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Syrio Forel


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#1 Daedalus

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 09:42 AM

And no, he's not Jaquen either.

The part of the Arya chapter which leads up to the last scene with Syrio is all about seeing. You must see with your eyes, Syrio tells her, and this Arya does. Through her we get a final description before she flees of the heavily armoured knight of the kingsguard standing opposite a weaponless Syrio. The emphasis from George is left with this description, and thereby he tricks us into believing that Forel has little chance. But we are not doing what Syrio has just taught Arya, we are seeing with our hearts instead of our eyes. What did we see just before this? With a wooden training sword Syrio takes out five Lannister guardsmen. In no time at all they are all "down, dead or dying". Arya is seeing with her eyes and "she had never seen a man move as fast", and she must have seen a fair deal of fast knights in her short time. Syrio also sees the truth, "You are slow for a knight" he says to Trant. And though Ser Meryn might be a considerable step up from the Lannister guards, we also know that he is hardly considered skilled. Within seconds of their confrontation Syrio has hit him repeatedly with his stick, whilst Trant only manages to hit his weapon, the second blow cutting it in half. This is the last of what we see in that scene. But we know there are five guards lying on the ground. We are explicitly told at the start of the skirmish when the first guard approaches the waterdancer - "The man yanked free his longsword. The stick moved again, blindingly fast. Arya heard a loud crack as the sword went clattering to the stone floor". Now, I find it impossible to believe that a man like Syrio, who has just avoided being hit even once by five guards, could not avoid Trant, weaponless or no, long enough to run, roll, slide, moonwalk over the ground and pick up that sword or any of the others which must be lying there. Sure, again, Trant is more competent than the guards, but if Syrio isn't trying to attack him then the knight isn't going to be harder to avoid for a man so fast than the five guards were, for the short space of time it would take to grab a sword. And once he has a sword I find it likewise impossible to believe, after the description of his dealing with the guards, that Trant could ever land a blow on his body. With a proper sword Syrio would deflect all attacks, and in no time make mince meat out of the weak spots in the knights armour. Any other scenario is just deeply improbable. With the exception of an off screen deus ex machina in favour of Ser Meryn, such as the arrival of more Lannister men, there is simply no way he could win that battle.

But, we know that Meryn survives. So what happend? Syrio tells Arya that the first sword of braavos does not run. Now he might be lying, and simply does run. Or he might be deceiving Arya becaus he isn't the first sword any more, so this would also imply that he is free to run. I don't think this happend though. Imo, he knocks Trant unconscious. After this Meryn makes some excuse to Cersei and is forgiven.

Thats it. Syrio isn't dead! And he's not a bloody faceless man :P

#2 Zoliv

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:04 AM

Or maybe he is a Faceless Man skin changer and he IS Meryn Trant now.

Face it. Syrio is dead. Or there would have been some lines about Ser Meryn being blamed.

#3 Daedalus

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:25 AM

Okay, how about this. Meryn, upon awakening, finishes off the dying guards, hides their bodies and simply tells Cersei that Syrio and Arya were already gone :P

Seriously, no matter the complications following that chapter, with Meryn being alive and all, there is just no way Syrio would have lost that battle.

#4 LittleFinger6000

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:02 AM

The only problem I have with Syrio still living is that he tells Arya to run. If he felt as though he had any chance of survival he would have kept Arya off to the side and led her to her father himself.

If he's willing to kill Lannister guards on the hunch that something is going wrong, he must understand that Eddard is in serious trouble. Why send Arya out on her own in a castle full of guards looking for her and her family unless he knew that he was doomed and his only way of saving her, of giving her time, was to hold Trant off as long as he could?

Not that I wouldn't love to see him, Eddard, Robb and all our other favourites back though....

#5 Errant Bard

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:03 AM

There is a way, since he did lose it :P

(beside we see him land ineffective blows on Trant, we see Trant sever his stick in two, we see Trant alive and kicking afterwards, and we see that Syrio has outlived his usefulness in the story)

#6 Poobah

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:05 AM

There is a line I recall that says something along the lines of "her dancing master got in the way" (paraphrase) or some such, but no other mention. I do find it hard to believe that someone as crap as Meryn managed to take out Syrio though. But on the other hand, we've heard nothing of Syrio for 4 books now so unless he turns up in Braavos in ADWD I don't think he'll be back, alive or dead.

-Poobs

#7 a_homeless_harpy

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:06 AM

If you ask me if Syrio is dead or not I would say - as dead as a doornail, my friend. He fought well and died defending an innocent girl, it was a good death, let him rest in peace.

#8 ogbebaba

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

We have no concrete evidence either way…

So I will give him the benefit of the doubt until I get proof.

But on the other hand, we've heard nothing of Syrio for 4 books now so unless he turns up in Braavos in ADWD I don't think he'll be back, alive or dead.

-Poobs

:agree:

#9 Daedalus

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

There is a way, since he did lose it :P

(beside we see him land ineffective blows on Trant, we see Trant sever his stick in two, we see Trant alive and kicking afterwards, and we see that Syrio has outlived his usefulness in the story)


My point was to show that it is unreasonable to believe he couldn't get a sword, and once he got that that he would summarily beat the crap out of Trant. In all thar armour it isn't unreasonable that he would be knocked unscouscies before being killed, and I somehow don't see Forel performing a coup de grace.

