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About Arya's FM Training and Game Of Thrones

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Rough summary of FM training.

Faceless Men wear the faces of dead people. This means the need to learn many professions and languages, as they are constantly disguised as other people. For this reason, they learn more than one language as their mother tongue and gain experience in various professions or receive training with the mummers in order to take on these characters.

After all, a wide variety of things have to be faced and have to be in different circumstances. They must know how to act like a fisherman, a prostitute, or a soldier. For this reason, in the case of being deaf, blind and possibly mute, they learn to see and hear what is going on around them in this way, and of course they see, hear and understand the lies of the people in front of them. So you can never lie to someone with an FM training, and you can't even tell when they're lying.

Also, according to what we see from Arya, she is asked to learn and tell three things she did not know before. This obviously has two purposes; the first is to increase her attention to everything going on around her and second to gather "information". Even the smallest information can be useful to you. Of course, Arya also takes poison-potion lessons in the book.

Also, they should probably be learning techniques to kill people in the future, fighting etc. and more. I guess the last thing I said is might be advanced education. Their most important feature, as you already know, is that they wear the face skin of dead people and make it look like their own.


"Mummers change their faces with artifice," the kindly man was saying, "and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamors dissolve before sharp eyes, but the face you are about to don will be as true and solid as that face you were born with..."

According to The Kindly Man, this is something more depper than sorcerers' glamors or mummers' disguises. When we say sorcerer we think of Melisandre, and when we say mummer, I'm sure we think of Varys. We've seen both, and the Faceless are taught their methods as well.

Changing faces is actually “in my opinion” kind of like the ability to skinchanger, but obviously people who are trained as FM take this ability later, not innately. So they change their skin like a skin changer, and they do it using the faces of the dead, just as Others warg dead bodies. This is a sign to me that FM's powers are coming from Westeros, the old northern powers. Because there is no such talent anywhere else. Considering the variety of magic in Essos, in particular, indicates that there is something deeper than magic, as the Kindly Man said. However, as I said, changing faces is not something that is innate, but something that is learned later and can be acquired by going through a certain education and stage.

When we look at Arya's face changing scene, there is an interesting detail.

If you remember, Bloodraven fed Bran a kind of porridge to enable him to use his green-seeing powers, to integrate with the tree. Now they're making Arya drink a potion, something sour - lemony, to wake something up for change power something. After that, they put the face.

It makes sense, otherwise anyone who'd scratch their face and cut a person's face could do it.

We also obviously see blood magic here, because all types of magic, no matter what type, are based on "blood". Arya uses her own blood in a kind of magic to put on the face. Then that facial skin sticks to her face as if it were her own skin and she has a different face for the eyes that see, though she says she doesn't feel any different, she still feels her own facial features when she touches her face. In other words, the person wearing the face still sees that it is himself, but the other side does not see it that way.

The most important detail here is that Faceless may have some memories of the person wearing the face, but probably not all. Naturally, she probably has her voice as well. This brings to mind the Others who warg dead bodies; Jon was talking about the dead still remembering things. Warging the dead does not seem to be much different from the Faceless wearing the face of the dead; they both wear the skin of a dead man and may have some of his memories. I think this is another important piece of evidence proving that there is a connection between the two sides.

According to The Kindly Man, a FM training (learning their spells and things whatever) takes years of work, training, and sacrifice. In other words, they do not graduate the man in such a year, because as he said, "if it was easy, everyone would do it."

Arya's FM Training

  • Language education

KM asks Arya to learn Braavos language first.

He then asks her to learn the language of Valyria, Lys, and Pentos. From what we've seen in the published books, Arya has now learned all of these languages except Pentos. We'll see in the next book that she probably learned Pentos as well.

The remarkable point; Valyria is the mother tongue of Dany, Lys is mother tongue of Varys and Pentos is mother tongue of Illyrio.

  • Poisons and potions

Arya took lessons about many poisons and potions, including the poison called Tears of Lysa that killed Jon Arryn(and sweetsleep), we don't know which ones she's learned so far, but it's clear that the Waif will teach her all the poisons she knows. She is beginning to learn these lessons when she was blind for the first time, so she learned the smell and taste of these poison-potions, and even fell ill because of it.

  • Understanding the lie

A FM can detect lies both from micro face gestures and from the voice itself. It was one of the first things Arya learned. So that means you can never lie to Arya.

  • Ability to change the face

KM says he will teach Arya both the Fm method and the sorcerers' and mummer's method. Since Arya is currently training with mummers and has worked on facial expressions before, we can assume she learned the mummer method. We can assume that she learned this FM thing too, since she changed her face at least twice. Only the sorcerers' method remained. I'm not sure if she will find out but she probably will, we may not see it of course.

