A Song of Ice & Fire Fans discussion

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Varys, loyal to whom?

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message 1: by Nermin (last edited Oct 23, 2012 06:49AM) (new)

Nermin  (NarminStaley) | 280 comments I've read all five books and I've recently started to reread the series. There's some questions that keep popping in my head. Who is Varys? Who does he really serve? is he really a Targaryen loyalist? Because i've seen it mentioned on some internet forums. Still i can spot some inconsistencies regarding this theory. but I really want to believe it, because I'm all for Targaryens and having Varys on their side is not necessarily a bad thing. So what are your thoughts? Where do Varys's loyalties lie?


Jayme(the ghost reader) (JaymeILtheghostreader) | 1109 comments He is loyal to himself.


message 3: by Kat (new)

Kat (KatsObsession) | 141 comments And he does what he thinks is best for the realm.


message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber (IvoryDoom) | 835 comments I agree, Varys seems to be loyal to himself. Though I would pose that he has some ultimate goal.

I've thought Varys might be connected to the Faceless Men or even some kind of Warg but the more a I read the more I think I'm wrong.

*sigh*

Maybe Varys doesnt want anything but a fat pocket of gold.


message 5: by Natalia (new)

Natalia (small_god) | 79 comments Kat wrote: "And he does what he thinks is best for the realm."

Varys and such noble goals? I have my doubts. ;)


message 6: by Amber (new)

Amber (IvoryDoom) | 835 comments If thats so true he'd probably be trying to install a democracy.

Maybe Varys and his little birds are rebels. LOL


message 7: by Prin (new)

Prin (prncss1121) | 126 comments I love how cunning Varys is. It's interesting to note that Varys is one of the powerful characters in the series because he knows everything. (Does he know about Aegon and Connington though?) But I don't think he has the slightest interest in the iron throne. Varys is where power is.


message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin Wilkerson | 20 comments I personally am with Kat on this one. I believe possibly the only time in the whole series he told the truth was when he told Ned he served the realm. (I'm pretty sure it was in both book and series)

It's not about him being "noble" its kind of the opposite really. All these "noble" people fighting over who has the "right" to rule, but for him it comes down to what is best for the REALM, meaning the little people. Again, looking out for the little people isn't about being noble, it is actually sort of self serving, because he was and still is in many ways a "little person"

He wants someone on the throne that won't be crazy (like Aerys), lazy (like Robert), or evil (Joffrey/Cersei). Why? Because it is in the best interest of his own well being to have someone that might actually give a damn about the realm on the throne.

That is my take on it anyways.


message 9: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Manfull ^^ Agree ^^


message 10: by Woolfie (new)

Woolfie Silverbane (Nightlightknight) | 392 comments Indeed, in a world where ambition makes a mockery of loyalty and fealty, where honour is a precarious flame buffeted by the winds of treachery, a decent monarch, who can bring peace to the 7 kingdoms would have Varys' support,but he would never be one to pledge it openly and stick his colours to the mast as it were.


message 11: by Nermin (new)

Nermin  (NarminStaley) | 280 comments SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't read the fifth book.

Ok so, if he is serving the realm why did he killed Kevan? What does the realm gains from his death? he seemed a nicer version of Tywin, he could stabilize the kingdom and would be much better ruler than Cercei(imho), so why kill him?


message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber (IvoryDoom) | 835 comments Yah - I'm kind of with Narmin, a lot of the things Varys does are extremely questionable..

Some Spoilers below possible:




Why did Varys warn King Aerys about Rhaegars plans at the Tourney of Harenhal? Rhaegar would have been a better king than most as King, at least that seems the consensus.

Or tell him not to Trust Tywin at the Sack of Kings Landing? Seems like if he wanted what was best he'd want to get rid of Aerys the Mad King.

Why does he lie about Jon Arryns death and essentially create the entire collision that gets Eddard Stark killed, one of the most honorable men in the series and a character not even prejudice against Targaryens?

Why does he tell Joffrey to blame Selmy for his fathers death and get him practically killed? Barristan the Bold is one of the only true Knights in the entire series and probably would have been a great aid to any King.


Varys is planning to what? Make Aegon King? Why does he care? Why is that what is "best" for the realm?

Honestly if I were to choose someone to follow it'd be Dany since she has dragons and outside of that I'd probably follow Stannus. He's the only one who ever seems to actually think and be fairly just. Burning a few people on a pyre as a religious sacrifice is practically nothing in comparison to what everyone else is about doing. (though I've only made it through book 3)


message 13: by Katia (new)

Katia (lachicazurda) | 7 comments Amber wrote: "Why did Varys warn King Aerys about Rhaegars plans at the Tourney of Harenhal? Rhaegar would have been a better king than most as King, at least that seems the consensus."

