In A Dance With Dragons, Arya's training takes a new turn when she discovers that

even though she is blind, she can see through the eyes of a cat that she's befriended. This allows her to find out that the Kindly Man is the one who has been attacking her in the House of Black and White, which results in her being allowed to regain her sight.

However, she deliberately does not mention this to the Kindly Man. He seems exceptionally able to see through her every attempt at deception. Is there any indication that he knows about this secret, and allows it? Or has she fooled him, in which case maybe she isn't as far progressed in her training as she should be?

  • 2
    Agghgughguh why did I read this (having only seen the show). Apr 2, 2012 at 15:42
  • @IanPugsley I'm not sure... that's why I used the spoiler tags :( Were there spoilers outside of the hidden text, or did your curiosity simply get the best of you? I'll be happy to edit if it can prevent further problems....
    – Beofett
    Apr 2, 2012 at 15:44
  • 1
    No, you're good, I am just a dumb. You probably won't even need the bit at the top. Apr 2, 2012 at 15:49
  • @Ian Pugsley, because it's too tempting not to. I did it myself with a SOIAF book question here a while back :)
    – johnc
    Apr 3, 2012 at 4:34
  • Yes I think he knows far more than Arya realises. The Faceless Man "training" pushes people beyond their limits. I don't think it matters what abilities the candidates develop just as long as it's something to get through the tests. Apr 10, 2013 at 9:04

2 Answers 2


Arya keeps her secrets, such as being the night wolf, and hiding Needle. It is never mentioned whether the kindly man knows about this or not. At least not that I have noticed. However, he does often mention that he knows that she has not left "Arya" behind completely.

In the passage when she reveals she knows he is the one who has been hitting her, she explicitly tells him that that is her secret:

"I gave you three. I don't need to give you four."

If he wanted to ask her, he would have. The fact that he did not implies that he does not care. In the extension of that, if he does not care, it would not matter if he knew or not.

He seems to be a knowledgeable man, so presumably he might know about warging, he might have seen the cat, and might suspect that about her. I would say that it is somewhat likely that he already knows, and does not care. What he does care about, though, is her attitude, and that is a vital part about that passage: She proves something to him by not confessing her secret, and thereby is promoted to acolyte.

  • I think you've nailed it. I didn't even think about the fact that he'd almost certainly know that the cat was there, and I believe he commented that she "had the eyes of a wolf" right around that point.
    – Beofett
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:44
  • That seems to ring a bell, although it does sound a lot like him claiming she still is holding on to Arya. Do you have a page number?
    – TLP
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:51
  • I just checked, and the eyes of a wolf comment was not in the section where she revealed that she knew he was the one attacking her. My mistake. Still, a good answer.
    – Beofett
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:55

I would think that being a skin-shifter is an asset to a Faceless Man. I never considered this before, but maybe that's

how Jaqen H'ghar got Weese's dog to turn on Weese.

In any case, I would consider it a sign that her training is ahead of schedule if she can fool her teacher.

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    If I recall correctly, there is a poison mentioned during Arya's training that explains your spoiler (it has a specific effect on animals).
    – Beofett
    Apr 2, 2012 at 17:38
  • Maybe, I've only read ADWD once, just on my second time through, and on the earlier books I noticed new things on my 3rd reading. Apr 2, 2012 at 17:41
  • 8
    It's actually in A Feast for Crows: "'This paste is spiced with basilisk blood. It will give cooked flesh a savory smell, but if eaten it produces violent madness, in beasts as well as men. A mouse will attack a lion after a taste of basilisk blood.' Arya chewed her lip. 'Would it work on dogs?' 'On any animal with warm blood.'"
    – Beofett
    Apr 2, 2012 at 18:34

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