It has become Paste policy not only to warn you of potential Game of Thrones spoilers when they’re about to happen, but to bridge the warning and the actual spoiler content with a sweet Westerosi .gif. Today, we offer you a rare treat: Mace “The Ace” Tyrell delighting the citizens of Braavos with a song:
Spoilers from here on out! Don’t read if you don’t want to know! You have only yourself to blame! Curiosity killed the cat!
Many Game of Thrones theories have been created under the auspices of a truism: If you don’t see a character die, don’t believe he or she is dead.
We didn’t see Benjen Stark die, and it turned out he was alive—to some degree. Ditto for the Hound. Some people believe Stannis Baratheon, the one true king, is still among the living, and others take it to absurd lengths and say the same about Hodor. (And, yes, sometimes even dead characters aren’t really dead, but that’s rare enough that we’ll ignore it for now). Basically, if you don’t see the knife plunged into the body or the head rolling around Baelor’s Sept, anything is possible.
Such was the case for a rather minor character from season one named Syrio Forel. You remember—he was the one-time first sword of Braavos, hired by Ned Stark to teach Arya the ways of the water dance, ie sword fighting. He wasn’t around for long, but, speaking objectively, the guy was f***ing awesome. You can watch his final scene here. Notice that when Arya flees, the camera stays with her, and we never see Forel die.
Shortly after, as Arya escapes north with Yoren of the Night’s Watch, she meets a man named Jaqen H’ghar, a criminal from the free cities who is kept in a cage. Eventually, she saves his life, and learns that he is a Faceless Man. One thing leads to another, and as we’ve seen over the past two seasons, she’s been training with him to become an assassin herself.
The theory surrounding these two men is simple: They are one and the same. Forel never died at the hands of the Lannister guards, and instead was a Faceless Man the entire time. He “became” Jaqen H’Ghar (or, more accurately, was him the entire time) and conspired to find his way onto the caravan heading to The Wall.
Now, several leaps have to be made before you accept this theory, and it’s possible that Syrio is still alive but is in fact not Jaqen. In either case, a new photo that was just released from the next episode provides has helped to revive these theories, and heighten speculation heading into Sunday. The photo:
That’s the Waif in the foreground, but look behind her at the man facing the other direction, in silhouette. Does he look familiar?
Reddit user b_walker08 thought so, and so did user megabreath, who enhanced the image and compared it the Syrio we saw at King’s Landing:
Yup, that looks like Syrio Forel!
We’ll have to wait until Sunday to know for sure, but as far as theories go, this one just crossed over from the “insane” side of the spectrum, and should now be considered somewhere between “actually sort of realistic” and “weirdly probable.” Stay tuned.