Petyr Baelish, popularly called Littlefinger, is a major character in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons. He is played by starring cast member Aidan Gillen and debuts in "Lord Snow". Petyr Baelish was the Master of Coin on the Small Council. He is a skilled manipulator and uses his ownership of brothels in King's Landing to both accrue intelligence on political rivals and acquire vast wealth. Baelish's spy network is eclipsed only by that of Varys.
Petyr Baelish is the head of House Baelish, and the lord of an extremely minor holding, so small it has neither name nor maester, located in a small area within the Fingers, a coastal region in the northeastern shores of the Vale of Arryn. He is currently House Baelish's only living member.
House Baelish had very meager origins and no distinguished lineage: Petyr's great-grandfather was a lowly sellsword from Braavos who came to the Vale at the invitation of House Corbray. Petyr's grandfather was a poor hedge knight, who managed to earn a minor lordship of a few stony acres in the smallest peninsula of the Fingers.
Petyr's father fought in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, the preemptive assault on the forces of Maelys Blackfyre, the last of the Blackfyre Pretenders, before they could attempt an invasion of Westeros. During the conflict Petyr's father served well under Lord Hoster Tully. Through their good relationship Hoster agreed to foster his son Petyr at Riverrun, a great honor for a lesser House.
Petyr went to Riverrun when he was eight years old, carrying all he owned in a bundle. At Riverrun he befriended Hoster's daughters Catelyn and Lysa Tully. Their brother Edmure mockingly nicknamed him "Littlefinger" at the time, in reference to his small height at the time and the location of his minor landholdings. The nickname would stick with him throughout his life. Eventually even Petyr sarcastically embraced the nickname, due to the fact that it demonstrated how far he had risen, from an impoverished noble-born boy from an insignificant minor House in the "little Finger" peninsula of the Vale, to one of the most powerful officials at the royal court.
Petyr became smitten with Catelyn but she never returned his affections. Lysa was infatuated with Petyr, but he only loved Catelyn. Eventually when she was betrothed to Brandon Stark, heir to Lord of Winterfell and Lord Paramount of the North, Petyr challenged him to a duel, thinking he could win through pluck and courage - he was promptly overpowered and nearly killed, though Catelyn begged Brandon to spare his life. Embittered, Petyr was cast out of Riverrun and returned to the Vale. During the course of Robert's Rebellion, however, Brandon was killed by the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen, so Catelyn married his younger brother Eddard Stark, while to secure a political alliance Lysa was wed to Jon Arryn, ruler of the Vale. Manipulating Lysa's infatuation with himself, Petyr ingratiated himself into Jon's services, first as customs officer at Gulltown, where he increased the port's revenues tenfold. Seeing Littlefinger's financial acumen, Jon was easily convinced by Lysa to later bring Littlefinger to the royal court at King's Landing, and make him Master of Coin on King Robert Baratheon's Small Council. Baelish's naked ambition often placed him at odds with the Master of Whisperers, Lord Varys.
In charge of the crown's treasury, Littlefinger rapidly grew into a powerful player in royal politics and a master of court intrigues. Of an older mindset, few who did not know him suspected Littlefinger as a threat, seeing only that he was a man from a very minor House, with no distinguished lineage, significant landholdings, or armies. Instead, Littlefinger based his newfound power on money. Baelish is unscrupulous in his search for power and wealth: he has bought multiple brothels in the city - particularly a high class brothel catering to the nobles in the city - cynically noting that whores make a better investment than ships, because they rarely sink. Baelish makes good use of his brothels to have his agents spy on and manipulate his clientele, and owns one of the largest spy networks in Westeros - second only to Varys's. Littlefinger has been known to privately bribe lords who have unusual or violent sexual fetishes if they pay the right price - ranging from supplying lords with amputee prostitutes, to delivering young boys to pederasts, and even delivering prostitutes to be secretly murdered by his clients for thrill-kills.
Due to their past friendship as children, Catelyn Stark continued to believe that Lord Baelish was a friend she could count on at court.
Littlefinger greets Eddard upon his arrival in King's Landing and reports that the realm is six million gold dragons in debt, half of it owed to House Lannister. Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrik Cassel attempt to sneak into the city, but are spotted by one of Littlefinger's men. They are taken to meet Littlefinger at one of his brothels. Catelyn is angered by their treatment, but asks Littlefinger for aid. She is trying to identify the people who tried to have her son Bran Stark killed. Littlefinger is able to answer this quickly: the elaborate dagger wielded by the assassin used to be his, but he lost it in a bet with Tyrion Lannister.
