the-many-faced-god

4

— “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time… but it wasn’t. Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.


(…) The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, he can’t have this.

7

The Best of Arya Stark: Moment
↳ 2. Hiding Needle

Needle was too small to be a proper sword, it was hardly more than a toy. She’d been a stupid little girl when Jon had it made for her. “It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time… 

 … but it wasn’t. 

Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes. 

Polliver had stolen the sword from her when the Mountain’s men took her captive, but when she and the Hound walked into the inn at the crossroads, there it was. The gods wanted me to have it. Not the Seven, nor Him of Many Faces, but her father’s gods, the old gods of the north. The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, but he can’t have this. 

She padded up the steps as naked as her name day, clutching Needle. Halfway up, one of the stones rocked beneath her feet. Arya knelt and dug around its edges with her fingers. It would not move at first, but she persisted, picking at the crumbling mortar with her nails. Finally, the stone shifted. She grunted and got both hands in and pulled. A crack opened before her. 

“You’ll be safe here,” she told Needle. “No one will know where you are but me.” She pushed the sword and sheath behind the step, then shoved the stone back into place, so it looked like all the other stones. As she climbed back to the temple, she counted steps, so she would know where to find the sword again. One day she might have need of it. “One day,” she whispered to herself.

Me: *snuggled in bed about to go to sleep* man I’m almost done with my work week, thank the gods and-

*SITS BOLT UPRIGHT*

JAQEN H'GHAR IS ARDYN IZUNIA

Jon x Female Reader

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Imagine ruling an empire and being known all around the Seven Kingdoms as the ice queen but when meeting Jon, you fall in love.

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\ Request from anonymous /

Hi if you stil taking request can you do reader is like ice queen and she meet whit Jon Snow . Then they both fall in love.

♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

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freckl3d  asked:

Can you help explain to me what purpose it is exactly that the faceless men serve? Do they just kill people who deserve it and bestow the gift of death to those that truly need it? Is that all? I feel like I'm missing the purpose behind it all..

The Faceless Men are a Braavosi secret society of assassins, who are contracted to assassinate people. They are extremely expensive, and the more prominent the target, the more it costs to hire them. (Littlefinger said it costs the equivalent of hiring an army of sellswords just to target a merchant.) However, Arya has learned that the price is always within the means of the person requesting the assassination, if they are willing to make the sacrifice – so a poor person could indeed ask the Faceless Men to assassinate a very prominent person and the price would not be nearly as much as if a rich person made the request, but the relative cost to each person would be equally dear. The Faceless Men were founded in Valyria centuries before the Doom (and may have been instrumental in the Doom), but it’s currently unknown when they first came to Braavos, whether among the slaves who escaped Valyria, in the years it was a secret city, or after it was revealed to the world.

One major characteristic of the Faceless Men, beyond being an assassin society, is that they also are a religious cult. They serve the “Many-Faced God”, their name for death, which incorporates all the death gods of all the religions in the world. The Stranger of the Faith of the Seven, the Lion of Night of Yi Ti, the Black Goat of Qohor – to the Faceless Men they are all faces of the same god. Presumably this also includes the Other of the R’hllorist faith, as that dualistic religion holds that R’hllor brings life and the Other brings death. (Note however that R’hllorites would probably consider the MFG a false god, as that’s how they feel about all religions besides their own, that they are tricks of the Other or his demons.)

Because of their faith, the Faceless Men hold death to be a sacrament, the gift of the Many-Faced God; and in their temple, the House of Black and White, is a pool of poisonous water that visitors may drink for a quick and painless death. Also because of their faith, the Faceless Men are highly reluctant to kill anyone who has not been “marked and chosen” by the Many-Faced God. (This is likely why it’s known that they charge so much for their assassination services, to discourage anyone but the most desperate (or rich) from seeking them out.) On their assassination missions, the rule is to kill only the target, not bystanders or any guards the target may have. Also, they make no moral judgements on the assassination target; it does not matter if the victim was a good or bad person, as they do not decides who deserves to die, only the Many-Faced God does.

“And are you a god, to decide who should live and who should die?” he asked her. “We give the gift to those marked by Him of Many Faces, after prayers and sacrifice. So has it always been, from the beginning. I have told you of the founding of our order, of how the first of us answered the prayers of slaves who wished for death. 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.”

–The Kindly Man, ADWD, The Blind Girl

Another characteristic of the Faceless Men, unique to their order (and unlike other assassination societies such as the Sorrowful Men*) and what gives them their name, is their ability to change faces. They use makeup and disguises and magical glamours, but also their own unique magic – they have a library of faces (skinned from those who die in the House of Black and White and perhaps elsewhere, and then preserved), and through potions and magic a Faceless Man can cover their own face with this preserved face, and to everyone who views them, it’s as if they look exactly like that person did before their death. It’s yet unknown whether height and weight and gender are included in this change, or if this is handled through illusion magic or actor’s tricks, or if the Faceless Man can only use faces of people similar in body type to their own.

