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Syrio Forel will return


Corvo the Crow
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3 hours ago, Maester Murks said:

I see. He defeated five armed Lannister guards wearing helmets with a wooden stick. But picking up a longsword and using it is beyond imagination.

I'm not even a "Syrio is alive" believer, simply because of the fact that Meryn Trant came out of this alive. Occam's Razor says Syrio is dead. I just don't share the opinion that Syrio defeating Trant is as ridiculous as growing wings. And why exactly wouldn't anybody whose weapon is broken pick up another one from the ground? Would they think: "This isn't GTA. Can't do that"?

And why wouldn't Meryn Trant brag about killing the First Sword of Braavos? Or better yet why we don't see his head on a stake like the rest of the Stark household?

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7 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

And why wouldn't Meryn Trant brag about killing the First Sword of Braavos? Or better yet why we don't see his head on a stake like the rest of the Stark household?

I think the Lannisters only viewed him as a dance teacher.

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1 minute ago, sifth said:

I think the Lannisters only viewed him as a dance teacher.

Quote

 

Look with your eyes, he had said. She saw: the knight in his pale armor head to foot, legs, throat, and hands sheathed in metal, eyes hidden behind his high white helm, and in his hand cruel steel. Against that: Syrio, in a leather vest, with a wooden sword in his hand. "Syrio, run," she screamed.

"The first sword of Braavos does not run," he sang as Ser Meryn slashed at him. Syrio danced away from his cut, his stick a blur. In a heartbeat, he had bounced blows off the knight's temple, elbow, and throat, the wood ringing against the metal of helm, gauntlet, and gorget. Arya stood frozen. Ser Meryn advanced; Syrio backed away. He checked the next blow, spun away from the second, deflected the third.

The fourth sliced his stick in two, splintering the wood and shearing through the lead core.

 

Helluva dance teacher if you ask me. Also one that sings about First swords of Braavos not running. They've even seen the practice swords, what kind of dance do you think that Lannisters thought he was teaching?

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On 9/20/2022 at 12:37 AM, TheLastWolf said:

Wooden swords can do only so much against steel and armor though. 

I don't think anyone is suggesting he killed Trant... Just that he delayed him and escaped. And there were the defeated armored guards' swords available.

Saying one thing like, "the first sword of Braavos does not run", and doing another is literally one of the lessons he teaches Arya.

Never do what they expect, Syrio once said.

And it is this bit of advice that saves Arya when she is running.

16 hours ago, Jon Fossoway said:

A lot of characters from the first book were just dropped by George. Remember that the first 3 books differ much in structure than the latter, where characters did tend to return. In the first one there were a lot of one time hit wonders.

Like who?

On 9/20/2022 at 2:56 AM, Corvo the Crow said:

You’re saying Duncan Idaho wasn’t a Sword Master of Ginaz but a Tleilaxu Face Dancer? Interesting!

Sorry, I meant Syrio Forel, Water Dancer of Braavos and Faceless Man, obviously!

I think Jory is a better parallel to Duncan Idaho.

15 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

And he coulda grown a pair of wings and made off to Neverland. Pleeeease. He doesn't use longswords, he is a bravo. Look at his size. And this isn't GTA where you pick up fallen ppl's guns.

Well you say that... 

You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting.

13 hours ago, Nevets said:

Also, if he did survive, where is he and why hasn't he reappeared?  And why would he be brought back anyway?  Syrio was a beloved, well-remembered character, but he served his purpose.  His return would only serve as a surprise "gotcha!", and GRRM doesn't play that game.  RIP Syrio.

First, I would suggest that he has, as Jaqen Hagar.

Second, this is a story full of gotcha. The shoe fits. I honestly have no idea how you can claim GRRM doesn't play that game... these books are full of it.

Arya's plotline is largely entangled with the Faceless Men. And the Faceless Men are tied to the Doom of Valyria. 

The question of why there was a Faceless Man in Kings Landing, and how he ended up in the Black Cells are legitimate.

More specifically, I would suggest that Arya discovering these truths will be what sparks her departure from Braavos.

Syrio died in the same way Jaqen died, the faceless man lived on.

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15 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

I think Jory is a better parallel to Duncan Idaho.

