With the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere breathing fire down our necks, it's time to really start considering who will live and who will die at the end of this story. In Season 7, Melisandre said Varys will die in Westeros someday, but does that mean Varys will die on Season 8 of Game of Thrones? Speaking to actor Conleth Hill on the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere red carpet, he let slip a hint that makes it seem possible that this prophecy will come true sooner rather than later.
Varys' motivation has always been outward on Game of Thrones. He wants a good future for the realm and the common people of Westeros. He's rarely thinking of himself, unlike his early counterpart Petyr Baelish, who was all about manipulation for the sole sake of personal gain. According to Hill, that isn't likely to change — even though his life will be more in danger than ever now that the White Walkers have broken through the Wall.
"There's an argument that he's less proactive [than] he has been," Hill tells Bustle. "He's achieved what he wanted, which was to get Daenerys and Tyrion together. So he may not be as productive as he was before, but he might be... you'll have to wait and see!"
Ah, the old "you'll have to wait and see" tease. Classic. Later, when I ask for a three word description of his arc in Season 8, Hill says, "Very much consistent." That last word, "consistent," is also one that Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn, chose. Interesting, isn't it?
There are a few ways to interpret that. Consistent could mean that, with the White Walker attack, there is overall less backstabbing and court intrigue in Season 8. All of these characters, despite their previous loyalties and rivalries, will have to work together if they want to survive the Night King and his army.
Consistent could also mean that these characters aren't allowed a lot of character growth because they don't live long enough to make any kind of final change. There's at least one shot in the Season 8 trailer of Varys huddling in the Winterfell tombs with some of the other non-fighters in case of a siege, which doesn't look good for him. Flynn's other two words to describe his character's arc were "wounded" and "ambitious" — two words that almost always spell doom.
But back to Varys. Does "not as productive" mean dead, though? With a show as secretive as Game of Thrones, the actors can't give away much of anything, and so turning to sarcasm is one of the only viable options. All that Daniel Portman, who plays Podrick, tells me about his arc is "it's an arc" — see what I mean? So saying that Varys is "less proactive" could be a cheeky hint that Varys doesn't have much more time left on the show now that he's checked that one goal off of his list.
Based on the Season 8 still photo above of his new "look," Varys might just die from the cold alone. Will someone get this man a hat?! Winter is here, and you've got to protect your extremities, not just the realm, my Lord.