How Did Varys Travel so Fast on ‘Game of Thrones’?


How does Varys travel so fast? (HBO)

There’s one big question that’s been bugging fans for a while, but especially stood out during the Season 6 finale. How exactly does Varys travel so super fast? (SPOILERS through the end of the season finale, “The Winds of Winter.) In one scene, he was all the way in Dorne negotiating with the Sand Snakes and Olenna Tyrell. The next minute, he’s on a ship with Daenerys and Tyrion. How exactly did this happen? Can he teleport?

Here’s what you need to know.

Fans are asking a serious question: How could Varys be at Dorne halfway through the episode, and suddenly back with Daenerys on the ships when the episode ends?

There are a few theories. First, a more practical one:

Theory #1: More Time Passed Than Fans Realized, and the Ships Themselves Are Proof

One very pragmatic theory posits that it really wasn’t as fast as it looked, and no special powers were used. This discussion on Reddit looks at that possibility. One person wrote that Dorne is the closest point in Westeros to the Bay of Dragons (formerly Slaver’s Bay), so it really wasn’t that far to travel. Others said that the scenes were clearly a long time apart in the show and Episode 10 may have likely occurred over a time span of weeks or even months. This is known, they said, because Jamie traveled from Twins to King’s Landing in that time period too. Also. Olenna already knew about the explosion by the time that Varys spoke to her, so significant time had passed before Varys even got to Dorne.

On Reddit, this thread provided proof that Varys did not teleport, but significant time had passed in the episode. If you look at the sails in the last shot of Daenerys heading to Westeros, you can see sigils for Martell, Tyrell, and Greyjoy. This means that enough time passed for Martell and Tyrell to send their own ships to accompany Daenerys to Westeros. Varys likely traveled with them.

But if this explanation doesn’t satisfy you, then we can put on our tinfoil hats for this one:

Theory #2: Varys Has Magical Powers

Really, these are our only two choices: Varys traveled legitimately or he’s magical. Now, the idea that Varys could somehow have magical powers isn’t all that far-fetched, considering that Arya can change faces and Jon was brought back from the dead. But what type of powers does Varys have, exactly, if this theory is true?

One theory is that he is a “merman.” We’ll go into this in more detail in a future post. But for now, this post and this post talk about the theory. Merlings are described more in the books. They have the upper body of a human and the lower body and tail of a fish (unless they’re amphibious.) The sigil for House Manderley is a merman with dark, green hair. Some believe that Varys is secretly a merman because of how quickly he travels, indicating that he might move through an underwater river of some sort. He’s also been described in the books as having an odd, perhaps fishy, smell. He’s described as being abnormally large in size, but light on his feet. It’s said that he doesn’t have a bed and he once told Tyrion (in the books) that if he was thrown overboard, it wouldn’t bother him at all.

If you read some of the comments left below this article, our readers have left some of their own theories too.

At least as far as the finale is concerned, the evidence points to more time passing than viewers may have realized, which accounts for why Varys was able to get back to Dany before she sailed away with her fleet. He even brought the Martells and the Tyrells with him. At least this time, magical teleportation wasn’t the reason for Varys’ not-so-quick appearance.