Lord Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish is one of Game of Thrones’ most dangerous characters. For nearly seven seasons the man with the travelling accent has crossed, double crossed and triple crossed his way into some of the most powerful positions in Westeros.
Only now he’s a bit stuck. Littlefinger may have bumped off Hands, Kings and rivals, but Season 7 has seen the newly made Lord of the Vale marooned in Winterfell. Sansa Stark has no interest in him, Arya wants to kill him, Bran knows he’s manipulator and Jon Snow wants to choke him out. However Littlefinger being Littlefinger, one can imagine he’s probably up to… something. The stare he gave Arya Stark after she found his “hidden” message in Eastwatch was much too foreboding to suggest he’s truly on the back foot.
Petyr Baelish is up to something, but what?
Well, according to one intrepid Reddit uder, Littlefinger’s endgame is all about getting rid of Jon Snow and getting Sansa Stark on the Iron Throne.
SquirrelWoman has formed an interesting fan theory about his plan, all stemming from a speech he gave to Sansa at the end of Season 6.
As he said in Winds of Winter, Littlefinger’s ultimate goal is to win the Iron Throne and have Sansa by his side.
According to Squirrelwoman, his plan to get there is to let Cersei and Daenerys destroy each other, and then to pick up the pieces at the end of the war with Sansa, the Lady of the North, parachuted in as the next ruler of Westeros. The plan is currently working: House Martell in Dorne is gone, House Tyrell of Highgarden has been wiped out, House Frey in the Riverlands is eliminated, and House Tarly just got flame grilled.
Queen Cersei holds three of the Seven Kingdoms at best (as Jaime poitedly told her) and her war with Daenerys is seeing the pair tear chunks out of each other. By hanging back in Winterfell with the Northen Houses and his fairly fresh Knights of the Vale, Littlefinger has the potential to assemble the largest fighting force left in Westeros.
So as Squirrelwoman posits, all he has to do is wait for Cersei and Dany to beat each other to standstill, and then he’ll march to King’s Landing with Sansa, with people rejoicing at the option of a Stark queen. After all, Cersei uses wildfire and Dany uses dragons and Dothraki soliders – Sansa has a Westerosi army, and has been quietly stockpiling food ever since winter started. The PR war should be rather easy to win, and the actual war shouldn’t be too hard once Cersei and Dany are weak enough.
Sansa becomes Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and then either Littlefinger marries her, or rules from behind the scenes as the Hand of the Queen.
So far so good. But then Jon Snow rocked up and started mucking things up for Baelish.
According to Squirrelwoman, Jon Snow will scupper Littlefinger’s plans by taking the northern houses to fight the White Walkers. Added to that, the northern houses deciding to declare the not-actually-Stark-bastard as King in the North over Sansa causes further problems, as it bumps Sansa down the queue to rule.
So what does Littlefinger plan to do?
- Control the rest of the Stark family while Jon is away.
- Sow dissent in northern houses to get them to change allegiance to Sansa.
- Get this all done before Jon gets back and tries to send them all to war.
The plan started with Littlefinger giving the catspaw dagger to Bran Stark. Believing him to be easily manipulated like Robin Arryn (Littlefinger won Robin’s fighting force at the Vale by plying him with gifts like falcons), he presumably gave Bran the blade as part one of a, “Hey give up the rights to Winterfell and let Sansa take over” plan. That all backfired after Bran delivered the “chaos is a ladder” line, and has since caused Littlefinger to try a different tact, before Bran can out all of his previous sins.
So now Littlefinger is in ‘get Arya and Sansa to fall out’ mode, presumably hoping that rift between the two would allow him to gain further control. The seeds have been sown with the planting of the letter, and as we’ve explained here the letter is one written by Sansa to Rob Stark, asking him to bend the knee following the death of Ned.
Littlefinger’s already been talking to the Glovers and the Lords of the Vale about how Jon has abandoned them while Sansa has remained in Winterfell, and now Ayra has ‘proof’ of how Sansa hasn’t always been loyal to the Stark family. Could Littlefinger use this rift to frame Arya, turn the North against her, steal all of the northern houses from Jon, give them to Sansa, and then make it look like it was Sansa’s plan all along?
Maybe. Lord Baelish is sneaky, but we doubt he’s ever faced anyone like Jon and Arya before…