7

As the story begins, in the books or in the show, it is common knowledge that Varys is an eunuch. As he doesn't seem to deny it, readers or viewers quickly assume this is true.

However, I wonder why would he let people know his condition. Initially, there were only two people (the sorcerer and himself) that knew. So at some point, he started to tell people and let the rumor spread.

I don't think that this is something to brag about, but maybe Varys thought that letting people know would help him somehow. Did he intentionally let people know he was eunuch? Why?

His appearance might have betrayed him, but as he has some skills in disguise, he could have chosen to hide that fact. However, he seems to delight in his condition.

NOTE: This is not a dupe. The target asks how can Eunuchs be told apart. This one asks if Varys is actually an eunuch and did he disclose his identity voluntarily.

  • 6
    In Vary's case because he won't shut up about it.... – Skooba May 9 '17 at 12:58
  • 2
    @Bebs the initial discovery made in the city of Pentos at least wasn't intentional. He was beaten close to death when people discovered his secret. He came to Westeros with the reputation of a very clever eunuch so pretty much everyone knew. I doubt anyone had him drop his pants when he disembarked in KL – Aegon May 9 '17 at 13:14
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    To close voters, no this is not a dupe. Stop voting just because others did. Other one asks how can Eunuchs be told apart. This one asks if Varys is actually a eunuch and did he disclose his identity voluntarily. – Aegon May 9 '17 at 13:19
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    @eirikdaude, this question is not about eunuchs in general, especially the ones doing eunuchs jobs, but Varys (who doesn't do a eunuch job). The "eunuch look" is sure one strong hint but I don't think it is a 100% confirmation that someone is eunuch. – Bebs V May 9 '17 at 13:40
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    @eirikdaude, I'm pretty sure you haven't read my question and you didn't read the question you linked's answer: The other clue might be the nature of the building that Daenerys was entering. If it was the chambers for a woman, or a number of women, it's more likely that the guard outside would be a eunuch. The lack of sexual urges means there's no worry about them consorting with the women at all. – Bebs V May 9 '17 at 13:58
9

Books

No, the initial known discovery, if Illyrio can be believed, wasn't voluntary. At least until then Varys was ashamed of his condition and tried to hide it.

"In Myr he was a prince of thieves, until a rival thief informed on him. In Pentos his accent marked him, and once he was known for a eunuch he was despised and beaten. Why he chose me to protect him I may never know, but we came to an arrangement. Varys spied on lesser thieves and took their takings. I offered my help to their victims, promising to recover their valuables for a fee. Soon every man who had suffered a loss knew to come to me, whilst city's footpads and cutpurses sought out Varys … half to slit his throat, the other half to sell him what they'd stolen. We both grew rich, and richer still when Varys trained his mice."
ADWD - Tyrion II

After that it seems, Varys stopped trying to keep it a secret and embraced himself for what he was.

Aerys II Targaryen heard rumors of an exceptionally talented eunuch, Varys, and called him to his court. So he came to Westeros as a known Eunuch. I doubt anyone tried to make sure that he was really a Eunuch.

I grew so respectable that a cousin of the Prince of Pentos let me wed his maiden daughter, whilst whispers of a certain eunuch's talents crossed the narrow sea and reached the ears of a certain king. A very anxious king, who did not wholly trust his son, nor his wife, nor his Hand, a friend of his youth who had grown arrogant and overproud. I do believe that you know the rest of this tale, is that not so?"
ADWD - Tyrion II

Since everyone at court already knew he was a eunuch, what's the point of trying to hide it?

Not to mention, Varys looks the part. He is plump and hairless1 like a Eunuch is supposed to be (As the only vice allowed to Eunuchs is eating so tend to be fat).

"The Unsullied you may have seen in Pentos and Myr were household guards. That's soft service, and eunuchs tend to plumpness in any case. Food is the only vice allowed them. To judge all Unsullied by a few old household slaves is like judging all squires by Arstan Whitebeard, Your Grace. Do you know the tale of the Three Thousand of Qohor?"
ASOS - Daenerys I

No one has ever observed him indulging into carnal desires either.

However, if you are asking is he really a Eunuch? The answer would be yes, unless GRRM says otherwise as the canon material only gives us Varys' word or word of other characters who probably never had the pleasure of looking at Varys' junk.


1. Varys has been observed wearing a beard when disguised at least on one occasion. He is also known to have used a very deep voice when in disguise.

  • 3
    The only physical confirmation I can think of comes from the show... Ros tries to "seduce" him and when she reaches that area draws back in shock. – Skooba May 9 '17 at 14:03
6

Show

Explicit confirmation is given when Varys goes to recruit Ros as one of his spies. She seems a bit unaware of of who he is and goes to "offer services". However, once she reaches the "target area" she is taken aback to find nothing there.

Varys responds with a look that seems to be "Oops forgot to tell you that..." and says:

You're afraid. Why? Nothing dangerous down there.

  • 2
    +1. I am not going to play the video (At work rn) but IIRC, an interesting thing to note is that immediately after that Ros realized that it could be none other than the fabled cockless wonder (To quote Cersei). So, him being a Eunuch was universal knowledge. – Aegon May 9 '17 at 15:01
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    @Aegon No doubt. I feel this is more a supplementary answer about physical confirmation rather that just Varys telling us... he is known for spreading disinformation after-all. – Skooba May 9 '17 at 18:33
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    Don't worry Varys is eunuch they say.. and then just when the time is right he reveals he is more like Podrick Pain.... – Skooba May 9 '17 at 18:34
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    @Skooba Varys still could be! We never found out if the secret of Podrick's magic is his schlong. Actually, come to think of it, a bunch of whores have probably seen their fair share of naked males of all sizes. There must be something else Podrick did ... – user1129682 May 10 '17 at 10:19
5

I don't think you quite understand what castration does to boys. The effects are usually quite obvious, even to people who aren't explicitly told. Their voices retain their boyish high pitch into adulthood, they grow no pubic hair, facial hair, and very little body hair. Typically they retain a slight build as testosterone is largely responsible for muscle growth.

Varys wouldn't have to tell anyone. Moreover, while it's not mentioned much in either the TV series or the books, it's still a world where prepubescent castration is common enough that these effects are commonly known. It's not quite so obvious to the TV audience because such practice is nearly unheard of in America, and moreover... Conleth Hill isn't actually a Eunuch.

  • 1
    Indeed I didn't know it was that obvious... – Bebs V Jun 21 '17 at 19:58

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