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Missandei is a Faceless Man/Woman perhaps Izembaro

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OMG (the old and the new!), I'm blown away by your theory (and feel a little stupid while reading this, how could I have missed this. I rely on Dany's POV to much...), and I love it.

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While I really like this theory and it is really thought provoking I do not think it's the case. As @SerEndrewTarth stated Missandei starts referring to herself as "I" or "me" because she is now free and is no longer degraded to the point of being viewed as subhuman. A reason she appears to be wise beyond her years may be due to a highly traumatic childhood that ended up with her working for a sadistic master that gilded everyone he trained, among other atrocities. Ultimately I believe this theory is possible but not probable

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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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

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

Barristan being snuck up on:

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:

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.

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:

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

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.

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:

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:

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.


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.

***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:

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.


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?


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:

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:

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.


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: 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

I'm convinced. Wow. I never even thought about this. Intelligently articulated. There is definitely more to Missandei than she is letting up, and being a FM makes too much sense.

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I think the Izembaro part of this theory lies in ruins after the new excerpt from TWoW called Mercy.

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The "golden eyes" argument may be hinting at missandei becoming the golden harpee, even if it's in a red herring sort of way. In some cultures the harpee is a virgin eagle which would coincide with missandei's youth.

I guess there's no reason why she can't be a FM and the Harppee however.

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Concerning Messandei. First your saying she's so slick and then giving examples of her 'slip ups'. I'm not buying it, but hey it was an interesting thought.

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I think the Izembaro part of this theory lies in ruins after the new excerpt from TWoW called Mercy.

It's OK if she's not Izzy, still a great theory and one of the very few I'm on board with

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Missandei is very likely more than she appears, though there is a possibility that she is just a genius child. Missandei is clearly trying to do something more nuanced than simply assassinating Dany or observing Dany's movements. When your 11 year old scribe is offering information and council, she's trying to influence your decisions. Missandei is also trying to learn something by reading. Time spent reading by herself is time she's not spending learning about the Mereenese situation and intrigue. Given all the stuff going on in Mereen, its astonishing that she finds old scrolls to be more important, particularly if she's supposed to be the eyes in Mereen for Faceless Men/the Children/Varys.

For what it is worth, I can't think of any indications that show Missandei is anything more than she seems - she didn't seem to detect Dario sneaking up, didn't defend herself against him, hasn't provided Dany with any special information, and she's flirting with Grey Worm. But book Missandei could be something more than she seems and it could be skipped in the show.

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I also suspect Missandei to be a FM, i'm about 60-70% sure.

One of the most often mentioned counter agruments i've read so far is:"How could the FM know that Dany would go to Astapor and place a FM posing as a slave girl there, possibly for years?"

Well the solution to this problem is pretty simple actually:

FM-Missandei could have been following Dany from Qarth, i even suspect it should be possible for a FM to hide on one of the three boats. Kill the actual slavegirl-Missandei and take her face.

This is not a stretch, something similar has been done by Jaqen with Pate and apparently he is good enough posing as Pate, that none of the other apprentices, maesters or even archmaesters seem to have noticed it. And Pate has spent over 2 years with those people.

It could very well be, that the actual-Missandei was replaced by FM-Missandei shortly after Dany took Astapor. It would be even easier to pose as a young slave girl, that not even a handful of the Unsullied know (and she doesn't even spend time with them!)

well, in the chapter where they give Arya her "first new face" :

Then came a tug and a soft rustling as the new face was pulled down over the old. The leather

scraped across her brow, dry and stiff, but as her blood soaked into it, it softened and turned supple.

Her cheeks grew warm, flushed. She could feel her heart fluttering beneath her breast, and for one long

moment she could not catch her breath. Hands closed around her throat, hard as stone, choking her.

Her own hands shot up to claw at the arms of her attacker, but there was no one there. A terrible sense

of fear filled her, and she heard a noise, a hideous crunching noise, accompanied by blinding pain. A face

floated in front of her, fat, bearded, brutal, his mouth twisted with rage. She heard the priest say,

“Breathe, child. Breathe out the fear. Shake off the shadows. He is dead. She is dead. Her pain is gone.


later it is explained that this is a memory of the, well, previous owner of the face (how she died)... it might be that trained FM are able to read more memories from the dead person in some way. This might be a lil far fetched but hey, if one can warg and the dead man from the watch remembering where the old bear his chambers were... So i think it's not completely impossible

also for the CofF and the Naathi being related somehow...

