On Game of Thrones, Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) masterfully manipulates her brother and children, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has strategically built an army from nothing that can now conquer the world, and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) has displayed masterful puppetry skills, pulling strings in all the houses and kingdoms. But who is the best game player of all? According to a new theory making the rounds among Game of Thrones fans, it may not be who you think. And no, we’re not talking about Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), although he’s more than holding his own.
Hint: It’s someone very close to Tyrion. And Daenerys. And, well, almost everyone on Game of Thrones at one time or another.
Some GoT super fans put forth a theory on Reddit that it’s actually the eunuch who is pulling everyone’s strings, Varys (Conleth Hill.) Game of Thrones fans may be tempted to write off what appears to be a fairly minor character in the show, but this new theory makes a case for how Varys has had a hand in almost every major development from the beginning of the series. The man may be lacking the parts that make most men men — if you know what I mean — but he has a bigger pair metaphorically than many of the characters on the beloved HBO series.
First of all, Varys’ nickname is The Spider, and that alone is pretty telling. He sits in the corner of the web he weaves, quietly, waiting for the right time to strike. Game of Thrones fans have yet to see Varys bare his fangs, but you can be sure he’ll do his best to have his day in court before the series ends in the next two seasons.
Starting with Daenerys, it was Varys who set in motion the plans to pair her with Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa.) Then Varys worked to get the Mother of Dragons her three dragon eggs. Of course, Daenerys’ destiny to rule the world by Khal Drogo’s side didn’t work out so well, so some changes had to be made, but Varys is more than crafty enough to adapt. With his close partnership with Jorah, one could say that Varys has been guiding Dany’s fate from the beginning, even while he was still in Kings Landing. Given how important those dragons have proven to be, he can also take credit for much of her success.
Varys ingratiated himself with the royalty of Kings Landing but has been particularly key in Tyrion’s story on Game of Thrones. Even before King Joffrey’s assassination, he was forming alliances with Lady Olenna (Diana Rigg) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who he pointed out to the grande dame would be the next in line in the House of Stark if Robb Stark (Richard Madden) fell. He also pointed out to Lady Olenna that Littlefinger had his eyes on Sansa, and it might be in both their best interests to keep that from happening.
The theory that Varys is actually the master game player of Game of Thrones would also explain a confusing plot point for many GoT fans. When Tyrion stood trial for the assassination of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Varys testifies against him, despite the friendship developed between the two men. What most people may have mistaken for a simple case of self-preservation can be explained with a much smarter strategy by Varys.
Varys has said that Tyrion was a great right hand to the king, and the Game of Thrones fan theory is that Varys wanted Tyrion to be Daenerys’ right hand all along. Without the trial that forced Tyrion to flee Kings Landing, that may have never been realized. Think about it: Varys conspired with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to allow Tyrion to escape; he organized his passage to Daenerys; along the way, Tyrion was abducted by Jorah (Iain Glen), a longtime collaborator with Varys. Coincidence? Highly doubtful, especially given the glimpses we’ve seen behind the mastermind known as The Spider. Seems like some pretty good theorizing on that Reddit thread.
What do you think? Is Varys playing Game of Thrones better than anyone else? Watch the video below to see two master “gamers” square off and lay the ground rules for how they’ll play each other. Fish pie anyone?
[Image via HBO]