Littlefinger fetches Eddard to meet his wife, but when Eddard realizes he was being brought to a brothel, he thinks Littlefinger is insulting him by saying his wife is a whore. Eddard throws Littlefinger up against a wall before Catelyn appears and Eddard becomes pacified. After hearing her news, he vows to find the truth and expose the Lannisters to Robert and Littlefinger agrees to be his ally in this, for the affection he once bore Catelyn as a youngster. Eddard believes that Littlefinger is still in love with his wife.
Littlefinger attaches himself more firmly to Eddard's cause, giving him information that leads Eddard to Tobho Mott's smithy. He also points out some of the agents belonging to the Queen and to Varys. He later tells Sansa Stark about how Sandor Clegane has his face burned by his brother when he was young for stealing a toy. He advises her not to mention the matter to Sandor.
Littlefinger loses a bet to Renly Baratheon over the joust between Ser Loras Tyrell and Ser Gregor Clegane. He makes it clear that he knows about Renly's sexual relationship with Loras, to Renly's discomfort. Littlefinger and Varys verbally spar, Littlefinger threatening to reveal to the King that Varys has been meeting with Illyrio Mopatis in secret while Varys threatens to reveal to the Lannisters that it was Littlefinger who implicated Tyrion in the attempted murder of Bran Stark. However, they then both support the motion to have Daenerys Targaryen assassinated before the Dothraki can invade Westeros.
Littlefinger later introduces Eddard to Mhaegen, a prostitute and mother of yet another of King Robert's bastard children. Outside the brothel Eddard gets into a fight with Ser Jaime Lannister. Littlefinger flees, promising to return with the City Watch.
Littlefinger is stunned when Eddard orders that Gregor Clegane be arrested and executed for his raids on the Riverlands and when he also orders Tywin Lannister to present himself at court to answer for his bannerman's crimes. Littlefinger reminds Eddard that Tywin is the richest man in Westeros and that it is gold that wins wars, not armies. Eddard disagrees, asking why then Tywin is not the king.
Littlefinger tutors a new recruit to his brothels, Ros, and discusses his ambitions with her. Later, Eddard tells him the truth of Joffrey's parentage and his plan to install Stannis on the throne when Robert dies.
Littlefinger suggests instead that they let Joffrey rule but act as the powers behind the throne. If he does not mature into the king they want, they can expose his dirty secret and install Lord Renly instead. Eddard rejects the plan as treason and instead asks Littlefinger to win over the City Watch to their cause. Littlefinger agrees, but later the City Watch turns on Eddard's men and kills them, while Littlefinger holds a dagger to Eddard's throat, pointing out, "I did warn you not to trust me."
Lord Baelish asks the Queen to allow Sansa Stark to prove her loyalty as he attends the girl’s audience with the Queen and the council. He stands with the small council as the details of Joffrey’s reign are read out and Barristan Selmy’s position is ordered to be taken up by Jaime Lannister. He glances suspiciously at Varys as Sansa seeks pardon for her father's actions.
Baelish watches on as Eddard Stark confesses at his trial and is executed.
Littlefinger discusses kingship with Varys, and they engage in banter revolving around the Master of Whisperers' lack of genitalia. They eventually acknowledge their mutual admiration and respect of one another, before being interrupted by Joffrey and his entourage.
The Citadel announces the coming of winter and Littlefinger warns the small council that they do not have enough food for a protracted winter lasting more than five years. Cersei orders the city barred to refugees from the War of the Five Kings. Tyrion Lannister arrives to take up his position as acting Hand of the King to Cersei's consternation.
Stannis Baratheon learns of Jaime Lannister's incestuous relationship with Cersei in a letter sent by Eddard Stark before his death. Stannis composes his own missive and sends it to all the high lords of the Seven Kingdoms asking them to declare their loyalty to him and telling them of Joffrey's illegitimacy. Cersei tasks Littlefinger with finding the missing Arya Stark and needles him about his love for Catelyn Stark. He responds by referencing her incest and receives a violent reprimand. King Joffrey Baratheon responds to the ensuing rumors by ordering a city wide massacre of his father's bastards. The city watch storm into Littlefinger's brothel and kill the infant Barra in front of his employees.
