The Latest News
Connect with Us

Notable Releases
From the Store
Game of Thrones Arryn Men's T-Shirt
Men’s T-Shirt Arryn
HBO US
Featured Sites
License Holders

Jump to content


Photo

Jaqen H'ghar


  • Please log in to reply
147 replies to this topic

#1 Kingslander

Kingslander

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:00 PM

Alright, in the time I've read the books and read these forums I've speculated and heard speculation about who Jaqen has been so far besides "himself" (an almost certainly fake name).

So far we know that a Faceless Man is impersonating Pate at the Citadel and one almost certainly killed Balon Greyjoy. However, I'm a bit reluctant to pin this on Jaqen - it simply doesn't make sense. If they are properly undercover and anonymous (like an assassin should be) then how would anybody be able to contact them to tell them who to kill next? What would they do, march around and advertise that they were a Faceless Man looking for a job? Assuming that the whole enterprise is run through the Temple of the Many-Faced God, I doubt even Jaqen come make it back to the Temple, then leave and kill Balon in that little time. This is what I am thinking of, and I figure it to be the most plausible explanation (note: I'm not so strong on Jaqen=Syrio, but definitely that Jaqen=Old preist at the TotMFG):

Think about this carefully. Who has helped Arya since her father died? Yoren. The books make it sound like her father arranged for Yoren to take her, but he had planned for them to leave by ship. So who? Who was one of the most important characters to travel with Yoren? Jaqen. He was imprisoned, but we don't know why.

Here is that I theorise, and MANY people have theorised before me: Jaqen is really Syrio. I don't think I need to cite any of the circumstantial evidence that Syrio is still alive, such as his head not being "displayed" above the gates like the other members of Ned's household. Syrio obviously cared about Arya. What better way to watch her than to make sure he was taken north? As I recall, the 3 prisoners in the black cells (Rorge, Biter, and Jaqen) were never supposed to be released, which makes it even more likely that Jaqen's trip north was more of an escape than an escort to the Wall. Jaqen wanted Arya to go with him to Braavos, but she refused - so he gave her the "valar morghulis" coin that ensured that, in desperation, she would turn to Braavos. And who was there to receive her? A kindly old man who taught her what's obviously the beginnings of becoming a Faceless Man (Woman? Could a FM change genders?). It could be a coincidence, but didn't someone say that there's no coincidences in books, only clues and red herrings?

#2 mormont

mormont

    Roja la sangre de mi corazón

  • Board Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 34,501 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:21 PM

(note: I'm not so strong on Jaqen=Syrio, but definitely that Jaqen=Old preist at the TotMFG)


I see no evidence of the latter at all, and it would contradict the extremely clear evidence that Jaqen is the Alchemist.

Think about this carefully. Who has helped Arya since her father died? Yoren. The books make it sound like her father arranged for Yoren to take her


The books don't make it sound like that at all. They're quite clear that Yoren happens across Arya entirely by chance, and decides on his own initiative to take her with him.

#3 Kingslander

Kingslander

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:46 PM

I see no evidence of the latter at all, and it would contradict the extremely clear evidence that Jaqen is the Alchemist.



The books don't make it sound like that at all. They're quite clear that Yoren happens across Arya entirely by chance, and decides on his own initiative to take her with him.

I don't really see much evidence either way. Admittedly I think Jaqen has to be either the old man or the alchemist - besides the now-infamous prologue POV characters, he never just creates "one shot" characters that are used for a purpose and then discarded.

I don't care much about Yoren, but would you mind telling me this "extremely clear" evidence that Jaqen is the Alchemist? To me it sounds like he could be just about any Faceless Man.

#4 Jed o' Tarth

Jed o' Tarth

    Wolf of the Woods

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 941 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:49 PM

The books don't make it sound like that at all. They're quite clear that Yoren happens across Arya entirely by chance, and decides on his own initiative to take her with him.


actually, they don't say one way or the other. Arya is on the statue in front of the sept. when she realizes what's going on, she tries to run through the crowd to stop it. that's when Yoren grabs her. it doesn't say if that was by chance or if he was looking for her.

however, i do see how one could reach that idea. Stark was the one to tell Yoren he could have pick of the cells. Later, Stark gets thrown in them himself, and obviously Yoren is still there because he doesn't leave until after Stark is beheaded. it's quite possible that Yoren spoke to Stark in the cells nad he requested that Yoren find his daughters and take them North. Sansa was being guarded by Cersei, but Arya was free in Kings Landing.

it's also quite possible that Yoren took it upon himself to find Arya and take her north. The Starks were always friends to the Watch, even Benjen hand joined them. it wasn't a huge secret that Arya had vanished and the Lannisters didn't have her in their custody.

in any case, Yoren would have known that Arya would be there for Stark's trial if she were still in the city. Paydirt. there she is.

