The final season of Game Of Thrones is just around the corner and while Arya may have left the mysterious faceless men of the House of Black and White behind, we’re not so sure they’re done with her. So before Arya has to come face-to-faceless with the servants of the many-faced god and is forced to balance the scales (possibly) for the lives she has taken using the secrets of the faceless men, let’s dive into some things fans of the series may not know about the illusive faceless men. All men must die. All men must serve.
10. Acolytes Of The Many-Faced God
The faceless assassin monks of the house of black and white may seem like ruthless killers with absolutely no regard for the rule of law in the seven kingdoms, but that’s only because they obey a higher law. They are strict followers of the many-faced god. The one true God, as they would have you believe. The many-faced god can be seen throughout all the religions in the seven kingdoms. He can be seen in The Stranger of the seven, the weirwood trees of the north, or at the end of a poisonous dagger held by what looks like a beloved friend or family member.
9. Suicide Pools/ “The Gift”
The faceless men noticed long ago that all religions, polytheistic or monotheistic, all have a god the controls death. What the faceless men propose is that all these gods are the exact same god, using different faces to spread his message the death isn’t to be feared. Death is but the end of suffering. Death is “the gift” that the many-faced god grants to all those who live. It is in this spirit that the house of black and white is filled with pools of poisoned water that offers those who drink it a painless and peaceful slip into the afterlife. Some may drink the waters and then head to the “dreaming couches”, small alcoves where they will drift into their final and endless slumber.
8. Their Price
As you could probably gather from a group of monk assassins worshipping the god of death in his many forms, the faceless men don’t kill or take contracts for the money. When they come up with their prices for the contract they think of only two factors: What can the client afford (or afford if they’re willing to make some sacrifices)? And how much security will we need to get through? The faceless men are willing to take any contract. They do not ask why. They do not question the will of the many-faced god. They will, however, always get their fee. One way or another. Even if that means you’ll be asked to trade your child's life for that of your enemies child.
7. Faceless Are Men (Typically)
While it’s not made very clear in Game Of Thrones, you could probably tell by the name that the “faceless men” are, more often than not, men. That means that to an order like the faceless men, accepting women among their ranks happens on only very rare occasions. It seems like an order as old as the faceless men don’t typically decide to allow the women or children in to play deadly dress up. That being said, it must speak volumes about what Jaqen H’gar saw in Arya that he would willingly take her into the faceless men and train her to fight, and kill, like no one.
6. Make It Look Like An Accident
You may not be able to tell by simply watching Game Of Thrones, but the faceless men are actually specifically trained to make their contracts look like they’ve fallen due to unfortunate, but natural, causes. While Arya may have you fooled by all the throat-slicing she’s been so fond of since her training at the House of Black and White, typically faceless men do their best to make all contracts look like accidents. We know that Arya isn’t exactly one to play by the rules, especially the rules of the faceless men, but what can you do? A girl has no need for your patriarchal nonsense. A girl has only her list.
5. Magic Flesh Masks
If you haven’t read the books then you’re probably curious about how exactly the faceless men animate the faces of the dead over their own and use them to complete their contracts. Well, as one can imagine there is a bit of magic involved in animated a flesh mask, and it does require a bit of blood. The faceless man (or woman) make a series of small cuts on their face before pulling the mask on. This blood, in combination with a potion, is enough to animate the face and give the wearer the outward appearance of the dead, missing teeth and all. What the masks can’t do, however, is cause the wearer to grow or shrink significantly.
4. Iron Coin Of The Faceless Men
While the iron coin of the faceless men may initially seem like the cheapest way catch a ship to Braavos, it may also serve a very different purpose. While it’s never explicitly stated, it seems very possible that the faceless men carry the coins with them for recruitment purposes. By the time Jaqen has met Arya, she’s already showed her worth as a valuable recruit for the faceless men. Not only has she save his life and show a willingness to both save and take life, but she’s also demonstrated an ability to wear several masks (the runaway in King’s Landing, Arry, the boy heading to the wall, and Arya) by the time Jaqen gives her the coin.
3. Born In A Volcano
It is said that the faceless men were born from the volcanic slave mines of Valyria. The tale centers around an unknown man who would hear the prayers of the many different peoples of the slave mines and conclude that all these people had been unknowingly praying to the exact same god. This Many-Faced God would be the God he chose to follow. And he would be the tool in which this God used to pass along his greatest gift. Death. From there the man begins killing the masters and taking a price, not always money, sometimes a life of servitude is the price Many-Faced God requires.
2. Unfamiliar Targets
You may not be able to tell by the way Arya and Jaqen have handled some of their targets, but faceless men are banned from taking the life of someone they know. They are banned from using the gifts of the Many-Faced God to exact revenge or tip the balance in any way that the Many-Faced God has not made clear is his will. It’s possible that the faceless men of the series have a slightly different set of rules, but should they be the same, it’s very possible that this will spell out trouble for Arya, who is already in quite a bit of trouble.
1. The Doom Of Valyria
Ever since the series first started we’ve heard tales of how brilliant and advanced Valyria was before it fell. The thing we haven’t, however, is just what exactly happened to Valyria. We’ve heard little bits from Tyrion and Jorah about the greyscale infestation, but not much else. Well, it’s very possible (according to some Westerosi scholars) that due to a heavy uptick in the number of assassinations that plagued the people, and the mages responsible for maintaining the spells around the volcanoes in the area, that the faceless men were in fact behind the fall of Valyria. Talk about kill the masters.