In recent years, fan theories have become a huge part of the ways fans interact with popular culture. Sure, most of them are silly, obviously wrong, or both, but even in those cases the theories can at least be entertaining.
Game of Thrones, specifically, has given us many of these theories over the years. Some - specifically, the most famous one related to Jon Snow’s parentage - have even turned out to be true. Others, such as the Talisa Stark/Lannister honeypot theory of Season 3, haven’t been - and some, including various theories about what the endgame of the show will look like, we likely won’t know the answer to for another couple of years. Now, a new fan theory has Thrones watchers talking, as they contemplate the long wait for Season 7.
The theory, posted to Reddit’s “A Reddit of Ice and Fire” forum by a user named gmnitsua, alleges that the character of Lord Varys (Conleth Hill), the scheming, eunuch spymaster now allied with Daenerys Targaryen, may have had even more foresight than it appears.
The user alleges that back when Varys testified against Tyrion Lannister, during his trial for killing King Joffrey in Season 4, it was for a simple reason: Because he had planned, all along, to see Tyrion convicted, so that he could free The Imp and deliver him to Daenerys as a political advisor, which is exactly what he ended up doing in Season 5. Jorah Mormont must have been in on the conspiracy, as was Jaime Lannister (who freed his brother from his cell) The theory, in full:
So I have been maintaining that Varys is playing the best game out of anyone. He conspired with Illyrio to get Daenerys married to Khal Drogo. Varys conspired with him to get her dragon eggs. Varys conspired with Jorah from the beginning. To me, a lot of her success is owed to Varys.
I was rewatching the trial of Tyrion after Joffrey's assassination, and I recalled a confused feeling I had not remembered since seeing the episode. Before the trial, and after the battle of Blackwater, Varys visited Tyrion and congratulated him. They actually spend a good deal of time developing their friendship. But when Varys is called to the stand to testify, what happens? He testifies against Tyrion.
He gives a damning analysis of Tyrion. And I wondered why he did that, since I heard it. I thought he was somehow doing this to protect himself, the way Bronn later refuses Tyrion's request to be his champion. I was somewhat content with that logic. But as I watched it last night I found new logic that served that scene greater purpose.
He wanted Tyrion to be found guilty. And why? He wanted to give him to Daenerys. He conspired with Jaime to free him. He organized his passage to Daenerys. And he got abducted by whom? Jorah Mormont. A person who conspired with Varys from the very beginning. Deliberate or no? Definitely convenient. I don't think anything accidentally happens to Varys. It's all part of the Spider's web.
You aren't actually the king if you're just playing a game of chess.
Does this make sense? Let’s just say that it’s more believable than the “Varys is a Merman” theory that’s been making the rounds. Lord Varys has been clearly established as a smart schemer who plans moves far in advance. The show has always established that Varys’ primary loyalty is to the realm, rather than any particular king, and he was planning a Targaryen restoration long ago - but this was something he needed to hide at the time of Tyrion’s trial, hence the testimony.
Weaknesses in the theory? If Tyrion, Varys, and Jorah were all conspiring together, it wouldn’t make sense for Jorah to have kidnapped Tyrion from Varys once they reached Essos in Season 5. And it’s also pretty clear that while Jaime Lannister freed his brother, he was doing so to save his life - not to restore the Targaryen dynasty.
Game of Thrones season 7 airs on HBO in Spring 2017.