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The True Face of the Faceless Men


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But Viserys was eventually recovered from Lys by Oakenfist, where he had been held in secret by merchant princes who thought to profit from his ransom or his death. The price that Lord Velaryon agreed to for his release was enormous, and soon proved a matter of contention. But his release— with his new Lyseni bride, the beautiful Larra Rogare, seven years his elder— was a joy regardless, and for the rest of his days he was the only person Aegon ever fully trusted.

In the end, it was Larra Rogare and her wealthy, ambitious family who helped break the power of the regents and, almost certainly, that of Lord Peake. It was an inadvertent role they played, however, caught up as they were in the Lyseni Spring. This was a time when the Rogare Bank waxed greater than the Iron Bank, and so fell prey to the plots to control the king; they were blamed for many more acts than they were actually guilty of. Lord Rowan, then the Hand and one of the last regents, was accused of being complicit in their crimes and was tortured for information. Ser Marston Waters, now somehow Hand of the King in his place (Munkun, the only regent at this time besides Rowan, is reticent to discuss this in the True Telling), dispatched men to seize Lady Larra after having arrested her brothers. But the king and his brother refused to give her up, and were besieged in Maegor’s Holdfast by Waters and his supporters for eighteen days. The conspiracy eventually unraveled as Ser Marston —perhaps recalling his duty— attempted to fulfill his king’s command to arrest those who had falsely implicated the Rogares and Lord Rowan. Waters himself was killed by his own sworn brother, Ser Mervyn Flowers, when he attempted to arrest him.

The wife of King Viserys II Targaryen, who gave birth to both King Aegon IV (the Unworthy) and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, was the Lady Larra Rogare of Lys. She was a great beauty of Valyrian descent, and seven years the prince’s elder when she wed him at nine-and-ten. Her father, Lysandro Rogare, was the head of a wealthy banking family whose power waxed even greater following the alliance to the Targaryens. Lysandro assumed the style of First Magister for Life, and men spoke of him as Lysandro the Magnificent. But he and his brother Drazenko, the Prince Consort of Dorne, died within a day of one another, beginning the precipitous fall of the Rogares both in Lys and the Seven Kingdoms.

Lysandro’s heir, Lysaro, spent vast sums in pursuit of power and fell afoul of the other magisters, even as his siblings became embroiled in plots to control the Iron Throne. After his fall, Lysaro Rogare was scourged to death at the Temple of Trade by those he had wronged. His siblings received less fatal punishments, and one among them— Moredo Rogare, the soldier who carried the Valyrian sword Truth— eventually led an army against Lys.

If the IB and the FM are going so much hand to hand, do you think the FM played a part in the elimination of Rogares as they were a threat to the monopoly of the IB?

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Re:...the waif I reiterate - we don't know how much of a child she was..

When I was six my father wed again. His new wife treated me kindly until she gave birth to a daughter of her own. Then it was her wish that I should die, so her own blood might inherit my father’s wealth. She should have sought the favor of the Many-Faced God, but she could not bear the sacrifice he would ask of her. Instead, she thought to poison me herself. It left me as you see me now, but I did not die. When the healers in the House of the Red Hands told my father what she had done, he came here and made sacrifice, offering up all his wealth and me.

We don't know how much time passed before the stepmother's daughter was born. We don't know how long it took her to reach the decision to poison the waif (she seems to have given it some thought).We don't know if she tried to poison the waif in one dose, or slowly over time, but I think over time makes more sense (less supicious) and if the motive was the future inheritance, time would be on her side. We don't know when the waif was taken to the house of Red Hands, or if it was after a sudden illness or because she wasn't growing and maturing as she should. She might have been as old as 13 or 14. We don't know.

But before the waif told Arya her story, the kindly Man told Arya this..

“The one you call waif is a woman grown who has spent her life serving Him of Many Faces. She gave Him all she was, all she ever might have been, all the lives that were within her.”

This seems to imply that the waif had a say in the decision. She may have been old enough to request or agree to it herself , originally (or not). But she gave .. Him of many faces did not take... even if (by age) she was on the cusp of maturity, I think, like Arya, she would have been given a chance to opt out before she was in too deep.

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It sounds like the waif was given to the temple but had a choice in whether or not to stay.

On the other hand, just because her father offered her doesn't mean they accepted. They could have put the decision entirely in her hands. And she's definitely been safer there than she would have been with another stepmother like the first one.

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The Iron Bank will have its due, it is said. Those who borrow from the Braavosi and fail to repay their debts oft have cause to rue such folly, for the Bank has been known to topple lords and princes and has also been rumored to send assassins against those it cannot remove (though this has never been conclusively proved).

Unlike Yandel, this is proof enough for us.

Braavos is also home to one of the most powerful banks in the world, whose roots stretch back to the beginnings of the city, when a few of the fugitives took to hiding such valuables as they had in an abandoned iron mine to keep them safe from thieves and pirates.

If there was an abandoned iron mine in Braavos, it means that there was a mining settlement before the city was found. So, the question is who were these people that lived in Braavos long before the city was found there? They were apparently mining iron, tin, lead, slate, and other useful materials that could be found nearby on mainland Essos.

