Who is Pate from A Feast for Crows?

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Who is Pate from A Feast for Crows?

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 684

Book 4 spoilers ahead.

Pate is an apprentice in Oldtown at the Citadel, where the maesters are headquartered. He’s not that talented but does work for some of the higher-ranking maesters, meaning he has access to certain information and areas within the building.

In the prologue, he’s been offered gold in exchange for a master key to parts of the building. The man who makes him this offer is referred to as the Alchemist, but, based on his physical appearance, you can figure out that the Alchemist is Jaqen H’ghar, a Faceless Man.

When Pate delivers the key, he’s paid with a gold coin. He bites the coin to test it, and dies. The coin was poisoned (also the way Arya assassinates the insurer in Braavos, by the way). Jaqen assumes Pate’s identity, and it’s Jaqen-as-Pate whom Sam meets later in the book.

There is something, an object or information, in the Citadel that the Faceless Men want. My money’s on the book “The Death of Dragons,” which is kept locked up and which might very well contain information on how to kill Dany’s dragons.

Sunil Kumar Gopal

Votes: 1116

Spoilers for those who haven’t read A Feast for Crows.

There are four different people named Pate mentioned in A Feast For Crows – it’s a common name, from the story of Spotted Pate, the pig boy. In this book, the four Pates were Ser Pate of the Blue Fork (Gatehouse Ami’s husband slain by Gregor Clegane), Pate at the Crossroads Inn, Pate at King’s Landing (Tommen’s whipping boy) and Pate at Oldtown. I will assume you meant the last one.

Pate was born in the Westerlands with no big family background. He came to the Citadel when he was 13 years old, and he has remained a Novice for 5 years without earning a single Maester’s link. He tried twice, but was never able to pass the test. He assisted old Archmaester Walgrave with maintaining ravens, especially the large white ravens of the Citadel, but eventually became his personal steward in all but name. He dreams of running away with Rosey, and for that he needs a gold dragon.

Rosey introduces him to an alchemist who promises him a gold dragon if he retrieves Walgraves black iron key, which is similar to a master key for the Citadel. Though he refuses at the start, he does steal the key and exchanges it for a gold dragon. However, as he walks away, he suddenly feels sick, falls to the ground and apparently dies.

Later on in the book, during the last (Samwell) chapter, a young novice introduces himself to Sam as Pate, like the pig boy.

The alchemist’s physical appearance was described like this:

He was just a man, and his face was just a face. A young man’s face, ordinary, with full cheeks and the shadow of a beard. A scar showed faintly on his right cheek. He had a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black hair that curled tightly around his ears.

Earlier, in A Clash of Kings we saw this happen:

Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls.

It is safe to conclude that the alchemist was the Faceless Man that we once knew as Jaqen H’ghar, and now he has assumed the place of Pate, a novice of the Citadel, and he also has a master key to the Citadel.

Curiously, he (most likely) killed Pate with a poisoned gold dragon, the same way Arya completed her first assignment.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 3362

The guy who kills Pate the novice (with the poisoned coin) is none other than Jaqen H’ghar. We know this because the description of the Alchemist is a perfect match to the description of Jaqen’s new face when he leaves Arya. (This is a deviation from the show, where Jaqen has the Kindly Man’s role in Arya’s Braavos arc.)

As for why Jaqen wanted the key, that’s a little more speculative. My best theory is that the Faceless Men are trying to learn more about dragons (how to hatch them, how to kill them, how to raise them, or all three), based on the info-drop that a single copy of “The Death of Dragons” is under lock and key at the Citadel. (Read: Unlike, say, Septon Barth’s book, this is not something Tyrion, for example, will have read.) If you also buy into the theory that Euron paid for Balon’s assassination with his dragon egg, it forms a pretty cohesive narrative, with the Faceless Men looking to kill Dany’s dragons (to prevent someone from using them to restart the old Valyrian Freehold and all the evil shit it did to people) or hatch/raise their own in opposition to them.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 9977

Briefly, without major spoilers:

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 6175

How would you justify the title “A Feast for Crows”?

Crows feast on dead bodies. In the aftermath of the War of the Five Kings, there are a ton of corpses hanging around. And there are new claimants moving in to “feast” on the remains of the dead ones. So it works both literally and figuratively.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 2868

Jacob Chen

Votes: 7173

The Faceless Men operate out of Braavos.

There are multiple reasons why they’re “allowed” to operate out of Braavos.

First, the Faceless Men (probably) played a major role in the founding of Braavos. Braavos was founded by escaped slaves who rebelled, stole a bunch of ships, followed the predictions of a slave seer to accidentally discover the island of Braavos. The Valyrians were no stranger to slave rebellions. It is likely that this rebellion was only successful because the Faceless Men participated.

