Curtain Call: Conleth Hill

varys

Three great men- a king, a priest, and a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword kill the other two. Who lives? Who dies?
Power resides where men believe it resides.

Seven years ago, after the release of the season 2 “Shadow” teaser featuring Varys and his infamous sellsword riddle, I shared this gut reaction on my personal blog: “FUCKING CONLETH HILL IS THE FUCKING MAN. GOD BLESS NORTHERN IRELAND FOR PRODUCING SUCH STELLAR ACTORS AND FUCKING BEAUTIFUL SCENERY.”

It’s crude and simple, but after seven years and the end of a beautiful run on Game of Thrones, I’m not sure I’d put it any other way: Conleth Hill is in fact the fucking man. And it’s time to pay tribute to the actor who brought one of my absolute favorite characters to life, doing him justice in a way I’d feared would never be possible.

Varys Littlefinger 1 107

Varys is an enigma in the books, which is why he’s so often at the center of ASOIAF fan theories, from origin speculation (secret Blackfyre!) to totally bonkerballs theories (Varys is a merman!). Game of Thrones offered an opportunity for an actor of Hill’s caliber to step up and flesh out a role that could’ve slid into an obnoxious caricature in the wrong hands. A eunuch spymaster who prefers silks and the occasional campy touch is an easy role to go over the top with, but that never happened here. Varys was hilarious without being ridiculous; he was the wit, not the joke. We can credit so much of that to Conleth Hill’s gifts, and the darkness he slips in at just the right time, to remind people of who they’re dealing with.

That particular gift was often on display in his scenes with Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister). The “big fish” scene (shown above) shows how the actor dips into menace and out again easily, as slippery as a fish. I think those scenes also convey that he’s a tremendously generous actor; you always get the sense that he’s sharing  a scene, not hogging it, even when he’s brilliant.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of my favorite small things about Hill as well- his reactions. The Small Council scenes throughout the first four seasons were filled with them. And his reaction that time Ros tried to cop a feel and found nothing to cop? Perfection. It’s the little things, you know.

His good humor extended to real life as well, by all accounts. Cast members often cite Conleth Hill as the funniest Game of Thrones actor and he’s generally delightful in every interview he does, whether it’s hanging with Leslie Jones or weeping over shaving his head for the role while imitating Rory McCann.

Varys death The Bells

But all good things must come to an end. Varys proved time and time and time again you don’t need balls to be brave, and Dany and Drogon delivered a fiery death to our Spider. He almost made it to the very end, so we’ll only have one episode without Varys and his snarky- or very frank- take on matters. I’ll greatly miss having Conleth Hill on my screen.

Then again, there’s always the prequel series! All Hill needs to do is grow back his hair and few would recognize him, apparently. I would have no problem with this. I told you- he’s the fucking man.

66 responses

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    1. All hail the spider. His conflict with Littlefinger is still to me maybe the most interesting the show has depicted and it’s still too bad they never got a reunion. It’s too bad he had so little to do these past few seasons, but he left his mark.

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    2. The scene where Varys explains to Tyrion his life story while unboxing the wizard is when I realized he was one of my favorite characters.

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    3. Wonderful tribute! Conleth was perfectly cast as Varys – almost exactly how I pictured him in my head. He’s a fantastic actor and seems like a fun person as well.

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    4. Conleth played the role of Varys splendidly. Although I do feel the showrunners removed a lot of the complexity and mystique of book Varys, what he was able to give us was splendid.

      Gutted we’ll never get to know what that voice said to him in the flames mind you 😏

      RIP my dear spider

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    5. Conleth Hill is amazing and definitely one of my favourite actors on the show. He was always in character, and always acted and reacted as if the camera was always on him for a close up, even if he’s in the corner of an extreme long shot, he was always in character, reacting to everything in the scene.

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    6. Conleth was great. Loved that character.

      I will be gobsmacked if High Priestess Kinvara turns up in 6 to explain what she and Varys were talking about in S06E05!

