You Win Or You Die: Ranking the 99 Game of Thrones Deaths

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Image credit: HBO/Helen Sloan

Syrio Forel and Meryn Trant

The famed dancing master of Braavos went down fighting, although many fans (myself included) long debated whether he’d died at all. When Meryn Trant and other members of the Kingsguard come to apprehend Arya following Ned’s imprisonment, Syrio fights most of them off with nothing but his wooden practice sword. Not only were the man’s fighting skills impressive as all get-out, but we don’t see Syrio die onscreen. Usually, this indicates that the character may return.

However, Meryn Trant is no stranger to swordplay, and he was fighting with a real one. In all likelihood, Syrio truly is a goner. But that didn’t stop fans from theorizing that he and Jaqen H’ghar were one and the same. Following the events of Season 6, that seems just as unlikely as Syrio alive and well on his own.

Syrio Forel’s death is one catalyst in Arya’s development and mission for revenge. Meryn Trant’s name is the first on her list. It takes nearly five years, but she crosses him off when he comes to Braavos on a mission to negotiate with the Iron Bank. Come to find out, Trant has a special proclivity for beating and (assumedly) bedding underage brothel girls.

When Arya disguises herself as such a girl and proceeds to bury a dagger in every inch of the man, she is avenging her sister’s pain every bit as much as Syrio’s death. There’s no way for Arya to know the torment Sansa endured at Trant’s hand—specifically, in her public beating in Season 2. Knowing what we do now of Trant, we can assume he gained sexual pleasure from hurting and humiliating Sansa. The violence Arya unleashes upon him creates an invisible bond between her and Sansa, connecting them perhaps more solidly than they’d been in years.

It isn’t Arya’s intent to fight for Sansa, since she doesn’t know that there are such sins to atone for. Had she known, her fury at Trant may have been all the more inflamed. Even in Season 1, Arya wanted to protect Sansa from Joffrey, who Arya recognized as a liar, coward, and unworthy of her sister. She wouldn’t stand to know that anyone else had caused Sansa pain.