“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.”

so they are already around for quuuuuuuuuuuite some time... they were never many and even tho we don't know much facts about their history, origins and society (at least i don't know much about it), there's bound to have been quarrels amongst them or groups having different ideas or idealogies

those who sung the song of the earth <--> moonsingers

maybe some families started to travel, and there might be a sea now where there used to be a jungle or a desert.

our earth has changed a lot, so why not there as well?

and they live quite a long time, since Leaf has walked amongst humans for 200 years. We don't know how long it is since she has returned, but i'ld guess her age to be around at least 300 years old. Why? well, if you live long enough to walk around with humans for 200 years you'll have to be of a certain age as well i'ld guess, they won't send a toddler out and about in a hostile world. And if you have such a long lifespan, i'ld think the "infant/study" time would take quite a few years as well. Yes, they just have to "tap in" to get all information they need, but it is a gift that needs to be trained and developed.

So for people who live that long, a hike of 10000 km's isn't that far. And since their bond and affection with nature, i do think they would be able to use some animal for help with travel

And as seen throughout history of mankind, every worship/religion had splintergroups at some point. So why not with CotF who start revering the moon as "mother" instead of earth? and being the wise people, instead of creating conflict they just seperated and went somewhere apart so no trouble would come of religions creating quarrel amongst themselves.

With that in mind, i do keep an open mind for it :)

to the OP... wow... just wow :-) great job! (yes i know a lil late, been on these forums quite some time now, but only recently created an account)

i'll deffo be looking for more of you :)

don't share all of your theories, but you do make a good point and even show where it flaws. That shows an open mind and i like that! I'm curious to find out which of your theories will prove to be true :)

PS : if any of this has already been mentioned i do apologise, but i only got to second page and i have to reply cuz i already forgot half of i what i wanted to say :-/

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I am going to have to agree with several of the previous posters.

I really doubt that Missandei is a faceless man, but I am pretty sure she is more than she seems.

Naath seems to have some sort of magical shit going on, maybe its some fossil population of the CotF interbreeding with the people there. I forget, are the Chldren vegetarians, or is that just giants? The Naathi are all vegetarians is the only reason I bring it up. There is some discussion of the Naathi religion and it has some to do with butterflies and fairies if I remember correctly, and the CotF fit some of the old fairy mythology.

In any event I think she is going to become a bit more central. She seems to be Selmys personal assistant at this point.

If however she were a faceless man and did take a stab at Dany that would be an air guitar moment.

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I do not think the Children (really should call them Singers) are vegetarians because of all the animal bones they see in the caves (mostly rodent).

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The theory of Missandei being a Faceless Maid is pretty enticing. If true, it definitely makes her the hottest and most intriguing character for me. But the assumption that she is, “Too good at what she does for her age,” is not entirely true. People are underestimating young ones. And this doesn’t debunk the topic, it just points out that it is entirely possible Missandei is really just smart.

First, the theory bases a lot on the supposed fact that Missandei could not learn so many languages so young. It bases on that, then builds up from there. For example, Missandei is fulfilling the role of a Maester for badly burned Quentyn, administering milk of the poppy and so on. Yes but, the little girl basically spends most of her waking hours buried in piles of scrolls. Missandei feeds a constant flow of information to her brain (even if she really is a thirty year old, she still does this) and that is why she is so smart and can do these things. And such people as this are like dry sponges, they just soak up everything they see and hear and miss nothing. Missandei might just be naturally exceptionally perceptive.

The main argument that she is not really this perceptive and needs a head start is based on her languages. Let me give you a quote about the French man who cracked the Egyptian hieroglyphs via the Rosetta Stone, “But far away in the provinces, a child prodigy Jean-Francois Champollion was growing up. Although too poor for a privileged education, his elder brother encouraged his gift for languages. And by the time he was thirteen, Champollion spoke six ancient tongues.” Also, I do not think the “ancient tongues” includes languages such as modern French, German and English and such he likely spoke. Keep in mind, this is a poor boy taught mostly by ambition. So the real life Champollion goes to show that a fictional Missandei character is entirely possible. And not only was he a wiz with languages, the English had their best in the field working on the Rosetta Stone and this poor French boy beat them all to the solution (by discovering ancient Egyptian is very similar to Coptic and going from there).

