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