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Lord Paramount of the Riverlands... or not. Edit

I am aware this has been discussed and described as "unclear", but nevertheless the administrators voted and decided that for now it's a good idea to establish the Freys as the Lords of the land. However, the confusion remains in several articles (and the "House Baelish" box, too); and honestly I don't see how any of it is unclear. Let's review the evidence. In "Valar Morghulis", Petyr is given Harrenhal and its lands; no mention at all is made of the seat of the Riverlands being changed to Harrenhal. In "Oathkeeper", when Sansa is recounting all the things the Lannisters have done for him, she brings up "wealth and power", and specifically that they made him "the Lord of Harrenhal." That's the second opportunity for the change of seat to be mentioned, but it wasn't. Previously, in "Mysha", Walder Frey was made Lord of Riverrun; again, the seat of the Riverlands is not said to have shifted away from the traditional castle. This is reinforced by Brienne in "Mockingbird". However, the most compelling evidence may come from a farmer in "Breaker of Chains" who strongly implies the Freys rule the Riverlands. In fact, that's the only context in which his words make sense:

"The Red Wedding they're calling it. Walder Frey committed sacrilege that day. He shared bread and salt with the Starks. He offered them guest right. [...] The gods will have their vengeance. Frey will burn in the seventh hell for what he did. Things were different when Hoster Tully ruled the Riverlands."

This means in the show the Freys rule the Riverlands now; this is not unclear at all. The only reason for confusion is that it's different in the books, but it's been made pretty clear in the show. No, the show has not focused on it (and with Jaime in Dorne, maybe it won't for a while), but the available evidence tells us a particular story, and it has nothing to do with Petyr Baelish. Put simply, the Freys weren't snubbed as they were in the books, and they now rule the Riverlands. What's more important, the administrators already ruled this and decided that, at least for now, Walder Frey should be considered the Lord Paramount. So, why haven't some of the relevant articles been changed since then? I'll do what I can. --ArticXiongmao (talk) 21:23, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

They should have been changed. We were busy with a lot of stuff/internal discussions for a while so that update wasn't universally applied, though it should have been.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 23:45, October 24, 2014 (UTC)

What Littlefinger's endgame isEdit

Even book fans aren't entirely sure what Littlefinger is trying to do in the long run.

I just watched a couple of crackpot theory videos on youtube, none of which individually made sense, but which did point out some solid facts from the books which I hadn't thought of.

Partially, Littlefinger wants revenge on the Starks, Tullys, possibly even the Vale lords...he's a psychopath and started a war killing thousands of people because he felt snubbed by life as a minor lord (granted, he went kind of crazy after Brandon Stark nearly killed him in a duel, and in the books, Lysa basically raped him (pretending to be Catelyn), got pregnant, then her father Hoster forced her to have an abortion of his unborn child, so yeah...)....as seen in the TV series, though, inwardly he has this really warped view of the world, he's a stalker who thinks he had a grand love story with Catelyn, who was at best a platonic friend in his childhood.

But in terms of his specific actions and their results?

First, it was already fairly obvious that Littlefinger engineered the entire debt crisis (see Currency). Do you have any idea how ridiculous it is for the realm to be 6 million Gold Dragons in debt? That's astronomical. Note how shocked Eddard was in the TV series. After becoming Master of Coin, even Tyrion points out how implausible this is: consider that the prize money at the Tourney of the Hand was 100,000 Gold Dragons -- a massive amount of money. Robert was king for 15 years in the novels...6 million divided by 100,000 is 60. Robert would have to have had 60 Tourney of the Hand scale events to rack up that much debt...and they imply that this was an unusually large tournament even for him, or at least uncommon. 60 divided by 15 years is four per year -- Robert would have to have held a Tourney of the Hand scale event every three months for 15 years to make that much debt. None of these old-school aristocrats sat down and did the math before Tyrion, and asked how Robert could possibly have caused that much debt. Heck, Tywin also mentions that, you know, it's been summer for ten years - gross income levels are great from good harvests. Also due to improvements in administration since the Mad King, the combined effect is that Tywin says that the gross income levels are something like tenfold what they were during Robert's Rebellion -- plus the Mad King had been hoarding gold, so when the war ended they took the royal treasury - there wasn't a lot of war debt.

