As Cersei Lannister said, “When you play the game of thrones, you either win … or you die.” Over the last seven seasons of Game of Thrones, that sentiment has proven to be true. When it comes to living or dying, the rules are black and white. The idea of good and evil in Westeros, however, can get a little gray. Friends and enemies might be even murkier.
After enjoying the ups and downs of the long-anticipated seventh season, it would have been a good idea to know whom NOT to trust (hint: it probably shouldn’t be Varys). The so-called Spider (or the Master of Whisperers) has little birds, or spies, everywhere. He’s also turned out to be one of the most duplicitous people in the Seven Kingdoms. Over the course of the show’s history, Varys has been the mastermind behind seven major betrayals. From his turn on Ned Stark in the first season (which cost Stark his head) to (falsely) accusing Tyrion at his trial in Season 4, Varys has seemingly flip-flopped his allegiance several times. But as always, Varys could not be outmatched by Cersei—she’s another reason why so many heads have rolled. As the seventh season dramatically concluded, here is the latest tally of betrayals from the cast of characters we hate to love and love to hate.
While it may not have done them any good to be so honest, many of the least treacherous “Thrones” characters over the last seven seasons failed to make it to the final round in the fight for the Iron Throne. Viserys Targaryen, Tywin Lannister, Stannis Baratheon, and Lysa Arryn may have been honest about their true natures—for all the good it did them in the end. Valar Morghulis.