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    7. I love Varys the Spider in both books and show; secretive and scheming as he is, unlike many others I’ve never thought of him as evil—I really *have* always believed “the good of the realm” is his ultimate goal. Conleth Hill brought an incredible complexity to the role, and I always missed him when he disappeared. What actors do with few words (or none) is often far more indicative of their brilliance than what they do with lengthy monologue or dialogue, where they have more of a chance to “show off.” One of my very favorite moments in the entire show is the brief exchange after Tyrion and Varys reunite: “I’ve missed you, old friend.” “I know.”

      We’ll miss you Sunday, Conleth—as the realm, whatever remains of it, will unknowingly miss Varys.

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    8. Conleth, you were AMAZING!

      Thank you so much for inhabiting this character so well—and for willingly shaving your head every bloody year!

      To jump on Sue’s “Varys reactions” portion, one of the things that gets criminally overlooked is the stuff he does even when the camera isn’t 100% focused on him. I once noticed how Varys rarely looked at his hands, even when they were doing something. (Most people just think, “Oh, his hands were always just stuffed in his robe sleeves.” Not always. I was fascinated by his hands.

      It’s obvious from talking to other cast members that Conleth is a hilarious dude. I’m honestly still a little irked HBO kept telling us “Conleth doesn’t do interviews” for so many years, only to find out that simply wasn’t true. We could have had some fun!

      But hey, the Spider went out well. What a way to go.

      P.S. Varys was right.

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    9. One of my fav!
      It’s a shame he was underused those last 3 seasons, he deserved better! I also find disapointing he hadn’t been reunited with Little Finger…
      Thank you Mr. Hill!

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    10. One of my fav characters early in the books, and thrilled to see how welll he came to life under Hill’s hands. Wasn’t a wrong moment, wrong move The few words he chose were just the perfect ones to get his point across Whats that expression about a brick in a silk sleeve? He could be menacing, but oh so charming (the way he convinced the whore in mereen that she best move on, mentioning by the way the little son with breathing problems? brilliant!) Would have loved more scenes with him and LF. Tho I do find it quite odd that no one mentioned his disappearance. You would have thought his long time foil would be missed, at least by varys….Anyway, great acting Mr Hill (btw what other roles has he had?)

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    11. My favourite reaction was outside the brothel in Volantis. The doorman rubs Tyrion’s head, saying it’s good luck to rub a dwarf’s head. Tyrion replies that it’s even better luck to suck a dwarf’s cock ……. Varys’s face when he said that !!!!!

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    12. ash,

      I’m pretty sure they know LF is dead, they were told off screen but they had more important things to think about at that time .

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    13. In any other hands Varys could have become a caricature but Conleith made him a complex, intriguing character. Many thanks sir!

      I absolutely loved the interview he did about the photo he had shared online of his childhood home in Ireland. He could see it from the film site and recreated a youthful photo of himself with his siblings. He was positively giddy about it.

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    14. I loved Conleth Hill as Varys. Just the right mix of wit and humor. Here’s my third-favorite Varys scene, from S5e1. Though it’s long, I’d always thought it presaged his eventual preference for Jon Snow over Daenerys Targaryen, once Jon’s real parentage was revealed. I put (what I thought was) the significant part in bold.

      Varys & Tyrion arrive in Pentos (S5e1)
      (Tyrion emerges from shipping crate)

      Varys: “The home of my colleague Illyrio Mopatis, a merchant. He and I met many years ago through mutual friends. A group of people who saw Robert Baratheon for the disaster he was. We tried to do what was best for the realm by supporting a Targaryen restoration. And thus began the chain of mistakes that has led us both here. Things have gotten worse, not better. Westeros needs to be saved from itself.”

      Tyrion (drinking): “Mmm. Much better.”

      Varys: “My lord?”

      Tyrion: “I don’t think I am anymore. A lord.
      Are you a lord if you kill your father? I don’t imagine they revoke your nobility for killing a whore. It must happen all the time.”

