Arya is no lady. She is tom-boyish and likes fighting and adventure, clever and "too smart for her own good". She has always have good relation with anyone she came across, be it Syrio Forel, Gendry, Tywin Lannister, Yoren, Hotpie.

Jaqen respects her for freeing him, and returns the favor by killing three men. Which should end the debt he had to pay her, yet he goes out of length to give her a coin and to teach her the ways of Faceless Men. He gives her a second chance, after she kills Meryn Trant, and on many occasions saves her from Waif.

On the other hand, Waif just simply hates her from day 1, or may be its jealousy/competition.

So we see two sides of the coin, Jaqen being positive to her and Waif being Negative.

But I don't understand why, Jaqen already paid his debt, and being Faceless Men means having no emotion towards others, why does he goes out of length to help her?

And regarding Waif, Arya hasn't done anything to her, and she seems to hate Arya - Why?

And hate is an emotion. so she is not following the rules of the Faceless Men.

  • 3
    Killing three man was a debt paid to the manyfaced god, not to Arya. He gave her "just" the coin for saving him. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 8:26
  • yes he said debt paid to manyfaced god, but he let Arya choose. He even went on and helped Arya escape. And the coin was an invitation, to bring her to the black and white gate, to train her.
    – 6119
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 8:29
  • Come to think of it, the coin may not have been a gift for saving him, but rather he recognised her skills and wants to recruit her. I suppose even the faceless men have to have a special way with the new ones, otherwise there won't be any successors. I can see Jaqen acting so often in Arya's favor because the Waif is losing the way, as you correctly point out. Jaqen is not just being nice to Arya, he is also telling the Waif when she moves out of bounds. So actually there is Jaqen taking care of two girls you are not being propper faceless men. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 8:30
  • Maybe they educate every apprentice using "a good cop and a bad cop" method (:
    – Schullz
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 11:00

3 Answers 3


This is only as per Show's perspective.

Arya's personality

The assumption that Arya has good relations with any one she meets is false. Facts are quite contrary. She only had good relations with people whom any other aristocrat would consider beneath them. She had really bad relationship with her sister, her sister's friends, her septa and Royal family. She did not have good relations with Tywin Lannister, he merely found her amusing. With Syrio & Gendry she had good relations. Hotpie and Yoren, not quite!

Jaqen's alleged gratitude

Jaqen's relationship with Arya is not defined with gratitude. Jaqen only gave her three deaths because in his beliefs, gods can't be cheated and they must have their due. Three men were saved so three men must die in their place.

Arya and Darkness

And there is something off about Arya which only those with eyes to see it can sense.

Melisandre said this to Arya in Season 3 Episode 6:

I see a darkness in you. And in that darkness, eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes... eyes you'll shut forever. We will meet again.

So why does Jaqen provide her with the iron coin of FLM? Because he sees the same talent in her and he wants to use that potential in favor of FLM.

The waif

The Waif however, doesn't believe Arya takes their beliefs seriously or is ready to become one of them. She mistrusts her because if Arya broke at a later point in training, many secrets of the FLM would be at risk. Jaqen however persisted because he saw that darkness in Arya.

She told Arya:

You, who walk in here with a coin you never earned, whose value you do not respect. Who are you?


Eventually however, Waif won as Arya was not ready for becoming No one.

  • Finally some new activity in the GoT sector, youmust be thrilled :p
    – Kalissar
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 9:04
  • 1
    @Kalissar The one with no prospect of adding material from books. I feel betrayed by fate. xD
    – Aegon
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 9:05

Jaqen's view of Arya was somewhat clouded. He was obviously very impressed with her skills and her persona. As you state in the question, "being Faceless Men means having no emotion towards others", and in the relationship between Jaqen and Arya, he didn't fully follow this code.

Waif didn't necessarily hate her, she only saw her for what she really was - Arya Stark. She didn't have any previous relationship with this girl, and she didn't really understand what Jaqen saw in her. Waif is obviously very skilled in the arts taught in the temple of the Many faced god.

In the end, she was right, and Jaqen was wrong

Also, in the books Jaqen is not present in the temple, so there's no definite book proof of anything about their relationship.

  • I haven't read the books, If Jaqen wasn't present in the temple, who was the teacher? Was Waif the teacher? I assumed she was the student, since she was wearing the same clothes as Arya.
    – 6119
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 8:55
  • 1
    @6119 Her teacher is a "kindly old man" :) awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Kindly_man Arya and the Waif is teaching each other in language. The Waif is also a tutor to Arya. Also note that since s06e07, the show is past the books in Aryas storyline
    – ullstrm
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 8:57
  • Of course either, or both, may in fact be Jaqen. Things are rather mysterious in the House of Black and White. Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 8:39

RE: Television Series. I definitely think the Waif has feelings of hostility towards Arya from the beginning. If it were truly only that she thought her unfit to serve,

why must she be the one who Jaqen 'promised' to allow to kill Arya? If she didn't have a personal grudge against Arya, why would she care who did it? Should it even have been allowed, since they are not supposed to kill for personal reasons? I think that's against several of their tenants.

Jaqen, I think, merely understood that sometimes people have a longer road to travel before they can truly 'forget themselves and become noone.' He witnessed first hand what Arya had been through and recognized certain abilities and strengths in her that would make her an ideal candidate for a high-quality assassin. He was willing to put in the effort for the chance of a great recruit. Perhaps the Waif was jealous or resentful of what she gauged as 'special treatment.'

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