Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar? Syrio = Jaqen Theory

Is Syrio Forel Jaqen H'Ghar

Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar?

Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar, is an age old theory that has been floating around the internet and social media for years. Since one of Jaqen’s skillset’s is keeping identities a secret, it has been rumoured that he is infact Syrio Forel, under a new identity.

I’ve searched around many websites and resources and gathered information on the theory, as well as my own personal opinion, combining all of the elements to produce a fair attempt at approaching this theory of; Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar?


From The Beginning

I want to first approach this by going back to the beginning, and looking at the last time we see Syrio Forel, as this is a key point to the theory. The last thing we know of Syrio Forel is that he’s still alive, as at no point is he ever confirmed dead. This is unconventional to GRRM’s and HBO’s approach to the saga, considering they’ve never shy’d away from showing a character being brutally murdered.

When Arya leaves Syrio, he’s preparing to take on Meryn Trant, after his wooden sword has been snapped in two. We must also look at the fact Ser Meryn had ordered his men to, “Kill the Bravoosi”. However, one cannot argue that we never actually acknowledge him pronounced dead. The only inclination towards acknowledgement is when Cersei tells Tyrion: ”I sent Meryn Trant to take Arya in hand when Robert died, but her wretched dancing master interfered and the girl fled.”

Bare in mind that Cersei didn’t mention the fate of Syrio, and given her nature, she would’ve happily capitalised on the chance to boast of his death. Some people have taken this to mean he wasn’t killed at the hands of Meryn Trant, and was infact threw into the Black Cells.


Cut To The First Encounter With Jaqen HGhar

Yoren has come to King’s Landing to collect men for the wall, and takes Arya with him. This is when Arya then becomes, ‘Arry’. So in the eyes of those who don’t know her, she is Arry. Yoren also takes three men from the Black Cells, one is considered to be Syrio Forel. Why? Where’s the evidence for such claims? Well..

There are some basic similarities, firstly Syrio Forel is from Bravos, and Jaqen later tells Arya to seek out training in Bravos, indicating that he’s familiar with the place. The language of Syrio Forel & Jaqen HGhar is also compared and deemed similar by Arya with such phrases as, “Just So”, being used by Syrio Forel and Jaqen HGhar. On top of that, both men seem to be good at killing and have a mutual respect for Arya.

The most compelling evidence of all, is that Jaqen HGhar was able to tell that ‘Arry’, was infact Arya Stark. Since they have never crossed paths, this is mystifying and gives more backbone to the theory; Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar?


Piercing Potential Holes Through The Theory

Although Syrio and Jaqen both say, “Just so” quite a lot, this is a recurring phrase of those of the Free Cities. Thoros, Salladhor Saan, Captain Groleo, Illyrio and Dany have all used this phrase at some point, therefore it’s not unique solely to Syrio Forel and Jaqen HGhar.

If Syrio was infact Jaqen all along, it seems odd for him to pick a well known personality as his new identity – Being the First Sword to the Sealord of Bravos.

Also, Ned Stark claims that Syrio Forel has an “excellent reputation”, which implies he’s a well known, long-standing personality at King’s Landing and not just some false identity conjured out of thin air.

Is Syrio Forel Jaqen Hghar

The Transformation From Syrio To Jaqen – Is There Some Light?

Obviously, if Syrio Forel is Jaqen HGhar, then Syrio would have had to turn into Jaqen at some point in the cells. This actually makes sense. I’ll explain..

Jaqen is travelling in the caged cart with two other men. The two men seem to be extremely aggressive and intimidating upon analysis from Arya’s point of view. However, they don’t phase Jaqen in the slightest. Infact, from what we can gather, they avoid confrontation with Jaqen. Could this be because they saw him change from Syrio Forel to Jaqen HGhar and worry what else he’s capable of?

To conclude, I believe it’s possible, even feasible, that Syrio Forel is Jaqen HGhar. There is substantial evidence for the argument, and very little against. If we know GRRM as we think we know him, he could be bringing us all along a breadcrumb trail only to hit our heads off a brick wall. Only time will tell.


What Are Your Thoughts?

