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Ser Petyr Parker

Jaqen H'ghar's nonsense

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"A man pays his debts. A man owes three."

"Three?"

"The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places."

Presumably the idea is that, since Arya saved three people from a fire, the fire god has been cheated and is owed three lives. If they had been at risk of drowning instead, perhaps the Drowned God would be owed three lives.

But that makes no sense at all. What would have happened if things were different is irrelevant, because it was never actually going to happen. Otherwise, where do you draw the line and say someone has been saved? People take actions to avoid their own deaths and those of others every day, even something so simple as carrying a weapon to avoid being attacked, or boiling potentially contaminated water. Is a god cheated every time? Surely the gods know better than to think every danger will be fatal.

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As they rode out into the bustle of Riverrun's upper bailey, a naked toddler ran in front of the horses. Catelyn jerked her reins hard to avoid him, glancing about in dismay.

So this toddler was at least as close to death as Jaqen and co. were. Does Catelyn now owe a life to the Crushed By A Horse God?

So what is the explanation? Did Martin accidentally write something that makes no sense? Is Jaqen wrong in-universe? Or is he just making up a story?

I'm interested in the last explanation, because it fits with a possible answer to other questions: Why is Jaqen even at Harrenhal? Why does he take on the debt for Arya, and why does he let her choose the names? Why does he agree to help her escape?

He could truly believe that three lives are owed to a god, and the rest is what he owes to Arya. But that assumes Martin wrote something that made little sense. The alternative explanation is that Jaqen came up with a sort-of-plausible explanation to hide his true reasons for helping Arya.

Thoughts? Does Jaqen's explanation make sense to you? Or do you think he was up to something else involving Arya? Was he trying to send her to the House of Black and White all along?

Edited by Ser Petyr Parker

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I agree with you 100%. 
I think he was really saved by her and genuinely grateful.
He pondered recruiting her and wanted to give her the power to kill to see how she deals with this.

I don´t think it was author error. I think the world was already pretty solid in GRRMs mind by the time he wrote this (second book). 

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Am I the only one to find it very difficult to believe that an A class assassin would need a girl to bail him out? Also what about this '3 lifes' nonsense? Why simply not offering her a way back to Riverrun instead? Was Jaqen interested in showcasing his skills to the wolf cub?

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49 minutes ago, Ser Petyr Parker said:

So this toddler was at least as close to death as Jaqen and co. were. Does Catelyn now owe a life to the Crushed By A Horse God?

The toddler probably wasn't a Faceless Man. Maybe it's only saving the life of a Faceless Man that earns you the debt?

Where Rorge and Biter also Faceless Men? I think so. Muscle "Jaqen" brought along for whatever big-game he was in Westeros hunting.

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I really like your idea. Especially if it maybe was planned from Jaqen and he was there for the purpose of helping Arya (and giving the Coin to her, leading to her visit to the House of Black and White and the Faceless Men). If i remeber correctly, she already showed some impressive skills for her age and gender on the road with Jaqen. I just don't really know why he was in the Cell with rorge and biter, or how he should have learned of her skills prior to being on the road with Arya.

On the other hand i am not sure at all how much GRRM had the concept of the Faceless Men fleshed out. Mentioning "The Red God" instead of the Many Faced God looks odd to me, and the part about the "owed deaths" seems to not line up with being an assasin guild who kill people because others pay for it. 

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10 minutes ago, Robb Snow said:

I really like your idea. Especially if it maybe was planned from Jaqen and he was there for the purpose of helping Arya (and giving the Coin to her, leading to her visit to the House of Black and White and the Faceless Men). If i remeber correctly, she already showed some impressive skills for her age and gender on the road with Jaqen. I just don't really know why he was in the Cell with rorge and biter, or how he should have learned of her skills prior to being on the road with Arya.

On the other hand i am not sure at all how much GRRM had the concept of the Faceless Men fleshed out. Mentioning "The Red God" instead of the Many Faced God looks odd to me, and the part about the "owed deaths" seems to not line up with being an assasin guild who kill people because others pay for it. 