      Varys: “You already drank yourself across the Narrow Sea.”

      Tyrion: “In a box. Why stop now?”

      Varys: “Because we are talking about the future of our country.”

      Tyrion: “The future is sh*t. Just like the past.”

      Varys: “Perhaps.”

      Tyrion: “Perhaps?”

      Varys: “Perhaps.”

      Tyrion: “Eunuch, the Spider, the Master of Whisperers. Imp, Half-man.”

      Varys: “There are faster ways to kill yourself.”

      Tyrion. “Not for a coward.”

      Varys: “You are many things, my friend, but not a coward.”

      Tyrion: “You never told me why you set me free.”

      Varys: “Your brother asked me to.”

      Tyrion: “You could have said no.”

      Varys: “Refuse the Kingslayer? A dangerous proposition.”

      Tyrion: “Not as dangerous as releasing me. You risked your life, your position, everything. Why? You’re not family. You owe me nothing.”

      Varys: “I didn’t do it for you. I did it for the Seven Kingdoms.”

      Tyrion: “A drunken dwarf will never be the savior of the Seven Kingdoms.”

      Varys: “I don’t believe in saviors. I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.”

      Tyrion: “You’re going to have to find another soldier. I’m done with Westeros and Westeros is done with me.”

      Varys: “You have many admirable qualities. Self-pity is not one of them. Any fool with a bit of luck can find himself born into power. But earning it for yourself, that takes work.”

      Tyrion: “I’m not well-suited for work.”

      Varys: “I think you are. You have your father’s instincts for politics. And you have compassion.”

      Tyrion: “Compassion?”

      Varys: “Yes.”

      Tyrion: “I killed my lover with my bare hands. I shot my own father with a crossbow.”

      Varys: “I never said you were perfect.”

      Tyrion: “What is it you want exactly?”

      Varys: “Peace. Prosperity. A land where the powerful do not prey on the powerless…”

      Tyrion: “…Where the castles are made of gingerbread and the moats are filled with blackberry wine. The powerful have always preyed on the powerless. That’s how they became powerful in the first place.”

      Varys: “Perhaps. And perhaps we’ve grown so used to horror, we assume there’s no other way. If you sat on the Iron Throne, would you spread misery throughout the land?”

      Tyrion: “I will never sit on the Iron Throne.”

      Varys: “No, you won’t. But you could help another climb those steps and take that seat. The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.”

      Tyrion: “Good luck finding him.”

      Varys: “Who said anything about “him”? You have a choice, my friend. You can stay here at Illyrio’s palace and drink yourself to death, or you can ride with me to Meereen, meet Daenerys Targaryen, and decide if the world is worth fighting for.”

      Tyrion: “Can I drink myself to death on the road to Meereen?”

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    15. Another actor perfectly cast who gave a great portrayal of a complex character. I loved the confrontation scene between him and Dany in the Dragonstone map room. An intense moment that he moved through with honesty and skill. I too wish he had more screen time in the final seasons and some sort of “closure” scene about LF. But, alas. When I read the books, Conleth Hill will be who I see as Varys.

      Varys still leaves behind a few mysteries. What did that voice say in the flames? Another poster suggests a woman’s voice saying “Dracares!” Great idea, but is it what he heard? How about those rings he took off and left in the bowl on his desk at Dragonstone. Were the stones poison? Will his new little bird do anything with them? I don’t know but I would love it if some how, some way Varys is present in the finale.

      Wonderful Curtain Call Sue and thanks for the video links. The interview with Seth Meyers is packed with nice moments.

      Thank you Conleth Hill, I look forward to seeing you in other projects!

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    16. Varys remains one of the most interesting characters of the show. He started of as a mysterious man that somehow we didn’t trust. We had the feeling he wasn’t exactly loyal, and that came true, he wasn’t loyal to the kings and lords we got to know and love, he was loyal to a more important group, the common folk. the ones that have always been the victims when the high lords play their game. In that sense that makes Varys one of the most good guy of the whole show. Even till the end his loyalty remains there where it’s needed the most: The people.

