about kingsguard needing to be always on the alert, gets snuck up on by Missandei:

Barristan about how a kingsguard needs to be on their toes:

But the battle was never truly done for a knight of the Kingsguard. Threats came from everywhere and nowhere, at any time of day or night. No trumpets announced the foe: vassals, servants, friends, brothers, sons, even wives, any of them might have knives concealed beneath their cloaks and murder hidden in their hearts. For every hour of fighting, a Kingsguard knight spent ten thousand hours watching, waiting, standing silent in the shadows. King Hizdahr’s pit fighters were already growing bored and restive with their new duties, and bored men were lax, slow to react.

So he's pretty critical of the pit fighters but...

Barristan being snuck up on:

“She might be flying home,” he told himself, aloud. “No,” murmured a soft voice behind him. “She would not do that, ser. She would not go home without us.”
Ser Barristan turned. “Missandei. Child. How long have you been standing there?”

Selmy, you got owned.


5) He can't read Missandei real feelings well, which, for someone who is supposed to be on top of how people are behaving about their King/Queen, seems remarkable.

Barristan's conversation with Missandei:

This one understands.” Missandei turned as if to go, then paused a moment and said, “It is said that the Yunkai’i have ringed the city all about with scorpions, to loose iron bolts into the sky should Drogon return.”
Ser Barristan had heard that too. “It is no simple thing to slay a dragon in the sky. In Westeros, many tried to bring down Aegon and his sisters. None succeeded.”
Missandei nodded. It was hard to tell if she was reassured. “Do you think that they will find her, ser? The grasslands are so vast, and dragons leave no tracks across the sky.”
“Aggo and Rakharo are blood of her blood … and who knows the Dothraki sea better than Dothraki?” He
squeezed her shoulder. “They will find her if she can be found.” If she still lives. There were other khals who prowled the grass, horselords with khalasars whose riders numbered in the tens of thousands. But the girl did not need to hear that. “You love her well, I know. I swear, I shall keep
her safe.”
The words seemed to give the girl some comfort.

First of all there's the "this one" again. This time, with Barristan, she doesn't correct herself, even though in Dany's presence she corrects herself twice. Is she more concerned about putting up an act for Dany then she is for Barristan? Maybe Barristan isn't the only one who realizes he's not made for subterfuge.

**aug 15th 2015 clarification:

As I mentioned ages ago in posts - I finally ran the numbers and comparison on how often she slips up, and most importantly - WHEN she decides to slip up vs not. my conclusion is, she doesn't feel the need to act in front of unperceptive Barristan:

Basically, she's not correcting herself in front of Barristan, and even now only halfheartedly corrects herself in front of Dany. She only corrects herself to say "I" 2 times in ADWD, where in ASOS it's almost always "I" or correcting herself to "I".

Barristan, who she knows isn't as perceptive as Dany and he affirms this in his own POV, is someone she doesn't work as hard at maintaining her cover with. Hence every single time it's "this one" in his presence and he has difficulty reading her emotions when he tries to give her assurances Dany is still alive.

Numbers wise in ASOS the vast majority of time she corrects herself. In ADWD, people are used to her, she only corrects herself twice, and the other 11 times she refers to herself in conversation it's "this one" again. The only two times she corrects herself in ADWD to "I" is in front of Dany.

**end aug 2015 edit**

Second, Barristan THINKS that she's telling him about the scorpions because she's worried, but if she's a FM probably she's just disseminating information to those that need to know again, that and trying to get information from him. She doesn't care about being reassured. And possibly, doesn't care about putting up an act in front of him as much as she does Dany.

6) People see her looking scrolls, even when she has absolutely nothing to do. Why is she looking through all that stuff? No one asks her why:

ADoD: Dany sees Missandei looking at scrolls after coming back from helping plague victims:

When Daenerys returned to her pyramid, sore of limb and sick of heart, she found Missandei reading some old scroll whilst Irri and Jhiqui argued about Rakharo.


ADoD: Missandei looking at scrolls while Dany's away:

Afterward, back at the apex of the pyramid, Ser Barristan found Missandei amongst piles of scrolls and books, reading. “Stay here tonight, child,” he told her. “Whatever happens, whatever you see or hear, do not leave the queen’s chambers.”
“This one hears,” the girl said. “If she may ask—”
“Best not.”

Also by this point, she has no duties at all, Dany's gone. The amount of items she's going over has turned into piles now that she has time and no one to ask any questions about it.

Only Missandei remained, a forlorn little ghost haunting the queen’s chambers at the apex of the pyramid.

Foreshadowing!?! XD


7) Missandei seems to hear more then most people, and seems to be trying to tell Dany in so many words how desperate the slaves are without giving away she's a spy:

At her command, Missandei stripped off her clothes and climbed in after her. “This one heard the Astapori scratching at the walls last night,” the little scribe said as she was washing Dany’s back.
Irri and Jhiqui exchanged a look. “No one was scratching,” said Jhiqui. “Scratching … how could they scratch?”
“With their hands,” said Missandei. “The bricks are old and crumbling. They are trying to claw their way into the city.”
“This would take them many years,” said Irri. “The walls are very thick. This is known.”
“It is known,” agreed Jhiqui.
“I dream of them as well.” Dany took Missandei’s hand.
“The camp is a good half-mile from the city, my sweetling. No one was scratching at the walls.”
“Your Grace knows best,” said Missandei.

DOES her Grace know best? REALLY??? Naaaaaahhhh Dany's dumb as a post about it. Dream smeam. It did not occur to her that Missandei might have left the pyramid and gone to check out what was happening closer to the wall.
Maybe Missandei even gave the gift. And even if she didn't, we know about how Arya's being trained to use all her senses. I think Dany could die if she doesn't heed the warnings about how the slaves are suffering.
This whole section is creepy. It reminds me of what happened in the gas chambers of Auchwitz.
***edit June 14th: previously unnoticed detail***
Also Missandei specifically mentions the slaves scratching are Astapori. How could she know what city the scratchers were from unless she had seen it or heard their conversations to find out. If Missandei is tasked with delivering the gift in Astapor then its likely she would leave the pyramid from time to time to give the gift to them.
***end edit***

Another hint about how sensitive her hearing is from the same chapter:

Daario’s announcement had sparked an uproar. Reznak was wailing, the Shavepate was muttering darkly, her bloodriders were swearing vengeance. Strong Belwas thumped his scarred belly with his fist and swore to eat Brown Ben’s heart with plums and onions. “Please,” Dany said, but only Missandei seemed to hear. The queen got to her feet. “Be quiet! I have heard enough.”


8) Finally, I think the very first conversation with Dany may have held a clue, though it could be easily said that it is probably a common phrase.
SoS:

“I can give you freedom, but not safety,” Dany warned. “I have a world to cross and wars to fight. You may go hungry. You may grow sick. You may be killed.”
“Valar morghulis,” said Missandei, in High Valyrian.


So taking this cracked pot out to its pulverized end, my thought is that she is Izembaro, the FM that the KM is sending Arya to. She had her previous partner (or partners?) killed and she's about to pick up a new apprentice. As a Braavosi based organization, a culture that doesn't even joke around when it comes to dragons, it seems only natural they would keep tabs on them and I would wonder why they wouldn't have a Faceless Man on the ground with Dany by now. On top of that, these dragons and dragon ruler don't have the same attitude towards slavery that the KM told Arya the Valyrians did, but if Dany starts allying herself with the slavers instead of actively trying to find a way to stop it, they would be in place to kill her right away and kill her dragons once they figure out how to do it.