You know nothing Robb Snow (sorry mate, I couldn't resist)

Is it a co-incidence that a faceless man, a magister of pentos and a first sword of bravos happen to be all at the red keep few hours before tragedy strikes?

Edited by devilish

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26 minutes ago, devilish said:

Am I the only one to find it very difficult to believe that an A class assassin would need a girl to bail him out? Also what about this '3 lifes' nonsense? Why simply not offering her a way back to Riverrun instead? Was Jaqen interested in showcasing his skills to the wolf cub?

Not at all. That JH was in the black cells at all is absolutely absurd. Who caught him? Janos Slynt? I am a huge fan of @Toe's Grand Faceless Men Conspiracy Theory though I do think there are areas it is lacking and others that need refining.

I will go on record and say that if Jaquen was in the black cells it was because he wanted to be there. I believe that Varys is a FM too and that the general plan was to have Ned take the black, JH to kill him and take his face and take up the roll of Ned on the wall to destabilize the Night's Watch. When Ned got his hair cut a little too short JH changed plans and headed over to the Citadel.

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57 minutes ago, devilish said:

You know nothing Robb Snow (sorry mate, I couldn't resist)

Is it a co-incidence that a faceless man, a magister of pentos and a first sword of bravos happen to be all at the red keep few hours before tragedy strikes?

Truth be told: I think yes it is. 

In his original Outline GRRM told of the 3-Stages:
 

  1. The Civil War in Westeros
  2. The Invasion of Dany
  3. The Conflict with the others

Clearly most details in said outline are not true anymore, but i dont think that this structure hast changed. I came to believe that most theories involing some minor fraction having great impact on the main story are not true.

For example the Grand Faceless Men Conspiracy @YOVMO mentioned. It just doesnt work for me, because of the "stupid" ending. Imagine at the end of Book 7 (or 8) we would be told, that all we have been reading for all these years was just a ploy of some other faction which never seemed to be of real influence.

But feel free to tell me your Story. Why were these 3 people there at the same time?

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There's no question that Jaqen was/is on a mission. I would take a step backward to look at his larger context before asking the questions in the OP.

Jaqen and Rorge and Biter were imprisoned in the Black Cells at the Red Keep, where dangerous prisoners are kept. In practice, this has meant that political or highborn prisoners are locked up there - Tyrion and Ned are our other known examples. (Also Pycelle?) We know of other violent criminals, now at the Wall, who apparently were not kept in the Black Cells, so "dangerous" is apparently open to interpretation.

The other thing we know about the Black Cells is that Varys was in charge of them, disguised as Rugen the Undergaoler. Was Jaqen stashed in the Black Cells deliberately, with the knowledge that the Night's Watch periodically cleaned out the dungeon in search of new recruits? If so, the dungeon would have been the first stop on a planned trip to the north.

Or was Jaqen's mission disrupted by the stay in the dungeon?

Is he working with Varys or did Varys want him locked up?

And this brings us to your questions, which boil down to (correct me if I'm wrong):

1) Does Jaqen really believe that three deaths are "owed" to the Red God?

2) Why does Jaqen bother to involve himself with Arya?

Could Arya have been the reason for Jaqen's original mission? Is she thought to be the fulfillment of some kind of prophecy? (Similar to Bloodraven seeing Bran as the fulfillment of a prophecy?) Or even just a strategic choice by the Faceless Men who may have recognized her tomboy ways and sword abilities as good traits for a future assassin?

My guess is that Jaqen's mission doesn't go into ancient history; he is not invested in Arya the way Bloodraven and the CotF seem to have been waiting for Bran.

There are similarities in circumstances and in details between the Night's Watch and the House of Black and White. I think we are supposed to compare Yoren, collecting men and boys for the Night's Watch, and Jaqen, recruiting Arya for the House of Black and White. Yoren takes what he can get, however, and Jaqen probably spots a recruit only very rarely. While I don't think Arya was necessarily the purpose of Jaqen's mission, I think he took the time to evaluate and to give her the coin before continuing on his primary mission.

