Game of Thrones: What Is Littlefinger Up To?

There’s a great series on YouTube where Preston Jacobs does a pretty good job explaining the details surrounding Littlefinger/Petyr Baelish’s debt scheme. However, the main question that has yet to be answered in his series is: what is Littlefinger, indeed, up to?

Before tackling that question, I think a better question to ask is just who is Petry Baelish? We have history based on the snippets revealed to us by Catelyn as his love interest. We know him as someone who everyone realizes is both dangerous, ambitious and manipulative. Also, it has been revealed that we’ll never probably see a viewpoint chapter for Petyr Baelish as “he simply knows too much.”

Ironically, there is one scene from the TV series that reveals a lot about the Petyr Baelish character where we see him in his brothel and he provides a monolog about his intentions to “fuck them” (i.e. everyone in the realm). This scene is pretty important to me as it resembles in some ways a view point chapter that doesn’t exist in the novels. Considering the exposition (or sexposition as they have labeled it), we have to ask as a viewer whether or not this side of Petyr was being frank and that he had enough trust in unveiling his true personality to his whores or if he had long foreseen Varys’ hiring of Ros and intentionally was feeding Varys false information.

In addition, one other critical scene in the TV series is where Sansa asks what he wants and he remarks, “Everything.” Again, we have to question his reliability in being forthcoming where he possibly is feeding Sansa false information or allowing her, as one of the few people in the world, into his true personality. For myself, I think the truth in that scene lies somewhere in the middle where he’s not being deceitful in his desires. If that’s the case, then some may argue that he desires the Iron Throne for himself (and we often see him staring at it while in conversation with people like Varys).

Yet part of me wonders if he would stop at the Iron Throne. The word “Everything” entails quite a bit and quite literally can mean Everything. If that is the case, I want to examine the TV scenes with him and Varys. Both characters lack their own viewpoint chapters in the novel, but the TV producers have opted instead to provide small scenes with both characters demonstrating their struggle against each other. In some ways, it seems that their existence (at least with regards to the TV series) seem to be as opposites of one another. If we take that Varys’ true desire is to lack desire with the exception of helping the realm in an objective manner and that Petyr represents the polar extreme of complete selfish desire and utter need for power, then one has to wonder additionally if perhaps they serve or are higher powers themselves.

While people enjoy the story because there’s a more grounded sense of reality in an otherwise fantasy themed world, there still exist a connection to the supernatural that slowly is beginning to manifest. One hypothesis I have for both characters is that perhaps they are a form of a higher being and that their existence is similar to the theme of Ice and Fire; in short, they live to antagonize one another and bring imbalance or balance to the world. Petyr clearly in the TV show embraces chaos to serve his ambition. Does he actually represent chaos or perhaps serves one of these deities of an unknown entity that seeks to create chaos in the world? Does Varys represent an entity that desires order?

Another interesting question is Petyr’s connection to the supernatural events that slowly are encroaching? Does he care or even know about the White Walkers? How will he react to the coming of Dany and her dragons? Most of his focus at the moment seems to be solely around Sansa and the acquisition of power slowly such as Harrenhal or the Vale. I have to wonder if these are simply incidental or if he has a greater purpose, such as using the war to create hundreds of thousands of bodies to feed to the White Walkers when they eventually march from the north. If anything that seems to be the most logical answer considering that he more than likely just wants to “fuck them” (where “them” represents virtually everyone in the world).

Another thing to ask is his newly acquired allies. During his speech on chaos, he talks about his current conspiracy with the partnership of some “new friends” (particularly a male) and how this friend seemed interested in the “fresh” experience that he would provide. One could point to the Tyrells as they obviously worked with Petyr in deposing of Joffrey. However, one of the key points in Petyr’s speech is using the gender of “male” to denote his ally. Well, with Olenna in the mix, it seems rather odd for him to suggest that she is his primary ally, thus defying the gendered implication.

The show’s current season 5 previews has Varys clearly aligning himself with Dany, making him gravitate towards the “Fire” side of the equation whereas Petyr remains in the north. Yet if his intention is to continue brewing plots to cause wars, I would like to venture at this point that somehow he managed to align himself with the White Walkers. Yes, I’ve said it. The only other ally that would make sense to me would be the Iron Bank, but in looking at the overarching elements in the story, the logical conclusion would be having him ally with the “Ice” side to fight Varys.

Perhaps, Petyr is not a supernatural being but just a metaphorical representation of chaos. More than likely, he is simply an ambitious person willing to commit any risk, as he has admitted to Sansa, to obtain the power he desires. That risk is to put the entire kingdom’s existence at stake in bargaining with the White Walkers to act as a ruler with possibly a young, fertile and naive Sansa at his side for him to pleasure and manipulate through eternity.

In reality, the character of Petyr is probably just another scheming weasel, who manipulate everyone around them to further their gain. Part of what I think the thesis of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire is about is what makes a successful ruler. If you look at people like Ned Stark, Joffrey, Robert Baratheon, Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, etc., you have to examine their representations as failures in ideologies of power. I think Petyr, while an absolutely intriguing character, is someone whose schemes will eventually get the better of him in that endless manipulation, dishonesty and ambition wind up consuming themselves when everything one days is unraveled by a misplay. While justice is not given lightly in the realm of Westeros, I doubt that Petyr will escape him eventual demise at his own hands.

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