      As stated above his expressions were always gold. My favorite is from season 1 when they were talking about murdering Daenerys Littlefinger gives a little advise:
      “When you find yourself in bed with an ugly woman, best close your eyes, get it over with.”

      Conleth’s face said it all at that moment how Varys though about that comparison.

      But not only was Conleth great as Varys, he was always great as himself. I remember the comic-con line up he first been part of, don’t remember which season. But I remember it was the most funny line up I ever saw, and that because of Conleth, he was the most funny one there, his answers were great, his jokes were great.

      And wasn’t Conleth not the actor that was difficult to work with, not because he always made the cast laugh the whole time?

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    17. My second-favorite Varys scene..,,

      (S2e10 Varys visits Tyrion after Blackwater)

      Varys: “There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat.
      The king won’t give you any honors, the histories won’t mention you, but we will not forget.”

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    18. Ten Bears,

      Thanks for posting this, it was fun to read and remember another great scene! I think you are right, he is describing Jon, but did not know him and his parentage yet. Interesting.

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    19. Robert McCoy,

      So wait… Will we ever find out what the voice in the flames said, and whose voice it was, when the sorcerer burned Varys’s private parts? I doubt Kinvara is coming back for an Episode 6 cameo.

      Maybe that voice in the flames was a woman’s voice that simply said one word….

      “Dracarys!” 🔥

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    20. Wolfish,

      One of my very favorite moments in the entire show is the brief exchange after Tyrion and Varys reunite: “I’ve missed you, old friend.” “I know.”

      _____
      That was my #1 Varys moment. (“If only…”)

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    21. ash:
      Sue the Fury,

      Thanks sue, I saw Salmon Fishing in Yemen and loved it!!He was very good in that, played a bit of a similar character, ‘convincing’ others to do his will.

      Wait. I saw that movie too and really liked it. What role did he play? (I’ll go back and look.)

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    22. “Ooooh. ‘The Queen musn’t know.’ I love conversations that begin this way.”

      Ah good old Varys, he kept us guessing to the last as exactly whose game he was playing, masterfully played by Conleth. Varys was the Master of Whisperers, Conleth the master of wry wit and subtle facial expressions.

      Was very pleased we didn’t get the giggling Varys of the books…

      Another triumph of casting!

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    23. Another example of perfect casting.
      What I loved most about how he decided to play Varys was that even though he was as manipulative as LF, he always managed a sincerity and warmth that felt genuine, and a certain honesty that was disarming. So they were the perfect foils, since everything LF said and did felt insincere and calculated.
      I’d always hoped for conversation between Varys and Sansa about his fate, since they were the two chess players for the first half of the series.
      Still, I think I loved his early scenes with Peter Dinklage the best. The god of tits and wine, should I be worried, the big fish eat the little fish and I keep paddling etc.

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    24. I love you, Conleth Hill, for taking a meh character from the books and making him into one of my favorite characters on the show. So many of my favorite scenes will always consist of those witty conversations between Varys and Tyrion.

      Varys, you were right all along. Your death meant something. If nothing else, you’ve made us see that it doesn’t take testicles to be a hero. And when it’s all said and done, the man with no balls had the biggest balls of all. ❤️

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    25. A perfect casting, perfect actor and perfect storyline, every dialog he had to say where fantastic and his acting was fantastic too. When I rewatched season 1, I just love the scene with LF and Varys in the throne room when they ask each other, what have you been up to since the last time I saw you or the last time you’ve seen me.. I was so glad varys got the last words on that scene :D. Also loved the scene season 7 with Tyrion, the way he said it’s a sealed scroll for the King in the North, and then Tyrion ‘what does it says’ and Varys ‘nothing good’, spot on acting for both and spot-on dialogs. I was just laughing. I just love the spider. Nevertheless I am wondering if the last scene of episode 6 with the rings might mean something, after all if Varys was planning to poison Danny how would he have found/carry the poison and being a spider one could imagine he was always ready for anything.. maybe always carrying poison with him?…I like that they finished in a very mysterious way, who was he sending the scroll message, what is new little bird was going to do and will she still do it now that he is gone. I think he once says something like ‘men can be fickle but birds I always trust’…I am sure that was line from the book what an amazing characters. and the acting was just amazing, no one else could play Varys. Bye bye dear spider you served the realm well.

