25

Varys, the spymaster, is known as The Eunuch, and tells Tyrion the tale of how he was castrated by a sorcerer.

However, at the very end of A Dance With Dragons, we see Varys interacting with Kevan Lannister.

As Kevan lays dying, and Varys is explaining why he had to kill Kevan,

Kevan notices that Varys's voice appears to be getting deeper. While this could be written off as simply something explained by the fact that

Kevan is dying,

it seems that this may be a hint about Varys, and that it implies that he has been disguising his voice all along, and only lets the disguise down for Kevan

since he will not live to reveal the secret.

Is there any other indication that Varys may have been lying about being castrated, or hiding a secret identity beyond that of a Myrish thief who fled to Pentos?

  • 19
    Are you saying Varys may be Jon Snow's real father? ;) – Dima Jan 16 '12 at 21:57
  • 1
    @Dima Nope. Jon Snow doesn't have a father... he's a Timelord! – Beofett Jan 16 '12 at 23:08
  • 1
    I guess we still don't know much about such underhanded and secretive characters as Varys and Littlefinger. So who knows if the Spider is really an eunuch? It would certainly help him project a harmless persona if people thought he was an eunuch and therefore unable to spawn children and a family of his own. – Andres F. Jan 17 '12 at 2:16
  • 8
    @AndresF., I don't think anyone, in-universe or out-of-universe, believes that Varys is harmless. – Dima Jan 17 '12 at 15:49
  • 2
    Any explanation for the random vote-to-close? – Beofett Jan 23 '12 at 16:46
14

He is a eunuch.

During Season 2's final Episode, Valar Morghulis, the prostitute Ros put her hand on Varys's crotch and realized who he was when she didn't find anything there.

A client enters and she invites them to make themselves comfortable. The hooded figure perches on the edge of the bed. Ros turns on her charm, saying that they do not look comfortable and offering to show them how to relax; she starts to undress. The figure pulls back his hood; it is Varys. He says that there is no need for her to disrobe. She asks if he is sure and asserts that most men like what they see. He deadpans that he is not like most men. She says that most men say that about themselves and then asks what he would like her to do. He asks her if working for Lord Baelish has met her expectations. She asks if they have met before. Varys questions the implication that she would not remember him if she had. She explains that she meets many men. Varys agrees but states his belief that she remembers all of them and that her true talents are wasted on them. Ros says that he is very kind and reaches for his crotch. She feels nothing there and realizes his identity. She recoils from him and he notes her fear and says that there is nothing dangerous “down there.” Ros says that she knows who he is.

One could say that it's not in the book, but considering George R. R. Martin's involvement in the series, I don't see how he could contradict this.

  • 4
    +1 Indeed, one can say Varys is definitely an eunuch in the TV show, and that this is a good indication he also is an eunuch in the books :) However, the TV show and the books are already showing some differences in characters (some don't appear, some die differently -- or not at all -- in the books). – Andres F. Jun 8 '12 at 0:39
  • 4
    I would point out that it is entirely possible to hide certain equipment, even to the point where someone wouldn't be able to tell if it were there solely by feeling, however. Someone sufficiently entrenched in subterfuge would likely think to do so, as well, particularly in that situation. – Gabe Willard Jun 8 '12 at 17:02
  • 1
    @AndresF. Being a eunuch (and becoming one) is an integral part of Varys's character. And given how central Varys is to the whole story I doubt there will be a change in that regard between the books and TV series. In short: yep he's a eunuch. – System Down Jun 8 '12 at 20:36
  • 6
    Also, he could be a Faceless Man. In addition to the wall of faces, perhaps they have a wall of penises? – WOPR Mar 20 '13 at 6:07
  • There are two other possibilities. First, he could deliberately be using some drug that chemically castrates him, much like give some convicted molesters. Second, he could have what is medically called a micropenis. Shaving or using a hair-removing cream would likely be enough to fool even a prostitute unless someone really checked. – Generic Geek May 24 '15 at 1:36
7

In ADWD in a Tyrion chapter, magister Illyrio Mopatis tells the story of his and Varys' origins, and he mentions that Varys was a eunuch:

"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.

