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View Full Version : Question about Littlefinger from A Game of Thrones [major spoilers]


HazelNutCoffee
04-19-2011, 08:43 PM
Re-reading the books lately has made me wonder . . . (spoiler space - refers to events from all four books currently published)
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So it's pretty clear that Littlefinger convinced Lysa to help him kill Jon Arryn, right? And then they conspired to tell the Starks that the Lannisters did it. What was he thinking at the time though? He must have known that Robert was going to offer the job to Ned. Why did he want Ned Stark as the King's Hand? If he had Arryn killed simply in the hopes of taking over the Eyrie one day, it wouldn't have mattered if Ned had been the Hand or not. Littlefinger's lie about the daggers seems to support the idea that he wanted the Starks and the Lannisters at each other's throats. Did he just want the realm to fall into chaos? It's obvious that he has serious ambitions but I've never quite been able to figure out what his original motivations were.

Snarky_Kong
04-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Chaos is a major goal of his. If he's driving chaos that mean's he's one step ahead of everybody else. He knows what he's doing, but nobody else does. He tells Sansa this after Joffrey's death.

Also, maybe he wanted Cat to come down to the capital.

Revenant Threshold
04-19-2011, 09:47 PM
I agree with Snarky_Kong. Basically, whereas most other characters rely on the status quo in order to make their manipulations, Littlefinger first tries to mess everything up, both because he has great faith in his ability over everyone else's to cope with and get the best out of a chaotic situation, and also because it means that his true goals aren't easily discernable.

We generally see reactions to him from Tyrion's POV (Cersei technically too, except she doesn't actually connect him at all to what's going on), and even he, a notable mind himself, really doesn't understand Littlefinger's moves until considerably after he makes them. People know he's a player, but because he does so much seemingly randomly it's difficult to actually point to him as an enemy.

HazelNutCoffee
04-19-2011, 10:00 PM
But he must have some sort of end goal. I suppose it hasn't been revealed yet.

If he really wanted to create chaos, he could have made sure that the information about Cersei and Jaime became public knowledge.

Snarky_Kong
04-19-2011, 10:09 PM
But he must have some sort of end goal. I suppose it hasn't been revealed yet.

If he really wanted to create chaos, he could have made sure that the information about Cersei and Jaime became public knowledge.

His end goal? More. He has a huge huge inferiority complex and needs to show the world.

He's lord of Harrenhal, but he wants the Eyrie. Once he gets that he'll try to get the North through Sansa. Then probably the throne.

I'm not sure how he'd have worked bringing Cersei and Jamie into the open, but his slower playing of the game seems to have worked out for him so far.

Captain Amazing
04-19-2011, 11:12 PM
As long as the Starks and Lannisters were at each other's throats, nobody would notice what he was doing. Plus, look at how he's benefited from the chaos.

astro
04-19-2011, 11:24 PM
I initially thought he was just Machevellain, ie lusting for power etc., until some scenes in the later books re kicking the woman to her death etc. where he really seems quite malevolent.

Here's a discussion of his motivations (http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/48887-littlefingers-feelings-regarding-catelyn/)

There are already numerous threads discussing Littlefinger's character and his motivations. However, I don’t recall ever finding a thread discussing LF's intentions towards Cat. So, here’s my question: from the time we meet him in AGoT’s onward, what are Littlefinger’s feelings for Cat? And how does she figure (if at all) in his plans?

The way I see it, it could be any of the following possible scenarios:

1. Littlefinger hates and/ or resents Cat. In addition to plotting for power, he desires revenge against her and the rest of the Tully’s for rejecting him. Getting back at her is a crucial part of his plans.

2. Littlefinger is indifferent to Cat; his true love and life’s mission now is power. He is mostly over his boyish love for her. Since being rejected by her at age 15, he has moved on. His plans for power and self- advancement are first and foremost; she is not really a consideration. He does not desire revenge, but getting Cat back into his life in a romantic sense is not something he considers in his plots.

