hello and welcome back to the Wolf’s den we are the order of the green hand here to bring some clarity to a Song of Ice and Fire today we will be discussing one of the most enigmatic characters in Westeros the master of coin master of deception Petyr Baelish better known as Littlefinger although small in stature Littlefinger is a man with a big appetite who creates chaos and then uses this chaos to climb the social ladder and obtain his goals this will most certainly be a multi-part series but today we will be focusing on his roots and early life his rise to power and his actions as treasurer which without a doubt left the realm penniless and in a state of disarray which is exactly what he wanted so let’s do this [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] peter baelish better known as Littlefinger descends from one of the newest and smallest noble houses in the Seven Kingdoms his great-grandfather was a Braavosi sell sword who served Lord Corbray of the Vale his grandfather earned his knighthood and his father earned the title of lord and was given a small keep and Stoney fingers of the Vale to preside over during the war of the ninepenny kings Peter’s father esteemed himself and did something that gained him the favour of Lord hoster Tully which he later repaid by fostering young Peter amongst his own children growing up at Riverrun Peter became close with both the Tully girls and eventually became enamored with hosters eldest daughter Katalin who did not share in these affections but at the same time Liza the younger sister had become infatuated with him even as a child Littlefinger was known for his precocious cleverness and mischief despite being small in stature and lacking the skill to earn knighthood Littlefinger had a sort of boldness and ambition that would later allow him to rise high in the world of Westeros on the night that Brandon and Catalans betrothal was announced Littlefinger got well and drunk and while in a stupor Wisie loses her Maidenhead to him although he thinks it was really Katalin wisest insane asks never corrects him and so Peter continues on thinking that it was actually Kat anyway when at last Katalin and Brandon’s wedding was officially announced Littlefinger challenged Brandon for Catalans hand the two fought a duel which resulted in the gash on Littlefinger’s chest which nearly killed him he spends about two weeks at Riverrun to recover liza tends to his wounds and ends up sleeping with him again which results in her becoming pregnant when Hofstra finds out he’s furious and makes Liza drink Monte to abort the baby which nearly kills her and as soon as Littlefinger is well enough to travel he sends him back to the fingers we all know what happens next the rebellion breaks out posture forces Ned and John Aaron to marry his daughters and the rest as they say is history several years after the rebellion Wisie convinced John Aaron to appoint Littlefinger as the customs master in gulp town where he except collecting three times the amount in taxes than any of the other collectors which earned him an invite to court within three years he becomes the master of coin and a member of the small Council and raises revenue to ten times what they had been previously part of his success is due to his hiring of merchants who were better suited to the positions under his purview than the Lords what previously held those positions and soon as a result of the success many more royal offices were appointed at Littlefinger’s behest this brings us to the beginning of a game of Thrones where Littlefinger makes his first big move after years of toying with wise’ playing her like a fiddle and possibly even fathering her child he had her right where he wanted her he then used her fear of losing her son who Jon Arryn had arranged to be fostered at Dragonstone by Stannis to get her to poison Jon Arryn and write a letter to Katalin implicating the Lannisters in his murder pulling strings from afar this set into motion the events that would lead to Ned becoming hand and the demise of several members of House Stark when Ned arrives in King’s Landing he is immediately summoned to a meeting of the small Council where he is shocked to learn that the crown is six million gold pieces in debt so the question now becomes how could the realm be six million gold pieces in debt with revenue ten times greater than before and without any mention of Robert taking on any major building projects or costly royal initiatives besides the occasional tourney well it seems to us that the first place we should look for the missing coin should be in the pockets of the man who was in control of the Crown’s finances Littlefinger how else could he have become so rich while serving in public office he arrived in King’s Landing the son of a petty Lord who had shown an aptitude for numbers and finances and somehow managed to turn his position as the treasurer to the realm into an endless cash flow which he then invested in various business ventures which further enriched him and supported his increasingly lavish lifestyle in which he could afford to spend frivolously on things such as an opulent Valyrian steel dagger which must have cost a fortune by the way this leads us to believe that he was pocketing the money but how could he manage to steal all of that coin without anyone else noticing well when Tyrion becomes the master of coin he begins looking into the Crown’s finances and finds that little fingers books include a complex web of transactions loans and investments which on the surface appear to be generating the revenue to supplement the Crown’s income collected from taxes however the reality of the situation appears to be that he had