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Gink

Varys Blackfyre hint?

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Posted (edited)

I`ve just started a reread, and I noticed something as Cat and Ser Rodrik is approaching Kings Lnding in the tyroshi galley. I`m sorry if this has been brought up, but I`ve spent the last couple years reading old threads (on page 450ish in this section of the forum now) and can`t recall seeing it mentioned.

Cat is standing by the railing and is thinking about KL and the Red Keep, and here`s the part that caught my eye:

"Aegon the Conqueror had commanded it built (Red Keep). His son Maegor the Cruel had seen it completed. Afterwards he had taken the head of every stonemason, woodworker, and builder who had labored on it (after a great feast).

Only the blood of the dragon would ever know the secrets of the fortress the Dragonlords had built, he vowed."

Might this be a hint of Varys being a Blackfyre as so many theorize? As we know, Varys do know the secrets of the Red Keep, and I`m no talking about actual secrets (whispers), but the hidden and secret tunnels and all that. I can`t think of anyone who knows the fortress as he does.

Anyways, I don`t know what I think of the whole fAegon Blackfyre theory, but this might be something to consider.

Edited by Gink

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Yep, this has been noted. Along with theorising that perhaps Varys was castrated as means to end the male line, and a couple of others, like, Varys actively working on bringing the Targs down.

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Posted (edited)

Personal opinion on this. I don't take it as anything more than a saying. Larys Strong seemed to know the passages below the Red Keep as well and he had no Targaryen blood.

Edited by Alexis-something-Rose

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I think Varys' cunning is more likely to have allowed him to figure out its secrets, and even he probably doesn't know them all at all.

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Or a Targaryen. Black or red a dragon is still a dragon. 

Or maybe a Brightflame. 

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Considering that Strongs and Lysene whores actually do seem to know the secrets of the Red Keep much better than the blood of the dragon I'm not sure how much actual merit quotes like that have. They seem to give the royal family a level of knowledge pretty much none of them besides Maegor the Cruel ever had - the gang during the Dance, neither Rhaenyra's nor Aegon II's ilk, give any indication they had special knowledge about the secret passages in their own castle.

That would mean that Varys would have gotten his 'special knowledge' the same 'magical way' Larys Strong got his - likely by means of getting the office. One assumes the secrets of the castle get uploaded into the brain of each Master of Whisperers ;-).

After all, the only way Varys could know stuff would be by actually consulting Maegor's maps and documents - but if such maps and documents exist then pretty much anyone can have knowledge about those secrets. At least those who have access to them. And that would be many people, especially in the royal family and the government.

And Varys wouldn't have gotten his special knowledge from his parents or other ancestors but rather from Aerys II or his staff once he was made Master of Whisperers.

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For some reason paranoid madman had very strong reason(s) to hire Varys. Naturally it would be nice to know what those reason(s) were ?

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Considering that Strongs and Lysene whores actually do seem to know the secrets of the Red Keep much better than the blood of the dragon I'm not sure how much actual merit quotes like that have. They seem to give the royal family a level of knowledge pretty much none of them besides Maegor the Cruel ever had - the gang during the Dance, neither Rhaenyra's nor Aegon II's ilk, give any indication they had special knowledge about the secret passages in their own castle.

That would mean that Varys would have gotten his 'special knowledge' the same 'magical way' Larys Strong got his - likely by means of getting the office. One assumes the secrets of the castle get uploaded into the brain of each Master of Whisperers ;-).

After all, the only way Varys could know stuff would be by actually consulting Maegor's maps and documents - but if such maps and documents exist then pretty much anyone can have knowledge about those secrets. At least those who have access to them. And that would be many people, especially in the royal family and the government.

And Varys wouldn't have gotten his special knowledge from his parents or other ancestors but rather from Aerys II or his staff once he was made Master of Whisperers.

The way to interpret the line isn't that Varys is getting his knowledge of the passages from any sort of actual magical ability; it's just a little subtle hint at his possible heritage. Keep in mind that this line is from the same chapter where Varys makes his first appearance. Obviously he hasn't actually gotten his knowledge of the passages from any Targaryen/Blackfyre heritage, but putting that line just a few pages before Varys shows up is definitely not an accident.

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7 minutes ago, KuwabaraTheMan said:

The way to interpret the line isn't that Varys is getting his knowledge of the passages from any sort of actual magical ability; it's just a little subtle hint at his possible heritage. Keep in mind that this line is from the same chapter where Varys makes his first appearance. Obviously he hasn't actually gotten his knowledge of the passages from any Targaryen/Blackfyre heritage, but putting that line just a few pages before Varys shows up is definitely not an accident.

Just so. 

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It may be a hint, but as with most hints provided by Martin, its not decisive. We could explain Varys knowledge by the fact that he is a smart and elusive figure who gradually uncovered Red Keep's secrets. Other explanation - even if he is a Blackfyre, then how would he know secrets of the Red Keep? Who and how would tell him about it? Was it a secret transmitted to all successive Targaryens/Blackfyres? I doubt it. Same as I doubt that Daenerys or Viserys knew anything about it.