Littlefinger mocks a request from the Night's Watch for assistance combating Wildling activity and reporting an attack by Wights. Tyrion has Lord Janos Slynt exiled to the Wall for his part in the massacre. Littlefinger intimidates Ros into keeping up her work despite the traumatic murder she witnessed.
Tyrion meets with Littlefinger and outlines a plan to wed Myrcella Baratheon to Robin Arryn to secure the support of the Vale. He promises to make Littlefinger the Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount of the Riverlands in exchange for his assistance and swears him to secrecy. Pycelle is arrested for revealing that Tyrion plans to wed Myrcella into House Martell and Littlefinger realizes that he was involved in a ruse. He confronts Tyrion who apologizes and offers him another opportunity; to act as an envoy to Catelyn to propose a prisoner exchange.Littlefinger reaches Catelyn at Renly Baratheon's camp in the Stormlands. He faces a frosty reception from Renly but nevertheless offers to betray the Lannisters and open the gates of King's Landing to Renly's army. He takes interest in Renly's new bride Margaery Tyrell and lets Margaery know that he is aware that it is a purely political marriage because of Renly's homosexuality. He meets with Catelyn as planned and delivers Eddard's remains as a sign of good faith. She greets him with angry recriminations over his betrayal of Eddard and rejects his poorly timed advances. He delivers Tyrion's suggested exchange terms; Jaime for Sansa and Arya Stark. Littlefinger lies that the Lannisters have Arya in their custody. Renly is killed in mysterious circumstances and Littlefinger then approaches the Tyrells with a new proposal of alliance with Joffrey. This will allow Margaery Tyrell to remain a queen and provide Loras Tyrell vengeance on Stannis. He leaves the camp with them for Highgarden. Catelyn acts alone to free Jaime on returning to Robb's camp, just as Littlefinger suggested.
Littlefinger travels to Harrenhal to propose an alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell to Lord Tywin Lannister. Littlefinger is successful in negotiating with the Tyrells and the allied forces arrive in time to claim victory at the Battle of the Blackwater.
Littlefinger is elevated to Lord of Harrenhal in reward for brokering the alliance. He jokes that now he must get started on producing some heirs. Sansa's betrothal to King Joffrey is broken so that Joffrey can marry Margaery. Sansa is overjoyed at this, but tries to look heartbroken. Littlefinger warns Sansa that she isn't fooling anyone and that Joffrey will not let her go despite setting her aside. Lord Petyr tells her that she reminds him of Catelyn and offers to take her home to Winterfell but she is reluctant to trust him.
Baelish colludes with Sansa Stark that he plans to smuggle her out of the city on his ship when he leaves on an upcoming mission.
With his new position as Lord of Harrenhal, Littlefinger's status is elevated considerably, enough for him to leave his position as Master of Coin to Tyrion, purchase a ship and prepare to sail to the Eyrie with a marriage proposal to the widowed Lysa Arryn. However, knowing full well that Sansa could end up being a more politically powerful wife than Lysa, he plans to take her on his ship with him. Ros, now secretly working for Varys, discovers his intentions and informs Varys who promptly convinces Lady Olenna Tyrell to arrange a marriage between Sansa and Loras.
Having been asked by Cersei to collect information on the Tyrells, Littlefinger orders one of his homosexual prostitutes, Olyvar, to act as Loras' squire and seduce him all the way to the bedroom. He does so and manages to get Loras to admit to the secret wedding plans. Olyvar relays this piece of information back to Littlefinger, who tests Sansa. When she declines her place on his ship, Baelish realizes Varys' plan and tips off Cersei and Tywin.
Baelish deduces that it must have been Ros who betrayed him, so he gives her to King Joffrey, who tortures and kills her with his crossbow. In the throne room, Littlefinger confronts Varys about his foiled plot. Varys responds by telling him that he "did what he did for the good of the realm" to prevent it spiralling into chaos but Littlefinger counters him by asserting that he views chaos as the perfect scenario to climb further up the social ladder. His ship then departs for the Vale of Arryn.
After Joffrey's death, Dontos Hollard delivers Sansa Stark to Lord Baelish's ship. After Sansa climbs aboard, Lord Baelish reminds Dontos about his payment. Baelish snaps his fingers, and crossbowmen kill Dontos. Baelish takes off Sansa's necklace, which he made himself, and throws it overboard.
