Mon
May 6 2013 10:00am

Game of Thrones Season 3, Ep. 6: “The Climb"

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 The Climb

When all was said and done, this week’s episode of Game of Thrones felt like cresting the top of a huge rollercoaster. You get one moment to catch your breath and then it’s all quickly downhill to the season finale from here.

Jon Snow finally climbs the Wall, Ygritte gets a little too intense, Arya gets a lesson in archery and vigilantism, and Sansa gets some bad news. There were some interesting deviations from the books and some pointed parallels drawn between characters that became clear when the episode came round full circle. It might not have been the most exciting hour this season, but there were definitely some exciting scenes.

Note: Book spoilers are mostly avoided in the review, but are fair game in the comments. Proceed with caution.

A moment of silence for Ros, the most important whore in King’s Landing. We’ve admired her brazen beauty, bemoaned her extra screen time in season one, and come to love her as a voice of the commonfolk of Westeros. That was a truly cruel ending for a beloved, if minor, character. But, that’s what you get for doing the right thing and double-crossing Littlefinger.

But can we take a moment to appreciate how cool—and creepy—it was that Joffrey’s arrows pierced Ros in the exact same places that Arya hit her target dummy earlier in the episode? Damn.

I assumed from the title that “The Climb” would be about climbing a ladder of ambition and I was wrong. It’s much more than that. Littlefinger was just starting to make me groan at his moustache-twirling villainy (seriously, does NO ONE ELSE notice Littlefinger spending hours alone staring hungrily at the Lysa Arryn of chairs?!), but then:

“Do you know what the realm is? [A] story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget that it’s a lie.... Chaos isn’t a pit. It’s a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, never get to try again. The fall breaks them,” he continues. “And some, given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

There he is, the most dangerous man in Westeros. He has nothing to fight for, nothing to lose, just his own desire to prove to everyone that he alone can wrangle all of that chaos and be its master. It certainly helps to have spies as his weapons.

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 The Climb

That hot kiss between Jon and Ygritte was a nice palate-cleanser after such wickedness. It’s nice to be reminded that there are some good things happening in Westeros, even if they’re usually short-lived. When you put yourself in Ygritte’s snowshoes, it’s easy to be overcome with emotion at seeing, first, her world from on high and then to see a new, greener world that, up until that point, had been out of reach. While I agree that Jon and Ygritte may really only owe loyalty to each other, Ygritte was perhaps a bit too into loyalty. Jon had a perfect “Uh...” face when she threatened to cut off his cock if he ever left her.

Also: Orell’s eye roll when Jon dashingly came to Ygritte’s rescue on the wall was kind of hilarious. Young love can be pretty nauseating when you’re a bitter old wildling with only an eagle for a companion.

But at least their love is true.

Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6 The Climb

I felt a bit cheated that we never got to see the precise moment Sansa and Shae learned about Tyrion’s engagement. “Awkward” doesn’t even begin to cover the emotions running around in that bedchamber. While Littlefinger provided a coup de grace to the hour, Tyrion got most of the best lines. (As usual.)

I wonder if Sansa ever hears the rumors about Loras, locked up alone as she is most of the time, or if she’s really just that dim. I lean towards the latter. Anyway, it’s a moot point because Loras won’t be getting his gold and green brocade dream wedding, to the supreme disappointment of me. That wedding would’ve been more fabulous than Joffrey’s and certainly more, well, gay than Edmure’s joyless wedding to Roslin Frey.

I want to feel bad for Edmure—and anyone—forced into an arranged marriage, but he just doesn’t get the concept of taking one for team Tully, does he? You can accept your fate with some dignity, no? Then again, if Robb had done just that... Yeah.

Lastly, Gendry’s getting a bigger part in the story. It’s good news because I like the character. (But it’s not good news for poor Gendry.) While it was strange to have Melisandre cross paths with Arya, it was tighter for the story to use Robert’s bastard’s “kingly” blood for her designs. If anyone’s more dangerous than Littlefinger, I’d argue that it’s the Red Priestess.

What are we to make of Arya and Joffrey’s internal darkness? Two sides of the same coin? Foils for each other? Arya’s darkness comes from revenge, Joffrey’s... well he’s just a sadist. Only on Game of Thrones can someone be “just” a sadist. Were the mirrored arrows merely a visual bridge to connect the strands of story a bit?

 

Other points of interest and quotes of the week:

  • Olenna vs. Tywin. We’ve been waiting for these two heavy-hitters to get a scene together and it did not disappoint. I loved Olenna calling Cersei old. Tywin firmly denying any youthful experimentation with stableboys. Olenna’s final “It’s a rare enough thing, a man who lives up to his reputation.”
  • Cersei’s “We can have them both killed.” Oh, Cersei. That’s your answer to everything.
  • Loved Iwan Rheon’s performance tonight. What an absolute bastard.
  • Samwell has dragonglass but can’t light a fire. What did they teach him on the Wall? Yeesh.
  • Bran. Jojen. Skinned rabbits. Yawn.
  • So the elder Bolton is going to try and put an end to the Jaime/Brienne road trip. Not cool.

 

Next week: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Yesssss.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 PM E/PT on HBO.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci

87 comments
kleinomite
1. kleinomite
I am curious to see how much they stray from the book. For example, in the book, Ygritte is very loyal to her people, while this last episode suggests a change in story-line. In their conversation before ascending the wall, she lets Jon Snow know that she knows where his loyalty really lies. She also lets him know that she does not owe loyalty to her people, as they are just soldiers to be replaced. I believe that either she will be killed helping Jon Snow escape to The Wall, or she will escape with him to The Wall, and we will see our first major change in this great story. I for one would be all for it!
Chris Nelly
2. Aeryl
The "Lysa Arryn of chairs" line was the best of the night.

I am SOFA KING pissed they killed off Ros. Like livid. I felt she was SO important, she offered a perspective the books lack. They didn't NEED to kill her to prove a point. But they did, just threw the character away. Can't let a woman exercise agency, not without letting it all fall apart in their faces, NOT ON THIS SHOW!!

SO MAD.

That Tywin-Olenna scene is the best, Olenna gets the second best line, with that "sword swallower through and through".

There was a wonderful hint at where Theon's at, centered between two major charcters during their sole scene, who caught it?
Sean Dowell
3. qbe_64
Littlefinger and Varys are the two best characters in the book and great foils for each other. They're both well versed in the machinations and intrigue of the court and while their end goals are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum they use the exact same methods to achieve them. Love those two!
kleinomite
4. Drifter
I've been reading these reviews and comments recently, and it's a nice refresher to hear so many opinions and viewpoints starting from the start of the series.

I've studied Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton, etc., and I'm an avid reader of all genres and all cultures. I tell anyone who will listen that Martin is the modern day Shakespeare of our time. Not in respect to writing skill, although he is an excellent writer, but in respect to the masterful art of storytelling that I believe Shakespeare cared more about than simple writing. The plot twists and political intrigue and family issues and backstabbing are what make "drama".

That being said, I was surprisingly pleased with this episode. Probably the highpoint was Tywin and Olena, as they traded insult for insult relatively smoothly, but I do think Olena came out on top in a way only a veteran mother/grandmother can. My wife is Brazilian and I've been doing my best to help explain certain aspects to her, but so far she's loving Olena (next to Dany and Arya).

I feel like the Bran parts have been rushed and lacking of anything that really snags the audience, but in HBO's defense, there wasn't a whole lot to work with in that area. Besides Bran discovering his "power", the most memorable part of his journey to the wall (to me) was the simple exchange during a storm. Where everyone was making a single comment, line after line, which ended with: Hodor said: "Hodor."
I always felt Bran was the sleeper character, the one that's going to do something remarkable in the future, but who knows...

Jon Snow's scenes were good. I like how it ended on a positive, pseudo-romantic note. God knows, these moments in GoT are few and far between.

Lastly, it may just be me, but HBO seems to be making Littlefinger more malicious than he already was. I mean we all knew he was a scheming bastard, but damn. HBO seems to want to really capitalize on this character, repeatedly showing us how cold and calculating he is. I'm not complaining, I like most everything I've seen and have very few, if any complaints (as I realize we're watching TV and not reading a book). But he definitely seemed to overshadow Varys in this episode.

I'm very much looking forward to how HBO will handle Tyrion, Tywin and Shae in the future. Also, I think, as in the books, Jamie is starting to take the place of a more sympathetic character that we root for. Especially when Bolton said Brienne wouldn't be going with him and he immediately said that he'd have to insist. The unlikely bond between those two opposites is even more powerful on screen than in the books, imho.
Tricia Irish
5. Tektonica
Please refresh my memory....Is that the Bolton bastard torchering "poor" Theon? (It's been awhile since I read these books...sorry.) He is well and truly psychotic and terrifying.

Loved Oleana and Tywin!! The Cersei/Tyrion exchange was very honest and revealing. And I, too, feel cheated that we didnt' get to see Tyrion tell Sansa and Shae about the wedding!!! Shae must have had a COW. (Not to mention Sansa....I vote for "dim" too.)

Littlefinger! Out of the Ambition Closet!! He. Is. Bad. He makes Varys look positively innocent. (How could he DO that to Ros???)

The Red Priestess gets my vote on the most dangerous people list. Yes, Joff's a horrid sadist, but we know what happens there, and he's very one dimensional. Melisandre on the other hand, is all over the place wrecking havoc. Argh. Poor Gendry! How did she know about him anyway??
Chris Nelly
6. Aeryl
@5, Yes, that's Bolton's bastard. They've been showing the Bolton banner, with the flayed man on the crosspiece, very prominentlty at Harrenhal, for the audience to catch.

I don't think the Loras rumors are EVERYWHERE. Shae knows because she's Shae, she can tell by watching him that he's not into Sansa. It's rumored amongst the high class and the low class. Sansa is in this weird middle class. No one allied with the Lannisters, for the most part, wants to be seen as to friendly with her. The people who are under her socially don't want to be friendly, seeing her as above them. Until Margaery took an interest in her, she was very isolated. So I can see how she might've missed the hints at what he really is.

Still pissed about Ros. Still pissed that Varys was shown to be that ineffectual against LF in that scene. There is just SO MUCH to be mad about.
Theresa DeLucci
7. theresa_delucci
@2 Hmm. I don't think I know the hint you're talking about. Care to enlighten?

@5 I believe Melisandre saw Gendry in her flames. I'm so happy the actor will be hanging around for more story. It was hard enough to lose Hot Pie forever. ( I kid, I kid.)

It's easy for Littlefinger to do that to Ros because he always saw her (and his other employees) as investments. Remember when Ros was crying over the murder of Robert's baby bastard? He warned her what he does to bad investments. it was a good callback.