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Posted (edited)

This doesn’t necessarily mean anything because Varys lived in KL to explore the red keep and in F&B it is confirmed you don’t have to be Targ to know about the keep either.

Edited by Crona

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8 hours ago, KuwabaraTheMan said:

The way to interpret the line isn't that Varys is getting his knowledge of the passages from any sort of actual magical ability; it's just a little subtle hint at his possible heritage. Keep in mind that this line is from the same chapter where Varys makes his first appearance. Obviously he hasn't actually gotten his knowledge of the passages from any Targaryen/Blackfyre heritage, but putting that line just a few pages before Varys shows up is definitely not an accident.

It could also be just a hint that some misguided Targaryen trusted him too much. Because it is rather ridiculous now to assume that the Targaryens knew crap about the secrets of the Red Keep. If that were the case Alicent and Helaena had disappeared with Aegon II and the children, not to mention that nobody would have surprised Alicent and Helaena in the Tower of the Hand.

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8 hours ago, KuwabaraTheMan said:

The way to interpret the line isn't that Varys is getting his knowledge of the passages from any sort of actual magical ability; it's just a little subtle hint at his possible heritage. Keep in mind that this line is from the same chapter where Varys makes his first appearance. Obviously he hasn't actually gotten his knowledge of the passages from any Targaryen/Blackfyre heritage, but putting that line just a few pages before Varys shows up is definitely not an accident.

Varys has been in King's Landing for 20 years. He's had plenty time to go exploring. 

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Just now, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Varys has been in King's Landing for 20 years. He's had plenty time to go exploring. 

Varys knows stuff you don't know from 'exploring'. He does not only know where the tunnels are, he also has keys to the locked doors and he knows why certain things were built the way they were (the four dungeon levels, for instance). This is not something you learn or have by way of exploring. Varys even knows that there is a single secret passage leading out of Maegor's Holdfast to get the king to safety which is unconnected to any of the other tunnels because Maegor did not want anyone to spy on/attack him in his residence. This is especially not something people know who have just explored.

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4 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Varys knows stuff you don't know from 'exploring'. He does not only know where the tunnels are, he also has keys to the locked doors and he knows why certain things were built the way they were (the four dungeon levels, for instance). This is not something you learn or have by way of exploring. Varys even knows that there is a single secret passage leading out of Maegor's Holdfast to get the king to safety which is unconnected to any of the other tunnels because Maegor did not want anyone to spy on/attack him in his residence. This is especially not something people know who have just explored.

Username checks out...

On a serious note, would Varys Blackfyre be the ideal outcome for you as someone who clearly has a special love for Varys? He's two days ride into the warm side of meh for me, personally, but I think that is also why some people are so drawn to him. I think my mental barrier came from waiting for years for more substantial and visible impact to the story from him that has yet to be fully realized. Just my opinion and I'm certain that it will change by the end of the books.

I suppose I added that bit to my question because the show fate of Varys represents precisely my fear for that character: unrealized potential largely due to the fact that his impact to the story has purposefully been kept out of the light of exposition. I guess I'm setting my expectations low for such an amazing character until some of his purposefully off-screen stuff starts getting a bit more of that light. Not because I'm a lazy reader (I fancy that I'm the opposite) but because, for me, it segregates his impact to the story and him as a person (again, I know this is purposeful, which is why my opinion is purely provisional.) Thought I'd ask since you seem to be a slight fan...

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

It could also be just a hint that some misguided Targaryen trusted him too much. Because it is rather ridiculous now to assume that the Targaryens knew crap about the secrets of the Red Keep. If that were the case Alicent and Helaena had disappeared with Aegon II and the children, not to mention that nobody would have surprised Alicent and Helaena in the Tower of the Hand.

Yes, I'm not saying that the Targaryens actually know anything about the secrets. I'm saying that the line is a hint from GRRM that Varys has Targaryen heritage. Not because there any actual connection between the two, but as a kind of subtle little hint of throwing that line in the very same chapter we meet the one character in the main series who seems to know everything about the secrets of the Red Keep.

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3 hours ago, Demetri said:

Username checks out...

On a serious note, would Varys Blackfyre be the ideal outcome for you as someone who clearly has a special love for Varys? He's two days ride into the warm side of meh for me, personally, but I think that is also why some people are so drawn to him. I think my mental barrier came from waiting for years for more substantial and visible impact to the story from him that has yet to be fully realized. Just my opinion and I'm certain that it will change by the end of the books.

Well, I chose the Varys name to actually hint at a personal character trait of mine, i.e. the obsession of knowing pretty much everything there is to know about fictional content I bother to discuss online. I like Varys' subtlety and I admire him for rise to the top of the food chain against overwhelming odds to the contrary, but he isn't necessarily my favorite character.