Because he didn't believe in the prophecy. But, also, and more important, he want to make father and son fight, he was sure that Rhaegar will win, not with actual fight, but conquered the people's love and respect.


Amber wrote: "Or tell him not to Trust Tywin at the Sack of Kings Landing? Seems like if he wanted what was best he'd want to get rid of Aerys the Mad King."

I think he knew that Rhaegar had other plans beyond war or sitting in the iron throne. He believes in the prophecy. He wouldn't be the righful king, but his son.

Amber wrote: "Why does he tell Joffrey to blame Selmy for his fathers death and get him practically killed? Barristan the Bold is one of the only true Knights in the entire series and probably would have been a great aid to any King.
"


He was sending Selmy right to Daenerys. Don't you see? He was useless in the King's Guard. And Joffrey is not King at all.


Amber wrote: "Varys is planning to what? Make Aegon King? Why does he care? Why is that what is "best" for the realm?"

I think Varys has is mind Daenery to be the rightful Queen, but also, he want to revive the tradition that would save the realm. Three headed dragon.

Honestly if I were to choose someone to follow it'd be Dany since she has dragons and outside of that I'd probably follow Stannus. He's the only one who ever seems to actually think and be fairly just. Burning a few people on a pyre as a religious sacrifice is practically nothing in comparison to what everyone else is about doing. (though I've only made it through book 3)"

Stannis is mad. Nobody seems to noticed that. He actually doesn't believe in R'ollr or whatever its spell. He is full of Melissandre's woice of that he is the choosen one. And he's a very good knight. So, altough, I think is mad, bathed in power that is not yours, I assume that when he found that Dany and Aegon exists, he will assume that he's not the rightful king after all. That throne belongs to a Targaryen. Even the poor people knows that.


message 14: by Julie (new)

Julie | 1 comments In my humble opinion, Varys is only out for himself. His motive is power. The more unstable the realm, the more powerful he is. If he was an advocate for the common man, he would avoid chaos. He would support stability. War is chaos and means death for the commoners regardless which house they support. As long as the houses are at eachother's throats, Varys is one of the most powerful men in the realm. He is loyal only to himself. As long as the seven kingdoms are unstable, the royals need him and his little birds to help them keep their grip on the Iron Throne.


message 15: by Seed (new)

Seed | 64 comments I disagree. I think Varys wants chaos, yes, but he wants things to be properly crazy when Dany/Aegon pop onto the scene.


Jayme(the ghost reader) (JaymeILtheghostreader) | 1109 comments I don't think he supports Dany. I haven't seen any evidence of that.


message 17: by Ben (new)

Ben | 15 comments he and illigro used to be friends sorry for the spelling


message 18: by Amber (new)

Amber (IvoryDoom) | 835 comments I got the impression he was more in support of Aegon?
(Or whoever that guy is)

Also - I agree with Julie, good post. Thats what I was thinking but couldnt find the right words. The smallfolk are suffering but the rich folk are all turning to Varys for secrets and probably paying well.

Sounds sorta similar to his role in the free cities to me.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Varys serves the realm. He has done more than just protecting Aegon and making a path to Kings Landing for him by sowing chaos. If it stopped there, Varys would just be currying favor.

But he has also seen to Aegon's intellectual development, military training, and understanding of how commoners live. He wants Aegon to think of kingship as a duty to the realm. Varys wants a good king because he cares about the realm. This Machiavellian weirdo is the hero of the whole series.


message 20: by Seed (new)

Seed | 64 comments Eryk wrote: "Varys serves the realm. He has done more than just protecting Aegon and making a path to Kings Landing for him by sowing chaos. If it stopped there, Varys would just be currying favor.

But he has..."


I like it, Eryk.


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin Wilkerson | 20 comments Eryk wrote: "Varys serves the realm. He has done more than just protecting Aegon and making a path to Kings Landing for him by sowing chaos. If it stopped there, Varys would just be currying favor.

But he has..."


Well said.


message 22: by J (last edited Jan 13, 2013 03:51AM) (new)

J Nevin | 139 comments Varys aka "spider", aka "master of whispers", aka "super eunuch", aka "perverto" is the muthaeffin man. He is in for Varys of course that's how he has stayed alive regardless of who's ruling. But he is for the realm, which in the end benefits him. He holds a lot of power with all his secrets on everyone. He kills a will. He makes deals with whom ever to get what he wants. He plays people against each other when he has to as means to an end. And now look how he has been behind the Aegon situation for the last 18 years, plotting and scheming. He could be a Targaryen, or maybe it was the Mad King who saved his neck and he is doing it for gratitude. What ever his motives are, he is a force not to be fucked with. He had Kevan Lannister whacked inside the castle, and he let Tyrion kill His pop. Varys is a very dangerous and power man hiding behind his little smiles and gay posture of a weak eunuch. He got everybody fooled even the readers lol.

