Difference between revisions of "Petyr Baelish"

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| Date_of_Death  =
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| Books          = [[A Game of Thrones]]
| Books          = [[A Game of Thrones]]<br>[[A Clash of Kings]]<br>[[A Storm of Swords]]<br>[[A Feast for Crows]]<br>[[A Dance with Dragons]]
[[A Clash of Kings]]
[[A Storm of Swords]]
[[A Feast for Crows]]
[[A Dance with Dragons]]
| coat-of-arms  =
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| Played_by      = [[List of actors of the televised series#Aidan Gillen,Petyr Baelish|Aidan Gillen]]  
| Played_by      = [[List of actors of the televised series#Aidan Gillen,Petyr Baelish|Aidan Gillen]]  

Revision as of 08:06, 10 April 2012

Petyr Baelish
House Baelish.PNG
Petyr Baelish.jpg

Alias(es) Littlefinger

Lord Paramount of the Riverlands Lord of Harrenhal Lord Protector of the Vale

Master of Coin (formerly)
Allegiance House Baelish
Culture(s) Westeros
Born In Between 266 AC and 268 AC, at The Fingers
Spouse(s) Lysa Arryn
Book(s) A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
A Dance with Dragons

Played by Aidan Gillen
TV series Season 1 | Season 2

Lord Petyr Baelish, sometimes called Littlefinger, was Master of Coin (or treasurer) on the King's Small Council. Petyr wears a mockingbird as his crest instead of his family sigil. In the TV series he is played by Aidan Gillen.

Character and Appearance

Petyr was born to a small and insignificant house, spending most of his adult life trying to rise above his lowly birthright and become something greater, craving for power and status. He possesses considerable skill in commerce and coin, and is a master of court intrigue, his brilliance matched only by his ambition and his gift for political improvisation.

A short man of average build, with handsome features, Petyr has gray-green eyes, a small pointed beard on his chin, and threads of grey running throughout his dark hair.[1]


Petyr Baelish’s great-grandfather was a Braavosi sellsword in the service of Lord Corbray; when his son became a hedge knight he took the stone head of the Titan of Braavos as his sigil. Lord Baelish’s father was the smallest of small lords of a few rocky acres on the smallest of the Fingers. His father befriended Hoster Tully during their service in the War of the Ninepenny Kings, which led to Petyr being sent to be fostered at Riverrun with Lord Tully’s children.[2]

At Riverrun Petyr was fostered as a ward and raised alongside his social betters, the Tully children, Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure, who first gave him the nickname "Littlefinger" as a reference to his family holdings.[1] As they grew older, Petyr fell in love with Catelyn, who in turn loved him as a brother, but no more. When the betrothal between Catelyn and Brandon Stark was announced, Petyr challenged the much older Brandon to a duel for her hand. Brandon won handily, leaving Baelish with a significant scar, but spared his life in compliance with Catelyn's request. Catelyn did not speak to him afterwards and burned the single letter Petyr sent after Brandon's death.[1]

Lysa, on the other hand, was in love with Petyr. Overlooking his obsession with her sister, one night, while he was drunk and miserable over Catelyn's rejection, she slipped into his bedchamber and bedded him. The delirious Petyr may have mistaken Lysa for Catelyn, and indeed called her "Catelyn" that night. He has since claimed (at court and in private) to have taken the maidenhood of both Tully sisters. Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child as a result of their encounter. When Hoster Tully discovered this, he forced Lysa to drink moon tea to abort the pregnancy and banished Petyr from Riverrun, as the Baelish family was too small and insignificant to wed into his house.[3]

Petyr maintained a relationship with Lysa even after her marriage to Lord Jon Arryn. Lysa convinced her husband to give Petyr control of customs at Gulltown, where he increased incomes tenfold. His skill with finances resulted in a series of appointments leading to his being named Master of Coin in King's Landing under King Robert Baratheon.[4] There his influence furnished him with many allies and contacts, including the City Watch. He also bought numerous brothels in the city.

