OK I have been avoiding talking about Syrio Forel, because it is one of those ASOIAF/GoT topics that just brings out the crazy in so many people. There are a lot of fan theories about things that may or may not be going on in the books and show. And there are all sorts of theories about Syrio, mostly about him still being alive, and many of those being about he and Jaqen H’Ghar being the same person.
Personally, I do not think that Jaqen and Syrio are the same person.
But I do think it is somewhat possible that Syrio might still be alive.
The obvious thing to support this is that we don’t see Syrio die. We don’t see his body or hear about his death, either. And we know Ser Meryn Trant is not exactly the best fighter. Even in the show, the Hound talks about how Meryn Trant could be beaten by almost anyone as long as they had armor and a sword. Sure, Syrio had neither, but he was also the first sword of Braavos and bested a bunch of Lannister guards with a wooden training sword. So the idea that he would suddenly lose to crappy Meryn Trant seems a bit of a stretch, at least to me. And if he picks up a an actual sword dropped by one of those Lannister guards, then all bets are off.
But we do see Meryn Trant alive, which would probably not happen if Syrio got an actual sword. But maybe he whacked Meryn Trant enough with the training sword to get away. This is actually more likely, I think, especially since Meryn Trant sucks and he is unlikely to admit to Cersei or anyone else if he was bested by a “dancing master”.
But something else I noticed, that I think is fairly significant, is that when HBO put together their “In Memoriam” video for all the characters who died so far in the series, Syrio Forel is notably absent*. See for yourself.
You don’t have to see the death happen to know someone is dead. In terms of the TV show, we don’t actually see Maester Luwin die, but we know it happens. We know Septa Mordane is dead because we see her head mounted on a spike near Ned Stark’s head. The evidence is certainly clear. So the lack of a definitive answer for Syrio Forel may be significant.
Remember also, the writers of the show have had no problem killing off characters that are still alive in the books, like Grenn andPyp. So I think that the absence of Syrio Forel from that video is significant not necessarily because it is proof that he is alive, but because it is proof of the doubt he is dead. There is a difference. The writers of the show may have asked GRRM if Syrio is still alive, and whatever answer he gave them was not enough for them to include Syrio in the category of definitively dead characters. So at a minimum, there is room for doubt that he is dead.
*As is Benjen Stark, for that matter.