"This is known......it is known"


message 23: by Stas (new)

Stas (RadicallyInconsistent) | 6 comments it would seem as if varys was a targaryan loyalist if not for the fact that he hired jorah and the wine salesman to kill dany.

I think varys is the opposite of Petyr: his goal is stability. at first he may have believed that king Robert was the surest bet, and therefor worked against dany/viserys. At least from the start of the civil war, however, he sees the Targaryan as the only ones able to bring stability. luckily he has one targ. hidden and loyal ;-)

then, the murder of kevan is the only instance where varys chooses chaos over order: because he thinks targaryan order will be more lasting then ser kevan's brittle alliance


message 24: by Felicity (new)

Felicity Zhu (FelicityZhu) | 2 comments he serves himself by helping Aegon.because Aegon is illigo's son!


message 25: by Scribal (new)

Scribal | 24 comments I think if you can solve the riddle he poses Tyrion, you can understand Varys:
I"n a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me-who lives and who dies?”


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael Lavin | 195 comments "For the Good of the Realm" HA always wanted to say THAT!


message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael Lavin | 195 comments "I think if you can solve the riddle he poses Tyrion, you can understand Varys:
I"n a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. " Scribal........ Dont know how to do the fancy cut and paste everyone does so that was my ill fated attempt. Scribal i Believe you hit the head on the Nail as us Carpenters say. That quote sums up Varys in a nutshell. IM with you


message 28: by Scribal (new)

Scribal | 24 comments "Scribal i Believe you hit the head on the Nail as us Carpenters say. That quote sums up Varys in a nutshell. IM with you "

Michael I can't do the cut and paste either.
And I can't solve the riddle, but I'm hoping by the end of the series, Varys will provide the answer. But it will probably still be a riddle.


message 29: by Yannis (new)

Yannis (JohnyGs) | 18 comments I think Varys wants a good king for the realm but also one he can control.
You may think that since Ned was a good guy Varys should have helped him but Ned didn't like Varys so Varys would have little control over him. Besides why ruin a plan he's been executing for years just when his ideal puppet king is almost ready to come? He felt sorry for Ned, he was sincere I'd say but Ned was an obstacle.
Same goes for Kevan. Relatively good guy but he would never become a puppet.Joffrey...well we all agreed about that,huh? I think he hasn't lost all hope about Tommen which is why he doesn't root for Aegon openly.
As for Danny and Viserys I think he'd get rid of Viserys but he just didn't need to hurry. He'd get rid of Drogo after his Dothraki would take KL and propably marry Danny with Aegon. His current plan is some sort of plan B which is why he seems to switch sides and improvise now and then.


message 30: by Anna (new)

Anna | 35 comments Scribal wrote: ""Scribal i Believe you hit the head on the Nail as us Carpenters say. That quote sums up Varys in a nutshell. IM with you "

Michael I can't do the cut and paste either.
And I can't solve the riddl..."


Didn't he already solve it? Power is a mummers trick and lies in the eye of the beholder. Things only have as much power over you as you allow them to have.
I think Varys motive might have to do with magic and the ptwp. Call it a hunch.
Ultimately he strive to protect the innocent whenever he can. For example Gendry.


message 31: by Eyehavenofilter (new)

Eyehavenofilter | 764 comments As I continue to re-read I'm becoming more convinced that he is loyal to the Targareans.


message 32: by N (new)

N | 234 comments verb Varys

Word forms:  varies, varying, varied
to undergo or cause to undergo change, alteration, or modification in appearance, character, form, attribute, etc
To be different or cause to be different; be subject to change. Varys = loyalty that varies :)


message 33: by Scribal (new)

Scribal | 24 comments I love the idea of declining the verb "to Varys!"
I varys
you varys
he varys
....


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael Lavin | 195 comments I like it! I vary when it comes to Varys actually motivation!


message 35: by Eyehavenofilter (new)

Eyehavenofilter | 764 comments Very appropriate.


message 36: by Rose (new)

Rose (happyagain) I think Varys wants to keep things stirred up. He loves this war. I doubt he does anything just for gold, I think he just wants to keep the blood flowing, it keeps him in business, there are always secrets to be told, but what better time to collect secrets then in war.


message 37: by Nermin (new)

Nermin  (NarminStaley) | 280 comments Well, one must have a purpose to collect secrets, don't you think?


message 38: by Rose (new)

Rose (happyagain) Nermin wrote: "Well, one must have a purpose to collect secrets, don't you think?"