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    26. There is something in the Northern Ireland water that keeps producing outstanding performing artists. Conleth Hill is one of them, and I’m glad GoT was able to showcase his talents. Varys’s polite-sounding yet nasty sparring with Baelish in S1 was a classic.

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    27. Another perfect casting! I’m gonna miss all those beautiful characters! The curtain calls this week are really hard to read.
      Varys was so mysterious. I really hoped he would survive. Thank you Conleth!

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    28. Renly’s Peach: Varys, you were right all along. Your death meant something. If nothing else, you’ve made us see that it doesn’t take testicles to be a hero. And when it’s all said and done, the man with no balls had the biggest balls of all. ❤️

      Renly’s Peach speaks for me.

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    29. Varys was one of my favourite characters. I love the way he was written, and Conleth Hill’s performance only enhanced that.

      Varys certainly a mysterious character, but from season 2 onward, I always felt like he was a good guy. Sure, he kept secrets and manipulated people, but I always felt like he had good intentions behind it. Conleth pulled off this difficult character flawlessly. His voice was so entrancing, exuding calmness and serenity, but with a note of cynicism and bluntness to it as well.

      Varys had some of the greatest lines throughout the series. There are too many to list right now, but some that come to mind right now are:
      – “When you look at me, do you see a hero?”
      – “The realm, my lord. Someone must.”
      – “You might be disappointed in the results. Ships come and go, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.”
      – The whole riddle he posed to Tyrion in season 2
      – “He would watch this country burn if he could be king of the ashes.”
      – “But what do we have left once we abandon the lie? Chaos. A gaping pit waiting to swallow us all.”
      – “When I see what desire does to people, what it’s done to this country, I am very glad to have no part in it.”
      – “Sadly, my lord, I never forget a thing.”
      – “No, I only know what it’s like to pick up your shit and throw it overboard.”
      – The whole scene with him interrogating Vala in season 6
      – His response to Daenerys when she questions his loyalty in season 7
      – His final words: “I hope I deserve this. Truly, I do. I hope I am wrong.”

      Another aspect to Conleth’s acting that I really enjoy is his facial expressions, and ability to always stay in character. Seriously, even when Varys isn’t the focus of a scene – If he’s in the background, watch him. Nobody gives better facial reactions during group scenes than Conleth.

      His scenes with Littlefinger still rank as some of my favourite in the series – especially the “Chaos is a ladder” scene. The chemistry between Conleth and Aiden was just perfect. I believe both actors really brought out the best in one another.

      Varys went out just as I would expect a character like him to go out (as much as I wish it didn’t happen). On his feet, dignified, believing he did the right thing, yet hoping desperately that he had not. RIP, Varys. I hope the realm will find peace. Thank you Conleth. Varys was already a fantastic character, but you elevated him to a level far beyond.

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    30. Conleth can deliver a line without speaking. His facial expression when Tyrion goes to release the dragons from their chains is priceless.

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    31. BigMac,

      “His final words: “I hope I deserve this. Truly, I do. I hope I am wrong.”

      __________
      I’ve been waiting for the Sansaphobes to come out in full force to blame her blabbermouthing of the family secret for Varys’s demise. But for the dissemination of the information that a kinder Targaryen was available as a potential ruler, Dany wouldn’t have felt betrayed and Varys would not have have felt obligated to the realm to support a different candidate who checked most of the boxes for the ideal ruler he described to Tyrion in S5e1 (which I quoted in full above):

      The Seven Kingdoms need someone stronger than Tommen, but gentler than Stannis. A monarch who can intimidate the high lords and inspire the people. A ruler loved by millions with a powerful army and the right family name.

