The king’s master of whisperers, Varys is a eunuch born in the Free City of Lys, across the Narrow Sea. He was brought to court by King Aerys, and it’s said that Aerys’s growing paranoia began when Varys began to ferret out every disloyalty against the Mad King. Despite this, Varys survived Aerys’s downfall and came to serve King Robert. He is known derisively as the Spider, even if he sits on the king’s small council and holds the style of Lord Varys.
Plump, perfumed, powdered, hairless as an egg, and wearing garments such as they wear in Lys, Varys cuts an exotic figure in the court of the Red Keep. He has soft, moist hands, and often titters as he speaks obliquely and sometimes mincingly about his “little birds” and the whispers they bring them.
Varys advises Tyrion after his fall from power following the Blackwater, informing him of the latest happenings. At the same time, he takes an interest in Sansa Stark’s disposition, especially after Ros informs him that Littlefinger appears to be planning to take her with him when he goes to the Vale. Varys turns to the Tyrells, suggesting to the Queen of Thorns that that Sansa would make a fine bride for Ser Loras. However, the plans are revealed to Littlefinger, who instead opts to reveal them in turn to the Lannisters so that they can prevent Sansa’s departure to Highgarden. Following Sansa’s wedding to Tyrion, and the Red Wedding, Varys shows his obvious distaste for what happened to the Starks. He later meets with Shae, urging her to leave for the Free Cities to take up a life for herself, and to help protect Tyrion, but she refuses the wealth he offers her and insists that Tyrion has to speak to her himself if he wishes her to be gone.