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Varys, Illyrio, GC and the "Plan"


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6 minutes ago, frenin said:

-That's nearly not enough to gather the info you want him to have, as Varys himself relies.

Also and this is obvious, the further he gets from his base, the harder it is. I find it incredibly difficult to believe Varys has a reliable network from places as distant as Winterfell or Pyke.

And he'd also would be lying to Jon Arryn most of the time, so i don't really see how that's that relevant honestly.

 

-When i mean court, i mean every public and honestly private act a king is doing. Robert is only alone when talking to Ned (and more often than not the Kingsguard isn't there in those instances), when dining with his family or during the small council reunions (only Barri is there). If not he's always surrounded by (lots) people. Especialy at times he's whoring and drinking.

  1. So it's pretty much impossible that Jaime can actually just kill Robert, unless someone were to drop the news to Robert in a moment he's alone with Jaime or just with two people. 
  2. Being in Cersei's good graces and actively murdering your king are two very different things you tend to conflate easily.
  3. Cersei did not know what Ned was aware of until Ned himseld told her and Ned told her the way he did because neither Robert nor Jaime were there. Ned is worried  about the children's wellbeing, not Jaime's. 

 

-1)How would they not be discovered if they just kill the king publicly lol?

2Why and how are the Lannister troops the only force in the city that is coordinated and lucky enough to be all together in one place? Isn't that a bit convenient?

 

-They are very much unpopular but inmoral pragmatism wins, btw the Westerosi lords use them in small amounts, an army of dozens of thousands of foreign sellswords are a very much new sight in Westerps.

 

 

 

-No, neither Illyrio, nor JonCon nor many of the captains of the Golden Company themselves wanted to invade Westeros, they were banking on waiting for Drogon to come. It is Aegon who actually convinces them to invade.

If Viserys had had Illyrio's backing but the reluctance of the Golden Company to commit to an invasion, he'd have failed to get them on because well, he's Viserys.

 

-We keep adding people Varys isn't in contact with...

 

-with a decent sized network of non little bird spies and 20 or so years to gather info yes its very plausible  , probably focusing on lords who were pro targ in the rebellion, known ones of ? Loyalty (boltons, freys, crownlanders )  or ones robert may have pissed off with his behaviour (a drunken remark or bedding a daughter here and there) , as we know his end game it wouldnt make any sense of he wasnt searching for potential allies all over the 7 kingdoms they mean to rule.

Bottom line hes the master of whispers for him to have 0 spies in a region would be utterly bizzare. His little birds operate mainly out of kl and essos yes  but its not unimaginable to have him send an agent with a few of them to get hard info on a suspected potential.allies thoughts, they wont have the same secret tunnel network but he  has trained them as burglars and copiers of documents etc

-his whoring and drinking seems a largely private affair, im sure if cersei knew she needed to hit 1st theyd ensure it was a time when hes alone/min company ...hell as KG jamie could even stab him on the toilet.

Varys says they are her creatures, they follow her not robert probably given they are corrupt  as shes the rich one

But yes  agreed if ned gets there 1st and blabs all  jamies  fucked BUat we were talking varys plot so we can assume that once it kicks off varys will ensure the lannisters arent the ones caught lacking if only to escape the city and if possible killing robert,stannis or renly etc..his plan needs the chaos and there cant be war if all tywins kids are caught and hostage from day 1

Nope as we see clearly  the stark household  forces were all holed up in one area as would the lannsiters, small groups would go out to accompany any member leaving their area but generaly therest of  forces will be all in one area together....if their lord flees theyl all do so together .....in fact as we know  renly and his sizeable entourage did too!!!