Maybe due to his past, since even in the books it is kind of vauge. Or like Tyrion, it's his passion. Tyrion in the show even says he loves being in the thick of this hot mess known as Kingslanding. I think Varys just loves to collect secrets, and he'll do anything to fuel the fire.


message 39: by Nermin (new)

Nermin  (NarminStaley) | 280 comments Nah, I don't think things are as simply as that, to tell the truth.


message 40: by Eyehavenofilter (new)

Eyehavenofilter | 764 comments Maybe Varys is just your average sociopath and loves the drama?


message 41: by Rose (new)

Rose (happyagain) Exactly!


message 42: by Kirby (new)

Kirby | 71 comments Well, I think I believed him when he said he thought it unfair that the common folk were the ones to pay so the lords can play their game of thrones. I think he really does care about them, and is disdainful of the callousness of the nobility.


message 43: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Gallacher | 1 comments When Varys says he's doing whats good for the realm I genuinely believe him - but I think people are taking this out of context. He doesn't care who sits on the throne as he knows the others are coming due to his spies who are far and wide - What importance is an iron throne when an army of the cold undead are marching towards you, along with a long winter. And why else would he be 'telling' Mormont to advise Dany what to do (unless he had a plan for it - remember "influence grows like a weed"). Would he want a Dothraki army and/or The Unsullied and/or the Golden Company (especially the Dothraki and maybe the Unsullied) to come to Westeros - that would be bad for the (royal) realm as many children would be killed and many woman raped - it would be carnage. What I think Varys means by the realm is the realm of the living, hence that's why he wants the Dothraki/Unsullied/Golden Company to come to Westeros as he knows it's going to take every living man on earth to defeat the walkers.
Another thing: I can't remember if this was mentioned in the books but in s3 ep4 when he has the sorcerer delivered to him and he's talking to Tyrion he washes his hands. When he dries them there is a shaving foam brush on the table. I know all men shave - thats a given, so why show it unless it meant something. Is Varys naturally bald or does he shave his head as his hair may be silver ....


message 44: by Shantanu (new)

Shantanu Moody | 3 comments Varys it seems is the guy who is genuinely playing "the game of thrones". He must have been the architect of all the chaos reigning in Kings Landing and elsewhere.


message 45: by Amber (new)

Amber (IvoryDoom) | 835 comments Kirby wrote: "Well, I think I believed him when he said he thought it unfair that the common folk were the ones to pay so the lords can play their game of thrones. I think he really does care about them, and is..."

I agree with this Kirby. It's actually an interesting parallel with what happened to him when he became a eunuch.
Because one man had power over his life he was made to suffer - that is exactly what has happened to the commonfolk of Westeros.


I also find it interesting that Illyrio and Varys have been harboring not one set of Targaryen's but two and never told them about eachother. If Vyserys hadn't been killed (which really was outside of all there planning) he likely would never have conceded to Aegon. Which in my opinion, suggests they intended for there to be a Targaryen power struggle in the future.


message 46: by Janelle (new)

Janelle | 3 comments Maybe the question should be " who is Vary's against?" He seems to have a large fear of magic and wants to destroy the Lord of Light


message 47: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 129 comments I was suspicious when Varys said "the good of the realm." He is not Westerosi, so why would he be so invested in them?

I think that was an honest answer, but agree with Kirby and Jaime that his "realm" may not include the lords and kingdoms that are currently in place.

Alternately, maybe he thinks what's "good" for the realm is a clean slate, because he's doing a bang-up job wiping the table right now...


message 48: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (Gielske) | 107 comments guys guys.. I haven't re-read this entire topic. But have you all forgotten?? What drives Varys?? His HATRED for magic. I think he can surprise us when he meets dany and her 'born-with-the-aid-of-bloodmagic' dragons. Never forget the story of how he became a eunuch. He spent years getting to where he is, and by his own admission his goal is to stand against all magic in the world. Its why he hated Stannis so much..


message 49: by Seed (new)

Seed | 64 comments Stas wrote: "it would seem as if varys was a targaryan loyalist if not for the fact that he hired jorah and the wine salesman to kill dany.


Do we know for certain it was Varys who hired the wine salesman? Since said assassin needed to be paid for his actions, it very well could've been Baelish who set up the transaction, with him being Master of Coin and all.


message 50: by Seed (new)

Seed | 64 comments Shantanu wrote: "Varys it seems is the guy who is genuinely playing "the game of thrones". He must have been the architect of all the chaos reigning in Kings Landing and elsewhere."

Not all...don't forget Littlefinger. HE'S the reason behind damn near everything.


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