Season Six lastly noticed the return of Arya Stark to Westeros, after her time learning overseas with the mysterious and murderous Faceless Males. As soon as again in the Seven Kingdoms, Arya obtained proper into making use of her homicide and thriller expertise, stopping by Walder Frey’s strategically necessary Riverlands fort to actual some Titus Andronicus-style vengeance on the lands’ most-frequently eligible bachelor. And on his sons. Season Seven picked up on Arya’s story with her heading south via the Riverlands with the said aim of visiting King’s Touchdown and killing Queen Cersei. However a reunion with her previous pal and former-traveling companion Scorching Pie had her re-evaluate her instant vacation spot. Turning northwards, she spanned the leagues and leagues of snowy Kingsroad to return to her previous residence, the historic fort of Winterfell. There she had the pleasure of executing the devilish ne’er-do-well schemer Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish.
Had she continued south by way of the lands of her mom’s start and on in the direction of the capital of King’s Touchdown, she would have quickly handed by a unique historic fort, the place she’d beforehand had interactions with a unique sort of diabolical character. Interactions in the ruined and haunted stronghold of Harrenhal.
Harrenhal has all of the hallmarks of a basic haunted home. Constructed to match the hubris of an Ironborn king terrorizing the Riverlands, its large partitions couldn’t shield King Harren the Black or his sons from the flames of Balerion the Dread. Aegon the Conqueror’s dragon melted the stone towers and killed the king and his line.
Arya: I might have simply used poison and spared the real-estate.
From then on, the ruins have been thought-about cursed and have been rumored to be inhabited by the ghost of lifeless Harren.
There may need been one thing to those rumors: though the wealthy lands round Harrenhal made the tainted construction beneficial, no lord appeared to thrive there for lengthy.
It’s not a shock that the Tourney of the False Spring, the event the place Rhaegar Targaryen confirmed a choice for Lyanna Stark over his spouse, happened at the ill-fated fort.
With its dangerous status and it being an working base for torture-employing Lannister goons, Harrenhal’s shattered and shadowed halls can be the sort of place you’d anticipate to come across ghouls and demons trying to prey on the unwary.
Which is why it’s so becoming that Arya Stark encountered the considerably malevolent Jaqen H’ghar there.
Harrenhal and Murder
To be clear, Arya first encountered Jaqen whereas he was in chains, being transported with the harmful criminals Rorge and Biter from the black cells of King’s Touchdown to serve at Citadel Black. Nevertheless it’s at Harrenhal that Jaqen pressured a discount on Arya.
When the Night time’s Watch convoy taking Arya got here underneath assault by Lannister forces, the little Stark woman saved Jaqen and his two associates from burning to demise. Reunited with Arya at gloomy Harrenhal, Jaqen H’ghar had piously defined that the Purple God had been cheated out of three lives, and have to be appeased with three deaths. Deaths that Arya was required to specify. Jaqen was a bit insistent and creepy about that.
The prospect of the supply frightened Arya, and with good cause. She’d heard many scary tales from Previous Nan and her present state of affairs sounded prefer it might have been from considered one of Nan’s fables, that includes wizards and grumkins.
Yoren discovered Jaqen in a black cell, the similar as Rorge and Biter, she remembered. Jaqen did one thing horrible and Yoren knew, that’s why he stored him in chains. If the Lorathi was a wizard, Rorge and Biter could possibly be demons he referred to as up from some hell, not males in any respect.
Jaqen nonetheless owed her one dying. In Previous Nan’s tales about males who got magic needs by a grumkin, you needed to be particularly cautious with the third want, as a result of it was the final.
— A Conflict of Kings, Arya IX
After utilizing two of the needs, or somewhat naming the two names that resulted in swift deaths, Arya in each A Conflict of Kings and the present had want of greater than only one homicide. (In the books, Arya wanted Jaqen to kill the guards watching over a big captive group of King Robb’s males (properly, Freys…) and on the present Arya simply wanted Jaqen to kill sufficient Lannisters so she might escape.
In both media, Jaqen was not initially prepared to help past the killing of a solitary individual. He’d solely do the minimal that may free him of the self-enforced obligation of three deaths for 3 lives.
So Arya went for a loophole:
Jaqen H’ghar: Give a reputation, any identify.
Arya: And also you’ll kill them? Anyone?
Jaqen: By the Seven New Gods and the Previous Gods past counting, I swear it.
Arya: Alright. Jaqen H’ghar.
Jaqen: A woman provides a person his personal identify?
Arya: That’s proper.
Jaqen: Gods will not be mocked. That is no joking factor.
Arya: I’m not joking. A person can go kill himself.
Jaqen: Unname me.
Confronted with Arya’s insistence, Jaqen complies and kills greater than his justifiable share. On departing from Arya, he palms her an iron coin of the Faceless Males, and means that if she needs to hunt him out, she ought to hand the coin to any man from Braavos and say “Valar Morghulis.”
The actual enticement of the supply is implied in the books, however extra explicitly said on the present.
