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Faceless Men and Iron Bank

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If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

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On 4/19/2019 at 11:05 PM, Mordor said:

If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

I need some details:

Does the IB depend on the Braavosi goverment? 

Does the IB have deals with this foreign army?

Does the forgein army depend on a few, very powerful and able generals and commanders?

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On 4/19/2019 at 11:05 PM, Mordor said:

If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

There aren't that many FM to do that but they could certainly destroy the leadership of that army. The question is whether they would agree

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On 4/20/2019 at 12:05 AM, Mordor said:

If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

In FaB the Sealord threatened Jaehaerys with the Faceless Men. Whether it was true then and or is true now we simply don't know. 

They FM are not warriors. They certainly could not destroy an army. Besides that it looks like there aren't more than a couple dozen of them. However they could probably do quite a bit of damage in terms of espionage, sabotage and assassinations. They would be better suited to stop an army from invading in the first place. 

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Braavos seems more of a centralised "modern" state than the feudal 7k. 

It's hard to believe that the IB and the FM operate completely independent of the state. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ser Uncle P said:

It's hard to believe that the IB and the FM operate completely independent of the state. 

I think, that they are the same organization, and that they were established by forefathers/founders of Braavos. First Faceless Man tought others to kill masters, and they escaped from slavers, and settled in the place, that later became Braavos. And Iron Bank was founded by the same people. So at least some workers of Iron Bank are also Faceless Men.

Seems that Uthero Zalyne, who was the Sealord of Braavos 111 years after founding of Braavos, was one of Faceless Men. Also, it's likely, that all other Sealords before and after him were also Faceless Men, including current Sealord (the one, that named Syrio Forel as First Sword of Braavos, arranged engagement between Viserys Targaryen and Arianna Martell, and gave three dragon eggs, previously stolen from Targaryens by Elissa Farman, to mummer-dwarfs Hop Ben and his children - Penny and Oppo, that later came into possesion of Illyrio Mopatis, and were given as a wedding present to Dany).

So FM and IB are not only not operating independently of the state, on the contrary - they both are ruled by the Sealord of Braavos, who is a member of both organizations. He could be Arya's Kindly man. That guy is ruler(Sealord) of Braavos.

Maybe.

Edited by Megorova

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Interesting take on the Sealord having to be FM. Only snag is the office is attained by election, not hereditary. Unless all candidates are FM...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Ser Uncle P said:

Only snag is the office is attained by election, not hereditary.

Though, the Sealord, that possibly gave dragon eggs to Hop Bean, most likely, got them from his predecessor (bloodrelated or not), and that one got them from the one, who was before him, and so on, until that Sealord, who gave a ship to Elissa Farman, in exchange for those eggs. And it's likely, that the people, that are candidates to be chosen thru voting, as the next Sealord, are all keyholders of Iron Bank, and descendants of Forefathers, not just some random inhabitants of Braavos, or passerbys. So all those candidates are related to each other, either thru blood or shared business. There's no random people in their voting poole. So each next Sealord of Braavos is somehow connected to the one before him. Thus, even though it's not hereditary, it doesn't eliminate possibility of what I wrote in my previous post.

Faceless Man/Sealord/Iron Banker <- this could be the meaning of their symbol - two triangles, that together form a shared area in the middle, one man, who rules both organizations and Braavos.

Edited by Megorova

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Let's say the invading army managed to get pass Titan's of Bravoos, and starting looting the city and Iron Bank, would the FM managed to knock out the leader of this army? Or would it just be too late to do anything?

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1 hour ago, Megorova said:

Though, the Sealord, that possibly gave dragon eggs to Hop Bean, most likely, got them from his predecessor (bloodrelated or not), and that one got them from the one, who was before him, and so on, until that Sealord, who gave a ship to Elissa Farman, in exchange for those eggs. And it's likely, that the people, that are candidates to be chosen thru voting, as the next Sealord, are all keyholders of Iron Bank, and descendants of Forefathers, not just some random inhabitants of Braavos, or passerbys. So all those candidates are related to each other, either thru blood or shared business. There's no random people in their voting poole. So each next Sealord of Braavos is somehow connected to the one before him. Thus, even though it's not hereditary, it doesn't eliminate possibility of what I wrote in my previous post.

