Warning: This article is dark and full of Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers.
In many ways, Varys’ death on last night’s episode of Game of Thrones was almost a relief. Among the mass murder of unarmed civilians, Varys’ death was at least earned — he was actively plotting to replace Dany as queen, and spreading news of Jon Snow’s lineage to undermine her claim to the throne. But there’s one more aspect to Varys’ scheming, pointed out by Cosmopolitan — Varys was almost definitely trying to poison Dany.
Let’s back up. Remember Varys’ last scene before getting murdered? That cryptic exchange with the little girl? Courtesy of Cosmo, here’s the dialogue:
When first watching this scene, we haven’t seen Dany since Missandei was murdered — so as viewers, we might assume Varys was just checking in on Dany’s mental state, and the girl was another one of his spies. But once we understand how far along Varys is in committing treason (once he has that conversation with Jon, he has to know he’ll be found out, right?), him innocently inquiring about Dany’s eating habits doesn’t make much sense.
While poison is an oft-used murder technique in the world of Thrones, it’s especially fitting for Varys to use it, given an exchange from season 1. “Poison is a woman’s weapon,” Ned Stark remarks to Grand Maester Pycelle, who replies: “Yes. Women cravens… and eunuchs.” As Twitter user @iLEADFARMER points out, he then mentions Varys specifically seconds later. Given that the GoT showrunners have included several callbacks to the first season in season 8, it seems unlikely this is a coincidence.
Varys’ storyline may be over — but now that his predictions for Dany were proven exactly right, we can only hope he had enough time to set a plan in motion. We saw that he was sending out letters, which presumably contained the news of Jon’s claim to the throne. But who were they for, and will they get them in time? We’re sure Sansa would be up for a takedown plot: but what armies remain to take on Dany after the razing of King’s Landing? And will anyone be bold enough to stand up to her after seeing the carnage she’s willing to commit? The finale better answer all these questions and more — though either way, we’re starting to understand why Emilia Clarke wasn’t thrilled with how her character ends up.
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