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Dharma

Syrio Forel

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I wanted to ask you about this earlier but was sidetracked. What is the diference between Syrio being dead and being alive but not returning to the plot? Using a literary dire ending to write him out and not have him return. Is it just a personal thing you'd rather have him alive somehow even though he's no longer in ASOIAF?

I right now give him a slim chance of surviving and it shrinks with every page he doesn't return (or reveal he was a FM) to absolute zero at the end of the book.

There isn't much difference.

But it is entirely possible that Syrio is so good that he was able to defeat Trant with ease and Saunter Out Whistling . And then escape the sealed Red Keep.

In which case he is alive and well. That is actually entirely reasonable and has very little solid evidence against it - hence I give it reasonable odds despite the apparently very strong circumstantial evidence against it (the apparent fight situation when we departed the scene, and Trant still being in good shape later).

But... if he is alive and is to return to the story, then there is a lot of very important stuff that has happened entirely off screen with no clues - if he returns, then he has won the fight (off screen despite the on-screen evidence, and in a way that is very unlikely given the situation and Trant's later good health and composed bearing) and escaped a sealed Red Keep despite being a known Stark retainer and nearly all of those being slaughtered (again off screen and with almost no clues of even the most circumstantial nature).

To borrow an apt phrase, that would be important story details hidden behind the author's back - and my assessment is that GRRM is too good a writer to do this to his audience.

If he is a live and not coming back, then GRRM isn't hiding these details behind his back, he just isn't including them because they are unimportant to the story!

In summary, the difference between Syrio being dead, and being alive-but-not-returning, is that the second allows for any and all arguments about how awesome Syrio is.

Personally I prefer the noble ending of an aged but skillful swordsman over the super-Syrio theory. It is grittier, more realistic and more dramatic - much more in keeping with the whole series.

But that is taste. Analysis wise, the super-Syrio theory doesn't have much against it. (Or much anything really solid for it either, but it can't be freely dismissed).

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