Faceless Man/Sealord/Iron Banker <- this could be the meaning of their symbol - two triangles, that together form a shared area in the middle, one man, who rules both organizations and Braavos.

Yup, no random people would get even within earshot of the Sealord elections.  Good shout on the 2 triangles with the shared area. 

Braavos is very organised, had to be, to keep itself hidden from Valyrians in its early days, then to keep the city healthy and irrigated despite its location on a shot that lagoon. Requires a detail of micromanagement not needed in the feudal overlord system in the 7K 

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On 4/19/2019 at 5:05 PM, Mordor said:

If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

While excellent assassins, I don't believe the FM could field the kind of army that would stop invaders. Maybe if it was Aegon I where he was such a huge character and had a dragon that his (and his sisters) deaths would totally change the game but a serious army with a real chain of command and stuff wouldn't be rough. Think about a lannister force invading  Braavos. Well equipped, well armed and armored and well trained. Even with Tywin looming larger than life, his death would have little bearing. There owuld be an already thought of plan involving ground invasion and ships etc. At its peak the lannisters could field 60,000 even if you believe in tons of tin foil about people being faceles men (and I am one of the people who does) even the most outside nutty guess would be about 30.

 

If the Iron Bank wanted to resist an invasion force into westeros they would be better off hiring unsullied, free companies and a few faceless men and putting them under the command of a capable general.

 

The bigger question is, what is in it for the bank to stop the invading force anyway?

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2 hours ago, Mordor said:

Let's say the invading army managed to get pass Titan's of Bravoos, and starting looting the city and Iron Bank, would the FM managed to knock out the leader of this army? Or would it just be too late to do anything?

Probably the later one.

The FM are assassins not guerilla fighters. Even if the main leader got killed it would be to late to prevent rape, robbery & anarchy. IMO killing the leader would only make it worse: The Generals would fight over succesion while the soldiers don't get any clear orders & continue their chaos spreading

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I like to think of the Faceless Men as medieval ninjas. They are experts at armed and unarmed combat, disguise, intrusion and escape, and probably espionage and information gathering as well. Plus which, they have magic! 

They could slip into the enemy camp undetected, kidnap a senior officer, kill him,  put his face on one of their agents, and sneak him back into camp to create all kinds of trouble.

Also, I expect that they are skilled at wholesale assassination, not just retail. They could spread the pale mare, or some other plague, around the enemy camp.

Or, imagine that you're in invading general, and you're awakened in your tent late one night by a mysterious stranger who somehow slipped past all your guards, and is holding a knife at your throat. He tells you that, if you don't retreat now, you and your entire family back home will be destroyed...

I'm betting on Braavos.

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3 hours ago, Aebram said:

I like to think of the Faceless Men as medieval ninjas. They are experts at armed and unarmed combat, disguise, intrusion and escape, and probably espionage and information gathering as well. Plus which, they have magic! 

They could slip into the enemy camp undetected, kidnap a senior officer, kill him,  put his face on one of their agents, and sneak him back into camp to create all kinds of trouble.

Also, I expect that they are skilled at wholesale assassination, not just retail. They could spread the pale mare, or some other plague, around the enemy camp.

Or, imagine that you're in invading general, and you're awakened in your tent late one night by a mysterious stranger who somehow slipped past all your guards, and is holding a knife at your throat. He tells you that, if you don't retreat now, you and your entire family back home will be destroyed...

I'm betting on Braavos.

What if the leader of the invading army made countermeasures against FM? 

a) Attacked from the sea like Slaver's Bay did to Mereen.

b) Made plenty of decoys of himself.

c) Have warlocks or shadowbinders to perform a spell for protection against assassins. 

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Those are fair points.  I would say to (a), the short distance from shore to an anchored ship wouldn't stop them.  They could use the old ninja trick (if I beleive those movies) of using a reed or a wooden tube as a snorkel, so they can swim underwater.  (b) is a pretty extreme what-if, difficult to do, and possibly confusing to the invaders themselves.  And it wouldn't stop the FMs, just make their job take longer.  As for (c), well Yes, magic is the wild card in this game.  We don't know how much magical power the FM have, though I suspect it goes beyond the face-changing.  