The only problem I have with Syrio still living is that he tells Arya to run. If he felt as though he had any chance of survival he would have kept Arya off to the side and led her to her father himself.

If he's willing to kill Lannister guards on the hunch that something is going wrong, he must understand that Eddard is in serious trouble. Why send Arya out on her own in a castle full of guards looking for her and her family unless he knew that he was doomed and his only way of saving her, of giving her time, was to hold Trant off as long as he could?

Not that I wouldn't love to see him, Eddard, Robb and all our other favourites back though....


It might have been a quick evaluation of the situation. He believed he could overcome the guards and Trant, but if there was even the slightest doubt he would have sent her away. It's not as if he didn't know that such a raggamuffin might make it away through the castle on her own unrecognized (remember even Tommen and Myrcella don't recognize her at one stage) if there were other men out looking for the noble daughter of the hand.

Under all circumstances, with the very last images we are left with, I find it hard to believe that Syrio would lose.

#10 Erik of Hazelfield

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:15 PM

This is probably one of these things we'll never know.

Sure, it could have happened that way. Syrio could have fled, despite what he said. He could have picked up a sword and rendered Trant unconscious or unable to fight, whereafter Trant lied and said he killed Forel. Or we could pick the easy explanation and assume that Forel was indeed killed by Trant.

However, I dont' think we'll ever hear about Syrio Forel again (except perhaps in Arya's head). He disappeared in the first book and hasn't been heard of since then. We'll just have to figure out for ourselves what happened.

(Personally, I think Forel stole a sword while pretending to be stretching, cut down dozens of guards and was finally disarmed by Trant who was so impressed he asked Forel to be on his sport team... Whoops, wrong series. :P)

#11 Dornish

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 05:53 PM

I can think of a few situations where he might have lived though all of them are unlikely. However, we didn't see a body and no one ever said he died so we can't possibly know for sure.

#12 Chainer

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:03 PM

The description of the lannisters all having swords that dropped to the floor always irked me i often wondered why he didnt just pick one up i assume there just wasnt time with the knight coming straight at him although it didnt seem like that when i read it. Another rather terribly weak explination is perhaps he wasnt very good at fighting with a "knights sword" at all hence he didnt pick one up as i assume he used a bravos blade although that seems like too useless an explination to me.

#13 Daedalus

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

Never thought about the difference in swords. It's a very good point actually, though of course I don't like the implications!

#14 Analog_Filter_2011

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:39 PM

Here's another scenario. Syrio has his stick broken in two pieces by Meryn. Syrio uses his speed to grab a sword by one of the 5 fallen Lannister guardsman. Syrio and Meryn fight with swords for a while alone together, say for 15 minutes. Next, 30 more Lannister guardsman enter the chamber. Syrio continues to fight on (with Meryn still in the mix).....completely surrounded. Despite Syrio's elite fighting skills, he gets overwhelmed by the sheer number of Lannister reinforcements. He eventually gets physically tired, and finally dies a valiant death.

This death can be similar to Borimir's death in The Lord of the Rings.

Now, how do the Lannister reinforcements arrived while Syrio and Meryn continue to fight? Several possibilities:

1.) Some random Lannister guards happen to see the fight between Syrio and Meryn, and enter the room...while calling more reinforcements.

2.) One of the wounded guards sneaks out of the room, and calls back reinforcements.

Edited by Crimsonking, 08 June 2008 - 06:47 PM.


#15 Caligula_K

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:43 PM

I'm pretty sure that Syrio is Tyrion. Note how Tyrion comes to King's Landing right after Syrio dies... Coincidence? Similarly, the two characters never have a scene together. So, its clear: Syrio escaped, and as a faceless man, killed Tyrion and took his place.

But really, whats so hard to believe about Syrio losing a fight to Meryn? Fights are not decided by point sheets, ala Syrio is a level 10 fighter and Meryn is a level 5 fighter so Syrio automatically must have won. If Syrio trips, Meryn goes stab. If reinforcements arrive, they go stab. If Meryn makes a good parry, he then goes stab. If Syrio makes a mistake, Meryn goes stab.

Since there's no indication in the text that Meryn is lying or that Syrio acquired a sword or that he survived(not even a shadow of a clue), I can't see why its somehow more improbable that Syrio died (especially since we haven't seen him for three books now) than that he survived.

#16 Zoliv

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 06:45 PM

Or Meryn Trant simply slashes him with his sword in a one vs one fight. He may not be the archetype of the "gallant knight", but he his a Kingsguard, with a heavy armor and great skills. So against an enemy with no armor and no sword, even a very quick one...

#17 dukehockey

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 07:28 PM

Meryn acted like it was an inconvienant hassle to kill syrio, so he seemed to think it wasn't too difficult for him to win. the real issue is why didn't meryn then realize he was a good enough fighter to start his own teaching school for the daughters of the local lords.

Edited by dukehockey, 08 June 2008 - 07:28 PM.


#18 AsphodelElysium

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 08:32 PM

Hmm, it seems like it would be a 50/50 chance either way about Syrio's survival. There's support for both sides, though, I am rather fond of the Syrio/Jaqen/Pate theory.

#19 Szar

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:48 PM

Face it. Meryn Trant, while not particularly skilled or dangerous, was wearing full plate and had a sword versus an unarmed, unprotected Syrio Forel.

He's dead.

#20 snake

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 12:13 AM

GRRM said he's dead so that's the end of that.

Move on people!