In the beginning of Season Two, Arya helps Jaqen to escape. Jaqen says something like "The God of Death have been cheated of 3 lives. The girl must name 3 names" etc etc etc. During the coming episodes, Arya could name a person to die and Jaqen would kill him, within minutes. In S2E10, we see Jaqen take the name Valar Morghulis, and more importantly, change his face. Also, he implies everyone in Braavos knows him.

This made me and my girlfriend think: Who/what is Jaqen? Changing one's face isn't normal, even in a world where magic (although is seems to be quite rare) exists. What we (my GF and me) agreed on was, is that Jaqen is an avatar of the God of Death, or maybe an angel (or something similar) of the God of Death.

Can anyone help shed some light on this?

  • 11
    BTW, it may have been unclear, but "Valar Morghulis" is not his new name; it's just a code word that his associates will recognize, that Arya can use to get help.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 20:41
  • 9
    Valar morghulis - All men must die. Valar dohaeris - All men must serve.
    – TLP
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 23:01
  • Related question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/37481/…
    – HBhatia
    Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 8:18
  • 4
    Books, Books, Books, Books!
    – Möoz
    Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


In the books, Jaqen H'ghar with the impossible name befriends Arya and they part ways after Harrenhal. Arya is given an iron coin and the phrase Valar Morghulis to remember. The iron coin and phrase is apparently some sort of arrangement that Bravoosi know of. The coin will allow Arya passage to Braavos, to the temple of the Many-faced God, the god of the faceless men.

As far as we know, Jaqen H'ghar is a faceless man, a priest of this church, on a mission to do something that we are as of yet not sure of. Some have speculated that Jaqen is actually Syrio Forel, her "dancing master". Mainly because 1) he might have been captured by the Lannisters around this time which might have put him in the black cells, 2) he knows who Arya is without her telling him, 3) wishful thinking. :) I do not believe that is the case. However, I do know what happened to Jaqen after Harrenhal. (Spoiler AFFC)

In the prologue to A Feast for Crows, the POV character Pate is killed by an "alchemist", whose description matches that of Jaqen at Harrenhal. He now assumes Pate's identity and one of the last events in AFFC is that we see him introduce himself to Sam Tarly.

  • 1
    I've only seen the show... but in it, he offers to teach her to be a Faceless Man (Woman?). Does this also happen in the book?
    – John O
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 21:51
  • 3
    @JohnO In so many words. I'm not sure that the words "faceless man" ever is said out loud, but he does offer to teach her. She cannot go away with him, though, because she is looking for her family.
    – TLP
    Commented Mar 10, 2013 at 23:06

To find out, you should keep watching, or even better, read the books.

But if you are really impatient, here is a spoiler:

Jaqen is a "faceless man", a member of a guild of assassins from Braavos, one of the free cities.

  • 1
    You are absolutely right @Dima, however, for the last 15 years, I just haven't been able to focus on reading books :-( Also, Season 2 just finished this weekend on Danish TV and DVD Season 2 was only released last month, so Season 3 is most likely one year out in the future for me :-(
    – FuxieDK
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 6:06

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