Second, the Faceless Men are the greatest protection Braavos has against invasion.

“As you will. Your king could burn my city down to ash, I do not doubt. Tens of thousands would die in dragonflame. Men, women, and children. I do not have the power to wreak that sort of destruction upon Westeros. Such sellswords as I might hire would flee before your knights. My fleets could sweep yours from the sea for a time, but my ships are made of wood, and wood burns. However, there is in this city a certain…guild, let us say…whose members are very skilled at their chosen profession. They could not destroy King’s Landing, nor fill its streets with corpses. But they could kill…a few. A well-chosen few.”

The Faceless Men obviously cannot defeat an invading army. But they could kill a dozen dragonlords while they’re sleeping in their homes or taking a bath (while unarmored and not atop a dragon). It is a powerful deterrent against invasion, and as long as the guild is headquartered on Braavos, it makes the guild more accessible.

Lastly … how do you stop them? Most of the people they kill, they make look like a natural death. So it’s hard to “convict” them. More importantly, even if the Sealord decides to take action against them … it’s not likely he’ll live long enough to succeed.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 10029

Assuming they do in fact have one, they would have gotten it from Euron Greyjoy in payment for the assassination of his brother Balon. We can conclude from the books that Balon’s death was an assassination by the Faceless Men on Euron’s order — the Ghost of High Heart dreams of a man without a face on a bridge with a drowned crow on his shoulder. Balon died falling from a bridge at Pyke. (Euron also confirms this in the Aeron Greyjoy WoW preview chapter, but you should not have needed this confirmation to already know what had happened.)

Once you figure out that Euron contracted the hit, you then need to ask what he used as payment. The Faceless Men’s prices are already known to be high in a relative sense; factor in that Balon was a king and it’d be staggering. Yet Euron shows up to the Kingsmoot rolling in treasure. He’s obviously not hurting for hard currency, yet one thing he doesn’t have with him — that he had up to this point been known to possess — is a dragon egg. He dismissively says he threw it into the sea, which incidentally describes Balon’s death — in paying for Balon’s “fall,” Euron would have, in a sense, thrown his egg into the sea.

And of course the Faceless Men’s foray into the Citadel, known to possess “The Death of Dragons” (not to be confused with the “Dragonkin” book at Castle Black) under lock and key, fits into this as well. The Faceless Men would have all the more incentive to research dragon lore if they now had their own egg.

Andrew Hagen

Votes: 7138

Arya did not choose wisely.

Who should she have chosen? The first names on her ‘list’:

Joffrey, Cersei, Walder Frey.

Jaqen H’ghar tells Arya that their deaths are a certainty, but the timing is not (that’s because she wants the faceless man to kill Tywin Lannister NOW), and he won’t do that. Tywin is leaving Harrenhal to go make war on her brother Robb).

But what a difference in the show if Joffrey, Cersei, and Walder Frey had have died ‘mysterious’ deaths so early in the series?

Season 2 episode 10: “Valar Morghulis”.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 6582

In A feast for Crows, how does Pate die?

When some characters in the story receive gold, they bite into it to make sure that it’s genuine. The Alchemist was counting on Pate to do this when he was paid for his services. Sure enough, the Alchemist pays Pate with a poisoned coin, Pate bites into it to test its authenticity, and Pate dies.

(And in the tradition of the prologues always hinting at what’s coming, the poisoned coin trick is how, in the books, Arya eventually kills the corrupt insurance salesman.)

Reece Ansaa

Votes: 6703

You would know the answer to this question if you knew Arya’s true character and motivations.

She is a 9 year old girl with wolfblood who saw her father get beheaded in front of her.

She is full of rage. She wants to kill those who have wronged her directly. Or those who she thinks are bad people.

Tywin is the master of house Lannister. But Arya does not realise that. She is too obsessed with personal feelings and revenge.

She realises her mistake in the books when Tywin is about to march against Robb.

The Mountain would be leaving with Lord Tywin, though. He would command the van in battle, which meant that Dunsen, Polliver, and Raff would all slip between her fingers unless she could find Jaqen and have him kill one of them before they left. Arya VIII, aCoK

But then she gets annoyed with Weese. A cruel man in charge of the servants in Harrenhal. He slaps her and assigns her a task. When she does well, he promises her a leg of a crisp bird. But he eats it all himself and slaps Arya when he sees her staring. So she uses her next kill on Weese. She forgets the big picture because she is a child, full of rage and vengeful.

If she had asked for Tywin’s head, no doubt she would have got it since the Faceless Men do not fail. But, it would have ended a great part of the story prematurely and Martin could not afford that.

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 9595

What was Harrenhal like before being destroyed by dragon fire in Aegon’s Conquest?

