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First look at Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H’ghar

Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H'ghar

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Access Hollywood has provided us with our first look at Tom Wlaschiha as Jaqen H’ghar! The article also includes a few quotes from Maisie Williams about meeting Wlaschiha for the first time.

Tom’s co-star, 14-year-old Maisie, told Access she figured out just who he would be playing not long after they first met on the Belfast, Northern Ireland, set.

“I think it was when I was gonna go and get my wig done last season, was when I first met Tom,” Maisie said. “He came in and I knew he was from ‘Game of Thrones’ just ‘cause he had that look about him, and he looked really mysterious.

“He came in and introduced himself and later on, we Googled him and saw a bit more about him and we kind of put two and two together and realized that maybe he was going to be playing Jaqen,” she said.

More quotes from Tom and Maisie at the full article. The rest of the Maisie interview will be up on Access Hollywood tomorrow.

Winter Is Coming: Jaqen looks great! The two-tone hair is not as vibrant as it was described in the book, but I was expecting that. I’m just glad they’ve kept the suggestion of it in and also Jaqen’s peculiar way of speaking. And Wlaschihia really does have a mysterious look to him. Valar morghulis!

119 Comments

  • Didn’t one of the extras describe his hair as being sort of auburn and white? I was expecting it to not be bright red, based on that. I think this photo has a certain kind of tinting you see a lot in the promo pics, so it may be brighter on the show and up close.

    He looks amazing.

  • hell yes! I also wish his hair was a bit more drastic but its all good. I hope they’ll expand on his look when his story line develops more. Valar Morgulis!

  • I love the story about Maisie going googling and drawing the conclusion that he was going to be playing Jaqen… sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?

  • This photo is obviously from season 1 episode 10! I can’t believe all of you got so fooled.. They probably dyed his hair properly for season 2..

  • Looks pretty bad ass, as Jaqen should look. Really glad they didn’t go anything like Lannister red with Targaryen white. I truly didn’t even think they would do it like that but there is always the “but” and “what if” that is the tiny little doubt at the back of your head. Should always trust D&D.

  • To clear it up Jaqen was in Kings Landing to Kill Dany right?

    what ever the case is, he looks like someone who keeps a promise

  • He’s looking good…can’t wait see him and Arya interact ! …
    Now we need a look at Asha/Yara …

  • I can’t wait to see Jaqen in action! He was quite low key and stealthy in the books (until the big reveal!), but I hope we get some good ninja action on screen.. just to show him off. I think Jaqen and Cold Hands are the most mysterious characters and sadly we didn’t get as much detailed background on these two in the series.. as of yet.

    I want to hear Jaqen speak! He looks amazing.. even if the hair is toned down.. I’m way excited that they kept the dual colors!!! HBO is killing us.. seriously.

  • Nimble Dick: To clear it up Jaqen was in Kings Landing to Kill Dany right? what ever the case is, he looks like someone who keeps a promise

    Where do you get that from?

    It was made clear in the books that they were not going to hire a Faceless Man to kill Dany.

  • Spoiler ahead guys Anyone else thinks is Jaqen who killed Pate and then pretended to be him in a A Feast for Crows?

  • Nope, that’s Sarella Sand.

    lonas:
    Spoiler ahead guys Anyone else thinks is Jaqen who killedPate and then pretended to be him in a A Feast for Crows?

  • Honestly, the photo’s a little washed out to tell just how vibrant his hair is. Doesn’t matter in the end, I guess, as long as he gives a good performance.

    And hey, if he doesn’t, changing actors will be a breeze!

  • You mean One of the snake sands?? I think not as its implied he looked sorta like Jaqens new face when he left Arya in Harrenhall
    Ed,

    Spoiler ahead guys Anyone else thinks is Jaqen who killed Pate and then pretended to be him in a A Feast for Crows?

  • YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. The moment I’ve been waiting for! Part of me almost wishes I hadn’t seen it, so that I would be completely 100% surprised and delighted when he appeared in the show. But now I’m happy we have this teaser.

    He looks AWESOME. Completely mysterious. And he looks pretty worn/ragged from the Black Cells, but he still this element of poise and sophistication that I always imagined Jaqen to have. And I’m SO glad they didn’t go over-the-top with his hair. I don’t think a more mainstream audience would take him seriously with bright red and white half-and-half hair. From that picture, it looks like he’s more auburn with a white streak. And I’m fine with that, and prefer it actually. All I care about is how fantastic he’s going to be.

    VALAR MORGHULIS.

