In the first half of the final episode of Season 6 of Game of Thrones (Winds of Winter), we see Varys

in Dorne, speaking with the Queen of Thorns and the Sand Snakes

In the last scene, we see him

traveling with Daenerys on a ship across the Narrow Sea from Meereen to Westeros.

Does he have a special mode of travel, or is the storytelling non-linear enough that the timeline fits?

  • 4
    I dont have any sources handy for an answer right now, but yes, its the non linear storytelling. The books make this very clear as chapters can last from hours to months.
    – JS Lavertu
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:21
  • 4
    @AerisFang Right, I've read the books also, and watching this season I have found myself thinking on multiple occasions "I'm pretty sure Littlefinger couldn't have traveled that quickly", but this last one with Varys really messed with my suspension of disbelief. Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:23
  • 6
    He obviously took some teleportation tips from the Knights of the Vale. Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:26
  • 3
    Script rewrite after they filmed the scene at sea? "Oh wait, Varys needs to go to Dorne to give Doran's speech about 'your hearts desire, revenge, justice. Fire and Blood!' Why did we kill off Doran again?"
    – TLP
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:35
  • 3
    @TLP Have no fear, They will now send a red priestess to Dorne and revive him .....*slow applause*
    – Aegon
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:55

4 Answers 4


The answer to the same question I posted on Movies.SE

The creators of the show have already said that the timelines of different places is not in sync. Some places move forward in hours, some in days and some in months.

Writer Bryan Cogman, who wrote episodes 6 & 7 of season 6 had this to say

The timelines between the various storylines don’t necessarily line up within a given episode. For instance, the ‘Northern Tour’ Jon and Sansa embark on would probably take a couple weeks, but Arya’s storyline over the past few episodes only spans a few days. We realized a while ago that if we tied ourselves in knots trying to make all the ‘story days’ line up between all the characters the momentum would suffer.

Varys leaves Mereen in episode 8. He is seen in Dorne in episode 10. So, that's believable. He gathers the support of Dorne and Tyrell ships and goes back in the same episode to Mereen. Varys doesn't have teleportation power because you can see Tyrell and Dorne ships along with Greyjoy and Targaryian ships in the naval fleet of Dany. You can't teleport ships so it is to be assumed that Varys sent a word back to Tyrion telling him that Tyrell and Martels are behind Dany now, so wait up. Varys must have got back with a token ship of Tyrell and Martel each with some envoys to prove their support.

Screenshots of Martells & Tyrells ships with sunspear & rose as the banner:

House Tyrell ships - So Timewise we can assume Varys Travelled to Dorne and back with the Martell and Tyrell fleet. House Tyrell ships - So Timewise we can assume Varys Travelled to Dorne and back with the Martell and Tyrell fleet.

Tyrell sails, Martell Sails, and Targayen Sails - How Varys Returned to Slavers/ Dragons Bay Tyrell sails, Martell Sails, and Targayen Sails - How Varys Returned to Slavers/ Dragons Bay

  • 1
    Logical, and I agree. Alternatively, though, 1. Varys returns to Mareen, 2. Dany departs Mareen with Varys & the Dothraki, 3. joins up with the Martell & Tyrell ships near Dorne, and 4. then as they're headed up to King's Landing we see these ship fleet shots. I honestly have no idea why modern audiences have such a hard time with a season-closing episode closing with a montage. It's a long-standing storytelling (written & visual) tradition! Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 3:06

The storyline is non linear enough. We don't know for sure how much time passed between the scene in Dorne and the scene in the Narrow Sea.

Something that might help make the timeline make more sense:

Observant fans noticed the presence of Dornish and Tyrell ships in Dany's fleet, so we can guess that the scene takes place some time later. At least long enough for the ships of Dorne and Highgarden to mobilize.

  • 4
    To be fair, all those Targaryian sails would take a heck of a long time to paint and those dragon-shaped figureheads would take a long time to make too... Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 20:50

I found the "timeline explanation" to be a bit clumsy and thought it was a production mistake, so I dug a bit and found an interview* with Conleth Hill, the Varys actor, where he answered this very question!:

I still wanna know how he got from lady Olenna and all the people in Dorne to Daenerys on the boat so fast.

Conleth Hill answered:

I don't think he did, you just didn't see the intervening time, it was just a cut.

*) interview for Access Hollywood YouTube channel published on Jul 16, 2017

According to this map, Dorne which is Sunspear, is accessible via sea from Slaver's Bay thru Volantis, a much shorter way compare to going by King's Landing through the lands before Volantis.

The Known World map

Varys left a good many days before the war against Mereen started. So many things happened since he left and returned. And of course, each character's arc doesn't need to go in chronological order or linear timeline. Daenerys did say Mereen is finally at peace. This meant it likely took a significant amount of time before they finally set sail towards Westeros.

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