-they seem to be growing sight (bear in mind the next step of military evolution for the feudal westerosi is professional merc forces) i agree  they will need plenty of.local support to actualy HOLD power yes as the sellswords are rented but they can def help get the win which can be all that matters as we see time and again  many local lords may defect  after a loss

-dont really think viserys had ilyrios backing them 

-we are specualting  on varys + ilyrios plan to rule the 7 kingoms through faegon..thus it wouldnt make sense if he utterly ignored one of said kingdoms  no? Given the feckless greedy  nature of the pirates a solid info stream from them shouldnt be too hard , hell balon himself knows he needs to stip all ships leaving to prevent leaks of his upcomming attack from his people!! Balons planned attack seems.unlikely to have suprised varys esp given the size of their fleet and the fact  that faegon and his forces must come across the water at some point so  theyd of course moniter one of the 2 major westerosi naval powers closely!!!

 

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52 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

-with a decent sized network of non little bird spies and 20 or so years to gather info yes its very plausible  , probably focusing on lords who were pro targ in the rebellion, known ones of ? Loyalty (boltons, freys, crownlanders )  or ones robert may have pissed off with his behaviour (a drunken remark or bedding a daughter here and there) , as we know his end game it wouldnt make any sense of he wasnt searching for potential allies all over the 7 kingdoms they mean to rule.

It is not, as we're told there are  obvious limits to the "decent sized network and 20 years or so of info gathering".

And the most he'd get anyway is that save for a few far and in between die hard Darrys most lords would favour the strong.

And at the end of the day, even after the coalition completely collapsed, he still had to kill Kevan because otherwise Aegon would have lost, I mean... So either all the potential would be allies had died or they would not be so eager to turn on their bosses.

 

57 minutes ago, astarkchoice said:

-his whoring and drinking seems a largely private affair, im sure if cersei knew she needed to hit 1st theyd ensure it was a time when hes alone/min company ...hell as KG jamie could even stab him on the toilet.

It's a private affair with no Kingsguard involved.

There's a path for Cersei to be succesful, we're reading that path, it's just not the likely one. Sure if Cersei thought she needed to hit first... and if Robert...

It makes little sense if we're discussing the possibilities of this or that outcome trying to give a side every advantage and negating every other one to the other, no matter the likelihood.

At that point we are discussing each other's fanfics and that's not exciting at all lol.

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

Varys says they are her creatures, they follow her not robert probably given they are corrupt  as shes the rich one

Varys also says that Cersei can just make venomous serpents to kill Robert.

Again, there's a difference between it's convenient for them to follow her to "they'll kill Robert for her"

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

But yes  agreed if ned gets there 1st and blabs all  jamies  fucked BUat we were talking varys plot so we can assume that once it kicks off varys will ensure the lannisters arent the ones caught lacking if only to escape the city and if possible killing robert,stannis or renly etc..his plan needs the chaos and there cant be war if all tywins kids are caught and hostage from day 1

His plan needs Robert to turn on the Lannisters, not necessarily that Cersei and Jaime survive, in fact i'd say that Robert swiftly killing the twins all but ensure war with Tywin.

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

Nope as we see clearly  the stark household  forces were all holed up in one area as would the lannsiters, small groups would go out to accompany any member leaving their area but generaly therest of  forces will be all in one area together....if their lord flees theyl all do so together .....in fact as we know  renly and his sizeable entourage did too!!!

The Stark household was very small...

And Renly was preparing himself to fight or flight since the boar got Robert, hee'd have time to prep his entourage for this or that option. You're proposing for the Lannister to just kill Robert and then fight their way outside the city, that's a sudden act. There's no preparation or coordination there.

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

-they seem to be growing sight (bear in mind the next step of military evolution for the feudal westerosi is professional merc forces) i agree  they will need plenty of.local support to actualy HOLD power yes as the sellswords are rented but they can def help get the win which can be all that matters as we see time and again  many local lords may defect  after a loss

Dunno, Golden Company is the most sizeable sellsword army the country has seen in its soil and that was almost entirely Westerosi.

And yeah, it might serve them well, it can also be a huge liability. Jorah believed it was the latter but we have no way of telling honestly.