The KM also said there aren't many female FM, it makes sense that he would send her to apprentice with one of the few female FM they have. I just can't see how Jaquen would be able to give Arya "the talk" once she "flowered". lol ick. No. Just no.

Just as supporting info, I also came across this, Grey Worm's description of the nameless goddess. Makes me wonder if this is their version of the Many Faced God.

“Worship,” Grey Worm said, “this one and his brothers beg your leave to bathe in the salt sea when our work here is done, that we might be purified according to the laws of our great goddess.”
The queen had not known that the eunuchs had a goddess of their own. “Who is this goddess? One of the
gods of Ghis?”
Grey Worm looked troubled. “The goddess is called by many names. She is the Lady of Spears, the Bride of Battle, the Mother of Hosts, but her true name belongs only to these poor ones who have burned their manhoods upon her altar. We may not speak of her to others. This one begs your forgiveness.”

***edit June 14th: new evidence***
I've noticed two other passages in Arya chapters in AFFC that may indicate who this Goddess is. First note that from how Grey Worm words it, their belief is monotheistic. Second, when Arya enters the HoB&W, she sees a statue of an infant with a sword. (AFFC Arya I) later on she notes that soldiers prefer Bakkalon, the pale child (AFFC Arya II) when they come to the HoB&W. Finally Grey Worm calls her a Goddess. It seems quite likely that the God of death for the unsullied of Astapor may be the Goddess that Arya knows as Bakkalon, and that may be her true name or the name they give her when she specifically represents the aspect of death for them. (much as how God the father, Jesus the son, and the holy ghost are the three aspects of God in the Christian faith)

This would be a good reason for the HoB&W to specifically send a young female child to the ranks of the slave soldiers to give them the opportunity to get the gift of death. In this form she likely resembles the goddess they pray to. (Although "infant" is debatable.)
***end edit***

This also reminds me of when the KM asks Arya if she is sure she wants to be one of them because of the reference to private parts:

He is trying to scare me away, Arya thought, the way he did with the worm. “I don’t care about that.”
“You should. Stay, and the Many-Faced God will take your ears, your nose, your tongue. He will take your sad grey eyes that have seen so much. He will take your hands, your feet, your arms and legs, your private parts. He will take your hopes and dreams, your loves and hates. Those who enter His service must give up all that makes them who they are. Can you do that?”

So does this mean FM go as far as becoming unsullied in order to get the job done? Sure sounds like it.
***June 15th edit***
After Arya plays the lying game with the waif and finds out she's 36 and not a child, Arya asks the Kindly Man if she'll end up that way.
AFFC Arya II:

Arya bit her lip. “Will I be like her?”
“No,” he said, “not unless you wish it. It is the poisons that have made her as you see her.”
Poisons. She understood then. Every evening after prayer the waif emptied a stone flagon into the waters of the black pool.


We've seen many types of poisons and not just the killer ones that are in the pool. We've seen them use a blinding poison to make acolytes loose their sight, so its not a big departure to think Arya concluded a bit too quickly that it was specifically the poisons in the pool that made the waif that way. In actuality, as their poisons teacher, she's had to continually expose herself to a poisons cocktail. A poison to prevent growth is probably just one of them. This proves that the conversation about the waif's stepmother poisoning her was the unexplained lie in a later lying game they had about the waif's history.
***end edit***

So could the Goddess that Grey Worm cannot name to Dany be the Unsullied's version of the Many Faced God? And could Missandei be one of the Angels of death from the HoB&W that walks alongside them to take them away when their suffering is too great? Do you think this theory warrants a crackpot rating of 1 (just a hairline crack) or 10 (this pot is a humpty dumpty role model) and why?


LATE EDITS/ADDITIONAL TEXT:

These are other pieces of text I found to support this theory as the thread progressed which are posted farther down the thread. I'm adding them to the OP so that everything is in one place in case you don't want to read everything to see it.

9) Missandei helps Dany ask all the right questions in her brand new court:

from ASoS:

“Your Worship, those sly rogues betrayed your trust. It was revealed that they were scheming to restore the Good Masters to power and the people to chains. Great Cleon exposed their plots and hacked their heads off with a cleaver, and the grateful folk of Astapor have crowned him for his valor.”
“Noble Ghael,” said Missandei, in the dialect of Astapor, “is this the same Cleon once owned by Grazdan mo Ullhor?”
Her voice was guileless, yet the question plainly made the envoy anxious. “The same,” he admitted. “A great man.”
Missandei leaned close to Dany. “He was a butcher in Grazdan’s kitchen,” the girl whispered in her ear. “It was said he could slaughter a pig faster than any man in Astapor.”

I have given Astapor a butcher king. Dany felt ill, but she knew she must not let the envoy see it.


Gee, the 11 year old was sure up on the gossip of who was slaughtering who and who owned who wasn't she? And the envoy sure didn't like Missandei asking that question. lol I'll say it again, the best Master of Whisperers is the one you don't even know you have!

10) Missandei helps Quentyn into death, and makes an interesting observation:

Missandei sat at the bedside. She had been with the prince night and day, tending to such needs as he could express, giving him water and milk of the poppy when he was strong enough to drink, listening to the few tortured words he gasped out from time to time, reading to him when he fell quiet, sleeping in her chair beside him. Ser Barristan had asked some of the queen’s cupbearers to help, but the sight of the burned man was too much for even the boldest of them. And the Blue Graces had never come, though he’d sent for them four times. Perhaps the last of them had been carried off by the pale mare by now.
The tiny Naathi scribe looked up at his approach.
“Honored ser. The prince is beyond pain now. His Dornish gods have taken him home. See? He smiles.”
(Barristan thinks)How can you tell? He has no lips.



Well this passage is interesting. Now not only is the 11 year old a genius scribe she's:
  • Taking the place of a maester on a death bed, properly administering a potion of milk of the poppy.
  • Not scared of horrific injuries.
  • Strong enough to sit with someone dying and give them comfort in their last moments basically acting just like an "angel of death" as the Kindly man has described it to Arya in the HoB&W.
  • Able to notice details about dead bodies Barristan can't, even though he's been killing for years and she's supposed to be a little girl. Like that the guy is smiling with no lips. Now what type of people would know what the musculature of face looks like when its smiling when there are no lips left? Maybe people who cut off faces so they can use them later! trolololol

If she isn't an "angel of death" for the faceless men, personally, I'll be really surprised!!! XD

Thanks King's Ruin for point #11
11) Missendei knows twelve languages expertly by the time Dany gets her when she's 10. Think about that for a second.

Missandei is only trained as a scribe because she was found to have a gift for languages. How unlikely is it that an enslaved girl that used to live on an island who is old enough to remember living on said island by the time she is kidnapped had time to learn and be totally proficient at 12 languages? For instance, say she was enslaved at 4. By 10, that's only 6 years to become proficient at all of them.

It is extremely unlikely that as an infant on an isolated island south of Valyria which is an area sailors avoid, that she would be exposed to more then 2 or 3 languages in addition to her mother tongue. Its far more likely she only learned her mother tongue.

Because she was only trained as a scribe after they found out she had a talent for languages, how exactly did the girl pick all 12 of them up expertly while she was busy being a slave? It's not like slaves are given a bunch of free time and then fed, sheltered and housed for free. She would have been busy at whatever child labour they forced her on. Not an opportune time to pick up languages.

If she picked up 2 or 3 others in the course of her work (from WHO other child laborers???) then she still would have had to have found the time amongst her increasing studies as a scribe and slave duties to learn the other 9 or 10 of them. Yes she could read them, but reading is not the same as speaking a language, and where would she have gotten all the materials to learn all the ins and out of pronunciation, and get them right every time? There is no way should could have picked up expert status in every language just by reading books alone in a 5 to 6 year time span. Expert status requires practice and speaking, not just reading.

