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Syrio Forel will return


Corvo the Crow
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Whenever I think of Syrio Forel and Water Dancers, I'm reminded of Azor Ahai's first attempt to forge Lightbringer, tempering the steel with water.

If we see the swords metaphorically (as representing three people wielding swords rather than literal swords - which is done frequently in the books) then perhaps a water dancer could be chosen to be this first, unsuccessful, attempt to forge Lightbringer.

Syrio mainly introduces us to the concept of water dancers - whether GRRM will bring him back into the story is up to him, I guess. He's in 'placeholder' mode now as we haven't seen him die. But I do think a water dancer could  play the role of the 'first sword' of Azor Ahai, just as Syrio was the 'first sword' of Braavos.

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On 9/21/2022 at 11:10 AM, 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.

I don't think we can escape the conclusion that the reason he doesn't is that GRRM wants him to die to give Arya some more grief but also to give him an epic ending, whooping five guys with a wooden practice sword then comprehensively outfighting Trant before it breaks.

Trant is complacent, leaving the initial encounter to the guardsmen, but I think he would be on Syrio in a flash if he bent down to pick up a sword mid-fight.

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I often wonder just how good of a fighter Trant is. I know he's not on Barristan or Jamie's level, but I wonder if he's on Arys Oakeart or Balon Swann's level. Boros Blount and Keetleback are just a joke, in terms of any form of skill.

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On 9/17/2022 at 11:02 AM, Corvo the Crow said:

Duncan Idaho a Sword Master of Ginaz, a %90 water planet with archipelagos, have returned several times. Will Syrio Forel the First Sword of Braavos, a water dancer return? 

Discuss.

No Tleilaxu, so no. Syrio is dead and will remain dead. 

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1 minute ago, Craving Peaches said:

Yes but at some point one has to diverge from the source material or it looks suspicious. Mind you it already looks quite suspicious.

Damn, you are right. So does this also mean Benjen is a face dancer posing as Daario so he can fulfill the pact of ice and fire?

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29 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

Wild that in this story, of all stories, people dismiss the possibility that he is alive. 

I think it would be better storytelling if he stays dead/presumed dead. As it stands, he made a tragic, heroic last stand to save Arya. If he pops up again this would kind of be ruined.

And of course, with another presumed dead character actually alive, people will go on again about how people don't actually stay dead in the series, nothing actually has consequences, etc.

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23 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

There is literally no evidence that Syrio died. Even when he is mentioned again later by Cersei.

Wild that in this story, of all stories, people dismiss the possibility that he is alive. 

Exactly. Even in a story where the people who actually die return from the dead, someone who we've never seen die is deemed to be irretrievably gone. Because "oh, we've had enough people resurrected already".

I call this phenomenon the "Quota Delusion". And it is madness. The main theme of the book is identity, and how one manages to cling to it even through the harshest tribulations and efforts by others to 'transform' you into something else. Arya, Sansa, Theon, Bran, Jon, Dany. They all have to 'kill' parts of themselves as part of their stories, and hopefully will re-emerge out the other side with their souls intact. Characters like Catelyn, Beric, the Mountain, Faegon, the Hound, going 'Beyond the Wall'  - they are all variations on this theme.

People gonna be coming back. 

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Syrio was a minor character from book 1.  Like Mycah he has a place in Arya's affections and his death nurtures her desire for vengeance.

Arya saved and was in turn rescued by Jaqen H'ghar and given the coin for Braavos.  Like Yoren, Jaqen was a father/protector substitute who a little girl lost clung to for some sort of stability and to try and get by. 

There is no reason at all for one of Arya's protectors/mentors to return as her arc has all been about her learning self-reliance as the adults who should protect her are stripped away or abandon her.  There is also no reason for Jaqen not to have revealed himself as Syrio if that is who he was and if the FM were set on recruiting her at this point revealing himself would have made her more likely to go to Braavos.

 

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23 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

I think it would be better storytelling if he stays dead/presumed dead.

You are entitled to your opinion, certainly.

23 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

As it stands, he made a tragic, heroic last stand to save Arya. If he pops up again this would kind of be ruined.

He didn't though... what he did was buy Arya time to escape. There was no tragic last stand on page, and no reason to think he died off page. The comment by Cersei later, if anything, points to his having survived.

23 hours ago, Craving Peaches said:

And of course, with another presumed dead character actually alive, people will go on again about how people don't actually stay dead in the series, nothing actually has consequences, etc.

Then they are reading the wrong series.

That some characters die does not erase the fact that there are a ton of characters who come back from the dead, both literally and figuratively.

In this case, Syrio's lessons center on lies, deception, and seeing what is there.

His story about becoming the First Sword of Braavos is centered on his honest assessment of the gender of a cat. And yet, he repeatedly calls Arya a boy. He says he's striking one way but does another, causing Arya to complain, but the lesson is the same, seeing what is there.

