Lord Varys, the Master of Whisperers, met a dreadful yet "predictable" end in season 8's "The Bells" episode on the orders of Daenerys Targaryen, moments before she went full Mad Queen and brought down King's Landing to ashes.
"I hope, I deserve this, truly I do,” Varys said before his execution for treason. "I hope, I’m wrong.”
Upon learning Jon Snow's truth in the previous episode from Tyrion, Varys told the Lannister that he believed Aegon Targaryen (Jon), the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, would make a better ruler than Dany in the seven kingdoms. His attempts to convince both Tyrion and Jon, however, went in vain as they reminded him that going against the queen would only mean treason.
As we entered the fifth episode, we found Varys writing away letters at Dragonstone presumably to Westrosi, about the badly kept secret in Game of Thrones - Jon Snow's true lineage.
After the deaths of Missandei, the loyal council, and dragon Rhaegal, and knowing that her lover and nephew could be her potential rival, Dany is paranoid, upset, and has refused to eat. Perhaps she already knew what Varys or his network of informants were up to. Perhaps she was transitioning into the evil, mad queen, the show had been building up for all these years.
Informing this to Varys, the "little bird" Martha, a kitchen maid, visibly worried that her (Dany) soldiers were watching her, came to him and said, “She won’t eat." To which Varys responded, "We’ll try again at supper."
Here's how the exchange unfolded:
Martha: "She won’t eat."
Varys: "We’ll try again at supper."
Martha: "I think they’re watching me."
Martha: "Her soldiers."
Varys: "Of course they are. That’s their job. What have I told you, Martha?"
Martha: "The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward."
Varys: "Go on. They’ll be missing you in the kitchen."
In the following sequence, Queen's Hand Tyrion snitched on his "best friend," warning an already alarmed Dany about Varys' intentions and schemes.
The Master of Whisperers is immediately summoned on the coasts of Dragonstone by the queen and Drogon does the rest.
But was Varys trying to poison his queen something the viewers knew all along?
Guys, Varys was tryna poison her in the very first scene. Dany wasn’t eating cause she knew it. The little girl said they were watching her. Varys said they’d try again another time lol. https://t.co/J9d0Elg6jo— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) May 13, 2019
varys really tried to POISON dany ahsjsjs dany was like “no i’d rather starve thanks”— jonerys #1 loyalist (@khalesus) May 13, 2019
So.... everyone else got this too right ?? Lord Varys was having Martha the little kitchen girl poison Danys food. She was nervous the guards were watching her, he reassured her by “Greater the risk, greater the reward“ #GamefThrones #GOT #HBO pic.twitter.com/QrigC5t7ON— Jessy Jess (@jessnicosia) May 13, 2019
As several tweets and subreddit r/gameofthrones suggest, it all starts to make sense.
Right back to season 1, Ned Stark approached Grand Master Pycelle to quiz him about the death of Jon Arryn, his predecessor as King Robert Baratheon’s Hand.
Master Pycelle indicated in his exchange with Ned that Varys might have actually been involved in Arryn's death by poisoning him as the poison was the preferred tool used by "women, cravens, and eunuchs" for elimination.
ICYMI, Varys totally tried to poison Dany at the beginning of the episode. The callbacks to season 1 are amazing:Ned: Poison is a woman's weapon.Pycelle: Yes. Women, cravens... and eunuchs.Grand Maester Pycelle then mentioned Lord Varys just seconds later! #GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/TVbL2uVmdJ— iTREVOR (@iLEADFARMER) May 13, 2019
Reddit user u/hmmmmletmethink hints that Dany may already have been poisoned in the first place (as she was showing all the signs of Mad Queen) and Varys was going for the fatal dose in the scene shown to us in the latest episode.
The Reddit theory further suggests that Varys probably did the same thing to the Dany's father, Aerys Targaryen, whom he once served.
The poison possibly turned him into the "Mad King" back then.
But did we see Varys' death coming? Yes, we did.
As esquire rightly points out the sequence when Dany grilled Varys in season 7, questioning where his loyalty actually lied, as he served both her father Aerys Targaryen and Robert Baratheon, who overthrew him.
"You wish to know where my true loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people,” Varys told Dany.
"Swear this to me, Varys. If you ever think I’m failing the people, you won’t conspire behind my back. You’ll look me in the eye as you have done today and you’ll tell me how I’m failing them,” Dany asked him to swear.
“I swear it, my queen,” Varys promised.
Did he keep his promise? Nope.
“And I swear this.... if you ever betray me, I’ll burn you alive,” Dany promised in return.
She kept her oath and how.
Oh, and that scene where Varys removed his rings and jewellery moments before his execution?
It could be an ode to Olenna Tyrell (the Kingslayer) - who poisoned Joffrey using Sansa Stark's necklace at the "Purple Wedding."