Only in that he's in service of the Starks at the start of the books like Duncan was in service of Atreideses.

Ginaz, ocean world with archipelagos, famous for it's swords masters. Braavos, an island nation famous for it's swordsmen.

 

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2 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Only in that he's in service of the Starks at the start of the books like Duncan was in service of Atreideses.

Ginaz, ocean world with archipelagos, famous for it's swords masters. Braavos, an island nation famous for it's swordsmen.

 

Likeable joking captain who dies defending his lord. Yep.

To be honest I think the parallel game is fun, but these are all pretty shallow.

Want another one?

Dr. Yueh to prisoner Leto:

You are already dead.

Varys to prisoner Ned:

I trust you realize that you are a dead man

And since we are playing, frankly my favorite comparison involving ASoIaF and Dune would be the Starks to the Atreidai (which means "sons of Atreus") and the curse of Atreus, which really goes back to ancient greek myth (with which ASoIaF parallels abound).

I think it no coincidence that the myth of the Night's King, includes Stark brother fighting brother.

He was a Stark, the brother of the man who brought him down.

And how about this fun little detail...

Zeus, however, was displeased with this outcome, wishing for Atreus to become king. He sent Hermes down to Atreus, telling him that he should reach an agreement with Thyestes, that should the sun ever reverse its course and set in the east, Thyestes would abdicate his throne in favor of his brother. Atreus did as he was told, and went to Thyestes with the proposal. Laughing at the absurdity of such a suggestion, Thyestes agreed and promised that he would abdicate if that impossible event were ever to occur. Following this agreement, Zeus ordered Helios to reverse his course in the sky, and "for the first and last time, the sun set in the east"

Really worth reading about the House of Atreus if you are into this sort of thing, but enough of a tangent for now.

As soon as Thyestes accepted this offer, Atreus murdered Aglaus, Orchomenus, and Callileon, Thyestes' three sons, slaughtering them on the altar of Zeus where they had sought refuge. He then dismembered them and boiled them in a cauldron.

When Thyestes arrived, Atreus treated him to a magnificent feast in his honor, in which he was served a stew made with the remains of his sons. After Thyestes had eaten heartily, Atreus had a second dish brought out, which contained the severed heads, hands, and feet of Thyestes' sons

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58 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

Likeable joking captain who dies defending his lord. Yep.

To be honest I think the parallel game is fun, but these are all pretty shallow.

Yeahh... no! Most stuff aren't even parallels, they are taken straight out of Dune. I love sci-fi and fantasy but although I like reading fantasy novels, I don't like sci-fi novels that much. In my opinion while a fantasy is better off read than watched, a book just doesn't portray all the flashiness off sci-fi to me. Even as someone who doesn't read so much sci-fi, I can see plenty of stuff taken straight out of one of the very few sci-fi books that I've read. Most of this stuff wasn't altered beyond a simple name change. I am, for example, not saying he took Targaryen purple eyes straight out off some other book even though I can name others, off the top off my head I can say Yennefer of Vengerberg from the Witcher series. Who knows maybe he was inspired from some book or another, definitely not from Witcher I think because as far as I know it wasn't translated to english until after the games, but it's possible, yes. BUT! and that is a huge but, inspiration is the key word here, being inspired from something and taking it exactly as it is are much different from eachother I think. Even with Dune there may be some inspirations but some things are as I said taken straightly with little more than a name change.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Even with Dune there may be some inspirations but some things are as I said taken straightly with little more than a name change.

I think parallels and inspirations abound, but I do not think your statement here is true. At best it seems like hyperbole.

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24 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

I think parallels and inspirations abound, but I do not think your statement here is true. At best it seems like hyperbole.

I've already said Sword Masters of Ginaz which is an oceanic planet with archipelagos and Braavos with it's water dancers.

Tleilaxu Face Dancers and Faceless Men

Bene Gesserit (and to some extant Mentats) and Maesters of the Citadel, though this may pass off as an inspiration. 

There are a lot more though I'm tired and can't recall atm. Maybe if I can find an older post of mine I'll add some more.

Some more 

Shade of the Evening is Sapho Juice

Weirwood Paste is Water of Life and from there Bran with his weirwood tree and Leto the Godworm. To be fair the latter couple is  more an inspiration than being the same even though the method is more than that.