 

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

-dont really think viserys had ilyrios backing them 

Don't really think it matters.

It was Aegon's words what finally sways the Golden Company, not Illyrio's backing.

But in fairness to Viserys, he did not have a war torn and leaderless country ripe for invasion Aegon has, the Golden Company was not going to invade while Tywin lived (Varys's crossbow would no doubt remedy that).

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

-we are specualting  on varys + ilyrios plan to rule the 7 kingoms through faegon..thus it wouldnt make sense if he utterly ignored one of said kingdoms  no?

I'd say they ignored plenty of kingdoms not named Reach or Riverlands.

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

Given the feckless greedy  nature of the pirates a solid info stream from them shouldnt be too hard

The fact that they are on the wrong side of the continents and given the distances we're talking about, the "solid info stream" is more likely a broken phone game than anything.

 

1 hour ago, astarkchoice said:

Balons planned attack seems.unlikely to have suprised varys esp given the size of their fleet and the fact  that faegon and his forces must come across the water at some point so  theyd of course moniter one of the 2 major westerosi naval powers closely!!!

Dunno why would they monitor the Ironborn, there's little to nothing the Ironborn, or the Redwyne fleet for that matter, can do prevent a landing, it'd take them close to half a month to reach the Narrow Sea.

Varys says nothing about Balon, how can we tell he's not surprised by it? There is no point of dabbling in ad consequentiams. I don't think that Varys is incompetent but i do not believe him Batman and i don't think it's fun or constructive ignoring every hurdle by saying he's had prep time and he's Varys.

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-dont thinkwel agree here,  at best hes bloodraven minus magic at worst he picks up a few spare lords here and there (whic is better than none! Id say)  somewhere inbetween would probably  be about right given the time and effort hes put in.

-we're talking inital plan though by that time whatever the plan was its been altered on the fly multiple times! Kevan has to go and cersi back to maybe forcing a tyrell lannsiter war herself etc faegon has already crossed and so far theyve kept it quiet so he can gain a foothold unmolested.

-its hard to say really ....both she and varys have people following ned and other lords of interest at all times around kl. Id very much doubt varys little birds werent listening to ned and robert alone given  they talk where his spies can hear them through walls.  Overall id say if ned and robert did have THAT talk alone  varys would be sure cersei and/or jamie was warned! 

Im not sure the 2 would kill the king just not stop jamie from doing it! Skillwise we know its takes fuck load of determined adverage knights to stop the guy when he wants to kill someome...as robb would find out! Thus if robert is largely alone and ser barristan isnt there then 2-3 bog standard KG or men at arms are just warming up his stabbing arm  before it hits another king!

Id say overall varys planwise hed be more likely to ensure robert dies than jamie or cersei

 

-stark household was adverage sized man he just kept giving or sending men off (or having jamie + the boys kill a few) until it was smaller rhan the lannsiter contingent BUT generaly a lord will stay in a  building and his men live in that one (and surroundimg ones) , renlys the same thus when said lord runs unless the city guard is well prepped  to block routes out of that lords  then they are getting out ...justice and rule of law is only for poor people.

 

-the golden companys officers are largely westerosi the rest will be essosi born and bred just as most sellsword companies are.

Overall the proof seems to be stannis...if hes willing to use 20k or more to retake his crown and feels theres no issue  the thats it .....now he is desperate but doesnt seem.to think itl be a.problem after victory at all.

 

-yeah at that stage it was just gc and maybe some dothraki..maybe  vs a united westeros  so no wonder they laughed at a.prince with a claim but barely enough food to eat.

-they may have ignored dorne as it was a lock for faegon but theyd def have spies eslewbere esp in  what is clearly a future  'enemy' camp

-itd move as fast ds most info does. They cant block the crossing (unlesd rheh k5⁵ but their navy (and the 20-25k, men) still has strategic importance no?