She does not stick around to see what happens.

"Fear cuts deeper than swords." is first used when Arya is chasing cats and follows Belarion into the tunnels beneath the Red Keep where she overhears Varys and Illyrio in disguise. The second time is during the confrontation between Syrio and Trant. Then again as she flees.

The next time:

Arya closed her eyes. For a moment she was too frightened to move. They had killed Jory and Wyl and Heward, and that guardsman on the step, whoever he had been. They could kill her father too, and her if they caught her. "Fear cuts deeper than swords," she said aloud, but it was no good pretending to be a water dancer, Syrio had been a water dancer and the white knight had probably killed him, and anyhow she was only a little girl with a wooden stick, alone and afraid.

If only we had a direct connection between this line and a character "coming back from the dead"... hahaha:

The next time:

Fear cuts deeper than swords, the quiet voice inside her whispered. Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell. They were a lot scarier than this place, she told herself. She'd been just a little girl the first time she saw them. Her brother Robb had taken them down, her and Sansa and baby Bran, who'd been no bigger than Rickon was now. They'd only had one candle between them, and Bran's eyes had gotten as big as saucers as he stared at the stone faces of the Kings of Winter, with their wolves at their feet and their iron swords across their laps.
Robb took them all the way down to the end, past Grandfather and Brandon and Lyanna, to show them their own tombs. Sansa kept looking at the stubby little candle, anxious that it might go out. Old Nan had told her there were spiders down here, and rats as big as dogs. Robb smiled when she said that. "There are worse things than spiders and rats," he whispered. "This is where the dead walk." That was when they heard the sound, low and deep and shivery. Baby Bran had clutched at Arya's hand.
When the spirit stepped out of the open tomb, pale white and moaning for blood, Sansa ran shrieking for the stairs, and Bran wrapped himself around Robb's leg, sobbing. Arya stood her ground and gave the spirit a punch. It was only Jon, covered with flour. "You stupid," she told him, "you scared the baby," but Jon and Robb just laughed and laughed, and pretty soon Bran and Arya were laughing too.

The next time:

Fear cuts deeper than swords. Arya made herself approach the wagon. Every step was harder than the one before. Fierce as a wolverine, calm as still water. The words sang in her head. Syrio would not have been afraid. She was almost close enough to touch the wheel when Biter lurched to his feet and grabbed for her, his irons clanking and rattling. The manacles brought his hands up short, half a foot from her face. He hissed.

She hit him. Hard, right between his little eyes.

Screaming, Biter reeled back, and then threw all his weight against his chains. The links slithered and turned and grew taut, and Arya heard the creak of old dry wood as the great iron rings strained against the floorboards of the wagon. Huge pale hands groped for her while veins bulged along Biter's arms, but the bonds held, and finally the man collapsed backward. Blood ran from the weeping sores on his cheeks.

"A boy has more courage than sense," the one who had named himself Jaqen H'ghar observed.

Later on we even get this connection between the line, Syrio and Jaqen:

Fear cuts deeper than swords, she whispered under her breath, the words that Syrio Forel had taught her, and Jaqen's words too, valar morghulis.

The "First Sword of Braavos" may not run, but a Faceless Man might.

I still hold that the real Syrio Forrel probably died before we ever met "Syrio" on the page.

On the day I am speaking of, the first sword was newly dead,

...

"And to him I said, 'Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,' and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword."
Arya screwed up her face. "I don't understand."
Syrio clicked his teeth together. "The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said 'her,' and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?"
Arya thought about it. "You saw what was there."

Edited by Mourning Star
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6 minutes ago, Mourning Star said:

The "First Sword of Braavos" may not run, but a Faceless Man might.

Ahh, if Syrio is a faceless man then I agree he might not be dead.

But if he really is just meant to be Syrio Forel then I think he is.

I'm not actually that bothered by characters coming back from the dead but I know some people think that every not-death undermines the integrity of the series...

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9 hours ago, the trees have eyes said:

Syrio was a minor character from book 1.  Like Mycah he has a place in Arya's affections and his death nurtures her desire for vengeance.

Arya saved and was in turn rescued by Jaqen H'ghar and given the coin for Braavos.  Like Yoren, Jaqen was a father/protector substitute who a little girl lost clung to for some sort of stability and to try and get by. 

There is no reason at all for one of Arya's protectors/mentors to return as her arc has all been about her learning self-reliance as the adults who should protect her are stripped away or abandon her.  There is also no reason for Jaqen not to have revealed himself as Syrio if that is who he was and if the FM were set on recruiting her at this point revealing himself would have made her more likely to go to Braavos.

 

Tell that to Duncan Idaho from Dune, who Syrio mostly got copy pasta'd from. If Duncan Idaho can return and be a very important characters in the later books, Syrio can - and being an unoriginal copy character should- return as well.

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