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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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