Still sailing, Lord Baelish approaches Sansa at her cabin and tells her that they are on their way to the Vale where she will be safe. Sansa accuses him of killing Joffrey; he tries to deny it at first, but Sansa knows that he had something to do with the murder because getting her out of King's Landing was part of the plan. He admits it, telling her about the poison in the necklace, and states that Joffrey couldn't be trusted and had to be removed. Because Baelish has been away for a while, he would never be suspected, and the whole purpose of the murder was to confuse the Lannisters--which his new friend, Lady Olenna, wanted very badly.
Littlefinger and Sansa, now pretending to be his niece Alayne, pass the Bloody Gate and make their ascent to the Eyrie, where they meet Lysa Arryn and her son, Lord Robin. After Sansa is acquainted with the two of them and is told that no one can know about her presence, Robin takes her to the chambers. Baelish is left alone with Lysa, who kisses him and tells him she wants to marry him immediately. He is reluctant at first and wants to inform the Lords of the Vale about the ceremony, but Lysa says that they already had their wedding night long ago. She then asks him what wife would do for him the things she had done for him, including poisoning her husband's wine, thus killing him, and then writing a letter to her sister Catelyn claiming it had been the Lannisters who did it, all of this at Littlefinger's behest. He starts to kiss her before anyone can overhear her. Lysa then brings a septon into the hall to wed them immediately and says that she will scream loudly as her husband, Lord Baelish, is making love to her that night. She keeps her promise, much to Sansa's annoyance.
The next day, after Sansa slaps Robin for ruining the snowcastle of Winterfell she made in the Eyrie's courtyard, Littlefinger approaches her and calms her down, stating that Robin should've been disciplined by his mother long ago and that he will deal with Lysa. When Sansa states she will never see Winterfell again, he counters that a lot can happen between "now and never" and that she must demolish her old home if she wants to build one anew. Sansa insists to know why he killed Joffrey. He anwsers that he did it out of love for Sansa's mother. He adds that in a different world she might have been his child. He dismisses the notion and states she's more beautiful that Catelyn ever was. He kisses Sansa afterward. Later, Petyr prevents Lysa from throwing Sansa out of the Moon Door after she saw the kiss. After Lysa is more subdued, Petyr tells her he has always loved only one woman: "your sister". He then pushes Lysa out of the Moon Door.
Following Lysa's death, Petyr Baelish is questioned by Lord Yohn Royce, Lady Anya Waynwood, and Ser Vance Corbray about Lysa's death, which he claims was suicide. The lords don't believe him, given Lysa's devotion to her son. They rebuff Littlefinger's explanations in favor of speaking with the only other witness: his "niece", Alayne. Baelish is noticeably concerned after they reveal that they will not allow him to speak to to her prior to her testimony in order to hear the "unadulterated truth". However, after confirming that Baelish can stay for her testimony, Alayne reveals her true identity, the tale of her captivity and flight from King's Landing. She then speaks of Lysa's mental instability, jealousy and death, changing only a few details: saying Littlefinger only kissed her on the cheek and that Lysa did throw herself from the Moon Door. Sansa breaks down in tears and the lords are convinced, but while none of them are looking, she gives Littlefinger a stony, almost triumphant gaze.
Following the questining Petyr admonishes the lords for hiding away in the Vale during the War of the Five Kings, questioning their loyalty because they refused Catelyn Stark's plea for assistance in the conflict against the Lannisters. When asked who he thinks they should back, he responds that they should back "Robin Arryn, Lord of the Vale." When the lords scoff at his suggestion, claiming that Robin is just a sickly boy, Petyr responds by declaring that "even sickly little boys can become powerful men," and that it is time for young Robin to fly the nest. The boy he claims, needs to learn to ride a horse, to swing a sword, and to become the lord the Vale needs. He offers to take Lord Robin on a tour of the Vale in order for him to become acquainted with his domains, a request that the lords agree to.
