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What Will "The Winds of Winter" Bring For Littlefinger?

Updated on August 14, 2013

Warning: Spoilers Lie Ahead

The Winds of Winter is the sixth installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. This article will take a look back at the previous five installments as well as make predictions of the next chapter. The reader has been warned that spoilers lie ahead.

The Most Devious Player in Westeros

Lord Petyr Baelish, also known as Littlefinger, is a man of many mysteries, schemes and lies that somehow entwine all of the works around the game of thrones. It has hard to believe that this man isn't at the center of all the backstabbing and may be the most ambitious player in the Seven Kingdoms.

As the series opens, Lord Baelish is a man elevated well above his birth. Being the Master of Coin on the King's small council, he has a knack for finding money where none seems to be had. He is also the overseer of the many brothels scattered across King's Landing. Baelish's sigil is the self appointed Mockingbird pin he wears constantly. He is characterized by his pointed beard, mocking smile and thirst for greater and greater power.

As a child, his lowly father befriended the Lord of the Riverlands, Hoster Tully. Petyr was sent to Riverrun to serve as Lord Tully's ward and was friend to his younger children Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure. During his childhood he developed a deep love for Catelyn and even challenged the man she was promised to, Brandon Stark, to a duel which left him with a significant scar across his body.

Lysa, Catelyn's sister, was indeed in love with Petyr though and had a sexual encounter which led to a pregnancy and abortion subsequently. Petyr was banished by Hoster following this encounter and later is taken on by Lysa and her husband Jon Arryn to manage the monetary affairs in the Vale which he increases and eventually leads to his appointment as Master of Coin under King Robert and the start of his strategic alliances and climb towards power.

The books open with the death of Jon Arryn and the mystery around it. The Lannisters, another very wealthy family, are portrayed as the murderers but later it is revealed that Petyr had actually manipulated Lysa into poisoning her husband for his own goals and claiming Lord Arryn was planning to send their son away.

He first appears in the books when Catelyn, who has now married Brandon's brother Eddard, has traveled to King's Landing to inform her husband that the Lannisters are to blame. Cersei Lannister is King Robert's queen so Petyr stashes her away in one of his brothels upon her arrival in the city. He still has strong feelings for his former love and tries to help her. She shows him a dagger that had been used in an attempt to kill her son and he lies saying it was his but he had given it to Tyrion Lannister which starts the events of the War of Five Kings.

He brings Eddard to meet his wife and tells him he will help him because of how much he has cared for his wife. He claims to be able to helped Lord Stark navigate all the political backstabbing happening at court. He also assists Eddard in his investigation into why Lord Arryn was killed, he presumes it was the Lannisters. Littlefinger leads him down the path that eventually reveals the Robert and Cersei's children are really Cersei's incestuous bastard children from her twin brother Jaime Lannister.

Eddard wants to go public with the news but Lord Baelish tries to get him to stay discreet. When Lord Stark disagrees, Baelish backstabs him and sets him up for treason against the new King Joffrey, Cersei's son, which in effect leads to Eddard's death.

Tyrion Lannister is then appointed to Eddard's former position as Hand of the King and tries to find a way to prove that Littlefinger set him up for the dagger. Tyrion plans to put his own men into Baelish's place but before that can happen Littlefinger volunteers to go south and form an alliance for the Lannisters with the Tyrell's of Highgarden who are presently fighting against the King. He is successful and arrives back to King's Landing just in time to win the battle against Stannis Baratheon and keep the Lannisters in power.

Tyrion's father Tywin assumes the role of Hand of the King before Tyrion can deal with Littlefinger and appoints Baelish to Lord of Harrenhal, the ghost castle, making him own of the High Lords and furthering his climb for power.

With his new found elevation, Tywin believes he is a suitable match for the widowed Lysa Arryn and this will cement the Vale within the power of the royal crown. Petyr agrees and before he leaves he hides out until he can "rescue" Sansa Stark, Catelyn's daughter, from the Lannisters. As King Joffrey is poisoned, a plan set in place by Littlefinger when he agreed to terms with the Tyrells, this provides the distraction to pull Sansa from the hands of the Lannisters and he takes her on his ship to go to the Vale.

He dies Sansa's hair and changes her name, passing her off as his bastard daughter upon arrival. They meet Lysa and are immediately married, Petyr then spends his time asserting his authority over the lords of the Vale who believe an Arryn should always rule their lands.

He creepily tells the young Sansa how much she looks like her mother and even kisses her which is witnessed by Lysa who flies into a fit of rage. She tries to kill Sansa but in doing so Petyr kicks her out of the Moon Door of the Eyrie, her castle perched atop the tallest mountain. Lysa falls to her death and the murder is blamed on a random singer. Petyr is now Lord of the Vale and one of the most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms.

The lords of the Vale rise against him but err in doing so, giving Petyr the right to act as Lysa's son Robert's protector and continuing ruling the Vale. It is confirmed that he has at least a few of these opposing lords on his payroll. He informs Sansa that he intends to help her regain the North for herself and find her a suitable marriage. This however, is a very altruistic act for a man who has been revealed to make all decisions for his own personal gain.

What Will The Winds Bring?

Everything Littlefinger has done up to this point does not paint him as a virtuous father type figure who only wants to help the daughter of the woman he loved. Littlefinger only makes decisions that further Littlefinger's own agenda.

I believe he is still harboring some of the creepy feelings that led him to kiss her and he himself intends to marry the girl for himself. This would give him control of the Vale, the Riverlands and the North and would further my theory that he intends to take the crown for himself eventually.

This eventuality will not progress though, his reach exceeds his means and I think Littlefinger will be caught in his shady dealings somehow and perhaps after he forces Sansa to marry him will be killed by her when he tries to push himself physically on her. She will then in effect become one of the most powerful women in the kingdoms and all her suffering will be somewhat justified.