I agree with your implication in the op and with @lordHodor that the three deaths were not so much for R'hllor as a test of Arya's potential. The third "death" is the Weasel Soup attack on the dungeon guards, resulting in the freeing of the northmen. As that scene plays out, Jaqen tells Arya that she has blood on her hands. To me, this is his way of ensuring that she had the bloodthirsty qualities necessary to be complicit in three murders.

Jaqen eventually indicates that the three deaths owed to R'hllor have now been paid back but - going by his own yardstick - several guards died in the Weasel Soup incident, so there were actually more than three deaths paid to R'hllor. Does R'hllor give change when he is overpaid? Keep the customer's balance on account as a store credit?

Jaqen might also have been interested to see who Arya chose for her three deaths, although that may be less important than the fact that she willingly accepted his assassination offer. Chiswyck and Weese don't seem like good choices to the reader, but they are actually symbolic, I suspect. Chiswyck falls from a wall, and I am not sure we have seen the death he foreshadows - I suspect someone will be pushed off The Wall at some point. Weese might actually symbolize Joffrey (in the link, scroll down to the discussion of the ACoK, Arya VIII chapter), which means that Arya symbolically contracted for the killing of someone on her "prayer" list.

I doubt that Faceless Men would be followers of any god outside of the Many-Faced god who is embodied in The Stranger in Westeros. Any pretense by Jaqen to subscribe to a specific religious belief, such as "owing" a precise number of deaths to the Red God, seems like a ruse to involve Arya in his trade, which is killing people surreptitiously.

However, I do think that the Many-Faced god and a bag of coins are the same thing, symbolically - coins usually bear the face of a king so a collection of coins bears many faces. In the case of the iron coin Jaqen gives to Arya, the face is almost rubbed off but it represents a Faceless Man. I think the House of Black and White is linked to the Bank of Braavos and that the author is linking death and money.

I lean toward Littlefinger being linked to the Bank of Braavos, but Varys could be part of the mix. I do think that Varys and Jaqen might be working together - or that Varys had a purpose in directing Jaqen north - because of Jaqen's stay in the Black Cells. At the point that Yoren takes his group north, people are being allowed into the gates of King's Landing, but guards screen anyone going out. If Jaqen had just been a nasty guy, he would have been in another part of the dungeon or would have been executed quickly. I think Varys gave him "cover" and then helped him to escape, even though he was confined in the wagon. (Maybe that was deliberate, too - the three men got to ride in comfort instead of walking or riding a horse.) Arya was persuaded to do her "Pandora's Box" gesture at the critical moment, freeing Jaqen and his companions, and the plot unfolded from there.

 

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45 minutes ago, YOVMO said:

Not at all. That JH was in the black cells at all is absolutely absurd. Who caught him? Janos Slynt? I am a huge fan of @Toe's Grand Faceless Men Conspiracy Theory though I do think there are areas it is lacking and others that need refining.

I will go on record and say that if Jaquen was in the black cells it was because he wanted to be there. I believe that Varys is a FM too and that the general plan was to have Ned take the black, JH to kill him and take his face and take up the roll of Ned on the wall to destabilize the Night's Watch. When Ned got his hair cut a little too short JH changed plans and headed over to the Citadel.

Agreed that JH wanted to be in the cells. Varys having an alignment with the Faceless Men makes some sense, though I'm not entirely sold on the idea. I'm not sure why the FM would want to destabilize the Night's Watch. Were they hired by Mance Rayder? What would he have traded them? Are they in league with the Others? How does that square with their stated philosophy?

Generally I prefer the idea that "Jaqen" (and possibly Rorge and Biter too, but I can go either way on that) were in the cells to infiltrate the Night's Watch, not to harm the watch in anyway, but to hunt for Bloodraven.

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14 minutes ago, Robb Snow said:

Clearly most details in said outline are not true anymore, but i dont think that this structure hast changed.