created an endless web of transactions in which he paid non-existent people to do non-existent jobs and pocketed all the money obviously such a claim requires text evidence to support it in a feast for crows while investigating his father’s murder Jamie comes to find out that they had been paying no fewer than eleven non-existent employees to work in the dungeons well according to both the books and the world of Ice and Fire app Robert gave Littlefinger a lot of authority over appointments for various royal offices and positions so it stands to reason that he also trusted his word when Littlefinger came to him with a list of jobs that needed to be filled so Robert as a man who cares little about such things approves Littlefinger’s suggested hires and overtime Littlefinger creates countless fake jobs that he paid non-existent people to do and pocketed the money to help cover his tracks he used the money he stole to buy brothels which gave him a viable explanation for where his wealth was coming from he also seems to have used the money to create a network of spies within Westeros that almost rivals varus’s so given that Littlefinger is never a man that is going to win by force he chose to arm himself with information and then used this information to earn favor with those in power by being useful this earned him their trust and placed him in the position to influence their decisions in his favor which allowed him to begin hatching some schemes of his own now clearly he would have to hire some people otherwise it would be completely obvious what he was doing but it appears that the hires that he did actually make were men that he trusted to do his bidding Tyrion thinks as much when he assesses the current state of the court upon arriving to serve his hand in his father’s stead no one ever thought to question the appointments and why should they Littlefinger was no threat to anyone a clever smiling genial man everyone’s friend always able to find whatever gold the king or his hand required and yet of such undistinguished birth one step up from a hedge Knight he was not a man to fear he had no banners to call no army of retainers no great stronghold no Holdings to speak of no prospects of a great marriage but do I dare touch him Tyrion wondered even if he is a traitor he was not at all certain that he could least of all now while the War raged given time he could replace Littlefinger’s men with his own in key positions but Littlefinger actually all but admits that he has unofficially loyal men under his thumb in King’s Landing when taking Sansa to the Vale after Joffrey’s murder he tells her you could turn King’s Landing upside down and not find a single man with a Mockingbird sewn over his heart but that does not mean that I am friendless so let’s get back to the story do two little fingers manoeuvring and Geoffrey’s idiocy Catalan decides that she needs to beat Ned and the Lannisters to King’s Landing and sends Rodrick to sell to investigate the blade Santa killed bran before falling asleep she wakes to a fist hammering at her door and a voice called out open in the name of the king a moment she called out she wrapped herself in her cloak the dagger was on the bedside table she snatched it up before she unlatched the heavy wooden door the men who pushed into the room wore the black ring nail and golden cloak the city watch their leaders smiled the dagger in her hand and said no need for that milady we’re to escort you to the castle by whose authority he showed her a ribbon Catalan felt her breath catching her throat the seal was a Mockingbird in gray wax Peter she said so soon something must have happened to Sir Roderick she looked at the head Guardsmen do you know who I am no milady the Lord Littlefinger said only to bring you to him and see that you were not mistreated now the thing that really catches your eye in that sequence was the fact that she thought to herself so soon when the city watchman showed her little finger seal as if she was expecting him to summon her but not that quickly the other noteworthy part of the sequence is it is the first clue we readers get the city watches in Littlefinger’s pocket after all as Littlefinger himself explained to Ned the city watch is loyal to the man who pays them so Catalan goes to meet up with Littlefinger who tells her that he was informed of her arrival in King’s Landing by Varys who he says will be arriving shortly she asked him why Varys would confide in him with this information and Littlefinger replies by saying why not me I am the master of coin the King’s Own counselor Sami and Lord Renly rode north to meet Robert and Lord Stannis has gone to Dragonstone leaving only maester pycelle and me I was the obvious choice I was ever a friend to your sister Liza Varys knows that Katalin then replies by saying does Varys know about Lord Varys knows everything except why you are here so we decide to include this passage because we have agonized over the meaning of Catalans partial question of does Varys know about dot-dot-dot for months and no matter how many times we go over it we cannot figure out what she was about to ask so this is our appeal to everyone who watches this video if you have any ideas regarding what she was about to ask Littlefinger before he cut her off please share it with us when looking at the sequence of events that got us to this encounter Catalans actions do seem suspect as she burned the letter Littlefinger and Liza center before anyone else could see it then she rushed to King’s Landing so she could beat Ned there and was expecting to be summoned by Littlefinger then she appears to have been on the verge of revealing some secret Littlefinger and her share and