I will admit it seems likely that she could practice amongst the different slaves, but it seems like the slaves mostly speak Astapori's dialect. This is especially strange because the slaves would have been taken and started their training early as young boys. Therefore among the Astapori, there may be less need to speak in other languages as the young boys would have been forced early on to pick up the language - or they would have been killed.

FAQ:

To save us all some time, here are links to some frequently asked questions that were answered in different parts of this thread so you can just click to your relevant answer
Its a choose your own adventure thread!!! :D)

Is there a plausible argument that the FM are interested in Dany & the Dragons? Are they hostile, supportive or ambivalent to her? (answered in 1st and 2nd questions)


How did Missandei know Dany was going to come to Astapor and that she would have to go there to infiltrate herself with Dany and her people? She couldn't have know that Dany would want her as a gift in the deal for the Unsullied. (read the 6th and the 9th responses)


Correcting herself when she uses "this one", reading a lot, and being stealthy enough to surprise Barristan seems like weak evidence when it could be perfectly innocent behavior from a child genius from an island with naturally stealthy people. How do you justify this? (read 4th, 5th and 6th blurbs - starts at box with "2. I believe Missandei...")

What if Missandei is a CotF and not a FM? Why do you think there is a possible link to the CotF because Missandei is Naathi? (answered in 2nd question)


EDIT LOG:
edit: clarification
June 14th:
Added evidence blubs on Bakkalon the pale child, questioning how she "heard" Astapori,
Underlined main evidence of #7.
Added FAQ section at very end.
Added the "if you're pressed for time/top 3" section at top.
Sectioned better.
Updated one point of #10 to make the link explicit to the Kindly Man's angel of death story.
June 15th:
Added evidence blurb on "only if you choose it" discussion on how the poisons have changed the waif to look young.
Added a sentence to clarify #1 with new info.
July 5th:
Added point #11 on languages as new evidence.
bolded the numbers on each point of evidence

August 18th 2015:

Adding clarification on Missandei's use of I and this one in her conversations with specific individuals.

Adding information on Missandei's age in comparison to the time it took to train her brothers to be unsullied.

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Let me first say that i do like the build up of your post, neatly structured and plenty of evidence (almost academical).

I do agree that there might be something fishy about the Missandei, I am not sure what however. She sure does seem to have a lot of knowledge for her age. You did not mention the fact that speaks 2 or more languages (can't recall how many exactly), which is not unknown for her age but neither common. And the basic observation that she is able to read (or learning to?) seeing the scrolls she reads, I doubt that common slaves are trained to do this.

On her age: IF she in fact is from Naath she could be 11 years old, just different years than the rest of the westerosi world use. The Naathi could have a different calendar of some sort (I have absolutely no proof for this) which makes her 11 but in westerosi years 30-something. Could someone give Arya's age for reference?

This brings me to another point, if she in fact is a FM (I really doubt this but lets see) she does not have to come from Naath. The woman (or even man) could have acquired the face of a young girl and use that from thereon forward. I do spot a crack in my own speculation because she would be extraordinary large for a 11 year old and I don't recall this being mentioned anywhere.

On the reading a lot, given these points of view there are numerous reasons for doing this. She is around dragons, even if she does not have an agenda these creatures are remarkable and worth studying especially if you are as gifted as Missandei seems to be. If she is a FM she will be studying the dragons as well, just as Jaqen (spelling?) presumably is doing in the Citadel. Double sources does seem like a good strategy in acquiring reliable information.

I do see a problem with FM being with the Unsullied. The Unsullied are trained from a very young age, the FM would need to at least look this young to be allowed into this highly elite training camp. Having Naathi with the FM would solve this problem since they could first complete the training of the FM and afterwards join the Unsullied. I do highly doubt this since it seems to be a lot of work to become a 'normal' soldier when you are a highly specialized spy.

It seems that I have failed to structure this post in any way, I do hope the points made are clear though.

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Doesn't Dany ask Missandei not to use the "this one" so that is why she corrects herself?

The biggest hole in your theory: The FM would have to be able to see the future to know that they have to integrate themselves into the unsullied and await Dany's arrival. Possible I guess, but not likely.

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You are blowing my mind, The Others Take Ya.

I support your theory that Missandei is certainly not letting on the whole story, possibly being a FM, or COTF from Naath.

It is possible for a FM to become an unsullied, based on your analysis, but as another poster mentioned, that would have required tremendous foresight.

But thank you for point out something I and others missed- Her sneaking up on Ser Barristan, reading scrolls all the time, and her language seem to indicate she is quite skilled and on a mission.

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Let me first say that i do like the build up of your post, neatly structured and plenty of evidence (almost academical).

Thanks! :-)

I do agree that there might be something fishy about the Missandei, I am not sure what however. She sure does seem to have a lot of knowledge for her age. You did not mention the fact that speaks 2 or more languages (can't recall how many exactly), which is not unknown for her age but neither common. And the basic observation that she is able to read (or learning to?) seeing the scrolls she reads, I doubt that common slaves are trained to do this.

Good point. Definitely something i missed. Yes it is rather exceptional for an 11 year old, although they say its best to learn many languages when you're young. I do wonder why the slave/scribe the master used was so young, wouldn't he have wanted someone older? But then I thought maybe the original slave wasn't just used for her brains and could have been given the gift before Dany arrived.

On her age: IF she in fact is from Naath she could be 11 years old, just different years than the rest of the westerosi world use. The Naathi could have a different calendar of some sort (I have absolutely no proof for this) which makes her 11 but in westerosi years 30-something. Could someone give Arya's age for reference?

IIRC when Arya plays the lying game in AFFC early in her training, she thinks she's ten, but Braavosi's calendar is different and her name day might have passed and she's 11. So if Naathi and Braavosi are related, its very likely the calendars are different then Westerosi ones.

This brings me to another point, if she in fact is a FM (I really doubt this but lets see) she does not have to come from Naath. The woman (or even man) could have acquired the face of a young girl and use that from thereon forward. I do spot a crack in my own speculation because she would be extraordinary large for a 11 year old and I don't recall this being mentioned anywhere.

True, she could be any race of diminutive stature. Or perhaps the poisons that make the waif look like a young girl could actively be used to keep them small? I just had that thought, so i could be totally out to lunch there...

How many courtesans wanted Faceless Men Facelifts I wonder! lol

On the reading a lot, given these points of view there are numerous reasons for doing this. She is around dragons, even if she does not have an agenda these creatures are remarkable and worth studying especially if you are as gifted as Missandei seems to be. If she is a FM she will be studying the dragons as well, just as Jaqen (spelling?) presumably is doing in the Citadel. Double sources does seem like a good strategy in acquiring reliable information.

Yup, she could just be a really proactive little 11 year old. But no one's asked her to do this and why wouldn't she be spending more time with the brothers that are still alive when she has the time instead of reading and staying in the temple? It just seems weird that she's always there. She really keeps to herself.

I do see a problem with FM being with the Unsullied. The Unsullied are trained from a very young age, the FM would need to at least look this young to be allowed into this highly elite training camp. Having Naathi with the FM would solve this problem since they could first complete the training of the FM and afterwards join the Unsullied. I do highly doubt this since it seems to be a lot of work to become a 'normal' soldier when you are a highly specialized spy.

I've wondered about this too, but since their beginnings the FM were recruited from existing slaves, so perhaps an Unsullied who wants to die and/or give their lives in service gets chosen, smuggled out, trained, and then smuggled back in to start giving the gift. It must be easier to do this then start training a 4 year old at the HoB&W and then send them to become an unsullied.

