Cornchowder

What Does the Spider Know?

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What secret information does Vary's still hold?

I'm interested in getting a sense of where his character stands now. He knew lots of secrets at the beginning of the series but many of them have been revealed.

Was he in a position to know if R+L=J? if not, then only Howland can confirm it.

Also Is he the only character who could verify the identities of Aerys's bastards? 

 

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I doubt he'd care much about Jon and his possible parentage. Jon's at the Wall and is not a player right now.

I think it's more important about what Varys wants rather then what he knows. Right now Varys wants to get his (f)Aegon on the Iron Throne. All his scheming and plotting has lead to this. He has to create conflict between the Lannisters and Tyrells.

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2 hours ago, Ralphis Baratheon said:

 

I doubt he'd care much about Jon and his possible parentage. Jon's at the Wall and is not a player right now.

I think it's more important about what Varys wants rather then what he knows. Right now Varys wants to get his (f)Aegon on the Iron Throne. All his scheming and plotting has lead to this. He has to create conflict between the Lannisters and Tyrells.

I think if Jon does turn out to be Targaryen in the books it will be a huge interest point for all main characters, his location at the wall not withstanding. It means there is a male heir in the Targaryen line, that's huge

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He will be batting for team Cersei

I wonder if he had any influence on who became HS, funny how holy men kept getting caught with dirt on them

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I think Varys knows more than he lets on about the true nature of magic, and that his political ambitions are in some way related to it.

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I do reckon Varys knows a fair bit more about magic and the higher mysteries than he lets on. If he really did hear that voice from the flames then one can imagine The Spider would want to aquire as much information on the subject as possible, considering such sorcerous abilities could prove handy to professional Spymaster/Mummer. Also, if a potential mark for one of the Eunuch's long cons were to have access to magical powers then the curtain could certainly come down on Varys and Illyrio's entire operation.

 

Not sure if he knows about Jon but I imagine a man of his talents would be able to piece together the puzzle, same goes for the Mad King and his potential whelps.

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I don't know if knows about Jon (I haven't seen any hints to that effect), but he knows more about Aegon than Aegon knows. 

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He can seemingly confirm Gendry identity, and Aegons.  He also knows the secrets of the Red Keep.

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On ‎8‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 11:30 AM, Cornchowder said:

What secret information does Vary's still hold?

I'm interested in getting a sense of where his character stands now. He knew lots of secrets at the beginning of the series but many of them have been revealed.

Was he in a position to know if R+L=J? if not, then only Howland can confirm it.

Also Is he the only character who could verify the identities of Aerys's bastards? 

 

Doubtful he knows about Jon, or else he would most definitely have made it his business to keep an eye on him and there is no indication that he gave Jon a second thought.

This was probably Varys' biggest boner. First, he knows as well as anyone who much trouble royal bastards can bring to the realm. So when Rhaegar first made off with Lyanna, his first thought, along with everyone else's, would have been fear (or joy, depending on Varys' motivations) that another bastard would soon be born -- and this only a few short years after finally seeing the last of the Blackfyres.

Then Ned returns from the ToJ with word of Lyanna's death, and thankfully the thousand rapes over those months did not result in a child. But when Ned the Honorable shows up at Winterfell with a bastard of his own from some unwashed commoner, Varys, supposedly one of the smartest men in the realm, doesn't even wonder about it?

The only other explanation is that Varys knows for a fact that Rhaegar and Lyanna were not actually together at the ToJ and that Jon is not actually a Targaryen -- perhaps a Hightower or a Dayne or a Whent. But if that is the case, why all the secrecy by Ned?

 

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31 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Doubtful he knows about Jon, or else he would most definitely have made it his business to keep an eye on him and there is no indication that he gave Jon a second thought.

This was probably Varys' biggest boner. First, he knows as well as anyone who much trouble royal bastards can bring to the realm. So when Rhaegar first made off with Lyanna, his first thought, along with everyone else's, would have been fear (or joy, depending on Varys' motivations) that another bastard would soon be born -- and this only a few short years after finally seeing the last of the Blackfyres.

Then Ned returns from the ToJ with word of Lyanna's death, and thankfully the thousand rapes over those months did not result in a child. But when Ned the Honorable shows up at Winterfell with a bastard of his own from some unwashed commoner, Varys, supposedly one of the smartest men in the realm, doesn't even wonder about it?

The only other explanation is that Varys knows for a fact that Rhaegar and Lyanna were not actually together at the ToJ and that Jon is not actually a Targaryen -- perhaps a Hightower or a Dayne or a Whent. But if that is the case, why all the secrecy by Ned?

Hence, the need for the cover story with House Dayne and Wylla. 

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I think Varys suspects R+L=J. but has no proof, and Ned isn't giving him anything to work with.  Ned also isn't giving him anything to worry about either.  I expect Varys has informers at all the major castles, so would be able to keep track of Ned and Jon.

Of course, nobody else has any proof, either. Without proof, even if Howland Reed tells Jon, or anyone else about it, it will be hard for Jon, or anyone else, to do anything about it.

 

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23 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Hence, the need for the cover story with House Dayne and Wylla. 

Exactly, it was a brilliant move on Ned's part: a cover story for the cover story covering the truth. But even so, a supposedly smart guy like Varys should have thought for just a moment, "whew, good thing there's not another royal bastard, only the one Ned fathered... wait a minute."