  • Ed,

    how did you come to the conclusion that sallera sand was the one that killed pate in the prologue of AFFC? If my memory serves correct, the face that jaqen transforms into in ACOK is the same face that is described before pate is killed.

    I vaguely remember something about sallera sand being related to this but i guess i just dismissed it as a theory

    On topic, Jaqen looks as awesome as I pictured him, I cant fucking wait

  • @lonas, @Ed

    Actually no… Jaqen is the Alchemist that killed Pate, and then assumed his identity and Alleras (Sarella backwards) is the Sand Snake Sarella Sand… At least, that is the general belief by most that I have come across…

    This means that both Jaqen and Sarella Sand are in Oldtown for some reason…

  • quorin halfhand,

    It’s speculated that Sarella Sand is in that prologue/chapter, pretending to be a man, Arellas (Sarella spelled backwards) The Sphinx, trying to learn something in Oldtown. Not sure what’s Doran’s plan with this.

    However, the Alchemist, the man who kills Pate is a completely different character and yep, his description matches Jaqen’s new look.

  • quorin halfhand,

    It is theorised that Pate’s friend ‘Alleras’ is Sarella Sand. The man who killed Pate and replaced him certainly looks the same as the face Jaqen changes into.

    Bit hard to see his hair colour in that washed out photo- something to look forward to later on.

    One thing confuses me- it says in the interview that Maisie met Tom last series when she was getting her wig? She doesn’t wear a wig this series. So perhaps he was there to audition- or maybe he was cast sometime before we got the news?

  • Oh! Thanks for the clarification!

    Azazelus:
    @lonas, @Ed

    Actually no… Jaqen is the Alchemist that killed Pate, and then assumed his identity and Alleras (Sarella backwards) is the Sand Snake Sarella Sand… At least, that is the general belief by most that I have come across…

    This means that both Jaqen and Sarella Sand are in Oldtown for some reason…

  • A girl likes what she sees!

    I think the hair looks fine, actually. It still conveys some of the same quirkiness as in the books, but without looking cheezy. I’m happy to see that one of my favourite non-POV characters is likely to get the treatment he deserves.

    Can’t wait!!!

  • I have an unrelated, but interesting question: So I’ve read the first 4 books only and I am currently re-watching season 1 in prep for season 2:

    In episode 4: Ned Stark is told by littlefinger that sir Hugh of the Vale was knighted immediately after Jon Arryn’s death. In episode 5: Ned also notices that Sir Hugh is also wearing a new suit of armor, which he cannot possibly have afforded. Therefore, implying that Sir Hugh was paid to poison Jon Arryn.

    Now this IS VERY inconsistent with what happens in book 3: [spoilers ahead!] In one of the last few chapters, Lysa admits to having poisoned Jon Arryn!! uhhh… SO WHY ON EARTH WAS SIR HUGH KNIGHTED AND GIVEN MONEY IN THE FIRST SEASON!!! I would greatly appreciate it if someone can explain this inconsistency for me, as it has been confusing me for a while! Thanks in advance! [also, if this is later answered in book 5, which I highly doubt, just mention that it is answered in book 5 without spoiling plz!]

  • Paul,

    I think one of the most interesting questions for season 2 is: when Jaqen changes his face at the end of the season, will it be Miltos he changes into?

  • He said pate, Seralla is supposed to be Alleras.

    From the wiki
    “It is widely believed that Sarella Sand is in disguise in Oldtown as the novice Alleras, studying for a maester’s chain. The name Alleras is Sarella backwards, and Alleras (“the Sphinx”) bears a resemblance to Oberyn Martell. Furthermore, disguising herself as a man to learn the secrets of the maesters would be in keeping with what is known of Sarella’s character.”

    Ed,

  • Maxwell James:
    Paul,

    I think one of the most interesting questions for season 2 is: when Jaqen changes his face at the end of the season, will it be Miltos he changes into?

    Wouldn’t Arya recognize him though? The viewers likely would and if Arya didn’t it would be a problem.

  • HERP-DERP,

    One of the experts at Westeros.org would probably be best suited to answer your question, but on the face of it I don’t think it’s that contradictory.

    1) Littlefinger and Lysa conspired to poison Jon Arryn.
    2) Ser Hugh, being Jon’s squire, would make a natural patsy, especially having been with Jon in his dying hours.
    3) Hugh was knighted by Robert after Jon’s death – again, the normal course of things for a squire to a great lord.
    4) As for the money, that is Littlefinger’s specialty…

  • Now this IS VERY inconsistent with what happens in book 3:

    I’ve always assumed that Littlefinger got Hugh knighted and bought the armor for him. Not directly of course, but however Hugh ended up with his knighthood and armor I’m pretty sure Littlefinger was behind it. Kinda his MO to set someone else up as the fall guy and to take attention away from himself.