It seems that I have failed to structure this post in any way, I do hope the points made are clear though.

crystal. :-)

Doesn't Dany ask Missandei not to use the "this one" so that is why she corrects herself?

Nope, she just start correcting the use of "this one" to "I" herself in her first talk with Dany in her litter. I do think the use of "this one" is not the strongest evidence, especially since the other unsullied use "this one" when they talk to Dany, but that's why I wanted to do a complete look at Missandei's behavior.

The biggest hole in your theory: The FM would have to be able to see the future to know that they have to integrate themselves into the unsullied and await Dany's arrival. Possible I guess, but not likely.

My thought is that its actually the FM mandate to put themselves among the slave population so to be in the position to offer the gift to those who want it. The KM's story of the beginnings of the HoB&W is just that. The first FM were men in the slave population of Old Valyria. I think they weren't planted ahead of time, but it was a "happy accident" for them because they were just there in the slave population the whole time doing their duty and killing those who asked for the gift. Then Dany came along, freed them. Their mandate must still be to give the gift, to free the slaves from pain even now I can't see why they would stray from that over the years when slavery is clearly still around and hasn't stopped.

@EnergeticCrab lol Thanks!!!

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The Others Take Ya, firstly let me say I love quotes, nothing is better than referring directly to the text. I have flirted with the Missandei-is-FM theory myself but when it comes down to it, I can't really convince myself. It certainly has got its attractions: there's more to this little girl than meets the eye and also surely by now the FM must have someone within Dany's inner circle. However, I have a couple of queries: What exactly is the FM's attitude towards Dany (hostile, supportive or ambivalent)? If the FM are interested in Dany, would they really want Arya Stark in Dany's orbit? My main concern is that Missandei (together with Barristan and Dany's bloodriders and handmaidens) are Dany's most loyal and since the FM could be hostile to her (she is a dragon mother) Missandei might not be their agent, unless she is that good. Not the best argument against, I admit; in fact it could be a good argument for - if the FM are, instead, supportive.

So even though I doubt she is FM I like that you've highlighted how underestimated Missandei has been. Sneaking up on Barristan is a really good piece of evidence. For my money, I think she will stick with Dany for along time and prove invaluable, as a strategist. Barristan mentioned in his pov that he thought she was smarter than all of Dany's Meereen council. And all that reading will come in handy one day.

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She begins to substitute "this one" w/ "I" or "me" in the sentence directly after Dany's stating that she is free, no longer a slave, and can leave her service whenever she likes.

Apparently slaves in Astapor may not refer to themselves (they desire nothing, have nothing, and don't exist basically) even going as far as not allowing the Unsullied a normal name (exchanged daily). As you said they also refer to themselves as "this one". here's the pertinent passage:

Missandei is no longer a slave. I free you, from this instant. Come ride with me in the litter, I wish to talk" Rhakaro helped them in, and Dany drew the curtains shut against the dust and heat. "If you stay with me you will serve as one of my handmaids," she said as they set off. "I shall keep you by my side to speak for me as you spoke for Kraznys. But you may leave my service whenever you choose, if you have a father or mother you would sooner return to."

"This one will stay," the girl said. "This one... I... there is no place for me to go. This... I will serve you gladly."

She does say "Valar morghulis" when Dany says she may not survive, but this seems to be a really common sayin in Essos.

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Very nicely put together. Some of it is a stretch for me. The not being able to read her, her lurking around, and her use of certain Valyrian phrases, and constantly saying this one are little alarms going off in my head.

My question is if she is a FM who is she meant to kill and why hasn't she killed them yet?

Also she is young, I was under the impression Arya was a pretty big exception to the rule with how young she was when she began her training. For Missandei to be out and about doing the work of the many faced god, she have completed her training pretty quickly don't you think? I guess it would also be possible she is in disguise and not really 11.

Also with the scrolls, in one of your quotes it describes her as a scribe, it would not be out of the ordinary for her to be doing lots of reading and paper work right? But that would also be a good cover if she was gaining information.

Very intriguing to say the least. To me again my only hesitation would be whats her end game and why is it taking her so long to get there?

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I like this theory ,but i'm not leaning on her being a FM. I am leaning towards her being one of the COTF her stature and other features make me believe that. Leaf had said " she had walked among men for 200 years learning and watching". I think that some of them still employ this behavior and that Missandei is doing the same.

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Very nicely put together. Some of it is a stretch for me. The not being able to read her, her lurking around, and her use of certain Valyrian phrases, and constantly saying this one are little alarms going off in my head.

My question is if she is a FM who is she meant to kill and why hasn't she killed them yet?

Also she is young, I was under the impression Arya was a pretty big exception to the rule with how young she was when she began her training. For Missandei to be out and about doing the work of the many faced god, she have completed her training pretty quickly don't you think? I guess it would also be possible she is in disguise and not really 11.

Also with the scrolls, in one of your quotes it describes her as a scribe, it would not be out of the ordinary for her to be doing lots of reading and paper work right? But that would also be a good cover if she was gaining information.

Very intriguing to say the least. To me again my only hesitation would be whats her end game and why is it taking her so long to get there?

I think it's clear the FM have more profound motivations than just offing people. We're not yet privy to the exact structure of their organization but we know hey have some sort of rank system and possibly multiple cells. Jaquen is currently at the Citadel on some sort of medieval espionage mission (though admittedly we don't know for sure that he's still affiliated) and then there's the "tell me three things" game the KM was so fond of. The FM are very much in the information biz, so if Missandei is an assassin, that doesn't necessarily mean she's there to assassinate anyone. Not yet anyway. RE: GRRM's response to whether or not the FM have been contracted to kill the dragons; "not yet."

I do really like this theory. Really the only thing that doesn't fit are the brothers but that's easily explained by Missandei being an assumed identity. That would also explain why she never visits them or goes anywhere (I think she tells Dany she's going to at one point but who knows where she really went).

Thanks for collecting all those quotes dude! The evidence is damning. I say yay.

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Well Missandei has a generally emotional reaction while telling Dany that the Unsullied could be told to fall on their own swords when she is done w/ them. It prompts Dany to ask what upsets her and she reveals that she has a brother in the Unsullied. Doesn't sound much like a FM set up... Does it ever describe her brother's eyes? If they are golden may be a Naath trait, and not indicitave of being a faceless child of the forest...

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No. I love little Missandei, I do not want her to betray Dany.

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Well Missandei has a generally emotional reaction while telling Dany that the Unsullied could be told to fall on their own swords when she is done w/ them. It prompts Dany to ask what upsets her and she reveals that she has a brother in the Unsullied. Doesn't sound much like a FM set up... Does it ever describe her brother's eyes? If they are golden may be a Naath trait, and not indicitave of being a faceless child of the forest...

Given Arya's turn as 'ye old hag' and other roles I'd argue theatrics are an integral part of the FM repertoire.

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Given Arya's turn as 'ye old hag' and other roles I'd argue theatrics are an integral part of the FM repertoire.

Please give examples of "theatrics" beyond wearing a false face and mannerisms. We definitely don't see anything on the level of reacting emotionally to an unexpected question in order to get a desired response so that the FM can disseminate info (in this case that she has unsullied bros) that really serves no purpose.

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Please give examples of "theatrics" beyond wearing a false face and mannerisms. We definitely don't see anything on the level of reacting emotionally to an unexpected question in order to get a desired response so that the FM can disseminate info (in this case that she has unsullied bros) that really serves no purpose.

If it's part of her cover then she's just being proactive. I'm not saying definitively that that they're all expert thespians, I'm saying we don't have enough info to discount that, and given their entire existence is centered around the assumption of other identities, I don't feel like it's too far of a stretch...