      With Dany’s once-powerful army considerably weakened and Dany not experiencing the “love” of the people she’d hoped for, Lord “Targaryen Restoration” Varys must have reached the difficult but ethically-compelled conclusion that Aegon Targaryen is the monarch the Seven Kingdoms needs.

      Poor Jon. He never wanted to be Lord Commander of the NW, King in the North, or King of the Seven Kingdoms. He’s probably going to wind up sitting on the Iron Throne in Ultra-Brood mode. (“F*ck. All I ever wanted was to go someplace to get warm. Now I’m stuck rebuilding this sh*thole city and administering a continent full of people devastated by multiple wars. My life sucks. I should’ve stayed in that cave with Ygritte.”)

      If Arya was serious when she told Sandor she had no intention of returning to WF, at least Jon nka King Aegon will have the Princess That Was Promised to keep him company. And Gendry will be close enough to keep hitting on her until he comes up with the right proposal to win her over, eg: “Do whatever you want when you want. Just try to check back in every now and then to let me know how you’re doing and if you need anything. And I promise I’ll never call you a lady. In fact, you name your terms. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll spend the rest of my days making custom-designed kickass weapons for you if you’d like.”

      Oops… End ASNAWP detour…

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    32. Apollo:
      Conleth played the role of Varys splendidly. Although I do feel the showrunners removed a lot of the complexity and mystique of book Varys, what he was able to give us was splendid.

      Gutted we’ll never get to know what that voice said to him in the flames mind you 😏

      RIP my dear spider

      I think the voice said “dracarys”

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    33. A truly fantastic actor. He frequently got my vote for best supporting actor when it came to the awards. Almost every scene he was in was made memorable just by him saying a few lines.
      Well played Conleth Hill.

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    34. Way to elevate the character. I think spiders spawn so many negative connotations… we are generally distrustful, fearful, or distgusted by them. They set traps; spin sticky webs to draw in their prey. They disarm you with their very presence. They use poison, and work in he shadows. But ultimately- they do everyone the greatest service by dutifully keeping the realms from being overrun by pests and insects. Without them, the balance of any ecosystem would be tipped almost immediately into chaos.
      Love this character. Thanks for doing such a great job, Conleth.

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    35. Hill was one of the best character description physical matches on the show, and even if the writing veered way off from the books afterward, he certainly made the role his own. It’s a shame he didn’t get much to do in the last few years.

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    36. I had a forlorn hope that it might be Varys that took the throne.
      He might not have been the rightful heir, but he was most certainly the best suited for the job. He wasn’t interested in politics and power, all he cared for was the people and the realm.

      Hill played him with such massive understatement, and every nuance was marked and noted. He is one of the best actors to come out of the show and I hope we see more of him soon. (He’s make a great Bond baddie, hint hint.)

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    37. The man. The myth. The best head of hair you will never see on the show.

      Conleth is one of those people who you’d just love to sit and chat with about pretty much anything. Engaging and witty.

      Varys and Littlefinger, and Varys and Tyrion were my most liked pairings for him, and I regret not seeing him and Littlefinger one more time (or even mentioning him.) I never did trust that Varys was really out for the good of the realm. But I was wrong, and he was.

      I thought the suggestion that he was trying to poison Dany in the last episode a bit disappointing, it seemed beneath him. But that is a small complaint on such a large history of the character. I’m not sure what the words he heard in the flames long ago were, but perhaps it was ‘Dracarys’.

      Thank you, Conleth.

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    38. Clearly by my name you can tell I was a big fan of the character. One of my favorite in the books. Kudos to Nina and Conleth.

      Always for the people Lord Varys.

