Thursday, 24 August 2017

Faceless men theory : Game of thrones and Native American Folklore

Here is a tidbit for #GoT fans and #ASOIAF (Game of Thrones and A song of Ice and Fire)

Other day I was in the library, of course not in the restricted section. I found a book on American folklore. I just skimmed through the book to find folklores of Native Americans.
I found this story. Iroquoian Myth. 

There once was a race of man eating Giants. Creater stamped them out.
A lone survivor escaped and periodically sent diseases to people.
The features of the being were frozen in a wide eyed, open mouthed grimace as if screaming in pain.( Think about the features of the face on the weirwood tree) To look on it was instant death.
Once a hunter while taking refuge from a hailstorm met this creature in its cave (Did the children of the forest/First men found this creature?)

A voice boomed and told him that it would not hurt him. It asked him to obey him and told it would teach him the healing powers for the diseases it spread.
The hunter fell asleep and had dreams about the giant and diseases and lot more (remember the prophetic dreams Stark kids -specially Bran and Jon - and Targaryens have. )
He woke up at the base of a Bass wood tree (weirwood tree). While he gazed at the patterns on the bark of the tree it turned into a mask (face of the tree) and taught him his powers (like how three eyed Raven teaches Bran).

The face could see behind tell stars, it could create war, summon sunshine and cure illness ( Book readers would know the power of weirwood trees)
The mask said "My tree , the basswood, is soft and porous; the sun light can enter it's darkness, the wind can whisper to it's stillness, it sees and hears. My wood is the life of its Face: of all the forest there is none other. "
( This again is like how the weirwood tree can see through distance and time.. The only Face mentioned here should be the one which helped create others. Might be the weirwood tree of Winterfell- the castle is as old as the wall and remember the sentence there must always be a Stark in wintefell. Or this might be in the Isle of Faces)

The hunter carved the False face from the tree and the life of the tree entered the face. Years after many adventures and travels the hunter returned home and found the False face society and instructed the first band it's rituals and ceremonies.
(May be this was how the First Faceless men got their false face from the Weirwood tree)
During an epidemic the False faces guard each spring of water and march from lodge to lodge and cure the disease. Persons desiring cures would go to them. These healers are immune to fire. The head of the society is a woman; she has been given the title the keeper of the masks..

Okay theory time:

1. I think the faceless men has their origin from the weirwood tree. Many book readers suspected that they had some connection with the overall events of the Westeros. This might be the connection. They were directly connected to the weirwood trees and they got their first face from the Weirwood tree ( possibly from the one in winterfell).

2. The overall of purpose of the Faceless men is more than assassination.

3. The last part of the story is the interesting stuff. (Leave the show and mind the books). Why do the Faceless men show interest in Arya? Here is my guess. Arya has a deep connection to the weirwood tree of Winterfell. The other guy -Bran- who had a deep connection went on to become a three eyed Raven. Unlike Robb and Sansa, Arya had a path as different as the one Bran had. So Arya might become the head of the Faceless men aka the keeper of the masks. She might make the faceless men serve during the winter or the spring which comes after that.

4. There is another interesting connection. John Snow (in our real life) is the physician who is considered as the father of modern epidemiology. I was always wondering why Martin chose this particular name John Snow for the main protagonist of his series. It solves the mystery. I don't know how exactly but Jon Snow is related to the Faceless men or has some bigger role like Bran and Arya.
If winter and related issues are the Westerosi version of epidemics in our real world it makes sense. It was spread by weirwood trees and they give the cure too. Jon Snow would be the Westerosi epidemiologist who discovers the cure for Winter.

This is yet another reason why I am a fan of George RR Martin. He went beyond the usual Greek mythology to include the folklores of Native Americans in his series. This is another reason why I hate the show. It doesn't do any Justice to the books.
I wish Indian authors also march beyond the Mahabharatha and Ramayana stories and write something new.

I have searched the internet for any other reference for this American Folklore and its connection with Martin’s books. I could not find any. So I cracked it :D

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