Later, Baelish visits Sansa and asks why she lied on his behalf. Without looking up from the dress she is mending, Sansa explains that she has no idea what Royce, Corbray, and Waynwood would want from her if he were eliminated, but that she does know what it is he wants. Littlefinger seems impressed that she made such a calculating decision, but attempts to cast doubt on her certainty. Sansa doesn't take the bait. Later on, Baelish and Robin stand in the High Hall, preparing to depart for their tour of the Vale. Robin expresses his uncertainty about leaving the Eyrie, echoing his mother's words that the outside world is a dangerous place where he could die. Petyr calms his fears by stating that people die from everyday causes, and that instead of worrying about his inevitable death to spend time focusing on his life, which lays before him. At that moment, a raven-haired Sansa appears at the top of the stairs in a feathered black dress with a plunging neckline. Petyr stares at her intently, clearly intrigued and pleased by her recent transformation, and she returns his smile knowingly.Robin at Runestone, along with Alayne and Yohn Royce. Royce remarks on Robin's weak skills at swordsmanship, but Petyr insists his name is all that matters, not his skill. A maester delivers him a raven message, which he reads discreetly. Littlefinger leaves Robin in the care of Lord Royce, for further training. On the carriage ride, he is questioned by Sansa as to why they are heading west when Lord Royce was told they would be traveling to the Fingers, unsure of his source of distrust. Petyr promises her that they are going somewhere far away, where Sansa will be safe from Queen Cersei.
While at an inn, Petyr and Sansa are confronted by Brienne of Tarth, who previously swore an oath to Catelyn Stark to keep the Stark girls safe. Petyr reminds Brienne that she swore an oath to Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark, both of whom are now dead, in order to stop Sansa from trusting her. Petyr attempts to "persuade" Brienne to rest with them, but Brienne and her squire, Podrick Payne, escape, and discreetly continue to follow Petyr and his party.
However, when the party arrives at the ruins of Moat Cailin, Sansa realizes that Petyr intends to marry her to Ramsay Bolton, the son of Lord Roose Bolton, who betrayed and murdered her brother and mother. Despite Sansa's reluctance to marry into another family that harmed hers, Petyr persuades her to go along with the plan, citing it as a chance to avenge her family. They subsequently ride through Moat Cailin, and arrive at Winterfell. Later, Petyr speaks with Ramsay and subtly warns him not to inflict any harm on Sansa. He also speaks with Roose regarding the validity of Sansa's marriage to Tyrion Lannister. Petyr insists that since Tyrion never slept with Sansa, their marriage is invalid. Roose declares that he is not only interested in Sansa's name, not her virtue (after Baelish suggests he have Sansa inspected) and voices his doubts as to whose side Petyr is truly on, having essentially betrayed the Lannisters by taking Sansa away from them and returning her to the North to marry into a family that the Lannisters are no longer backing, though Petyr counters by citing Roose's betrayal of the Starks and Tullys. Roose then presents a letter for Petyr from Cersei which arrived from the Eyrie, and demands to read Petyr's reply before it is sent off.
Later on, Petyr finds Sansa in the crypts of Winterfell paying her respects to her deceased family members. Petyr recalls about how Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Sansa's aunt, Lyanna, which started Robert Baratheon's rebellion against the Targaryen family. Petyr then tells Sansa that he has to return to King's Landing on Cersei's request. Sansa expresses unease about being left alone in Winterfell, but Petyr tells her not to worry, since Stannis Baratheon is garrisoned at Castle Black and will most likely make another try for the Iron Throne, which will require him to retake Winterfell, destroy the Boltons and win the Northern Lords to his side, and out of respect for Ned Stark's support of his claim, Stannis will rescue Sansa and name her the new Warden of the North, and if Stannis is killed or does not even come, then Petyr suggests Sansa can destroy the Boltons from within. He kisses her on the lips again and departs..
Baelish returns to King's Landing to find the city under the rule of the newly-reestablished Faith Militant. Lancel Lannister, a member of the religious cult known as the Sparrows, warns him that his days as a brothel owner in the capital are over. He goes to meet Cersei and he informs her of the Boltons' plans to marry Sansa to Ramsay. Angered at the Boltons' betrayal, Cersei agrees with Baelish's plans to lead an army of Vale knights to Winterfell to reclaim the North for the Lannisters, as the warriors from the Eyrie are trained to fight in winter (the weather is starting to turn at this point). In exchange, Baelish asks to be appointed as the new Warden of the North once Winterfell is taken and both the Boltons and Stannis are defeated. Cersei agrees and tells him to return that night to have the King sign a royal decree promoting him.
