With Varys out of the picture on Game of Thrones (at least as far as King's Landing is concerned), it seems we have a usurper of the title "Master of Whisperers": Qyburn (Anton Lesser). In the third episode of season six, we see Qyburn helping out some children, asking them questions and offering them sweets (candied plums), as Varys used to do.
These children are revealed to be the spies that Varys used to use to gather information, or what he called his "little birds." When Cersei joins them, Qyburn tells her that they are her little birds now. She fully embraces this concept and tells him to have these little birds listening everywhere. Qyburn, it seems, is fully in her confidence. But what do we actually know of Qyburn? And what are he and Cersei really scheming about?
- He had been kicked out of the Citadel. After expressing discontent over learning about the living by studying the dead, Qyburn had begun conducting experiments on the living. He is therefore not a maester.
- The Brave Companions take him in. Following his dismissal from the Citadel, Qyburn becomes one of the Brave Companions. This is a group of sellswords, which you may remember is led by Locke (Vargo Hoat in the books), the guy who chops off Jaime's hand on season three.
- He tends to Jaime's hand. When Jaime makes his return to King's Landing with his bloody stump, Qyburn accompanies him and sees to the injury. He's already starting to earn some points with the Lannisters — in spite of his former affiliation with the same group that injures Jaime in the first place.
- When Gregor is doomed, he steps up. While Grand Maester Pycelle said Gregor Clegane is doomed due to likely venom on Oberyn Martell's spear (during the gruesome fight that ends with Gregor squishing Oberyn's head), Qyburn takes the risk of putting himself out there and says he may be able to do something to help. Already beginning to despise Pycelle and proud of Gregor for proving Tyrion's guilt during one of his multiple trial-by-combats, Cersei leaps at the chance to keep Gregor around and allows Qyburn to give it a go.
- He revives Gregor. It's no longer a secret now, as he introduces the mysterious guard of Cersei's as Gregor to the children.
- His position of power going forward is good for Cersei. So far Qyburn has proven to be quite useful to the Lannisters and certainly for Cersei. He uses dark and questionable methods, but he gets results.
We all loved watching Varys pull the strings, so watching this much more devious man work the same magic should be quite entertaining. This is especially true as we've reached a point in the show where Cersei seems about to wage war on the Faith Militant and anyone who has anything negative to say about her. Let's see what happens!