3. Littlefinger still loves Cat, and wants her back in his life somewhat, but his first priorities are power and self-advancement. If there is a way to get her back that goes along well with his schemes, then he will certainly pursue it. However, his power games come first.

4. Littlefinger still loves Cat as much as ever, and getting her back in his life (and in his arms) is a key part of his plans. His plan was to get rid of Ned, and then turn with open arms to “comfort” a lonely, vulnerable Catelyn. He wanted land, position, and power, but with her at his side. Getting Catelyn was every bit as important to him as his plans for power; however, obviously things didn’t work out the way he planned in regards to the former.

So… what do you all think? Is it one of these options? A combination of several of them?

Captain Amazing
04-19-2011, 11:35 PM
He loves the idea of Cat. Littlefinger was always inferior socially to the Tullies. They were great lords, and he's a minor baron. So I think he likes the idea that he's important and can get a woman now as powerful as one of the Tully sisters.

Alessan
04-20-2011, 12:30 AM
According to the conversation Arya overheard , even Varys and Iliriyo didn't know what Littlefinger's game is; three books later, it isn't any clearer.

Personally, I think it has something to do with Braavos.

HazelNutCoffee
04-20-2011, 01:07 AM
He loves the idea of Cat. Littlefinger was always inferior socially to the Tullies. They were great lords, and he's a minor baron. So I think he likes the idea that he's important and can get a woman now as powerful as one of the Tully sisters.
Yes, it's clear he's put Cat on a pedestal. His perving on Sansa seriously creeps me out though. He is one of the most interesting characters in the series, but it would be intensively satisfying to see him fail spectacularly. (Or it would be for me, anyway.)

I don't think Cat ever figured into his plans. He implied in the first book that he expected Cat to stay in Winterfell and support Robb while Ned was away. ("Family. Duty. Honor.") Although maybe he did expect Ned to die in the end. I suppose he had a hand in making sure Joff didn't pardon Ned (were the Slynts in his pocket?).

Sort of a tangent, but upon re-reading the series this time around (for the umpteenth time) it occurred to me that Ser Mandon Moore might have been working for Littlefinger rather than Cersei. :smack: I don't know why the thought never came to me before.

Barkis is Willin'
04-20-2011, 10:22 AM
The question in the OP is technically from A Feast for Crows, since that is where we learn that it was Littlefinger and Lysa who plotted John Arryn's death.

As for his motives, could be he knew Ned would investigate Arryn's death and wind up discovering the secret affair between Cersei and Jamie. Maybe he thought they could have gotten rid of Ned in such a way that could possibly have led to him marrying Cat and taking Winterfell?

Merijeek
04-20-2011, 11:53 AM
The question in the OP is technically from A Feast for Crows, since that is where we learn that it was Littlefinger and Lysa who plotted John Arryn's death.

As for his motives, could be he knew Ned would investigate Arryn's death and wind up discovering the secret affair between Cersei and Jamie. Maybe he thought they could have gotten rid of Ned in such a way that could possibly have led to him marrying Cat and taking Winterfell?

Hell, if Cersei had taken Ned's offer and run for it, the incest secret would have been out. Either way there's chaos, and there's chaos he saw coming and could use to come out another step ahead.

-Joe

Snarky_Kong
04-20-2011, 12:40 PM
The question in the OP is technically from A Feast for Crows, since that is where we learn that it was Littlefinger and Lysa who plotted John Arryn's death.


I'm 99% sure that's in Storm of Swords, right before Littlefinger pushes her out the moon door.

HazelNutCoffee
04-20-2011, 07:53 PM
No, he definitely kills her in FfC, not SoS.

I'm sure Littlefinger knew Ned would come to King's Landing to investigate Arryn's death and that he would eventually discover the incest. I suppose I'm curious as to what he expected would happen from there. Logically one would assume Ned would go straight to Robert, which would have culminated in the fall of House Lannister, although they wouldn't have gone down without a fight, I suppose. I wonder what Lord Tywin would have done, confronted with hard evidence that his children were guilty of incest and of cuckolding the king.

