In S08E05 we see Varys writing and sealing several letters revealing Jon’s true identity, to raise support against Daenerys. We later see him burning one of these letters, after he realises he has been discovered and is preparing for arrest.

The letter we see him burning is unrolled, and no others are visible, despite several sealed scrolls being visible in the prior scene. Despite this seemly suggesting that some were sent out, no callback is made in the finale, when the likely recipients are holding council to decide the new king.

Was it likely that any of these letters made it out of Dragonstone, and if so, would they have been to the lords and ladies that were present at the regency council? If not, who would they have been sent to?

I am aware that this is likely simply one of many dangling plot threads, but I’m not sure if I overlooked some hint or explanation.

  • 3
    Am I the only one who was waiting for Martha's poisoned glass of wine until the very end of the final episode...? That was the gun that should have fired.
    – vojta
    May 20, 2019 at 13:23
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    I know we're fighting a losing battle and that "plot hole", like "literally", has simply lost all meaning through over-use... but seriously, an unfired Chekov's gun is not a plot hole. A plot hole would be, say, a Chekov's gun that fires despite there being an earlier plot point that it wasn't loaded. "Plot hole" doesn't just mean "Any aspect of a plot I don't like". I think the phrase you're looking for is "loose end" (or "red herring"). May 20, 2019 at 15:18
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    Downvoted due to incorrect use of “plot hole”. I will be delighted to rescind the downvote if that's edited out. @user568458 The living were fighting a losing battle against the dead! We can be Pedantic Aryas! May 20, 2019 at 16:08
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    @Paul You’re right, it isn’t a plot hole per se, that should be a more apt description. May 20, 2019 at 20:46
  • 1
    Game of Thrones writers: "What do Star Trek and a gun have to do with this?"
    – Misha R
    May 20, 2019 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


We Don't Know

Some letters could have been sent or even those that know the truth could have spoken about it before, just off screen. Remember a few of the people there know the truth. However, it probably doesn't matter now, Jon killed Dany, the Queen and there are those that want to punish him for it; I doubt they'd think a suitable punishment for it would be to name him king.

In the end that knowledge would do him no good but only potential harm. Someone could think the last living Targaryen could still challenge the Iron Throne and with Drogon around might pose too much of a threat so could want to kill him off. Leaving the information secret would be safer for him in exile.

Tyrion: Giving you to the Unsullied would start a war. Letting you walk free would start a war. So our new king has chosen to send you to the Night's Watch.

Jon: There's still a Night's Watch?

Tyrion: The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men. You shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. The Unsullied wanted your head of course, but Grey Worm has accepted the justice of a life sentence. Sansa and Arya wanted you freed, but they understand our new king needs to make peace. No one is very happy. Which means it's a good compromise, I suppose.

Game of Thrones, Season 8 Episode 6, "The Iron Throne"

It's also worth noting that Tyrion knew Varys was conspiring against Dany and Jon later found out. Dany also seems to know quite a bit before he is executed so the Unsullied or others could have intercepted the letters/ravens as they were sent out.

To those that would oppose Jon becoming king they would t bring it up in case anyone uses it as leverage for him to be king. Those that would want him as king wouldn’t bring it up in case it puts him in danger as mentioned above.

To address the point of who they were sent to, whilst we don't know again they would have been sent to the various lords and ladies of Westeros. They were of course present so if they knew they were either keeping it secret or the letters never got to them.


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