  • It is hard to tell from the pic. I think would have preferred a bolder streak , too..( Jaqen is a little flamboyant , especially when he has access to soap and water ;) )..but so much of his charisma is in his speech and his character that I’m sure the difference in the hair won’t matter to anyone.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    [Jaqen passes a hand before his face, and as he does it changes, developing a hooked nose, a long scar, and a huge head of curly black hair]

    Arya: Syrio…?
    The Alchemist [grinning, with a deeper, gruffer voice]: Not today.

    I’m not endorsing this – I have been an avowed skeptic of S=J, at least until S failed to die in the first season. But that’s how I think it would play out.

  • Maxwell James: Jaqen passes a hand before his face, and as he does it changes, developing a hooked nose, a long scar, and a huge head of curly black hair]
    Arya: Syrio…?
    The Alchemist [grinning, with a deeper, gruffer voice]: Not today.
    I’m not endorsing this – I have been an avowed skeptic of S=J, at least until S failed to die in the first season. But that’s how I think it would play out.

    Sounds good to me! Let’s see, things I was right about in the past that I have had confirmed in GoT commentaries..

    * Lysa’s breast was a prosthetic (Confirmed by Peter Dinklage in commentary )
    * Sansa thinks Arya’s ‘dancing lessons’ are actual dancing lessons, and not swordfighting (Confirmed by Sophie Turner in Ep. 3 commentary)

    Let’s hope I can add the S=J theory sometime in the future! ; )

  • So, you like me!!!!
    hmmm…
    …beware if i am not beside YOU!!! Valar Morghulis

    Let´s make a “Jaqen H’ghar to the IRON THRONE – Petition”

    Ok he is my favorite character… sorry…

  • Maxwell James,

    Paul,

    No , it wouldn’t do to have Arya recognize him at that point , but I’m waiting to see if just for a moment he looks sort of Syrio-ish in the Morphing process. You know, just enough to make Arya ( and us ) blink, and wonder if we’re seeing things… or if there’s some other tease in the dialogue to keep the question alive for viewers, like ” Not today.” last season. What a thrill.

  • HERP-DERP,

    My reading of it was as follows:

    Littlefinger wants the Lannisters, who are known for having plenty of money, to take the blame for Jon Arryn’s death. Takes suspicion away from Lysa (and by association, him) and causes a war, giving him plenty of opportunity to increase his own standing.

    Providing Hugh with shiny new (poorly fitting) armour- through intermediaries in an untraceable manner of course- gives the impression he was paid to gve Jon the poison. Arranging that Hugh will face Gregor in the joust then gives the impression that the loyal Lannister bannerman is getting rid of Hugh in case he talks. Of course Gregor will happily kill whenever he has the opportunity, so just presenting a stuck up young knight with a gap in his armour is all the persuasion he needs.

  • Soooooooooooooooo pretty…. The Hound may be 2nd in my heart/fantasies for season 2. Nom.

    But on a serious note, looking forward to seeing the hair in a better pic

  • GrandmaFunk,

    Quite the opposite, actually. George wrote “The Pointy End.” If he wanted to quash the theory he could have had Ser Meryn Trant chop Syrio in half on screen. Instead we got “Not today” and some very indeterminate clanging sounds.

    the goat,

    I sympathize – like I said, I didn’t care for this theory, especially when it was just based on the books. It seems to me to be rather untrue to Syrio’s character, who was/is very strongly ethical, a rarity in this story. But I am entertained by the game, so to speak.

  • Ugh, can the Syrio is Jaqen theory please die? There is nothing to support it other than wishful thinking.

    This has to be one of the most idiotic of fan theories out there.

  • Maxwell James:
    GrandmaFunk,
    Quite the opposite, actually. George wrote “The Pointy End.” If he wanted to quash the theory he could have had Ser Meryn Trant chop Syrio in half on screen. Instead we got “Not today” and some very indeterminate clanging sounds.

    I’m pretty sure I remember him making a statement that he kept syrio’s true fate happen “off-camera/off-stage” like in the book but that it was in no way an endorsement of the s=j theory. It simply makes for a more dramatic scene and makes arya’s POV it’s focus.

    even if Syrio doesn’t truly die in that scene, that’s not at all the same thing as proving that he’s also Jaqen.