Baelish later stands in his ruined brothel with a look of regret. He is approached by Olenna Tyrell, having sent her a letter to speak with him. As they speak, Olenna mentions how her grandchildren, Margaery and Loras, have been arrested due to Cersei's machinations, and demands his help by threatening that if anything happens to her or if House Tyrell goes down, she will reveal his involvement in Joffrey's murder, which will certainly lead to his execution. Baelish reveals that Cersei summoned him to King's Landing for "a piece of information he had", his prostitute Olyvar, and he tells Olenna that he will give her the same thing he gave Cersei: a handsome young man — implied, in this instance, to be Lancel. Subsequently Lancel reveals the adulterous affair he had with Cersei to the High Sparrow, who has her arrested.
Baelish is a cunning and ruthless manipulator of court politics. He is at times capable of putting on a seemingly friendly face with a friendly smile - but his eyes don't smile when his mouth does. The exact inner motivations that drive Baelish are unclear, as are his ultimate goals, but he has no real loyalty or genuine affection for anyone. Behind his smiles and forced mild manners, Littlefinger is cunning and calculating, willing to casually dispose of people who trusted him, like a man replacing an old pair of gloves he doesn't want anymore. Even so, he is an extremely intelligent man, not only a genius at financial matters but at cynically manipulating those around him. As Varys observed, he is a grasper from a minor House, with a very great skill at befriending and ultimately manipulating powerful people.
Littlefinger started out as an impoverished noble from an insignificant minor House in the "little Finger" peninsula of the Vale, but felt constantly looked down upon for his relatively lowly status by much higher noblemen. His rejection by the Tullys when he was a young man, and his near-death at the hands of Brandon Stark, embittered him against both the Tullys and the Starks - nor was he strongly attached to the other Vale lords who looked down on him the rest of his life. Petyr loved Catelyn, but she saw him only like a brother, and her father wanted him to have nothing to do with her.
In truth, underneath Littlefinger's people-mask, he is a cold sociopath who hungers for power over others basically for its own sake. Curiously, even seemingly plausible goals such as "revenge against the Starks and Tullys" - which at times is what he tells himself he is doing - are really only excuses and rationalizations for his utter ambition to control everything around him - he has stated more than once that he wants "everything." Even Littlefinger's alleged feelings for Catelyn Stark truly seem to have just been a rationalization for his greed for power. Though surely, Littlefinger himself is convinced that he truly "loved" her, in reality his attraction was one-sided, and he was obsessively stalking a girl who never returned his affections beyond a platonic level. Hypocritically, Littlefinger became angered that the Tullys rejected him, probably for his low social status - when Catelyn's younger sister Lysa Tully was utterly obsessed with him. Petyr, ironically, wanted nothing to do with Lysa, and used her only as a means to an end to get to Catelyn. Later after Catelyn died, Littlefinger creepily transferred his obsession to Sansa. Even though, as he himself noted, Sansa is young enough to be his own daughter, she reminds him so much of the young Catelyn at her age that he forgets himself, even allowing himself to try to kiss her - showing that he didn't really love Catelyn as a person so much as a concept, given that he feels she is interchangeable with her daughter.
In brief moments when Littlefinger has opened up to Sansa Stark, it is disturbingly revealed that despite his keen skill at assessing the emotions and goals of others and using it to manipulate them, he has a highly warped, skewed view of the world. In Littlefinger's mind, he narrates himself as the hero of his own storybook, as it were: as he says, the weak boy from a minor family who hoped that in a better world, "love could overcome strength and duty". He genuinely feels - or seems to feel - that he is the victim in all of this, despite causing the War of the Five Kings (a war in which tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians have died), because the uncaring forces of a stratified aristocracy prevented him from marrying Catelyn - even though Catelyn herself never "loved" him in return, purely on a personal level. Petyr's surprising lack of insight when it comes to his romantic obsessions were revealed when he encountered Catelyn again in Renly Baratheon's army camp after her husband's execution - a betrayal which Catelyn by now would assuredly have known he was at least partially complicit in. Instead, Petyr started babbling nonsensically to Catelyn that "fate" had granted them the opportunity to finally be together now that Eddard was dead - even though he previously saw that they were deeply in love, and any sane man would realize that she would be both deeply in mourning for her husband, and have reason to be suspicious that he had something to do with his death. Littlefinger's stalker-crush extended to the point that even after years of bitterly hating the Tullys and Starks, and even hating Catelyn at times for rejecting him, at other times he would persist to indulge in fantasies that one day she would come running into his arms.
