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In the episode 'The Pointy End' (Season 1 Episode 8) when Arya runs from the Lannister guards you hear the sound of a sword being dropped:

Scene (around 4:56)

After that neither Syrio or Ser Meryn Trant is never mentioned or seen in the show again, except when Arya mentions to the hound that Ser Meryn Trant killed Syrio.

Is there any mention in the books that Syrio actually dies?

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I asked this question on Movies - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/13141/… –  Liath Jun 29 '14 at 16:50
Ser Meryn appears in the second season. He beats up Sansa several times. In the second season he also does the "No one threatens the king in front of the Kingsguard" and then Tyrion says "Bron, if ser Meryn speaks again, kill him." thing (which was totally awesome.) –  user24620 Jun 30 '14 at 0:57

5 Answers 5

Like in the show, in the books Ser Meryn breaks Syrio's wooden sword, and Arya flees the scene before they resume fighting, so we don't know for sure what happens. Syrio isn't seen again, and Ser Meryn makes no reference to the incident throughout the rest of the series. The general consensus seems that he is dead, seeing as, like the Hound so eloquently puts it, "Your friend's dead and Meryn Trant's not 'cause Trant had armor and a big fucking sword.".

But of course, it is possible that he escaped, as he displayed a supremely good prowess in combat, even when unarmed, versus the Lannister soldiers.

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From what I understand, it isn't said in the books whether or not he's dead, and I've adopted a theory that I'm sure will never pan out. Like you said, nothing confirms nor denies the idea that Sryio is dead. However, he's a Bravosi. Jaqen H'gar is a Bravosi. Arya first meets Jaqen in a prisoner car on his way to the wall and he immediately liked her. Maybe Syrio was actually a member of the faceless men, was captured during the confrontation with Trant and sold off to the watch. Maybe at some point, he'll reveal himself as having been there the whole time. –  Sinaesthetic Jun 29 '14 at 21:13
I'd also add that while it's probably just part of the way the Bravosi speak, both Jaqen and Syrio refer to Arya as "The Girl" –  Sinaesthetic Jun 29 '14 at 21:15
@Sinaesthetic, Jaqen H'gar is actualy Lysene, not Braavosi. –  prototypetolyfe Jul 1 '14 at 22:22
@prototypetolyfe From what I understood, he claimed to be lorath (where Shae is from) but turned out to actually be from Braavos. Could you reference where it is said he is from Lys? As far as I knew, the city of Lys is a Valyrian city (Where Varys is from), where everyone has pale skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. The closest thing I could find said that he was a faceless man pretending to be from Lys. –  Sinaesthetic Jul 2 '14 at 2:37
@Sinaesthetic I suppose I meant Lorath, not Lys. I don't recall him being revealed to have been from Braavos, although that may just be me misremembering. –  prototypetolyfe Jul 2 '14 at 16:03

It has not been confirmed one way or the other in the books or show.

However, Race for the Iron Throne has an excellent post arguing Syrio's survival would be totally against the underlying themes of the story:

Syrio Forel is dead, and has to be dead, and would probably be offended if someone tried to bring him back to life. In a dramatic sense, Syrio has to die because he’s The Mentor – and the Mentor always dies in the hero’s journey to raise the stakes (since the hero is now alone and unprotected) but also to allow the hero to begin their process of maturity and becoming independent (since the hero now has to stand on their own two feet without hints).

It goes on to say:

[What] matters is that Syrio stands up for the right and defies evil, even when that means facing a knight of the Kingsguard with a broken practice sword, not that Syrio succeeds.

The whole piece is well worth reading. This is circumstantial, and as far as I know George RR Martin has neither confirmed nor denied it, but it makes a strong case that Syrio Forel is in fact dead.

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I have a circumstantial arguement that Syrio is alive: if someone is implied to be dead, or we are told that someone is dead secondhand, but we don't see the actual event, they are almost certainly not. See: Bran's fall, Bran and Rickon's reported death, Theon with the Boltons, Arya outside the Red Wedding, Sandor Clegane after Arya leaves, and probably many more that I can't remember. –  KSmarts Jan 7 at 17:23

We don't really have any evidence, but I believe that he has died.

The Lannisters killed all Stark partisans out of hand; they even killed Septa Mordane, who was completely harmless.

Syrio was a friend of the Starks and he even fought back, so it is not really hard to imagine that the guards killed him.

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One thing that I always thought suggested he was still alive was his total confidence. He showed little regard for the Lannister guards he beat with his wooden sword, but after beating them and squaring up to fight a Kingsguard, he doesn't even bother picking up a steel sword of any of the guards he just knocked out.

I get the impression death came calling for him and he said "Not today"

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I wondered the same myself when I read the scene of his alleged killing (I started reading after watching the show). In the show it is clearly hinted that he's dead because we can hear his (probably) scream when Arya is running away. But in the books there's no scream, his death is not shown in any way; in addition to that in the books he's shown to have killed and/or severely injured 5 of Lannister guards before he was attacked by Ser Meryn, in other words he's described to be much more dangerous and fast than in the show. So, after watching the show I actually didn't even stop to think that Syrio may be alive, but the book made me wonder.

Of course it's unlikely that he could've survived a fight against a fully-armored knight. On the other hand, judging from the movements and fighting stance, Bronn seems totally like a Water Dancer to me (he's decribed to be very fast and he uses a one-handed sword and doesn't use a shield, exactly like Syrio) and he defeated a fully-armored knight (of course, armored with a real sword; his style is also more passive and treacherous than that of Syrio's).

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