*The Sorrowful Men are another society of assassins (from Qarth rather than Braavos), but we don’t know anything about their habits except that they whisper “I am so sorry” before killing their target, and that one used a manticore when attempting to assassinate Dany. There may be other assassin societies throughout the world, but the Sorrowful Men and Faceless Men are the only ones that have been named so far.

Another element of the “facelessness” of the Faceless Men is their practice of discarding identity and individuality, to become “no one”. Novices are taught to train their face to avoid tells and body language that gives any hint of their old identity and personality, and are frequently questioned to see how far they have come in discarding their identity. They do not use names or even pseudonyms (the names Arya uses for them are her own, based on their apparent physical characteristics), but only refer to each other as brothers and sisters, novices and acolytes and servants and priests. When considering assassination targets, the priests meet in the House of Black and White, and anyone who knows the target recuses himself from the assignment – only one who does not know the person may give them the gift of the Many-Faced God. (This is another possible reason why more prominent targets are so expensive; it’s definitely the reason why the sailors on the Titan’s Daughter gave Arya gifts and made sure she remembered their names.)

And of course there is their mottoes “valar morghulis” (all men must die) and “valar dohaeris” (all men must serve). Though these are sayings from Old Valyria and are used throughout Essos in various contexts, as a specific password and response they appear to be unique to the Faceless Men and those who serve them. Saying “valar morghulis” and presenting a coin of the Faceless Men to any man of Braavos acts as an identifier, and the Braavosi will then do all they can for that Faceless Man.

Known targets of the Faceless Men during the course of the books: Balon Greyjoy; also an insurance salesman who cheated the heirs of his client. Also there are the victims of the Faceless Man who once called himself and used the face of the Lorathi Jaqen H’ghar (and later called himself the Alchemist and is now disguised as Pate the Citadel novice), many who seem to have been killed against the known rules of the FM – but it is unknown whether that Faceless Man is on some mission or whether he’s gone rogue.

And if you’re wondering about the literary purpose of the Faceless Men, it’s to provide interest to GRRM’s worldbuilding (acting as analogues to (fictionalized versions and legends of) the Thuggees and Hashishin), to move Arya along her plotline and develop her character and skills, to possibly provide answers to certain mysteries of the story, and of course to be an element in this plotline. I hope that answers your question. 

bael-bard  asked:

You are one of the few people who believes that Arya will survive and reunite with her family. Can you explain why? To me it always seemed like Arya is too damaged to live a normal life after the series ends. And there is FM problem. I doubt, that they approve of deserting, so even if Arya survives, one day they'll come for her. I always assumed that her story will be the bitter part of the ending. Dying in the North and leading the wolf pack. Long wolf dies but the pack lives. What's your take?

Damn! Am I really “one of the few people” who thinks that Arya makes it through? I am so bad at determining what the fandom thinks! Ludicrously, entertainingly bad!! Everyone watch me be bad at this!!!

Anywho. I’m sorry to be a pedantic dick about this, but: “normal life” means precisely squat. I guarantee that if I asked you to straight-up define what “normal life” means, and why those outside of it should be considered more likely to die, you wouldn’t have a coherent answer. Moreover, Arya’s a Lord Paramount’s daughter, so she was never going to live a “normal life.” This is what was going to happen to her if her father’s downfall had never happened…

“You,” Ned said, kissing her lightly on the brow, “will marry a king and rule his castle, and your sons will be knights and princes and lords and, yes, perhaps even a High Septon.”

…and that sure as shit ain’t the average experience of her time and place! (This, btw, is part of why I’m leery of interpretations of ASOIAF as a radical revolutionary text: almost all of the POVs are elites. Even Davos has been knighted by the time we meet him. Deconstructing the elite perspective is not the same as presenting the working-class perspective, and genuinely revolutionary texts tend not to grant POV status to inconveniently monstrous peasants like Chett and Varamyr. ASOIAF is a reconstructive text, not a revolutionary one.)(Hey I’m an anti-Marx leftist, can you tell??)

Anywho. If Arya was really going to succumb to the Faceless Men and/or die in their service, I don’t think GRRM would have bothered with this:

“It’s just a sword,” she said, aloud this time…

…but it wasn’t.

Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell’s grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan’s stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow’s smile. He used to mess my hair and call me “little sister,” she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.

Polliver had stolen the sword from her when the Mountain’s men took her captive, but when she and the Hound walked into the inn at the crossroads, there it was. The gods wanted me to have it. Not the Seven, nor Him of Many Faces, but her father’s gods, the old gods of the north. The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, but he can’t have this.