“Didn’t the slaves rise up and fight?”

“Some did,” he said. “Revolts were common in the mines, but few accomplished much. The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril. The first Faceless Man was one who did.”

“Who was he?” Arya blurted, before she stopped to think.

“No one,” he answered. “Some say he was a slave himself. Others insist he was a freeholder’s son, born of noble stock. Some will even tell you he was an overseer who took pity on his charges. The truth is, no one knows. Whoever he was, he moved amongst the slaves and would hear them at their prayers. Men of a hundred different nations labored in the mines, and each prayed to his own god in his own tongue, yet all were praying for the same thing. It was release they asked for, an end to pain. A small thing, and simple. Yet their gods made no answer, and their suffering went on. Are their gods all deaf? he wondered . . . until a realization came upon him, one night in the red darkness.

“All gods have their instruments, men and women who serve them and help to work their will on earth. 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.”

With the FM, you can never be sure whether the underlined part is an example of the oldest literary trick dating back to Homer’s Odysseus vs. Polyphemus.

I think there is a fairly good chance that the order of the FM was founded by a Valyrian overseer who foresaw an immense profit in building such a skilled assassin guild. And the methods of the FM were perfected by the Valyrian bloodmagic. In the red darkness where the first FM was supposedly “enlightened”, slaves were being sacrificed in order to obstruct the lava flow from the Fourteen Flames. “The god approached the First FM in the red darkness and made him his instrument” reads as “the overseer approached the slave with the necessary qualities, taught him bloodmagic to increase his skills as an assassin and transformed him into his instrument.”

When the fame of the FM guild was heard among the Valyrians, they desired to use them in removing their rivals due to their internal feuds.

The owner of the FM guild made tremendous wealth and started looking for a place to store his wealth. Thus born Braavos and the IB.

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  • 2 months later...

I admit that I had never thought of questioning the validity of the early history of the FM as told by the KM. Now that TWOIAF is out, it is time to assess the FM with objective eyes.

This whole “forging” of Arya is a terrible brainwashing process. While designing the FM, I have no doubt that George made heavy use of those conspiracy theories about mind control, secret CIA experiments etc.

Therefore, we should have taken the story of the KM about their origins with a grain of salt, least to say.

What was the story of the KM? Let us briefly remember: Valyrians were terrible slavers, relying on the blood of countless slaves all over the Planetos. The FM realized that suffering has the same universal language/religion. All those gods they were praying were actually different faces of the same deity, namely Him of Many Faces. So, he took it on himself to be the agent of Him of Many Faces and gave the first gift to the poor slave, not to the masters. Arya immediately told him that he should have killed the masters and the KM implied that he eventually did but that story was best shared with “no one”, which means Arya was not brainwashed enough to hear that.

The first flag we should have raised was this: The FM are not avengers. Why should they take it on themselves to kill the masters and cause the Doom? After all, they do not choose who to give the gift.

A handful of maesters, influenced by fragments of the work of Septon Barth, hold that Valyria had used spells to tame the Fourteen Flames for thousands of years, that their ceaseless hunger for slaves and wealth was as much to sustain these spells as to expand their power, and that when at last those spells faltered, the cataclysm became inevitable.

Of these, some argue that it was the curse of Garin the Great at last coming to fruition. Others speak of the priests of R’hllor calling down the fire of their god in queer rituals. Some, wedding the fanciful notion of Valyrian magic to the reality of the ambitious great houses of Valyria, have argued that it was the constant whirl of conflict and deception amongst the great houses that might have led to the assassinations of too many of the reputed mages who renewed and maintained the rituals that banked the fires of the Fourteen Flames.

Since Septon Barth is always right, I think this is the true cause of the Doom. Too many mages that were supposed to maintain the rituals to keep the fires of Fourteen Flames tamed were assassinated due to internal struggles and feuds.

Who do you think assassinated these mages? Why, the FM.

How much gold do you think they were paid for these assassinations? Why, shitloads.

What did they do with all that gold? Why, the capitol of the Iron Bank.

Trading with the Enemy!

Sounds plausible to make. Couldn't destroy Valyria in a convention sense.

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Yes, they also take humans as payment as in the case of the waif. Can anybody explain how exactly is this different from slavery?

High five. Great point. I never thought about that.

Remember Syrios line: "My words lied.My eyes and my arm shouted out the truth,but you were not seeing"

I think that The House of Black and White and The Undying are the true enemies in the series. And Littlefinger is from Braavos. This post provides the foundation. and this post explains why

"Red Darkness" of The Doom sounds an awesome lot like the Bolton Red Kings.who I think were primary instigators in The Long Night.

When you are truly "no one" you are dead. He of Many Faces is The Great Other, but may also be The Weirwood faces.

When you see white Weirwood that represents man and the Tree of Knowlege. When you see black Ironwood it is of The Tree of Eternal Life. when you see both woods together as with The House of Black and White, The Undying and Tobo Matt (who is associated with Varys)... they represent The Gods. The true enemy.

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If IB and FM are associated, I can think of someone who has been giving the IB a tough time and not returning their gold in due time.....

Cersei ! *rubs hands gleefully*

I wish she gets into lot of trouble and the IB make her suffer for that.

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