Jaqen shows up for the first time in the group of recruits taken from Kings Landing to go serve on the Wall. He was one of three that were taken from the “black cells” in the dungeon– where only the worst criminals were kept. He and the other two are kept in a cage during the time they were traveling with Yoren and the others.
Of Jaqen’s crimes we know nothing. He appears as a criminal and obviously a bad one. The other two, although they look more ferocious, appear to be scared of Jaqen (maybe the . After helping Arya get away from Harrenhall he changes his appearance magically, gives Arya that coin that gets her to Braavos and then disappears. It seems that he went to Oldtown and kills a Citadel novice named Pate and takes his place.
Catch phrase: A man [knows, needs a name, needs a face, must die]
Theories: Ok there are a few big ones here, but my favorite is that Jaqen and Syrio Forel are one in the same. Syrio is from Braavos and Jaqen sends Arya on the road to Braavos so that she can become one of the Faceless too (or at least have the opportunity to train as one). It never states that Syrio was killed by Meryn Trant only that he slowed Arya’s would be captors down long enough for her to get away. Therefore if he wasn’t killed, but just captured, he would have been placed in the Black Cells . The Black Cells are reserved for only the most dangerous criminals which Syrio definitely would have been classified as if he had been able to kill all those guards and continue to fight a member of the Kingsguard without a sword.
So say that Syrio was placed in the Black Cells, then changed his appearance once he got there (or once he realized he had a way out with Yoren) then became Jaqen H’ghar. Jaqen definitely shows a good bit of interest in Arya even when she was disguised as a boy. Arya says that Jaqen was like Syrio, but different so maybe she even saw it even though she didn’t know what she was seeing.
Now why would a faceless man be working as a dancing master for the Starks? Perhaps he was just in the area and thought it would be advantageous to take the offered job. Or maybe he was in King’s Landing to assassinate someone and a position in the Hand of the King’s household helped him gain access. Or perhaps Varys placed him in the Stark household for his own reasons. Whichever way, I feel that Syrio/Jaqen would see it as his duty to protect Arya when the Lannisters came to seize her.
Continuing on with this theory, if they are the same person then Syrio has already once freed Arya which left her on her own and vulnerable so I could see why he wouldn’t want to try to free her from the relative safety of Harrenhall. True she was beaten and mistreated, but she was fed and clothed. Life on the Kingsroad was fraught with more peril than that.
It is established in both Bran’s storyline and Jon Snow’s storyline that wargs can sense each other once they know what to look for so perhaps Syrio felt this power in the Starks which increased his desire to assist Arya survive. Even if the theory is complete bunk Jaqen would have seen it in Arya and maybe his assassination of Weese via dog was an attempt to have her reveal her power to him.
After Arya tricked him into freeing her Jaqen may have felt his debt/responsibility to her house was finished which would explain his giving her the coin and then leaving her instead of helping her safely to her family.
There is one more theory about Jaqen that I feel is worth a mention. Some think that he is Daario Naharis. I see some possibility to this theory, he appears after Arya is freed from Harrenhall, but I also see a lot of issues. He is the commander of the Stormcrows and yes he could have worked his way up the ladder with well placed killings, but this seems like it would have been a lengthy process. So if he is Daario I see no way he could also be the man appearing as Pate in Oldtown. I feel like it would be a one or the other situation and don’t feel so confident with all of Daario’s actions as to think he is the same person as the cunning Jaqen or the talented Syrio.
What do you think? Total crap or plausible? Do you have other theories about Jaqen?