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Great post, very well done - even if I don't agree with the FM-theory.

So here's an oft repeated theory that Missandei is a faceless man, but I thought my favorite crackpot theory could use some investigation so we can see if the pieces of the pot fit together. :-) This is a real long post, but as you can tell, I like quotes, and I think I used every mention I could find to make as complete a compilation as possible.

1) The assumption is she's a little girl, but Arya thought the Waif was a little girl too and she was 36. We know that CotF and Naathi (hey, Naathi... Braavosi... hm.) are rumored to share a common ancestry. Perhaps Missandei isn't the age she's saying she is.

This is completely new for me, do you have a quote for this as well?

Golden eyes and singing songs seems to me a little weak as evidence.

Many conquerors had sailed on Naath to blood their swords, only to sicken and die.

I think this was caused by different sicknesses, not actively by the Naathi people. They were described as peacefull - poisoning people sounds not very peaceful, even if it's for self-defence.

In our world, the conquistadores also died like flies in the south american djungles.

About reading lots of scrolls - surely, her interest may awake some suspicions, but her knowledge of reading and writing seems natural, she was trained as a scribe after the slavers discoverd her talent for tongues, so reading and writing is just a regular education for a scribe.

Could she be a spy? Yes, very possible, but the FM are not the only ones interested in informations.

About her age - even if the Naathi have a different calendar, as long as she is human this would not affect her growing. This process is controlled by genes, not by the way a society counts time.

On the other hand - we do not know exactly why the waif looks such young. The KM mentions poison, maybe a poison originated from Naath, and caused by this all Naathi ages more slowly... But this is a very far catch!

For me, not enough evidence to convince me, but I believe that there is more in her than the eye will show...

One hint may be the fact that she has been casted for season 3 - if she is just a scribe, why cast her? Up to now, she has not done something thus important for the story or Dany's arc. Maybe there will be more in the future...

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Yet another long post. Hope I covered all the questions. :-)

What exactly is the FM's attitude towards Dany (hostile, supportive or ambivalent)?

Well this gets into less certain territory, but I think I puzzled out a scenario that seems to fit the pieces so far:

My guess is that the attitude towards Dany is not as important as is the attitude towards Dany's actions. First and foremost, they're the angel of death that takes people away from their suffering.

The question is, do they want to make life as it exists better for people? Do they not care and if they have a chance to change the status quo to change the likelyhood of people wanting to die, would they take it? Usually, no. They're focused on doing their job and to do any more is beyond their assigned task makes them stray into morally problematic areas that we see the KM tells Arya isn't their domain.

However, they have killed slavers too, and use this justification to kill others in situations outside the slave trade. Here's the first story of the first FM killing, followed by the second story about the killing of the slavers.

The slaves were not crying out to a hundred different gods, as it seemed, but to one god with a hundred different faces... and he was that god’s instrument. That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.”

Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”

“He would bring the gift to them as well... but that is a tale for another day, one best shared with no one.”

From ADWD in "The little blind girl" chapter:

The gift was given only to those who yearned for it, in the beginning … but one day, the first of us heard a slave praying not for his own death but for his master’s. So fervently did he desire this that he offered all he had, that his prayer might be answered. And it seemed to our first brother that this sacrifice would be pleasing to Him of Many Faces, so that night he granted the prayer. Then he went to the slave and said, ‘You offered all you had for this man’s death, but slaves have nothing but their lives. That is what the god desires of you. For the rest of your days on earth, you will serve him.’ And from that moment, we were two.” His hand closed around her arm, gently but firmly. “All men must die. We are but death’s instruments, not death himself. When you slew the singer, you took god’s powers on yourself. We kill men, but we do not presume to judge them. Do you understand?”

No, she thought. “Yes,” she said.

I don't think I fully understand it all myself either, but it seems that when the instigators of suffering get too out of line, they can be killed too. But the cost is that those that desire the deaths of other give their lives in service to the Many Faced God and that includes the dragons. So I think the crux of the matter is has Dany caused so much suffering that she rightly deserves the gift. She's not a slaver, not yet... (see below)

My question is if she is a FM who is she meant to kill and why hasn't she killed them yet?

What I suspect is going on, is an old pact from Valyria with the Dragons. Here's the story from the Kindly Man to Arya about their beginnings:

We have flowered in Braavos amongst these northern fogs, but we first took root in Valyria, amongst the wretched slaves who toiled in the deep mines beneath the Fourteen Flames that lit the Freehold’s nights of old. Most mines are dank and chilly places, cut from cold dead stone, but the Fourteen Flames were living mountains with veins of molten rock and hearts offire. So the mines of old Valyria were always hot, and they grew hotter as the shafts were driven deeper, ever deeper. The slaves toiled in an oven. The rocks around them were too hot to touch. The air stank of brimstone and would sear their lungs as they breathed it. The soles of their feet would burn and blister, even through the thickest sandals. Sometimes, when they broke through a wall in search of gold, they would find steam instead, or boiling water, or molten rock. Certain shafts were cut so low that the slaves could not stand upright, but had to crawl or bend. And there were wyrms in that red darkness too.”

“Earthworms?” she asked, frowning.

“Firewyrms. Some say they are akin to dragons, for wyrms breathe fire too.

Note that the Kindly Man never specifically describes dragons or humans in this story, he just mentions "slaves", but he does mention firewyrms. You would think dragons would be used in super hot mines as well since they were found in the fires, so I think I'm making a pretty good assumption the poor dragons were slaves in the mines in this story too.

Also here's Euron's description of what the Dragonbinder horn does:

“That horn you heard I found amongst the smoking ruins that were Valyria, where no man has dared to walk but me. You heard its call, and felt its power. It is a dragon horn, bound with bands of red gold and Valyrian steel graven with enchantments. The dragonlords of old sounded such horns, before the Doom devoured them. With this horn, ironmen, I can bind dragons to my will.”

although Euron is not a very reliable source, we DO know the ancient runes on the horn itself name it Dragonbinder and that is reliable because Moquorro also confirms this with Victarion and also because those glyphs glow when the horn is sounded, so its not something someone added to the horn later to try and pass off any old magical thing as a dragon binder horn:

The horn was as warm and smooth as the dusky woman’s thighs, and so shiny that he could see a twisted likeness of his own features in its depths. Strange sorcerous writings had been cut into the bands that girded it. “Valyrian glyphs,” Moqorro called them. That much Victarion had known. “What do they say?”

“Much and more.” The black priest pointed to one golden band. “Here the horn is named. ‘I am Dragonbinder,’ it says. Have you ever heard it sound?”

“Once.” One of his brother’s mongrels had sounded the hellhorn at the kingsmoot on Old Wyk. A monster of a man he had been, huge and shaven-headed, with rings of gold and jet and jade around arms thick with muscle, and a great hawk tattooed across his chest. “The sound it made … it burned, somehow. As if my bones were on fire, searing my flesh from within. Those writings glowed red-hot, then whitehot and painful to look upon.

This name makes it sound like the horn was used to bind dragons to someone else's whims, which is a pretty classic definition of slavery to me.

So my theory is that the doom of Valyria was caused by the faceless men because they cared about relieving the suffering of slaves, and the dragons were slaves as well. I know its an assumption, but I think its got a good base to work on. All the enslaved dragons asked for the gift, along with any human slaves they may have had, and for their owners as well, and they got it. The doom of Valyria was huge, taking out the entire continent, but the Faceless Men work on ONLY killing those who needed to be killed.

So great, the took out the dragons like they wanted, by taking out the whole continent. But the current problem for the FM is how to kill JUST the dragons along with the people who need to go. Hence the need for them to research how to kill a specific dragon. And dragons are hard to kill.