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46 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

I've already said Sword Masters of Ginaz which is an oceanic planet with archipelagos and Braavos with it's water dancers.

Don't you think both of these are more a reference to Venice?

46 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Tleilaxu Face Dancers and Faceless Men

There are so many examples in myth and legend of shapeshifting going back to Gilgamesh I don't even know where to start.

Perhaps given my reference above to Greek myth, Dionysus, the masked god, would be appropriate. In Euripides play, The Bacchae, Dionysus appears disguised as a stranger to take vengeance on the house of Cadmus. First he travels the land and gathers virgin female followers (Arya), the whole thing was about his own birth and heritage (Want to bet the first Faceless Man was a Valyrian himself?), a big plot point is his cult being banned (see the Braavosi relation to religions), and obviously Dionysus is know for his drink (We see the House of White and Black also offers it's own beverage of escape). Is it all a stretch, absolutely.

Parallels abound going back as far as we have stories.

Taking advantage of parallels new and old is something GRRM does extremely well, in my opinion.

46 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Bene Gesserit (and to some extant Mentats) and Maesters of the Citadel, though this may pass off as an inspiration.

George does an interesting thing separating the Septons from the Maesters, but both parallel well to the clergy of the middle ages. One could enjoy a dive into any one of these rabbit holes of references, but to declare ASoIaF a direct rip off of Dune seems pretty misguided to me.

46 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

There are a lot more though I'm tired and can't recall atm. Maybe if I can find an older post of mine I'll add some more.

Some more 

Shade of the Evening is Sapho Juice

Weirwood Paste is Water of Life and from there Bran with his weirwood tree and Leto the Godworm. To be fair the latter couple is  more an inspiration than being the same even though the method is more than that.

We could keep going all day, but again, the idea of consuming a magic plant to awaken sight/powers is ancient, all the way back to Gilgamesh and the herb of immortality.

I think what you are doing is taking two relatively recent reflections of old motifs and seeing them in a vacuum rather than part of a much older tradition.

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53 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

Don't you think both of these are more a reference to Venice?

There are so many examples in myth and legend of shapeshifting going back to Gilgamesh I don't even know where to start.

Perhaps given my reference above to Greek myth, Dionysus, the masked god, would be appropriate. In Euripides play, The Bacchae, Dionysus appears disguised as a stranger to take vengeance on the house of Cadmus. First he travels the land and gathers virgin female followers (Arya), the whole thing was about his own birth and heritage (Want to bet the first Faceless Man was a Valyrian himself?), a big plot point is his cult being banned (see the Braavosi relation to religions), and obviously Dionysus is know for his drink (We see the House of White and Black also offers it's own beverage of escape). Is it all a stretch, absolutely.

Parallels abound going back as far as we have stories.

Taking advantage of parallels new and old is something GRRM does extremely well, in my opinion.

George does an interesting thing separating the Septons from the Maesters, but both parallel well to the clergy of the middle ages. One could enjoy a dive into any one of these rabbit holes of references, but to declare ASoIaF a direct rip off of Dune seems pretty misguided to me.

We could keep going all day, but again, the idea of consuming a magic plant to awaken sight/powers is ancient, all the way back to Gilgamesh and the herb of immortality.

I think what you are doing is taking two relatively recent reflections of old motifs and seeing them in a vacuum rather than part of a much older tradition.

Yes, yes, yes on all points and I'd agree with you that Dune and ASOIAF had a common inspirator on these, if there weren't so many of them. Another one, houses that last for several milennia, and retain features. We may argue that these were inspired from medieval guilds, medieval noble houses and some of them being heavily inbred(Habsburg jaw and such) etc. but like I said, so many of this were so similar to Dune to be just inspired by it or share a common thing that inspired both. Night's Watch and FoT7 orders for example are definitely medieval military orders and monastic societies and original creations of George, I'll never say that they were taken from Dune which also had such like fishspeakers. 