  • Lars: Ugh, can the Syrio is Jaqen theory please die? There is nothing to support it other than wishful thinking.

    Seriously. And why is everyone so ‘fking obsessed with Syrio anyway??? He’s a plot device, and cliche cardboard cutout. It’s like fantasy fans come to the series and they glomp onto the only characters that don’t break with typical fantasy tropes. This misses the whole point of asoiaf. grumblegrumble

    Jaqen is a much better character than Syrio. Much darker, much more interesting. He’s not one of my favorites (he seems a little… super human), but at least he has moral flaws. The character would lose a lot if it turned out he was actually Syrio.

  • GrandmaFunk,

    Sure. I guess my point is: what George says on this matter strikes me as far less important than what he does. So for example, he’s repeatedly implied under questioning that Syrio is obviously dead. Yet given the opportunity to put that line of questioning to rest, he instead doubled down on the mystery.

    That’s not the sort of decision you make when you want to quash a theory.

  • Looks awesome! Can’t wait for April, though my newly arrived Blu-Rays should help me endure the wait…

    and for the record:
    - dead Syrio is awesome; surviving Syrio as Jaqen is boooorrrring, sorry folks.
    – Sarella Sand is not the alchemist who kills Pate with a poisoned coin; she’s Alleras the sphinx. Aside from Alleras’s self-told background matching up with Sarella’s & what’s been mentioned above, there are lines in some of the Dornish chapters that lend farily convincing support to this someone (Doran?) refers to her playing some sort of game, someone else (Arianne maybe?) talks about her loving Oldtown, etc.)
    – Yes, it seems fairly clear that Pate’s alchemist is Jaqen H’ghar. His description practically reads like GRRM took the description of Jaqen as we last saw him, rearranged a couple of words, and used that to decribe the alchemist. What I don’t understand is, how did he find time to go to Pyke and deal with King Balon?

  • Maxwell James,
    Erik,
    evilclosetmonkey,
    Shinyteapot,

    Interesting theories, all of you, and I guess all of them make some sense. However, they are all just theories. I am very disappointed that GRRM never addressed this issue directly or even indirectly, and that he has left it hanging for so long… guess this is one of the few writing flaws of the ASOIAF series. I believe GRRM had completely forgotten about Sir Hugh while writing that last chapter in the 3rd book.. perhaps because he was too preoccupied with finding a way to kill off another character

  • HERP-DERP,

    Personally I think it’s a strength of the series that the author doesn’t patronize the reader and explain everything in simple words.

  • Maxwell James,

    Exactly. And you know , I think I like the tease as much as the theory..maybe more.

    userj,

    Jaqen may be a better character , unless of course , he and Syrio are part of the same character..:).. And one has to ask , how the hell did a FM allow himself to be wasting away in the Black Cells ,disguised as a Lyseni sellsword (maybe for life , if Yoren hadn’t shown up ) when he actually had a mission in Oldtown ? Seems a bit counter productive.

  • Arristan the Old,

    I don’t see how a surviving Syrio would be boring when that would make him the Alchemist ( whoever he is, when he’s at home ) and we don’t know what his mission is yet , or who he’s acting for ? Or why he was in KL to begin with ? It seems that the FM are not merely assassins but intelligence agents as well. They’re always gathering information , and he , at least, seems to have license to kill as necessary , not just the contract and only the contract .

  • Tywin’s Bastard,

    I disagree. There are 2 hypothesis here:

    1) what people here basically said… that littlefinger paid sir hugh to make him the scapegoat and draw attention away from lysa and hence littlefinger himself

    2) Equally plausible, Sir Hugh was actually paid by the Lannister’s to poison Jon Arryn AND at the same time Lysa was poisoning Jon

    Given that all the events of the first season are actually based on Jon’s death, I think it was important to make it clear who killed him, rather than leave it vague and move on to more than 10 new story lines in the 4th book.

  • I believe the idea they have is that he may have been invited to King’s Landing to make arrangements, but the idea was nixed and he was, for some reason, imprisoned. But that doesn’t really seem the be the way the Faceless Men operate, based on the meeting we saw.

    Mormegil:
    Nimble Dick,

    You don’t say!

    My post was asking you how you came to the conclusion he was in Kings Landing to kill Dany. when there is no evidence for it and actual evidence against it.

  • HERP-DERP,
    Or like in real life we don’t always learn every single detail of every mystery that comes along.

    Anyway, Littlefinger lies all the time, especially to Ned – why are you attaching so much significance to this particular lie? It was a red herring, both for the reader and for Ned.

