If you're looking to avoid SPOILERS for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, then back away now.
"The Bells," the penultimate episode of the HBO series, was a devastating portrait of a woman gone mad––and the genocide she left in her wake.
Fans are split over just how much foreshadowing the series provided to justify Daenerys Targaryen's turn into the Mad Queen, but there was one person on the show who decided they wouldn't take any chances: The late (and great) Lord Varys.
Varys was executed in one of the episode's early moments after Daenerys discovered that he'd learned the truth about Jon Snow's lineage and claim to the Iron Throne.
The very beginning of "The Bells" provides us with a rather important detail that could have huge implications going into the final episode of the season, too.
The episode opens with a scene of Varys writing letters in which he reveals the truth about Jon Snow, which he presumably sends out by raven to each corner of the realm. In walks Martha, one of his "little birds," who feeds him the sort of information that made him known as the eyes and ears Westeros.
After Martha tells Varys that Daenerys won't eat, she tells him that she believes Daenerys's soldiers are keeping an eye on her.
Varys reminds Martha that "the greater the risk, the greater the reward" after telling her that they'll "try again after supper."
Game of Thrones 8x05 Opening: Varys Tried To Poison Daenerys / Varys Talks With His Little Bird [HD] www.youtube.com
It's easy to miss this, but it appears Varys tried to poison Daenerys, and she managed to avoid the assassination attempt by refusing to eat either out of genuine suspicion or the shock of grief. (A reminder: She did lose her trusted aide and one of her dragons in the previous episode).
The revelation that Varys tried to poison Daenerys hearkens back to a conversation Ned Stark had with Grand Maester Pycelle in Season 1.
Ned says that he's heard poison is a "woman's weapon," to which Pycelle replies:
"Yes. Women, cravens...and eunuchs. Did you know that Lord Varys is a eunuch?"
And yes, fans did catch on... and the fact that Varys got those letters out ahead of his execution indicate that next week is going to be WILD.
There's one more episode to go. Will we finally see peace in Westeros? Perhaps.
Either way, Lord Varys will go down as a true protector of the realm.