Part of the problem of that outline is that it was written to sell publishers on his new project so he could get an advance. Sure today GRRM could just wander into any publisher and say "Pay me three million dollars and you can publish a book of mine in five years, I won't tell you what it's about" and they'd do it. But before AGoT he had to sell himself, and the outline reads very safe. Maybe I'm just cynical, but I think he was telling the publishers what he thought they wanted to hear. I don't think he was lying to them exactly, but the idea that this is all coming together for a big battle between good and evil, a messiah versus an ancient satan... the more you read of GRRM the more absurd that ending has to seem.

I don't think there's a massive shapeshifter conspiracy (I'm sure there's a moderate one) but I wouldn't discount it, or anything else, based on the outline. It's as reliable a predictor of the novels' direction as HBO.

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12 minutes ago, Damon_Tor said:

I don't think he was lying to them exactly, but the idea that this is all coming together for a big battle between good and evil, a messiah versus an ancient satan... the more you read of GRRM the more absurd that ending has to seem.

 

I never said that the conflict with the Others is going to be solved by a big heroic battle. In fact i believe kind of the opposite, but thats for another thread. 

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People have all sorts of absurd theories about this.  The fact of the matter is that in the limited amount of time we have seen Jaqen on page we saw him make a mistake.  While disguised as Pate he refers to himself as "Pate, like the pig boy."  We the readers, as well as Alleras/Sarella know that Pate would never refer to himself like that.

So we know the faceless men are not perfect.  We also know simply as a practical matter that shit happens.  Some guys could've tried to rob him, someone could've unluckily walked around the corner right after he dealt with those thieves.  Any number of unlucky things could have happened to wind him up in the black cells.

Niether LF, nor Cersei, and certainly Varys did not hire the FM to kill Ned.  The FM charge based on the target, and based on the person doing the hiring.  The cost seems to be at least half of everything you have.  Varys only real possessions are his life and power, he gave up neither.  LF has wealth and power, and he still has both.  Cersei had wealth, power, and children.  She still has wealth and power, and did not give her children to the FM.  Therefore none of them hired a faceless man.

As for destabilizing the Nights Watch.  I don't even know how to comment on that.  

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@YOVMO 

@Robb Snow

I find it very strange that the magister of Pentos, Varys, a faceless man and the former first sword of Bravos happen to be at the red keep just before tragedy strikes. I find it even more strange that the best assassin in all Westeros ended up being arrested by some of the most incompetent and corrupt soldiers in all the 7 kingdoms, that he ended up being caged like a rat soon afterwards and would need the assistance of a girl to save his arse. Especially since that same assassin found no difficulty in killing key players at Harrenhal in a record period of time.

But what is the connection between the 4 players? Let’s start from Varys. He seems to suggest that he want the good for the realm. However is it really the case? Rhaegar was planning a rebellion at Harrenhal against the mad king. If successful, Aerys would have been deposed + Robert’s rebellion, the Greyjoy rebellion and the war of 5 kings would probably never happened. Yet, Aerys foiled such plan. Who was the culprit? Varys.

Ok so that might have been a co-incidence. Varys might have genuinely thought that Aerys could be redeemed or that the realm could survive Aerys. Yet a generation later he pretty much commit the same mistake again. He tells Robert that Danny had married Drogo which pushed Robert to take action. Of course everything was staged. Varys man (Jorah) happened to be around to ruin such assassin plan and Danny came out of it alive. Having said that, Danny’s life was still put to danger + the realm had just earned a new powerful enemy. That’s hardly good for the Targs or/and Westeros isn’t it?

Lets focus on Varys best mate and partner in crime, the magister of Pentos. Pentos is Braavos whipping boy. In the past 2 centuries, the city has lost 4 of its 7 wars with Braavos. Braavos had forced Pentos to change its rules (ex slavery) + it is forcing it to keep a ridiculously small navy and no army.  Under such circumstances we can say that Pentos is nothing but a glorified Bravoosi vassal. So lets concentrate on Braavos instead. After all the remaining 2 players do originate from Braavos.

