Just what it Petyr Baelish's plan? [Game of Thrones: spoilers and speculation]

I’m re-reading ASOIAF, enjoying knowing all about what will happen and seeing the early events with new understanding.

One thing I’m really curious about is what Littlefinger’s deal is. Best explanation I can come up with is that the one thing he really wants is Catelyn, and he is willing to go to inhuman and Byzantine lengths to get her.

His early timeline, as I can recall:

He grows up with the Tullys, falls in love with Cat, challenges Brendan for her and suffers humiliating defeat. Meanwhile, Lysa has fallen in love with Petyr.

While recovering from the injuries of the duel, he’s out of it and Lysa rapes him - he thinks she’s Cat - and gets pregnant. Her dad gives her abortion tea and she never quite gets over the loss of that baby.

Petyr uses his ties with Lysa to rise in power in Kings Landing. She confides in him that Jon is going to send her son to Dragonstone as a ward, and she can’t bear to lose him. At the same time, Petyr knows that Jon Arryn found out about Cersei and Jaime.

Petyr has Lysa poison Jon and accuse Cersei of doing it. This creates an opening for Ned to become Hand, while also stirring further conflict between him and the Lannisters.

So was that actually Petyr’s plan? Get Ned to be Hand, get him fighting with the Lannisters, and use the paternity secret if necessary to get him killed, so Cat would be available? It seems pretty out there. But if that’s not why he did what he did, what is he trying to do?

I think most of his other actions can be tied to loving Cat, while protecting his own self-interest at the same time. Bringing her Ned’s bones and offering to get the girls back, rescuing Sansa, getting rid of Lysa, who’s a danger to Sansa and can narc on Petyr, arranging for Sansa to reclaim her title and lands and marry a powerful lord.

Have I got it right? Petyr’s motivations are 1.) Make Petyr Baelish rich, powerful, and respected; 2.) Manipulate Catelyn Stark into marrying him eventually. Or am I missing something?

He’s one of the weaker parts of the books, IMHO, which is frustrating since he also ends up being behind alot of the stuff that goes on. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone come up with a scenario where his actions make sense, other then that they drive the plot along.

“Littlefinger did it” is basically Martin’s version of “a wizard did it”.

That’s mostly it, I think. And with (SPOILERS) what’s happened to Catelyn since, I think his affection has transferred to Sansa.

I think ascribing a vast long term plans to Littlefinger isn’t the proper way to go about it. I think Littlefinger has long term plans (such as getting Sansa Winterfell), but a lot of times he just rolls with the tides. So, he wasn’t planning on offing Jon Arryn so that Ned would come to King’s Landing, but did so for his continued financial benefit. And then when Ned arrived, he made a new plan. And then when all when to Hell in King’s Landing, he made a new plan involving Sansa.

Littlefinger has the biggest inferiority complex ever. He couldn’t marry his love because he was too low a birth and now he’s out to show them all.

I think that killing Lysa was at least partly improv or at very least rushed due to not realizing the full degree of her insanity. And I expect him to make a play for Sansa as well assuming her marriage can be set aside (which since it wasn’t consummated and her husband’s a convicted tratior and regicidal murderer whose whereabouts are unknown shouldn’t be insurmountable).

Could somebody refresh my memory, please: does Littlefinger know about the Red Wedding yet?

I don’t think he’s talked about it but I don’t see how he couldn’t know. He knows everything and that was probably like a year ago book time if not longer.

I’m pretty sure he mentions a plan to take Sansa back to claim Winterfell, which he wouldn’t be planning to do if he thought Robb was still alive.

Doesn’t Sansa learn of the Red Wedding right around the time of Joffrey’s wedding? I would assume if she knows, Petyr knows, but I don’t remember him specifically knowing that Cat was killed. Obviously if he does know he can’t be angling for her anymore, and may be pursuing Sansa, as noted by **iiandyiiii **. Or he might want to protect her for Catelyn’s sake. I don’t know if his kissing her was genuine or calculated to be seen by Lysa for some reason.

His plan:

  1. Create chaos
  2. Take advantage
  3. Profit!

Succinct, but accurate.

Littlefinger was raised by a family far more wealthy and powerful than his own. He was then denied the opportunity to marry the woman he loved because his family was too poor and too powerless. Now he’s out to make himself wealthy and powerful at the expense of the established figures of wealth and power who thought that they were so much better than him.

Another way to look at it is that Littlefinger is an IRL troll. He enjoys causing chaos for fun and profit.

Sure, but what Littlefinger plans to do and what he says he plans to do are rarely the same thing unless in Winds of Winter he says “Sansa, I’m going to fuck you while I think about your mother.”

