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?