So even Tyrion within the story begins to suspect Littlefinger of massive embezzlement.

By A Feast for Crows, we directly see that Littlefinger is winning the allegiance of multiple Vale Houses by paying off their large debts...debts, which now that I think about it, he must have engineered.

I think his entire plan was basically to steal millions of Gold Dragons, causing a debt crisis which makes the Iron Bank of Braavos call in all of its loans across Westeros (which happens in AFFC), and then -- surprise surprise -- he pops up with all of this "private wealth" to pay off the debts of noble families, buying their allegiance. He's bribing off the noble Houses who have no money, using the very same money that he basically stole from them.

If that sounds complicated...consider that this is not that far removed from what banks do now what with the 2008 recession crisis and such. Extort a lot of money (lack of governmental controls) then loan people their own money back to them.

But all of that was pretty clear, Littlefinger manipulating the debt crisis.

Second, Littlefinger wanted to cause a succession war between the Starks and Lannisters, to exhaust the armies of anyone who might oppose him. -- He didn't just want a quick victory for either side -- his goal was to play them off against each other, and whenever it looked like one side was winning to much balance them out again (Littlefinger was decidedly not a planner of the Red Wedding, he didn't want a quick Lannister victory but to keep dragging out the war for years, though a large amount of the damage he wanted was already done, both sides were already near-exhausted).

Littlefinger didn't just want Ned Stark to get killed - he wanted him in the capital city, to officially challenge Joffrey's right to rule and publicly accuse Cersei that Joffrey is a bastard of incest. This is why he kept Ned alive for as long as he did, and even saved him from Jaime outside the brothel by rushing to get the Gold Cloaks (Jaime could very easily have killed Ned if events turned otherwise). He needed him in the capital city, moreover, because Littlefinger owns the Gold Cloaks through bribery. That's why he kept escorting Ned around to Jon Arryn's other bastards (in the novels, Ned was planning on leaving King's Landing in disgust when he resigned over Daenerys...but Littlefinger insisted on showing him another bastard in a brothel before he left. Unwilling to pass up another clue about what happened to Jon Arryn, Ned agreed). He needed Ned in the capital city because that's where Littlefinger has "soldiers" (Gold Cloaks) and can eventually turn on him, manipulating events.

The key point is that through his spy network, Littlefinger found out about the incest between Jaime and Cersei and Joffrey's real parentage (though others also figured this out, such as Varys, and even Stannis seems to have had his suspicions for a while beforehand - none of Cersei's children looked anything like Robert). Littlefinger then led Jon Arryn to "discover" the lineage book pointing out that every time a Baratheon marries a Lannister the child is dark haired (it's a dominant trait, "the seed is strong").

Even so, he couldn't guarantee that the Lannisters would assassinate Jon Arryn (though he hoped they would), because as Ned's foster-father of sorts his death would spark suspicion and bring Ned to King's Landing.

...it appears that Littlefinger manipulation the suspicions of the Lannisters, Jon Arryn, and Lysa. Jon Arryn became so afraid of the Lannisters that he began making plans to have his young son Sweetrobin fostered out at another castle, i.e. Dragonstone, away from the royal court -- maybe Littlefinger even suggested it. Because he knew this is what would drive Lysa Arryn into a murderous rage -- she couldn't stand the thought of her son being "taken away" from her, even for his own protection. Cersei later got wind of it and wanted Robert to foster Sweetrobin at Casterly Rock in stead. Anyway, this is how Littlefinger convinces Lysa to assassinate her own husband, setting the events of the narrative in motion: 1 - "accidentally" lead Jon Arryn to learn of Cersei's secret, 2 - convince Jon that the Lannisters suspect he knows, and it would be a good idea to send his son away from the capital (when he could have sent both Lysa and Sweetrobin back to the Vale, he may have convinced Jon this looked too suspicious), and 3 - use Jon taking Sweetrobin away to manipulate Lysa into killing him.

