Vary’s Riddle

“In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them
stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bid him slay the other two.

‘Do it’, says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’

‘Do it’, says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’

‘Do it’, says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’

So tell me — who lives and who dies?”


An interesting riddle given by Varys to Tyrion Lannister in the A Clash of Kings, second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

What an awesome power the three great men gifted the “little man of common birth and no
great mind” — the power to change the kingdom.

But what would the sellsword choose? It will all depend on a cornucopia of things. The way he
was brought up. The way he sees the world he inhabits. The experiences he have had until the
time he is standing in front of the three great men. The allegiances he has formed. The belief system he has developed and or acquired.

Power. Where does it really reside? To whom does it really belong? Is it something handed
down? Or is it somehing seized?

Varys further says, “Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less. A
shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large

Find your own power. Take command of it. Harness and control it. And may you wield it
with pure goodness and love.

But power is indeed fleeting. One second it is overflowing on your hands then in a blink of an
eye, it can be totally gone.

If you are the sellsword….what then?

Posted from WordPress for Android


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