Littlefinger, we love to hate you and know you are at the center of all but it can't last forever...


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      Mario 3 years ago

      to : Aaron Macke

      Very very well put. Although i unfortunately think Little Finger will be revealed to have other motives when its all said and done. I honestly wish George R.R Martin, considered using your theory about Little Finger. I could definitely buy that his main reason for all that he has done and will do. The driving force behind all his motives, is to prove a point to everyone that the "system of lords and kings is a big joke". GOOD STUFF BRO! look forward to seeing your comments if posted in regards to any other characters in the book.....

    • Aaron Macke profile image

      Aaron Macke 3 years ago from Sparta, Illinois

      I think many people are selling Littlefinger a little short when it comes to what his plans are. As the books have progresses we have found that Littlefinger has been the cause of a lot of the big events that have taken place and all with no one being any the wiser. The man is smart, almost supernaturally so, especially when it comes to manipulating people. Along with that would come the knowledge of his own limits though. There is no way Littlefinger believes that he could ever sit the Iron Throne. He is too low born for the people of Westeros to ever accept him as a king.

      So what is his ultimate goal?

      Think about the man's backstory. Littlefinger was madly in love with Cat, so much so that he was willing to put his life on the line against an opponent, her suitor, and Ned Stark's brother, Brandon Stark, despite the fact that Littlefinger was younger weaker, and stood no chance against him.

      In Littlefinger's mind Brandon did not deserve Cat, and didn't love her for years like he did. And even after Brandon's death she was simply passed down the family line to Ned Stark with his love and devotion once again being ignored. This explains why Littlefinger had no problem with helping to bring about the death of Ned, yet is willing to go WAY out of his way to protect the children of Catelyn.

      But the effects of his denied love didn't stop with Ned and Brandon's death. They were just a pawns of a bigger monster that he is now determined to take down.

      Littlefinger was denied the love of his life due to a system that puts more merit on your family line than your intelligence, ability, or devotion, and as such it is his goal to use his wit, the failings of others (Cerci in particular), pure chaos, and anything else he can to smash the thing that wronged him, the Iron Throne, and the entire Westero's feudal system.

      Baelish looks like he is playing all sides against one another, because that is exactly what he is doing. Creating chaos, maneuvering unstable people into positions of high power and then letting them make a mess of things, all in the name of forcing the people to see that their system of lords and kings is a big joke.

      Littlefinger is the Westros version of the French Revolution, all rolled up into one sneaky little man.

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      mrh9q 3 years ago

      He definitely has designs on Sansa, but think he wants power more. Right now, his plan is to take the Vale and openly marrying Sansa doesn't help him in that respect. There are lots of others with better claims to both the Vale and the Riverlands than Sansa. Additionally, you're forgetting that she is already married to Tyrion. Littlefinger's best bet now is to try to gain control of the Vale as an advisor to Sansa and Harry(after killing Robyn). I suspect in the end Littlefinger will return to King's Landing and eventually be killed by Varys, finally ending their battle of wits.

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      Lotus Juice 3 years ago

      C'mon! This that guy a break!! I hope he will take Sansa's maidenhead before he dies. He deserves to be happy.

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      dusty 3 years ago

      The biggest most exspansive most amazing piece of literature ever wrote

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 3 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Last night I saw season 4 episode of the most amazing episodes out of them all. OH MY GOD WHAT A TEAR JERKER AND THEN ...THE SHOCKER!

      Of course we'd already seen in season 4 how....It was Baelish's manipulations all along that started the ENTIRE story off...we only learned that recently though...and what a revelation.

      I'm only on the first book...but I'm up to date on the HBO shows...what an amazing fantastic. Could there be a better way to describe the thing than calling it a game of thrones?

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      DaariosSoulGlo 3 years ago

      Interesting read! Lord Petyr is one of my favorite characters because of his craftiness and unpredictability. One thing for certain, he will never make the obvious move. He even said that he wants everything. With this is mind, Sansa is a bartering chip - a highborn ransom. If he does decide to continue seducing her young mind, he wouldn't have to "force himself on her" as she is already putty in his hands.

      I think he is aware of the dragons and wants to position himself for an alliance or survival if/when they attack westeros. In the meantime, he will rebuild winterfell and destroy all of his enemies in the north.

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      David 3 years ago


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      Vini 3 years ago

      Putting myself in Baelish's mind, I found that all of his doings were done in a way so he could have Sansa (the second Catelyn, in his mind) for him, and get revenge from the Tully and Stark, both families that humilliated him.

      He is the best 'player' in this 'game', but the main thing that I see on him is that he hasn't big goals like the kingdom, peace, etc, all that he wants is to prove to Hoster Tully that he was wrong for not letting them to get married, and have Sansa for him, like saying "See, I'm good enough to have name, fortune, lands, Catelyn, all of them!"

      But, for me, his biggest mistake is to underestimate Sansa. He is teaching the 'game' to her, and once she's good enough, she'll realize that Baelish is the mastermind behind her father's death, and will strive for revenge. Not like Arya, direct and merciless, but just like Baelish, 'playing the game'.

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      haavardTG 4 years ago

      I don't think Baelish got any creepy feelings for Sansa. I just think he kissed her to be able to kill Lysa, elevate his posisition, marry Sansa to Harry the Heir, take the north for Sansa using the vale and since he is the lord of the Riverlands and allied to sansa and harry because of how he gave them what was theirs, by right, he will attack the iron throne and try to take it from the lannisters. That's his plan according to my imagination.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      I actually really like Littlefinger. He's a conniving so and so, but he is a very interesting character. I'm only beginning book three, so I have catching up to do, but I'd imagine he will eventually reap what he's sown.

      Interesting Hub, thank you for sharing!