In the pantheon of surprising swordsman moves, it would be right up there with the time Inigo Montoya revealed that he is not left-handed. Now, fan theories are emerging about a shadowy figure from a “Game of Thrones” tease and people are beginning to wonder: Could the greatest sword-fighter in Westeros be on the verge of returning?
When last we saw Syrio Florel (in episode 8 of Season One), he had spent several episodes teaching young Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) how to “dance” (aka swordfight). When the Lannister guards came after his pupil, he fought bravely with a wooden sword, saving her life — but as she ran away, the enemy was closing in and Syrio seemed like he had been killed off screen.
But clues seem to indicate that Syrio lived up to the words he taught Arya to say if death should come calling: “Not today.”
The seventh episode of the ongoing season of “GoT” concluded with an assassination attempt on Arya by the Waif, acting on behalf of the Many-Faced God. The youngest daughter of Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn Stark, Arya barely escaped with her life after being stabbed multiple times.
HBO has released a promo shot for the eighth episode (airing June 12) that shows the Waif standing on a staircase with what appears to be a silhouetted man approaching from behind. Folks on the GoT Reddit boards pounced on the photo immediately, noting that the shadow’s curly hair and shoulder pads bear a resemblance to Arya’s protector — who clearly would not be thrilled with the Waif’s recent behavior.
Could this mean that the publicity photo takes place mere seconds before Sylvio triumphantly emerges from the shadows, drives a sword through the heart of the Waif, and has a tearful reunion with Arya? Or are fans reading too deeply into a background extra who just happens to be strolling past?
Before you make your decision, you might want to hold up — because like any good “GoT” episode, the plot thickens.
Miltos Yerolemou, the actor who played (plays?) Syrio, was recently approached via social media by a fan who wanted his thoughts on the theory. Cryptically, Yerolemou only responded via emojis — and some think it’s the actor admitting that we’re about to see him again.
What does it all mean? Well, that depends on how you interpret the symbols for “woman,” “knife,” “freak-out face” and “skull.” Some might argue that Sylvio is long dead, and fans need to stop thinking “Thrones” would abandon a character for a long period of time only to bring him back — then again, perhaps those people need to speak with The Hound.