- "You stole three deaths from the Red God. We have to give them back."
- ―Jaqen H'ghar
Jaqen H'ghar introduces himself as a mysterious Lorathi criminal who was arrested and put in the dungeons of King's Landing, before being recruited by Yoren to join the Night's Watch. He is in Yoren's party as the latter smuggles Arya Stark out of King's Landing.
In reality, "Jaqen "H'ghar" is just an assumed identity of one of the Faceless Men, a feared order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will. After the Jaqen persona is of no more use to him, the Faceless Man shapeshifts into a new appearance.
Jaqen is a criminal from the Free Cities, arrested by the City Watch and thrown into the dungeons of the Red Keep in King's Landing. When looking for fresh recruits for the Night's Watch, Yoren chose H'ghar as a potential candidate.
Jaqen is surprisingly calm in the face of danger, yet courteous. He uses an odd speech pattern in which he refers to both himself and others using the third person indefinite, e.g. saying "a man thanks a girl" when he is directly addressing Arya and expressing his own thanks.
Jaqen H'ghar is in the party led by Yoren that leaves King's Landing for the Wall, along with Hot Pie, Lommy Greenhands and Gendry. Jaqen is not identified, as the actor had not been cast at this point. A cloaked and hooded figure is seen in the wagon.
Jaqen calls over Arry, one of the young recruits. He asks her to fill a tankard with water and tells her that he has not drunk for a day and a night, always referring to himself as “a man” and her as “a boy”. Rorge, one of the other prisoners, rattles the cage and threatens Arya. Jaqen tells her that he has not chosen his companions and asks Arya's forgiveness. He confirms her identity as Arry and introduces himself, saying that he comes from Lorath. Rorge demands beer and insults Arya. She says that he should have asked nicely, drops all but one of her sticks and uses it to hit his hand. He recoils and then tries to grab her through the cage. Biter moves up behind Rorge and hisses as Rorge threatens Arya again. Jaqen smiles and tells Arya that she has more courage than sense as she backs away.
The group is resting in a barn when they are roused to arms by Yoren and told they are being attacked. As they rush outside one man trips and drops his torch, setting a fire near the prisoner wagon. They are met by Ser Amory Lorch and a force of men loyal to House Lannister. Lorch points out the Gold Cloaks with him and says that they have come for Gendry, a royal bastard. Lorch orders Yoren and the recruits to drop their weapons. Yoren remains defiant and Lorch orders him shot.
Seeing their leader killed, Gendry and many of the other recruits join the fight. Arya is distracted by Jaqen calling for help as the flames lick the bars of his cage. She hands him an axe before rushing to join the fray. Gendry is overwhelmed and knocked down. As Arya runs round a corner she is knocked over and taken prisoner along with the other survivors. Jaqen does not fight against the Lannister men.
The prisoners are taken to Harrenhal and tortured. Lord Tywin Lannister arrives and ends the pointless brutality, choosing Arya as his cupbearer. After being told to fetch water by Tywin Lannister, Arya meets Jaqen again, however, he is dressed in a Lannister uniform. She accuses him of being "one of them now", but he counters her, questioning for whom it was she was fetching water. Jaqen then informs her of the debts he, Rorge and Biter owe her. Because she saved three lives, she has taken three lives from the Red God. He says that they must be given back and that she is to name three people who will be killed to repay the debt. Arya names the torturer known as The Tickler. The Tickler is found dead in the courtyard, Arya goes to the body and looks up to see Jaqen staring down. He touches his cheek with one finger, indicating that the first death has been repaid.
Jaqen is approached by a panicked Arya, who desperately requests her second death; Ser Amory Lorch. He had become suspicious of her intent while ferreting Lannister documents. Jaqen bristles at her insistence on urgency. Arya explains the situation and he reluctantly obliges, assassinating Amory with a dart dipped in wolfsbane to the neck seconds before he reaches Tywin Lannister.
The assassination triggers the suspicion of Tywin and he orders the interrogation and execution of dozens of his own men in trying to solve it, but does not uncover Jaqen. Tywin leaves Harrenhal while Jaqen is on patrol; Arya is frustrated as she had decided to make him her last name. Instead she asks Jaqen to aid her in escaping but he refuses as it is outside of their arrangement. She names Jaqen, to his horror. She agrees to revoke his name only if he will help her. He reluctantly tells her to assemble her friends at the courtyard gate at midnight. Once there they realize that Jaqen has killed all of the guards on the gate and pinned them in place to avoid arousing suspicion. They are able to walk through the gate unnoticed.Having left Harrenhal, Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie see Jaqen on top of a cliff. Arya approaches him and he offers to take her with him to Braavos to join the Faceless Men. Though she wants to, Arya declines saying she must find her brother, mother and sister. Jaqen gives her a coin and tells her that if she decides to go to Braavos she must show the coin to a Braavosi and say the words "Valar Morghulis". He tells her to say the words and then claims that Jaqen H'ghar is dead. He turns his face away from Arya and when he turns back his face has changed. "Jaqen" then walks away.
In the Books
Arya asks Jaqen to kill different Lannister guards in the books, as her storyline at Harrenhal is much condensed in the TV series. Thematically, however, his kills at Harrenhal aren't very different.
The books describe Jaqen as having red and white hair, i.e. his hair is dyed so that one half is white, and the other red. The TV series gives Jaqen red hair that has white streaks interspersed throughout it.
"Jaqen H'ghar" is just a persona adopted by one of the Faceless Men of Braavos, but the Faceless Men have no personal names. This article is still titled "Jaqen H'ghar" for the sake of convenience.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood *|
* - played by an uncredited extra, face not shown.
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
- Jaqen H'ghar at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (major spoilers from the books).