    The plotting for Jon’s death is intricate – GRRM clearly knew LF and Lysa did it from the start. This isn’t some Aegon-esque retcon. Their actions in the first book are only understandable when you consider their complete history, including the fact that LF planned Jon’s death and used Lysa to carry it out.

    As a side note, I don’t think that LF planned for Hugh to die as some above suggested. Gregor is not under LF’s control (there was, IMO, no armor sabotage). As he so often does, LF used the events as they unfolded to further his own cause – in this case to manipulate Ned against the Lannisters and deflect suspicion from himself.

  • HERP-DERP,

    I think it’s pretty clear that both Lysa and the Lannisters wanted Arryn dead. Lysa was poisoning him at LF’s behest , by her own crazed admission . Cersei was making sure Pycelle at least wasn’t giving him the best treatment , which LF was in a position to find out , or surmise. A man’s squire is in a position to perhaps notice ,or be suspicious that something is fishy .. but when he wants to be a knight so badly and suddenly people are dangling knighthood and new armour under his nose , he might decide to forget any misgivings he may have had.

  • A man finds he likes subtlety better than bright, flamboyant coloring. A man is pleased with his look.

  • Oh Dear – it’s the Elvis is living with Hitler in Brazil brigade.If Forel lived then that would probably mean that Mervyn Trant died – which he clearly didn’t – so bang goes that theory.Unless,of course, Trant and his men had a change of heart and let him off.
    Stick to the story that’s laid out in the books and series and stop making up your own.

  • Knurk, Access Hollywood has an exclusivity window of 24 hours, so a hi-res version should be coming from HBO tomorrow.

    I really don’t understand why HBO gives sites like EW and AH exclusives when they consistently release crappy lo-res versions of their exclusive trailers and photos.

    Suzaku, nice job! Looks great!

  • Suzaku,

    At a guess (only a guess!), perhaps Jaqen, in his Lyseni persona, had a mission and either completed it or was still working on it- for all we know he could have been spying on others in the black cells, or on Yoren and those travelling north. It’s fair to assume he was probably with the party going north out of choice. Perhaps he saw it as the safest way to get away. If so, once he changes his face he contacts his superior, passes on intelligence and is given a new job, in Oldtown.

  • HERP-DERP: I am very disappointed that GRRM never addressed this issue directly or even indirectly, and that he has left it hanging for so long… guess this is one of the few writing flaws of the ASOIAF series.

    What the hell are you talking about? There are tons of unanswered questions in the story, and Ser Hugh is at or near the very bottom of the list. I’d say its much more likely that your reading comprehension is flawed than GRRM’s writing.

    Obsidian: Jaqen may be a better character , unless of course , he and Syrio are part of the same character..:).. And one has to ask , how the hell did a FM allow himself to be wasting away in the Black Cells ,disguised as a Lyseni sellsword (maybe for life , if Yoren hadn’t shown up ) when he actually had a mission in Oldtown ? Seems a bit counter productive.

    And how do you know when exactly this Faceless Man took the role of Jaqen H’ghar, the Lyseni sellsword prisoner?

  • The answer is: Money. EW pays them.

    Winter Is Coming:
    Knurk, Access Hollywood has an exclusivity window of 24 hours, so a hi-res version should be coming from HBO tomorrow.

    I really don’t understand why HBO gives sites like EW and AH exclusives when they consistently release crappy lo-res versions of their exclusive trailers and photos.

    Suzaku, nice job! Looks great!

  • the goat,

    I’d say its much more likely that your reading comprehension is flawed

    wow what’s up with the direct personal attack!?! I was just expressing my opinion! I am aware there are more unanswered questions, but I am currently re-watching the 1st season [still @ ep 5], and I believe this is chronologically the first unanswered question in the series…

  • Nic pic,
    and if any1 believes the S=J theory then i still believe that ‘reeds’ are THE gretest kept secret of the HBO

  • userj: Seriously.And why is everyone so ‘fking obsessed with Syrio anyway???He’s a plot device, and cliche cardboard cutout.It’s like fantasy fans come to the series and they glomp onto the only characters that don’t break with typical fantasy tropes.This misses the whole point of asoiaf.grumblegrumble

    Jaqen is a much better character than Syrio.Much darker, much more interesting.He’s not one of my favorites (he seems a little… super human), but at least he has moral flaws.The character would lose a lot if it turned out he was actually Syrio.

    What makes Syrio a plot device and cliche cardboard cutout, pray tell?