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    39. Lord Varys was one of my favourite characters. And Mr Hill portrayed him to perfection.
      As others stated, there was a mystery surrounding Varys that I wish we learned more about. And, ideally, I would have loved a show-down with Littlefinger, in my view and up to one point, probably the show’s most dangerous villain. Unfortunately, both were given very little to do in those past few seasons; I guess their book!counterparts were far too complex to deal with on a show and it’s constraints.
      Still, Lord Varys (as well as Littlefinger) was brought to life by a great actor that managed to keep him interesting even when he had no real role.
      Thank you, Mr Hill.

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    40. Varys best thing was that box with the wizard… so sick. Waited his whole life for payback and then his pulse didn’t even rise when he finally had him and he told Tyrion

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    41. Beautifully written!
      Conleth seems like a thoroughly delightful person to hang out with, and Varys was an early favorite character of mine. I sensed true goodness in him from the start. Plus he (and Tyrion) injected some terrific comic relief without being comic characters. Much of the best dialog belonged to him as well. There’s something extremely charming about both the character and the actor–a perfect marriage here, and I hope to see him pop up again in the future.
      Though I was dismayed at the circumstances surrounding his demise, at least both he and Dany maintained integrity. (Guess he could’ve tried talking to her at least as much as he talked with Tyrion, but alas. Maybe we just didn’t see it. Precious little time this season.) It thrilled me when he and Jaime rescued Tyrion and teamed up with Daenerys. Hope we do get some confirmation of what he heard in the flames (“dracarys” isn’t a bad guess.) His relationship to the red priest(esse)s and parallels with Melisandre were things I truly hoped would go somewhere. Well, there’s one episode left. Congratulations on making it so very close to the bitter(sweet?) end, my man!

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    42. Shelle,

      Slightly off-topic…

      A few weeks ago, I listed all of the characters appearing in S1e1 and asked for speculation which of them would go “wire to wire”, i.e., appear in the very first episode and be alive at the end of the very last episode.

      Since that last head count a few weeks ago, we’ve lost several S1e1 characters: Jaime, Cersei, Sandor 😢, Theon (sorry Petra), and Jorah.

      I think there are now only six S1e1 characters still in the running going into the last episode:

      1. Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen
      2. Daenerys Targaryen
      3. Arya Stark aka The Princess That Was Promised
      4. Bran “Not Really” Stark
      5. Sansa “I Swear” Stark
      6. Tyrion Lannister

      Anybody want to wager who makes it out alive, i.e., who goes wire-to-wire?

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    43. Just wanna say Varys is my favorite character in the books and he’s also my fav in the show. Conleth just plays him perfectly and I love him. Thank you so much, you were awesome, dude. 😉
      PS: fun fact, Varys is also the favorite GoT character for Laurence Fishburne and there was this funny interview where Fishburne was jealous that his wife Gina Torres could play together with Conleth in Suits. 😀

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    44. Suggestion. Shouldn’t all the main characters get a curtain call after series ends? Unless everyone is killed, how can we show appreciation to the main cast?

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    45. Chump Force 1,

      Yeah, if you think about it, tonight we’re going to say goodbye to all the characters regardless if they die or not, we are never going to see them again, at least not in television form and by the way things are going with the books probably not in any form.

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    46. I loved Varys his wit …so clever, it makes me sad that I did not get to know what he heard from the flame, hopefully the books will tell us

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    47. Ten Bears,

      Daenerys. She died in the last episode. Now she’s only Queen of the Ashes, a corpse in waiting.

      I believe the other five will live. There’s some uncertainty on Jon, Tyrion and Arya though. Bran and Sansa clearly live.

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    48. Wolfish,

      Me also – “I’ve missed you old friend” – “I know” and said in ‘matter of fact’ way with no emotion.

      That time on the battlements of Kings Landing also with Tyrion. When Tyrion says “Why are all the gods such vicious c*nts! Why is there not a god of tits and wine?” and Varys says on some island they worship a god with 16 teets – or something similar 🙂

      As a side note – In the UK there is programme on Sky Arts called ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ and Conleth was one of the sitters during the rounds. It was strange to see him with a full head of hair! Conleth could probably walk down the street and no one would recognise him as the actor who played Varys.

