Small Council: You save Jaqen H’ghar’s life and he gives you one name—Who do you pick?


On this week’s edition of Small Council, we’re having a thought experiment. Say you live in Westeros. Calm down. It’s just hypothetical. Somehow, you save the life of Faceless Man assassin Jaqen H’ghar. In return, he offers to kill one person for you — all you have to do is name them. Who do you choose?

This roundtable is brought to you by a Reddit thread with the same theme.

DAN: I’m gonna start with the obvious. If Jaqen H’ghar gives me a name, I’m gonna ask he kill the Night King. It just makes sense, right? The Night King is powerful, he’s boundlessly malevolent, and threatens all human life on the planet. Someone’s gotta take him out, so why not get the best assassins in the world on the job?

Come to think of it…yeah, why doesn’t someone get the best assassins in the world on the job? Does Jon Snow know the Faceless Men exist? Because if so, it couldn’t hurt to talk to them and see if they’d be interested in taking care of this White Walker invasion thing before it starts.

Then again, the Faceless Men specialize in killing…people. The White Walkers aren’t people, and they don’t operate like people, and it might be asking too much of even Jaqen H’ghar to task him with killing a fearsome ice creature surrounded by an army of implacable undead soldiers. It’d be fun to see an “Oh, shit” look slowly cross over his face after you ask, though. Same goes if you ask him to kill a dragon. You’re not afraid of a challenge, are you, Jaqen?

RICHARD: Now that I think about it, a lot of the nasties have already been killed off. Roose and Ramsay Bolton, Joffrey Baratheon, Walder Frey, Craster are a few of the cruds now pushing up the Westerosi daisies. There are still plenty good targets left, of course, depending on who you root for, and I’d send Jaqen H’ghar after Euron Greyjoy.

It’s an easy pick, mainly because Euron is such a dastardly, mustache-swirling antagonist, and he directly threatens one of my favorite characters: the tough, smart, voracious Yara Greyjoy. There’s no denying that Euron has arrived to throw a giant monkey wrench into the story, potentially as a destructive force attacking Daenerys’ armada and/or forging a dark alliance with psycho-Cersei Lannister.

Plus, I’m a huge fan of GoT‘s character complexity so I dislike the one-dimensional, cardboard-cutout evil characters (like Ramsay Bolton) even though I understand there isn’t time for the TV show to dive deep into all of them. No one would weep if Euron dies, not even crocodile tears.

RAZOR: Oh, this is fun! If I saved Jaqen H’ghar, then he and I would be bros, so I’d just follow him around, randomly changing my face (because he totally taught me), and constantly asking him to kill people that annoyed me.

Me: “Jack, can you kill the guy in the Taco Bell drive through? He was judging me for ordering 20 tacos.”

Sexy Jesus: “A man orders many tacos as well. A man can do this.”

Then I would save him again, from things that were not life-threatening but I would make a big deal about them so he would feel guilty and give me another name.

I have to say, though, if we’re sticking to Game of Thrones characters only, then I would have gone with Kevan Lannister, assuming he hadn’t died in the Sept explosion in the season 6 finale. Uncle Kevan was a waste of a character on the show, and quite frankly, a huge disappointment.

In the books, he’s an interesting character because he takes control of House Lannister once Tywin is murdered by Tyrion, and he actually has a backbone. He consistently stands up to Cersei and doesn’t let her get away with any of her shenanigans after she’s been shamed by the High Sparrow. He comes off as a badass.

On the page, poor Kevan suffers a most horrid death after Varys returns to King’s Landing and shoots him in the belly with a crossbow. Kevan goes out like Tywin, as he slowly bleeds to death in a room that stinks like sh*t because Maester Pycell was killed by Varys’ little birds (as in the show) and evacuated his bowels post mortem. So, in the end, even Kevan Lannister, brother to Tywin, did not, in fact, sh*t gold.

It would go down like this:

Me: “SJ, I need you to kill Kevan Lannister. He sucks.”

J-sizzle: “A man agrees, a Lannister will die this night. And then a man will come over and play Call of Duty.”

COREY: There’s not an easy way to say this, but I would pick Sansa Stark. My reasons might be petty, but as when Arya had access to Jaqen’s skills, I did not base my decision on logic.

First, while there are some more obvious candidates, ones that are evil or intent on harming the characters I actually like, picking another villain like my fellow Small Council members seemed a tad boring. If we wipe out all the villains, the story is over, and where’s the fun in that?

More importantly though, I’ve never enjoyed the Sansa character. Through no fault of her own we have watched bounce from one terrible situation to another, and the whole thing has gotten a bit old. Now she’s going to fight with Jon in season 7? Ugh, please just get rid of her.

Until season 6, there was very little I enjoyed about the character. And just when it looked like I could root for her, they are setting Sansa up to be a rival of Jon’s. Would anyone ever believe that would be possible of Arya? Or any of the other Stark children? Of course not. But with Sansa its totally believable. She’s acting more like Cersei than anyone else, and I for one have had enough of the Lannisters.

All that said, I would take no glee in seeing Sansa go. She’s a Stark despite her narrow-minded attitude about power (I have some now, I’m never giving it up!), and I want the Starks to come out on top. If Sansa were to somehow get on board with Team Stark instead of Team Sansa, then I’d retract the name, but until then, Jaqen has his assignment.

KATIE: Well, Corey, if you’re going to send Jaqen after my babe, then I’m honor-bound to avenge her. If Jaqen gave me an open slot on his hit list, I’d have to offer up your name. It’s not as personal as it sounds, but somebody’s gotta show up for Sansa so here I am.

You might think Sansa and Jon are going to fight in season 7, but I’m gonna stop you right there. I don’t buy into the Starkbowl hype for a myriad of reasons, and perhaps I flatter myself when I say I know Sansa better than most, but she’s Team Stark all the way through. After all she’s endured on her own, she’s not about to give up her family for her own devices (don’t get me started on the hard evidence or else I’ll never stop). Anyway, sorry to say, Corey, but if I didn’t sic Jaqen on you, Jon—not to mention Brienne and Arya alike—would probably have your head for suggesting Sansa should die. I might actually be doing you a favor by letting Jaqen have you; at least he makes his kills quick. Boy, bye.

My duty to our lord and saviour Sansa Stark aside (and all in good jest)… Well, honestly, I have a hard time choosing who I’d send Jaqen after in the Game of Thrones universe. Don’t get me wrong—there are still a few characters left I’d like to see bite the big one. But one of the things I appreciate most about this show is how apropos the deaths are; specifically, the deaths of some of the more villainous characters. There’s a theme of “the punishment fits the crime” that runs throughout, and I don’t know that Jaqen could assassinate anyone in a similarly satisfying, poetic justice kind of way.

That being said, if Jaqen crept up behind Daenerys and just sort of… pushed her off Drogon in the middle of another speech, or if he knocked her up the side of the head with a frying pan while she’s reciting her CV again, I’d get a good kick out of that. It would admittedly do Daenerys’ arc dirty, but I could use a good laugh and if nothing else, that would get the job done nicely.

Who would you send Jaqen H’ghar after? Let us know!