Master of whisperers

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Spy in Their Midst by Katherine Dinger © Fantasy Flight Games

The master of whisperers or mistress of whisperers is the king's spymaster and is a member of the small council. He or she is charged with gathering intelligence from the Red Keep, King's Landing, around the Seven Kingdoms, across the narrow sea, and other places.

History

Tyanna of the Tower, the most feared of King Maegor I Targaryen's wives, served her husband as his mistress of whisperers.[1] It was said that speaking secrets in the Red Keep was foolish, as rats and other vermin were her spies. She tortured many enemies of the Crown, including fellow wife Alys Harroway and her many alleged lovers; all but two confessed to adultery.[2]

Larys Strong, Lord of Harrenhal, served as master of whisperers towards the end of the reign of Viserys I Targaryen. He continued to serve in the office under King Aegon II Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons. At the same time, Lady Mysaria, nicknamed Lady Misery, served as mistress of whisperers for Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen.[3][4]

Brynden Rivers, known as Lord Bloodraven, was a spymaster[5] with a network of spies while serving on Daeron II Targaryen's small council.[6] Brynden later served Aerys I Targaryen as master of whisperers as well as Hand of the King.[7]

Varys, nicknamed the Spider, was the master of whisperers for King Aerys II Targaryen, and after Aerys II's death, for King Robert I Baratheon.[8] He uses "little birds" as part of his network of informants.[9]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Shadows and Spiders by Thomas Denmark © Fantasy Flight Games

Varys serves as the master of whisperers for King Robert I Baratheon[8] and his successor, Joffrey I Baratheon.[10]

A Feast for Crows

Since Varys disappeared from King's Landing the night of Lord Tywin Lannister's murder, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister appoints Qyburn, a former maester, as the new master of whisperers for King Tommen I Baratheon.[11]

Known masters and mistresses of whisperers

Quotes

Catelyn: How could you know all that?
Varys: The whisperings of little birds. I know things, sweet lady. That is the nature of my service.[12]

The King's Justice must be fearsome, the master of coin must be frugal, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard must be valiant ... and the master of whisperers must be sly and obsequious and without scruple. A courageous informer would be as useless as a cowardly knight.[10]

References

  1. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  2. Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  3. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  4. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  5. World of Ice and Fire Update - Spymaster
  6. The Mystery Knight.
  7. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard II.
  9. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion II.
  10. 10.0 10.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
  12. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.