Absolutely massive but also quite new and under construction for most of its pre-dragonfire days. Harren the Black completed it literally the day Aegon I landed — quite on the nose, no? It took Harren about 40 years to build.

Harrenhal was also a relatively early engagement, fairly soon after Aegon was crowned (which was after he’d taken what became the Crownlands and set up the Aegonfort, which eventually became King’s Landing) and before the Field of Fire. “Fire and Blood” puts the burning of the Arryn fleet at Gulltown before Harrenhal, and the defeat of the Storm King after it. The Field of

Rose G. Stone

Votes: 3041

Was Jaime’s dream at the end of A Feast for Crows true?

(I have just now realised that JAIME is a possible play on J’AIME – which in French means ‘I LOVE’- was Jaime meant to represent THE LOVER from the Faith of the SEVEN?)

If you refer to- was Joanna Lannister alive? then no, I don’t really believe so. Many characters dream of their loved one talking to them ‘as if they are alive’. But this is just an innermost wish manifesting through the dreams of those that lost loved ones. I don’t think we will have a ‘resurrected Joanna’ – we already have a ‘resurrected Cat’ )lady Stoneheart and I truly hope GRRM won’t be a sellout and start churning resurrec

Andrew Hagen

Votes: 8469

Are there any Targaryens other than Jon Snow who rode dragons that didn’t have silver hair and purple eyes?

Yes. Nettles.

Netty was a small brown-skinned girl with black hair and brown eyes. Nettles, also known as Netty, was a dragonseed and the first and possibly last dragonrider of the dragon Sheepstealer.

Dragonseed or seeds is a term to describe some bastards of House Targaryen as well as House Velaryon.

During the Dance of Dragons the call went out for anyone that could ride a dragon. There were dragons available, but not enough riders. She took it upon herself to tame a wild dragon, Sheepstealer, and answered the call.

An impressive, resourceful young lady. Her method of taming the dragon was to g


Votes: 5968

Can “A Feast for Crows” be skipped?

I was just thinking the other day about how important A Feast for Crows is. Other users have already provided great answers and mentioned beautiful writing, character development and timeline which more or less is the same as in A Dance with Dragons.

We also get a lot of information about some characters, about their motives, identities and whereabouts. But what strikes me the most is that we get important clues about the three heads of the dragon, the valonqar prophecy and also the identity of Jaqen H’ghar and his connection to Arya.

I think the most important chapters are Arya chapters, Sam, C


Votes: 10048

Why was Jaqen H’ghar caged with Biter and Rorge?

Book spoilers

Some things in asoiaf happen also for the sake of symbolism and parallels. In Jaqen’s plot it’s the symbolism of three and the three headed dragon.

Yoren came to King’s Landing to find men who could join the Night’s Watch. Ned Stark being the Hand of the King at the time let him clear the dungeons of the Red Keep. Jaqen, Rorge and Biter, the three criminals, were locked in the black cells, guarded by three guards, in the third level of the dungeons, where the most dangerous prisoners were kept. Rennifer Longwaters, the chief undergaoler of the dungeons tried to intervene and keep J

Kelsey L. Hayes

Votes: 3122

Is Jaqen H’ghar the only member of his order?

No, he isn’t. The show really consolidated the Faceless Men’s plot, but in the books, Jaqen and Arya’s Faceless Men mentor (called the Kindly Man) are two different people, not the combined character from the show. So off the bat you have two assassins, plus the Waif, plus several other unnamed Faceless Men whom Arya sees in the House of Black and White (at one point 11 of them hold a meeting together, so there are at least that many, plus who knows more). One also gets the sense from the books that the Faceless Men are more scattered than they are centralized, i.e. whom we see in the House of

Tiff Dawson

Votes: 4850

Why is Jon Snow not in a feast for crows?

A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons are set by geographry, rather than chronology. In Feast for Crows, we’re focusing on King’s Landing, Oldtown and Dorne (with one Arya chapter for Braavos), and in Dance with Dragons we’re focusing on Slaver’s Bay and the Wall.

This is why Jon doesn’t have a chapter in FoC. It’s technically the same book insofar as timeline goes, but because he’s at the Wall, he’s prominent in DwD.

Rose G. Stone

Votes: 5662

What is the prologue of “A Feast for Crows” stating? Can you explain it to me?


The Prologue is used as a plot driving sequence, where we meet Pate, apprentice in Oldtown at the Citadel. The discussion he has with his friends on rumours about dragons reemerging in Essos is allowing us to see how the knowledge of the dragons reappearing might have spread.

From the Prologue we gather that Pate is unsuccessful at gaining even one Maester link, although he has tried so for 5 years. Currently one of his duties is tending an old Maester, Walgrave. Pate has met a person who calls himself an Alchemist, who has promised him a golden dragon coin if he brings him the personal key

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