Just before the events of the first book, Jon Arryn discovered that all of King Robert Baratheon's children were actually fathered by Jaime Lannister and planned to alert the king. Petyr manipulated Lysa to poison her husband, claiming that it was to prevent him from sending her young son Robert away to be fostered. Lysa, who was fiercely protective of her son, did his bidding. After Jon was killed, Petyr convinced Lysa to write a letter to her sister Catelyn stating that Lord Arryn had been poisoned and that the Queen was responsible.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Varys and Littlefinger (TV series)
Sansa Stark & Petyr Baelish at the Hand's Tourney (TV)

When Catelyn Tully arrives in King's Landing to tell her husband about the attempt on their son Bran's life, Petyr, who learned of her arrival despite her efforts to remain unnoticed, intercepts her and stashes her away in one of his brothels. Catelyn, justifying her trust in Baelish from their time together in Riverrun, shows him the Valyrian Steel dagger used in the attempt. Petyr says that he recognizes the dagger, claiming that it was once his but that he lost it in a wager to Tyrion Lannister.[1] This lie - Petyr in truth lost the dagger to King Robert - indirectly triggered the War of the Five Kings via Catelyn's eventual arrest of Tyrion for the attack.

Petyr fetches Eddard to meet with his wife and is able to convince him, against his inclination, to make no move agains the Lannisters until they have proof. He vows to assist Ned in finding Jon Arryn's killer[5], and during Ned's tenure as Hand of the King Petyr feigns friendship to him on behalf of his fondness for Catelyn. He superficially attempts to tutor Ned in the intrigues of the court and warns Ned not to trust anyone, including himself.

When King Robert learns that Daenerys Targaryen is pregnant, Baelish agrees with Robert in advocating her assassination. Ned resigns as Hand in protest of Robert's command, but before he can arrange to travel back to Winterfell, Petyr approaches him with the promise of assistance in his investigation into Jon Arryn's death. He leads Ned to a brothel where a young whore is raising one of Robert's bastard children. He is present when Ned is accosted by men led by Jaime Lannister while returning from the city shortly thereafter.[6]

After King Robert's mortal wounding and his subsequent naming of Eddard as Regent and Lord Protector, Baelish advises Ned that despite their knowledge that Queen Cersei's children are illegitimate and that Stannis Baratheon is the legal heir, the wisest course of action is to ensure Joffrey's succession, a maneuver calculated to avoid all-out war and maximize their own power. Eddard refuses the suggestion and enlists Petyr's help in securing the allegiance of the city watch to ensure its loyalty when he moves against Cersei.[7] Baelish agrees, but betrays Ned, bribing the City Watch to support the Queen. This leads to Stark's arrest and eventual execution for treason.[8]

After the majority of Eddard's followers in King's Landing are killed, Petyr takes Jeyne Poole into his custody.

A Clash of Kings

After the assassination of King Renly Baratheon, Petyr and Tyrion Lannister plot to form an alliance with House Tyrell to win over any Storm Lords that did not immediately declare for King Stannis. Petyr volunteers to travel to Bitterbridge to broker the deal,[9] and is successful in forging a Lannister-Tyrell alliance through the engagement of King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell.[10][11] He returns to King's Landing with Tyrell forces alongside those of Tywin Lannister. The allied Lannister and Tyrell armies are able to take Stannis's forces in the rear in the last hours of the Battle of the Blackwater, with Petyr providing the idea to dress Garlan Tyrell in King Renly's armor during the battle so as to frighten Stannis's men-at-arms.[12] After the battle, Petyr is rewarded with the Lordship of Harrenhal, despite the fact that it is still under control of Robb Stark, and being held by Roose Bolton. Though Littlefinger never sets foot in the castle, the title gives him nominal control over the war-torn Riverlands and makes him a High Lord.[13]

Petyr maintains contact with Sansa Stark via Ser Dontos the Red, who vaguely informs Sansa of a secret plan to return her home. Petyr also acquires key informants in the crown's inner circle in Osney, Osfryd, and Osmund Kettleblack, who are hired to guard Queen Cersei after Tyrion Lannister send her guards away. Tyrion believes that the Kettleblack brothers are in his pay, when in truth their allegiance is to Petyr.[4]

A Storm of Swords

During a session of the Small Council, Baelish informs Lord Tywin of the Tyrell plot to spirit Sansa Stark to Highgarden and marry her to Willas Tyrell, giving Tywin the necessary time to wed her in haste to his son Tyrion Lannister instead. He also provides the Lannisters with Jeyne Poole, whom he has kept in a brothel. She is passed off as Arya Stark and married to Ramsay Bolton, helping to cement the alliance between the Boltons and the Crown following the Red Wedding by further legitimizing their claim to the North.

