Lord Varys is a man shrouded in mystery, though through this fog pours brilliant quotes about the power struggles that grip Game of Thrones. Here are the 17 best Game of Thrones quotes from Lord Varys.
1. “I am the master of whisperers. My role is to be sly, obsequious, and without scruples” – Lord Varys
Although you may need a dictionary for this quote, it does reveal Varys’ role in court; he is to be a servant willing to do anything and everything for the crown without people knowing what he’s up to. We learn early on in the series what Varys’ role will be and the use the crown has for him.
2. “The realm, my lord. Someone must” – Lord Varys
We’re unsure if we should believe Varys when Ned asks him who he serves and the eunuch replies with the Realm, but we’d like to. In the egotistical world where each person looks out only for themselves, no one is left to serve the people’s common interest, which Varys is claiming he does in this quote. His performance in later episodes of Game of Thrones indicates to us he really does serve the realm.
3. “North or South, they sing no songs for spiders” – Lord Varys
Varys reveals the thankless nature of his work, saying that in no corners of the realm (which he so often mentions is whom he serves) do they praise spiders. This quote shows how Lord Varys’ service is a thankless one.
4. “The first to arrive and the last to leave; I admire your industry” – Lord Varys
The Varys-Baelish relationship dynamic is one of my favorites in the whole show – two industrious men, both expert players at the game. Varys compliments Baelish’s work ethic with this quote we should all try to adhere to. This industrious quote from Lord Varys comes in Game of Thrones Season 1 Episode 5, and is one of his best in the series.
5. “My little birds are everywhere. Even in the North. They whisper to me, the strangest stories” – Lord Varys
Lord Varys reveals the extent of his spy network. He says this after impressively knowing that Catelyn Stark had come to King’s Landing bearing the dagger that was used in her son’s assassination attempt.
6. “Power is a curious thing, my lord… Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And, a very small man can cast a very large shadow” – Lord Varys
Varys’ riddle he poses to Tyrion right before this quote is supposed to extract from a person whether they value riches, favor with the gods, or a crown the most. Tyrion chooses not to answer, so Varys sums up with this quote – a very interesting way to view power. He uses the example of how, if a swordsman with the power of like and death in their hands truly holds power, why do we act like king’s are the ultimate rulers. This infamous Lord Varys quote comes in Season 2 Episode 3.
7. “You might be disappointed in the results. Storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling” – Lord Varys
Despite usually appearing like friends, Varys and Tyrion have a slightly dark moment. Tyrion tells Varys, openly, that he’ll have him thrown in the sea if he threatens Tyrion again. Varys doesn’t let this go unanswered, replying that he keeps on paddling among all of the conflicts and murders of Westeros and that this may not work out for The Hand. The Spider fights back in Season 2 Episode 2, and this quote shows Lord Varys can’t be stood on by those who consider themselves his superior.
8. “I became an excellent thief, and soon learned that the contents of a man’s letters are more valuable than the contents of his purse” – Lord Varys
Recalling how he got cut as a boy to Lord Tyrion, Varys reveals how he survived after a sorcerer had cut off his manhood and threw him out to the streets to die. This quote is an example of Lord Varys’ trade; how people’s secrets are more valuable than their material wealth.
9. “Influence grows like a weed. I tended mine patiently, until its tendrils reached from the Red Keep all the way across to the far side of the world, where I managed to wrap them around something very special” – Lord Varys
The stark ambition that Varys’ holds is seen in spades in Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 as he tells Tyrion how he moves from the slums of Myr to the Small Council. This quote is particularly epic, as he reveals how his influence grew over all the years of his life, and finally reached a point where he was able to find and bring the sorcerer who cut him to his King’s Landing quarters, bound in a box, to inevitably endure a painful death. This is widely considered as one of the Lord Varys’ best quotes in Game of Thrones as it shows how he played the long game before finally exacting his revenge.
10. “I choose my allies carefully, and my enemies more carefully still” – Lord Varys
Have we made you a Varys fan with these quotes of his so far? Here’s another awesome Varys quote, where he tells the Lady Olenna that though he chooses his allies with care, even more planning goes into choosing his enemies. Another quote to show everything Varys does in Game of Thrones is calculated.
11. “Actually, I rather enjoy him. But he would see this country burn if he could be king of the ashes” – Lord Varys
An absolute amazing quote and easily our favorite quote from Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4 is this one from Varys about Baelish. Olenna joyfully says that Varys must absolutely despise Littlefinger with how much he tries to undermine him. Varys admits that the truth is actually quite different. He enjoys sparring with Baelish, but the threat he poses to the realm is significant as his desire for power is such that he’d destroy the world if it gave him the crown over it.
12. “Not me. When I see what desire does to people, what it’s done to this country, I am very glad to have no part in it. Besides, the absence of desire leaves one free to pursue other things” – Lord Varys
Oberyn assumes that Varys liked boys before he got cut, which Varys solemnly shakes his at. Taken aback, Oberyn tells Varys that he hopes he’s not offended to hear he never would have guessed. Varys isn’t offended, though begins to tell Oberyn that he wasn’t into girls, either. Instead, he had no desires, as he reveals in this great quote. Regarding Varys’ last sentence, Oberyn follows up on this and asks him what sort of things, so Varys tilts his head so that he is starting directly at the Iron Throne.
13. “Sadly, my lord, I never forget a thing” – Lord Varys
Varys testifies against Lord Tyrion to paint him out to be guilty, a surprise to everyone watching to be sure, but not a welcome one. Tyrion calls him out on this, saying that Varys promised to remember how it was Tyrion who saved the city from Stannis’ invasion. The Master of Whisperers turns sadly to answer Tyrion’s question, which clearly suggests that he’s being forced into a false testimony. His use of the word “sadly” also makes us think that he feels weighed down with always remembering everything.
14. “I don’t believe in saviors. I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come” – Lord Varys
Being questioned to his intentions in releasing Tyrion, Lord Varys reveals that he did it for the Seven Kingdoms and his belief that Tyrion can bring great change to them. Being a man who’s risen his status from dirt to serving the most powerful nobles in the country, Varys is the right person to say quotes about talent and its purpose.
15. “You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people. The people who suffer under despots and prosper under just rule, the people whose hearts you aim to win” – Lord Varys
Varys’ epic quote when Dany is questioning his loyalty that repeats his sentiment from the first season that he does truly serve the realm.
16. “Oh I doubt that. Give us common folk one taste of power and we’re like the lion who tasted man – nothing is ever so sweet again” – Lord Varys
Varys and Melisandre, two people who have risen from the depths of depravity to sit shoulder to shoulder with the greatest monarchs in the land, talk while gazing down at Jon arriving in Dragonstone. Melisandre tries to tell Varys that her time whispering in the ears of king is over but, as a common person who’s tasted power himself, he tells her that he doubts this. Looking at Lord Varys’ best quotes from GoT as an overview we see how this actually contradicts to his more humble quotes in earlier seasons.
17. “Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash?” – Lord Varys
We have to finish off on a light note. In this quote, Baelish tells Varys that he’s despised by most and feared at all, so Varys asks Baelish if he himself lies awake at night, fearing Varys and his gash.
Those were the best quotes from Lord Varys in Game of Thrones! He’s one of the most enigmatic and mysterious characters in the series, and seeing what his end fate is in Season 8 is sure to be thrilling.
Update: it was not thrilling, which is why the Season 8 drop-down menu is so blank. Apologies if anyone is looking for quotes from those episodes, but I can’t bring myself to watch that season again to note them down. 😧
Image credit: HBO