What Was The Secret Mission In This Week’s ‘Game Of Thrones’? This Ignored Book Plot May Hold The Answer

Spoiler alert: do not read on if you have not seen Game Of Thrones season six, episode eight.


If you weren’t just a little bit suspicious when puppet-master Varys left Meereen to go on a “secret mission” immediately before the city came under attack, you probably wouldn’t last long in the seven kingdoms. Below is the appropriate reaction to the scene:

Even if Varys is still on team Daenerys, at this point all we know about his “secret mission” is that he’s is off to find friends and ships – possibly, as he says, in Westeros. Here’s three places he might be heading.

1. Dorne

This one is the most obvious candidate. Everyone knows how hostile Dorne is towards the Lannisters. The most recent insult to their house was the brutal slaughter of their fighting champion Oberyn Martell, who was killed by Cersei’s right-hand man, Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane. We haven’t seen anything of Dorne or the Sand Snakes since episode one of the series, when both Doran and Trystane Martell were dispatched by Oberyn’s lover, Ellaria Sand, and his three daughters. An alliance with them would be precarious, but the southern region of Dorne might be a good strategic place for Daenerys to arrive when crossing from Essos to Westeros.

2. To meet the Greyjoys

Varys might know that Yara, Theon and their crew are already on the same continent. We last saw the Greyjoy siblings drinking in Volantis, and if Varys has found out about their huge fleet, perhaps he’s on his way to meet them and negotiate terms.

3. King’s Landing

This is a book plot that’s been unused so far, so the spoiler-averse may want to look away now.

In the epilogue of the last book in the A Song Of Ice And Fire series that has been published to date, A Dance With Dragons, Varys returns to King’s Landing to do some dirty work himself. While there, he kills Grand Maester Pycelle and Kevan Lannister with a crossbow, mainly because Kevan has been doing such a good job of sorting out all of Cersei’s errors. Westeros is in too good a state, he explains, and Varys’ mysterious plan was to create chaos. At this point he reveals his role in a secret plot that kept another Targaryen child alive – one that would indicate that Varys’ loyalties do not lie with Daenerys, but with another, secret Targaryen.

Aegon Targaryen was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys’ older brother) and Elia Martell. He’s one of the children supposedly murdered along with their mother by the Mountain, around the time when Robert Baratheon first took the Iron Throne. This is what Oberyn Martell was so angry about when fighting the Mountain in season four: Aegon was his nephew, and Elia Martell his sister.

In the books, Varys tells the dying Kevan Lannister that he was behind the plot to swap Aegon for the orphaned baby who later fell victim to the Mountain, so that another Targaryen heir would survive. Some fans believe Aegon is not a Tagaryen at all, but just a boy disguised as ‘Young Griff’, who’s been brought up believing he is Aegon Targaryen, so that Varys has a puppet with a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne.

It’s all pretty complicated, but by this point in the story, Tyrion is supposed to have met Aegon (aka Young Griff) and Aegon is meant to be invading a part of Westeros between King’s Landing and Dorne along with mercenary group The Golden Company. While many fans think the Aegon storyline has been cut completely from the show, perhaps now is the right time to introduce it – and that could start with the murder of Kevan Lannister by Varys.

What do you think?