Does this Game of Thrones fan theory prove Varys is playing the longest game of all?

Did you spot The Spider tricking us all years ago?


It’s hard to say who’s the greatest schemer in Game of Thrones. Is it Cersei, the spurned Queen Regent who vanquished her enemies to claim the Iron throne for her own? Littlefinger, the lowly noble who has parlayed his way into becoming one of the most powerful men in the land? Or maybe even Sansa, transforming her pain into a mind tactical enough to wipe her enemies off the map?


Yes, they’re all strong candidates. But according to one fan theory, there’s only one figure pulling the strings behind-the-scenes of Westeros who can take the crown for schemiest schemer of all – Conleth Hill’s spymaster-turned-Daenerys supporter Varys, aka the Spider.

Now, even on the surface Varys is a formidable plotter, secretly supporting Daenerys while spying on her for Robert Baratheon and convincing the Tyrells to join her cause for revenge against the Lannisters – but according to one reddit post his Machiavellian plans for the Targaryen Queen’s success might go even further.

Cast your mind back to Game of Thrones season 4, and specifically the scenes where Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) was falsely brought to trial for the murder of his nephew King Joffrey. Varys visited Tyrion and paid him tribute for his success in managing King’s Landing, but when it came to testifying he gave a damning analysis that threw the Imp under the bus.

At the time, you would be forgiven for thinking that Varys (like Tyrion’s lover Shae and Bronn) betrayed him out of self-interest or fear – but upon re-watching the scenes, redditor gmnitsua realized that this did a disservice to Westeros’ greatest puppetmaster. He wasn’t afraid – he was plotting.

“He wanted Tyrion to be found guilty. And why? He wanted to give him to Daenerys,” the post explains.

“He conspired with Jaime to free him. He organised his passage to Daenerys. And he got abducted by whom? Jorah Mormont. A person who conspired with Varys from the very beginning. Deliberate or no? Definitely convenient. I don’t think anything accidentally happens to Varys. It’s all part of the Spider’s web.”

In other words, Tyrion had to go down so he’d have no choice but to lend his skills (which Varys respects) to Daenerys’ campaign, increasing her chances at winning the Iron Throne and claiming the Seven Kingdoms. Tyrion would be grateful to Varys for saving him, and Varys would have another convert to the cause – a slam dunk.

Sadly, we’ll probably never know exactly how much of this actually was a concerted plan from Varys – he doesn’t seem the type to write a tell-all memoir after the fact – but if it is true, we’d say Dany’s path to the Iron Thrones will be smooth sailing. When it comes to the efficacy of his plans, Varys never varies.


Game of Thrones will return next year