Lord Petyr Baelish, called "Littlefinger," begins the series as Master of Coin (or treasurer) on the King's Small Council. He is also a master of court intrigue, with his brilliance matched only by his ambition. He is handsome and meticulously stylish, but also quite short, giving a double meaning to the mocking nickname Edmure Tully bestowed on him. Though a lord, his original holdings are possibly the smallest in all the Seven Kingdoms, situated on the smallest of the Fingers. His grandfather was Braavosi, and took the Titan of Braavos as his symbol. Few are aware of this; Baelish wears a mockingbird as his crest instead.
Petyr was fostered as a ward of Riverrun and raised alongside his social betters, the Tully children - Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure. He 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 Brandon to a duel for her hand. Brandon won handily, but spared Baelish's life in compliance with Catelyn's pleas. Catelyn did not speak to him afterwards and burned the single letter Petyr sent after Brandon's death.
Lysa Tully, on the other hand, was in love with Petyr. She slipped into his bed one night while he was in a miserable, drunken stupor. 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. Later, Lysa became pregnant with Petyr's child. When Hoster Tully discovered this, he banished Petyr from his house and had Lysa drink moon tea to abort the pregnancy.
Baelish's wizardry with finances raised him to the position of Master of Coin, although Lysa helped him get his first job at court by mentioning his skills to her husband Jon Arryn. His influence furnished him with many allies and contacts, including the City Guard of King's Landing. With these resources as a starting point, Baelish used a series of lies and double-crosses to achieve a meteoric rise to political power.
Baelish masterminded the assassination of Jon Arryn and persuaded Lysa to send a secret letter blaming the Lannisters, which drew the Starks to court. Baelish framed Tyrion Lannister, the queen's brother, for Jon Arryn's murder while simultaneously double-crossing Eddard Stark for Queen Cersei. Petyr also kept the hedge knight Kettleblack brothers on his payroll and planted them as agents on both sides of the power struggle between Cersei and Tyrion. This caused political turmoil, a condition in which Petyr thrives.
For recruiting House Tyrell to the Lannister's side, Petyr received Harrenhal, the largest castle in the realm, and nominal authority over the war-torn Riverlands. This technically made Baelish a high lord. His new status made him a fit suitor for the widowed Lysa Arryn, who still loved him. While he claimed to the Lannisters that he suited her for their cause, Petyr was already conspiring with her against them. He married Lysa and gained influence over the Vale of Arryn, making him a nominal high lord twice over.
During this time, Petyr met Sansa Stark, whom he thought strongly resembled her mother Catelyn. While in the Eyrie, he also worked in concert with Olenna Tyrell to poison King Joffrey (Though he later told the Lannisters of Olenna's plan to marry Sansa to the Tyrell heir) at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, pinning that murder on Tyrion as well. He used the ensuing chaos to smuggle Sansa from the city and eventually brought her to court in the Eyrie in the guise of his bastard daughter. Catelyn Stark had been killed by this time, and Baelish began to grow enamored by Sansa's beauty. With Catelyn presumed dead, Petyr's affections seem to have transferred over to Sansa. When Lysa's mental instability grew dangerous after witnessing Petyr kiss Sansa, he killed Lysa (this time pinning the blame on Lysa's singer Marillion) and claimed to have only ever loved Catelyn.
With Lysa dead, Petyr named himself Lord Protector of the Vale, with Robert Arryn as his ward. The most powerful lords of the Vale joined together to demand that Petyr relinquish Robert. Lyn Corbray, who was secretly on Petyr's payroll, drew his sword during the parley. This breach of etiquette gave Petyr the leverage to demand a trial period on his wardship over Robert. Petyr confided in Sansa his plans to use this time to eliminate the lords who stood in his path. He also revealed his plans to help Sansa regain the North and marry her to the Arryn heir, Harrold Hardyng.
References and Sources
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Characters from A Song of Ice and Fire.