Braavos is the wealthiest and most powerful of the free cities. It was founded by escaped slaves who fled the Valyrian Empire. Taking that into account, I doubt they are big fans of the last remaining Valyrians around.  

Anyway, Braavos is led by the Sealord whom in turn is protected by the first sword of braavos. The Sealord can hardly act cocky.  Both the Faceless men and the Iron Bank live around the corner. We all know that these gentlemen can easily wipe anyone if they want to. The fact that the three institutions can live in the same city without ripping each other throats off suggest that they have a good understanding with one another. Its not that outrageous to think that they all work for the good of the realm.

But let’s focus on how Braavos fight wars. As said, Pentos lost 4 of 7 wars with Braavos. They still kept their ‘independence’ which is quite handy for Braavos as they hasn’t conquered anybody. However we all know that such independence is there in all but name. Pentos was forced to abandon slavery, they have to live with a small navy of 20 ships and they can’t hire sellswords or have a standing army. Its rumoured that Braavos had won those wars through bribery, which gives an insight of how Braavos win wars and further strengthen the link between Illyio and Braavos. Considering that Illyio is magister of a client state we can presume that he’s on Braavos payroll.

That leads us to the Targs. At the beginning of the books, the Targs are at their lowest. The beggar king is forced to marry his sister to Khal Drogo (which happens to have a mansion in Pentos, which, I repeat is a client state of Braavos) and then ends up losing his life soon afterwards. When Danny escapes from Illyio’s control, the magister gets Aegon out of his hat. He arranges a deal for him with the GC and is then sent to invade Westeros.

 Both the Targ siblings and Aegon have these common denominators.

a-      They are feared in Westeros (children of the mad king)

b-      They owe Illyio a huge debt

c-       They rely heavily on foreign troops

If they win the IT then they will be expected to pay the IB a huge sum of money too.  They better act nice to Braavos am I right?

So where does Arya fall in all this? Well, Arya is a Stark, a powerful house, sole rulers of a region no one can ever invade. Arya is also the grand-daughter of Hoster Tully, the cousin of Robin Arryn and sister of the future queen of Westeros. Her ‘interest’ to swordsmanship is the perfect opportunity for Syrio Forel to access the red keep and to be in close proximity to such prestigious chess piece without raising any suspicions. His charm offensive (mirrored by Jaqen soon afterwards) brings Arya closer to Braavos which serves a big plus for the Braavosi. Not only would Arya be able to go into any Westerosi court if she wants to but any possible marriage between her and any of Bravoos henchmen could potentially bring the Riverlands, the Vale and the North to her side.

Now lets say Ilyio is able to pacify things between Aegon and Danny (it should be pretty straightforward considering both Targs owe Illyio a great deal). Danny ends up queen, Aegon gets the Stormlands. The Lannisters will probably be wiped out so Danny will have to give CR to somebody who knows a thing or two about money and had proved his loyalty to her (Ilyio?). Now imagine that scenario. What better match to pacify Westeros for good if not by marrying Aegon to Arya? Surely Bran would never consider sending troops against his little sister wouldn’t he?

Arya would of course play a very important role and she will be very very close to her new auntie in law. Now imagine how easy it would be for this little rascal whose basically family with 2/3 of Westerosi nobility to get rid of anyone who dares crossing the line.

Edited by devilish

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2 hours ago, Robb Snow said:

because of the "stupid" ending

I agree with you here Robb Snow...which is why I qualified that I like the theory but believe it does need tweaking. In the end, the idea that the FM are a doomsday cult and that "Valar Morguhulis" is to be taken literally and not as an existential motto clears up a lot of unanswered questions in all of the books.

 

1 hour ago, Damon_Tor said:

I'm not sure why the FM would want to destabilize the Night's Watch.

Also: @devilish

 

It is my belief that there is a war between ice and fire and that the faceless men, as former slaves of the Valyrian Dragon Lords, are on team ice. I think they want to bring down the wall. There is a bunch more and I have actually written a lot of it out but in the end the binary of ice and fire has been playing itself out in a big way.