Some men such as Varys engage in court intrigue and engage in murder because they feel they are doing what they must to ensure safety and order for the realm as a whole, while other men such as Tywin Lannister engage in court intrigue because they want to secure more power for themselves and for their family legacy. Baelish, meanwhile, just does things because he can: he enjoys exerting power over other people. Sometimes this can take the form of out-witting or out-manipulating major court players such as Varys or Cersei - even Tyrion Lannister enjoyed the challenge of "the game". Yet Littlefinger also enjoys crushing the powerless when he thinks he can get away with it, people who pose no threat to him. Baelish's acquisition of multiple brothels sums up a major aspect of his personality: he is willing to use other people, often vulnerable and weak people (i.e. prostitutes), purely for his own gain (cynically selling his whores' sexual services for gold), while at the same time using the weaknesses of his enemies as leverage (i.e. blackmailing them about their visits to his brothels). Sometimes Baelish doesn't even use people for any actual purpose, but simply because he enjoys destroying them like a man swatting a fly.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Season Two appearances|
|The North Remembers||The Night Lands||What is Dead May Never Die||Garden of Bones||The Ghost of Harrenhal|
|The Old Gods and the New||A Man Without Honor||The Prince of Winterfell||Blackwater||Valar Morghulis|
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
|Season Five appearances|
|The Wars to Come||The House of Black and White||High Sparrow||Sons of the Harpy||Kill the Boy|
|Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken||The Gift||Hardhome||The Dance of Dragons||Mother’s Mercy|
- Spoken by Littlefinger
- Petyr Baelish: "You know what I learnt losing that duel? I learnt that I'll never win. Not that way. That's their game, their rules. I'm not going to fight them: I'm going to fuck them. That's what I know, that's what I am, and only by admitting what we are can we get what we want."
- Ros: "And what do you want?"
- Petyr Baelish: "Oh, everything, my dear. Everything there is."
- — Littlefinger and Ros[src]
- Ros: "What she doesn't know won't hurt her."
- Petyr Baelish: "A stupid saying. What we don't know is usually what get us killed."
- — Ros and Littlefinger[src]
- Petyr Baelish: "Do you know what the realm is? It's the thousand blades of Aegon's enemies, a story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget that it's a lie."
- Varys: "But what do we have left once we abandon the lie? Chaos, a gaping pit, waiting to swallow us all."
- Petyr Baelish: "Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb; they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is."
- — Littlefinger and Varys[src]
- "Those who have the most power have the least grace."
- ―Littlefinger to Ros
- "Distrusting me was the wisest thing you've done since you climbed off your horse."
- ―Littlefinger to Eddard Stark
- "Look around you, we're all liars here, and every one of us is better than you."
- ―Littlefinger to Sansa Stark
- "Always keep your foes confused. If they don't know who you are or what you want, they can't know what you plan to do next."
- ―Littlefinger to Sansa
- "I don't want friends like me."
- ―Littlefinger to Sansa
- Littlefinger: "I'd risk everything to get what I want."
- Sansa: "And what do you want?"
- Littlefinger: "Everything."
- — Littlefinger and Sansa[src]
- Sansa Stark: "Why did you really kill Joffrey? Tell me why."
- Petyr Baelish: "I loved your mother more than you could ever know. Given the opportunity, what do we do to those who've hurt the ones we love? In a better world, one where love could overcome strength and duty, you might have been my child. But we don't live in that world. You're more beautiful than she ever was."
- Sansa Stark: "Lord Baelish?"
- Petyr Baelish: "Call me Petyr..."
- — Littlefinger explains his warped motivations and skewed worldview to Sansa - after which he holds the side of her face and gives her a long romantic kiss on the lips.[src]
- "There's no justice in this world, not unless we make it. You loved your family, avenge them."
- ―Littlefinger to Sansa
- "We both peddle fantasies, Brother Lancel. Mine just happen to be entertaining."
- ―Littlefinger to Lancel
- Spoken about Littlefinger
- "I don't like you, Lord Baelish. I don't like your face, I don't like the words that come oozing out of your mouth, I don't want you in my tent one minute more than necessary. So, tell me. Why are you here?"