Jaqen: The woman has many names on her lips – “Joffrey, Cersei, Tywin Lannister, Ilyn Payne, the Hound” – names to supply as much as the Pink God. She might supply all of them. One after the other.
Arya ultimately takes Jaqen up on his supply, travels to Braavos and passes the entrance examination into the homicide school often known as the Home of Black and White. Nevertheless it appeared like there can be problems in her with the ability to get rid of any of the names on her listing.
Braavos and No Dangerous College students, Solely Dangerous Academics
A part of the strategy of turning into a Faceless Man is a rejection of self. A Faceless Man murderer ought to be No One. Arya was instructed to throw away her possessions, and that would come with not solely her bodily property but in addition summary issues.
Arya Stark had an inventory of names to be killed. No One shouldn’t have an inventory that belonged to Arya Stark.
“Is that why you have come to us?” the kindly man went on. “To learn our arts, so you may kill these men you hate?”
Arya didn’t know the way to reply that. “Maybe.”
“Then you have come to the wrong place. It is not for you to say who shall live and who shall die. That gift belongs to Him of Many Faces. We are but his servants, sworn to do his will.”
— A Feast for Crows, Arya II
This appears to be in sharp distinction to what Jaqen H’ghar had provided to Arya when he gave her the iron coin. He even referenced her listing of names when making his pitch to Arya. However in Braavos, it appeared Arya must select to forgo any plans on getting vengeance if she was going to acquire the expertise to allow her to get that vengeance.
There are interpretations of the textual content that might make Arya scratching off names from her record much more difficult. There’s a principle that Faceless Males can solely kill you in the event that they don’t know you.
When Arya is leaving the boat that takes her to Braavos, the crew goes out of their option to ensure that Arya, carrying a coin of the Faceless Males, is aware of their names. Presumably so she’d by no means kill them. Or by no means be capable of kill them.
This interpretation is hinted at twice in the books throughout Faceless Males enterprise conferences.
The clergymen used the language of Braavos, although as soon as for a number of minutes three spoke heatedly in Excessive Valyrian. The woman understood the phrases, principally, however they spoke in delicate voices, and she couldn’t all the time hear. “I know this man,” she did hear a priest with the face of a plague sufferer say. “I know this man,” the fats fellow echoed, as she was pouring for him. However the good-looking man stated, “I will give this man the gift, I know him not.” Later the squinter stated the similar factor, of another person.
— A Dance With Dragons, The Ugly Little Woman
“Give a certain man a certain gift. Can you do that?”
“No one that you know.”
“I don’t know a lot of people.”
“He is one of them. A stranger. No one you love, no one you hate, no one you have ever known. Will you kill him?”
— A Dance With Dragons, The Ugly Little Woman
This interpretation is intriguing and would definitely be an extra-level obstacle to Arya with the ability to kill those that have wronged her and her household. However strictly talking, the people who Jaqen H’ghar killed for Arya at Harrenhal weren’t essentially strangers to him. And Jaqen didn’t make any reference to such a restriction on whom he might kill.
She thought for a second. “The name . . . can I name anyone? And you’ll kill him?”
Jaqen H’ghar inclined his head. “A man has said.”
“Anyone?” she repeated. “A man, a woman, a little baby, or Lord Tywin, or the High Septon, or your father?”
“A man’s sire is long dead, but did he live, and did you know his name, he would die at your command.”
— A Conflict of Kings, Arya IX
Though the query of can Faceless Males kill individuals recognized to them or not continues to be debatable (one may argue that Jaqen might kill his father if he was No One in that second, only a Faceless Man who had no father) – even when the principle is incorrect it nonetheless appears extremely unlikely that Arya can be allowed to behave on her record of names as soon as she’d graduated from the Senior Demise Dealing Improvement program in Braavos.
The larger query can be: why did Jaqen H’ghar at Harrenhal even supply Arya the choice to hitch the Faceless Males, if it will find yourself brief circuiting one thing essential to her and the purpose she was becoming a member of?
Arya appears to think about Jaqen a pal and ally. When she goes to the Home of Black and White, she particularly asks for him. When a person sporting Jaqen’s face drinks poison, Arya freaks out.
Arya: You don’t die! Don’t die!
The Waif: Why are you crying?
Arya: He was my good friend!
However was he her pal? The query has multiple which means, since that exact individual sporting the face of Jaqen H’ghar won’t have been the similar Faceless Man that Arya had made her offers with in Harrenhal. And the unique Jaqen H’ghar that Arya dealt with won’t have been all that amicably-inclined in the direction of her even after she unnamed him and commuted the dying sentence that she herself had handed.
Magical extortion isn’t essentially the greatest method to make pals, even when it’s an environment friendly strategy to affect individuals.
The Waif: Why are you crying?
Arya: He was my pal!
The Waif: No he wasn’t.
Individuals don’t essentially take pleasure in Arya’s Braavos storyline from the present, however there could be some hidden book-canonical fact in what’s introduced. Though the inhabitant of the Home of Black and White who’s most frequently featured sporting the face of Jaqen H’ghar appears to carry no specific animus in the direction of Arya, the Waif undoubtedly has a distinctly anti-Arya angle from the begin.
