Warning: Potentially poisonous spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead!
One of the most frustrating moments in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones‘ eighth season, “The Bells,” comes early on, when Tyrion stupidly decides to sell out Varys. To be fair, the former Master of Whispers does commit treason by strutting up to Jon and saying he should take the Iron Throne from Daenerys, but it’s also a move that seemed decidedly out of character for Varys. Fortunately, a moment just before he dies hints that there was more to his final plan than we initially picked up on: Varys removes his rings.
Like Tyrion, Varys has always been an integral part of maintaining the balance of power in Westeros, so I found it incredibly hard to believe that he’d risk being executed for treason by chatting with Jon, which he had to have known was a consequence, rather than using his influence to manipulate people to do the dirty work for him. But when you think about it, he was using someone else to carry out his plan — he’s likely having Martha, the young girl he speaks to at the beginning of the episode, put poison in Daenerys’s food (that the Dragon Queen wisely refuses to eat).
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