Too bad Ned couldn't keep up that level of subterfuge when he became Hand. I'm wondering if Ned didn't even concoct the Ashara Dayne part of the lie. Mayhaps she faked her own death because she saw that the story as is was too transparent.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/8/2017 at 11:30 AM, Cornchowder said:

Was he in a position to know if R+L=J? if not, then only Howland can confirm it.

don't forget Rheagar's squire, Richard Lonmouth, the knight of skulls and kisses, Lem Lemoncloak...

And potentially anyone using magic, looking through a Weirwood's, into a fire, or whatnot.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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15 hours ago, Nevets said:

I think Varys suspects R+L=J. but has no proof, and Ned isn't giving him anything to work with.  Ned also isn't giving him anything to worry about either.  I expect Varys has informers at all the major castles, so would be able to keep track of Ned and Jon.

Of course, nobody else has any proof, either. Without proof, even if Howland Reed tells Jon, or anyone else about it, it will be hard for Jon, or anyone else, to do anything about it.

 

The question is why he suspects.  Why should he have any knowledge about what Ned was doing?  Only Ned and Howland Reed survive.

Lets not make Varys more omniscient than he is.  We know how he gathers secrets - he rips the tongues out of small children and makes the crawl around inside the walls of the Red Keep.  All his other "sources" are Illyrio for Essosi news, and traditional informants/merchants/rumor mongers for other areas.  That the Red Keep and King's Landing are the beating political heart of Westeros means he hears most of the important Westerosi plotting.

He has no way of knowing what happened at the Tower of Joy.  Ned has never spoken of it, and Howland Reed is a fairly minor, poor, backwater Lord.

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Tyrions parentage:

Quote

A Clash of Kings - Tyrion XI

Tyrion sighed. "Who's the traitor today?"
 
The eunuch handed him a scroll. "So much villainy, it sings a sad song for our age. Did honor die with our fathers?"
 
"My father is not dead yet." Tyrion scanned the list. "I know some of these names. These are rich men. Traders, merchants, craftsmen. Why should they conspire against us?"

 

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50 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

Lets not make Varys more omniscient than he is.  We know how he gathers secrets - he rips the tongues out of small children and makes the crawl around inside the walls of the Red Keep.  All his other "sources" are Illyrio for Essosi news, and traditional informants/merchants/rumor mongers for other areas.  That the Red Keep and King's Landing are the beating political heart of Westeros means he hears most of the important Westerosi plotting.

 He uses traditional informants, even in KL.  Dontos told Sansa that he sells Varys what he overheard as a fool, and suspects that Moon Boy has been doing so for years.

52 minutes ago, cpg2016 said:

He has no way of knowing what happened at the Tower of Joy.  Ned has never spoken of it, and Howland Reed is a fairly minor, poor, backwater Lord.

He knows that Rhaegar made off with Lyanna, that she was under his control for about a year, and that she died near the end of the war.  And he knows that Ned showed up with a convenient bastard son of just the right age to be Rhaegar and Lyanna's.  This is all stuff that is pretty much common knowledge.

A smart and suspicious man like Varys could figure out the possibility of a fake history for the baby.  But he can only speculate, as there is no real evidence, much less proof.  And with Ned's demonstrated lack of interest in politics, there is no real risk of Jon being used as a figurehead by Targaryen loyalists, which would be his main concern..

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30 minutes ago, SiSt said:

Tyrions parentage:

 

Great call...

3 minutes ago, Nevets said:

 He uses traditional informants, even in KL.  Dontos told Sansa that he sells Varys what he overheard as a fool, and suspects that Moon Boy has been doing so for years.

I don't care how many traditional informants he does use, there is nothing traditional about cutting the tongues out of kids and using them to spy.

Also, he can, you know, change his face... to the extent that Ned rubbing it feels stubble and isn't fooled, nothing normal about that disguise...

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12 minutes ago, Nevets said:

 He uses traditional informants, even in KL.  Dontos told Sansa that he sells Varys what he overheard as a fool, and suspects that Moon Boy has been doing so for years.

He knows that Rhaegar made off with Lyanna, that she was under his control for about a year, and that she died near the end of the war.  And he knows that Ned showed up with a convenient bastard son of just the right age to be Rhaegar and Lyanna's.  This is all stuff that is pretty much common knowledge.

A smart and suspicious man like Varys could figure out the possibility of a fake history for the baby.  But he can only speculate, as there is no real evidence, much less proof.  And with Ned's demonstrated lack of interest in politics, there is no real risk of Jon being used as a figurehead by Targaryen loyalists, which would be his main concern..

Right, sorry, I should not have implied that he has no reason to suspect anything, but the baby looks like a Stark, and there is no overt reason to doubt Ned's word on this.

If it comes to a choice between fAegon and Jon, well... one looks like a Targaryen, and the other doesn't.  And moreover, one has Jon Connington and this whole fairy tale story, while the other has been known as a Stark bastard for almost two decades.  Varys wouldn't view Jon to be much of a threat to his plans, I don't think.

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10 minutes ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Great call...

I don't care how many traditional informants he does use, there is nothing traditional about cutting the tongues out of kids and using them to spy.

Also, he can, you know, change his face... to the extent that Ned rubbing it feels stubble and isn't fooled, nothing normal about that disguise...

Wait... Ned was touching him? 

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17 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Wait... Ned was touching him? 

I'm not going to judge, Varys was thirsty

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