#5 Jed o' Tarth

Jed o' Tarth

    Wolf of the Woods

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 941 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:54 PM

I don't care much about Yoren, but would you mind telling me this "extremely clear" evidence that Jaqen is the Alchemist? To me it sounds like he could be just about any Faceless Man.


From 'The Citadel':
"Compare this description of the alchemist, "A young mans face, ordinary, with full cheeks and the shadow of a beard. A scar showed faintly on his right cheek. He had a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black hair that curled tightly around his ears," (IV: 15) with this one: "Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls." (II: 505)"


now, granted, there might be a lot of people in Westros who have that description in a fashion. However, Martin took great pains to use the same wording in both cases.

i'm pretty sure it's the same guy.

Edited by Solana Tarth, 25 July 2008 - 03:57 PM.


#6 Kingslander

Kingslander

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 03:54 PM

actually, they don't say one way or the other. Arya is on the statue in front of the sept. when she realizes what's going on, she tries to run through the crowd to stop it. that's when Yoren grabs her. it doesn't say if that was by chance or if he was looking for her.

however, i do see how one could reach that idea. Stark was the one to tell Yoren he could have pick of the cells. Later, Stark gets thrown in them himself, and obviously Yoren is still there because he doesn't leave until after Stark is beheaded. it's quite possible that Yoren spoke to Stark in the cells nad he requested that Yoren find his daughters and take them North. Sansa was being guarded by Cersei, but Arya was free in Kings Landing.

it's also quite possible that Yoren took it upon himself to find Arya and take her north. The Starks were always friends to the Watch, even Benjen hand joined them. it wasn't a huge secret that Arya had vanished and the Lannisters didn't have her in their custody.

in any case, Yoren would have known that Arya would be there for Stark's trial if she were still in the city. Paydirt. there she is.

Actually, the REASON Yoren didn't leave until Ned was killed was because he was supposed to escort Ned to the wall, as was the original Lannister plan. Of course, Littlefinger seriously screwed that up (after seeing that Catelyn capturing Tyrion wasn't enough as of itself to cause the civil war) by manipulating Joffrey to get Ned killed.

#7 Jed o' Tarth

Jed o' Tarth

    Wolf of the Woods

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 941 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:04 PM

Actually, the REASON Yoren didn't leave until Ned was killed was because he was supposed to escort Ned to the wall, as was the original Lannister plan.


ah yes, i'd forgotten about that. isn't that why, later, he told Arya he was at the trial in the first place? i don't remember. but, it shoots holes in my theory that Yoren was there solely looking for Arya.

Of course, Littlefinger seriously screwed that up (after seeing that Catelyn capturing Tyrion wasn't enough as of itself to cause the civil war) by manipulating Joffrey to get Ned killed.


you know, i hadn't thought about it that way before. Joffery killed Ned because he was asking questions about the knife?

#8 Kingslander

Kingslander

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:23 PM

ah yes, i'd forgotten about that. isn't that why, later, he told Arya he was at the trial in the first place? i don't remember. but, it shoots holes in my theory that Yoren was there solely looking for Arya.



you know, i hadn't thought about it that way before. Joffery killed Ned because he was asking questions about the knife?

I doubt it, frankly. As we saw with the dwarf jesters at Joffrey's wedding, he is willing to do absolutely anything to piss off someone. All Littlefinger would have needed to say was "Eddard was a traitor to the realm, he should be killed and if you let him off with a light punishment [the Wall] people will think you are weak." Remember, Joffrey was starting to become a mini-Aerys (wanting to kill ANYONE who disobeyed him, sentencing men to fight duels to the death, etc. It would have only been a matter of time until he got an obsession with wildfire).

Littlefinger's reasons? When everything is at peace and there is a happy status quo, you can only rise so far. Littlefinger went from a minor Gulltown official to Master of Coin for the entire realm, but the nobles and small council disliked him almost as much as Varys since he was only a minor noble with a few hides of land. For him to expand his power, he'd need to do this:

1. Sow discord between the two main families (Stark and Lannister). The Starks controlled comparatively few men but lots of land and had pretty much absolute loyalty except for the Boltons. The Tyrells had rich farmlands but seem to have very little political power. Dorne is too far away to be any part of a war that would rip the realm apart, and Littlefinger knew Lysa was too cowardly and weak to join into any war that started.
It was simply good strategic thinking that a war that would wreck the country would have to be between the two most powerful houses and take place more or less in the middle of Westeros, which conveniently was also the major food production area.