But, yeah, that sucked for Ros. I didn't see it as so much as punishing her as a woman of agency, per se, but as just one of the smallfolk the high lords can step on to keep clawing their way up the ladder. She's too kind, to disadvantaged to be a player. She may have done the right thing in telling Varys' Littlefinger's plans for Sansa, but she also should've know better than to cross a spymaster.
Mo -
8. Astus
I was not fond of Ros when she first showed up but came to warm to her as the series progressed. I saw shades of Book Shae in her and was drawn to her. I liked her journey and the fact that she gave us an extra contextual perspective for a lot of events. I know Joffrey is a sadist but I thought most of it was just posturing...

I enjoyed the episode and haven't been disappointed as of yet (bumbling Loras from last ep aside). Can't wait to see more! I'm particularly interested because of the differences (Mel + Gendry, Jon + Ygritte). I like not knowing what to expect (in some instances! ;) ). It's what made Ros' death act like such a sucker punch.

I have to admit that I did miss one of Tormund's funnier lines from the book when they were climbing the wall. They should have used it!
Chris Nelly
9. Aeryl
In the scene with Brienne and Jaime, Bolton's banner is displayed right between them, clearly connecting it with what is happening to Theon.

I like that Gendry will be sticking around now, but yeah it sucks that Mel's got her hands on him.

Like I get all of that about Ros, it's just those points have been done to death in this show. Having a point about those with no power, surviving in the face of all that's done to them, even thriving over it, is a better point. In many ways she was the anti-LF(in that her origins were similar, but as she overcame them, she wanted to help other people instead of hurting them all) and I would have really enjoyed seeing that explored by the narrative.

But instead we get a gratuitious and unneccessary reminder that life sucks in Westeros. Just, no.

I'm also not saying that she was intentionally targeted as a woman with agency, just in how blind the writers are in how they write these women(especially Cat, who's definitely portrayed worse in the show than in the book). I was very excited for Ros's storyline this season, and I just hate that instead of expanding her character, they used the narrative to reinforce the idea that women should just accept their lot, trying to better yourself will just get you killed.
Elizabeth Doolin
10. mochabean
Thoughts in no particular order:

It is interesting that they are giving Shae so much more of an emotional backgound for what it to come (presumably). She's been protective of Sansa and jealous of Tyrion, while in the books she seemed to me to be much more mercenary.

I continue to adore the costuming on this show. The two Freys looked like giant, fretful babies with their little caps and smocks, because Daddy/GrandDaddy/GreatGrandDaddy Frey is the one in charge. Meanwhile, Edmure's clothes, like the events overtaking him, look just slightly too big for him. And Brienne in sickly Bolton pink, with brown fur trim, perfect. People always talk about GRRM going on and on in loving detail about food, but he does so about clothes even more, and what people are wearing, or not wearing, is a huge part of who they are.

I had mixed feleings about the death of Ros -- she was never a beloved character for me, but she did give us a useful perspective. We knew from that scene with Joff and Margary that he was going to do something truly awful with that crossbow. And after last season, I was relieved that we only saw the results. and not the execution. (Gods, sorry). I note that while he evntually hit the same spots as Arya, he had a lot more misses. ugh.

I though Sam would have had a better voice.
Elizabeth Doolin
11. mochabean
@Aeryl -- great point -- I had not caught the Bolton banner right before the Theon scene (which was so very awful) - but as a living reenactment of same, you'd think Theon would have gotten it. Guess he fell asleep during House Sigils 101.

I think you expressed very well why my feelings on Ros' demise were mixed. It was a horrible tableaux, all the more horrible for being beautifully shot and composed, like a painting of St. Sebastian.

@ Theresa: Not only was the show drawing a Joff/Arya parallel, but also a Joff/Ramsey parallel, no? The Father may love the little children, but not always the bastards.
Theresa DeLucci
12. theresa_delucci
@11 I know, right? You'd think Theon might figure it out after he was being flayed, no? Egads, the pain of it doesn't quite come across in the books compared to actually seeing it.

And from the previews for next week... I think they're going to go some place really, really dark with Theon.

Again, Rheon was fantastic, especially when he was first taunting Theon's sob story.
kleinomite
13. sofrina
i only watched once. the changes are interesting. just when i decided the edric storm plot was off the table, they graft gendry into it instead. interesting that he will be told he's the late king's son... so will davros still be rescuing robert's bastard from melisandre's plan? arya shooting arrows reminded me of the first episode when bran was training in the yard and she hit his target from behind him. that she and joffrey aimed for the same crucial spots just shows they're both used to standard training with a man at arms. remember, book arya watched her brothers train from a high window. i was surprised arya didn't try to stab melisandre, though.

what's interesting about joffrey killing ros - right there in his bedroom, someone's got to cut her down and get rid of the mess - is that cersei thinks he'll behave while tywin is around. joffrey is still the king and he's experimenting with the breadth of that mantle more and more. who's going to tell tywin about the dead whore pinned to the king's bed posts?

this littlefinger trumps varys thing is confusing. how could varys be so surprised? he often acts that way, but they were being straight up right then. how did he not know ros was in trouble? he must have some tykes stationed around joffrey's apartments at all times.

nice that they have tywin use aerys' trick to force olenna's hand. i'm not sure if this is supposed to provide motivation for the hairnet maneuver or if that is already in play. i love that she is more than willing to stand up to tywin, eye to eye.

not sure how seeing lord bolton's banner at harrenhall is supposed to tip people off about theon's captor. unless you also see it at the dreadfort how can you make the connection? jaime/brienne are still breathing extraordinary life into the text. just that gesture of him stilling her hand as she grabs her knife... coster-waldau in 2014.

it is kind of odd how threatening blackfish is towards edmure. he's all about holding up robb's respect, but edmure is his liege-lord as well. he practically threatens to take edmure to the woodshed every other scene. osha calling meera "lady reed" was a nice touch.

and i was quite disappointed in sam's scene. nice but no wight attack, no desperate fight with the dagger and no weirwood full of ravens... next week?
Chris Nelly
14. Aeryl
The device on the Bolton banners is the same device Theon is tied to.

In the books, Blackfish had been w/Lysa for 15 years, so he didn't grow up w/Edmure. I think, since they cut that in the show, we are just supposed to feel that he is tired of all this crap w/Edmure. I found the scene amusing, because book readers know he got his name as the Blackfish because he refused to marry when Hoster wanted him to, but here he is, threatening Edmure to get married.

The tension between Osha and Meera was nice, they are really so similar that it would be wierd if there weren't tension. Hopefully, next week the bonding can begin.

"She held a knife to me when we met!"

"Osha you tried to stab me when we met." *Osha looks shamefaced*

Perfect!

I think they have moved the wight attack, pointing out the dragonglass. Maybe the WW and wight will attack at once. I mean Sam finally got that fire built up real nice, so I can't imagine them NOT using it.

The show finally gave an explanation for WHY Theon was allowed to temporarily escape. Rheon's character is better at interrogation than Black Widow. By pretending to be his ally, he got all the information they'd been torturing Theon for.
Chin Bawambi
15. bawambi
I think the spider is given a more sympathic view than in the books because of the reveal which happens much later in the text. It has been a while since I read the books as well but I'm pretty sure that the scene in this episode brings in focus the difference between LF and Varys. I don't remember this exchange in the books but it does reflect the fact that Varys does have a greater purpose even though we don't know what it is yet.
kleinomite
16. Drifter
I'm surprised how many people are so upset about Ros. I mean, really? She was barely noticeable in the books. I can think of only two reasons for HBO to build her up. 1) because she's another viewpoint/excuse for them to show whores and nudity and sex, and 2) because they knew they were going to kill her, and if they didn't make the audience care at least somewhat (with scenes like murdering babies in front of her and watching her struggle emotionally) than nobody would be moved by her death. So, in the end, I guess HBO succeeded on both fronts.

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone else ever imagine scenes of characters meeting that never actually meet in the story? Like a battle between the Mountain and Khal Drogo? Or Bran sitting across the table from Joffrey? Or Aegon talking to his granddaughter Dany? I haven't finished the fifth book, so I don't know what else has happened. But I'd like to see if Arya met Dany, how that interaction would go down. I think, under the right conditions, they could have some strong respect for each other. Speaking of which, they've made no mention in 3 seasons so far of the "wild pack of wolves led by an alpha female..."

Do you guys think that Martin's future writing will be influenced by what he's seen HBO do with his previous books? I don't see how it's possible not to be affected, but I guess there's no way to tell unless he says so himself.

Lastly, maybe I'm just grasping at straws, but I'd love to see Rickon and Shaggydog do something awesome. I always viewed each of the Stark children to be the embodiment of something... Rob was the oldest, most responsible, trying to fill his father's shoes and be a leader (along with is loyal Greywind). Sansa was an idealistic dreamer and dutifully loyal to societal rules (poor Lady suffered almost as foreshadowing of Sansa's suffering to come). Arya was the fiery rebel, the passionate portrayer of freedom and making your own way (as Nymeria is apparently doing somewhere). Bran embodied sharp intellect and a depth and understanding not yet revealed, except in small glimpses (Summer being the first to be a part of that power). Then there is Rickon - wild, untamed, unknown. I don't know what Martin or HBO plan to do in the future, but I'm always a fan of seeing Stark children in their various paths. (Although, less Bran unless the scene is actually going to reveal something we don't already know)
Scott Silver
17. hihosilver28
I don't really get the "Lysa Arryn of chairs" joke. Is it that the throne is uncomfortable, or that the actual chair Littlefinger was sitting in wasn't his first choice?
Chris Nelly
18. Aeryl
@17 It's hideous but has a certain charm(power), much like to LF and Varys, Lysa Arryn was hideous, but had a certain charm(the Vale).

@16, Ros isn't even in the books, that has nothing to do with what has got us upset. First of all, she was sassy and smart and didn't deserve to die that way. Second, she offered a perspective that most of these stories are lacking, that of the sex worker. Third, she'd finally gotten to exercise some agency, and THIS is how it turned out. She's actually one of the few women who gets to have any agency.
Shelly wb
19. shellywb
@9, GRRM does the same to almost all of the women I loved in the books. Oh, he doesn't necessarily kill them, but he strips their power and makes them ineffective, sometimes for no reason I can discern. I've been very disappointed about that. I can only hope this is something temporary.
Jim Burnell
20. JimBurnell
I have to confess a little confusion at one particular point. During Littlefinger's voiceover at the end of the episode, we see Sansa crying as she looks out over the sea. If that were all, I would assume that she is crying because she knows she must marry Tyrion Lannister. But there is a ship on the water that gets the focus, implying that she's crying about the ship or someone who's on it? And there is something on the sails; it looked like a crow? What was that about?

Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ot6k5V0E3mU#t=27s
Scott Silver
21. hihosilver28
Ok, that makes sense. I didn't laugh nearly as hard at that as I did about Olenna admitting that Loras was a "sword swallower through and through".

The Ros thing really upset me as well. I don't even really know why they put it in there. It's like every thing of import happened offscreen. We didn't get Tyrion actually telling Sansa, Ros died to...show how much we hate Joffrey? It just felt like they thought they needed to remind us that Joffrey is not a good person and that there should be consequences for betraying Littlefinger...but it felt too over the top and way unnecessary. It was like the scene in season 2 where Joffrey ordered Ros to beat the other whore to death. Just absolutely unnecessary. On the other hand, I did like what they've been doing with Ramsey, even though non-book readers have pretty much universally been lost and thought those scenes were just treading water.

