WARNING: FULL SPOILERS FOR THE FIFTH EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8, “THE BELLS,” FOLLOW.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BY RAVENS ACROSS THE LAND…
Lord Varys has died on Dragonstone. He stood accused of treason by Queen Daenerys and was sentenced to immediate execution via dragon flame.
Varys, known as ‘The Spider’ to friends and enemies alike, was born across the Narrow Sea in Lys into a life of slavery. Early in his hard-knock childhood, Lord Varys was subject to a brutal mutilation that would forever set him apart from other men by robbing him of the needs of the flesh. Many trials and tribulations followed, each teaching Lord Varys another lesson he would hone into his formidable skill set as a trafficker in the most precious currency of all, information. From Myr to Pentos and finally to Westeros, Varys saw more of the world before his eighteenth name day than most men see in their entire lives.
From these humble beginnings, the Master of Whispers rose to become one of the most prominent men in the Seven Kingdoms. Using his skills and vast network of “little birds” Varys became an indispensable advisor to King Aerys II. Varys stalwart commitment to the Targaryen dynasty coupled with his complete lack of desire to gain power for personal gain made him a good friend and honorable opponent. Lord Varys’ dedication to helping the smallfolk through public service kept him in the good graces of King Robert, integrating the spymaster into the new hierarchy with ease.
Throughout his tenure advising the monarchs of the realm, Varys was well-loved for his quick wit and biting remarks aimed at those who thought themselves better than everyone else. Whether he was cutting Lord Petyr Baelish down to size with a single sentence — “Do you lie awake at night fearing my gash?” — or building up Lord Tyrion with a nugget of wisdom — “Power is a curious thing, my lord…Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall. And, a very small man can cast a very large shadow” — Varys’ whirling steel trap of a mind will not be easily replaced.
Though he had no blood family members he was in contact with, Lord Varys is survived by his dozens of “little birds.” Despite the cause of his death, many will remember the Master of Whispers as a champion of the people and a master tactician. He will be truly missed.
Euron Greyjoy, Lord Reaper of Pyke, disputed King of the Iron Islands, future King Consort of the Seven Kingdoms, has died. The charismatic and dangerous pirate was sent to meet the Drowned God when he chanced upon Ser Jaime Lannister after abandoning ship due to dragon flame. Locked in battle over petty disputes, Euron Greyjoy was stabbed through the stomach by a wounded Kingslayer.
Euron Greyjoy grew up in Castle Pyke in the waning years of the Targaryen dynasty. Once that noble house fell to Robert Baratheon, Euron’s elder brother Balon declared himself the King of the Iron Islands. Euron himself led the Greyjoy Rebellion’s fleet in the Raid on Lannisport which saw the entirety of the Lannister fleet burned while anchored in their harbor. Despite this victory, the Greyjoy Rebellion would ultimately fail. Euron went into exile rather than bend the knee, spending the next several years traveling the world as a pirate.
Ever opportunistic, Euron returned to the Seven Kingdoms from beyond the Jade Sea in the aftermath of the War of the Five Kings. With Westeros in turmoil, Euron returned to claim to the Salt Throne after the untimely death of his brother Balon. Euron would later take credit for his brother’s death, claiming Balon needed to be taken out of the equation, to the agreement of the other Ironborn lords. After Euron ousted his niece Yara Greyjoy and her brother Theon during the Kingsmoot, the younger Greyjoys fled the Iron Islands in rightful fear for their lives. They would remain traitors to him until his dying breath.
Allying himself with the Lannister queen, Euron and his fleet brought Cersei a decisive victory against Daenerys Targaryen. The Ironborn ships destroyed the Targaryen fleet and Euron captured or killed many high-profile Dornish women, including Ellaria Sand. Euron further ingrained himself to the Iron Throne by providing Queen Cersei with 20,000 fresh troops. The Golden Company, bought and paid for to protect King’s Landing from any and all pretenders to the throne. Euron hoped to take his place as King Consort to Queen Cersei after defeating the final vestiges of House Targaryen. Alas, it was not to be.
Euron Greyjoy is preceded in death by his brother Balon and his nephew Prince Theon Greyjoy. His leaves behind no wife nor heirs of his body. With this, the male line of House Greyjoy is dead.
Sandor Clegane, of the Westerland Cleganes, has died. The bodyguard and soldier to kings, known to most as “The Hound,” met his end within the walls of the Red Keep while locked in battle with his magically-enhanced brother, Ser Gregor, “The Mountain” Clegane. The siblings’ lifelong hatred boiled over during the burning of King’s Landing, with the two falling to their deaths after a pitched one-on-one battle.