We know Daena Targaryen the dreamer saw prophesies in her dreams 100 years before the doom and they moved away, taking some dragons with them. The wiki is fuzzy on whether this was voluntary or whether they were exiled, and old source references need to be updated. (Daena the dreamer and Aenar the exile pages on the wiki.) Did she see the slaves in Old Valyria would ask for the gift?

Curiously, the Targayens were left alone, the faceless men didn't go after them. So did the Targaryens co-exist with their dragons instead of enslaving them like they did on Valyria because of Daena's dreams?

Victarion DID have to sail to Old Valyria to find a dragon binder horn, which begs the question of why were they not generally known about or found in Westeros. Perhaps the Targaryen incest was to keep their blood "pure" so they stayed in good stead with their dragons.

So now you, as a faceless man, know the following:

  • Dany, the new dragon queen, is back with dragons and doesn't know how to control them.
  • The dragons are on regular old continents shared with a bunch of other innocent people so doing what you did to give the gift before is not an option.
  • The dragons aren't enslaved YET, but they could be.
  • Your organization had a client (Euron) who's got a Dragonbinder horn from Old Valyria in his possession and you know its on its way to the dragons to be offered up to the queen.
  • Dragons that were enslaved wanted to die and be free of slavery, and perhaps this was a perpetual agreement you FM are supposed to keep. Especially if you want to keep the dragons as YOUR agents.

So in conclusion, I think the Faceless Men may kill whoever tries to bind a dragon and in exchange for the freedom of the dragons all the dragons serve Him of Many Faces. Even a mother can sell her child into slavery, so if Dany allows this method of control over her dragons, I think THAT's when the FM are going to kill her to enforce the gift they gave to the dragons and their owners. Horn loving Victarion is toast. If Dany can find another way, or rediscover the Targaryen way by searching through old books and scrolls, they'll leave her alone. At the same time, they need to discover an elegant way to kill just the dragons in case one or all are bound.

Missandei knows Dany wouldn't want to enslave her dragons, but will she get desperate enough and do it? If Missandei or Jaquen find the Targaryen way to work with them, I expect the information to just "magically" fall in Dany's lap one day because they know Dany will use any option that avoids slavery. The best Master of Whispers is the one you don't even know you have and I hope Missandei ends up being that for Dany.

Perhaps this is why Dany as "blood of the dragon" seems to have this inherent rejection of slavery in her. Here's her attitude towards the task of freeing the slaves from Astapor. She gets all Cercei slap-happy-nutso and the dragons freak out in the slavers presence:

“I have heard all I care to of their training.” Dany could feel tears welling in her eyes, sudden and unwanted. Her hand flashed up and cracked Ser Jorah hard across the face. It was either that, or cry.

Mormont touched the cheek she’d slapped. “If I have displeased my queen -”

“You have. You’ve displeased me greatly, ser. If you were my true knight, you would never have brought me to this vile sty.” If you were my true knight, you would never have kissed me, or looked at my breasts the way you did, or...

“As Your Grace commands. I shall tell Captain Groleo to make ready to sail on the evening tide, for some sty less vile.”

“No,” said Dany. Groleo watched them from the forecastle, and his crew was watching too. Whitebeard, her bloodriders, Jhiqui, everyone had stopped what they were doing at the sound of the slap. “I want to sail now, not on the tide, I want to sail far and fast and never look back. But I can’t, can I? There are eight thousand brick eunuchs for sale, and I must find some way to buy them.” And with that she left him, and went below.

snipping one paragraph...

“They have been wild while you were gone, Khaleesi,” Irri told her. “Viserion clawed splinters from the door, do you see? And Drogon made to escape when the slaver men came to see them. When I grabbed his tail to hold him back, he turned and bit me.” She showed Dany the marks of his teeth on her hand.

Both Dany and the dragons independently have violent reactions against the slavers. (Although you could say slapping Mormont was about something else too! XD) How independently is up for debate, since we know the dragons can sense her presence when near (from her 1st scene visiting them locked up in the pyramid - ADWD) and we really don't know how closely she is linked to them, however we know she feels she can't abandon the slaves. Almost like she has no choice in the matter, its just what has to be done. My thought is, the dragons AND Dany both feel the same obligation to end the suffering of slavery, though Dany doesn't know where it comes from. This ties the story of slavery to the story of magic, which btw is what I think is going on in Westeros and plays into her need to return there. My other cracktastic theory is that Westeros and the First Men were magically enslaved at the pact into those not so happy weirwoods, but I'm still thinking that part of the broken pot through in my head.

Admittedly this is all vague and debatable, but so far It matches up all of Missandei's behavior with a plausible backstory that currently frames how I see her character's actions.

If the FM are interested in Dany, would they really want Arya Stark in Dany's orbit?

Yes, because she already knows what's up anyway. Here's the passage when she returns from giving her first gift:

The kindly man was waiting for her at the House of Black and White, seated on the edge of the temple pool. The ugly girl sat next to him and put a coin on the lip of the pool between them. It was gold, with a dragon on one face and a king on the other.

“The golden dragon of Westeros,” said the kindly man.

“And how did you come by this? We are no thieves.”

“It wasn’t stealing. I took one of his, but I left him one of ours.”

The kindly man understood. “And with that coin and the others in his purse, he paid a certain man. Soon after that man’s heart gave out. Is that the way of it? Very sad.” The priest picked up the coin and tossed it into the pool. “You have much and more to learn, but it may be you are not hopeless.”

Using the coin, I think Arya has inferred to the KM that she knows the FM's story with the dragons and that they are trying to poison them. She's obviously heard about them at the harbor even if she's never reported info on them to the kindly man because she just hears consistent rumors.

I think her POV's routinely omit what secrets Arya has come to know because she's not Arya in them anymore, she's someone else and she only tells us what Cat and the ugly girl and blind girl know. She heard the story from the KM, she knows the story of the doom of Valyria. So she put 2 & 2 together and pulled a subtle move and she handed the Kindly Man that dragon coin she swapped with a poisoned one as a way of saying "I know what you're up to.". There's no 100% evidence for this, just my gut feel, but why else would she have picked a Westerosi dragon coin when a more common coin in Braavosi's purse would have made the crucial task of switching the coins easier? The only other reason I can think of was that she was showing off her skillz, but she was just lectured earlier in that chapter that she should be humble by plague face, so I really doubt it was done to show off.

How often she encounters what coins from the blind girl chapter:

Telling one coin from another by touch alone was one of the first things the waif had taught her, after they took away her eyes. The Braavosi coins were old friends; she need only brush her fingertips across their faces to recognize them. Coins from other lands and cities were harder, especially those from far away. Volantene honors were most common, little coins no bigger than a penny with a crown on one side and a skull on the other. Lysene coins were oval and showed a naked woman. Other coins had ships stamped onto them, or elephants, or goats. The Westerosi coins showed a king’s head on the front and a dragon on the back.

Reasons why I think Arya would be good choice as a helper to Missandei is that as a young girl she'd be able to slip into a role similar to Missandei as a handmaid or cupbearer to gain access and its a role she's played before in the past. Also, I don't think the FM are blind to Arya's connection to animals and they probably know about the Stark connection with direwolves. How could a bunch of people trained to notice details NOT hear her growling and barking in her sleep (Brusco's girls tell her about it on the nights she sleeps with them) when she sleeps under their roof! XD Perhaps they think this affinity would be useful with the dragons in order to be sure if the dragons are free or enslaved because they can't exactly talk. This is something that may be extremely unique among their agents.