@20- The sigil on the ship is Littlefinger's. He was her only hope to leave, and she chose to stay behind to marry Loras...now that she's bereft of Loras, she's also bereft of her only option to leave King's Landing. Doubly screwed over. Hence the weeping.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
22. AlirozTheConfused
All Hail Aeryl, The Sofa King!

His praises we sing and his gifts we bring!

The couches will bow and Futons shall kneel!

Or else be crushed by his iron heel!

All hail! All hail! All hail the king of the seat!

All Hail! All Hail! But first, wipe your feet!
Chris Nelly
23. Aeryl
@19, He does, which is why this pisses me off. Or at least the excuse that she should have seen this coming does.

Arya's been waltzing through several storylines that should have killed her, but she survives. We believe that's because there is a part for her to play later, but Martin could decide to kill her tomorrow, just to show you, NOBODY'S SAFE. Which fine, your story. And the belief is, for us book readers, that they will get their power back(or at least some of them, Cersei can rot).

It just ticks me off that this was done for really no other reason than to say, NOBODY'S SAFE. Which yeah, we got that message already, you didn't have to sacrfice Ros to say that. And especially that she was killed in the manner that LF warned her about. It really feels like her death is a warning, to not try and be better than you've been told you are.
Stefan Mitev
25. Bergmaniac
@20 - That's LF's ship, and Sansa refused LF's offer to leave the capital with him.
Scott Silver
26. hihosilver28
Aeryl & shelly wb: I don't really see Martin as having removed agency from a bunch of the women in his books. The agency may change, but I don't think he's removed it from them, and on the occasions where he does, he's done the same for several men in the series as well. Some of whom are treated more horrifically than any woman in the series. I'm whiting out the following since most of it is from later on.

Cersei: She's totally had it coming, and it's not because she's a woman, it's because she's incompetant and not as smart as she thinks she is.

Catelyn: Removed from the story due to placement, not agency. And when Robb has her imprisoned, it's due to her own choices to let Jaime go. Also, when she comes back as Stoneheart, her agency is different.

Brienne: Has agency throughout all of Feast, only removed when encountering Stoneheart, which makes sense considering her original mission.

Daenerys: Learning to be a queen would be quite a task, but I didn't like how Martin handled her arc throughout Dance at all. I completely agree with this one and it wasn't until she left on Drogon that I felt anything was happening with her character. That and all the "Oooh Daario is soooo sexy" moments can just jump off a cliff.

Sansa: She's never had much agency just due to who she is, but I felt that her growth has been steady through the books.

Asha: Never suffers near as much as her brother.

Arianne: I really don't care about Dorne, but her story didn't bother me.

Anyway, all that to say, I didn't feel Martin was removing agency from his female characters, but I'm definitely open to debate and being wrong...or even just getting a different perspective.
Rob Munnelly
27. RobMRobM
@20, 25. Correct, and the bird on the sail is a mockingbird, LF's sigil.
Chris Nelly
29. Aeryl
No one is saying that the men in this story aren't being treated terribly. But the context is different when this stuff is done to women, and not all men have had their agency removed, where ALL his women had, and whether "they had it coming" is beside the point. If it's done to all women, regardless of their circumstances, then their actions don't matter.
Scott Silver
30. hihosilver28
Aeryl, would you mind giving examples? Because once again, I'm seeing this from a different perspective, and I don't see them having their agency removed. Well, mostly. There are some characters where I do agree with you, but I didn't feel it was egregious or even noticeable. Which it obviously is to some people, so I want to know where you're coming from.

I also disagree when you say that it's besides the point of whether a character "had it coming" or not. That is the entire point. If a character perpetually does things that are dumb and then suffer the said consequences, I think it completely fits within that world and isn't a case of the author removing agency. Martin has done this to both sexes in the books, and I think it's inaccurate to decry him for doing it to females since everyone suffers the choices they make in the books, and that's true of men and women in the story. The major theme of the books is that anyone in them can do whatever they want, but there will be far-flung and unforseen consequences for the actions that they take.
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
If one woman is an angelic saint, and has her agency removed, and another woman is demon inacarnate, and has her agency removed, then the lesson isn't "Bad women have their agency removed" it's "All women have no agency".

So far, all women have either had their agency removed(Arya, Sansa, Cersei) denied they had any agency(Cat) or never had any(I know I'll be asked to defend this one, but Dany's the worst offender here.)

The only women thus far, who still have agency, are Yarasha and Brienne, women who have sworn off being womenly. This makes my point. Unless you are willing to swear off being a woman, you get no agency in these books. Ros was the one that bucked this trend.

Now, the argument could be made that nobody has agency, and that's an argument I could buy, if it hadn't so explicitly shown that this is not the case. Plenty of men continue to exercise agency, for example, Jaime. Jaime had his options and possibilities changed, but there is never a question as to whether he will be allowed to explore those options. Ned got to exercise agency, even when locked up for treason.
Scott Silver
32. hihosilver28
Hmm, you do have a point that many of the women have had their agency removed. I was making the point that just as many of the men have had their agency removed as well. Jaime may be the one example of not. The rest are trapped by responsibilites or the decisions that they have made. Jon and Tyrion would be excellent examples of that. Tyrion was shocking how much agency he lost and made his chapters very unfun to read.

I can kind of see where you would go with Dany, but I would disagree to a certain extent for A Storm of Swords. She definitely didn't have agency in AGoT, ACoK, or most of ADwD.

All this to say, I hate what they did to Ros just as much as you, but I don't know if I fully agree that the books are as egregious as the show in this case. It seems to me that an equal number of men have their agency stripped as women. And though I am a man (and fully understand the bias that comes with that when trying to acknowledge sexism), I do try to be sensitive to that in the art I consume, and the books haven't hit that button with me as much as the show.
Chris Nelly
33. Aeryl
In many ways the books are better, in that it doesn't have all the sexual degradation the show does cuz its HBO, but in some ways the show did a little better, like they put it in there, but they were gonna address with Ros' character.

And a lot of it is, I let my hopes for what Ros could be in this show get too high, and the writers had no interest in looking at any of that, just in making her sympathetic enough that her final moments would hurt.

I also include Dany, because while she makes decisions and she acts towards her goals, it's her lack of actual personal goals that have me saying she has no agency. She doesn't know WHY she wants the Throne, she just feels entittled to it. I think without a realistic examination of her motives, she doesn't have any agency, only obligation(retake the Throne for her dead family).
kleinomite
34. Nessa
That Ros scene was horrifying. I did guess that Ros bit off more than she can chew when she agreed to spy on LF for Varys, but I didn't know her end would be that brutal. Joffrey is even more of a monster in the show than he is in the books.

It feels like they're whitewashing Cersei to make Joffrey that much more horrible though. I understand that they want to make her 'sympathetic' but that doesn't mean they have to get rid of all her paranoid schemes. I used to see her as a villain, but now I just see her as an idiot who doesn't have the slightest bit of control over her children (not that book!Cersei had much control over Joffrey, but still). Also, look at Tyrion being all gallant and warning Sansa about her upcoming wedding. Are we not going to have any grey characters at all in this series? I remember clearly in the books that even though Tyrion felt sorry for Sansa over the marriage, he was also hoping that the marriage would work out, and looking optimistically towards ruling from Winterfell. At least Jaime is staying completely true to his character (so far).

Tywin and Olenna was chilling. It started out hilarious ("Old." and "sword-swallower" too), but quickly turned very serious. I can't believe that Tywin is being so brazen with the Tyrells, though. Not when they saved his ass from Stannis during the Blackwater. He really should have more sense than to antagonize Lady Olenna directly (being underhanded is fine, like with the Tyrion/Sansa wedding). I'm glad that the Queen of Thorns at least has enough sense to not marry Loras to Cersei. Even being a Kingsguard to Joffrey is better than that.
kleinomite
35. Nessa
@20, 21: Yeah the mockingbird is LF's sigil. I was confused at that at first too. Though, in a strange roundabout way, Sansa isn't completely screwed over because of Tyrion's marriage to her. Spoiler: As long as Tyrion is alive, he provides a buffer against LF's plans for her, especially if those plans involve marrying her off to himself or someone else.
kleinomite
36. Bubster
I didn't like Ros's death because I wasn't sure who killed her. If it was Joffrey, it seems a bit lame that she'd willingly go into his bedchamber again after what happened the first time. If it was Littlefinger who killed her in his "cathouse" , then that seems a big departure from his character.

I liked her as a character and as a departure from the text. She bridged Theon, Tyrion, Littlefinger, Varys, and Joffrey. She could've been a useful Varys-in-training, to be dropped into the text when needed. Now, all she did was teach a lesson to Varys that he could've surmised for himself since Varys has no problem getting his own "hands dirty" (i.e. the boxed guy from 2 eps ago?)

I think I have a big issue with the fact that Joffrey is now the one to have tried to orchestrate Tyrion's death in the BoB. That *could* change a WHOLE lot of things with future scenes.

If Littlefinger did indeed sail away on that ship (we never saw him on the ship), then who will save Sansa? Will he sneak back into the harbor on another ship? He did say the line about once getting 1 ship, he wanted more, or something similar.

I also think its hugely problematic to skip over the WW attack against the NW and (perhaps) not have Sam defend himself in retreat??

I see this series slipping further and further into the chaos of mediocrity with the changes in this ep. I didn't expect Season 3 to stray. I thought Season 4 would begin the straying from the text.
Karen Morrell
37. karenm83
I'm VERY curious to see what's going to happen to Sansa's arc now. I'm having a hard time seeing what they're going to do to her.

And not sure what I thought about Gendry getting carted off the way he did...no pun intended :D It'll be interesting to see where the show takes that as well
kleinomite
38. TheEightChandrian
I didn't liked the idea of Gendry being sold to the Red Witch (that's what the BwB did) becuse he appeared in book 4 at the in Inn between the Crossroads as a smith, when Brienne met him, but I don't see him going back to them after what they did... but then that scene at the inn may be unnecesary because there's no Rorge nor Bitter to attack Brienne...

And on Ros... I don't know, her end was too abrutly maybe Esme Bianco quited the series. At the end of season 2 I thought she'd have a bigger importance in future events. To suddenly kill her in such a way doesn't seem right to me, and once I read somewhere Martin said he'd include her in future books... so who knows
Alan Brown
39. AlanBrown
I am not yet troubled by any of the changes between book and TV show. The media, and the storytelling conventions that work in them, are so very different. Actors breath varying degrees of life into the characters (fortunately, Tyrion got an actor that was more than up for the challenge posed by this fascinating character). Viewpoints are more omnicient. So much is conveyed visually that can only be hinted at in print.
The low point of the episode was probably Theon (if you didn't read the books, I imagine that you would be very confused at what was happening in these scenes, and why it was getting so much attention--and I for one do NOT need to see someone being tortured in such vivid detail). The high point of the episode was probably Jon and Ygritte getting their romantic moment--although if I was him, I would have paused first to pitch the guy who cut the rope off of the Wall.
kleinomite
40. jvincent
Ros's death served a few purposes.

