Jaqen H'ghar

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Jaqen H'ghar
Faceless Men.svg
Jaqen H'ghar by Amok©
Jaqen H'ghar by Amok©

Alias(es) Lorath[1]
Allegiance House Lorch[2]
Brave Companions[3]
Faceless Men[4]
Culture(s) Lorathi[5]
Born At Essos[6]
Book(s) A Clash of Kings (appears)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)

Played by Unidentified extra ~ Season 1
Tom Wlaschiha and Patrick O'Kane (as Jaqen's new face)[7]
TV series Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 5 | Season 6

Jaqen H'ghar is a sellsword from Lorath.[8] He is taken as a criminal by Yoren to join the Night's Watch.[1] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is portrayed by Tom Wlaschiha.

Appearance

See also: Images of Jaqen H'ghar

Jaqen is a slender, handsome young man with fine features.[1][2] He has shiny long, straight hair streaming down across his shoulders, colored white on one side and red on the other.[2] He speaks in the traditional manner of Lorathi,[1] omitting names and avoiding first and second grammatical persons.[9]

Jaqen's prisoner's garb is ragged and filthy.[2] He possesses a thin knife and a cloak, and he is a skilled swordsman.[3]

Calm and casual,[8] Jaqen is polite[1][10] and always smiles.[1] His friendly voice[1] can resemble silk and steel.[3] Arya Stark thinks that the intimidating Rorge might be scared of Jaqen.[8]

History

Jaqen claims he was once of the Free City of Lorath,[1][5] and that his sire is long dead.[3]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

At the Red Keep in King's Landing, Yoren pleads for volunteers to join the Night's Watch. No knights accept the wandering crow's offer, however, so Lord Eddard Stark, the Hand of the King, gives Yoren his pick of the king's dungeons.[11] Jaqen is one of the three common men Yoren takes from the black cells,[12] the others being Rorge and Biter.[1]

A Clash of Kings

Biter, Jaqen, and Rorge, by Joel Hustak © Fantasy Flight Games

When Yoren's party departs King's Landing for the Wall, he keeps Rorge, Biter, and Jaqen fettered in a wagon. Despite the situation, Jaqen is polite to Arya Stark, who is disguised as a boy named "Arry".[1]

Jaqen remains caged with Biter and Rorge when the group of recruits decides to spend the night in the holdfast of a deserted town on the southern shore of the Gods Eye. The town is burned down that night by men under the command of Ser Amory Lorch. Before Arya flees into a tunnel, she throws an axe to Rorge, who uses it to chop through the wagon, allowing the three prisoners to escape the fire.[13][14]

Rorge, Biter, and Jaqen join Ser Amory's raiding party, and Arya, now disguised as the servant girl "Weasel", observes their arrival at Harrenhal.[2] Jaqen interrupts Arya sleep one night and explains that he knew she is actually a girl. Jaqen insists that as Arya had helped him, Rorge, and Biter escape death by burning at the Gods Eye, he now owes her three deaths to repay those she stole from the "Red God". Jaqen asks for her to give him three names.[2][15]

After listening to Chiswyck tell the story of Ser Gregor Clegane and the Mountain's men raping Layna, a brewer's daughter, Arya gives Chiswyck's name to Jaqen. Three days later, Arya learns that Chiswyck has broken his neck after falling from a wallwalk; some claim that the soldier was killed by the ghost of Harren the Black.[2]

Arya gives Weese's name to Jaqen, by mustamirri ©

Later on, Weese, the understeward of the Wailing Tower, slaps and berates "Weasel". While Jaqen rests in Harrenhal's bathhouse, Arya whispers Weese's name to the Lorathi. The next day, Arya regrets her choice while watching the powerful Lord Tywin Lannister depart Harrenhal with his army. Arya rushes to find Jaqen in an attempt to change her second name, but she discovers that Weese's throat has already been torn out by his own spotted dog. Amabel attributes Weese's death to Harren's ghost.[8]

Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions bring to Harrenhal captured northmen and rivermen led by Robett Glover and Ser Aenys Frey. Jaqen finds Arya in the castle's godswood and asks her for the third name. After he refuses to aid Arya in freeing the captives, Arya shocks Jaqen by whispering his own name in his ear. Arya promises to unsay his name only if he helps her, so Jaqen sends the girl to the kitchens to have hot broth prepared. Rorge and Biter then help Jaqen and Arya bring four kettles to the dungeon beneath the Widow's Tower. Eight of Amory's guardsmen prepare to eat the broth, but the sellswords throw the scalding broth in their faces and begin killing them. One guard draws his sword, but Jaqen duels him with his own sword and stabs the man in the heart. When Robett Glover asks if the three men are Brave Companions, Rorge replies affirmatively.[3]

