Varys: Three great men sit in a room. A king, a priest and a rich man. Between them stands a common Sellsword. Each great man bids the Sellsword kill the other two. Who lives, who dies?
Tyrion Lannister: Depends on the Sellsword.
Varys: Does it? He has neither crown nor gold nor favor with the Gods.
Tyrion Lannister: He has a sword, the power of life and death.
Varys: But if it's swordsmen who rule, why do we pretend Kings hold all the power? When Ned Stark lost his head, who was truly responsible? Joffrey? The executioner? Or something else?
Tyrion Lannister: I've decided I don't like riddles.
Varys: Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.
Varys: When you imagine yourself up there, how do you look? Does the crown fit? Do all the lords and ladies simper and bow, the ones who sneered at you for years?
Petyr Baelish: It's hard for them to simper and bow without heads.
Varys: A man with great ambition and no morals... I wouldn't bet against you.