1. It reminded the audience how much of a sadistic bastard Joffrey is.

2. It set up parallels. Spoilers ahead.

Ros attempted to climb the ladder, to play the game of thrones in her own small way. She failed. It wasn't because she was a woman, it was because she was foolish and naive. She squared off against the masters, and lost, horribly. Remind you of anyone? Hint: It's Robb. Eddard too. Even Theon. She was in over her head, and didn't realize it. She was confident, and it backfired.

Ros served as a reminder of Cersei's words from the first season: when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Ros wasn't attempting to win. She wanted to make her own life a little better, and maybe help others along the way.

3. It allowed for further differentiation between Littlefinger and Varys, neither of whom have had clear motives before now.

4. It set up that cool Arya/ Joffrey parallel, which I think is supposed to link with Melisandre's line about a growing darkness inside Arya.

'm not saying I love it, or that it wasn't a kinda sadistic move by the writers, but it was completely in character for the show and wasn't any more sexist than Eddard losing his head for basically the exact same thing.
kleinomite
41. jvincent
Gah! Where'd the white text go! That entire central part was supposed to be whited out.

Can one of the admins go in and white it out, please? I don't want to spoil anything!
kleinomite
43. Bubster
Maybe I would laugh more at Ygritte's sexual commentary if we didn't get that same tenor with Podrick already.

Ygritte's dissention / desertion? talk seems......interesting on my rewatch of the ep.
kleinomite
44. Petar Belic
Probably my least liked episode to date. The opening scene just went... nowhere. I'm not bothered too much by the changes, although Melisandre meeting Arya took me by surprise! I thought Ros' fate was a nice sort of payoff. Remember this is Game of Thrones, no one is safe, and killing them off is just in line with GRRM's work. In fact any character not in the book is likely to be killed at any time. As Anonymous would say 'expect us'.
kleinomite
45. phuzz
@Drifter (#16), Bran and Joffry have met, when the royal family went to Winterfell at the start of the story. As I recall, all of the Stark children thought he was a little shit, but then so does everybody that's met him.

On a different note, I'm assuming that Littlefinger using Joffry to kill Ros was a win/win situation for him. A potential complication removed, and favour curried with the king.
Although now Joffry will probably go running to Little finger every time he feels like killing someone, which would get annoying I imagine.
kleinomite
46. Ser Tom
For me, this episode was just sorta filler, like the mid-game in chess. It was just moving the pieces around a little until the real fun begins. For all that it had some very good moments. Jaime/Brienne, Melisandre/Arya, Varys/Littlefinger, Jon/Ygritte.

I like that Gendry appears to be taking the place of Edric Storm. It shows good economy of characters. Melisandre's foreshadowing with Arya gave her arc a needed boost. Once again, Littlefinger gets to give a monologue on "The Grand Scheme of Things." In Season 1 it was his Power speach.

I don't think Littlefinger's ship sailed off. It was in the same spot as when he showed it to Sansa; so, that escape route may still be viable, even if she doesn't see it just yet.

I think it's interesting that we get to see the degradation of Theon. I assume we will see some of Ramsey breaking his will and turning him into Reek. It certainly gives the character of Theon more depth than it had in the books IMO.

It bugs me, however, that Rickon and Osha are still hanging out with Bran, Hodor, and the Reeds. That is a departure from the books that will muck up some future developments, IIRC. I suppose it's necessary for the personality clash between Osha and Meera. Bran's arc needs all the boost it can get. Even with the one or two scenes we get each week it would still be just a dreadfully dull trudge to the North to find the Three Eyed Raven. Bran's burgeoning abilities may be difficult to deal with on screen. Even in the books it was rather ho-hum and felt disconnected from the rest of the narrative.
Chris Nelly
47. Aeryl
LF sailed, he was headed to the Vale. That doesn't mean it won't be back after the Purple Wedding.
Fredrik Coulter
48. fcoulter
Perhaps I'm crazy, but the Varys and Littlefinger scene reminded me of the Vorlons and the Shadows. I didn't get this vibe from the book, but the HBO series seems to bring out this dichotomy far more than the book does.

Is it bad that I rooted for the Shadows while my wife rooted for the Vorlons?
kleinomite
49. Bubster
The Theon/Reek storyline seems way too complicated to be represented in the show. I don't think it even happened in book 3, so I'm not sure why we're getting it now in Season 3 if this was only supposed to cover the first half of book 3? I don't think he'll turn white haired and almost skeletal in the show. It's enough if he only becomes Ramsay's terrified, subserviant vassel.

It seems like Red Wedding is going to happen before Joffrey Wedding in the show ?
Chris Nelly
50. Aeryl
That's the way it happens in the book, Gold Wedding, Red Wedding, Purple Wedding.

Even though we don't hear from Theon for two whole books, what is happening now is what was happening to him at this point in the books. Alfie Allen has been one of the breakout stars of the show, I can completely understand WHY the showrunners and HBO didn't want him sidelined for two to three years as they caught up with his story.
Theresa DeLucci
51. theresa_delucci
@46 I agree with most of your points. This episode definitely wasn't a favorite, but we can't get dragons and ice zombies every week.

I'm really feeling you on Bran's story. I guess in the books I never noticed quite how boring his story is for loooooong stretches of time. Or I forgot. Or there was at least some good internal dialogue pulling me through those chapters which is lost onscreen. I'm okay with Osha and Rickon hanging out. What else can they do? Why even bother splitting them up for no reason that we can discern from the currently available books. (i.e. Rickon never gets a chapter of his own.) It'd also be a shame to lose Tonks. At least she delivers some good lines every now and then.
Theresa DeLucci
52. theresa_delucci
Also, I just now discovered a video of Mackenzie Cook (Orell) taking a break from filming to provide Twister spinner assistance for two-person games. Apparently this is a Thing to use YouTube for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YxvTGwHIcU&feature=player_embedded#!
Chris Nelly
53. Aeryl
Bran's story in the books is SO BORING!!!! Plus, he's a child, and his days at Winterfell were so tedious, with a lot of immature thoughts and stuff that was difficult. They were worth it for the stuff they helped establish about Ramsey Snow, but other than that, his story was pretty boring until Knight of the Laughing Tree. It picked up when he and Jon missed one another, and a few other warg related incidents, but other than that, ugh. I haven't read ADWD yet, so I don't know if it gets better(I know there's a tree, which isn't boding well for my hope his story moves. I mean, trees are pretty stationary).
Anthony Pero
54. anthonypero
@ 19. shellywb



Already covered much more intelligently by other commenters.
Scott Silver
55. hihosilver28
@Aeryl
Bran's story is one of the highlights of ADWD. But I haven't had as much of a problem with his arc in the other books. Actually all of the Stark storylines are cool in ADWD, the rest...well...
Marie Veek
56. SlackerSpice
@33: You make an interesting point about Dany. We cheer for her when she stands up to Viserys, when she hatches her dragons, when she kills Pyat Pree, when she turns the Unsullied agaainst Astapor, certainly. After all, she is miles ahead of the terrified young woman we met in Pentos, she is a more appealing option than Joffrey (and possibly Stannis, YMMV), and winter and the White Walk-Others are coming, making her dragons (and by extension, her) a necessity, even if no one south of the Wall knows it yet.

However, at the end of the day, her goals are still mainly obligations to her dead family, she has only ever grown up hearing about the Usuper's dogs and how the Iron Throne was unjustly taken from them, and those in a position to enlighten her (Illyrio, Jorah, Barristan) have kept silent to further their own goals.
kleinomite
57. The_Wanderer
This episode made a lot of mentions about how the quest for power can undermine and ruin a lot of people's lives.... like Littlefinger did to Ros and Sansa. There are a lot of scenes with characters where they are either shown to powerless or pawns to the wills of certain powerful organizations or more powerful characters.

I wrote a lengthy blog article looking into how power was examined in this Game of Thrones Episode, and I've linked that below.

http://www.all-that-is-gold-does-not-glitter.blogspot.com/2013/05/game-of-thrones-season-3-the-climb-analysis.html

My favorite scenes from this episode have to be Littlefinger's montage followed by Jon and Ygritte succeeding on their climb up on the wall. Also the series of conversations between Arya, Mel, Thoros, and Beric were great, too.
kleinomite
58. Littlefinger87
Shame on you book readers! Why all the Little finger hate? Did this thought ever cross your mind? Littlefinger's plan to take Sansa out of the capital is in Sansa's best interest.Let's look at the alternatives: marriage to a Tyrrell who will never love her or Tyrion Lannister. Varys doesn't arrange the marriage for the realm or for Sansa, he does it Ti frustrate Little finger. Ros got in the way of Littlefinger's plan to save Sansa. That's why she had to die. Sansa is Lannister property. Loose lips about stealing that property out from under Tywin Lannister's nose need to be silenced or else Little finger may lose his own life.

Why does Little finger try to save Sansa? It's political and personal. Remember Cat is the love of his life and Sansa's her daughter. She's also the key to the north, but would Little finger risk Tywin's wrath for love of Catelyn or for political reasons? My money is on the former. For all you Stark lovers get ready to root for Little finger iif you want a Stark resurgence.
Chris Nelly
59. Aeryl
Um, no. LF is one of the most dangerous and villainous people in the story. It doesn't matter if I like his endgame(restoring Sansa to power in the North), the ways he's going about is terrible, the way he is corrupting Sansa morally is terrrible, and the way he's trying to get in her pants, is terrible(sorry, I don't believe for a second he's gonna let her marry that guy in the Vale, even if he thinks he will. He's proven he cannot act rationally where Sansa is concerned).
Chris Nelly
60. Aeryl
I can't edit my last, but I wanted to add at the end, that while LF may think he's gonna do it, I think he's proven he doesn't act rationally where Sansa is concerned. He may want her to rule in the North and East, and use that to secure his own power, but when it comes down to it, his own desire for her will win out.

Remember, LF wouldn't have to work so hard to restore Sansa to power is he hadn't ensured her father was killed in the first place.
kleinomite
61. Littlefinger87
Since when was a kiss trying to get into someone's pants. I agree Aeryl it was creepy, but he hasn't done anything since and he's had ample opportunity to do so. He's still in love and faithful to the Cat of his youth and Sansa looks very much like her. Morally corrupting Sansa? If teaching her how to think and survive in the game is morally corrupting then sign me up for lessons. Ned died because he actually tried to play the game but he didn't know the rules.

Cercei is directly responsible for Ned's capture. Do you think Little finger could give Janos Slynt Harrenhal? Little finger went out of his way to save Ned from his own foolish nobility and then saved his life in throne room.