In a super quick nutshell:

FM begin as slaves in the freehold...slaves of dragon lords. They consider their assassinations as a gift, dragon lords used fire magic, slaves were tormented with fire and so the anti fire credentials are clearly there. The first FM gives the gift to the most miserable of the slaves. This is all 400 years prior to Robert's Rebellion.

Really hating fire magic it would make sense for the FM to seek out its opposite, Ice Magic. If Fire is the province of R'Holler then Ice would be the province of the great other. The FM go to Braavos which becomes a famously anti slavery, anti dragonlord city. So the claim is that the FM are a doomsday cult here...they are out to bring the gift to everyone...All Men Must Die. The shrines of the death dieties in the house of black and white include the black Goat of Quohor (whose statue is burned by the priests of R'Holler). The teams break up as R'Holler/fire/life/light and The Great Other/ice/death/darkness

The FM are trying to pull full scale apocalypse by crashing out the wall and bringing on the next long night. 

 

I think Varys is absolutely a faceless man and the team captain of Operation Bring Down the Wall (and possibly the immortal first faceless man). This explains why he has made some really crazy choices. As a targ loyalist trying to restore Viscerys (a mentally unstable targ who believes that all the great lords of Westeros need to be killed) then Dany (the realities of dragons and dothraki hitting westeros would be devastating) and then Aegon all seem absolutely insane.

Varys tells ned, while in the black cells, “a septon told me that as we sin so do we suffer, but if that is true why is it always the innocents who suffer when you high lords play your game of thrones?”  His beef is with the whole system and all suffering.

The whole point of the faceless men is to bring peace to the suffering.

Ned asks Varys to what ends his motives are aimed, but Varys immediate response is just “peace”  This is taken to mean a peaceful kingdom (which is in conflict with his big plan to return the Targ family) and more likely means peace as in everyone being dead.

Prophecy and legend speaks of the Others riding a giant spider but no rangers, wildlings or anyone, including mance, has ever seen a spider north of the wall. Prophecy is about Varys.

Vary's plays a large role in keeping Rhaegar from becoming king, in the events leading to Roberts rebellion, in Roberts death, in pretty much everything that destabilizes westeros.

Varys riddle to Tyrion: “A sellsword stands with a king, a priest and a rich man. Each says to the sell sword to kill the other……who is left alive…power resides where men believe it resides.”  The king is obvious…the king. The Rich man (any Lannister fits here) the priest (the high septon) but who is the sell sword. Tyrion actually asks this question. Varys replies “no one

It is Varys' plan to have Ned take the black. If JH kills Ned on the way to the wall and impersonates him, who better to destabilize the watch with? He is so beloved that it would take a decade before anyone in the watch dared to question anything he said.

 

In a lot of ways I think the Qartheen Warlocks are a priestly side to the FM too. Loads of stuff wrapped into this.


To answer, I think that the realm and the wall need to be destabilized in order to bring on the long night which is something the FM are very much up to. Whether they are successful or not is another story. I like to think that there would be an epilogue after ADOS where spring comes and there are no people but surviving the long winter was Ghost and Nymeria with the consciousness of a dead Jon and Arya in it.

 

Edited by YOVMO

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How has nobody mentioned that Jaqen Hagar and Syrio Forell are both the same faceless man?

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7 hours ago, Ser Petyr Parker said:

Presumably the idea is that, since Arya saved three people from a fire, the fire god has been cheated and is owed three lives. If they had been at risk of drowning instead, perhaps the Drowned God would be owed three lives.

But that makes no sense at all. What would have happened if things were different is irrelevant, because it was never actually going to happen. Otherwise, where do you draw the line and say someone has been saved? People take actions to avoid their own deaths and those of others every day, even something so simple as carrying a weapon to avoid being attacked, or boiling potentially contaminated water. Is a god cheated every time? Surely the gods know better than to think every danger will be fatal.