She seems to be able to use the same talents with other types of animals now. They likely know she used the cat as her eyes in the fight, even if she did not tell them, and she seems to understand what Casso the seal barks at her. So perhaps they think she may be able to do the same with the dragons.

My main concern is that Missandei (together with Barristan and Dany's bloodriders and handmaidens) are Dany's most loyal and since the FM could be hostile to her (she is a dragon mother) Missandei might not be their agent, unless she is that good. Not the best argument against, I admit; in fact it could be a good argument for - if the FM are, instead, supportive.

So even though I doubt she is FM I like that you've highlighted how underestimated Missandei has been. Sneaking up on Barristan is a really good piece of evidence. For my money, I think she will stick with Dany for along time and prove invaluable, as a strategist. Barristan mentioned in his pov that he thought she was smarter than all of Dany's Meereen council. And all that reading will come in handy one day.

I think whether the FM will be supportive to Dany is going to be based on her upcoming actions and there is still a chance they will work with her and not against her. I think how she deals with her dragons being bound is going to be what makes or breaks the loyalty of the FM, Missandei included, to her. Right now, Dany's an unknown variable to them and they can't trust her.

Also she is young, I was under the impression Arya was a pretty big exception to the rule with how young she was when she began her training. For Missandei to be out and about doing the work of the many faced god, she have completed her training pretty quickly don't you think? I guess it would also be possible she is in disguise and not really 11.

See #1 of post #1. Maybe I didn't explain it well enough, I don't think she's 11, she's just able to put on the young face of the original dead Missandei and pass for 11 because her body is so small. Also if the body of whoever Missandei is isn't naturally small of stature, another possibility is that the FM have potions or poisons they voluntarily take to inhibit growth, a la 36 year old waif style. We know they had no problem making Arya blind from drinking something and the KM warns her they will take any body part they want from her.

I like this theory ,but i'm not leaning on her being a FM. I am leaning towards her being one of the COTF her stature and other features make me believe that. Leaf had said " she had walked among men for 200 years learning and watching". I think that some of them still employ this behavior and that Missandei is doing the same.

Cool thought, I can see that happening. Just because Leaf went home doesn't mean every CotF did.

so if Missandei is an assassin, that doesn't necessarily mean she's there to assassinate anyone. Not yet anyway. RE: GRRM's response to whether or not the FM have been contracted to kill the dragons;

"not yet."

oooo... that GRRM response is omninous! I love it.

Well Missandei has a generally emotional reaction while telling Dany that the Unsullied could be told to fall on their own swords when she is done w/ them. It prompts Dany to ask what upsets her and she reveals that she has a brother in the Unsullied. Doesn't sound much like a FM set up... Does it ever describe her brother's eyes? If they are golden may be a Naath trait, and not indicitave of being a faceless child of the forest...

Well I would counter that an undercover assassin would be pretty good at acting the part, early lessons included "rule your face" to aid proper lying. And they are trained to the exent that they are to consider themselves the person. Though it seems Missandei's less of an actress around Barristan.

I can't find anything that describes Marselen's eyes at all, though he's often mentioned because he's on her council as the head of the Mother's men. Maybe someone else will have better luck then me finding a quote.

This(rumors of Naathi and Braavosi having a common ancestry) is completely new for me, do you have a quote for this as well?

Hmmm, maybe I had a bad word choice there. I think related origin is probably a better word. What I've read in this forum, and noted on rereads, is that the Naathi, moonsingers and CotF share certain physical similarities/habits with those that led the escaped slaves to the area that is now Braavos.

No offense, but I'm all quoted out for today! I'll look into it tomorrow, but just FYI off the top of my head I think there might be 4 passages I'll be looking for.

  • Bran describes leaf.
  • Bran describes the songs he hears them sing:
  • Missandei's Naathi description:
  • moonsingers description according to... Arya?? I think?:

On another tangent, I did find another interesting quote from the book during my searches though:

from ASoS:

“Your Worship, those sly rogues betrayed your trust. It was revealed that they were scheming to restore the Good Masters to power and the people to chains. Great Cleon exposed their plots and hacked their heads off with a cleaver, and the grateful folk of Astapor have crowned him for his valor.”

“Noble Ghael,” said Missandei, in the dialect of Astapor, “is this the same Cleon once owned by Grazdan mo Ullhor?”

Her voice was guileless, yet the question plainly made the envoy anxious. “The same,” he admitted. “A great man.”

Missandei leaned close to Dany. “He was a butcher in Grazdan’s kitchen,” the girl whispered in her ear. “It was said he could slaughter a pig faster than any man in Astapor.”

I have given Astapor a butcher king. Dany felt ill, but she knew she must not let the envoy see it.

Gee, the 11 year old was sure up on the gossip of who was slaughtering who and who owned who wasn't she? And the envoy sure didn't like Missandei asking that question. lol I'll say it again, the best Master of Whisperers is the one you don't even know you have!

Thanks for collecting all those quotes dude! The evidence is damning. I say yay.

You're welcome! :-) And in the spirit of Arya Stark I just gotta say....

I'm a GIRL! :laugh:

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it is a really good theory, i really like that you had examples for everything.

i am not totally convinced she is a FM, but there is something weird about her

somebody said something about how the FM knew that dany would reach astapor, can't find who. Well the FM knew who arya was so maybe they have some seeing in the future.

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it is a really good theory, i really like that you had examples for everything.

i am not totally convinced she is a FM, but there is something weird about her

somebody said something about how the FM knew that dany would reach astapor, can't find who. Well the FM knew who arya was so maybe they have some seeing in the future.

Yes I mentioned that as I am extremely skeptical here. It's not completely out of the realm of possiblity but so far the supporting evidence presented (making the case that Missandei=FM) is extremely weak. Each example used to illustrate that she may be a FM could easily also be construed as in line w/ a character from a culture we have no info on as of yet. for example:

1. The sneaking up on Barristan, who's to say that all the peaceful people of Naath who don't where shoes on their butterfly island (or whatever) ever make noise when they walk around. She does describe approaching her brother while covered in butterflies, and she doesn't disturb them.

2. She reads and writes... she's a scribe, even educated as an interpretor or linguist.

3. This one... I... As I stated above Dany frees her immediately before this change begins. She's quick on her feet (as evidenced w/ Grazdan translating) so an immediate switch in edicate based on her situation is not out of the question.

4. She's young and smart... Does that discount her being the age she says she is? If she didn't age the same as most people (as you say may be a trait on Naath) it seems her brother would look different as well. A young smart scribed educated from capture at a young age is not out of the realm of possibility is it? As you say she may be slightly older than she even knows due to cultural practices (calendar/naming children later ie wildlings).

5. Knowing the butcher of Astapor... if he is as she says known as the best pig butcherer in Astapor, then of course she knows his name. The honorable Master Grazdan must've ordered some pork from time to time. The man annoyed by her knowledge is obviously trying to make things in Astapor look better than they are (like not having a butcher for a king) so that Dany may stir and assist them.

That being said I think you have some great points about possible FM goals, and especially their involvement in the Doom of Valarya. You should start a thread on that compelling info OP as you seem to have an alalytical/observant eye for detail.

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Yes I mentioned that as I am extremely skeptical here. It's not completely out of the realm of possiblity but so far the supporting evidence presented (making the case that Missandei=FM) is extremely weak.

snip...

That being said I think you have some great points about possible FM goals, and especially their involvement in the Doom of Valarya. You should start a thread on that compelling info OP as you seem to have an alalytical/observant eye for detail.

Yup, every one of those individual things can all be easily individually explained, I agree. That's why I put in so many because its a case of a lot of small oddities.

