In episode 4 of Game of thrones Varys tells Tyrion how he was cut. During the dialogue:

He mentions the sorcerer who cuts him, and show a old man tied in a box, intending this man is his aggressor

Who is this man? Does he appears or intends to have being caught in the books?

  • 2
    Ok, the non-spoiler titles are getting ridiculous :P Next up: "does this happen to this character in this episode of this series?" :P
    – Andres F.
    Apr 24, 2013 at 0:33
  • @AndresF. kkkk, Yeah... I did thought that, but the episode is rather new, and I din't know how to title it avoiding the spoilers, feel free to edit
    – RMalke
    Apr 24, 2013 at 0:41
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    I know your intentions were good, but I don't think the title is searchable (and the goal of scifi.SE is to be searchable). Let me see if I can improve it.
    – Andres F.
    Apr 24, 2013 at 0:48

3 Answers 3


Varys tells the story (which is the same) in A Clash of Kings. However I don't recall the sorcerer actually being caught and transported to him. He just uses the story to reinforce his hatred of magic.

Also, in the book there's some doubt about whether the story is true or not. Having it appear also in the TV show makes me think it much more likely that it in fact is.

  • 1
    True. The nice thing about having GRRM as one of the show runners is that we know almost certainly how canon stuff is. Apr 23, 2013 at 23:40
  • I read the books, but didn't recall the man, hence the question. But seeing in the TV shows, to me, appears the story less factual, since it can be so only in order to manipulate Tyrion
    – RMalke
    Apr 24, 2013 at 0:11
  • But Vary's word is only worth so much....
    – Mesh
    Jun 17, 2013 at 10:27
  • +1 and of course, even in the show, just because Varys has a man in a box, doesn't necessarily mean that man is who he says he is... Though TV-show Varys generally seems to be a different character than book-Varys - less ambiguous, kind-hearted (seemingly), and also possibly more effective... Aug 5, 2015 at 13:42

I cannot recall the scene happening in the book as the way it was portrayed in the Episode. Varys does in fact reveal he was a eunuch and how it occurred in "Clash of Kings" Chapter 44.

Here in the 5th paragraph does this reference mention how it occurred. http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/A_Clash_of_Kings-Chapter_44

This is also backed by comments here. http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/04/game-of-thrones-3/

It seems also my readings recently again of A dance with dragons, that this wizard doesn't appear or allow himself to be caught. It is alluded to that everything happened in the past with the way it was written.

I would believe that creative liberties were taken over this scene (by HBO) to deliver a message and reinforce the dislike of magic that Varys has and of those that wield it.


The following is the tale from the books. As you can see he states he want s to kill Stannis if he is a sorcerer too and if Varys' sorcerer is still alive I'd assume he'd still want to kill him too. However, no mention is made of Varys having captured the sorcerer to date.

"One day at Myr, a certain man came to our folly. After the performance, he made an offer for me that my master found too tempting to refuse. I was in terror. I feared the man meant to use me as I had heard men used small boys, but in truth the only part of me he had need of was my manhood. He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a long hooked blade, he sliced me root and stem, chanting all the while. I watched him burn my manly parts on a brazier. The flames turned blue, and I heard a voice answer his call, though I did not understand the words they spoke.
"The mummers had sailed by the time he was done with me. Once I had served his purpose, the man had no further interest in me, so he put me out. When I asked him what I should do now, he answered that he supposed I should die. To spite him, I resolved to live. I begged, I stole, and I sold what parts of my body still remained to me. Soon I was as good a thief as any in Myr, and when I was older I learned that often the contents of a man's letters are more valuable than the contents of his purse.
"Yet I still dream of that night, my lord. Not of the sorcerer, nor his blade, nor even the way my manhood shriveled as it burned. I dream of the voice. The voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, some conjurer's trick? I could not tell you, and I know all the tricks. All I can say for a certainty is that he called it, and it answered, and since that day I have hated magic and all those who practice it. If Lord Stannis is one such, I mean to see him dead."
A Clash of Kings, Tyrion X

For completeness the following is the conversation from the show and as you can see it is very similar.

Varys: Before all this nastiness, I was going to tell you the story of how I was cut. Do you want to hear it still?
Tyrion Lannister: I don't know. Do I?
Varys: As a boy, I travelled with a troupe of actors through the Free Cities. One day in Myr, a certain man made my master an offer too tempting to refuse. I feared the man meant to use me as I'd heard some men used small boys. But what he wanted was far worse. He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a hooked blade he sliced me, root and stem, chanting all the while. He burned my parts in a brazier. The flames turned blue and I heard a voice answer his call. I still dream of that night. Not of the sorcerer, not of his blade. I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god? A demon? A conjuror's trick? I don't know. But the sorcerer called and a voice answered. And ever since that day, I have hated magic and all those who practice it. But you can see why I was eager to aid in your fight against Stannis and his Red Priestess.
Tyrion Lannister: A symbolic revenge of sorts.
Varys: Yes, ahem. I feel the need for actual revenge against the actual person who tried to have me killed. Which will require a degree of influence, which-- You do not possess at the moment. But influence is largely a matter of patience, I have found. Once I had served the sorcerer's purpose, he threw me out of his house to die. I resolved to live to spite him. I begged. I sold what parts of my body remained to me. I became an excellent thief and soon learned that the contents of a man's letters are more valuable than the contents of his purse. Step by step, one distasteful task after another, I made my way from the slums of Myr to the small council chamber. Influence grows like a weed. I tended mine patiently until its tendrils reached from the Red Keep all the way across to the far side of the world where I managed to wrap them around something very special.
Tyrion Lannister: The sorcerer.
Varys: Hello, my old friend. It's been a long time. I have no doubt the revenge you want will be yours in time if you have the stomach for it.
Game of Thrones, Season 3 Episode 4, "And Now His Watch is Ended"

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