So in the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones,

Arya Stark finally gets her revenge on Walder Frey and kills him after disguising herself with a face from the Hall of Faces.

I suppose if she is not a member of the Faceless Men, then it can be assumed the face was stolen. But my question is, if she is now a member (as I think the show suggests), why is she allowed to kill her enemy? If she is supposed to be No One, she should not have such an enemy. More importantly, they seem pretty strict about who you can and cannot kill, so why would she be allowed to do this?

I realize there is a similar question already, but I am less interested in the how/why of her using faces, and more with her being allowed to kill for revenge in the first place, and "stealing a life" from the many-faced god.

From the GoT wiki:

[the Faceless Men] feel that they are only helping to carry out Death's will, and cannot choose their own targets (for personal reasons, such as revenge): they can only target those whom death has selected - the targets of assassination contracts they have accepted.

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    I really don't get what's so hard about her using techniques she has learned. If you've studied to be a cook, do you afterwards ask the school you've studied at for permission whenever you make a sandwich? Arya isn't a Faceless man, simple as that. – BCdotWEB Jul 3 '16 at 8:03
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    Yeah she has the skills, but as I said, if she is a Faceless Man now, why did they allow her to go on a revenge mission? – charlie Jul 3 '16 at 8:35
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    A girl can kill her enemies. A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and she's going home. – NVZ Jul 3 '16 at 10:57
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    Well, contrary to what you may believe that other question is not only concerned of how she can use the faces but also why at ll and how she can violate the apparent rules of the Faceless Men. So it already seems to cover your question pretty much. – Napoleon Wilson Jul 3 '16 at 16:13
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    Part of why Jaqen says "Finally, a girl is no one" was after he saw Arya placing the face of the Waif in the Hall of Faces. She clearly has mastered the skill of removing a face for use in that manner. So why do we assume that she stole a face from the Hall and carried that stinking thing in her travel bags, as opposed to getting one closer in location and time to its use? – PoloHoleSet Aug 18 '17 at 17:42

She's not "a faceless man". She clearly said that to Jaqen in season 6 episode 8.

Jaqen : Finally a girl is no one.

Arya : A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell and I'm going home.

So she simply learned the faceless men skills then went rogue in her own, using those skills to exact her revenge

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    Yeah I remember the scene.. I just think that's kind of what Jaquen wanted her to say, and now she is on the next level of training. But I guess if you think she did really leave the Faceless Men than this question is moot. – charlie Jul 4 '16 at 1:37
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    @Charles, I thought it was clearly meant to be read as madmada did: she succeeded in being invited to progress to level up her assassin life, but instead quit (to pursue personal interests, such cooking her enemy's children and feeding them to him). – Jaydles Jul 7 '16 at 17:28
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    Jaqen Haqar seems kinda pleased at the end of the scene. – Firee Aug 15 '16 at 17:12
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    @Firee: I agree with you there. Jaqen should be archetypically neutral to the whole situation. However, the waif was shown to get upset with Arya (though the waif was still a novice herself). It's possible that Jaqen (and any other FM) does not lack emotion or personal thoughts, but that they have managed to hide them and not act on them (which fits with Jaqen teaching Arya the game of faces, i.e. hiding the truth flawlessly). If that is the case, he could be happy that Arya has found her way, even if that is not the way of the Faceless Men. – Flater Sep 5 '17 at 12:37
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    @madmada: While not necessarily proof in and of itself, notice how Jaqen in Westeros (up until he says goodbye to Arya) is capable of showing (contextually correct) emotions (his emotions are subtle, but he is not incapable of emotions), but he looks considerably more neutral when training Arya. That indirectly proves that Jaqen is still capable of having emotions and using them, but he chooses not to (e.g. when training Arya). Jaqen also looked eager for water in his first interaction with Arya, which again supports the idea that Jaqen does have emotions, even if not always visibly. – Flater Sep 5 '17 at 13:36

This is a multi-part answer, as your question is a bit vaguely worded.

