Bringing the GoT houses down: The masterplans of Petyr Baelish
One of the many main masterminds of mischief in the Game of Thrones realm, Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish is the architect of the show’s framework that gave this sensational show’s storyline its very momentum!
Right from the beginning of the series, it was clear that Petyr was running his ship. Be it his conversations with the lords and ladies of the many houses or his exceptionally clever tête-à- tête with Varys, that always left us with some food for thought, Baelish was always sure of his next move. If thatdidn’t work out, he always had a contingency plan too. Much too often, Baelish has been seen admiring the Iron Throne and in not so many words, it has been shown that Baelish was a weakling as a boy – he even lost the love of his life to Brandon Stark in a duel and finally lost her to Eddard Stark. So he made the most of what he had – his sly, manipulative brain and kudos to the way he has used it! Aspiring to only achieve two things – Unbeatable power and Catelyn’s love, he didn’t succeed in obtaining the second but he did make considerable progress in amassing the first. Petyr has always been motivating the actions of characters from the shadows, and he rarely makes mistakes, read: Giving Sansa away to the Boltons. In fact it wasn’t until Season 4 that the show revealed that Baelish, in fact, was the man that masterminded the main plot of the ‘War of the Five Kings’.
Here’s taking a look at how Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish came out to join the ranks of the most powerful people in Westeros, starting with him being responsible for the downfall of the major houses.
1. Manipulated Lysa into believing that he loved her
Petyr’s scheming began way before the first episode of Game of Thrones and with no one suspecting him over all these years, he has managed to tumble the seven kingdoms into a chaos! It began when he lost the duel against Brandon Stark while fighting for Catelyn’s hand in marriage, the love of his life. But when he lost and was injured and Catelyn wasn’t allowed to see him, it was Catelyn’s sister who took care of him. The wheels started spinning right here in this moment. A smart Baelish knew that Lysa carried a torch for him and he did nothing better than to manipulate her into believing that he loved her too
2. Convinced Lysa to murder her husband, Jon Arryn
He convinced Lysa to murder her own husband, Jon Arryn when he found out that the Baratheon kids weren’t in fact Baratheons, they were Lannister children born out of incest between Cersei and Jaime. He died of poisoning in the first scene of the series thus getting the ball rolling for what was about to be the beginning of the end
3. Convinced Lysa to frame the Lannisters on death of Jon Arryn
He convinced Lysa to frame Jon Arryn’s murder on the Lannisters and manipulated her into writing a letter to Catelyn suggesting this. This was the seed that set the stage for the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks, something that also led to Ned's death and the vulnerability of the North that littlefinger would later attempt to capitalize on
4. Wrongly implicated Tyrion
When the dagger was given to Catelyn, she showed it to Littlefinger who conveniently and falsely put the blame on Tyrion. This led to Catelyn kidnapping Tyrion thus leading Jaime to attack Ned
5. Tricked Ned into believing he had the City Watch
Littlefinger told Ned Stark that he had secured the allegiance of the City Watch. After many of Ned's household guard were either dead or off chasing the Mountain for his crimes, Ned neededsome soldiers as back up if he was going to go the Throne room and reveal that he was named protector of the realm, or reveal that Joffrey was a bastard and Stannis should be King. But he couldn’t do so without the backing of the City Watch. However, Littlefinger betrayed him. Had Ned not been betrayed here, he never would have been captured, or murdered. With the power of the city watch he also presumably would have been able to take his place as protector of the realm, or seize the Lannisters and have Stannis put on the throne. The consequences of the City Watches betrayel organized by Littlefinger was catastrophic. It led to Sansa’s ultimate fate, Arya ending up in Braavos and Robb’s death!