I'm not sayin ASoIaF is a direct rip off of Dune: Even though that there are some characters taken from Dune(Alia of the knife and Arya, even the name is changed only slightly), most aren't, most are GRRM's own creation, yes of course they may have been inspired by another character or real person like Stannis with Tiberius but it is just that, inspiration. Though there may be some parallels in some characters' story, they are few and in the grand scheme of things small and unimportant with so many different original characters and many plot lines etc. but when it comes to the world building, ASoIaF was more than inspired from Dune. Many of the important world building elements are taken straight off of it. Not inspired, not share a common inspiration like how NW was inspired from Medieval orders etc but taken straight off of things in Dune. They have little more than name changes to be inspired by Dune or share a common inspiration.

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4 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I don't think anyone is suggesting he killed Trant... Just that he delayed him and escaped. And there were the defeated armored guards' swords available.

Saying one thing like, "the first sword of Braavos does not run", and doing another is literally one of the lessons he teaches Arya.

Never do what they expect, Syrio once said.

And it is this bit of advice that saves Arya when she is running.

Like who?

I think Jory is a better parallel to Duncan Idaho.

Well you say that... 

You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting.

First, I would suggest that he has, as Jaqen Hagar.

Second, this is a story full of gotcha. The shoe fits. I honestly have no idea how you can claim GRRM doesn't play that game... these books are full of it.

Arya's plotline is largely entangled with the Faceless Men. And the Faceless Men are tied to the Doom of Valyria. 

The question of why there was a Faceless Man in Kings Landing, and how he ended up in the Black Cells are legitimate.

More specifically, I would suggest that Arya discovering these truths will be what sparks her departure from Braavos.

Syrio died in the same way Jaqen died, the faceless man lived on.

No, he's not Jaqen H'ghar.  We've seen no hints in that direction, and it would raise more questions than it answers.

Why would a FM be training Arya?  She's of no consequence at that point, and it gives no access to Ned.  And his acceptance of a permanent position takes him to Winterfell, even farther from Ned.  

We are told in AFFC that Ned turned over 3 prisoners from the black cells to Yoren, and that those cells were empty until Ned was arrested.  So how would Syrio end up chained in the wagon, and more importantly, why?  If you need to be in Yoren's convoy, easier and safer to be an ordinary recruit.

When Jaqen changed his face for Arya, why not show her Syrio.  That would be more likely to get her to Braavos than anything else I can think of.  And Arya's story becomes entwined with the FM only in AFFC.  Before that, there are at most a tangential presence.

There are plenty of possible reasons for Arya to leave the FM.  They realize she's unsuitable; she realizes they aren't training her to kill people; she meets Jeyne Poole and decides to reclaim her identity, with multiple variations on all of these.  Syrio isn't likely to come into it.

Characters who return from being apparently dead do so quickly and/or with plenty of hints they might not be dead.  Catelyn returned in the same book.  Sandor and Gregor are given clear indications of survival, and in the next book after their apparent deaths.  Benjen Stark and Tyrek Lannister are ongoing mysteries.  Even Raynald Westerling has several characters wondering if he's really dead.  Syrio has been gone for 4 books with no textual hints that he's not really dead.  

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On 9/21/2022 at 7:09 AM, sifth said:

Then Syrio was an idiot. He could have used any of the swords around him, from the men he killed, in place of his wooden sword.

 

17 hours ago, sifth said:

Ohh, he's beyond dead. I'm just saying he's an idiot, for not picking up a fallen guards sword. It's just a thing George over looked, it happens all the time, if you read these books long enough.

Longswords not his forte, only make him clumsier

14 hours ago, Maester Murks said:

I see. He defeated five armed Lannister guards wearing helmets with a wooden stick. But picking up a longsword and using it is beyond imagination.

 

Above

14 hours ago, Maester Murks said:

I'm not even a "Syrio is alive" believer, simply because of the fact that Meryn Trant came out of this alive. Occam's Razor says Syrio is dead.

Ironically I'm starting to think otherwise lol, thanks to MS

14 hours ago, Maester Murks said:

I just don't share the opinion that Syrio defeating Trant is as ridiculous as growing wings. And why exactly wouldn't anybody whose weapon is broken pick up another one from the ground? Would they think: "This isn't GTA. Can't do that"?

Any dolt can point and press a trigger, but heavy longswords need acclimatization

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10 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I don't think anyone is suggesting he killed Trant... Just that he delayed him and escaped. And there were the defeated armored guards' swords available.