In turn, 4 - This brings Ned Stark to King's Landing; combined with the fact that he had Lysa flat out tell the Starks that the Lannisters did it, 5 - Gradually lead Ned to "discover" the truth about Cersei, 6 - the honor-bound Ned Stark will predictably make a direct challenge against Cersei when he finds out, leading to civil war, 7 - the Starks and Lannisters get exhausted in a mutually destructive civil war, which Littlefinger manipulates in such a way to drag it out as long as possible instead of a quick decisive end.

But we knew all of this already, mostly: 1 - Littlefinger probably caused the debt crisis, so he can bribe off noble Houses with their own stolen money, 2 - start a war between the Starks and Lannisters to exhaust them both.

3 - Littlefinger in the novels says he wants to help Sansa retake the North, by marrying her to Harry the Heir (Sweetrobin's first cousin once removed and closest living relative) - the Vale, which Littlefinger and Lysa kept out of the war, still has all of its armies at full strength. They can retake the North from the Boltons, turning on the Lannisters in the process (who are a spent force by this point), putting Littlefinger in control of both the Vale and the North.

But why? Yes it's better to have the North given how impossible it seemed for such a minor nobleman to take it at first, but it's the heart of winter now, he won't get any money from it (low-hanging fruit, I guess).

Not sure what his endgame there is...

But there's one big point I hadn't considered:

4 - In all probability, it was actually Littlefinger who orchestrated the Riot of King's Landing.

Later in the novels, in a spare moment Jaime ponders if maybe Varys started the riot, and it wasn't random at all. He wonders this because Varys just fled with Tyrion (even though he forced him to), but because Tyrion killed Tywin and Varys aided his escape, etc., Jaime is particularly concerned with Varys's loyalty. Certainly, as the spymaster he had the means to orchestrate such a riot, and he conspicuously wasn't at the docks to see off Myrcella long with the other Small Council members...but now I think this was misdirection from GRRM.

The book version of the riot is a little different, but when you consider what happened it puts everything in perspective:

Littlefinger had already left the city to conduct negotiations with the Tyrells...yet, in Sansa V in book 3 (the next novel), he mentions in passing that part of the way he got the Tyrell alliance was by telling them how desperate conditions were in the capital city (starving without food from the Reach), and thus the Lannisters would be dependent on them and getting the shorter end of the deal because they were desperate, eager to give them concessions. And in Sansa V ASOS he mentions that some of his men told them the gory details of the Riot of King's Landing....how could they have known about that if they left with Littlefinger before the riot took place?" -- granted, some of them may have followed after Littlefinger later on...and indeed, Littlefinger didn't even need to be IN King's Landing to start a riot. But this confirms that some of his (many) agents were still in King's Landing before the riot, and then had specific details about it which they reported to the Tyrells. Possibly some of this was just common knowledge, but still, the implication is that Littlefinger's entourage would have left the city as a group.

Even disregarding that, consider what actually happened in the riot. Jaime's guess that Varys caused it is vague on motivations -- his cousin Tyrek Lannister disappeared in the riot, and he was Robert's squire along with Lancel. Jaime wasn't in the city at the time, but after he's informed what happens, begins to think how odd it is for a man to "disappear" - they'd sure have found a body by now if he'd simply died, and anyone wanting to ransom him would have done it months ago. Jaime realizes that someone kidnapped Tyrek, probably to keep him alive to pump information out of him (a king's squire often overhears a lot of stuff). Moreover, Tyrek (13 years old) was proxy-married to the baby Ermesande Hayford, sole heir to House Hayford, a major vassal in the Crownlands (obviously, not consummated yet, just to seal the betrothal) so anyone controlling Tyrek could try to control the Hayford lands).

So that's why Jaime began to suspect that someone must have engineered that riot - yes the people were angry, but someone must have been paid to throw that cowpie and spark off an outrigh triot.

But consider some of the major results of that riot:

1 - Tyrek Lannister is kidnapped - whoever holds him has possible info from Robert's reign as well as claim to House Hayford.

2 - The High Septon is torn limb from limb - and Littlefinger had earlier mentioned that the corrupt High Septon was being difficult to deal with in regards to the debt crisis - after all, about 1 million out of the 6 million of the crown's debts were owed to the Faith - wouldn't Littlefinger want to remove a willful competitor? The replacement High Septon was considered even more of a Lannister lackey.