This bias is one that’s exhausting to elucidate if we contemplate the in any other case zen Faceless Males.
Until the Waif did have a cause to not be zen with regard to Arya. For instance: an earlier encounter with Arya when the Waif may need been sporting a unique face. An encounter that didn’t go properly for the Waif.
“Now?” She had by no means thought he would act so shortly.
“A man hears the whisper of sand in a glass. A man will not sleep until a girl unsays a certain name. Now, evil child.”
I’m not an evil baby, she thought, I’m a direwolf, and the ghost in Harrenhal.
— A Conflict of Kings, Arya IX
Arya naming Jaqen for demise is an enormous deal. He responded to her request with an uncharacteristic urgency, in distinction to the earlier names Arya had tasked him with. This was a critical state of affairs for Jaqen and there’s no purpose to consider that he’d flippantly shrug off what Arya had completed, even after she unnamed him.
Might that Faceless Man have ultimately returned to Braavos, and waited for a sure scrappy woman to blunder into the Home of Black and White, the place this Faceless Man had the residence courtroom benefit? (And was presenting a brand new id?)
The Waif not solely appeared to have a grudge towards Arya, she appeared to know so much about the Stark woman. And probably used that towards her in arranging the assassination of Woman Crane. Crane was performing in a play about Arya’s household, which might have been a calculated transfer to remind Arya of who she was, messing up her coaching even when she’d gone via with the hit.
Regardless if the Waif on the present can also be the Jaqen H’ghar from the earlier seasons, his sending Arya to Braavos and the Home of Black and White was setting Arya up for failure, both in her not with the ability to comply with the Faceless Males dogma or in Arya dropping her linchpin character motivation. Which in itself is a little bit of revenge.
Perhaps Jaqen did that as retribution for Arya placing him in peril, however perhaps it was just because Arya mocked the gods by twisting the association Jaqen had provided her to appease these gods.
He appeared down at her pitilessly. “Three lives were snatched from a god. Three lives must be repaid. The gods are not mocked.” His voice was silk and metal.
— A Conflict of Kings, Arya IX
Three Lives Have been Snatched From a God, Three Lives Should Be Repaid
It’s fascinating to think about what Jaqen H’ghar’s motivations have been in providing Arya admission into the Home of Black and White, however perhaps they’re not all that necessary. From an enormous image perspective, twice Arya Stark has managed to work together with the Faceless Males and has exited the discount with extra profit than she was due.
Her exercising an unfair benefit over Jaqen and the final identify has already been properly coated, and though Arya in the books continues to be in Braavos and it’s uncertain that the subsequent e-book will intently comply with Arya’s show-storyline, it’s extremely possible that Arya will return to Westeros with enhanced assassination methods at her disposal and her record of names nonetheless in play. She’ll not be No One, she’ll nonetheless be Arya Stark. However armed with trickster death-skills.
Enjoying with hearth twice and not getting burned is noteworthy because it begins to determine a sample, however three is a way more vital quantity in tales, notably ones involving magic.
- Grumkins and three needs
- The third time’s the allure
- Three horn blasts means White Walkers
- The Dragon has three heads
- Three names to be repaid
Arya has twice made bargains with the Faceless Males, and has completed nicely for herself. The primary time it was a Faceless Man that got here to Arya, and she actually had no selection however to play alongside. It’s to her credit score that she turned that state of affairs to her benefit.
The second time, Arya went to the Faceless Males willingly so her eventual exit with their secret information is sort of truthfully one other instance of mocking the gods. Or at the least the odds.
If we contemplate that the Waif may need been the Jaqen H’ghar from Harrenhal, Arya’s killing of the Waif is a pure consequence of her naming him in the first place. Watch out what you would like for, Jaqen.
If there’s to be a 3rd interplay between Arya and the Faceless Males, it is sensible that this one can be the remaining assembly, a method or one other. However the odds ought to more likely to proceed to be Arya’s favor, and not essentially mirror the Faceless Males getting back from behind.
Arya: I’m a direwolf, and the ghost in Harrenhal.
Perhaps it wasn’t Arya making a deal with a satan in Harrenhal when Jaqen provided her three names to stability issues.
Perhaps this Faceless Man was the one out of his depth, making a discount that he and his group would come to remorse.
Arya Stark was granted a direwolf, and if Ned Stark’s instincts are true, that direwolf got here as a present from the Previous Gods. Jaqen repaid Arya’s philanthropic actions in saving him and his two unsavory companions and subverted that right into a requirement to sacrifice lives to overseas gods. He was primarily bargaining with supernatural forces past his management, speaking about dying with an agent of the Previous Gods in ruined and rotting Harrenhal.
After which he inadvertently invited a trickster blessed by the Previous Gods to return to Braavos and steal secrets and techniques from his Many-Confronted God.
The Previous Gods aren’t mocked. That is no joking factor.
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