The younger brother of the infamous Gregor lived his entire life in the elder’s shadow. While tall, strong, and imposing by the standards of normal men, Sandor Clegane was outmatched by Ser Gregor in every way. The elder Clegane tortured Sandor from an early age, going so far as to hold his little brother’s face directly into the fireplace for long minutes. This horrific incident resulted in Sandor Clegane’s scarred face and understandable phobia of fire.
This childhood trauma, coupled with watching Ser Gregor be knighted for his role in the murder of two Targaryen children, turned Sandor off of knighthood altogether. Though many of his actions in service to the crown were cause for knighthood, Sandor consistently turned down the honorific. Instead, he made a name for himself as an efficient, brutal killer who had more restraint and honor than his bloodthirsty sibling. Where Ser Gregor killed for the sheer pleasure of it, legality be damned, Sandor worked within the system to slake his need for violence, even while following some notably dark commands.
Despite his brutal nature, Sandor Clegane left behind a legacy of kindness. He showed his soft side early on when stepping in to save Ser Loras Tyrell from certain death at the hands of his brother. Later, he risks his life to save Sansa Stark from an angry mob. Sandor kept Arya Stark safe in the lawless lands around Riverrun. When push came to shove, he chose to fight for the living, battling beside friend and former foe against the Night King. Over and over he proved that behind the gruffness lay a heart of gold. But no moment revealed the softness Sandor tries to hide like chancing upon the farmhouse with the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Earlier in his travels, Sandor and Arya had been shown kindness at this same farmhouse by a farmer and his daughter. Now, both were dead of apparent suicide to avoid death by starvation. When no one is looking, Sandor Clegane took the bodies in the dead of night and buried them. He was joined by Thoros of Myr, who witnessed Sandor’s attempt to apologize before gruffly walking away.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane leaves behind no wife or heirs. He will be missed by those who knew him best.\
Ser Gregor Clegane, known far and wide as “The Mountain,” has died. The intimidating, viscious, and loyal royal bodyguard to Queen Cersei Lannister was thrown to his death in one-on-one combat with his younger brother, Sandor Clean.
As the eldest member of House Clegane, Ser Gregor should have had the easy charmed life of a Lord. Instead, the gods saw fit to curse Ser Gregor with a terrible temper and lack of empathy. Rumors abound of Ser Gregor’s cruel treatment of his brother, and their lifelong animosity backs up such loose talk. Not what one would call an honorable man, Ser Gregor spent his life being the bloody hands in service to the Iron Throne.
King Robert Baratheon first utilized Ser Gregor’s penchant for violence when he had Gregor murder the wife and children of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. By all accounts, Ser Gregor greatly enjoyed the assignment. The head of House Clegane gained a fearsome reputation on the battlefield and the jousting tournaments as merciless. Smallfolk whispered of wanton violence gone unpunished.
During the trial of Tyrion Lannister, fighting in the name of the late King Joffrey Baratheon, the Mountain murdered Prince Oberyn Martell in a trial by combat that very nearly ended with Gregor’s own death – though there were subsequent dark rumors of just how it was he survived that encounter.
Both before and after that battle, he killed those who spoke ill of Queen Cersei, and executed her enemies. All with lust instead of duty.
Ser Gregor leaves behind no wife or heirs. He will not be missed.
The Kingslayer is dead. Ser Jaime Lannister, eldest child of the late Lord Tywin Lannister, was taken by the Stranger during the razing of King’s Landing. He died beneath the Red Keep, crushed in an ill-fated escape attempt.
One of the most notorious knights of his age, Ser Jaime Lannister was born at Casterly Rock, mere moments after his twin sister Queen Cersei Lannister. His idyllic boyhood was shattered when his mother Lady Joanna died in childbirth giving birth to Jaime’s younger brother, Tyrion. After that, rumors circulated that Ser Jaime and Queen Cersei became inseparable in an impure manner; a trait that followed them to adulthood.
At the age of sixteen, Ser Jaime attained his knighthood on the field of battle against a band of outlaws. Shortly thereafter, he became the youngest man to ever join the illustrious Kingsguard, becoming personal bodyguard to King Aerys II. Court gossip at the time implied the honor was done out of spite in a disagreement between King Aerys II and his hand, Lord Tywin Lannister. This gossip seemed steeped in truth, as Lord Tywin resigned in the face of losing the chance to pass the Lannister legacy on to his eldest child.
Ser Jaime’s most notorious moment though came a few years later when the knight ran King Aerys through with a sword that was meant to protect him. Lord Ned Stark would find the young Jaime lolling on the Iron Throne, covered in the late king’s blood. Despite being forgiven for his crimes by the new King Robert Baratheon and the new Queen Cersei, the moniker of “Kingslayer” would follow Ser Jaime to his grave.
