Your own ends. What ends are those, Lord Varys?
Peace, Varys replied without hesitation. "If there was one soul in King's Landing who was truly desperate to keep Robert Baratheon alive, it was me." He sighed. "For fifteen years I protected him from his enemies, but I could not protect him from his friends. What strange fit of madness led you to tell the queen that you had learned the truth of Joffrey's birth?"
The madness of mercy, Ned admitted.
Ah, said Varys. "To be sure. You are an honest and honorable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life." He glanced around the cell. "When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why."
Ned Stark laid his head back against the damp stone wall and closed his eyes. His leg was throbbing. "The king's wine... did you question Lancel?"
Oh, indeed. Cersei gave him the wineskins, and told him it was Robert's favorite vintage. The eunuch shrugged. "A hunter lives a perilous life. If the boar had not done for Robert, it would have been a fall from a horse, the bite of a wood adder, an arrow gone astray... the forest is the abbatoir of the gods.