Joffrey and Ilyn Payne are directly responsible for killing Ned. Show me the conversation where Little finger suggests to Joffrey to kill Ned. Oh right it doesn't exist. Ned humiliated Ilyn Payne in front of the entire court by sending Beric Dondarion to capture the Mountain instead of him which is why he acted so quickly when Joffrey called for Ned's head.

You certainly have a low opinion of Littlefinger's willpower. He a whoremonger who doesn't frequent whores. Why bring up Harry the heir in front of her if he doesn't plan on eventually marrying them together.
Chris Nelly
62. Aeryl
Because it's a distraction. She's become increasingly uncomfortable with his slow murder of Robert Arryn, and her own complicity in it(that's the corruption I'm talking about), so he dangles this sweet pretty knight of her fanatasies before her, so she'll be complicit with his continued imprisonment of her.

And I don't have a low opinion in LF's willpower, and I don't believe his abstaining from whores has anything to do with it. I think he finds them distasteful, and only as a means to acquire wealth. He has a lot of willpower and patience. If he'd just started raping Sansa when he got her, it wouldn't give him everything he wants. He wants to possess her, he wants her to choose him. If she won't then, he'll take her because he gets what he wants.

I'm sorry if you read his obsession with Sansa as anyting other than him projecting his childish fantasy's with Cat onto her, but it's been made pretty clear to me that's exactly what he's done. He makes noises about how she's the daughter he and Cat could have, as a comforting lie when she's starts to feel wierded out by him, but it's really all about possessing Sansa since he could have Cat, as vengeance to her for not loving him, just like he betrayed Ned out of vengeance.

Slynt wasn't offered Harrenhal until AFTER LF subourned him to the Lannister cause and that argument doesn't work b/c Ned could have given Slynt Harrenhal if he'd been appointed Regent, not that he would've but Slynt didn't know that. I agreed with LF about some of the things Ned should do after Robert's death, but what LF should have done was instead tell him, when Ned wouldn't go along, was sorry, I can't deliver the goldcloaks to you, instead of betraying him.
kleinomite
63. Littlefinger87
So it's murder now to help a young boy through epilepsy. Sweet sleep is the only medication which stops the shakes. Little finger didn't give Robert Arryn his condition nor was he the first person to suugest to give him sweet sleep. His master has been giving it to him for years. Where is the uncomfortableness that you speak of. This is in Alayne Stone's chapters presumably. She's disgusted by Robert, not concerned that Little finger is killing him which he isn't.

Agree to disagree on him possessing Sansa until the next book is released. As far as I'm concerned the worst thing he's done to Sansa is kiss her on the lips because she's a beautiful snow maid that looks too much like the love of his life. There's far more evidence of Little finger actually helping Sansa and the Starks to his own personal risk and safety than of him having ill intentions towards them.

Continued imprisonment of her? What are you talking about. You obviously do not know what it means to be imprisoned. Has Sansa specifically asked Little finger to leave the Vale? Did she reveal herself to the Lords Declarant and asked to be set free from the cruel man who delivered her from Lannister clutches? If the Red Wedding didn't happen there would be some options for where Sense could go, but right now the Vale is the safest place for her.

Ned's plan was stupid. Giving the throne to Stannis would mean certain war. Stannis would have no qualms about killing anyone who got in the way of his right to rule. Remember Stannis was sent to Dragon stone to kill Vuserys and Danerys. He has no qualms about killing children. Regardless of what you feel Jeffrey deserves To men and Myrcella are quite innocent. Why should Littlefinger want Ned's attempt to succeed?

And queen Cercei is incapable of manipulating anyone? All evidence to the contrary. When does Little finger subourn Janis Slynt Ti the Lannister cause? You give Little finger too much blame and credit for actions that he couldn't possibly have done. It was Robert Baratheon's orders to Little finger to have Janos Slynt's schemes benefit the crown. Cercei nor any other Lannister were involved prior to Cercei bribing Slynt with Harrenhal. Ned would never deal with Slynt directly or offer him Harrenhal. Where did that come from? He's far too honorable which is why he sends Little finger. Little finger wanted Ned out of his current position so he couldn't help Stan is ascend the throne. It's less clear if Littlefinger actually wants Ned dead. Ned isn't his brother but he still married Cat. There's no denying there's hard feelings there, but enough to kill? No I don't think so.
Chris Nelly
64. Aeryl
Yes, they are overdosing him on sweetsleep, giving him doses in excess of anything his maester gave him and over the maester's objections that it's too much. And it's also heavily implied that it's increased dependency on the sweetsleep that's giving him the shakes, not epilepsy, in an attempt to kill him so Harry the Heir can become Lord of the Vale.

She has no choice to leave the Vale, and she's been imprisoned since the end of GoT, just because this prison's nicer, doesn't mean it's still not a prison. Just because she doesn't view herself as a prisoner, because it's a nicer prison, doesn't mean it's still not a prison. Being held captive is a fact of life for her now, so she's not going to point it out in every chapter that she's still a prisoner.

I agree that Ned's plan was stupid. All I'm saying is that LF was perfectly capable of telling Slynt(because LF talked to Slynt, not Cersei, she's got nothing to do with LF's actions) to assist Ned, cuz Ned'll reward him. You, me, and LF know Ned will never do that, but Slynt doesn't know that. And LF was also perfectly capable of telling Ned he couldn't help him. He didn't do that, he lied to Ned and said he'd help him, setting him up for the betrayal.

It was Robert Baratheon's orders to Little finger to have Janos Slynt's schemes benefit the crown.

I have no idea what this is referring to.

Cercei nor any other Lannister were involved prior to Cercei bribing Slynt with Harrenhal

She doesn't bribe him with Harrenhal, LF bribes him w/gold, and Cersei rewards him with Harrenhal. Big Diff.

If all LF wanted was to prevent Stannis on the throne, all he needed to do was not promise to deliver the goldcloaks. Then Ned wouldn't have had any other options, he'd have had to accept Joff as king and assume his role as regent, at least for now. Instead, because LF was setting him up to be taken prisoner at the very least, he went through with his plan.

LF is not Tyrion, a decent person who must act ruthless to survive, to establish his power, to protect what he cares for. LF is a ruthless person who acts decent, to get his victims to trust him, to take that which doesn't belong to him, and to avenge himself on those he feels have done him wrong.

Whether or not LF wanted Ned dead is beside the point. He wanted the realm in chaos, so he could have his try at the ladder. He put Sansa in a terrible position, so he could possess her. If Joff had not ordered Ned executed, which no one foresaw, the realm still would have been in chaos. Robb would still have moved South, Sansa still be held as a prisoner of the Lannisters, Arya still would've been taken by Yoren, but at least she'd have been with Ned.

Out of all of LF's actions, you are also ignoring the murder of Jon Arryn, the lying to Cat(who you claim he loves so much) about Bran's attacker, and the murder of Lysa Arryn.
kleinomite
65. sofrina
@51 - rickon is separated from bran in case some of the stark enemies should learn they are alive. if they're hunted down, both boys can be killed together. dividing them better ensures at least one stark stays free. look at what happens with sansa. they marry her to tyrion and marry a fake arya to ramsey. they'd have used real arya if they had ever located her. likewise, if both girls had escaped it would have been impossible for arya to stay disguised as a boy. sansa can't possibly pass for a boy and they're far more recognizable together.
kleinomite
66. Littlefinger87
The shakes is epilepsy. He's had this condition from the time we're introduced to him at Tyrion's trial.The treatment is sweet sleep and draining blood with leeches. He's not getting any better which is why Lysa probably wanted to keep him in the Vale after she killed her husband. She's delusional about his progress and his health. Sansa tearing his doll apart send him into one of his shakes, not sweet sleep. It's quite likely that he won't live out the year. Littlefinger isn't injecting Robert himself. He isn't adding dosage when robert doesn't need it. He's using sweet sleep when it is needed which is more often now because his condition is getting worse not better.

The definition of a prisoner requires the person has knowledge that they are a captor. This assumes that the person has the ability to form a will of their own and are not mentally incapacitated. Sansa is not a prisoner in the Vale. She chose to go with Dontos. She chose to leave the Fingers to go to her aunt in the Vale. Granted she doesn't have many good choices left, but Littlefinger is a much more gracious host than Cercei was. He is trying to teach her the way of the world, and she seems quite receptive to his teaching. She recognizes the Lyn Cobray deception to break up the Lords Declarant. She finally is sloughing off that naivete which has surrounded her character from the very beginning and Littlefinger's presence is directly involved in the evolution (for the better) of her character. She's finally starting to see ruling is not all about pretty knights and fairy tales. That is all to the good.

Janos Slynt wouldn't have betrayed the Hand of the King for mere gold. After Sansa goes to Cercei and tell her Ned's plan, it's heavily implied that Cercei meets with Slynt and offers him Harrenhal. Slynt cries out when Bron is leading him away, "I have friends at court, the queen..." Slynt obviously met her face to face before he made a decision to betray Ned in the throne room. Slynt had gold. Not as much as Cercei or Littlefinger, but he's not so stupid as you make him out to be. He'd want the protection that a lordship and Harrenhal afforded before taking on the King's Hand.

The Robert Baratheon, Janos Slynt, Littlefinger connection is described at the wall by Stannis Baratheon before Jon is elected commander of the Night's Watch. Stannis think Slynt is scum because of all the underhanded deals he made which Littlefinger was aware of and taxed him on for the benefit of the crown.

Again I ask, why should Littlefinger help Ned more than he already has. It's not in his best interest (or the realm's best interest either) for Ned to succeed. Ned is too stubborn to resist sense. He would have given the throne to Stannis with or without the gold cloaks. He would have died fighting a losing battle in the throne room if Littlefinger hadn't saved him. Littlefinger should want Ned jailed. He's far too dangerous and foolish to be kept in a position of power. Why should Littlefinger intercede for Ned to Janos Slynt. Slynt gives Littlefinger the chance at what he wants. Ned in prison and Stannis off the throne.

But why does Littlefinger kill Jon Arryn? Because Lysa asks him to. She wants more time with her sick son, and Jon was planning on sending Robert Arryn away from her. He does it for her. Jon Arryn was his initial benefactor. He got him all of his positions. They both murder him together. Lysa's reasons were for her son. Littlefinger may have coveted the Vale, but he still did it for and through Lysa.

He killed Lysa because she was spilling all of his secrets in front of Sansa and the singer. Oh and Lysa also just tried to kill Sansa herself, so she's hardly an innocent. The kiss between Sansa and Littlefinger that she witnessed broke her.
Chris Nelly
67. Aeryl
Or the shakes has been caused by a lifetime of dependency to sweetsleep, which you yourself admit the maester has always given him. And the increase in debilitation is because of increased dependency, leading to worse withdrawal symptoms.

Ned would not have done what he did in the throne room, if he didn't honestly believe the goldcloaks had his back. That's just silly to believe otherwise. And I'm not saying LF should do anything to help Ned, I am just saying if he's this upstanding guy you rationalize him to be, he wouldn't have done what he did, he'd have said "Sorry Ned can't help you" and left him on his own.