Rorge and Biter go off to help the freed northmen and Brave Companions with the fall of Harrenhal, but Jaqen remains by Arya's side. She takes back his name and asks if she still has a third death to request, but Jaqen reminds her of the various men he has already helped kill on her behalf. Jaqen informs her it is time for him to "die", passing his hand down his face and changing his appearance. Jaqen's cheeks become fuller, his eyes are closer together, his nose is now hooked, and a scar appears on his right cheek. Jaqen's long red and white hair is changed into a cap of tight black curls. He also now has a shiny golden tooth. When Arya requests that he teach her how to do that, Jaqen tells her that she must come with him across the narrow sea. When she admits she cannot go, Jaqen gives Arya a small iron coin, claiming it has great value. He promises that, should she ever wish to find him again, she should give the coin to any man from Braavos, and tell him "valar morghulis". He then departs Harrenhall during the fighting, and Vargo's Brave Companions turn the castle over to Lord Roose Bolton.[3]

When Arya escapes Harrenhal, she distracts a Bolton guard with the worn iron coin and then slits his throat.[16]

A Storm of Swords

Seeking passage from Westeros, Arya shows the iron coin to Ternesio Terys, the captain of the Braavosi ship Titan's Daughter. When Arya says, "Valar morghulis", Ternesio replies, "Valar dohaeris", and he agrees to transport her from Saltpans to Braavos.[17]

A Feast for Crows

When Arya arrives at the House of Black and White in Braavos, she offers the iron coin to a kindly man who says he does not know Jaqen's name.[5] Arya is allowed to serve at the temple, but the kindly man continues to not recognize Jaqen's name. The kindly man eventually tells her about the origins of the Faceless Men.[18]

A man claiming to be an alchemist, whose appearance matches the appearance of Jaqen's new face, approaches Pate, a novice of the Citadel, in Oldtown. He promises Pate a gold dragon in exchange for Archmaester Walgrave's key. They make the exchange, but Pate dies after biting the coin.[19] When Samwell Tarly later arrives at the Citadel, he is welcomed by a novice who introduces himself as Pate.[20]

A Dance with Dragons

At the House of Black and White, plague face explains to Arya that in order for her to truly become a servant of the Many-Faced God, she must be willing to surrender all of her identity, including her name and face.[21]

Quotes by Jaqen

Jaqen by C. Griffin © Fantasy Flight Games

Jaqen: A boy becomes a girl.

Arya: I was always a girl. I didn't think you saw me.

Jaqen: A man sees. A man knows.[2]

—Jaqen and Arya Stark

The Red God has his due, sweet girl, and only death may pay for life. This girl took three that were his. This girl must give three in their places. Speak the names, and a man will do the rest.[2]

—Jaqen to Arya Stark

Arya: How'd you make the dog kill Weese? Did you call Rorge and Biter up from hell? Is Jaqen H'ghar your true name?
Jaqen: Some men have many names.[3]

—Jaqen and Arya Stark

Jaqen: A girl whispers if she fears to speak aloud. Whisper it now. Is it Joffrey?
Arya: It's Jaqen H'ghar.[3]

—Jaqen and Arya Stark

Arya: Please don't go, Jaqen.
Jaqen: Jaqen is as dead as Arry, and I have promises to keep. Valar morghulis, Arya Stark.[3]

Arya Stark and Jaqen

Quotes about Jaqen

Something about the way he talked reminded her of Syrio; it was the same, yet different too.[1]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

Jaqen made me brave again. He made me a ghost instead of a mouse.[3]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

Arya: Is Jaqen H'ghar a priest too? Do you know if Jaqen will be coming back to Braavos?
Kindly man: Who?[18]

Theories

Jaqen's ability to change his appearance at will and his possession of the iron coin of the House of Black and White imply an association with the Faceless Men of Braavos. It has been theorized that Jaqen, in the appearance of the alchemist, killed the novice Pate, and is now impersonating him at the Citadel. While real Pate hated to be associated with the character of the popular tales,[19] the impersonator mentions being the namesake of the character after meeting Samwell Tarly.[20]

References