Kindly man

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The kindly man
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Kindly Man1.jpg
The kindly man, by Paul Phillips ©

Allegiance Faceless Men
Culture(s) Braavosi
Born At Essos[1]
Book(s) A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (appears)

The kindly man is a servant of the Many-Faced God and the priest in charge of the House of Black and White in Braavos.[2][3] One of the Faceless Men,[2] he does not give his name.[4]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of the Kindly Man

The tall man has a kindly old face and wears a cowled robe with black on the right side and white on the left.[2] He has a gentle voice[2] and is wise.[4]

The kindly man is the only servant in the House of Black and White who speaks the Common Tongue of Westeros.[4] He is fond of chewing orange rinds to sweeten his breath, and he adds salt to his eggs.[5]

Recent Events

A Feast for Crows

The kindly man's initial face, by Wibben © Fantasy Flight Games

The priest and the waif greet Arya Stark when she arrives at the House of Black and White in Braavos in search of Jaqen H'ghar. Arya shows him the iron coin which Jaqen had given her, but the priest says he does not recognize Jaqen's name. He sees past Arya's attempts to hide her identity and asks if she fears death. When he lowers his cowl, Arya sees a yellow skull with scraps of skin hanging from it and a white worm coming out of an eye hole. After Arya kisses him and bites the worm, his face changes to that of the kindliest old man she has ever seen.[2]

Arya begins serving at the House of Black and White, and the kindly man is able to see past all of her lies.[4] After Arya disposes of her old possessions, the kindly man tells her the origin of the Faceless Men and allows her to become a novice. He tells her and the waif to teach each other their respective languages, the Common Tongue of Westeros and the tongue of Braavos.[4]

When Arya can speak some Braavosi, he sends her out into the streets of Braavos as "Cat of the Canals". He arranges for her to stay with Brusco, a fish merchant, and to sell cockles, clams and mussels which she transports in a wheelbarrow.[4] On nights when the moon is black, Arya returns to the temple, tells the kindly man new secrets she has learned, and helps the servants, and the girl then returns to Brusco's when the moon returns. After Arya kills Dareon, the kindly man has the waif give Arya warm milk which blinds her.[6]

A Dance with Dragons

Now calling herself "Beth", the blinded Arya continues to reveal secrets she has learned to the kindly man. An unidentified man strikes her with a stick, and she later surprises the kindly man by saying she knows he was the culprit; unbeknownst to him, Arya has been skinchanging a nearby cat. Arya has her sight restored at dinner that night.[5]

The kindly man attends the meeting of servants of the Many-Faced God in the temple,[7] and he provides guidance to Arya after plague face tasks her with assassinating an old man.[7] The priest leads the girl into the holy sanctum and, with the assistance of the waif, gives her the face of an ugly girl. After Arya assassinates her target, her true face is restored and the kindly man gives her the robes of an acolyte. The priest gives her a new face and sends her to Izembaro.[7]

Quotes by the kindly man

You lie. Worse, you lie poorly.[4]

—Kindly man to Arya Stark

Death is not the worst thing. It is His gift to us, an end to want and pain.[4]

—Kindly man to Arya Stark

Men take many paths through this vale of tears and pain. Ours is the hardest. Few are made to walk it. It takes uncommon strength of body and spirit, and a heart both hard and strong.[4]

—Kindly man to Arya Stark

And are you a god, to decide who should live and who should die? We give the gift to those marked by Him of Many Faces, after prayers and sacrifice.[5]

—Kindly man to Arya Stark

We kill men, but we do not presume to judge them.[5]

—Kindly man to Arya Stark

Quotes

Does he think to scare me?[2]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

If he could have secrets, so could she.[5]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

References