Re: the doom info. Yah I considered it, but I'd never started a thread before so I wanted to start with something a little more specific because I *thought* simpler would be better. Ended up explaining everything anyway! :laugh:

This(rumors of Naathi and Braavosi having a common ancestry) is completely new for me, do you have a quote for this as well?

Here are some analysis of the relevant quotes I could find, there were so many I'm putting the analysis first and quotes after:

Some things to note:

  • It was the moonsingers that led the Braavosi founders there, but the tradition is all gods are honored not just them. What stared that tradition of honoring all gods? Could it be because the Many-Faced God influenced the founding of the city through the moonsingers?
  • we may not know if the eyes of a person change when someone changes faces among the faceless men.
  • Missandei's eyes are not gold and green, just gold and not described as slitted.
  • Bloodraven in the mystery knight
  • used a full body glamor in order to assume the identity of maynard plumm. Otherwise he would have had a regular face with an albino body and would have been discovered quick.


  • If Missandei is a CotF her clawed 3 finger hand would be a dead giveaway something was up, so whatever glamor that would have to be used would have to be an all over glamor.
  • the CotF sing the songs of the earth, moonsingers???
  • their voices, Missandei's voice is sweet and strong, CotF voices are pure as winter air.
  • Its super weird that Bran's first impression is of Arya. Is it just natural or is there some link between the FM and CotF at work that greenseer Bran is sensing?
  • CotF take names when they need them.

My thought is there could be a relationship between the Naathi on their island actually being CotF (like I've seen mentioned that there could be Unicorns on Skaagos Island still) But there are striking differences. Could they be in the general population because of glamors used to hide them or just that they're the offspring of children and men? How did Leaf walk around for 200 years? If the Naathi are a human CotF cross breed I can't see why there wouldn't there be more mixed race children on places OTHER then the island if that were the case, or stories, its pretty strange.

SOS Arya: The braavosi captain explains how Braavos was founded:

“Is the Titan the god of Braavos?” she asked. “Or do you have the Seven?”

“All gods are honored in Braavos.” The captain’s son loved to talk about his city almost as much as he loved to talk about his father’s ship. “Your Seven have a sept here, the Sept-Beyond-the-Sea, but only Westerosi sailors worship there.”

...

“The Moonsingers led us to this place of refuge, where the dragons of Valyria could not find us,” Denyo said. “Theirs is the greatest temple. We esteem the Father of Waters as well, but his house is built anew whenever he takes his bride. The rest of the gods dwell together on an isle in the center of the city. That is where you will find the... the Many-Faced God.”

SOS Arya: As Yorko rows her in:

“Sealords,” said Yorko. “The Isle of the Gods is farther on. See? Six bridges down, on the right bank. That is the Temple of the Moonsingers.”

It was one of those that Arya had spied from the lagoon, a mighty mass of snow-white marble topped by a huge silvered dome whose milk glass windows showed all the phases of the moon. A pair of marble maidens flanked its gates, tall as the Sealords, supporting a crescent-shaped lintel.

Bran describes leaf (before he names her leaf):

His first impression of her as she stops the attack:

he saw a little girl with a torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya … madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away, or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle.

...

And the Arya thing stood over them, clutching her torch.

...

That was not Arya’s voice, nor any child’s. It was a woman’s voice, high and sweet, with a strange music in it like none that he had ever heard and a sadness that he thought might break his heart. Bran squinted, to see her better. It was a girl, but smaller than Arya, her skin dappled like a doe’s beneath a cloak of leaves. Her eyes were queer—large and liquid, gold and green, slitted like a cat’s eyes. No one has eyes like that. Her hair was a tangle of brown and red and gold, autumn colors, with vines and twigs and withered flowers woven through it. “Who are you?” Meera Reed was asking.

Bran knew. “She’s a child. A child of the forest.” He shivered, as much from wonderment as cold. They had fallen into one of Old Nan’s tales.

“The First Men named us children,” the little woman said.

“The giants called us woh dak nag gran, the squirrel people, because we were small and quick and fond of trees, but we are no squirrels, no children. Our name in the True Tongue means those who sing the song of earth. Before your Old Tongue was ever spoken, we had sung our

songs ten thousand years.”

Meera said, “You speak the Common Tongue now.”

“For him. The Bran boy. I was born in the time of the dragon, and for two hundred years I walked the world of men, to watch and listen and learn. I might be walking still, but my legs were sore and my heart was weary, so I turned my feet for home.”

“Two hundred years?” said Meera.

The child smiled. “Men, they are the children.”

“Do you have a name?” asked Bran. “When I am needing one.”

...

Small as she was, the childwho- was-not-a-child moved quickly when she wanted.

Bran sees the eyes of other children...

When he looked off that way, he saw eyes looking back at them, slitted eyes that glowed bright, reflecting back the torchlight. More children, he told himself, the girl is not the only one, but Old Nan’s tale of Gendel’s children came back to him as well.

Bran's further describes them in the cave...

Though the men of the Seven Kingdoms might call them the children of the forest, Leaf and her people were far from childlike. Little wise men of the forest would have been closer. They were small compared to men, as a wolf is smaller than a direwolf. That does not mean it is a pup.

They had nut-brown skin, dappled like a deer’s with paler spots, and large ears that could hear things that no man could hear. Their eyes were big too, great golden cat’s eyes that could see down passages where a boy’s eyes saw only blackness. Their hands had only three fingers and a thumb, with sharp black claws instead of nails. And they did sing. They sang in True Tongue, so Bran could not understand the words, but their voices were as

pure as winter air.

ASOS Dany: first description of Missandei

The girl spoke the Common Tongue well, for one who had never been to Westeros. No older than ten, she had the round flat face, dusky skin, and golden eyes of Naath. The Peaceful People, her folk were called. All agreed that they made the best slaves.

ASOS Dany: Later after conquering Mereen

Missandei had told her of the Lord of Harmony, worshiped by the Peaceful People of Naath; he was the only true god, her little scribe said, the god who always was and always would be, who made the moon and stars and earth, and all the creatures that dwelt upon them. Poor Lord of Harmony. Dany pitied him. It must be terrible to be alone for all time, attended by hordes of butterfly women you could make or unmake at a word.

...

“Are there many flies on Naath, Missandei?”

“On Naath there are butterflies,” the scribe responded in the Common Tongue. “More wine?”

“No. I must hold court soon.” Dany had grown very fond of Missandei. The little scribe with the big golden eyes was wise beyond her years. She is brave as well. She had to be, to survive the life she’s lived. One day she hoped to see this fabled isle of Naath. Missandei said the Peaceful People made music instead of war. They did not kill, not even animals; they ate only fruit and never flesh. The butterfly spirits sacred to their Lord of Harmony protected their isle against those who would do them harm. Many conquerors had sailed on Naath to blood their swords, only to sicken and die. The butterflies do not help them when the slave ships come raiding, though.

ADWD: Missandei's voice

Missandei announced her. The little scribe had a sweet, strong voice.

...

“All kneel for Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Shackles, and Mother of Dragons,” cried Missandei in her high, sweet voice.

Missandei's description of her brother:

Dany wrapped her arms about the girl. “Tell me of him.”

“He taught me how to climb a tree when we were little. He could catch fish with his hands. Once I found him sleeping in our garden with a hundred butterflies crawling over him.

He looked so beautiful that morning, this one … I mean, I loved him.”

ADWD Dany: how she views Missandei:

Missandei was only a child. With her, she felt as if she could be a child too.

ADWD Dany: before wedding:

She relied so much on the little scribe that she oft forgot that Missandei had only turned eleven.

...

the Naathi girl gazed at her with eyes like molten gold

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