Hey, if you're an FM, and you put on the face of a dead sorcerer, do you acquire his powers? 

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17 hours ago, Ser Uncle P said:

2 triangles with the shared area. 

I found a picture of iron coin in the World Book, and it has a different symbol on it. Though two elements from which that symbol is made, are also interlocked with each other, forming a shared area inbetween. That other symbol with triangles is from The thing that should not be mentioned.

10 hours ago, Mordor said:

What if the leader of the invading army made countermeasures against FM? 

a) Attacked from the sea like Slaver's Bay did to Mereen. 

Absolutely impossible. From the sea-side Braavos is protected by a mountain-wall 200 feet high. The only passage thru that wall is undernear the Titan, between his legs.

"Despite its humble origins, Braavos has not only become the wealthiest of the Free Cities, but also one of the most impregnable. Volantis may have its Black Walls, but Braavos has a wall of ships such as no other city in the world possesses. Lomas Longstrider marveled at the Titan of Braavos—the great fortress of stone and bronze in the shape of a warrior that bestrides the main entrance into the lagoon—but the true wonder is the Arsenal. There, one of the purple-hulled war galleys of Braavos can be built in a day."

"Within his bronze body are halls and chambers, murder holes and arrow slits, such that any vessel that dared to force the passage would surely be destroyed. Enemy ships can easily be steered onto the rocks by the watchmen inside the Titan, and stones and pots of burning pitch can be dropped onto the decks of any that attempt to pass between the Titan’s legs without leave. This has seldom been necessary, however; not since the Century of Blood has any enemy been so rash as to attempt to provoke the Titan’s wrath."

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3 hours ago, Megorova said:

I found a picture of iron coin in the World Book, and it has a different symbol on it. Though two elements from which that symbol is made, are also interlocked with each other, forming a shared area inbetween. That other symbol with triangles is from The thing that should not be mentioned.

Absolutely impossible. From the sea-side Braavos is protected by a mountain-wall 200 feet high. The only passage thru that wall is undernear the Titan, between his legs.

"Despite its humble origins, Braavos has not only become the wealthiest of the Free Cities, but also one of the most impregnable. Volantis may have its Black Walls, but Braavos has a wall of ships such as no other city in the world possesses. Lomas Longstrider marveled at the Titan of Braavos—the great fortress of stone and bronze in the shape of a warrior that bestrides the main entrance into the lagoon—but the true wonder is the Arsenal. There, one of the purple-hulled war galleys of Braavos can be built in a day."

"Within his bronze body are halls and chambers, murder holes and arrow slits, such that any vessel that dared to force the passage would surely be destroyed. Enemy ships can easily be steered onto the rocks by the watchmen inside the Titan, and stones and pots of burning pitch can be dropped onto the decks of any that attempt to pass between the Titan’s legs without leave. This has seldom been necessary, however; not since the Century of Blood has any enemy been so rash as to attempt to provoke the Titan’s wrath."

So Bravoos is bascially impossible to conquer? Even with all the odds, it's not a immortal or godlike city, despite FM has some advantages. 

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29 minutes ago, Mordor said:

So Bravoos is bascially impossible to conquer? Even with all the odds, it's not a immortal or godlike city, despite FM has some advantages. 

It would be very hard to finance a campaign to conquer Braavos. Doubt any other bank than the Iron Bank could lend that type of funds...

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On 4/19/2019 at 5:05 PM, Mordor said:

If Braavos were invaded by a foreign army, could the Iron Bank use the Faceless Men to destroy that army? And would they succeed?

Yeah easily but in the sense that they would destroy the armies ability to function as an army.  The leadership would be decapitated on every major level to the point that you'd just be left with a mob not an army.

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In addition to all that, I have a theory that Braavos has an internal defense system, designed to get ships that managed to pass through the Titan. It's based on the map on TLOIAF:

"Someone on reddit summed up the city's architecture as being "multiple Galata Towers and the Doge's Palace". In fact, Braavos has ten such towers, while Istanbul never had more than one since the days of Constantinople. In antiquity, this tower controlled the end of an sea chain (boom), such as that one forged under Tyrion's orders in ACOK. Thus, the towers we see are part of an intricate defense system, which may be to be used at some point in the upcoming books."

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