Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 up to Episode 6.
When it comes to Game of Thrones, no one knows more secrets than Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) and Varys (Conleth Hill). So, imagine the surprise that has been Season 7 and the apparent revelation that neither spy master is aware of Jon Snow's true lineage.
As Game of Thrones reminded viewers in Episode 5, Varys was the right-hand man of Jon's grandfather, the Mad King. One would have thought that with the Mad King's storied paranoia, he would have implored Varys to keep an eye on his son and heir, Rhaegar Targaryen.
In Episode 5, viewers learned a definitive truth that had been hidden away in a book, Gilly was reading. Rhaegar had his marriage to his first wife, Elia Martell, annulled so he could marry another. As the Inquisitr previously reported, that bride is heavily speculated to be Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned Stark and the biological mother of Jon Snow.
How could Varys have missed all this when he has been the reigning spy master of Westeros? When Melisandre arrived at Dragonstone in Episode 2 to urge Daenerys to invite Jon Snow to Dragonstone so they could meet, Varys behaved rather indifferently toward him.
Perhaps even more surprising, Varys acted as though he had barely heard of Jon Snow (Kit Harington). This reaction despite Jon being Ned Stark's son, the former Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and the then King in the North. If Varys has been keeping Ned Stark's secret for all these years, he has not allowed his act to slip.
As a kingmaker, Varys has seemed rather disinterested in Jon, even whisking by him during Jon and Daenerys' initial meeting. Varys has been an avid supporter of Daenerys and clearly wants her to ascend to the Iron Throne.
Does he know about Jon Snow's true parentage and not want anyone else to know so he can protect his current plan? Or is he totally in the dark?
If Varys knows and truly desires peace in the Seven Kingdoms, he should be starting to realize that Daenerys' reign is unlikely to bring it to them. Backing Jon Snow for the Iron Throne would make peace a nearly definitive endgame.
If Varys knows about Jon Snow, Season 7 is the time for him to share the truth. The mystery is if he knows about Jon Snow's parentage, why he has kept it a secret for so long?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actor Conleth Hill, who portrays the "Spider," talked about Varys' feelings towards the Starks, and Hill's insight provides an interesting context for Varys' mindset about the Stark family and their leader.
Over in the North, Littlefinger has behaved similarly disaffected by Jon. His obvious dislike for Snow stems from multiple issues, including Jon's disapproval of Lord Baelish's involvement with his sister, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). The two memorably came to blows before Jon left Winterfell over the matter.
If Littlefinger knows about Jon Snow, he has a reason to keep it secret. Simply put, the truth does him no favors, and as Sansa mentioned in Episode 4, Littlefinger does not make any move unless it is advantageous in some way.
Have both of Game of Thrones' top spymasters been outwitted by Ned Stark? Or are they keeping the secret Ned so dutifully kept for their own reasons?
Winter is Coming has confirmed that the title for the Season 7 finale is "The Dragon and the Wolf," and if you believe that title is a reference to Jon Snow's biological parents, then we might be getting an answer soon. Game of Thrones Season 7 concludes with Episode 7 this Sunday, August 27 at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
[Featured Image by Helen Sloan/HBO]