Edited by astarkchoice
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About Varys and his network:

He seemed to be unaware of the catspaw and the dagger, and even Catelyn's trip to Kings Landing, until her arrival.  He apparently learned about the dagger from an overheard conversation between Ser Rodrick and Aron Santagar.

He knew about Catelyn's capture of Tyrion before Ned did, but I'm guessing there was an entire flock of ravens out after that event.

He admitted to Illyrio that he had no idea what Littlefinger was up to.

He found out about Jaime's escape/release a few days later.  I think the details were sketchy though.  He knew nothing about Jaime losing his hand.

From all this I would guess that his network outside Kings Landing is sparse and limited to publicly available information.  Doesn't sound like he has highly placed sources in the provinces.

He seems to have Kings Landing nailed down though.  He testified at Tyrion's trial about conversations Tyrion had thought were private.  His little birds seem to have access to many hidden passageways, and are probably all over the bars and restaurants.  He even has entertainers like Dontos and Moon Boy working for him.

If he's going to get information about political preferences, it would probably be done during large events in Kings Landing, like tournaments.  It's a convenient time for Lords to meet and talk about stuff, which can then potentially be overheard.

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1 hour ago, Nevets said:

About Varys and his network:

He seemed to be unaware of the catspaw and the dagger, and even Catelyn's trip to Kings Landing, until her arrival.  He apparently learned about the dagger from an overheard conversation between Ser Rodrick and Aron Santagar.

He knew about Catelyn's capture of Tyrion before Ned did, but I'm guessing there was an entire flock of ravens out after that event.

He admitted to Illyrio that he had no idea what Littlefinger was up to.

He found out about Jaime's escape/release a few days later.  I think the details were sketchy though.  He knew nothing about Jaime losing his hand.

From all this I would guess that his network outside Kings Landing is sparse and limited to publicly available information.  Doesn't sound like he has highly placed sources in the provinces.

He seems to have Kings Landing nailed down though.  He testified at Tyrion's trial about conversations Tyrion had thought were private.  His little birds seem to have access to many hidden passageways, and are probably all over the bars and restaurants.  He even has entertainers like Dontos and Moon Boy working for him.

If he's going to get information about political preferences, it would probably be done during large events in Kings Landing, like tournaments.  It's a convenient time for Lords to meet and talk about stuff, which can then potentially be overheard.

 

 To be fair The dagger and catspaw stuff cat kept limited to herself and a few others the  took the fastest boat she could to kl , we know from the innkeeper -tyrion incident she travelled in disguise that only tyriom worked out wn, jamie and brienne were  pretty sneaky too

Lf is as much a player of the spy  game as varys so itl be  hard to find anything of his plans..he,cersei and varys all have men watch each other constsntly.in kl, hel prob keep to his own brothels and taverns (thus avoiding thr secŕ plus as master of his own destiny has almsot no one to write or speak to on  things making spying on him a nightmare

 

Good point about the tourneys !  overall id say his littlebird burglars stick to kl and its secret passages hence why its soo sewn up, regualr spies  for the rest  of westeros with maybe some of the the birds visting a lord of interest to the cause!

Edited by astarkchoice
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In Eddard VII, Game 30, Varys visits Eddard in disguise and plies him with information. When Eddard asks why Varys has come to him now, Varys responds that he only learned with certainty that morning that Eddard was loyal to the realm rather than to himself. That morning, Eddard talked his friend Robert out of fighting in the melee of the Hand's Tourney, which Varys said, Cersei had goaded him into.

Really? Is that why Varys approached Eddard in that fashion? 

Varys had to know from his meeting with Petyr and Catelyn, and Eddard's discovery of Gendry, that Petyr was "aiding" Eddard in his investigation of Jon Arryn's assassination and the attempt on Bran's life. He knew that Eddard had stumbled on the lineage book from Pycelle, and that he was asking questions after Jon Arryn's remaining retainers. 