ETA: Sorry, you were right. It's in SoS that she dies. Huh.

Kylede
04-20-2011, 10:58 PM
Has anyone considered that he might be part of the "Martell Conspiracy" If I remember correctly from the last book, Doran Martell, has/was interested in marrying his daughter off to Viserys and helping to put the Targaryens back on the throne. The chaos caused Littlefinger could have been a prelude to destabilze the monarchy before the return of the Targaryens

Frank
04-20-2011, 11:17 PM
According to the conversation Arya overheard , even Varys and Iliriyo didn't know what Littlefinger's game is; three books later, it isn't any clearer. ...
Absolutely. Littlefinger's plans are unknown and unknowable. I suspect that he is Daernerys' inside man, though she doesn't know it, and he may not be rewarded as he expects; time will tell.

Snarky_Kong
04-20-2011, 11:32 PM
Absolutely. Littlefinger's plans are unknown and unknowable. I suspect that he is Daernerys' inside man, though she doesn't know it, and he may not be rewarded as he expects; time will tell.

Varys is Dany's inside man and he and Littlefinger work against each other. If Littlefinger is also working for her return, that seems counterproductive.

Frank
04-20-2011, 11:42 PM
Varys is Dany's inside man and he and Littlefinger work against each other. If Littlefinger is also working for her return, that seems counterproductive.
Varys is no longer inside, and could not be trusted by anybody anyway; no way, no how. Littlefinger has no possible hope of gaining the throne for himself, and he is astute enough to know that. He's either working to put Sansa on the throne with Harry the Heir as consort, or he's working for Dany, or he's an anarchist.

I'll readily admit I'm speculating; I've got to assume that Martin has not merely been winging it with Littlefinger through four books, and that at some point we're all going to go :smack:

HazelNutCoffee
04-21-2011, 02:41 AM
I think "Littlefinger loves Littlefinger" puts it best. And if Varys is untrustworthy, Littlefinger seems doubly so.

I never considered he might be working for someone else. Hm.

Alessan
04-21-2011, 02:46 AM
Varys is no longer inside, and could not be trusted by anybody anyway; no way, no how. Littlefinger has no possible hope of gaining the throne for himself, and he is astute enough to know that. He's either working to put Sansa on the throne with Harry the Heir as consort, or he's working for Dany, or he's an anarchist.



My speculation - based on absolutely nothing - is that Littlefinger's game goes deeper than than; namely, that he is an agent of one of the true powers of the world, either Fire, or Ice. And seeing as Varys and Iliriyo are the ones pulling Dany's strings, my bet is on the latter.

Snarky_Kong
04-21-2011, 05:26 AM
Varys is no longer inside, and could not be trusted by anybody anyway; no way, no how. Littlefinger has no possible hope of gaining the throne for himself, and he is astute enough to know that. He's either working to put Sansa on the throne with Harry the Heir as consort, or he's working for Dany, or he's an anarchist.

I'll readily admit I'm speculating; I've got to assume that Martin has not merely been winging it with Littlefinger through four books, and that at some point we're all going to go :smack:

Not being trusted never stop Varys before. The fact that he's out doesn't mean anything. If Littlefinger is working for Dany, then Varys and Littlefinger were still working against each other and for her through the first three books.

Who is Littlefinger's contact? Varys has Illyrio (or the other way around) to get information back and forth. Littlefinger needs somebody, or is he just creating chaos and hopes to be rewarded for that?

Littlefinger has a much better chance of being on the Throne than Sansa. Women don't rule, and he has a higher standing than her anyway. He's Lord of the Riverlands and she's the sister of the former Warden of the North (Roose Bolton currently controls the North).

Plus, Aegon the conquerer never had a blood right to the Throne. Robert was never the rightful heir. Neither were Robb or Stannis or Balon Greyjoy. Steel makes a king, not blood. I have no doubt that Littlefinger thinks highly enough of himself that he can gather those swords.

