Lord Varys, called “the Spider”, is the enigmatic member of the small council and Master of Whisperers, or spymaster, for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Varys is a eunuch; he is plump, completely bald and effeminate. He has soft white hands. He powders his face. He prefers comfortable clothing, fine silks (often in outrageous colors), and soft slippers that allow him to walk without making any sound.

His outward manner is obsequious, mysterious, and squeamish. He is a master of disguise and can easily change his appearance, gait, smell, and costume to become unrecognizable. Secrets are Varys ‘s trade, and his skill at acquiring them has earned him a reputation for being seemingly omniscient. Crucial to his trade is a spy network of children that he refers to as his “little birds”.