Petyr's newfound status as a High Lord gives him the necessary standing to be considered by Tywin Lannister for a marriage to Lysa Tully with the intent of delivering the Vale of Arryn, which up to that point had remained neutral, to the Crown without violence. Baelish agrees with the plan and is sent to The Eyrie to woo Lysa, believing that to be an easy task given their history. Tyrion Lannister is appointed as Master of Coin upon his departure.[14]

Though Petyr leaves King's Landing, he does not go immediately to the Vale, and instead remains near the city until after the wedding between Joffrey and Margaery, in which Joffrey is killed. In the ensuing chaos, Sansa is spirited out of the city by Dontos and taken to a ship where Petyr awaits her. Petyr has Dontos killed, explaining to Sansa that she will be wanted in connection with Joffrey's death and that Dontos's death is the only sure way to know he will remain silent. He then goes on to explain his role in plotting Joffrey's murder, having plotted with Olenna Redwyne details including a hairnet laced with black amethysts that Dontos had insisted Sansa wear to the feast. The amethysts were in reality The Strangler, the poison used to kill Joffrey; Sansa had unwittingly smuggled them into the feast. Petyr also brags of his involvement in arranging a set of jousting dwarfs as entertainment, which he explains were calculated to bring Tyrion Lannister into conflict with Joffrey just prior to Joffrey's death. Confident that Tyrion will be executed, he notes to Sansa that widowhood will become her.[4]

With Sansa at his side, Baelish has her hair dyed and gives her the assumed identity of Alayne Stone, a bastard daughter of his. He then travels to the Vale, stopping at his meager inherited holdings on the Fingers for a few days. Lysa meets him there and insists upon marrying him on the spot. He reluctantly agrees, and after the wedding they travel to the Eyrie, where Petyr spends much of his time traveling from lord to lord and asserting his authority.

In the Eyrie, Petyr notes that Sansa is growing into a beautiful young woman and that she looks very much like her mother did at that age. In a quiet moment he takes that affection so far as to kiss her. Lysa witnesses the act, and in a fit of jealous rage attempts to kill Sansa in the throne room, nearly shoving her out the Moon Door. Petyr arrives in time to intervene, at which point Lysa breaks down crying. She accuses Petyr of not loving her despite all she had done for him, and makes reference to her murder of Jon Arryn and the ensuing letter she wrote to Catelyn. Petyr temporarily soothes her, assuring her that he has only ever loved one woman. He then says "Only Cat" and shoves Lysa out the Moon Door to her death. The killing is blamed on the singer Marillion.[15]

A Feast for Crows

With Lysa dead, Petyr names himself Lord Protector of the Vale, with Robert Arryn as his ward. The most powerful lords of the Vale respond by joining together to demand that Petyr relinquish Robert. Lyn Corbray, however, behaves very belligerently during the parley, going so far as to draw his sword. This breach of hospitality gives Petyr the leverage to demand a trial period on his wardship over Robert.

Petyr notes to Sansa how fortuitous Corbray's action was, and Sansa correctly guesses that Corbray must be on his payroll. Petyr confirms this, and confides in Sansa his plans to use this time to eliminate, win over, or marginalize the lords who stand in his path, and to allow Corbray to use his supposed disgust for him to facilitate his joining, and covertly informing on, any conspiracy against the Lord Protector. He also reveals his plans to help Sansa regain the North and marry her to the Arryn heir, Harrold Hardyng, while stating that Cersei Lannister's leadership in King's Landing is bringing the Seven Kingoms to ruin faster than he had anticipated.

A Dance with Dragons

With the crown having huge financial problems due to the follies of Cersei Lannister, Ser Kevan Lannister wishes that Littlefinger was back in King's Landing as master of coin.

References and Notes

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history of Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. As with A Wiki of Ice and Fire, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.