In the second season of Game of Thrones, when

Arya was Arry & Jaqen H'gar was wearing Lannister soldier clothes with two others in a makeshift prison, on their way to The Wall. The cage catches fire & the 3 men are about to die, but Arya, unexpectedly, saves them from death. Jaqen reveals that he is a faceless men & 3 deaths are owed to the God of Death. So he gives Arya 3 people to choose whom he will kill.

In S05E10, Mother's Mercy, when

Arya kills Meryn Trant, she has taken a life which was not supposed to be taken. Hence Jaqen says to her that a debt is owed to the God of Death. He takes the poison & dies, apparently to pay that debt. But how is that supposed to pay for the debt. His death was also unexpected. Doesn't that make the debt count of God of Death to 2 rather than 0.

TL;DR; In earlier season episode, 3 lives were saved, a debt was repaid when 3 guys are later killed. In S05E10, an unexpected life was taken, which was repaid for by another unexpected death. So how is the debt settled?

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4 Answers 4


In the earlier season, the application of the debt seems pretty straightforward. Arya prevented three deaths, and so three deaths are still owed to the god.

In the season five finale, it seems that Arya took a life she wanted to take, and to clear the ledger, a life she did not want taken had to be taken.

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    Note that both of these "debts" are explained to Arya, and are based on Arya's actions. They may not be based on a hard and fast rule, but as a judgment based on what Arya did, in the context of the circumstances. It seems like everything the Faceless Men (Jaqen and others) do around Arya is intended to influence her in some way. So it may be that the consequences are chosen to to make Arya think differently, and influence her to behave according to the Faceless Men's ideals in the future.
    – recognizer
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 18:19

The episode you are referring (3 lives were saved, a debt was repaid when 3 guys are later killed) is season 2 episode 8.

And 1 saved life doesn't necessarily mean you or someone else owes one.

In that very episode Arya wants to escape Harrenhal. Jaqen still owes 1 life. Arya successfully negotiates her and her friends escape and Jaqen ends killing more than 1 Lannister guardsman. On the screen we see 2 dead guards while Arya passes them. So at least we see that 1 saved life yields 2 deaths. Have found related scene on youtube Arya escapes Harrenhal


My feel is that it more or a philosophical debt rather than something a "God" sits and demands. What Arya did was outside of the plan and the Faceless peeps did what they did to make a point in that she cannot go around doing whatever she wants.


I think it's really just a life for a life, you know? That's how it's > repaid I mean, throughout the story I feel like she's sorta been warned about this.

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