Saying one thing like, "the first sword of Braavos does not run", and doing another is literally one of the lessons he teaches Arya.

Never do what they expect, Syrio once said.

And it is this bit of advice that saves Arya when she is running.

Like who?

I think Jory is a better parallel to Duncan Idaho.

Well you say that... 

You may drop your sword, your shield, your lance. Others have done the same. Pick it up and go on fighting.

First, I would suggest that he has, as Jaqen Hagar.

Second, this is a story full of gotcha. The shoe fits. I honestly have no idea how you can claim GRRM doesn't play that game... these books are full of it.

Arya's plotline is largely entangled with the Faceless Men. And the Faceless Men are tied to the Doom of Valyria. 

The question of why there was a Faceless Man in Kings Landing, and how he ended up in the Black Cells are legitimate.

More specifically, I would suggest that Arya discovering these truths will be what sparks her departure from Braavos.

Syrio died in the same way Jaqen died, the faceless man lived on.

Damn convincing!

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7 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

 

Longswords not his forte, only make him clumsier

 

Yea, no. If you have to use logic like that to make sense of someone fighting a knight with a broken stick, then you know mistakes were made along the way.

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17 hours ago, Nevets said:

No, he's not Jaqen H'ghar.  We've seen no hints in that direction, and it would raise more questions than it answers.

I disagree. I think this is the best explanation for the story at hand.

I think it answers some questions and raises others.

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

Why would a FM be training Arya?  She's of no consequence at that point, and it gives no access to Ned.  And his acceptance of a permanent position takes him to Winterfell, even farther from Ned.

So, timing is important.

The idea that a Faceless man would come to Kings Landing just to train Arya doesn’t seem likely, I agree.

However, it does give him access to Ned, and he does not agree to go to Winterfell until the coup is planned.

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

We are told in AFFC that Ned turned over 3 prisoners from the black cells to Yoren, and that those cells were empty until Ned was arrested.  So how would Syrio end up chained in the wagon, and more importantly, why?  If you need to be in Yoren's convoy, easier and safer to be an ordinary recruit.

I’m suggesting he took the place of Jaqen in the Black Cells exactly because Ned had promised them to Yoren. A detail only provided to the reader after the fact when Jaime is investigating Varys.

Once the coup was under way, the Red Keep and King’s Landing were on lockdown. Yoren had a way out.

Remember the plan as far as Varys and the Queen were concerned was for Ned to take the Black and go to the Wall with Yoren. And yet Varys tells Ned he is a dead man, before making every effort to convince him to take the black and “live”…

The same Varys who comes to Ned in the Black Cells wearing a face that is not his own. The same black cells that were occupied by Jaqen and the other men who would end up on the road with Yoren.

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

When Jaqen changed his face for Arya, why not show her Syrio.  That would be more likely to get her to Braavos than anything else I can think of.  And Arya's story becomes entwined with the FM only in AFFC.  Before that, there are at most a tangential presence.

Because I think there is an obviously problematic conclusion to Syrio being a Faceless Man (or even there being a Faceless Man, Jaqen, in Kings Landing at all), who was he there to kill? Not to mention the logistical question of if he kept the face used to be Syrio at all, which may have been problematic if he took the place of a prisoner. Finally, the Faceless Men seem to want to divorce their recruits from their own identities, “who are you? No one.”, and if Arya’s reason for going to Braavos was Syrio then this would seem counterproductive to this end.

I think it is no coincidence that the Old Gods are referred to as faceless gods. Much like being a skinchanger or greenseer is tied to one’s blood, I would suggest face changing also requires this talent. This makes Arya a precious resource when it comes to potential recruiting, and why I believe Jaqen sticks around before heading to Oldtown.

The fact that Arya is later told that becoming a faceless man involves giving up one’s sex parts only adds additional intrigue to Varys’s story of how he lost his manhood, especially considering Arya is sent to train with mummers.

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

There are plenty of possible reasons for Arya to leave the FM.  They realize she's unsuitable; she realizes they aren't training her to kill people; she meets Jeyne Poole and decides to reclaim her identity, with multiple variations on all of these.  Syrio isn't likely to come into it.

I agree it could be written another way, but I’m suggesting this as an existing coherent story driven reason for a choice many think fairly likely.