Alessan
04-21-2011, 06:23 AM
But Littlefinger's a realist, and he knows that he's not the type to seize control of a feudal society like the Seven Kingdoms. The lords and knights want someone big and strong who looks good on a horse, not a career bureaucrat who's never fought a battle in his life. No, Littlefinger knows full well that he's destined to be the power behind the throne, not on it.

Snarky_Kong
04-21-2011, 08:20 AM
But Littlefinger's a realist, and he knows that he's not the type to seize control of a feudal society like the Seven Kingdoms. The lords and knights want someone big and strong who looks good on a horse, not a career bureaucrat who's never fought a battle in his life. No, Littlefinger knows full well that he's destined to be the power behind the throne, not on it.

The majority of the people that rules in the paste 300 years were not warriors. Plus, the last warrior King was fucking awful. The lords don't give a shit what a person looks like, they care what's in it for them. If Littlefinger can get people things, land or titles, in return (he's kinda like Red in Shawshank, he's the man that can get you things) for their support, they will.

Can Doran Martell even walk? He's head of one of the most powerful houses in the kingdom.

How does wanting someone big and strong on the throne mesh with Dany? I assume you don't think it's crazy to think she'd be queen. Why? Because she has baby dragons?

Alessan
04-21-2011, 08:40 AM
The majority of the people that rules in the paste 300 years were not warriors. Plus, the last warrior King was fucking awful. The lords don't give a shit what a person looks like, they care what's in it for them. If Littlefinger can get people things, land or titles, in return (he's kinda like Red in Shawshank, he's the man that can get you things) for their support, they will.

Can Doran Martell even walk? He's head of one of the most powerful houses in the kingdom.

How does wanting someone big and strong on the throne mesh with Dany? I assume you don't think it's crazy to think she'd be queen. Why? Because she has baby dragons?

But they have royal blood. Littlefinger doesn't. The lords will follow the king ordained by the gods, either through their blood, or as proven in the field of battle.

In other words, they'll follow someone who they think is of a higher station then them - either by birth, or, in rare cases, if the king's personal superiority is self evident, with prowess in war being the sole criteria. Littlefinger, OTOH, is barely a noble. Do you really see the lords of Dorne or Riverrun bending their knee to one such as he?

Stop thinking in modern terms.

Snarky_Kong
04-21-2011, 08:57 AM
Littlefinger is lord of the Riverlands, and probably soon to be of the Eyrie and possibly the North. They'll bend the knee if it's that or their heads on a spike.

Littlefinger is well aware of what other people think of him. That's his driving motivation for his entire life. He knows he's not going to rule through his personal intimidation. However, he has caused the deaths of some of the most important people in the world and now has armies at his command. I think you're underestimating his ambition and intelligence.

I'm not at all saying his plan would succeed, btw.

Merijeek
04-21-2011, 10:32 AM
My speculation - based on absolutely nothing - is that Littlefinger's game goes deeper than than; namely, that he is an agent of one of the true powers of the world, either Fire, or Ice. And seeing as Varys and Iliriyo are the ones pulling Dany's strings, my bet is on the latter.

I could see that, and I've thought of it myself. I just hate the whole 24-esque "the bad guys have it all ready to go and everything that happens is according to their plan".

I think it's possible, but I'm going to just lay it at the feet of 'twisted human being' and not 'agent of evil powers'.

-Joe

Alessan
04-21-2011, 11:18 AM
Littlefinger is lord of the Riverlands, and probably soon to be of the Eyrie and possibly the North. They'll bend the knee if it's that or their heads on a spike.

Littlefinger may be lord of the Riverland, but his father wasn't; to the other lords, he'll always be an upstart (look at the snide remarks they've made about the Tyrells, who have ruled Highgarden for a mere 300 years). He holds Riverrun at the pleasure of the Lannisters - none of his power is his own. His ability to put people's head on spikes is completely dependent on his ability to have men in armor on horses follow his orders. Lords rule with the consent of their vassals, and I don't see the other lords ever accepting him as their superior.

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