6. Lack of Support from Vale
As Jon Arryn is a dear friend of Ned Stark, he would have pledged his alliance to the Starks come rain or storm. Littlefingers orchestration of his murder and whisperings in the ear of Lady Arrynare what convinced her to hole herself up in the Vale and not commit her troops anywhere in the subsequent war of Five Kings. Without Littlefingers influence, even if Jon Arryn was dead, Lysa Arryn may likely have committed her troops to the Stark/Tully alliance and the war of the Five Kings could’ve gone in a completely different direction
7. Blamed the murder of King Joffrey on Sansa
Littlefinger had Ser Dontos give Sansa the necklace which contained the poison that was used toKill Joffrey, giving Cersei the impression that Tyrion and Sansa killed the king (when in fact it wasLittlefinger and Lady Olenna Tyrell) Whisking away Sansa from the city increased the suspicionon her. Removing Sansa from KL did many things. It allowed him to use her to help murder LysaArryn and seize the Vale. It put him in Sansa's good books in a way, as he then used her to pit the Boltons and Lannisters against each other, currying favor with both Houses. He also used the promise of Sansa's head on a spike" as part of the allure to Cersei Lannister to get Tommen to issue a Royal Decree making Littlefinger warden of the North if he uses the Knights of the vale to seize Winterfell from whoever wins the war between Stannis and the Boltons
Summary: His actions led to the death of Ned Stark, Jon Arryn, Robb wanting to wage a war and Sansa and Arya scattered around Westeros
1. Got King Joffrey Murdered
Littlefinger conspired with Lady Olenna Tyrell to have King Joffrey murdered. This lessened the Lannisters’ strength even though the throne passed to Tommen, mainly because it made Cerseiextremely unstable. It made her vulnerable enough to accept further deals from Littlefinger
2. Had the Lannisters implicated in the death of Jon Arryn and the attacks on Bran Stark
He not only implicated Lannisters of killing Jon Arryn but also vouched to Catelyn that Tyrion Lannister was behind the attacks on Bran. This sparked off the rivalry between the Starks and the Lannisters thus leading to Tyrion being captured by Catelyn and later Jaime being captured with him subsequently losing his hand. Now the Lannisters’ best fighter was weakened. In the battle of the Blackwate, practically orchestrated by Littlefinger, the Lannisters lost a lot of men that will eventually come biting back
3. Took Sansa out of Kings Landing
Sneaking Sansa out of Kings Landing had some major ramifications for House Lannister. The Starks are a bargaining chip no matter how weak their family becomes, as many are still loyal to them in the North. Tyrion says in Season 2, the Lannisters had three Starks and they chopped off one’s head (Ned) and let another escape (Arya). Losing the third by way of Littlefinger sneaking her out of Kings Landing was a crushing blow. Sansa was then being used by the Boltons to solidify the North before they take on the Lannisters. But Sansa’s escape from the Boltons weakened them and this further solidified when Roose admitting that if Sansa was never taken away from the Lannisters they could rest a bit more easy knowing that the North isn't as strong since they hold "the key to the north"
4. Delivered Lancel Lannister to the faith
Littlefinger tells Olenna that he had a gift for her and that their interests were aligned. Nextthing you know, Cersei’s brother Lancel who has turned to the Faith Militant has confessed Cersei’s infidelities and her attempts at King Robert’s life. By doing this, not only was he trying to bring the Lannisters down and render Cersei selfless but also gave Olenna a gift with which she could protect her grandchildren.
1. Weakened Robert’s strength
One of King Robert’s main strengths was having Jon Arryn as a steady hand of the king. This aided him immensely. Having Jon Arryn killed significantly hurt Roberts control by causing chaos and uproar all over Westeros. The subsequent positioning for power and information between the Lannisters and Starks frustrated Robert to no end
2. Had a hand in Robert’s Death (Speculation)
It is not a fact, but Littlefinger did want to turn the Starks and Lannisters against each other andthis could not have happened, had Robert found out about his children’s true parentage. Hence, there is enough reason to presume that Littlefinger indirectly got the Lannisters to have Lancel give Robert the fortified wine before he went hunting since Robert was dangerously close to find out the truth. It could even be presumed that since Littlefinger knew the truth about Cersei and Jaime’s incest, he used this information to turn the Starks and Lannisters against each other by first leading Jon Arryn and Ned Stark to the truth, thus leading to their deaths and eventually the War of the Five Kings
3. Killed King Joffrey
Even though Joffrey is technically a Lannister, he ruled as a Baratheon, irrespective of where his loyalties lied. He killed Joffrey, not only implicating Tyrion and Sansa in the process but also in a bid to make the Baratheon house weaker. With Jaime believing Tyrion and helping set him free, this also made Tyrion hate Cersei more and in the process turned the Lannisters against each other.
