Appearance and Character
Rugen is portly, unshaven, gruff, unkempt, and coarse of speech. He has a round scarred face and a stubble of dark beard. He smells of sweat and sour wine. Rugen wears the typical clothing of a gaoler: a spiked steel cap, a leather half cape, mail over boiled leather, and a dirk and shortsword at his belt.
Since the black cells rarely have prisoners, Rugen comes and goes as he pleases. The other gaolers are afraid of him, and no one knows much about him. He has no friends or relatives, and does not drink or frequent brothels. His sleeping cell is damp and dreary, and the straw he sleeps upon is mildewed. His chamber pot is overflowing.
A Game of Thrones
In the secret passages below the dungeons of the Red Keep, Arya Stark sees a stout man in a steel cap talking with a man with an accent and a forked yellow beard, and thinks there is something oddly familiar about him. She tries to tell her father, Lord Eddard Stark, about the men, but he dismisses her warning and suggests they are mummers.
A Storm of Swords
Ser Jaime Lannister forces Varys to free Tyrion Lannister from the black cells. In disguise as Rugen, Varys doses the guards' wine with sweetsleep, so that they fall asleep, then changes to the guise of a septon to escort Tyrion out through the secret passages of the Red Keep.
A Feast for Crows
On the night Tyrion escapes from the black cells, it is also discovered that Rugen has gone missing.
During the search of Rugen's apartments by Qyburn, a coin from the reign of Garth XII Gardener, King of the Reach, is found beneath his chamber pot. Queen Regent Cersei Lannister believes that the Tyrells have played a role in Tyrion's escape.
Jaime investigates the missing Rugen, asking the chief undergaoler Rennifer Longwaters about him. Jaime feels his questions are a farce, as he knows Rugen is Varys and why he is missing, but he has to make a show of investigating Tyrion's escape nevertheless.
Cersei continues to obsess over Rugen and his connection to the Tyrells.
Varys had transformed himself into a grizzled turnkey, reeking of sweat and sour wine.—thoughts of Eddard Stark
References and Notes
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 32, Arya III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 58, Eddard XV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 3, Cersei I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
- Game of Thrones, Season 1, "The Pointy End", DVD Commentary.