Now, here's the interesting thing... Catelyn captured Tyrion at the Crossroads Inn and Daenerys became pregnant. We know that Varys knew these things within a couple of days, when Arya overhears part of his meeting with Illyrio, but we don't know exactly when he found out these things.

Is it possible that Varys learned these two things (the catnapping and Daenerys's pregnancy) before he visited Eddard in disguise? And maybe that's the real reason he visited The Ned? 

We know that Varys does not want Eddard to discover the truth of the twincest, right? Illyrio and Varys do want to provoke a war between Lannister and Stark, just not yet, right? Because they don't want the war to start until Viserys is ready to join the Golden Company with fifty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back, right? 

In Eddard VIII, Game 33, a day or two after Varys found out that Catelyn had kidnapped Tyrion, and the day after The Ned found out, Varys advised the Small Council that Daenerys was pregnant.

At this point, Varys and Eddard both know that Catelyn has captured Tyrion, but neither says anything of it during the king's meeting with the small council to discuss Daenerys's pregnancy. Why not? Why doesn't Varys tell king and council about Catelyn's capture of Tyrion? 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean
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1 hour ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

In Eddard VII, Game 30, Varys visits Eddard in disguise and plies him with information. When Eddard asks why Varys has come to him now, Varys responds that he only learned with certainty that morning that Eddard was loyal to the realm rather than to himself. That morning, Eddard talked his friend Robert out of fighting in the melee of the Hand's Tourney, which Varys said, Cersei had goaded him into.

Really? Is that why Varys approached Eddard in that fashion? 

Varys had to know from his meeting with Petyr and Catelyn, and Eddard's discovery of Gendry, that Petyr was "aiding" Eddard in his investigation of Jon Arryn's assassination and the attempt on Bran's life. He knew that Eddard had stumbled on the lineage book from Pycelle, and that he was asking questions after Jon Arryn's remaining retainers. 

Now, here's the interesting thing... Catelyn captured Tyrion at the Crossroads Inn and Daenerys became pregnant. We know that Varys knew these things within a couple of days, when Arya overhears part of his meeting with Illyrio, but we don't know exactly when he found out these things.

Is it possible that Varys learned these two things (the catnapping and Daenerys's pregnancy) before he visited Eddard in disguise? And maybe that's the real reason he visited The Ned? 

We know that Varys does not want Eddard to discover the truth of the twincest, right? Illyrio and Varys do want to provoke a war between Lannister and Stark, just not yet, right? Because they don't want the war to start until Viserys is ready to join the Golden Company with fifty thousand Dothraki screamers at his back, right? 

In Eddard VIII, Game 33, a day or two after Varys found out that Catelyn had kidnapped Tyrion, and the day after The Ned found out, Varys advised the Small Council that Daenerys was pregnant.

At this point, Varys and Eddard both know that Catelyn has captured Tyrion, but neither says anything of it during the king's meeting with the small council to discuss Daenerys's pregnancy. Why not? Why doesn't Varys tell king and council about Catelyn's capture of Tyrion? 

Varys also stood beside Petyr while he accused Tyrion and vowed that he lost the very blade to the Imp over a Jaime bet. 

If Robert and the SC properly address the situation then the Spider will be tangled in his web.

He wants the war, not yet maybe five minutes, but not yet, but soon. He's been dancing this jig since before he met Aerys so, what'd Illyrio say? Expect nothing less from a wizard?

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On 4/30/2023 at 10:56 PM, astarkchoice said:

Agreed he had 0 backing (seemingly)

The dorne proposed marriage alliance in bravos had grown cold, roberts regime had responded strongly and in unison to ironborm rebellion and thus by this stage vissrys and danys were just a  party attraction for rich bored essosi to talk about

Like Daemon in pentos?

Viserys could have led the GC to take KL while Westeros was picking on the Iron Islands but by then is Robert too strong?

