Speculation: Who was Varys sending those letters to?


In the opening moments of “The Bells,” Game of Thrones’ penultimate episode, Westeros’ original spymaster, Varys, is carefully preparing letters for unknown parties. We don’t get a complete picture of these letters, but from what we do see, we can surmise that Varys is telling people that Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne. The letters confirm that Varys, true to what he told Tyrion, was planning to remove Daenerys from the running and install Jon in his place. But the question remains: just who was the eunuch sending the letters to before his execution? We have a few ideas!

Given the limited amount of time Varys surely knew he had, and unless he had a hidden closet full of ravens, whoever Varys was sending the letters to had to be pretty high on the Westerosi food chain. Sansa’s already aware of the information, so she doesn’t need informing. We don’t know who exactly rules the Reach these days, or who this new prince of Dorne is, but both kingdoms would likely receive letters. Staunch Stark allies the Tullys would also receive a letter, if anyone can locate Edmure. Likewise, having retaken the Iron Islands, Yara Greyjoy would also be a candidate. And there are other important houses that don’t get a lot of play on the show, like the Brackens o the Hightowers, who could do with a letter. Varys sending these out reminds us of how Stannis once sent letters from Dragonstone to every corner of Westeros to expose Joffrey’s incestuous parentage.

Ultimately, while the recipients of the letters are certainly people of importance within Westeros, it’s their collective power, not their individual strength, that ensures that Varys will be influencing politics on the continent long after his death. By releasing the truth about Jon’s heritage to the masses, Varys ensured that Daenerys couldn’t suppress it. Instead, she decided to rule through fear and burn King’s Landing as an example of what would happen should anyone oppose her. Varys’ letters have changed the end game for many of our favorite characters. We’ll discover exactly how this Sunday!

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