The definition of a prisoner doesn't require that they are aware they a prisoner, have you never heard of Stockhold Syndrome? (Not that that's what Sansa has, I think she's just innured to it, and doesn't think about it, which is why it's never brought up in her POVs). Sansa didn't choose to go with Dontos, she knew that she'd be accused of Joff's murder, just as Tyrion was, and it would be easily be she was complicit, EVERYONE saw how terribly she was treated by Joff.

LF despises Lysa, why would he do anything for her? He used Lysa's affection for him to ingratiate himself with Jon, and then he killed him because he was about to expose Cersei and that would disrupt his plans to have Joff on the throne and later easily deposed b/c of the incest. And having Lysa Arryn vacate KL with the Warden of the East caused all kinds of disruptions as well. And forced Robert to appoint Ned, which helped him out as well, he could revenge himself on the Starks and sew chaos when the Starks and Lannisters eventually came to a head(which he encouraged, who pointed Ned to the bastards?)

Slynt made friends with Cersei after he betrayed Ned. Tywin even expresses disgust that Slynt was rewarded with Harrenhal.

Look, I completely understand loving villains. Atia and Pullo were my favorite characters on Rome, and she was a nasty vindictive woman who had no compuctions against mistreating and abusing her own children and friends, and he was an ignorant brute who thought the way to a woman's heart was by killing the man she did love. So you have to be honest about what and who they are. And LF has openly admitted that he looks out only for himself, he's a vengeful and vindictive man who will step on anyone to get what he wants, and he has no concern over the damage he's doing to the realm now, so long as it means he's the one to "fix it" later.
Chris Nelly
68. Aeryl
I'll even add, that I LIKE Littlefinger. I think he's one of the savvier players of the game. He has no chance at hell at winning, because he's woefully ignorant of the threat of the WW and may be ignorant about Dany(it's never made clear how much influence he has outside Westeros). I just have no illusions about what he's capable of.
Theresa DeLucci
69. theresa_delucci
Sansa is just as trapped in the Vale as she is in King's Landing. Different geography, different captors, but she has no allies to help her escape. She's dependant on Littlefinger and that creates an uncomfortable power dynamic in the older man's favor. And I can't simply brush aside his creeping on Sansa. And his bragging about having "had" both Tully women's virginity is also creepy. I really doubt he has noble intentions towards Sansa and just sees her as a Cat sub, whom he never really loved, she was just something he felt was denied him because of his low birth. And that really motivates him -- to be bigger than his birth at any cost.

It's not an admirable rags-to-riches arc. It's more like "I'm owed these great things because I want them and all you people are too stupid and holding me back. I'll show you!"

Atia's a good example of a villain you love to hate (but mostly love.) I mean, she drove her enemies to suicide! She called Cleopatra a pig-spawned trollop to her face! (Still one of my favorite insults ever.)

I liken Littlefinger to an anti-Al Swearengen. Both are successful brothel owners and spy-masters from low birth, both pulled themselves up and made a little kingdom for themselves and maneuvered into power in their local governments. Littlefinger, however, has this sense of entitlement.

If the show was set in modern times, he'd be the guy in the Fedora complaining about how women only like assholes and full of blind rage at a world that doesn't appreciate his genius.

Al, meanwhile, knows exactly who he is, the realities of the terrible things he's done -- not always for the greater good -- and you never once hear him say he's owed a damn thing. He's often mystified when things do actually work out in his favor. And, also unlike Littlefinger, Al has real empathy and compassion for his fellow humans.

And yes; this is not to say that I don't enjoy watching Littlefinger because he's charismatic and really good with an insult. But he's definitely no one to root for and I'm really hoping he teaches his game to Sansa and she brings about his downfall.
kleinomite
70. Littlefinger87
Prior to someone suffering from Stockholm syndrome they are still themselves which would include asking thier captors to free them. Sansa never does that, ever.

Your jumps in logic are as wide as the Nile. Littlefinger kills Jon Arryn to protect Cercei's secret? Laughable. What would he gain? Cercei certainly wouldn't reward Littlefinger publicly for killing Jon Arryn. He was her husband's advisor and mentor. If she granted him something after Littlefinger killed Jon Arryn it would look highly suspicious even to a dolt like Robert.

Are you suggesting that Littlefinger himself has been giving Robert Arryn sweet sleep since he was born? There's very little evidence of this and given the long periods of time where Littlefinger is absent from Robert's side when he's in the Vale and still experiencing the symptoms of epilepsy,it's more likely that Jon arryn just gave Robert Arryn some bad genes. It is indicated that Lysa and Jon had difficulty conceiving.

Sweet sleep is the medication which stops the symptoms of epilepsy. Epilepsy or the shakes are not a withdrawal symptom. The side effects of sweet sleep is death in high dosages, not more shaking.

The throne room is the just the nail in the coffin. Ned would have continued to actively try to give the realm to Stannis because he disliked the alternative of having Cercei rule through Joffrey. Whether he had the gold cloaks or not that was his mission. The only thing that could dissuade him from that course was a threat to Sansa's life and imprisonment.

Littlefinger is an upstanding guy at times. he prevented Stannis from taking the throne which would mean certain war as he warned Ned of. Isn't he protecting the realm from tha certain war with this action?

What damage has Littlefinger done to the realm? When he acts directly, the consequences of those actions are limited to the people they affect: ex- killing Jon Arryn with the Tears of Lys (that poison and the Bank of Braavos loan shows that Littlefinger is well traveled in Essos). Littlefinger's indirect actions is a different story altogether. He does several things to Cat which then lead to Cat doing stupid things (suggesting to Lysa to lie to Cat to throw off suspicion that Lysa killed her own husband; lying to Cat about his own dagger to throw off suspicion that he had anything to do with Bran's murder.) He doesn't force Cat to kidnap Tyrion. He doesn't arrange it. All he does is lie to protect himself and his asociation with the knife. Cat starts the War of the Five Kings all by herself.

He's not like Tywin who would burn the Riverlands to a crisp to prove a point. Littlefinger would think that's a waste of profit making men and material.

Littlefinger may be a villian to whom exactly? The Starks, the Lannisters, the Baratheons? All of these families are established dynasties. Amibition is not a crime. If Lysa handed him the keys to the Vale on a silver plater by asking Littlefinger to kill her husband to save her son from estrangement from his mother, he's a champion of small causes that also serves his long-term goals. No one really cares about the plight of mothers losing sons and daughters to duty besides Littlefinger. He makes use of what's given to him. Does that make him wholly evil or wholly good. No, he's a grey character who's in the middle. But currently, he's the best chance the Starks have at reestablishing themselves politically. Since the Starks themselves are quite good, although very stupid it's refreshing to have someone supporting Stark interests who actually has a brain.
kleinomite
71. Littlefinger87
Theresa

I truly think Littlefinger thought he took Catelyn's maidenhead when he had Lysa for the first time. remember he was drunk that night and the blackfish took pity on him. He said Cat when he was with Lysa which was why he thinks he had her when Ned was truly her first. The Tully girls are by no means innocent in their affections either. Both of them "played at kissing with Littlefinger suggests that he was her first love but not Cat's.

Does everyone forget that Littlefinger actually fought Brandon Stark to win Catelyn's love.?The result would have been the same even if Littlefigner won, but he didn't feel he was entitled to Cat. Quite the opposite, he was fighting in the name of love.

You want her to escape Littlfinger because you don't like him as a character. But what does Sansa want? Do you think Sana feels like a prisoner. She certainly doesn't act like a prisoner. She has free reign of the Eyrie after Lysa's killed. And now that they're down the mountain, she is making friends with noble and not so noble women and men alike.

Snape wasn't anyone to root for either until we found out he loved Lily and betrayed Voldemort to help Harry and Dumbledore.
Chris Nelly
72. Aeryl
Wow, you missed the "We shouldn't revere/pity Snape" thread apparently.

No one's denying he thought he was deflowering Cat*, what I think Theresa is saying(and I agree) is that regardless, bragging about it is gross.

Just because she has free reign of her prison, doesn't make it any less a prison. Ever heard of a gilded cage? She has no free will to leave if she wants to. Sure she doesn't want to, who would after KL. What creates a prison is not how much you can move about inside it, but whether you can leave it.

*That fact right there is probably the biggest reason for Lysa's death(why not just kill Marillon, it's not like Sansa's gonna tell anyone the truth), was her bursting that bubble. A nice person doesn't do that.
kleinomite
73. Littlefinger87
I don't revere or pity Snape. But even J.K. Rowling through Harry naming his son after Severus thinks that Snape acted nobly by betraying Voldemort the way he did. Snape was neither wholly good nor wholly evil as most spies are. Which is why I think he's a great parallel for Littlefinger.

I'd take gross over cruel. What Cat made him believe, that he had a chance to win her hand was downright cruel.Even if he beat Brandon which he had no chance of anyway, she still would have married Brandon because that's what her father wuld have wanted. Family, Duty, Honor. She used him and it turned quite nasty. But saying that he has nothing and no one to fight for shaves off the most interesting motivation Littlefinger has. He is loyal to a woman who's spurned him his entire life.

Sansa could have killed Littlefinger instead of talking with him about Lyn Cobray. A smart captor doesn't give direct access to his prisoners. Sansa isn't a threat to him.
Chris Nelly
74. Aeryl
No, he's arrogant enough to NOT SEE Sansa as a threat to him.

I wasn't saying that you felt any particular way about Snape, I was just illustrating that fandom is still quite divided about how to feel about Snape, so he's not a good example to pull out for an "Acting like an ass, but still noble" argument. And the torch Snape carried for Lily for years is downright creepy, not a quality to be admired.

I think you are extrapolating about Cat. She was a young girl playing Doctor, she expressly told LF not to duel Brandon, expressly refused to give him her token of love for the duel. Yes Cat was always going to choose her family first. He should have accepted her disinterest, but instead he went all Nice Guy on her and decided that he would WIN her affections. She saved his life, by begging Brandon to stop the duel. Now, because of Lysa, he walked around all his life believing Cat truly cared, but married the Starks anyways. When he found out the truth, he killed the messenger.
kleinomite
75. Litlefinger87
Yes, you've got it right now. He's arrogant enough to believe that the teenage girl he just saved from her true enemies doesn't consider him to be her captor. Please. I can understand how you see him as opportunistic, gross, and treacherous, but are you really so blind to his good qualities? Why do you think Sansa should try and kill Littlefinger?

It took true courage to fight for Catelyn against Brandon. It was stupid as Brandon was obviously bigger and better trained with a sword, but that doesn't make it any less brave.

Is that how girls show their disinterest nowadays? If she was disinterested, she wouldn't have kissed him. Cat found him attractive in the beginning, but Cat followed the family route as opposed to Lysa.

He has no delusions that Cat cared for him because of what Lysa said to him. That doesn't mean he loves the memory of the Cat of his youth any less.