  • the goat,

    Well , you won’t like my answer..and my answer has evolved since I spouted off when ADwD first came out, but.. If J=S , I figure S , under some guise, was in KL for some purpose ( contract or espionage ), took the chance to get close to the Hand as S, while sussing out the new political situation,. After Ned’s downfall, had a bit of time, since he was going to WF temporarily anyway to follow up … so, caring for Arya, tagged along as one of Yoren’s ragged bunch, became Jaqen after J was probably killed in the fire . That’s just hitting the high points , without going into all the reasoning… If he’s not Syrio , it also seems a bit counter productive that he would become Jaqen at all. I’d think he’d want to stay away from the mayhem in the Riverlands , etc. and get to Oldtown to get on with it. I don’t think it’s at all certain that J was responsible for Balon ( Harrenhall seems very out of the way for one on his way to Oldtown. ) Anyway, the dwarf woman’s vision was ambiguous to me..was the Euron-crow on the FM’s shoulder symbolic of the one who took out the contract , or the victim of a future contract ? Dunno.

    But of course , I don’t claim to know this ,it just makes reasonable sense, knowing only as much as GRRM has told us to this point. None of us can know the real story , yet.

  • zerowolf,

    No , I don’t think that the only two possible outcomes would be that either one or the other of them wouldhave died. I think Trant and his men would want to cover up the fact that they couldn’t overcome one small swordsman. Syrio managed to overcome Trant’s men ,one way or another ..why not Trant? and if he is Jaqen ..it’s nip around the corner and change your appearance. Don’t you think it’s rather odd that when Cersei is commenting on the whereabouts of Arya ,later on , she says “the wretched dancing master ” interfered ? She still hadn’t been told what kind of lessons Arya was taking. Why not ?… And would the Lannisters spend a lot of time scouring KL for him ? No. He wasn’t a Stark retainer . In their eyes he was a lowly hireling , and if he came forward , his goose was cooked.

  • HERP-DERP,

    Why is it important to know exactly who it was?

    The only answer I can possibly arrive at is that it’s not important at all. There are tons of things unanswered in the books, which makes it realistic. No one is around to care about Ser Hugh and the people that got him killed won’t be thinking about him since he was an insignificant pawn.

    I remain with my opinion that explaining every little detail is patronizing the reader.

    As for unanswered questions that appear before Ser Hugh, there are plenty. What are the Others doing? Who is Jon’s mother? Why was the Direwolf south of the Wall? The list goes on. There are various amounts of evidence to derive an answer from (just as there is with Ser Hugh) but none have been answered outright. If it was important, we would have been told.

  • Is there any way to fix all of the blackouts for spoilers when using a smartphone? Seriously, it is far too annoying to have to hit “quote” for every post I want to read that contains spoilers.

  • Suzaku,

    yes exactly

    why would a faceless man be in the dungeon of the Red Keep?

    My idea is that Verys was keeping him for a special time. he was tricked into being there
    UNLESS…..the faceless men are behind everything!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nimble Dick,

    I think it’s quite unlikely that a faceless man would be in the black cells. ( Well, not for any length of time, given their skills . ) Jaqen, Rorge and Biter had been in there well before Ned, and on a lower level .. from which people usually don’t come out again. Before they were thrown down there , no one had been deemed bad enough to be sent there for years and years. The gaoler thought they were even too bad to be useful on the wall. Yoren took them out of desperation , in spite of his advice. Not a handy place for anybody’s agent to be. They couldn’t count on Yoren turning up anytime soon , or taking them if he did. And if Varys had been granted a contract , I don’t think it would have allowed for the FM to while away weeks and maybe months before acting…perhaps dying of neglect in the meantime. ;)

    Anyway, I like our Jaqen and can’t wait to see him in action and I’ll be watching carefully to see who Rorge throws the Axe to next , after Arya throws it to him , because if Jaqen got it last , I don’t think he would have had time to get out before the building collapsed…and he had no burns, no singed hair when he got to Harrenhall.

  • FYI: Spoiler-tagged for stuff from AFFC and ADWD.

    With regards to Alleras: Doesn’t the text say that Sarella likes to challenge gender roles or people who tell her she can’t do stuff or something to that extent? Isn’t she also kind of bookish and curious? If those are true, there’s a good chance she just wants to be a maester in order to learn and prove she can do what any man can do.

