This post contains loads of spoilers (obviously), including from Sunday night’s season finale.
Chaos is a ladder, and the climb for Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish has come to an end (RIP Smirking).
During Sunday’s season finale, Sansa deliciously ticks off all of Littlefinger’s misdeeds before issuing his death sentence. And it hits you: This guy was the driving force behind the biggest “Game of Thrones” conflicts. So much of the earthly drama — you know, the non-White Walker stuff — in the HBO series sprang from the Stark-Lannister feud and the death of Ned Stark. Mr. Baelish played a huge role in orchestrating that.
Sansa’s listing of Baelish’s crimes includes callbacks to events that took place three, four, even seven seasons ago. Don’t remember exactly what she’s talking about? Here’s her rundown of just how much Littlefinger played everyone — till he played himself.
“You murdered our aunt, Lysa Arryn. You pushed her through the moon door and watched her fall.”
Sansa didn’t need Bran’s three eyes to know that one. She saw that fatal fall herself.
Lysa held Sansa terrifyingly close to the edge of the moon door as she accused her niece of making moves on her husband/object of her obsession Petyr — that is, until he showed up and talked her down. Littlefinger promised to send Sansa away from the Eyrie and reassured Lysa.
“My sweet, silly wife,” he tells Lysa. “I have only loved one woman — only one, my entire life.” And then he hits her with the worst breakup move of all time: “Your sister,” followed by a fatal, stunning push right through the moon door.
“You conspired to murder Jon Arryn. You gave Lysa ‘Tears of Lys’ to poison him.”
Although he was in love with Catelyn Stark, Littlefinger pretended to be all about Lysa so he could manipulate her to do his bidding. Back in Season 4, Lysa revealed how deep her love for Petyr went: She killed her husband — Jon Arryn, Hand of the King to Robert Baratheon — for the guy!
“What wife would do the things I’ve done for you? What wife would trust you the way I’ve trusted you?” Lysa helpfully reminds Petyr. “When you gave me those drops and told me to pour them into Jon’s wine. My husband’s wine.”
Jon Arryn’s death preceded the show’s premiere, prompting King Robert Baratheon to ask Ned Stark to serve as his new Hand. As Ned investigated Jon’s death, he came to believe the old Hand was offed for having discovered that Joffrey was not actually Robert’s son.
“You had Aunt Lysa send a letter to our parents telling them it was the Lannisters who murdered Jon Arryn, when really it was you. The conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters — it was you who started it.”
Not only did Littlefinger get Lysa to kill her own husband, but he got her to throw the blame on the Lannisters, thus amping up the Lannister-Stark feud by about a thousand. That handy confession also came from Lysa, who said to Littlefinger in Season 4, “you told me to write a letter to Cat, telling her it was the Lannisters” who had killed her husband, Hand of the King.
“You conspired with Cersei Lannister and Joffrey Baratheon to betray our father, Ned Stark. Thanks to your treachery, he was imprisoned and later executed on false charges of treason.”
Ned confronted Cersei with the truth — that Joffrey wasn’t Robert’s son — and he thought Littlefinger would back him up on not handing the throne to the boy, with the City Watch’s help. When Ned presents a letter from the freshly dead Robert Baratheon, declaring his rightful heir would need to come of age first, Cersei promptly rips it up.
Then Ned tries to have Cersei and Joffrey taken into custody — but the City Watch turn on the Stark men.
“You held a knife to his throat. You said, ‘I did warn you not to trust me.’ ”
Shout-out to Bran who finally used his all-knowing powers to provide Sansa with some incredibly specific details.
Back in Season 1, after the City Watch turn on Ned’s men in the Throne Room, Littlefinger holds a dagger to Ned’s throat and whispers those words.
“You told our mother this knife belonged to Tyrion Lannister. But that was another one of your lies. It was yours.”
Catelyn Stark came to King’s Landing on a fact-finding mission: Who tried to kill her son, Bran? The assassin had a dagger made of Valyrian steel. “There’s only one dagger like this in all the Seven Kingdoms” and was his until he lost it in a bet to Tyrion Lannister, Littlefinger tells Catelyn.
That accusation deepened the divisions between the Starks and Lannisters and also set off another chain of events: Cat, convinced that Tyrion ordered the assassination attempt on Bran, has Tyrion arrested, causing papa Tywin Lannister to send his forces to attack her home in the Riverlands. Tyrion secured his release via trial-by-combat, thanks to Bronn.