After intermittent years of living in infamy, Ser Jaime began his road to redemption when he lost his hand during a skirmish with Lord Roose Bolton’s men. Finding an unexpected ally in his former captor, Lady Brienne of Tarth, Ser Jaime escaped imprisonment. Taking this second chance to heart, Ser Jaime spent the rest of his days trying to stop the inertia of war from consuming the Seven Kingdoms only to succumb to his addiction to his twin sister’s presence in the evening of her life.
Despite abandoning his sister and queen, Cersei Lannister, to fight alongside Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, in the end the pull of home was too great. With the Night King dead and the equilibrium of the world falling back into comfortable petty rivalries, Ser Jaime returned to King’s Landing, determined to save his family or die trying.
Ser Jaime is preceded in death by his mother, his father, his nephews King Joffrey I and King Tommen I, his niece Princess Myrcella, and his Uncle Kevan Lannister. He leaves behind no wife nor heirs. Ser Jaime will no doubt go down in history as a complex man who could be seen as both a hero or a villain.
After a brief reign, Cersei Lannister, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, first of her name, has died. The Queen shucked her mortal coil when the usurper Daenerys Targaryen put King’s Landing to the torch. During the brutal and cruel razing of the city, Queen Cersei was crushed to death in a failed escape attempt.
From the moment of her birth at Casterly Rock, the ancestral home of House Lannister, Queen Cersei was destined for greatness. The eldest child of Lord Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, and his wife, Lady Joanna, Queen Cersei grew up in the shadow of the throne. Earlier in her childhood, the queen was nearly betrothed to Prince Obyern Martell. It would not be her last brush with a throne.
Years later, her father backed Lord Robert Baratheon of Storm’s End in his bid for the Iron Throne. Claiming Targaryen blood through his grandmother in his quest for the throne and vengeance for Lady Lyanna Stark, Robert’s Rebellion swept away three hundred years of Targaryen rule. In return for Lord Tywin’s gold, King Robert took Queen Cersei as his wife. The decision would unite the Seven Kingdoms under a new dynasty but lead to decades of strife between king and queen.
After the untimely death of her husband King Robert I during a hunting accident, Queen Cersei became a paragon of strength as she survived the hellish crucible that followed. In the course of a few short years, the queen lost all three of her children through assassination and tragic mishap as well as buried her father, who had been murdered by her brother Lord Tyrion. She was arrested and charged with scurrilous slander, then forced to repent through the city streets as vulnerable as a newborn babe. She also had to hold the city of King’s Landing together through enemy attacks, foreign dragon queen incursions, and the freak occurrence at the Sept of Baelor. Any lesser woman would have crumbled. But not Queen Cersei.
The late Queen will be remembered as a shrewd, if blunt, political strategist who loved her children more than anything in the world. She is preceded in death by her husband, her daughter, her two sons, her father, her mother, and her uncle, Ser Kevan Lannister. She leaves behind no spouse nor heir.
Qyburn, Master of Whisperers and Hand of Queen Cersei, has died. The mysterious former Maester was killed by his own creation, Ser Gregor Clegane, on the steps of the Red Keep during the sacking of King’s Landing. When Qyburn attempted to intercede between Ser Gregor and his brother, Sandor Clegane, the elderly man was unceremoniously thrown down the steps by Ser Gregor. Qyburn shucked this mortal coil instantly as his dead was dashed against the stone rubble.
Not much is known about Qyburn, and what is known came directly from the man himself. As such, it should be taken with a grain of salt. No one knows where Qyburn came from or who his family was. He first appeared in the historical record at Harrenhal. Discovered by Robb Stark in the grisly aftermath of the slaughter of prisoners by Lannister forces, Qyburn joined the household of Lord Bolton. It was in this capacity that he would first meet Jaime Lannister, saving the Kingsguard from death by infection after the loss of his sword hand.
From there, Qyburn quickly ascended the ranks of nobility. As a reward for saving Jaime’s life, Cersei Lannister brought Qybrun under her protection. Between the two of them, they would engage in torture and unethical experimentations on humans. Their most prominent success would be Ser Gregor Clegane, a triumph of dark sorcery that would solidify Qyburn as a fixture in Queen Cersei’s court. Other “innovations” from the mind of the former Maester would include resurrecting wildfire as a weapon, honing the giant dragon-killing scorpions, and assisting in the torture and deaths of Septa Unella, Ellaria Sand, and Tyene Sand.
For all his monstrous ways — being stripped of his Maester’s chain for performing vivisections on living men — none in the Seven Kingdoms could argue with Qyburn’s results. As reviled as his was, he was nonetheless the premiere healer in Westeros, though at what cost? Qyburn leaves behind no wife nor heirs.