I would speculate that for a trainee to leave the Faceless Men they would incur a debt to the organization, and it may be that Varys was once such a trainee.

17 hours ago, Nevets said:

Characters who return from being apparently dead do so quickly and/or with plenty of hints they might not be dead.  Catelyn returned in the same book.  Sandor and Gregor are given clear indications of survival, and in the next book after their apparent deaths.  Benjen Stark and Tyrek Lannister are ongoing mysteries.  Even Raynald Westerling has several characters wondering if he's really dead.  Syrio has been gone for 4 books with no textual hints that he's not really dead.  

I don’t think this is being honest. The fact that Cersei refers to Syrio without saying he died is literally a textual hint that he is alive. There are so many examples of gotcha seemingly dead characters coming back in the story it’s almost reliable. So rather than insisting he is dead without any evidence, I think it’s more likely he has been part of the story, it just hasn’t been so obvious.

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8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

So, timing is important.

The idea that a Faceless man would come to Kings Landing just to train Arya doesn’t seem likely, I agree.

However, it does give him access to Ned, and he does not agree to go to Winterfell until the coup is planned

it gives him no access to Ned.  He is an outside instructor, not a member of the household.  

If he knew about the coup in advance, why not tell Ned, and earn his eternal gratitude, and lots of access?  Or, refuse the position, and stay in KL where the action is.  Going to Winterfell puts him in the middle of nowhere with a house that is on the Crown's shit list.

8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I’m suggesting he took the place of Jaqen in the Black Cells exactly because Ned had promised them to Yoren. A detail only provided to the reader after the fact when Jaime is investigating Varys.

Once the coup was under way, the Red Keep and King’s Landing were on lockdown. Yoren had a way out

What's wrong with simply changing his face and lying low until the fighting ends in a day or so?  With his new face, he looks like anyone else.

The detail is provided to the reader to eliminate the possibility that Syrio was simply chucked into a black cell and subsequently changed his face.  it suggests that there were already 3 men, and they were no longer in the black cells, but Yoren's custody.

Yoren provided a way out, but if Syrio could change his face, he can simply walk out.  And if he needs to join Yoren's caravan, he can join as one of the petty criminals and down-and-outers.  There were plenty of those.

8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

The same Varys who comes to Ned in the Black Cells wearing a face that is not his own. The same black cells that were occupied by Jaqen and the other men who would end up on the road with Yoren.

The black cells were empty by then, and Varys was wearing his own face.  He used makeup and the like to disguise himself, but Ned recognized him when he realized who it was.

8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

Because I think there is an obviously problematic conclusion to Syrio being a Faceless Man (or even there being a Faceless Man, Jaqen, in Kings Landing at all), who was he there to kill?

Jaqen was put in the black cells by the author to advance Arya's story.  I doubt he thought further than that.  It was still early in the series; he was doing stuff like that.

8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

I would speculate that for a trainee to leave the Faceless Men they would incur a debt to the organization, and it may be that Varys was once such a trainee.

I agree that the FM will probably extract a price from Arya to leave without consequence.  My guess is that it will be a promise to help them if they ask.  As a scion of a Great House she would be in an excellent position to provide all sorts of assistance: information, shelter, money, cover-ups, and whatever else they might need.  There may be a whole network of trainees doing this sort of thing.  It's also more in line with the training they are giving her, which is more geared to spying and undercover work than it is to assassination.  I doubt Varys was such a trainee, though.

8 hours ago, Mourning Star said:

The fact that Cersei refers to Syrio without saying he died is literally a textual hint that he is alive.

When did she do this?  I've looked and I can't find it.

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21 hours ago, Nevets said:

it gives him no access to Ned.  He is an outside instructor, not a member of the household.  

But, by the time the coup was happening, this is exactly the status he was gaining.

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

If he knew about the coup in advance, why not tell Ned, and earn his eternal gratitude, and lots of access?  Or, refuse the position, and stay in KL where the action is.  Going to Winterfell puts him in the middle of nowhere with a house that is on the Crown's shit list.

Because I don't think he was trying to build a career as a dance teacher. I think he was there to watch, gather information, and possibly even kill Ned, if it came to that.