- ―Renly Baratheon to Littlefinger
Behind the scenesRedaguoti
- Littlefinger narrates the Histories & Lore videos on "The Vale" and "Robert's Rebellion" on the Season 3 Blu-ray and on "House Baelish" on the Season 4 Blu-ray.
In the booksRedaguoti
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Petyr Baelish's father made the acquaintance of Lord Hoster Tully during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, where they fought together. On the basis of this acquaintance, Petyr was sent to foster at Riverrun, where he met Hoster's own daughters, Catelyn and Lysa. Lysa developed a crush on Petyr, but Petyr preferred the older, more unobtainable Catelyn. When Catelyn was betrothed to Brandon Stark of Winterfell Petyr challenged Brandon to a duel of honor for Catelyn's hand, but was soundly defeated. After he had recovered sufficiently from his injures, Lord Hoster had Petyr returned home. He was later appointed as a customs official in Gulltown, the main city of the Vale, and his extreme success in raising funds led Lord Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, to appoint him to the small council as Master of Coin, a task at which Petyr has excelled.
"Littlefinger" is a nickname given to Petyr by Edmure Tully during their time at Riverrun together. It is a reference to the fact that Petyr Baelish's holdings are on the smallest of the Fingers, the numerous headlands and peninsulas protruding into the Narrow Sea on the Vale's east coast.
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Petyr Baelish" is pronounced "PEE-ter BAY-lish", i.e. like the normal given name "Peter".
Whereas in the series Littlefinger's goals are more transparent (sitting on the Iron Throne), this is not the case of the novels. As Littlefinger is only seen through the POV of other characters, his ultimate objective remains a mystery. Likewise, his rivalry with Varys was developed for the show.
Unlike in the TV series, Tyrion learns from Catelyn that it was Littlefinger who told her the dagger found on the Catspaw assassin sent to kill Bran Stark belonged to Tyrion. Littlefinger explained that it had previously belonged to him, until he lost it in a wager with Tyrion when Jaime Lannister was unhorsed by Loras Tyrell. Tyrion states that this cannot be true, because he never bets against Jaime. Catelyn asks why Petyr would lie to her, to which Tyrion retorts: "why does a bear shit in the woods? Because it is in his nature." Catelyn later realizes that it was Littlefinger who lied to her, when Jaime Lannister independently verifies Tyrion's account, and had no reason to lie having just confessed to pushing Bran from the window.
- ↑ 1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 House Baelish (Histories & Lore)
- ↑ 2,0 2,1 "The Mountain and the Viper"
- ↑ "The Wolf and the Lion" - The TV episode didn't make clear if this was just a rumor Varys heard, but in the novels Littlefinger privately admitted that he bribed Lyn Corbray this way.
- ↑ 4,0 4,1 "The Night Lands"
- ↑ 5,0 5,1 "The Climb"
- ↑ 6,0 6,1 "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ 8,0 8,1 "The Wolf and the Lion"
- ↑ "A Golden Crown"
- ↑ 10,0 10,1 "You Win or You Die"
- ↑ "The Pointy End"
- ↑ "Baelor"
- ↑ "Fire and Blood"
- ↑ 14,0 14,1 "The North Remembers"
- ↑ "What is Dead May Never Die"
- ↑ 16,0 16,1 "Garden of Bones"
- ↑ "The Ghost of Harrenhal"
- ↑ "The Prince of Winterfell"
- ↑ "The Old Gods and the New"
- ↑ "Blackwater"
- ↑ "Valar Morghulis"
- ↑ "Valar Dohaeris"
- ↑ "Walk of Punishment"
- ↑ "Kissed by Fire"
- ↑ "Breaker of Chains"
- ↑ "Oathkeeper"
- ↑ "First of His Name"
- ↑ "Mockingbird"
- ↑ "The Wars to Come"
- ↑ "The House of Black and White"
- ↑ "High Sparrow (episode)"
- ↑ "Sons of the Harpy (episode)"
- ↑ "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"
- ↑ "The Gift (episode)
|Lord:||Lord Petyr Baelish||Heir:||None|
|Seat:||The Eyrie (regency) / Baelish Keep / Harrenhal (nominally)||Lands:||The Vale of Arryn /The Riverlands (nominally)|
|Title(s):||Lord Protector of the Vale|
Lord Regent of the Eyrie
Lord of Baelish Keep
Lord of Harrenhal (nominally)
Acting Warden of the East