This is the ultimate thesis of Arya’s time among the Faceless Men: she is terrible at being a Faceless Man. She’s good at the mechanics of assassination, don’t get me wrong, but she’s failing utterly at the crucial ego-death part of it, because she has a pre-existing identity in which she’s still super-invested. She cannot be No One, because she is Arya Stark, and will always be Arya Stark. Her whole story hinges on that central tension: will the hell she goes through be enough to destroy her sense of self? I adamantly come down on the side of “no.” She will reclaim her identity, and like Theon, her true name will return to her chapter headings. 

Why? Because Arya Stark is the goddamn Batman (from the traumatic parent-death to the ninja training to the stubborn desire to fight for the powerless even as your world tells you to be a nihilist), and GRRM knows that Batman means nothing without Bruce Wayne. Everything about Arya’s relationship to home and her Stark identity suggests to me that this is a “pull yourself back just before you’re lost forever” story. The Faceless Men bring that struggle to the brink, because their whole thing is destroying identity in the name of a perfect death. But between Needle and Raff, Arya is clearly not passing that test. She’s still “the Ned’s girl.” Which IMO will be her triumph in the books to come–reclaiming the Stark identity that has been put in such danger. 

Now, if you were GRRM, and you wanted to spark that reclamation of self, how would you do it? Would you maybe take a girl Arya knows, and have her passed off as “Arya Stark,” and send her to Braavos to spark the true Arya’s homecoming, bringing Arya’s identity arc to a head by having her actively retake her Stark self from the young woman burdened with it? Because…I think that’s exactly what GRRM is doing! I firmly believe this is why he had Stannis send Jeyne Poole (feigned as Arya) off with Justin Massey in Theon I TWOW–to provide Arya with precisely the challenge she needs to abandon the FM and all they represent, as well as a way back home. The spectacle of someone else claiming her name will IMO be the perfect thing to bring Cat/Mercy/whatever else back to Arya Stark.

puzzlingsnark  asked:

Arya and her moon references/symbolism pretty please ?

oh no problem you know this is my favorite subject lol. theres a lot of references to the moon in her story. its a part of the wild, natural world which arya has a strong connection to. its obviously associated with nighttime when arya is very active. even when she does sleep the moon is shining in her wolf dreams. its reminiscent of werewolves; by the light of the moon arya becomes a wolf. wolves (and cats) are lunar animals too.

And when the moon broke through the clouds, she threw back her head and howled. (ASOS)

Her nights were lit by distant stars and the shimmer of moonlight on snow, but every dawn she woke to darkness. (ADWD)

i think the most significant aspect of the moon’s symbolism in arya’s arc is cycles. the waning of the moon represents letting go. the waxing represents growth. just as the moon waxes and wanes so does arya’s identity. she goes from arya to arry to weasel to nan and then back to arya. and so it goes. the full moon is arya; fully realized and at the height of her power. no one is represented by the new moon, where the moon is completely hidden but will be reborn. this is exactly how the text presents it too. during the nights where the moon is black arya returns to the house of black and white and becomes no one. another noteworthy example: its with a full moon overhead that arya hears a tree calling her true name in mercy. the full moon in all its glory is whole just as arya is when she’s arya stark as opposed to one of her many aliases, which are only shadows of her real self. this is a very intentional motif imo.

“All men must serve.” And so she did, three days of every thirty. When the moon was black she was no one, a servant of the Many-Faced God in a robe of black and white. (AFFC)

similarly the moon represents transformations and arya goes through many of those as well (girl, boy, servant, ghost, lady, wolf, mouse ect) it also shows the passage of time and its literally applied in that way, the new moon lets arya know when to return to the house of black and white; the temple with a moon faced door.

Syrio had told her once that darkness could be her friend, and he was right. If she had the moon and the stars to see by, that was enough. (ACOK)

the moon is also connected to water - another major motif in arya’s arc. it’s a light in the darkness. its a huge symbol of femininity too so im interested to see if grrm utilizes the moon at all as arya becomes a maiden. overall its a powerful symbol that shows up a lot in arya’s storyline because of her emotional journey is one about change and growth even in the darkest places.

Jaqen H'ghar falling in love with you would include :

(Woooo more prompts! Woooo Jaqen!! Hope it is as requested and you all like it :3 Gif not mine/found it on google/credit to the original owners.)