  • Sword fight and to kill

So, everyone knows it actually, since book 1, she has learned to fight and kill.

  • Obtaining Intelligence

Ever since Arya came to Braavos and started training, she's learned to obtaining intelligence, and of course to pay much better attention to her surroundings. It's actually a kind of spying skill.

  • Seeing in the dark.

During FM training, your existing sense organs are taken from you and you learn to perceive your environment without them.

Arya has been trained in "blindness" so far, I'm not sure if she will have time to take other trainings, but she learned the most important one in my opinion. You may be blinded in some way during a fight, or there may be an object or path that you need to find secretly in the dark, learning to see without seeing gives you an advantage in every way.

Also, probably this training must have opened Arya's 3rd eye completely because after she goes blind the cat starts to warg. Lorath worships a blind deity and its priests lead a blind life by blindfolding, believing that this will open their third eye. After Arya became blind, she also blindfolded them, just like them.

What are these abilities good for?

As one of the big five, Arya is expected to occupy a position of crucial influence in the battle of ice and fire, as are the others (Jon, Tyrion, Dany, Bran). Her fighting skills are what she would need for a battle anyway. This topic does not address a question.

But what good will Arya's skills, such as changing her face, detecting lies, learning poisons-potions and learning languages, do? In the coming battle, you are not expected to change your face against The Others or chat with them and find out if they are lying or telling the truth.

Nor can you expect an author to equip a character with abilities she would not use, there is no logic to that. Like the Chekhov weapon, if character x has a weapon or has learned a skill then it is a must to use it in the future.

Looking at games of thrones, the vast majority of Arya's abilities are weapons to be used for intrigue-methods used during this game; understanding the lie, poison-potion, intelligence...etc.

Check out the languages KM wants Arya to learn. It's all about who Arya and the Starks will meet in the future: Valyria (Dany); Lys(Varys); Pentos (Illyrio)

I hope you didn't think that this language choice was a coincidence. In particular, Varys and Illyrio are people with secret plans and intrigues to achieve their goals. Things like the language that these people will use among themselves and the documents being in their own language are a plus for Arya. They probably cannot think that Arya will know these three languages, so Dany, Varys and Illyrio speak their own language freely, but Arya would will understands everything. If there is such a scene in the future, it would indeed be another nice parallel with Dany. She had done the same in Astapor, pretending not to know her native language.

We also know how Petry is a liar. But where he lies, where he exaggerates or speaks the truth, it's hard to tell. I always thought LF would use Sansa against her family, or rather Jon. For this reason, it will be a big plus for Arya to understand all these lies easily against the lies of LF and Sansa. You know LF used the poison thing (Lysa-Jon Arryn), there's no reason why it shouldn't happen again. Arya knows (probably) all of the poisons. At some point he may decide that this is the best way to get rid of Jon.

We can think of Arya would using her face-switching ability to "kill" Cersei, but it's the valonqar who will kill her, not Arya. There may be a big head he wants to kill in the future, of course, that's another matter. We can see from Jaqen that his face swapping ability is not just for murder. It is also used to infiltrate in order to some where gain information or steal something. Naturally, Arya can use this ability to gain information from LF or Varys.

So in general, using all these abilities... that way, she can thwart the plots against Jon and Starks.

As I said in conclusion, these abilities can best be used in game of thrones, and if GRRM wrote her these abilities, it's for use. For this reason, it is highly likely that we will see Arya positioned as some kind of advisor and major supporter of Jon, as a shield-weapon for Jon and the Starks against these intrigues, and it would be fair to expect it.

Thank you for reading.



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I have more trouble figuring out Arya's future and the FM's plans for her than just about any other.  There are many different ways it could go.  But I think a few things are clear.

Arya does not yet know how to change faces.  I suspect it is only taught to actual initiates into the Faceless Men.  And Arya is not going to be made a Faceless Man.  Given the time constraints, she should be a lot farther along in her training if that were the case.  She knows little more about actually killing people than she did when she arrived.  She's had no weapons or unarmed combat training, and her knowledge of poisons is mostly theoretical.  She would be much better at identifying a poison victim than making one.

Her training is more like that for a spy or detective.  I think the Faceless Men intend something along those lines for her.  As a member of a prominent Westeros family, she would be well placed to provide information, money, shelter, and run interference for them.  My guess is that she will be required to promise to help if needed in exchange for leaving without consequence.

Obviously, these skills would be useful in dealing with other movers and shakers in Westeros.  She will be well equipped to help her family regain its lost stature. 

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2 hours ago, Nevets said:

I have more trouble figuring out Arya's future and the FM's plans for her than just about any other.  There are many different ways it could go.  But I think a few things are clear.


I've been trying to put together the puzzle pieces about Arya's story for many years. I have a lot of threads about it, if you want to read it...


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