That, combined with the story of his castration that he told Tyrion, seems to prove that he is in fact a eunuch. However, we have never "seen" his penis, so we cannot say for sure. And no, that is not as outrageous as it sounds, as references to men's penises occur often in the books, e.g. men "pissing" over the side of boats, having sex, etc.

The voice reference:

"Aegon?" ... "Dead. He's dead."
"No." Varys voice seemed deeper. "He is here."...

Seems to me to simply be Varys adding some pathos to his words. This is, after all, presumably Varys' master plan throughout a great many year. A goal he has worked towards for some time, all the while working amongst people he considered his enemies. It is not unthinkable that he would be struck by some great seriousness when telling the brother of one of his most dangerous enemies this great secret.

  • 1
    I guess the question is whether he was castrated when he when he was a child prior to puberty. If he was castrated after, then his 'male' voice might had developed and he is just disguising it most of the time. – DJ. Jan 24 '12 at 2:56
5

So far, nothing seems to point that Varys is lying about being a eunuch. As for the voice change, Varys has been shown to be an accomplished actor and disguise artist.

  • 5
    The fact that he is an accomplished actor and disguise artist is what makes me think his deeper voice might be his real voice. The scene with Kevan is one where he would have no motivation to disguise it, and it would make sense if it was the first time we'd see him drop his disguise. – Beofett Jan 17 '12 at 18:12
  • 3
    @Beofett - Well it's certainly an interesting theory. Guess we'll just have to wait for book 6 to come out LOL – System Down Jan 17 '12 at 19:34
3

I think there's a lot of evidence showing he may not be anything like how he presents himself. In both the show and the books Varys says that (like Littlefinger) he exploits the impression people have of him to lower their guard and get away with all kinds of manipulations.

When people believe he is a Eunuch they think he must be less of a threat: he won't try to steal their women, he won't try to establish a house or legacy for his children, he must be less aggressive/ambitious/more passive, etc.

Over and over he's shown that these assumptions are completely false- he is very vindictive, ambitious, and manipulative. He also says blatantly to Ned that he talks and acts in an effeminate, perfumed way because it is what is "expected" for a Master of Whisperers. He was always an actor and ultimately a street-kid who was the best at lying, stealing, and manipulating in order to get ahead.

My main curiosity about this is based on Ned and Arya seeing him with facial hair (which a eunuch cannot grow) and deeper voice (which a eunuch from childhood wouldn't develop). It is undeniable that Varys is putting on some level of a show in order to get and keep his position at court. How deep that deception goes and his motives for doing it are more obscure.

I vote- not eunuch but I feel like we all need more information and evidence to be sure.

  • Hey, welcome to the site. Have you checked out the tour and read How to Answer yet? Hope you decide to stick around! – Mithrandir May 28 '17 at 8:25
2

I think he is NOT a eunuch. GRRM makes too many allusions to his masculinity (Arya sees him under the Red Keep with stubble and scars, as does Tyrion) for it to be chance. The question really is, "why is he hiding who he is, and who is he really?" That is still not clear. I think he is basically a Targaryen loyalist, but seems to have other agendas as well.

  • Varys was an actor and has said he is good at disguises. Granted if you don't trust his word, you will not trust him on this either. – Skooba Nov 17 '17 at 20:05
0

There are a few theories floating around confirming your suspicions that infact Varys is not a Eunuch. People also say that the reason he is bald is because he shaves his head to hide his true identity, possibly a targaryen or a Blackfyre decendent (or loyalist) as they have silver hair.

Out of all the charecters in GOT Varys will always be the one people will ponder over for hours and get nowhere...and even if he reveals himself...people will still wonder.

  • This doesn't really explain if there is "any other indication", it merely restates the theory that it might be true... – KutuluMike Sep 29 '15 at 19:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.