To give you a quick summary, here's what I think is most likely:

  • Arya has the skillset of the Faceless Men, but is not a Faceless Man.
  • The Many-Faced God allows Arya to change face, because she is doing things that the MFG likes (even if the MFG is not the reason why Arya kills who she kills)

You can find a more elaborate response below.

1. Arya is a Faceless Man

What do you mean when you say that? As I see it, there are two possible meanings:

  1. Arya is an active member of the order of Faceless Men.
  2. Arya has the skillset of a Faceless Man.

1 is false. She leaves the Faceless Men and retains the identity of Arya Stark. However, it is true that she was invited to become a Faceless Man (evidenced by Jaqen saying that "a girl is finally no one"), but Arya declined.

2 is true, as evidenced by her killing Walder Frey in disguise and later explicitly stating that she has the skill when talking to Sansa.

2. Why can Arya use the faces if she's not a member of the order?

I think this is what your question boils down to.

The skill of facechanging seems to be twofold. There is a physical aspect to it, Arya needs to cut someone's actual face off in order to wear that face. This physical aspect is a skill that Arya was taught. Just because she leaves the Faceless Men does not mean she has unlearned the skill.

As @BCDotWeb said in the comments:

If you've studied to be a cook, do you afterwards ask the school you've studied at for permission whenever you make a sandwich?

Arya doesn't need permission to cut off faces. It's not a patented procedure.

But then there is also a magical aspect to it. When Arya puts a face on, how does this change her body? Why does her voice, posture change (and, according to the books, why does she have the memories of that person?)

This is never truly explained (as no magic has really been explained yet in the show). We can only trust in the words of Jaqen, who said that the Many-Faced God gives them this power.

In other words, Arya can change face because the Many-Faced God has granted that power

As I see it, there are two possibilities as to how it works. Note that these are of course more speculation than anything else, but I'm simply trying to list every logical possibility.

1. The Many-Faced God has automated the process.

By this I mean that the MFG doesn't need to "approve" every face change on a case by case basis.

We could prove this theory by seeing what happens if someone else steals one of Arya's faces and put it on. If it changes them, then that means anyone can change face (which then explains why Arya is capable of changing face even though she's not a member of the order).

Either way, it's likely that the face itself needs to be cut in a specific way, which points back to a skill that Arya herself has learned.

2. The process is not automated, the Many-Faced God approves of Arya changing face every time she does so.

In other words, the MFG does need to "approve" every face change on a case by case basis.

We could prove this theory by seeing what happens if someone else steals one of Arya's faces and put it on. If it does not change them, then that means that only certain people are allowed to change face.

Initially, this makes no sense. Arya is not a member of the order of Faceless Men, why would the MFG allow her to change face?

Unless the MFG approves of Arya's plan. What if he is aware of Arya's future (other gods have shown to be similarly prophetic), knows what Arya is going to do, and approves of that?
After all, he is the god of Death, and Arya intends to kill people.

So while she is not a Faceless Man, that doesn't mean that the MFG can't still approve of her actions regardless.

No one has said that the MFG gives favors to only the Faceless Men. (pun not intended)

Similarly, you could wonder why the Lord of Light resurrected Jon, who has not become a devout worshipper (comparatively, Beric has become a believer through his resurrection). The simplest explanation is that Jon was resurrected for a good reason regardless of what Jon's personal beliefs are. The Lord of Light doesn't need Jon to preach, he needs Jon to do the thing he is destined to do.

And if you agree on the example of Jon, then the same can be true of Arya and the Many-Faced God.


"A girl has many names on her lips, she could offer them to the many faced god", Jaqen said to arya in season 2 before giving her the iron coin.

Maybe all faceless men have a name, and being a no one is a part of becoming a faceless man, as Jaqen once said " This man has the honour of being Jaqen Ha'qar". So maybe all faceless men have a name.

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    I'm not sure how that answers the question. Perhaps you could elaborate more to make it more clear. – Chanandler Bong Aug 6 '16 at 9:26

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