3 - Aron Santagar is killed, held down and his head smashed in with cobblestones. In the novels, he is the master of arms at the Red Keep, and might have recognized the Valyrian steel dagger that Littlefinger falsely said was Tyrion's - to the point that Catelyn sent Rodrick Cassel out to show it to him and ask about it. Killing Santagar would remove one of the few people who could independently confirm or recall that Tyrion did not possess that dagger anymore.

4 - Lollys Stokeworth is gang-raped. This may have been an accident. But in the novels, Littlefinger is going to frequent dinners held by the Stokeworths, who are trying to push off Lollys on someone. So Littlefinger had clear interest in the Stokeworths in the novels - they also were anti-Lannister ballast for any potential push into the Crownlands, having hated them since the Sack of King's Landing. The Stokeworths are fairly wealth, control a large portion of the food supply to the capital city, and have some claim to House Rosby's lands once their aging lord dies. Having her gang-raped would make it less likely that she could be married off. Moreover, one of the other suitors to Lollys was, guess who, Balon Swann.

5 - Ser Preston Greenfield of the Kingsguard is killed in the riot, and Balon Swann is named to replace him - meaning that Balon can no longer be a suitor to Lollys and the Stokeworth wealth.

6 - Sansa Stark is nearly carried off by the mob, presumably to rape her, but Sandor Clegane charges in and saves her (off-screen in the novels). In the TV series version, due to economy of characters, it is Meryn Trant who refuses to go back out and save her, making the cowardly excuse that he's there to protect Joffrey and Joffrey didn't tell him to go -- but in the NOVELS, it was Mandon Moore who refused to go.

That's what threw me: I forgot that it was Mandon, not Meryn, in the novel version.

And it seems likely that Mandon Moore was actually a bought agent of Littlefinger's. It's mentioned that 1 - Mandon was named to the Kingsguard at Jon Arryn's suggestion, and 2 - Jon Arryn didn't like Mandon...which suggests that it was actually Lysa who must have influenced her husband to name Mandon to the Kingsguard, at Littlefinger's request.

Later on, of course, Mandon Moore tries to kill Tyrion - one of Littlefinger's major rivals - and we never find out why in the novels. Even in the TV series, they just imply and assume that Joffrey must have ordered him to - but this might just be misdirection.

Also consider that Littlefinger basically owns the Gold Cloaks, and while it is unlikely that any would be willing to be in such danger even if paid, he could rather easily bribe them off to encourage them to attack the crowd at Joffrey's orders, instead of just running away or waiting for confirmation. Couldn't hurt that he owns the Gold Cloaks, and might have been a factor.

So the big point of this long post is that I was just stunned when I realized that all signs point that Littlefinger, and not Varys, probably orchestrated the riot of King's Landing.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:09, March 20, 2015 (UTC)

Moral of the story, Petyr is likely one of the biggest players of the Game and no-one has a clue. DRAEVAN13 19:16, March 20, 2015 (UTC)

But he has no dragons.--The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:18, March 20, 2015 (UTC)

Most players don't, and considering how uncontrollable Daenerys' are becoming, they may be more a curse than a blessing. We'll have to wait and see. DRAEVAN13 19:22, March 20, 2015 (UTC)

(sigh) Ser, have we learned nothing from Volantis's experience in the Century of Blood?--The Dragon Demands (talk) 19:34, March 20, 2015 (UTC)

That's what I'm saying: "If you want to conquer the world, best have dragons", and all that. So if she loses/cannot control her dragons (that's most likely where it's heading), she'll have a much harder time. DRAEVAN13 15:18, March 23, 2015 (UTC)

Not to mention 1) Robert won Westeros without dragons, and 2) Aegon the Conqueror himself was unable to conquer Dorne with 3 dragons, hell, the Dornish even killed Meraxes and Rhaenys. Shot them right out of the sky! Lucky shot, I know, but still amazing. DRAEVAN13 15:32, March 23, 2015 (UTC)

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