I wonder if Martin intends to have Littlefinger feel like Sansa is the daughter he and Catelyn never had, if his feelings toward her are paternal (in a very twisted and quasi-sexual way) and he wants Winterfell for her because it’s for “his” and Catelyn’s child.

I think Littlefinger’s major motivation is to get more for Littlefinger, and I think it’s also right that one has to read him as reacting to what happens, rather than orchestrating everything six steps in advance.

Jon Arryn’s murder just puzzles me. He has Jon murdered. OK, makes sense if he’s trying to protect Cersei and her kids, and maintain order in the kingdom. But then telling the Starks that Cersei killed Arryn - this completely undermines those goals and exposes the Lannisters to some serious consequences and plants seeds for a possible rebellion.

I thought having all the knowledge of the five books under my belt would make me feel clever and in on things as I re-read, but it’s not! :frowning:

Not that he needs gold so much at the Vale, but he’s in a precarious position if he ever leaves. He was given Harrenhal but that doesn’t help much at the moment as it’s in ruins and has armies all around it, and his real fortune is tied into brothels and other properties he owns in King’s Landing and he can’t have carried that much of his coin with him (anything he carries can be stolen by anyone from the armies roaming the countryside to an inbred band of hill people), so his fortunes aren’t endless. I know he bribed some of the Vale’s nobles with concessions and lands as regent for the heir, but it’s only so long before somebody realizes “we can kill him and appoint a new regent”, or the heir (Robin?) might die as he’s very sickly, and he doesn’t have a loyal army, so while he’s not exactly in a sky cell he’s not on sure footing either, which makes me wonder why he was so anxious to leave King’s Landing for the Vale.

Hang on

Spoilers just in case, but from the previous discussion i’m assuming it’s that sort of thread.

Doesn’t it turn out that it was actually Lysa murdered Arryn because he was going to send her son away from her to be fostered (as would be normal) and crazy woman couldn’t bare to be parted from her precious?

I think his plan will be:
1.) Win the allegiance of some, if not all of the Vale lords by offering them honest, competent government. I don’t think there’s any doubt of Littlefinger’s competence and I think he could stay honest enough for a year.
2.) That does leave Lynn Cobray (Mowbray? I can’t remember) who wanted to dissect Pyotr at the end of Book 4. Littlefinger approaches him with this proposition: I’ll make you the seneschal of Harrenhal. I don’t want you to kill the honest peasants, but you can rape, torture, mutilate, and kill, not necessarily in that order, anyone else and confiscate their gold. You can also tax the peasants at a reasonable rate that I’ll set. That meets Lynn’s desire for gold and blood and allows pacification of Harenhal. It will be easy to later trump up some charges to get rid of Lynn and get back the gold. Lynn ain’t a match for Littlefinger in the brains department. That’s pretty clear.
3.) Sansa marries the young male relative, Harrry the Heir, of the lady noble of the Vale. He is called that because he is in line to inherit the Vale should poor Robin die.
4.) Littlefinger, possibly with Sansa’s help, murders Robin and Harry the Heir becomes ruler of the Vale. Frankly, given Robin’s disposition and the charisma of Sansa and her husband, I don’t think too many quesitons are going to be asked.
5.) They reveal that Sansa is the rightful heir of Winterfell and begin a war to get that territory added to the Vale. I think they will have some success at this as: 1.) the current ruler of Winterfell is a HUGE SOB and 2.) somebody’s got to notice that Jeyne Poole lacks the Stark eyes.

This would leave Sansa and Harry the Heir able to claim kingship of a huge chunk of territory: the Stark lands, the Vale, and Harrenhal. The Tullys might throw in with them simply because Sansa is related to that family and they certainly wouldn’t like the Lannisters and their allies. The Freys might be coaxed to join the alliance by reminding them that no one else in Westeros with the brains of a lamprey has the slightest use for them. The Martells might align with them simply because this family seems to be the odd ones out, it would be easy enough for northern lords to promise them lands from the Tyrells, and old man Martell’s plans don’t seem to be working out well.

To me, there are two obvious drawbacks to this:
1.) Arya Stark might show up
2.) I think Littlefinger wants Sansa in bed and this could complicate things.

Three obvious drawbacks…

3.) Stannis may have taken Winterfell by then and, perhaps, fished out Rickon to bend the knee (after all in Dornish chapters they make it clear that only Dorne has lands go to females rather the next male in line).

Don’t forget, he was also involved with Joffrey’s murder. I’m not seeing how he can put in with the Martells with Oleanna Redwyne still alive.

Lysa killed her husband but Littlefinger was definitely involved. She says as much before she dies.

I remember Tyrion noting that Sansa does not cry in front of him even after she hears of the Red Wedding, and he tries to keep her ignorant of the more gruesome details.