In conclusion, I think it is entirely possible Missandei could be a Faceless Maid, but it is not impossible she is merely a very talented child either.

Actually, it is kind of sardonic for Martin to put Missandei beside Dany. As Missandei is an eleven year old girl who is about a thousand times smarter than her queen in every way, with Dany being just so damn ignorant. Contrasting Missandei against Dany highlights Her Grace’s vast gaping chasm of flaws, which might explain why Martin invented such a rare type of character (child genius).

Here’s a humorous afterthought, when Dany watches the slaves dancing whilst she treats with Xaro, a naked little girl climbs atop the pyramid and stands tall. Dany surmises the girl is intended to be her and she is being mocked. What if it is Missandei, because she actually is a former slave like in the depiction, and she has been carrying Dany through a few conversations with foreign dignitaries like leading a blind drunk home after a night’s heavy drinking. That is entirely inconsequential, but a funny prospect!

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If all of this is indeed true, you really should get some sort of reward once GRRM ends our beloves series. :)

But to be honest, im with most of the people here. I think theres definetly some important secret about Missandei

that we dont know yet. Anyway i dont believe she´s a FM. I mean, just how she got into Dany´s service...it just seems very unlikely.

If she changed into Missandei before, it just seems very very dangerous even for a FM, Krazny could just have decided to hurt/kill/maybe even sell her etc.

After all she is only a slave, albeit a very useful and precious one.

If she changed into her afterwards, i too think she wouldnt have been able to blend in so perfectly.

But, i just finished my first read yesterday evening, so my opinions are just....my opinions. :)

The Targaryen-Theory i find pretty convincing, i dont know if its true but i dont have the slightest evidence against.

Great Post.


edit: sorry for digging this one up, didnt realize its so old

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Soooo, he shows you text about how small passages are in the mines of Old Valarya and your response is:

"Caves and mines are big, think about it!"

No good can come from you being to emotionally invested/attached to your own theory/thread. You are not entertaining the possibility that maybe, just maybe, Missandei is who she seems to be... I mean would Arya be sent to apprentice w/ a deep undercover FM when the stakes are so high? :dunno: Maybe we give them too much credit and they are really a bunch of idiots.

EDIT: *The FM are idiots*. I wanted to edit this as it just seemed too rude when I re-read the post... OP you seem like a very informed reader. I just don't want you to get too sold on your own theory which can hamper your genius.

Maybe you can clear up for me the gaps in the theory by giving me your opinion on a few questions:

1. Where do you think the FM got the info that Dany would go to Astapor? It's a pretty spur of the moment type decision IIRC.

2. What do you think their ultimate goal is? ie obtaining dragons/destroying dragons/serving Dany/assasinating Dany.

3. What's in it for them? Did someone pay all they had to murder Dany/Dragons? Could it possibly be Pryat Pree (if you don't believe Euron fed him to the sea)? Or do you believe there is a hidden FM agenda that the readers are not in on yet?

1. Barring some magical reason like a glass candle I don't think that the FM actually were expecting Dany to show up there. I'd imagine the reason that Missendei was in Astapor was to keep tabs on who was purchasing Unsullied. Braavos in general hates the slave trade and it makes sense that they would have people keeping an eye on Slaver's Bay.

2. I like at this moment Braavos and the FM aren't sure what to make of Dany. They hate or at the very least fear dragons and hate slavery. An descendants of Valyria with dragons would be likely be put to the top of the FM hitlist. Yet instead of Dany using dragons to take slaves as the Valyrians did she is using dragons to free slaves. Dany has single handedly smashed the slave trade which I'd imagine the FC want.

3. Yes its likely that the FM have a dragon egg from Euron. Why else would Pate be at the Citadel trying to steal books and learn from Marwyn the Mage? The FC and Braavos have been trying to get rid of slavery for centuries. Dragons would be the golden ticket and ironic justice.

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Great theory, it makes me sad to point out "This One" is how slaves are trained to identify themselves. Remember, slaves are given names by their masters, but must always refer to themselves submissively. Missandre corrects herself because Dany freed her, and reminds her that she doesn't need to speak in slave tongue anymore. However, I share your suspicion something (especially show Missande) is amiss.

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