      RIP Spider – but kudos to Conleth Hill who brought Varys to life.

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    49. There is nothing much more to say about the brilliance of Conleth Hill as Varys. I enjoyed his nuanced portrayal of a character that in the books is mysterious, but a bit campy.

      His scenes were, for the most part, stronger in earlier seasons. For me, there are three episodes in which he really shines: “The wolf and the lion”, “What is dead may never die”, “And now his watch is ended”.

      In the late seasons, I enjoyed very much his scene with the woman who was killing some Unsullied in Meereen, on Sons of the Harpy behalf (“Oathbreaker”).

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    50. Conleth/Varys will be sorely missed, especially tonight when the future of ‘the realm’ is at stake. He has been a king/queenmaker from the start and I fear for the future.

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    51. Robert McCoy: The scene where Varys explains to Tyrion his life story while unboxing the wizard

      That is my favorite scene with Varys. It so efficiently gave his backstory – it was heartbreaking and horrifying, and he was pitiable yet menacing – he made the character be someone who we simultaneously were drawn to and repelled by – incredible acting!

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    52. Kinvara was my favorite one episode character. Maybe she will appear tonight, tell us what the voice in the flames said, and then resurrect Varys! That would make me very happy!!!

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    53. Roberta Baratheon,

      I don’t quite think even the Lord of Light can ressurect ashes, besides didn’t Melisandre said that he only ressurects people who have a purpose to serve ? The long night is over !

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    54. Thank you, Sue. VArys dwelled in the shadows even when he was in the spotlight. Yet Conleth Hill, with his subtle expressions, silky vocals, and delicate walk, always made him…glow! I’ve always thought he was the best long-game player in the Game, especially in the books with the fAegon subplot. Conleth more than held his own with the (also brilliant) oleaginous Littlefinger. What was always surprising and evident as early as his Black Cells talks with Ned, was that he genuinely was for the Realm. He never deviated, and carried on his plotting in the face of imminent death for the good of the realm. And he went out like a boss, neither squirming, apologising, crying, or even screaming. Conleth made this balls-less man the most ballsy player in Westeros.

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    55. Conleth was simply amazing asVarys, a shady character whom you don’t know what his intentions are for the first half of the series. Ultimately he dies a hero but is unable to save King’s Landing.

      Unfortunately I saw an article online where the actor was apparently expressing his dissatisfaction with pacing of the final two seasons and Varys role in them, it may have been click bait but would leave a sour taste if not.

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    56. Few actors in any project have ever been a more perfect match for their character than Conleth Hill was with Varys. He excelled at playing the Spider as a master of the Great Game, but he also imbued him with a kind of deep-set morality that, whenever it emerged from beneath his courtly manner, rendered him even more compelling. He was arguably the cast’s best supporting player, by which I mean he elevated and expertly complimented every other actor he ever shared the screen with, from Peter Dinklage to Diana Rigg to Aidan Gillen. The results of those collaborations were among the most riveting and memorable scenes that this all-time great show ever gave us.

      All in all, Conleth is a very special actor indeed. He’ll be missed, and I’ll be eager to see whatever he does next!

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    57. I loved Coneth Hill as Varys, I can’t picture Varys being played by anybody else. He was brilliant throughout the series — from trying to convince Ned into accepting Joffrey as king, to his face-offs with Littlefinger, to his last scene, “I hope I deserve this, I truly do, I hope I was wrong,” and facing death with dignity.

      A great character and a wonderful performer.

      Ten Bears: 5. Sansa “I Swear” Stark

      I just saw this last night and now I can’t get Boyz II Men out of my head XD

      For my first boy-girl Valentine’s Day dance in elementary school, this is the song that played and now my awkward dancing with my first-grade crush will be forever linked with Sansa Stark because of this 😉 Seems about right!

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