What Is The Hall Of Faces On 'Game Of Thrones'? The Room Holds Great Meaning For Arya
If you're a Game Of Thrones fan, I hope you're sitting down before watching the newest Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer. If you've already watched the teaser, you've probably fainted, but come back and read this post when you come to. After months of vague teasers, HBO released a trailer on Sunday for Game Of Thrones Season 6, and, full disclosure, I screamed. The trailer looks back on the dark, violent history the Seven Kingdoms, in a spooky shot panning up in the Hall Of Faces and remembering the fallen, including Catelyn and Ned Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, and some unexpected others. But what is the Hall Of Faces in the House of Black and White, and what does it mean to its newest Faceless Man-in-training, Arya Stark?
The House Of Black And White is a confusing place, both literally and semantically. The House itself is a temple on a remote island in Braavos, dedicated to the Many-Faced God. It is also the home of the Faceless Men, a band of ancient assassins that has mastered the art of subtlety: nothing can be traced to them, because they are all no one. The Hall Of Faces is just one of the many vast and mysterious rooms in the temple, another being the great hall with the poison pool and religious icons, old gods and new. Arya arrives at the beginning of Season 5.
At the end of Season 4, poor young Arya leaves the Hound to die and cashes in the Braavosi coin given to her by Jaqen H'ghar. Faster you could say "valar morghulis," she was on her way to the temple in the lagoon at Braavos.The Hall Of Faces is absolutely forbidden rooms for a young trainee like Arya. When she begins her training to become a Faceless Man, she is only permitted to first clean floors in the central atrium with the poison pool, and later is allowed to clean the dead bodies. When Arya first sees the Hall Of Faces, it's clear why it was off limits. A room that seems to stretch to the sky, the Hall Of Faces is just about exactly that: full of hundreds of pillars with shelves displaying the heads of all those that have died at the House Of Black And White, waiting to be utilized by one of the Faceless Men.
What's terrifying about the Season 6 trailer, then, is that, although we see some dead characters' faces again and it stings — like Ned Stark, Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark (sigh), and also Joffrey Baratheon — there's also the face of Jon Snow. But forget him for a moment because the showrunners switched the game up at the end with a crescendo of horror music and a shot of Tyrion Lannister's dead bald head, with his voice finishing Jon Snow's sentence. You hear the Lord Commander in a spooky voiceover say, "The long night is coming —" and Tyrion's adding, "And the dead come with it."
Unsettling absolutely, but no need to panic (yet). Personally, I believe that the trailer is not literally telling viewers that Tyrion and Jon Snow are joining the dead in Season 6, because a) that would be wildly, uncharacteristically spoiler-y for GOT showrunners Davids Benioff and Nutter, and b) hellllo, it's like, a metaphor. But what if these faces really do end up in the House Of Black And White in Game Of Thrones Season 6? And, if they do, how did they all get there, and who brought them?
It's possible that mentor/danger freak Jaqen will command Arya to run around the Seven Kingdoms collecting heads. Who knows? And, even if she isn't sent to fetch them, she could have to see the whole range of her dead family's bald busts as punishment by Jaqen. Anything could happen in the House Of Black And White, but one thing is for sure: Arya Stark should switch schools.
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO (2)