-Him being intrigued by you and constantly asking you for your help in order to stay around you as long as he can

-Him starting to realize that most of his actions to you are all from his heart rather than from the Many Face God

-Him asking you for more and more personal favors and slowly just loving how kindhearted you are to always help him out

-Him enjoying to keep his eyes on you from afar, especially when he sees you smiling and having fun

-Him getting quiet whenever you would notice one of his injuries and take care of him, only to end up staring at you

-Him offering you flowers and some little gifts whenever you would help him, as a return of favor, only for it to slowly turn into something he does regularly for you

-Him getting Arya to tell him more about what she knows about you because he knows how much you trust the young girl

-Him hoping you won’t ever look at any other man but ending up convincing himself he can’t be with you and that he must let you go and be happy

-Him always coming in the right time to keep you safe, only to subtly ask you if you are alright while clearly showing his concern

-Him confessing his feelings for you but making it seem so intriguing that you’re not too sure until he presses his lips to yours

Many-Faced God

The Many-Faced God, also known as Him of Many Faces, is a deity worshipped by the Faceless Men, a guild of assassins established in the Free City of Braavos.

The founder of the Faceless Men came to believe that all the diverse slave population of Valyria prayed for deliverance to the same god of death, just in different incarnations. Thus, in Qohor, the Many-Faced God is called the Black Goat; in Yi Ti, the Lion of Night and in the Faith of the Seven, the Stranger.

This belief of a single god with many incarnations or ‘faces’ came to be reflected in the Guild’s House of Black and White, which contains a public shrine with idols of many death gods, including the Stranger of the Faith of the Seven.

The worshipers of the Many-Faced God believe that death is a merciful end to suffering. For a price, the Guild will grant the 'gift’ of death to anyone in the world, considering the assassination a sacrament to their god. In the Guild’s temple, those who seek an end to suffering may drink from a black cup which grants a painless death.

As the Faceless Men forsake their identities for the service of the Many-Faced God, they only assassinate targets they have been hired to kill and may not choose who is worthy of the 'gift’ by themselves.

The key six: their new identities.

For me all the main 6 characters: (Tyrion,Sansa,Daenerys,Jon,Arya,Bran)
go through a change in their personality. In different circumstances, of course. 

I would separate them in three groups: Tyrion and Sansa (both create an alias, a bastard, so they cannot be found by Cersei, and they learn from it, they use their wits to create that personality), but they never forget their old selves (and I believe, both will refuse this “lie“ in the future of the story). 

Tyrion took a mordant pleasure in inventing the details of the colorful life of Hugor Hill, also known as Yollo, a bastard out of Lannisport. The best lies are seasoned with a bit of truth. The dwarf knew he sounded like a westerman, and a highborn westerman at that, so Hugor must needs be some lordling’s by-blow. Born in Lannisport because he knew that city better than Oldtown or King’s Landing, and cities were where most dwarfs ended up, even those whelped by Goodwife Bumpkin in the turnip patch.”- Tyrion ADWD 

Music soothes him,“ she corrected, "the high harp especially. It’s singing he can’t abide, since Marillion killed his mother.” Alayne had told the lie so many times that she remembered it that way more oft than not; the other seemed no more than a bad dream that sometimes troubled her sleep. “Lord Nestor will have no singers at the feast, only flutes and fiddles for the dancing.” What would she do when the music began to play? It was a vexing question, to which her heart and head gave different answers. Sansa loved to dance, but Alayne . . - (Alayne/Sansa)  TWOW.

Then there are Jon and Dany both messiah figures, both literally die and becoming  stronger version of themselves:

“Viserys was Mad Aerys’s son, just so. DaenerysDaenerys is quite different.” He popped a roasted lark into his mouth and crunched it noisily, bones and all. “The frightened child who sheltered in my manse died on the Dothraki sea, and was reborn in blood and fire.” - Tyrion in ADWD

“Kill the boy and let the man be born.” The old man felt Jon’s face. “You are half the age that Egg was, and your own burden is a crueler one, I fear. You will have little joy of your command, but I think you have the strength in you to do the things that must be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” - Jon ADWD


There are then Bran and Arya whose alteregos are connected with gods (the old gods and the  Many-Faced God  respectively), both are like a “weapon” being trained by the tree eyed raven and the faceless men for a scope (also both i believe will reject this notion and return to their Stark identity) 

I should not be dreaming wolf dreams, the girl told herself. I am a cat now, not a wolf. I am Cat of the Canals. The wolf dreams belonged to Arya of House Stark. Try as she might, though, she could not rid herself of Arya. It made no difference whether she slept beneath the temple or in the little room beneath the eaves with Brusco’s daughters, the wolf dreams still haunted her by night … -Arya AFFC

Leaf touched his hand. “The trees will teach you. The trees remember.” He raised a hand, and the other singers began to move about the cavern, extinguishing the torches one by one. The darkness thickened and crept toward them.“Close your eyes,” said the three-eyed crow. “Slip your skin, as you do when you join with Summer. But this time, go into the roots instead. Follow them up through the earth, to the trees upon the hill, and tell me what you see."Bran closed his eyes and slipped free of his skin. Into the roots, he thought. Into the weirwood. Become the tree. For an instant he could see the cavern in its black mantle, could hear the river rushing by below. . - Bran ADWD