    But given that they’re the Martells, there’s got to be some added benefit to her being in the Citadel. Alleras seems to be working for Marwyn, who says the Citadel killed the dragons the last time around. He also says something about Maester Aemon being sent to the Wall when he should have been elevated to Archmaester, all due to his Targaryen blood. He rushes out to reach Dany before other maesters can, seemingly implying the others wish her harm. We know Doran Martell is one of the biggest Targ supporters out there, so it would make perfect sense if he sent his niece to do recon in a place where there may be a growing threat to Daenerys and/or Aegon.

    Where Jaqen/the Alchemist fits into any of this, I’m not sure. I wonder, can you put Faceless Men in place with the possibility of a future hit assignment? I.e. could someone hire Jaqen to get in at the Citadel to find out what’s going on and then depending on what he learns, possibly assassinate someone? I’m just thinking, if the archmaesters are “anti-dragon” as Marwyn says, and by logical extension anti-Targ, maybe Illyrio hired a Faceless Man to keep an eye on them, and to possibly take them out if necessary. Illyrio would certainly have the money to hire him. And this is obviously assuming Jaqen and the Alchemist are one and the same.

    I’m not saying I think that’s what Jaqen is doing in Westeros, but rather just letting stream of consciousness play out. I’m sure there are much more original, better-substantiated theories out there. I think Jaqen is doing an awful lot of wandering around Westeros, which makes it hard to pin him to a specific hit, motive or client. But I have faith we’ll see him again before the series ends, and I can’t wait! He’s one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever come across in literature!

  • Oh boy, I got a good vibe about Tom as Jaquen now. I can see it.

    Off topic but did anyone notice the Game of Thrones HBO facebook page link to this article? I almost gasped because I thought that Gillian Anderson was cast on the series because instead of the above image you see Gillian Anderson on the BAFTAs red carpet!

    I remember in the early days of this site when she was being fan cast for Catelyn Stark….funny to think that if circumstances were different we’d still have Jennifer Ehle. But I love Michelle Fairley now, so much that I picture her when I read the books.

    Anderson for Septa Lemore or Lady Dustin? The Green Grace?

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Off topic, Actually G. Anderson for Lady Dustin would be quite a nice pick, although I actually had Lindsay Duncan in mind while reading ADwD. However, although I loved her interaction with Theon, she is quite a minor character for now, so I’m not even sure she’ll make it into the show.

    PS: Jaquen looks fantastic, just as I expected. Can’t wait to see the pic in hi-res.

  • Wow.

    Really, just…….wow.

    Did it ever occur to you, at any time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or ever

    ever ever….or possibly ever, that you maybe, could be . . . . . . . .possibly . . . . . . . . .

    chasing the wrong man?

    I think it’s quite unlikely that a faceless man would be in the black cells. ( Well, not for any length of time, given their skills . ) Jaqen, Rorge and Biter had been in there well before Ned, and on a lower level .. from which people usually don’t come out again. Before they were thrown down there , no one had been deemed bad enough to be sent there for years and years. The gaoler thought they were even too bad to be useful on the wall.

  • Wow.

    Really, just…….wow.

    Did it ever occur to you, at any time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or ever

    ever ever….or possibly ever, that you maybe, could be . . . . . . . .possibly . . . . . . . . .

    chasing the wrong man?

    (editor’s note: this next paragraph is a quote of what Obsidian said, but the editing function fucked everything up. Anyway, this is Obsidian’s quote, and the following paragraph is my response. I’m sure that makes sense)
    I think it’s quite unlikely that a faceless man would be in the black cells. ( Well, not for any length of time, given their skills . ) Jaqen, Rorge and Biter had been in there well before Ned, and on a lower level .. from which people usually don’t come out again. Before they were thrown down there , no one had been deemed bad enough to be sent there for years and years. The gaoler thought they were even too bad to be useful on the wall.

    which is a perfect “role” for a faceless man to play, especially after he is freed. Once again I must ask you, how do you know this man? How do you know what happened after Arya saved him from the fire, and the time she met him again in Harrenhal? How do you know this man, who changes his faces, is the same man you knew before?

  • Every KILL in westeros is by a faceless men… or women…

    even the others/white walkers are faceless men in disguise

    WE RULE WESTEROS…

  • Ash: HERP-DERP, Little more than extras

    Little more than extras?

    I know we aren’t in magazines or interviews and we don’t get credits on the show (even though 2nd Assistant standby greensman does) but without hard working extras often working 12-16 hour days, a show like GOT couldn’t exist so a little respect would be welcome.

    (sorry, you pushed a button with that one)

  • is that kind of expression or phrasing seen as negative in Ireland?

    it’s not really a pejorative phrasing in North America…much like saying “they were just extras” doesn’t imply anything negative or diminutive about extras.