2. Take advantage of the instability (manipulating his way from Master of Coin to Lord of Harrenhal and the lord protector of the vale and in control of the 2 people that (he thinks) could control the North, still powerful, and the Vale, untouched and unspoiled and ready to decimate anyone who got in their way).

3. ????

4. PROFIT


(sorry for the meme, I couldn't resist)

#9 Vindor Clegane

Vindor Clegane

    Freerider

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 63 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 04:50 PM

I think when it comes to dealing with faceless men, you need characters with serious connections in order to "hire" them. People like Varys and LF. You have to know people who know people and so on. Pay every hand along the way.

#10 The Bastard of Hull

The Bastard of Hull

    Commoner

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 20 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 05:41 PM

From the experience Arya is undergoing in the House of Black and White I think it very unlikely that there are many Faceless Men.

I think there are very few Faceless Men, or --- that only one Faceless Man actually exists (and he's the ORIGINAL Faceless Man...kind of like the Jew in Canticle For Leibowitz who lives forever, wandering). The House of Black and White serves less like a HQ and more like a battery for this Faceless Man's essence.

#11 Kingslander

Kingslander

    Sellsword

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 06:06 PM

From the experience Arya is undergoing in the House of Black and White I think it very unlikely that there are many Faceless Men.

I think there are very few Faceless Men, or --- that only one Faceless Man actually exists (and he's the ORIGINAL Faceless Man...kind of like the Jew in Canticle For Leibowitz who lives forever, wandering). The House of Black and White serves less like a HQ and more like a battery for this Faceless Man's essence.

From the experience of the past few books, it seems that most of the gods in the books seem to be real. The Old Gods, the Lord of Light, and there's a hint that the Seven are still around, even if they don't have as much influence. This gives rise to an interesting idea - what are the various gods' mediums? Obviously the mediums of the Old Gods seem to be the heart tree, and it's no coincidence that all the Stark children who went south of the wall lost their wolves (although Arya is having wolf dreams now). The medium of the "Lord of Light" seems to be his priests and spreaders of the faith - Melisandre and Thoros.

I like to think that the Seven rely on worshippers much in the way that Dragonlance gods relied on worshippers - the more they had, the more powerful they got. When they only got token worshippers plus their adherents were corrupted or killed. It'll be interesting to see the new Puritan-style Faith develop as more and more knights convert, and I wouldn't put it past GRRM to have a major religious war up his sleeve to complete the civil war, famine, invasion by Vikings (aka Ironmen), etc cycle. It'd be ironic if, by the time Dany got to Westeros, it was a smoking ruin with a few survivors left trying to escape from the Others.

About the Faceless Men - I think that there are some, that the masters might be actually taught the face-changing magic. I recall the old man meeting with a few men and, when Arya asked if those were their real faces, he dodged the question. Therefore I'd guess 10-15 actual Faceless Men, which is why they are so expensive.

#12 Coffee

Coffee

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 185 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 10:15 PM

From the experience Arya is undergoing in the House of Black and White I think it very unlikely that there are many Faceless Men.

I think there are very few Faceless Men, or --- that only one Faceless Man actually exists (and he's the ORIGINAL Faceless Man...kind of like the Jew in Canticle For Leibowitz who lives forever, wandering). The House of Black and White serves less like a HQ and more like a battery for this Faceless Man's essence.


While I would be truly astonished to learn that there is only 1 Faceless Man, if the original is still around, I think that he's the Kindly Old Man. And I do like the "battery" idea.

#13 Burr

Burr

    Squirrely

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,175 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 11:43 PM

From 'The Citadel':
"Compare this description of the alchemist, "A young mans face, ordinary, with full cheeks and the shadow of a beard. A scar showed faintly on his right cheek. He had a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black hair that curled tightly around his ears," (IV: 15) with this one: "Jaqen passed a hand down his face from forehead to chin, and where it went he changed. His cheeks grew fuller, his eyes closer; his nose hooked, a scar appeared on his right cheek where no scar had been before. And when he shook his head, his long straight hair, half red and half white, dissolved away to reveal a cap of tight black curls." (II: 505)"


now, granted, there might be a lot of people in Westros who have that description in a fashion. However, Martin took great pains to use the same wording in both cases.

i'm pretty sure it's the same guy.


well DONE! I hadn't noticed that!

#14 mormont

mormont

    Roja la sangre de mi corazón

  • Board Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 34,501 posts

Posted 26 July 2008 - 03:50 AM

I think there are very few Faceless Men, or --- that only one Faceless Man actually exists


Few, maybe, but the scene mentioned above by Kingslander indicates that there is certainly more than one.

