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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The House of Black and White.”]
A man returns.
Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) made a surprise appearance in Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, marking the reintroduction of one of the show’s deadliest characters.
Jaqen was last seen in season two in which he played an integral role to Arya’s (Maisie Williams) story. He agreed to kill three people of her choosing after she saved the lives of Jaqen and his companions, who were prisoners on their way to The Wall. He eventually gave Arya a coin she could use to find him, and she finally put it to use in the season-four finale, when she took sail to Braavos to find him.
In Sunday’s episode, Arya goes to a temple where she’s told Jaqen will be. The face-shifting Jaqen eventually reveals himself to be a man who had told her to go away earlier. In the books, Jaqen is a member of the Faceless Men, a league of master assassins viewers will learn more about this season.
In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter Wlaschiha weighs in on Jaqen’s ultimate plan and what’s in store for Arya.
It’s not clear at all what Jaqen wants. Will we learn more about his goals this season?
I don’t really know what he wants, but we will definitely learn more about how he works and what’s important to him and how the Faceless Men sect is built and what’s important to them.
In season two, he owed Arya a debt for saving his life. Why does he continue to have a fascination with her?
It’s all part of a bigger plan. We still don’t know who Jaqen is and why he showed up in the story in the first place. It was never explained why he ended up in the black cells in King’s Landing and then went on that journey. It wasn’t a coincidence. It was all part of a bigger plan — that’s my theory.
Is it hard playing a character when you don’t know his motivations?
It’s great to play because characters that have a secret are always more interesting. The scenes are very rich. There’s this playfulness about him, but also there’s a seriousness about him. The way he teaches Arya is not by telling her what he wants but rather by trying her to get to where he wants her to be. It’s cool to play because you can take many detours and you can do little things, give little hints.
What was your first day back on set like?
I put on the wig, and I looked in the mirror, and suddenly I recognized myself. I’d always hoped to be back, but I couldn’t be sure. With Game of Thrones, the only thing you can be sure of is that you can’t be sure of anything.
See more Game of Thrones’: 20 Best Quotes
Where did your inspiration for his distinct way of speaking come from?
It’s written that way, and I remember when I first got the auditioning scene, I was at home and I’d never heard of Game of Thrones because season one hadn’t aired in Germany yet. I remember thinking, “What the hell is that?” It reminded me of a character from my childhood nobody knows in America. It’s a very famous character in Germany — an Apache Indian chief called Winnetou, and he always speaks in the third person.
You had a lot of cool stuff to do in season two. Is season five a teaching season, or will there be action as well?
It is a teaching season, but it is cool teaching. It’s not boring teaching. It’s not going to be like in high school.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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