Are Syrio Forel and Jaqen H’ghar the exact same person? It’s one of the older theories out there and many people believe it to be true. Here are some thoughts on this mind bender. But first, let us get to know the people involved.
The “First Sword of Braavos”, a water-dancer who trains Arya Stark on how to use a sword. The First Sword of Braavos is a protector for the Sealord. We don’t know much more about them, but we do know that there is a current one holding the position. Arya brings his training up in many of her chapters in the books, pointing to the fact that Syrio might be more important than his intended role in the series.
Syrio is a flamboyant and charismatic warrior from Braavos where he worshipped the God of Death. “What does one say to the God of Death? Not today.”
Ned hired Syrio, but where would he find such a “dancing instructor” who could be trusted? Ned is new to King’s Landing and it is assumed that he is not the type to be rubbing elbows with sellswords and groupies that hang out in court. He talks to Robert, Littlefinger, Varys, and Pycelle. That’s pretty much of the scope of his friendship circle. We already know Ned can’t stand Littlefinger because he was a love interest of Catelyn’s. Robert is too drunk and out partying all of the time to be teaching Ned who to trust, which leaves us with Pycelle and Varys.
Grandmaester Pycelle is in the pocket of the Lannisters and is too busy running to Cersei with information, but Varys is from Essos. He’s been to Braavos and knows their ways. He is also later heard in the tunnels under the Red Keep talking to Illyrio Mopatis about killing Ned Stark. He is probably the one who introduced Syrio to Ned.
Syrio defends Arya against Meryn Trant and several Lannister men – using only a wooden sword – and telling her that the First Sword of Braavos never runs. She flees and that’s the last time we see Syrio.
A Faceless Man, an assassin, and follower of the Many-Faced God. He has the ability to make himself look like anyone he wants. The Many-Faced God deals with death. You may recall Syrio Forel saying, “What does one say to the God of Death? Not today.”
Jaqen claims he is from Lys, which is another city in Essos, but who can be sure? In the TV series, we see him again in Braavos, but in the books, he doesn’t show up again until ADwD. We first see him in a cage on the way to the Wall after Ned’s beheading, where Arya frees him and two other criminals from burning to death after an attack by the Lannisters. For her service, she is offered to name three people to be killed. Jaqen then gives Arya a mysterious coin that eventually gets her to Braavos and to the door of the Many-Faced God. In the TV series, this is Jaqen H’Ghar, but in the books, he is referred to only as “The Kindly Man”. We do not “see” Jaqen again until the prologue of A Dance With Dragons where he is in Oldtown infiltrating the Maesters.
Are Syrio Forel and Jaqen H’ghar the exact same person?
Here are 4 reasons why I think Syrio Forel and Jaqen H’ghar are the same person.
1. Both men seem to have a soft spot for Arya Stark
We know Jaqen has given Arya a lot of chances to prove herself that she is truly “no one” and Syrio almost sacrificed his life to save Arya.
2. Both men are serious warriors
3. Both men are from Essos
4. There appears to be a man who looks like Syrio Forel in the shadows behind the Faceless Girl who tries to assassinate Arya
A redditor analyzed the shadow and tried to prove that this guy is Syrio Forel by pointing out the similarities between the two figures.
Adding weight to this point is the photo leaked from the sets. This guy surely looks like Syrio Forel.
So we know he is returning for sure in the next episode and the actor who plays Syrio Forel, Miltos Yerolemou, even responded to the speculation on Twitter.
So are Syrio and Jaqen the same person? Here are 4 things that goes against this theory.
What goes against the theory?
1. Why would a Faceless Man pick such a prominent figure to impersonate?
2. Why was he in King’s Landing?
3. How did someone with Jaqen’s skills actually get captured?
4. Why didn’t we see Syrio Forel’s death?
I think Syrio Forel was meant to be dead. If he’s not, it’s because the TV series saw that he brings in ratings and have brought him back. I think Jaqen H’Ghar was there to kill Pycelle, not Ned. From what George R.R. Martin has written, I think the Faceless Men have a contract out on the Maesters. That’s the reason Jaqen was headed for the Wall. To kill Maester Aemon. Meeting Arya was just a happy coincidence and he saw her as a potential student.
So tell me: What do you think?