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On 5/1/2023 at 11:09 AM, frenin said:

If Viserys had had Illyrio's backing but the reluctance of the Golden Company to commit to an invasion, he'd have failed to get them on because well, he's Viserys

The way I read Tristan Rivers, is that they would of joined Viserys because of Illyrio said so....not just because he had an army of Dothraki, otherwise they could of joined any Khal?

 

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32 minutes ago, CassDarry said:

The way I read Tristan Rivers, is that they would of joined Viserys because of Illyrio said so....not just because he had an army of Dothraki, otherwise they could of joined any Khal?

 

Why would they? They would be too few.

Besides, Drogo was the greatest Khal and the rest of the khals would be evem more reluctant to cross water.

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2 hours ago, CassDarry said:

Like Daemon in pentos?

Viserys could have led the GC to take KL while Westeros was picking on the Iron Islands but by then is Robert too strong?

Well yeah hes leading a force with stormlamders, reach, westerlands, crownlands, north, vale and riverlands...its be suicide to take that on with barely 10k men.

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2 hours ago, CassDarry said:

The way I read Tristan Rivers, is that they would of joined Viserys because of Illyrio said so....not just because he had an army of Dothraki, otherwise they could of joined any Khal?

 

Drogo is by far the strongest khal in a generation and to make it credible that dothraki would cross the sea  they need a marriage contract.

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22 hours ago, frenin said:

Why would they? They would be too few.

Besides, Drogo was the greatest Khal and the rest of the khals would be evem more reluctant to cross water.

I meant that if Viserys had an army of Dothraki, they wouldn't necessarily join him....due to his personality difficulties, the way I understood it was that they planned to join Viserys because that was the plan. Which would be why they didn't join him when Viserys feasted them. So I got from that they would plan to join him as long as illyrio said....although Young Griff persuaded them so maybe they don't follow illyrio as much as I thought.

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16 hours ago, CassDarry said:

I meant that if Viserys had an army of Dothraki, they wouldn't necessarily join him....due to his personality difficulties, the way I understood it was that they planned to join Viserys because that was the plan. Which would be why they didn't join him when Viserys feasted them. So I got from that they would plan to join him as long as illyrio said....although Young Griff persuaded them so maybe they don't follow illyrio as much as I thought.

Not just his personality difficulties but his physical difficulties. The Dothraki respect strength, strength that Viserys doesn't have.

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On 5/6/2023 at 1:34 PM, Angel Eyes said:

Not just his personality difficulties but his physical difficulties. The Dothraki respect strength, strength that Viserys doesn't have.

Very true, what we know of the Horse Lords, they follow strength....maybe if commanded they could follow someone less, I think there's something about how Khalasars break down with Ko's?

Also I meant the GC joining him not the Dothraki in this instance, I should of been more clear.

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On 5/3/2023 at 7:55 AM, Mithras said:

Catnapping was a later addition (and a contrived coincidence). Originally Cat was supposed to return to Winterfell. Maybe GRRM had not come up with this when he wrote the council scene.

 
 

Yes, the ENTIRE catspaw sequence is a very huge contrivance.

1) Joffrey decides to hire a man with to kill Bran with a Valyrian dagger just because he wants to impress his father. For some reason, that man doesn't report to the King about this insanity or runs away with the pricey dagger, but performs the act.  

2) Littlefinger takes a huge gamble of lying about the dagger's origin in front of Varys. (It's quite possible that Varys didn't know but this is still at the limits of believability)

3) Cat just happens to meet Tyrion at the Crossroads Inn (despite the geographical impossibility) and after he spots her, she takes him hostage (this actually makes sense)

 

Having Cersei steal his brother's (Tyrion's) non-Valyrian but distinct looking dagger and hire an assassin to silence Bran would have made infinitely more sense, but I guess originally GRRM planned to have Jaime as perpetrator.

If he really wanted Joffrey behind the act, he should have revealed it to Sansa at the end of AGOT, that would be at least a shocking twist.

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