One would have thought that with Petyr helping Olenna in killing Joffrey, he is on their side. But no,that’s just underestimating Petyr and his huge potential to create conflict and chaos. Remember whenVarys remarked, “Chaos is a gaping pit waiting to swallow us all” and Petyr responded with a rather profound statement that changed how audiences looked at him, forever. He said, “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder”
1. Delivered Olyvar to the Faith Militant
The Tyrells have always been powerful and continued to be till Season 5. The richest of all the houses in Westeros, the members of the Tyrell family – Olenna, Margaery as well as Loras were always protected from the dark side of the ‘Game’ or we could rather affirm that they were smart enough to stay out of that dark side whilst rising to power. They even aided he throne against Stannis during the war. But in Season 5 when Olyvar confessed to the Faith Militant about Loras’ preference for men and Margaery having known this but hidden it from the High Sparrow, both, Margaery and Loras were imprisoned. This was catastrophic for the house and it is only fair to assume that this all was Petyr Baelish’s mastermind. One can argue that it could have been Cersei who pursued and pushed Olyvar to confess but let’s face two major facts:
a. Olyvar worked under Baelish and was extremely loyal to him. He wouldn’t do this without consulting Baelish and without being on the right side of things
b. Baelish told Cersei that he had delivered a ‘handsome young man’ to her, a promise he made to Olenna as well soon resulting in Lancel joining the Faith Militant and admitting to Cersei having killed Robert that eventually resulted in Cersei’s Walk of Shame
1. Murder of Jon Arryn
Littlefinger was the driving force behind Jon Arryn’s poisoning. The loss of Jon Arryn was clearly a huge loss for House Arryn and eventually House Baratheon as well as the House Starks. As House Arryn lost its leader and a proven battle commander, the house was left to the Vale in the very unstable and manipulated hands of Lysa Arryn
2. Murder of Lysa Arryn
Littlefinger pushed Lysa Arryn down the Moon Door but not before marrying her into power. Now with the Vale under his control, House Arryn is left to be ruled by the young and weak
3. Manipulation of Robin Arryn
With House Arryn under the leadership of the very young Robin Arryn, it is no surprise that although Robin will lead it but Littlefinger will be the one calling the shots. His speech to Robin about him needing to take control of his life ensured that Petyr was on Robin’s good books. Robin knew that his mother married Petyr so there is still a sense of comfort for Robin in him. Little does he know that Petyr has manipulated the likes of Ned Stark, Cersei Lannister, Catelyn Stark, Olenna Tyrell and Tywin Lannister and that Robin would just be a piece of cake
4. Manipulation of Lysa Arryn
Lysa loved Littlefinger to the point of obsession and Littlefinger used this knowledge greatly to his benefit. Upon Lysa insistence, Jon Arryn gave him control of customs at Gulltown. This led to a series of appointments that led to him becoming Master of Coin on the small council and put him in a position to carry out every other major move he planned to bring down each house. His manipulation of Lysa and her love for him was what set all of his plans in play.
1. Manipulation of Roose and Ramsay Bolton and eventually having a hand in killing Ramsay:
Not only did Littlefinger give Sansa away to the Boltons, got her married to Ramsay and manipulated the Boltons with the plan of himself taking over the North but when that failed and Sansa emerged stronger and escaped from the Boltons, Petyr came in last minute with the army of Vale to help Jon and Sansa fight Ramsay and eventually kill him.
Now, although Petyr seems apologetic on what he put Sansa through, a man like him hardly feels or does anything without an agenda in mind. From the execution of Ned Stark and thus not resulting in her marriage to Joffrey, changing Sansa’s fate of being married to Loras Tyrell and having a hand in getting her married to Tyrion, poisoning Joffrey and thus implicating Sansa and Tyrion, whisking her away from King’s Landing and handing her over to the Boltons, getting her married to Ramsay, Petyr’s plans have left Sansa more victimized than anyone alive in the Game of Thrones realm. So with the way justice is served in the Game of Thrones universe, it is only just if Petyr died at the hands of Sansa herself, the lady Petyr creepily admires and wants to rule all of Westeros with her by his side. But is she really on his side? Will Petyr succeed?
Catch the Great War that is Game of Thrones Season 7 as it premieres in India on Star World and Star World HD on Tuesday, July 18 th at 11 PM!