Game of Thrones season 8 has been disproving popular theories left and right, but its most recent episode, "The Last of the Starks" might have just confirmed one of the weirdest bits of speculation around. Totally bonkers fan theories are very popular in the Game of Thrones fandom and there is no theory crazier than Varys secretly being a merman.
Obviously, Varys being a merman isn't a particularly serious Game of Throne theory, but it sure is popular. There's evidence drawn from books: when Arya overhears Varys and Illyrio scheming in the basement of the Red Keep in A Game of Thrones, she first hears water dripping and notices them come up out of well that leads to the sea. In Game of Thrones season 2, Varys warns Tyrion that "the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling." Is the Spider just using metaphor or could Varys be speaking from experience?
Even Varys' claim that he's a eunuch might just as well be a cover for his true fishy self. After all, as a eunuch he has a good excuse to never change clothes in front of anyone, wanting to spare them the sight of his scars. But is he really just hiding his scaly skin? And what about those long robes he wears, have we ever even seen his legs!? (OK, we have, but remember that the Varys is a merman theory asks fans to wear our tinfoil hats and have some fun.) Now, in Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, there's a scene which may yet provide even more "compelling" evidence that Varys is secretly a merman.
The scene in question comes right after Euron Greyjoy has snuck up on the Targaryen fleet, killing one of the dragons and decimating many of Daenerys' ships. During the attack, Tyrion dives overboard to escape, but is knocked unconscious by a falling ship's mast. Later on, however, Tyrion is seen washed up on the shores of Dragonstone, sputtering and coughing up sea water but alive. How does an unconscious man sinking below the water make it ashore? Only with a little help from a friend.
In that same scene in Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, Varys is seen lying on the beach right next to Tyrion. But he wasn't anywhere near Tyrion when he jumped off the ship, so how did both he and Tyrion reach the shore? Together? Well, if Varys is a merman, he could have easily rescued Tyrion and swam them both to safety without anyone being the wiser. Also, note how forcefully Varys is coughing, it's almost like he's really trying convince those around him that he can't breathe underwater. (We're on to you, merman.)
Game of Thrones season 8 has only two episodes left to go. In the span of those final hours, Game of Thrones will need to wrap up quite a few remaining plots. Will Daenerys prove to be the true villain of the series? Does Tyrion betray her? And who, if anyone, is sitting on the Iron Throne in the end? At least there's one theory that can finally be laid to rest - Varys is definitely a merman. Right?
Game of Thrones season 8 continues next Sunday, May 12 at 9:00pm on HBO.