#15 Vindor Clegane

Vindor Clegane

    Freerider

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 63 posts

Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:58 PM

well DONE! I hadn't noticed that!


Most people don't til a re-read or a visit here. I didn't. It pretty much assures us that they are both the same man. Everything becomes a debate on here because of how blatently obvious it seems when it has been picked apart on this forum. You have to look at it from the perspective of a one time reader and how the author set it up for that one time reader. It is setup perfectly to assure you that the alchemist IS who Jaqen switched to when he left Arya. End of debate. There arent other faceless men using the same faces. Thats ludicrous to even suggest that. Its really simple. The author chose a distinct description to share between two characters, but spread it in a gap between two books and two locations to somewhat hide it. To give observant readers a big AHA! moment when they find it. The mechanics of how it was done proves it true.

Edited by Vindor Clegane, 26 July 2008 - 05:59 PM.


#16 Artanaro

Artanaro

    The Inquisitor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,670 posts

Posted 27 July 2008 - 12:26 AM

I would just like to point something interesting about Arya's training among the Faceless Men. If anyone here has read Kim by Rudyard Kipling, the scenes, where Kim is being trained for his military service, greatly resemble Arya's education.

Artanaro

#17 Sarella

Sarella

    The Sphinx

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts

Posted 27 July 2008 - 08:10 PM

The author chose a distinct description to share between two characters, but spread it in a gap between two books and two locations to somewhat hide it. To give observant readers a big AHA! moment when they find it. The mechanics of how it was done proves it true.

Thank you, Vindor Clegane! Now, if only people would apply this to all of the other theories on this board. We know by now that this is how GRRM works and we should apply this knowledge. Following GRRM's pattern for theories we are certain of (Jaqen=Alchemist, Sandor=gravedigger etc), we can be almost certain of others, e.g. Lyanna was the Knight of the Laughing Tree, Coldhands is Bloodraven, Dany=AAr/PTWP, Bran is The Last Hero.

And we can be certain that some theories are false because they don't fit GRRM's pattern. E.g. Meera and Jojen=Rhaenys and Aegon. Margaery is Jon's twin. Daario=Jaqen. The poison was in Tyrion's pie. etc.

And I'll just add the other tidbits about The Alchemist because I think every thread on this topic should have it:

Pate asks who The Alchemist is. The Alchemist replies "A stranger. No one. Truly." Pate's coin was poisoned and poison is the weapon of choice of the Faceless Men. Maester Cressen reflects that few know how to make Strangler, and that the Faceless Men are one of those few. Jaqen poisoned Weese's dog with Basalisk Blood. Poisons are brewed at the Faceless God's temple.

#18 Coffee

Coffee

    Squire

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 185 posts

Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:07 PM

Pate asks who The Alchemist is. The Alchemist replies "A stranger. No one. Truly." Pate's coin was poisoned and poison is the weapon of choice of the Faceless Men. Maester Cressen reflects that few know how to make Strangler, and that the Faceless Men are one of those few. Jaqen poisoned Weese's dog with Basalisk Blood. Poisons are brewed at the Faceless God's temple.


What I want to know is, how the heck did he get the stuff? Does the guy carry around a spice and poison cabinet in his pack or something?

#19 Sarella

Sarella

    The Sphinx

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,029 posts

Posted 27 July 2008 - 11:57 PM

What I want to know is, how the heck did he get the stuff? Does the guy carry around a spice and poison cabinet in his pack or something?

Either he had supplies from his last visit to the temple, or he has the skills to find the right materials and make poisons on the go.

It depends whether or not he was really a prisoner in KL, IMO. If he was a prisoner, surely all of his possessions would have been seized, meaning that he must make poisons on the go. But if he wasn't really a prisoner, he could have had a stash from the temple.

Not the kind of things you'd want to carry around, really.

#20 Erik of Hazelfield

Erik of Hazelfield

    Council Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,000 posts

Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:34 AM

Of all the strangeness regarding Jaqen H'ghar, the thing I wonder most about is why he was found in the black cells under King's Landing.

We've seen the stuff this man is capable of. He turns Weese's dog on him. He makes a man fall off the walls whithout anyone noticing (OK, this isn't particularly impressive, but it shows us how good he is at being unnoticed if he wants to). It beggars belief that the likes of Janos Slynt and his gold cloaks manage to catch Jaqen H'ghar while he commits a murder.

This is the only reason why Syrio = Jaqen has any credibility at all. I still don't believe in it, but at least it explains why Jaqen was in prison.