SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 OF GAME OF THRONES AHEAD.
There are a lot of unpleasant characters on Game of Thrones, but Petyr Baelish may have them all beat. His manipulative tendencies, inability to take no for an answer, and attempted seduction of a distraught then-17-year-old because of her resemblance to her dead mother all push him firmly into “icky” territory. At least baddies like Cersei have style; Littlefinger is the GOT version of the creeps who complain that women don’t like “nice guys” like him, while simultaneously treating them like vending machines that will give him a relationship if he presses the right buttons.
A recent theory by Redditor “squirrelwoman” gives us a possible glimpse inside of his head (I mean if anyone even wants to go in there). She suggests that his aim is to put Sansa on the Iron Throne and then marry her, getting his two most important objectives at once.
“Littlefinger’s already told us what his basic strategy is; he lets his enemies destroy each other for him while he acquires more territory and an ever-larger army,” squirrelwoman writes, “While Littlefinger and his army are parked safely at Winterfell, his rivals are dropping like flies: the Martells and Tyrells are gone, half the Greyjoy fleet just sunk the other half, and Team Cersei and Team Daenerys are hacking away huge chunks of each other’s military might every time they clash.”
The reddit user went on: “In Littlefinger’s plan, it doesn’t matter much whether it’s Cersei or Daenerys who wins; whichever one sits on the Iron Throne at the end will do so with heavy martial losses and a serious public relations problem.”
“And just imagine,” squirrelwoman writes, “Into this mess rides the Queen in the North, trueborn supermodel daughter of the famously noble, recently vindicated Ned Stark, with the united armies (and food!) of the North, the Vale, and the Riverlands behind her, to be hailed as the liberator of the Seven Kingdoms.”
Finally, squirrelwoman adds: “It would be sweet justice immortalized in a thousand songs. Once Littlefinger has Sansa installed, Littlefinger can either be the power behind the throne or marry her to claim it himself.”
Well, if that’s his plan, recent events have given him a kingdom-sized headache.
Not only did Jon not die during the Battle of the Bastards, he’s about to shred the Stark army by sending it out against the Night King. Even worse, Jon may have found a new ally in Danaerys, and since Littlefinger thrives on distrust and disloyalty, the new alliance spells bad news.
And the big “battle of ice and fire” going on between the dragons and the Night King has made him a bit of a player, dwarfed by these elemental forces of nature. He might simply become as irrelevant as he’s always pretended to be.
Right now, his only hope is to divide the Starks. But Littlefinger’s place with the family is on shaky ground at the moment. Sansa has seen through his scheming, Arya is out for the blood of anyone who betrayed her dad, and when he tried his “nice guy” routine on Bran, Bran simply quoted one of Littlefinger’s manipulative statements back at him, letting him know exactly what he thinks of Littlefinger’s trustworthiness.
Littlefinger’s sneakiness, double-dealing, and tendency to play small may soon cost him his plans, or even his life. If they do, I’ll be there to watch it with a big bucket of popcorn and a smile on my face.