"What would you have me do?" asked the torchbearer, a stout man in a leather half cape. Even in heavy boots, his feet seemed to glide soundlessly over the ground. A round scarred face and a stubble of dark beard showed under his steel cap, and he wore mail over boiled leather, and a dirk and shortsword at his belt. It seemed to Arya there was something oddly familiar about him.
"If one Hand can die, why not a second?" replied the man with the accent and the forked yellow beard. "You have danced the dance before, my friend."

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

What's wrong with simply changing his face and lying low until the fighting ends in a day or so?  With his new face, he looks like anyone else.

Because being with Yoren's party would have placed him with Ned.

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

The detail is provided to the reader to eliminate the possibility that Syrio was simply chucked into a black cell and subsequently changed his face.  it suggests that there were already 3 men, and they were no longer in the black cells, but Yoren's custody.

I am suggesting Syrio escaped Trant and then took the place of one of the men in the Black Cells intentionally.

I see no reason to believe Yoren would have taken the prisoners from the Black Cells until the day of Ned's execution and his planned departure.

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

Yoren provided a way out, but if Syrio could change his face, he can simply walk out.  And if he needs to join Yoren's caravan, he can join as one of the petty criminals and down-and-outers.  There were plenty of those.

The point is that with the Red Keep and King's Landing on lockdown, one could not simply walk out.

Faceless Men do not seem able to take any face they imagine (glamors aside, I mean the real faceless thing that one can touch), only the ones they have physically removed from someone.

"Mummers change their faces with artifice," the kindly man was saying, "and sorcerers use glamors, weaving light and shadow and desire to make illusions that trick the eye. These arts you shall learn, but what we do here goes deeper. Wise men can see through artifice, and glamors dissolve before sharp eyes, but the face you are about to don will be as true and solid as that face you were born with.

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

The black cells were empty by then, and Varys was wearing his own face.  He used makeup and the like to disguise himself, but Ned recognized him when he realized who it was.

Again, I see no reason to believe that Yoren would have picked up the other men in the Black Cells until the day of Ned's execution and his departure.

"Rugen was here when need be, my lord. That must be said. The black cells are little used. Before your lordship's little brother was sent down, we had Grand Maester Pycelle for a time, and before him Lord Stark the traitor. There were three others, common men, but Lord Stark gave them to the Night's Watch. I did not think it good to free those three, but the papers were in proper order. I made note of that in a report as well, you may be certain of it."

No make up in existence will give you fake stubble that can be rubbed. Rugen/Varys's face here is true and solid.

The voice was strangely familiar, yet it took Ned Stark a moment to place it. "Varys?" he said groggily when it came. He touched the man's face. "I'm not … not dreaming this. You're here." The eunuch's plump cheeks were covered with a dark stubble of beard. Ned felt the coarse hair with his fingers. Varys had transformed himself into a grizzled turnkey, reeking of sweat and sour wine. "How did you … what sort of magician are you?"

Ned recognized the voice. Which, it turns out, is probably a good way to identify a faceless man.

"A man does not choose his companions in the black cells," the handsome one with the red-and-white hair said. Something about the way he talked reminded her of Syrio; it was the same, yet different too. "These two, they have no courtesy. A man must ask forgiveness. You are called Arry, is that not so?"

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

Jaqen was put in the black cells by the author to advance Arya's story.  I doubt he thought further than that.  It was still early in the series; he was doing stuff like that.

I disagree with you.

21 hours ago, Nevets said:

I agree that the FM will probably extract a price from Arya to leave without consequence.  My guess is that it will be a promise to help them if they ask.  As a scion of a Great House she would be in an excellent position to provide all sorts of assistance: information, shelter, money, cover-ups, and whatever else they might need.  There may be a whole network of trainees doing this sort of thing.  It's also more in line with the training they are giving her, which is more geared to spying and undercover work than it is to assassination.  I doubt Varys was such a trainee, though.

When did she do this?  I've looked and I can't find it.

"Sansa," the queen said. "I've given it out that I have the younger brat as well, but it's a lie. I sent Meryn Trant to take her in hand when Robert died, but her wretched dancing master interfered and the girl fled. No one has seen her since. Likely she's dead. A great many people died that day."

A Clash of Kings - Tyrion I

Edited by Mourning Star
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