Did Varys Try to Kill Daenerys On 'Game of Thrones'?

RIP to a real one.

image
HBO

Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones season eight, episode five. *screams into the void* VARYS WAS RIGHT! The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones was quite possibly the wildest one in the series' 8-year run, thanks to Daenerys's sudden (eh, not really) mental break and subsequent fire-breathing rampage of King's Landing. Again, we've been predicting that sis was going to go to go full-on Mad Queen for awhile now, but my GOD. She and Drogon really did that!

For whatever reason, only one person in Daenerys's circle anticipated her descent into the Targaryen family's trademark madness. Tyrion Lannister, a.k.a. the worst Hand to ever walk this planet (somebody's getting fired!), incorrectly believed that Daenerys was above turning Drogon's flames on innocent people—this is also the same person who thought he could use sentiment to reason with Cersei, so clearly, his judgment is trash. Jon Snow, bless his heart, was so blinded by his love for Daenerys and that good old Stark optimism that he couldn't imagine that his auntie-bae would eve be capable of such evil. Even Cersei thought that she could out-evil Daenerys, and we all know how that turned out. The only person in Westeros who saw Dany's downward spiral coming—besides Sansa, that is—was the Spider himself, Lord Varys.

image
HBO

No one could really ever tell whose side Varys was on; he tended to be a flip-flopper, turning on whoever whenever he wanted to. It was also difficult to understand his motivations at times because he only ever talked about "wanting the best for the realm." This season, however, we realized that his tendency to switch sides was for good reason. Varys had seen some things, people. As one of the chief advisors to King Aerys II, the eunuch had a front row seat to the Mad King's psychotic break. He lived through the reign of Robert Baratheon, of Joffrey, of Tommen (rest his soul, the poor baby)—Varys knew that it was time for a drastic change of rulership in Westeros, and there was a time that he believed that Daenerys was the only one in the Seven Kingdoms of making that happen.

However, as he served as the Dragon Queen's Master of Whispers, Vary started to recognize the same darkness in Daenerys that he saw in her father. As Daenerys moved closer and closer to the Iron Throne over the years, she grew more desperate. Her obsession with ruling over Westeros, a home that she'd never known but felt entitled to, concerned Varys greatly, and he started wondering if Daenerys was the continent's best option. Spoiler alert, she isn't! As soon as he found out that Jon had a stronger claim to the throne, Varys jumped ship. He tried to reason with Tyrion, who has the common sense of a rock, but no dice. Knowing that Westeros was definitely headed towards danger, Varys started doing what he did best: scheming on the low.

image
HBO

Right up until the moment of his death, Varys was plotting against Daenerys. At Dragonstone, the Master of Whispers drafted an urgent press release spilling the tea on Jon's true heritage as a Targaryen. When a small girl, probably one of his little sparrow spies, entered his chambers to report that the Queen was refusing to eat or drink anything in her grief over Missandei's death, Varys pressed little Martha to keep at it, reminding her that "The bigger the risk, the bigger reward."

Umm...what?

Knowing that neither Jon or Tyrion were willing to put a stop to Daenerys's pending madness, Varys took it upon himself to try to take her out. It didn't work, likely because Daenerys was already suspicious of almost all of the men around her, and Varys ended up paying the price for his treason with his life. Let me tell you that I fully screamed when Drogon appeared out of nowhere like that. Did he get bigger overnight? What are they feeding him?!

Shortly after Varys was executed, Daenerys and Drogon began that hour-long barbecue of King's Landing, proving Jon, Tyrion, and Cersei dead wrong (sorry, I had to). Now the capital has been reduced to ashes, Daenerys is officially off her rocker, and Sansa is the only person in Westeros with a lick of sense. Whew.

Just one more episode left, people. Buckle up!


For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Culture