He killed Lysa because she could no longer be trusted. She just tried to kill Sansa, her own niece. Littlefinger steps in and saves her again. Even if Sansa was kissed by Littlefinger, throwing Sansa out of the moon door is not a normal reaction. Also, Lysa talked about killing Jon Arryn together in full hearing of both Sansa and Marillion. That was the final straw. Littlefinger needed to kill the leak and discredit Marillion. And he does it in single stroke.
Chris Nelly
76. Aeryl
He didn't help Sansa for HER, he helped her for himself. If he can gain enough influence on her, by posing as her friend, benefactor and savior, she will hand him the North. He doesn't gain anything by treating her like a prisoner, but he does gain her trust, if he can allow her the illusion of freedom.

He was deluded that Cat still cared for him, because Lysa came to his bed and said she was Cat. And yes, when people are young and curious, they will experiment with the people nearest them, regardless of attraction or interest. That's all that happened, but LF, a young romantic, felt that it was more, and refused to take Cat's word for it when she stated otherwise. That is the action of a psycopathic stalker, I should know, I've had them. It was not courage, it came from an inappropriate desire to posess Cat for himself, over her own objections. That's not love, that's obsession, and the fact that he's maintained his anger over her rejection for twenty years, points to a disturbed state of mind.

He let Lysa ramble on and on, and again, Sansa wouldn't have betrayed him(I personally think he felt delight as Lysa revealed the scope of his planning and genius to Sansa), all he had to do was kill Marillon, and the secret was safe, until he found a better way to rid himself of Lysa(the plan all along, so he could kill Robert and marry Sansa to Harry the Heir). It was only after she told him the truth about his imagined and cherished night with Cat that he threw her out the moon door.
kleinomite
77. Littlefinger87
If Littlefinger marries Sansa he will lose an eligible bachelor that he has in play. right now, both he and Harry the heir can marry. Marrying Sansa to himself accomplishes nothing more than marrying her with Harry. It's still the Vale and the North. But if he marries Harry and Sansa then marries someone else to secure an alliance (Dorne, the Reach-unlikely, Ironborn-also unlikely,) it makes the Vale stronger. Harry may be the heir but he's a less well known commodity whne compared to Littlefinger.

Well as Sansa is no longer key to the north this should provide a great test for whether Littlefinger truly cares about Sansa or if he is just using her. If rickon is brought forward, Sansa will lose her claim and Littlefinger's plans will be mostly for naught. Sansa will still command a lot of respect and good will from the north even with Rickon at its head.

Actions speak louder than words. It would not be easy to forget a high born lady's kiss if you came from the Fingers.
Did Littlefinger stalk Cat in Winterfell for however many years she married Ned. No, he got on with his own life and quickly rose up the ranks through the combined use of Lysa's patronage and his own prowess. What anger? Where's the evidence that he has a vendetta against Catelyn? Don't say because he had Ned killed because we've been down this road before.

Interesting interpretation of why he kills Lysa at that moment. Personally I feel he just had to make sure Sansa was out of danger and calm Lysa down so that it was easier to kill her. Once she starts taking about the Tears of Lys, she's a dead woman in my eyes.

He kills Lysa because she tried to kill Sansa, who is far more important now that Lysa has married and signed Littlefinger as Protector of the Vale.
Anthony Pero
78. anthonypero
@Aeryl, Teresa, LF87:

This is what is known as a three-dimensional character, lol. Littlefinger just won't quite fit in anyone's box. How you see him depends on where you are looking from.

This is true with real-life people as well. Its why LF, and Tyrion are so interesting. In real life, some one like Littlefinger's motives would not be nearly so black and white as either of you are suggesting. Both the good motives and the bad motives would serve to simply reinforce the action.

God, I love LF.
kleinomite
79. Spiegel
Do we know for sure that Gendry survives his encounter with Melisandre? My thought was that the writers want to kill someone to show that Mel and Stannis are serious about the horrible fire sacrifices.

It'd be cool if he were rescued by Nymeria on the way to the coast.

Gendry's fate aside, it bothered me that Melisandre learned about Beric's deaths. I got the impression from the books that Beric's displays the signs of being the Second Coming that she insists is Stannis (e.g., Beric's sword catches fire for real in contact with his blood while Stannis's is rigged). So now she *knows* she's barking up the wrong tree instead of merely getting some details wrong from Flame TV.

@14, I thought the reason Theon was allowed to escape was simply to toy with him, similar to what happens in the books. Plus I'm not sure Theon's captors had reason to believe he needed further interrogation, he'd already spilled his beans.

I think the writers did a pretty good job of depicting a series!bastard that parallels the book version even though he and Theon meet in different circumstances. In both cases bastard boy pretends to be a commoner and Theon's ally.
Chris Nelly
80. Aeryl
@80, We don't know about that for sure. I assume he wants to drain him for the leeches and the stone dragons. But Davos goes to bat for him. Seems like they are still keeping Davos as Hand plot, by having Shireen teach him to read, so I imagine he'll stick around for a bit.

Rheon's character flat out told Theon, there's no use interrogating you, you've already told me the Stark boys are alive. So the "escape" served two purposes, allying with Theon to get him to open up, and a flat out mindfuck.
Rafael
81. Ryamano
OK, lots of things to address.
@36 Bubster
It was Cersei who tried to kill Tyrion in the Blackwater, even in the HBO show. Notices how he says that the scheme was incredibly stupid, since it was a Kingsguard trying to kill the Hand of the King in front of the whole army. Only 2 people could order a Kingsguard. Notice Cersei’s shame when he tells this. She’s being ashamed of how stupid her plan was. But this conversation also puts a lot of circumstantial evidence for the later trial of king-slaying. Tyrion now has a motivation for planning this besides “the king treated me badly”. He has revenge.

@ agency in the female characters
I disagree with the notion that Daenerys lacks agency. Book 5 was all about she disregarding Westeros and choosing to stay in Meereen, to try to form her slaveless society. Hell, all of this that happens after she tries to buy Unsullied is her own agency. She was going to follow her “duty” to become queen of Westeros and remove the usurpers until book 2, but by book 3 and later she completely disregards this. When the Dornish come to her, saying Dorne will rise to her if she marries the prince, she puts them aside and doesn’t think about them anymore at all. She has agency. She’s following what she wants (which is incredibly dull, but she is). She only kind of stops having that when the dragon arrives at the pit and takes her. But that’s basically a deux ex machine to put the story back on track.
Also, Olenna Tyrell has agency (must we remember that murder which she chose to do?) and hasn’t been stripped of it as far as I know. She just left KL later, and we haven’t seen much of her afterwards, which was incredibly smart of her, considering what she did and how things turned out at the capital afterwards.
And I felt good at Ros’ death. Littlefinger finally has been shown in the show to be what he is in the books: the best scheming bastard in all the realms (like, who could kill a whore and get away with it? The King can!). Betray him and you die. In the show so far he was shown to be so ineffectual (like the scene where Cersei has the Lannister guards do a dance with swords around him). I don’t like his mustache-curling ways, but this is TV, they have to convey this somehow. Making Ros stay alive would show him to be even weaker.
Maiane Bakroeva
82. Isilel
Littlefinger@87:

Wow, that's such a load of revisionist history here, that I just have to jump in, even though my post is unlikely to get read as this late point.

First and foremost - LF and the Tully girls were all pre-pubescent when they played "the kissing game". Not only that, it is a perfectly normal game for children in Westeros to play. So, claims that Cat "cruelly used" LF are laughable. She never encouraged his romantic affections/delusions.
LF was, I think, sincerely in love with Cat as a teenager, but he let that perfectly normal first love sour into creepy obsession, helped in part by the whole drunken sex with Lysa mistake. But Cat had nothing to do with that - it was not her fault in any shape or form.

Secondly, it is equally laughable to claim that Littlefinger didn't do what he could to cause the Stark-Lannister confrontation and make it devolve into a civil war.
Who told Lysa to poison Jon Arryn and to blame the Lannisters for it? Both at court and in the secret message to Cat? Littlefinger.

Who falsely accused Tyrion of being the owner of Valyrian dagger? Littlefinger. And please, the Starks would have never suspected him - Petyr was thousands of miles away and couldn't have arranged this. Not to mention that he wasn't actually the owner of the dagger at the time - it was Robert. So, no, he wasn't protecting himself, but causing trouble.

Who told Ned about Robert's bastards and led him to Barra? Littlefinger.

Who betrayed Ned? Littlefinger.

Who squeeled to the Lannisters about Sansa's planned escape to Highgarden, and thus caused her marriage to Tyrion? Littlefinger.

Who framed Sansa and Tyrion for Joff's murder? Littlefinger.

His use and murder of Lysa, a woman who had loved him and helped him for his entire life, and who had suffered for it, is despicable too. Yes, she went off her rocker, but it happened due to something that LF has done. And even murdering her, LF had to drive in how he had never loved her.

And yes, giving little Robert sweetsleep is slowly killing him. Nor is it required to deal with epilepsy, as many RL examples show. Caesar, Napoleon, etc.

And then, of course, there are things for which LF is not 100% shown to be responsible, but likely is.
Such as Ned's execution - both Slynt and Payne knew that it was coming and to act quickly, it was clearly planned. And Joff never was much of a planner.
Or Ned's and Jaime's meeting in front of Chataya's - who told Jaime that Ned would be there?
Or Mandon Moore's (who was from the Vale) attempt at Tyrion during the battle, about which Cersei never once thought in her PoV, which was full of obsessing about her little brother...

So, the notion that LF is helping the Starks or Sansa in particular, is laughable, IMHO. Littlefinger is not a grey character, but one of the worst villains in the series, which saying a lot. We are just conditioned to root for a self-made man, so many don't see it (yet). Snape is an angel by comparison.
Rob Munnelly
83. RobMRobM
Isilel @82. Nice! I'm still of the view that LF is the "giant" Sansa will bring down as foretold in the prophetic dream, not Robert Strong or some such.

Ryanmano @81. Disagree on pinning on Cersei the attempted takedown of Tyrion. Tyrion asks and she is openly embarassed that Joff would be so stupid to hire a KG to kill off Tyrion. I'm w Isilel that, as far as I'm concerned, it's more likely LF than Joff responsible but Cersei wouldn't know that.
kleinomite
84. Littlefinger87
Isilel: You clearly didn't read my posts as you supply only Littlefinger's actions and don't delve into why he does what he does. You obviously cling to the omnipotent Littlefinger theory where each of his actions directly causes the War of the Five Kings, but in actuality it's his indirect actions in trying to cover up the murder of Jon Arryn which leads other characters to start the war.

Why does Littlefinger convince Lysa to lie to Cat? Because it takes suspicion off of her leaving king's landing right after Jon dies.Wives are among the primary suspects in any murder trial so shifting suspicion against a known enemy (the Lannisters) is a clever way to avoid suspicion. This is an indirect action which eventually causes the rift which grows into full conflict. It's based on avoiding suspicion though.

