From the very first season we always knew that Varys was more committed to serving the realm than an individual monarch, with his allegiances slipping and sliding accordingly.
His conversation with Tyrion in the last episode regarding the definition of the ‘realm’ further enforced his position on this, with a much needed nod to the non-aristocratic citizens of Westeros, whose concerns are over bread rather than power.
Varys is often regarded to be a sneaky, untrustworthy person, unnerving those around him with his far-reaching eyes and ears.
However, in many ways, his dogged dedication to the realm – first declared to an imprisoned and doomed Ned Stark – makes him one of the least egocentric of the remaining key players. It also makes him more predictable than you might think.
For example, we always knew Varys would prepare to jump ship should Daenerys go full mad queen. This is in stark contrast to Tyrion, who harbours a surprisingly sentimental faith in human nature for somebody who has grown up hated by his own father and sister.
It’s clear Varys is quickly turning his attentions to Jon Snow, whose modest disposition is far more reassuring than Daenerys’s pursuit of destiny of any cost.
However, even before Daenerys became cool with the idea of burning innocent people alive to claim her – now shaky – birthright, a prophecy from episode two of season seven has long foretold of Varys’ inevitable betrayal.
Cast your mind back to Daenerys’s time is Qarth, when her dragons were kitten-sized and she was still green enough to be tricked by dazzlingly impressive men and false friends.
It was during this time that a strange woman in a creepy mask gave her the following prophetic warning:
Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun’s son and the mummer’s dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal.
It is this last line which proves significant as Varys’ disillusionment with Daenerys takes focus.
‘Seneschal’ is another term for adviser, while ‘perfumed’ fits with the heavy perfume worn by Varys in the book series.
Will Daenerys recall this prophecy as her adviser grows cold, or will she be unable to see reason as her continued heartbreak and disappointments prove too much?
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