    I sincerely doubt it was used negatively by the author.

  • GrandmaFunk:
    is that kind of expression or phrasing seen as negative in Ireland?

    it’s not really a pejorative phrasing in North America…much like saying “they were just extras” doesn’t imply anything negative or diminutive about extras.

    I sincerely doubt it was used negatively by the author.

    Well then what’s the difference between “They were extras” and “They were just extras”? The “just”, just like the “little more than” ,has its meaning, and is definitelly pejorative…

  • Pau Soriano,

    it’s just an expression.

    see what I did there.

    there’s no real difference in common usage between “it’s an expression” and “it’s just an expression”. ‘just’ is a filler word like ‘like’…it gets thrown around everywhere in casual speak and often doesn’t mean anything at all.

  • the goat,

    Your reply shows why this is so difficult to discuss. I’ve never once said J must be S….period. When I learned of the theory , I approached it from the standpoint of …could this theory work ..if so , how ?

    Of course I don’t know Jaqen ..no one except GRRM really does. I just say if he is S . I think the fire is the best place for S to take on the J persona. Before the fire, he would have the disadvantage of being shackled ( not much help to Arya , in an emergency ). If he’s not S but still a FM in the guise of J since the Red Keep, he’s allowed himself to get into a very powerless position ( time rotting in a dungeon and the prospect of being shackled all the way to the wall ).

    Whoever he is , at Harrenhall , while Biter still has half healed burns all over his body, J has none. GRRM has Arya find him in a hot bath , not noticing any burns..and twice GRRM mentions his long healthy-looking hair ( no singing ). Yet Arya feels the shock and heat wave from the collapse of the building before she’s through the tunnel… So I think that Harrenhall Jaquen was not the same one who was caught in the fire. It’s very possible the original Jaqen didn’t make it.

    Sure he could be someone else entirely ( well, the alchemist ) who took on the persona sometime in the intervening weeks, but if so , why ? and how ? ..and that would certainly not explain why he sought Arya out and treated her with so much solicitude and even tenderness. He wouldn’t even know who she was .

    So I say, yes ,there could be another explanation … and I look forward to finding out who the Alchemist is , and what his motives are. In the meantime , there is a very possible way for S=J to work..so you can’t rule it out.

    GRRM writes these things intentionally. If he’s not going to take the story that way, then it’s intended to mislead , either for a reason ..or just for fun.;) ( also a possibility )..But to say it’s entirely impossible, and hare-brained and stitched out of whole cloth , (as so many do ) ..I think is not being entirely open minded about it.

  • GrandmaFunk:
    Pau Soriano,

    it’s just an expression.

    see what I did there.

    there’s no real difference in common usage between “it’s an expression” and “it’s just an expression”.‘just’ is a filler word like ‘like’…it gets thrown around everywhere in casual speak and often doesn’t mean anything at all.

    Well the word “just” has many meanings, also when used as an adverb like you did, but “little more than” less so

    I’m fairly possitive that is the case both in Ireland and in the US ;)

    PS: And just for reference, here is the definition on the macmillan:

    little more than
    “used for emphasizing that someone or something is not at all important or impressive”

  • Well herp, just that, imo, GoT extras are a little more than just extras ;)

    Now say, what did ur last comment had to do with GoT??

  • HERP-DERP,

    Ash was saying that the people in the cart at the end of season one were extras, rather than the final actors officially cast in the role. Jaqen is supposed to have a rather striking appearance, which is why I’m assuming they decided to have that person be hooded, rather than show two different faces from one season to the next.

  • Shinyteapot,

    I was pretty convinced it was simpler, he needed to be knighted and have armor for the joust, and the plan was always that he would not make it out… His gift of knighthood and armor just in time plus his pairing with the mountain is too much to be coincidence, Gregor had his number IMO.

  • another comment:

    There is not enough info to even know that

    a faceless man was captured and thrown into a black cell in KL, he could have made the switch virtually any time, hell he could have been in a position to know Arya handed Jaqen the axe, then assumed his guise anytime before HH

    I HIGHLY doubt that (actually I think its absurd but the point needed to be made), but for anyone saying its impossible for a

    FM to be captured and tossed into a black cell, I’d say its equally “impossible” for him to put himself at the mercy of a scared girl, and the chance of her having an axe handy…

    He better keep his speech pattern too… his whole “the gods are not mocked” conversation is easily in my top 5 most badass moments in the books to date…