Syrio Forel

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Braavos.svg First Sword
Syrio Forel
Syrio Forel.jpg
Syrio Forel by Amok ©

Allegiance House Stark
Culture Braavosi
Born Braavos[3]
Died 298 AC
King's Landing[3]

Played by Miltos Yerolemou
TV series Game of Thrones: Season 1

Syrio Forel is a bravo from Braavos, a master fencer and former first sword to the Sealord of Braavos.[1][2] In the television adaptation Game of Thrones he is played by Miltos Yerolemou.[4]

Appearance and Character

See also: Images of Syrio Forel

Syrio is a slight, bald man with a beak of a nose.[1] He wears a leather vest[2] and teaches with slender wooden swords[1] with lead cores.[2]

The bravo has an excellent reputation.[5] Syrio is demanding and creative in his teachings,[1][6] but he is protective of his pupils.[2] He often says, "Just so."[7]


The day the old first sword died, the Sealord of Braavos sent for Syrio. The bravo, upon entering the Sealord's presence, was asked what was special about the cat, claimed to be from a far off land, seated on the Sealord's lap. Syrio answered him truthfully, telling him that he has seen tomcats like him a thousand times in the alleys of Braavos. Because he saw the reality of what the cat was, common instead of special and male instead of female, Syrio was named first sword.[2] Syrio has seen the Sealord's menagerie.[2]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Eddard Stark, the new Hand of the King, hires Syrio to teach his daughter Arya how to use her sword, Needle, believing the slender blade would suit the water dancer style of Braavos. In the Small Hall of the Tower of the Hand, Syrio trains Arya using wooden swords filled with lead. He also mentors her on how to move and think like a warrior: to be perceptive, move with grace, and command her fear.[1] Syrio teaches Arya to see with her ears, nose, and skin, and he covers her eyes with a black cloth and has her do spins and backflips.[5]

To improve Arya's speed, Syrio has her catch cats in the Red Keep, and he treats her scratches with Myrish fire.[6] After Arya admits to venturing into the depths of the castle, Eddard is skeptical of Syrio's methods.[6]

At the feast after the Hand's tourney, Sansa Stark asks her younger sister how her dancing has gone. Arya happily tells her she is sore all over, and shows a nasty bruise on her leg. Sansa states that she must be a terrible dancer. Eddard later offers to have Jory Cassel or someone else take over Arya's lessons, but the girl insists on remaining under Syrio's tutelage.[5]

Lord Stark is willing to send Syrio with his daughters back to Winterfell when they are to leave King's Landing,[8] but the plans are interrupted by Eddard's arrest after the death of King Robert I Baratheon.[9] Queen Cersei Lannister sends Ser Meryn Trant of the Kingsguard to apprehend Arya during her training with her supposed dancing master.[10]

During their training session, Syrio tells Arya how he was chosen by the Sealord of Braavos to become first sword. When Meryn and five House Lannister guards arrive in the Small Hall, Syrio orders Arya to flee while he holds off the red cloaks. With only his wooden practice sword, he kills or disables all five guards and then faces Meryn. Arya screams at him to run away, but her teacher replies, "The first sword of Braavos does not run." Syrio rains down ineffective blows onto Meryn's plate armor until his wooden sword is cut in half. A crying Arya flees the Tower of the Hand, obeying Syrio's orders.[2] According to a semi-canon source, Syrio is killed in King's Landing.[3]

Arya remembers Syrio's teachings while evading capture in King's Landing.[11]

A Clash of Kings

Arya continues using Syrio's guidance after escaping the capital.[12][13][14] Jaqen H'ghar's speech reminds her of the bravo.[13] Arya hates Meryn for what he did to Syrio, and she adds the knight's name to the list of those she wants dead.[15]

Arya practices her swordplay in the godswood of Harrenhal.[16] After stealing a dagger from Lord Roose Bolton, she sharpens it the way Syrio had taught her.[17]

A Storm of Swords

Recalling Syrio's words, Arya is unafraid after escaping Harrenhal,[18] and is observant while with the brotherhood without banners[19] and at Stoney Sept.[20]

A Feast for Crows

Arya thinks of Syrio when she arrives at the House of Black and White in Braavos,[21] and she uses his teachings while training as a novice at the temple.[7]

Quotes by Syrio

Miltos Yerolemou as Syrio in Game of Thrones

Syrio: Nine years Syrio Forel was first sword to the Sealord of Braavos, he knows these things. Listen to him, boy.

Arya: I'm a girl.

Syrio: Boy, girl. You are a sword, that is all.[1]

—Syrio and Arya Stark

Now we will begin the dance. Remember, child, this is not the iron dance of Westeros we are learning, the knight's dance, hacking and hammering, no. This is the bravo's dance, the water dance, swift and sudden. All men are made of water, do you know this? When you pierce them, the water leaks out and they die.[1]

—Syrio to Arya Stark

Arya: You saw what was there.
Syrio: Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.[2]

Arya Stark and Syrio

Meryn: You are quick, for a dancing master.
Syrio: You are slow, for a knight.[2]

Meryn Trant and Syrio

Quotes about Syrio

Syrio says that every hurt is a lesson, and every lesson makes you better.[5]

Look with your eyes, he had said. She saw: the knight in his pale armor head to foot, legs, throat, and hands sheathed in metal, eyes hidden behind his high white helm, and in his hand cruel steel. Against that: Syrio, in a leather vest, with a wooden sword in his hand.[2]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

All that Syrio Forel had taught her went racing through her head. Swift as a deer. Quiet as a shadow. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Quick as a snake. Calm as still water. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Strong as a bear. Fierce as a wolverine. Fear cuts deeper than swords. The man who fears losing has already lost. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords. Fear cuts deeper than swords.[2]

—thoughts of Arya Stark

Tyrion: I saw the older girl out in the yard with Joffrey.
Cersei: Sansa. I've given it out that I have the younger brat as well, but it's a lie. I sent Meryn Trant to take her in hand when Robert died, but her wretched dancing master interfered and the girl fled. No one has seen her since. Likely she's dead. A great many people died that day.[10]


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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