So this toddler was at least as close to death as Jaqen and co. were. Does Catelyn now owe a life to the Crushed By A Horse God?

So what is the explanation? Did Martin accidentally write something that makes no sense? Is Jaqen wrong in-universe? Or is he just making up a story?

I'm interested in the last explanation, because it fits with a possible answer to other questions: Why is Jaqen even at Harrenhal? Why does he take on the debt for Arya, and why does he let her choose the names? Why does he agree to help her escape?

He could truly believe that three lives are owed to a god, and the rest is what he owes to Arya. But that assumes Martin wrote something that made little sense. The alternative explanation is that Jaqen came up with a sort-of-plausible explanation to hide his true reasons for helping Arya.

Thoughts? Does Jaqen's explanation make sense to you? Or do you think he was up to something else involving Arya? Was he trying to send her to the House of Black and White all along?

I am not answering the bigger question here, but I think we can distinguish the two examples you provide in the OP. In the former, Jaqen et al. were chained to a cage, and the fire was already burning the cage. Arya intervened to save them from certain death. Caelyn, on the other hand, was the one who was bearing down on the boy, but she reigned hard to avoid him. The two scenarios would be more similar if another person had intervened to rescue the toddler. 

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4 hours ago, YOVMO said:

The shrines of the death dieties in the house of black and white include the black Goat of Quohor (whose statue is burned by the priests of R'Holler). The teams break up as R'Holler/fire/life/light and The Great Other/ice/death/darkness

Part of the problem here is that R'hllor is also a part of the amalgamated death-god worshipped at the House of Black and White.

3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

How has nobody mentioned that Jaqen Hagar and Syrio Forell are both the same faceless man?

It's an appealing idea at first glance, but it falls apart very quickly when you actually examine it. "What do we say to the God of Death? Not today." Not a very Faceless-Man sort of philosophy. He talks about his appointment to be the First Sword and the test had nothing to do with fighting, the First Sword's primary function is to see through illusions. In other words, Syrio is an anti-Faceless Man. While I assume it isn't impossible or even unlikely that a Faceless Man would spout contrary dogma when a particular job called for him to do so, one has to wonder why the author would have made that choice given the context.

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3 minutes ago, Damon_Tor said:

Part of the problem here is that R'hllor is also a part of the amalgamated death-god worshipped at the House of Black and White.

It's an appealing idea at first glance, but it falls apart very quickly when you actually examine it. "What do we say to the God of Death? Not today." Not a very Faceless-Man sort of philosophy. He talks about his appointment to be the First Sword and the test had nothing to do with fighting, the First Sword's primary function is to see through illusions. In other words, Syrio is an anti-Faceless Man. While I assume it isn't impossible or even unlikely that a Faceless Man would spout contrary dogma when a particular job called for him to do so, one has to wonder why the author would have made that choice given the context.

R'hllor or the Great Other? 

Quote

"There are two, Onion Knight. Not seven, not one, not a hundred or a thousand. Two! Do you think I crossed half the world to put yet another vain king on yet another empty throne? The war has been waged since time began, and before it is done, all men must choose where they will stand. On one side is R'hllor, the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow. Against him stands the Great Other whose name may not be spoken, the Lord of Darkness, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror. Ours is not a choice between Baratheon and Lannister, between Greyjoy and Stark. It is death we choose, or life. Darkness, or light." She clasped the bars of his cell with her slender white hands. The great ruby at her throat seemed to pulse with its own radiance. "So tell me, Ser Davos Seaworth, and tell me truly—does your heart burn with the shining light of R'hllor? Or is it black and cold and full of worms?"

Davos III, Storm 25

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7 hours ago, devilish said:

Am I the only one to find it very difficult to believe that an A class assassin would need a girl to bail him out? Also what about this '3 lifes' nonsense? Why simply not offering her a way back to Riverrun instead? Was Jaqen interested in showcasing his skills to the wolf cub?

A man was chained to the floor of a cage. 

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