So there you have it, my analysis of the theory ; Is Syrio Forel Jaqen HGhar?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. It’s obvious that I haven’t covered every minute detail of pros and cons to the theory, but I feel I have outlined the possibilities in a non-biased way and come to a personal opinion. If you agree or disagree, please let me know in a comments below along with your reasons.

If you’ve read this far and enjoyed my theory, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons to the left.


  1. silvia puga

    August 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    I had never actually thought about it but this all seams like really good reasons and about the hole in your theory about syrio being well known in kings landing could be beacause he dosent change identety till he needs too and stays and maybe even setteles till he needs to be on the go or something like that it would be a good excuse for that hole in the theory

    • Jacqueline Davis

      August 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Syrio can be using “The First Sword of Braavos” handle. As I understand it, Braavos elects their rulers rather often, so his claim of the 1st sword could have been a long time ago. He could have used a real 1st Sword’s name, face and clothes, as a faceless man.

  2. Jennifer White

    August 6, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I love the idea that Syrio and Jaqen are the same person! After all the deaths and everything going to hell by the end of each season – the one light of two awesome characters remains bright! Ah, that makes me think we will see him again. I am on the 4th book right now..and holding on to hope that he comes into the story again!
    Thank you!

    • Ragnar

      November 27, 2013 at 7:03 am

      even if this theory was true (I’m not saying it isn’t) he wouldn’t revert back to Syrio

  3. Nancy J.

    August 6, 2013 at 6:40 am

    It makes lots of sense that Syrio and Jaqen would be the same person. Being a faceless man, he can take on any identity. If he was not killed and tossed in the black cells, Yoren certainly would have taken him for the wall.

    The most telling reason for suspecting they are the same person is that Jaqen calls Arya by her full name, Arya Stark. No one else knew who she was besides Yoren and Gendry at that point so how would he know who she was unless he knew her before. After he changes faces and gives her the coin for Braavos, this exchange happens:

    Across the yard, she could hear men dying. “Please don’t go, Jaqen.”

    “Jaqen is as dead as Arry,” he said sadly, “and I have promises to keep. Valar morghulis, Arya Stark. Say it again.”

    “Valar morghulis,” she said once more, and the stranger in Jaqen’s clothes bowed to her and stalked off through the darkness, cloak swirling.

    Perhaps Ned got the name of her dancing master from Mikken, the swordsmith in Winterfell who is also Braavosi?

  4. Troy Francis

    August 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    What about physical stature. All I know about the transformation of faceless men is that they can change they face like clothes. There is no mention of height or weight.

    • Will

      September 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      I’m going to have to go back and look. But does anyone remember if they say what jaq did to end up in the black cells?

  5. James

    November 27, 2013 at 7:06 am

    ***************** Spoiler Alert unless you’ve read A Dance with Dragons *********************************

    I have never given thought about Syrio and Jaqen. I have noticed that similarities between the faceless man in the temple in Braavos and the 7th aspect of god “The Wanderer”, whose face is always hidden. Of all the aspects, the wanderer is the one they explain the least about. My feeling is that the wanderer is Death and the reason his face is hidden is because he can take on many different identities. His duty as a god would be to not interfere with the struggles/wars of men, but to collect the souls of those whose time has come, but under this assumption, he could be the faceless man in the temple as well, who’s ministry seems to be based on “fulfilling people’s destiny.” The question I have is, if the destiny of the Stark family was to perish, are they training Arya to become a faceless man, or to fulfill her destiny in being able to battle the White Walkers or whatever her ultimate destiny is?

  6. David

    November 27, 2013 at 7:29 am

    The only reason Jaqen was able to see through “Arry’s” disguise is because as a faceless, he was trained to be able to tell when one is lying. Spoiler below for those that didnt read the books:

    When Arya reaches Braavos and meets the black and white robed priest, he always sees through her lies, and eventually, Arya herself begins to recognise the signs of lying and detects them too. It shouldn’t come as a suprise that Jaqen saw through her lie of being Arry.

  7. N

    November 27, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Observation if you read the book so spoilers ahead

    Wasn’t there a basement full of faces. It’s possible for him to be Syrio built a rep and change back and forth between other faces. Unless a face can only be used once

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