Littlefinger who had just said that he was expecting bears to show up at any second cut her off before she could say whatever it was that she was going to say moving on from there once Varys arrives candolyn tells them of her suspicions regarding brans fall in his assassination attempt Ned then arrives in King’s Landing and is immediately summoned to a meeting of the small Council when the meeting is over Littlefinger tells Ned that he is going the wrong way which Ned logically assumed meant that his chambers in the Tower of the hand were not in the direction that he was headed so he turned and followed Littlefinger only to find out that he was really leading him out of the castle to Katalin they get to Littlefinger’s brothel where Catalan has been staying for the past three days while awaiting its arrival in Catalan forms Ned of the assassination attempt on brand and tells them that she arranged for Littlefinger to assist him in investigating which Ned is not like one bit so Littlefinger once again proves his knack for thriving on chaos and with the assistance of either a knowing or unknowing Catalan has used his ability to think quickly on his feet and get himself on the inside with Ned this gains him more information and the ability to influence Ned’s decisions ensuring the best possible outcome for him which would be a war between the Lannisters and the Starks while we think that Littlefinger would capitalize on a war of any kind a war between these two houses places the king in the most precarious situation Robert would be in the unfortunate position of having to choose between his father-in-law who he is three million gold pieces in debt – and his best friend as he does not have the coin necessary to raise his own army to settle the matter according to Littlefinger at Ned’s first small council meeting the realm looked down to two options for obtaining a loan the face and Tywin Lannister this indicates that Littlefinger has just about maxed out the credit available to Robert and since it seems unlikely that the face would lend Robert money for a war and Tywin would only lend Robert the money if he was going to take his side it appears that one of Littlefinger’s goals from the very start was Ned’s death so under the pretense of offering to help Ned in his quest for the truth Littlefinger manipulates him into believing that Cersei killed Jon Arryn before he could expose her children as bastards which is exactly what he needed him to think considering that he and Liza the ones guilty of John Aaron’s murder then thanks Littlefinger’s meddling Catalan seizes Tyrion and Tywin who is not a man to suffer slights to his house unleashes the mountain on the river lands Ned sitting in for Robert who is out hunting is then forced to send twenty of his own personal guard to deal with the mountain leaving him incredibly vulnerable as there are hundreds of Lannister men in the capital when Ned tells Sansa that he is going to get her in Arya out of the capital before all hell breaks loose Sansa throws a temper tantrum and declares that Joffrey is nothing like his drunken father this gives Ned the clarity he was searching for and he realizes that Circe’s children are not Roberts but bastards born of twincest throughout Ned’s life he has shown himself to be a man who is vehemently against the killing of children so he warns Cersei of his plans to inform Robert of what he has learned so she may escape Roberts wrath with her children before the king returns from his hunt unfortunately for Ned Robert is mortally wounded while hunting thanks to the fortified strong line Lancel was giving him and returns to King’s Landing with only enough strength left to appoint Ned regent Ned then as a precaution enlist Littlefinger to gain him the loyalty of the city watch so he will have numbers on his side if Cersei decides to make a fight out of it which Littlefinger promises to do Robert then dies and Cersei crowns Joffrey and has him summon ned to the throne room to swear allegiance to the new king ned after being assured that he has the city watch behind him by Janos Slynt and Littlefinger enters the throne room to remove Joffrey from the throne and to place Cersei under arrest but Littlefinger had a plan of his own he still needs a war for his chaos plan to work so he betrays Ned which results in the obvious outcome of Rob calling the banners in defense of his father in marching South to free him Robb Stark’s unexpected victory at the whispering wood where he broke the siege of Riverrun freed Edmure Tully and captured Jaime left the real possibility that a peaceful resolution could be made where the Lannisters released Sansa in trade net for Jaime Varys also seemed to be working for a peaceful resolution and worked his magic to convince Cersei to sentence Ned to a life at the wall but none of these outcomes give Littlefinger the war he desires so he whispered in Joffrey’s ear and convinced him to take notes head instead making it certain that a full-fledged war would ensnare the whole of the realm because without Ned there is no bargain that can be made to end the hostilities so what were his motives well that remains one of the biggest mysteries within the series one that not even Varys can fully puzzle out but staying true to our word we will begin explaining what we think he’s actually up to in part two however our next video will bring us back to Tywin where we will be explaining how the Crown’s debt was something he used as leverage and more of what he was up to in book 1 so stay tuned like and subscribe for more clarity on a Song of Ice and Fire brought to you by the order of the green hands [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] you