'Varys Blackfyre' definitely isn't a thing, though. Illyrio told us that House Blackfyre is extinct in the male line, and if that's true then there is no man left who is born a Blackfyre. There could be some such woman around but not a man. If Varys has Targaryen or Blackfyre connections he is more likely to be some bastard rather than the legitimate son of a Targaryen prince (Aerion's son Maegor could be his father) or Blackfyre daughter.

The Blackfyre family tree seems to be rather intricate but it is completely silly to assume that Aerys II would have not realized that Varys is a son of cousin Maegor (and he would have to be a son, considering that Maegor was only born in 232 AC) or some descendant of Daemon III, Daemon (IV), Maelys, or one of the other Blackfyre sons. Considering how much trouble the Blackfyres were it seems very unlikely that Bloodraven and Aegon V didn't put their spy network on all the Blackfyres in exile and their movements, meaning that information about proper marriages and children born in such marriages would have been reported and discussed at court exactly the same way Dany/Drogo were discussed at Robert's court.

3 hours ago, Demetri said:

I suppose I added that bit to my question because the show fate of Varys represents precisely my fear for that character: unrealized potential largely due to the fact that his impact to the story has purposefully been kept out of the light of exposition. I guess I'm setting my expectations low for such an amazing character until some of his purposefully off-screen stuff starts getting a bit more of that light. Not because I'm a lazy reader (I fancy that I'm the opposite) but because, for me, it segregates his impact to the story and him as a person (again, I know this is purposeful, which is why my opinion is purely provisional.) Thought I'd ask since you seem to be a slight fan...

We can be reasonably certain that Varys is going to return to the spotlight in the books to come, to a degree we have never seen before. We must understand what he is about and there is tremendous potential for him in future interactions with Aegon, Illyrio (who has promised to come to KL once Aegon sits the Iron Throne), Connington (who apparently has scores to settle with Varys), Arianne, and all the others. Considering that Varys is the guy who saved Aegon from certain death - at least in the version of the story we know - he should become a very prominent person at the court of a King Aegon VI. A good comparison would be the position of Larys Strong after Aegon II's restoration to the Iron Throne in 131 AC - which means he is going to run the show behind the scenes to a very high degree.

Varys and Illyrio and Arianne are likely also going to play crucial roles in the events leading up to the Second Dance. Whether he is going to stick with 'the lad' or end up betraying him to Daenerys we really have to wait and see. It would depend, I'd think, on Aegon's actual quality as a king. And we don't know that yet. In my opinion Varys' desire to create a monarch who can bring lasting peace and prosperity and social reforms (the type Aegon V wanted to accomplish) is more important to him than whatever loyalty he might feel to Aegon as a person.

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On 5/21/2019 at 10:20 PM, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Personal opinion on this. I don't take it as anything more than a saying. Larys Strong seemed to know the passages below the Red Keep as well and he had no Targaryen blood.

Oh i certainly think its just a saying, “in-universe.” But as readers I think we can take it as a hint (along with other hints) that Varys has some Dragon ancestry. I don’t for a second believe that being blood of the dragon magically gives him intimate knowledge of the tunnels. More likely that comes from 20+ years in the capital combined with his early life experiences priming him for such exploring and memory

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2 hours ago, KuwabaraTheMan said:

Yes, I'm not saying that the Targaryens actually know anything about the secrets. I'm saying that the line is a hint from GRRM that Varys has Targaryen heritage. Not because there any actual connection between the two, but as a kind of subtle little hint of throwing that line in the very same chapter we meet the one character in the main series who seems to know everything about the secrets of the Red Keep.

Yes, that's exactly what I ment in the OP too, I should have been more clear.

I never ment to imply there might be a magical connection between Targ blood and knowing secrets if the Red Keep.

Also, we see Varys, through Aryas POV, in those same tunnels not too long after, escorting Illyrio. Though, we don't know at the time it's acctually Varys.

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5 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Oh i certainly think its just a saying, “in-universe.” But as readers I think we can take it as a hint (along with other hints) that Varys has some Dragon ancestry. I don’t for a second believe that being blood of the dragon magically gives him intimate knowledge of the tunnels. More likely that comes from 20+ years in the capital combined with his early life experiences priming him for such exploring and memory

In light of our new information on this I'd say this is too much of a stretch. I'd say one can take that as a hint that Varys is somehow connected to the Targaryens/dragons but not more. And that is sort of entailed in the fact that he works with Illyrio for a Targaryen restoration of some sort as well as in the fact that he is a seemingly loyal member of the old guard, a man who owes his position on the Small Council to King Aerys II Targaryen, and not Robert Baratheon or his successors.

In that sense he is more like Barristan Selmy (although the man would never agree with that), and there is no reason to assume that he is related to the Targaryens despite the fact that he should know much about their secrets, too.

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