You are forgetting that it was originally Littlefinger's dagger that was used in the attempted murder of Bran. Highly suspicous. Granted, Littlefinger could have truthfully told cat that the dagger was Robert's, but he had NO WAY OF KNOWING WHAT CAT WOULD DO WITH THAT LIE. HE DIDN'T SET UP THE CAPTURE OF TYRION. This was all Cat's work.

Kissing someone you have no intention of marrying is playing with their emotions. It may have started as innocent, but Littlefinger is entirely justified in thinking that Cat liked him. You don't kiss someone you don't like at least a little. That kiss is encouragement. Again, it's not as if Littlefinger dwells on that failed first love. he gets on with his life and rises eventually to the small council.

Again, it's Cercei who promises Harrenhal to Janos Slynt. DO YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT JANOS SLYNT WOULD BETRAY THE HAND OF THE KING FOR MERE GOLD? Not even Slynt is that stupid. Ned Stark has command of 50,000 men in the North. No amount of gold could save Slynt. But Harrenhal could. Littlfinger shows ned Robert's bastards because Cat asks him to. I don't see what is so dastardly about this. Ned finally realizes the Cercei/Jaime dysfunction because of Sansa not Littlefinger.

Do you understand what Littlefinger does to get Sansa out of King's Landing away from the influence of the Tyrells and Lannisters, both of whom only care about Sansa's claim and not Sansa herself? He risked defying THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN ALL OF WESTEROS, TYWIN LANNISTER. He also kills another Lannister, you know the one who actually kills Ned. What more does Littlefinger have to do to convince you? The Lannisters kill his only love, no wonder he switches sides. Her and Casterly Rock are the only two things that can sway Littlefinger's allegiance.

We already know from Varys that Cercei tried to kill Tyrion. It's not LF. Why would he kill Tyrion? The only motivation is because Tyrion lied to LF about the Myrcella/Robert Arryn betrothal and dangled Harrenhal in his face and took it away. Even Littlefinger says that putting a white cloak on a person changes them. Was he just talking about Kettleblacks or maybe also Mandon Moore.

Robert's maester is the first one to give him sweetsleep to combat his epilepsy. This isn't the real world. Sweet sleep doesn't exist in the real world.

Littlefinger uses Lysa? Lysa uses Littlefinger too. She asks him to conspire and kill the Hand of the King to save her son. Pretty big favor to ask of someone. Lysa is despicable herself. You did read the chapters on how she deals with her son right. Her father unhinged her when he had her kill lF and her baby with moon tea. Marrying her to Jon Arryn also didn't help.

What's your definition of a villian? Tywin Lannister does more harm to the realm than Littlefinger does. Does LF burn the riverlands to prove a point? Does he threaten to burn King's Landing to the ground? Does he torture people cruelly? All of these things are done by actual villians in the books, not Littlefinger. Littlfinger is guilty of being ambitious, killing Jon Arryn, and lying to Catelyn Stark multiple times to cover up that murder. The rest is conjecture and suspicion of the man many think brought down the noble Ned.
Chris Nelly
85. Aeryl
You are forgetting that it was originally Littlefinger's dagger

No, it wasn't, it was Robert's dagger, LF lied. Joffrey took it from Robert's stores and used it to pay off the assassin.

HE DIDN'T SET UP THE CAPTURE OF TYRION.

No, he didn't, but he DID intentionally and deliberately further the animosities between the Starks and Lannisters.

Kissing someone you have no intention of marrying is playing with their emotions

That's just disturbing, they were 10 YEARS OLD!!!! Did you want to marry the first person you experimented with?

Again, it's not as if Littlefinger dwells on that failed first love.

Everything in the books indicates the contrary. Don't you remember the tournament, the first time LF meets Sansa?

Again, it's Cercei who promises Harrenhal to Janos Slynt.

Yes. but only AFTER he betrayed Ned, not before, and that's stated outright in the books.

DO YOU TRULY BELIEVE THAT JANOS SLYNT WOULD BETRAY THE HAND OF THE KING FOR MERE GOLD?

No, but he'd do it on assurances from LF that the Queen would reward him greatly, while Ned offered only gold.

Littlfinger shows ned Robert's bastards because Cat asks him to.

That's what he tells Ned, but surely Cat didn't ask LF to bring Ned's enemies as well, did she?

He also kills another Lannister,

Not because he killed Ned, but b/c killing Joff disrupts the kingdoms.

We already know from Varys that Cercei tried to kill Tyrion.

We know it serves Varys' purposes to have Tyrion and Cercei at odds, not working together, that's inconclusive.

Sweet sleep doesn't exist in the real world.

No, but sleeping draughts DO, and no one uses them to treat epilepsy. You are reaching for justifications.

No LF, doesn't burn the riverlands. He just actively encourages the deterioration into civil war for his own ends, prompting Tywin to burn the riverlands. I don't see much difference there.
Maiane Bakroeva
86. Isilel
In addition to the stuff pointed out by Aeryl:

Of course Slynt wouldn't have helped Ned to enthrone Stannis for anything. Stannis tried to get Slynt executed for corruption, remember? And Stannis is not the type to forget and forgive even when somebody helps him - at least not when he has a choice. It is just another example of Ned not paying attention to personalities and history of important people in Robert's court. And LF playing on his ignorance and setting him up.

Re: Ned's realization of bastardy, LF has been leading him by the nose towards that realzation. It is like in his explanation to Sansa how he manipulated Joffrey.

Betraying Sansa's intention to wed a Tyrell to the Lannisters was completely contrary to her interests. Yes, they too were interested in her bloodline, but that would have always been a big factor, even in a marriage her family made for her. It was a much better option than what LF can offer (not to mention that he expected her to be raped by Tyrion in the bargain _and_ framed her for Joff's murder, so that she would be forced to rely on LF and only LF ).

Why LF would want to kill Tyrion? Please. Tyrion is the only Lannister who sees LF for the danger he is. He knew about the dagger lie that falsely implicated the Lannisters to the Starks and some other suspicious things.
Frankly, I always thought that Mandon's attempt was another example of LF manipulating Joff. LF must have selected Mandon as the assassin and suggested the whole thing. As we know, Joff is not the brightest, and Mandon was the only one who had personality to go through with it at such a desperate moment for the city and the Lannisters.

IIRC Varys never said that Cersei tried to kill Tyrion in the books and even in the show he just agreed with Tyrion's preconceptions. But Varys never had Lannisters best interests in mind, so...
And Cersei not thinking about the failed assasination attempt on the hated Tyrion even once during 2 books of PoVs clinches her innocence for me.

Oh yea, and Lysa never asked LF to kill Jon Arryn. _He_ asked her to poison her husband and procured the poison.

And yes, LF is worse than Tywin, because he needs much more chaos and destruction to rise on top, has no loyalties and doesn't really care what happens to the realm. Also, it is unclear whether LF can actually rule decently. Many great schemers, who managed to rise on top IRL, could not. There is more to it.
kleinomite
87. Littlefinger87
Aeryl- Before the dagger was Robert's it was Littlefinger's which is why he recognizes it. So it is a piece of damning evidence.

Since Stark and Lannister already disliked each other, it wasn't difficult. They were convenient patsies. A real war between Lannister and Stark could never have happened if Cercei hadn't killed Robert through Lancel. If you really want to blame someone for the carnage, blame Cercei.

Who said anything about marrying someone? I said Littlefinger was justified in loving Catelyn because of her affections towards him. She was his first love and she married someone else. But he never forgot his first love. Did you forget your first love? By dwell, I mean he didn't try to take her away from Winterfell or pine his life away. He got on with his life and advanced through his own merits.

By stated outright in the books, do you mean that he is granted Harrenhal in front of the entire court? Read between the lines. Just because he is actually granted Harrenhal after Ned is betrayed doesn't preclude that Cercei promised Slynt Harrenhal before Ned was betrayed. Page # for your evidence that Slynt was promised Harrenhal after he betrays Ned.

Are you actually suggesting that Jaime is there because Littlefinger planned it? Where's the evidence of that. Could it be that Catelyn Stark just kidnapped Tyrion so Jaime searched the entire city to find Ned. Found him and confronted him. Why is that hard to believe?Jaime loves Tyrion. /He'd scour King's Landing five times over to confront his captor.

So first Littlefinger works with Joffrey to kill Ned to disrupt the kingdoms into a war, then Littlefinger has the Lannister killed to prevent him from disrupting the kingdoms? If Littlefinger wants more chaos killing that Lannister doesn't get it. They killed Cat, so now one of them had to die. It's right there, he's changed sides. That and Olenna has a care about her grandaughter.

Tyrion and Cercei are already at odds. They don't need Varys to do that for them. Cercei doesn't think much about her failed schemes. She's not a very regretful person. Like most of us she dwells on what she actually accomplished. I wouldn't be surprised if Mandon Moore was a tool to her to be disposed of when no longer useful.

Robert Arryn's maester has been using sweet sleep on him to treat his epilepsy. That's the remedy in this fictitious world. Until Robert dies of an overdose you won't convince me that Littlefinger is giving him more than he needs.

You don't see the difference between the man who starts a war and the man who commits untold atrocities within it? Your moral compass needs to be checked. There are rules to warfare. Tywin observes none. He has no problem killing civilians. Littlefinger, if he were conducting this war, wouldn't kill and burn valuable land and people just because he could.

Isilel: I'm aware of Stannis' interactions with Slynt as I've brought it up in this very forum. I know why Slynt did what he did. Slynt's actions reinforce my point, but Slynt wouldn't act against Ned stark without the surety that Harrenhal provides. You are right, Ned tried to play the game without understanding the rules of the game or the players which is why he is incarcerated. But that is not why he is killed. He's killed because of the stupidity of Joffrey.

You are right. In the books, Varys never directly implicates Cercei for the attmepted murder of Tyrion. In the show, Varys initiates the conversation, he does't "agree with Tyrion's preconceptions." At that point, Tyrion has no power, so why would Varys care to lie to him. Also there is a strange friendship that has developed between them which reinforces the idea that Vary is telling the truth.

Littlefinger and Lysa kill Jon Arryn together. Lysa wants Jon Arryn dead to prevent her son from being carted away to Dragonstone or Casterly Rock.

I take umbridge with all of your assertions: 1) Littlefinger has much farther to go than Tywin to get on top, but his biggestt move (killing Jon Arryn) only killed one man. Tywin's biggest move included the slaughter of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in the riverlands. 2) he has no loyalties- not true, he has many loyalties in the Vale and in King's Landing 3) he cares very deeply what happens to the realm which is why he opposes Stannis from the start. 4) What the realm needs at this moment is someone to patch up the wounds of war and secure more loans to pay off old debts. Littlefinger is so far removed from tthe throne that it is just academic to suggest he'd be a good king. He also doesn't have dragons or magic so he would be vulnerable to a coup which would unsettle the realm even more. He's aware of what happened to Renly so i believe he's smart enough to keep himself out of the crosshairs for the time being.

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