A little new here. I've been reading threads for a while and started replying to a few, but this is my first go on my own. I know that we now know that the Others are a big a threat and a legitimate concern, but when I was first reading the books I got the impression that the NW and the Wall, and all that, was just a socially constructed method of dealing with a good number of bastards, criminals, exiles, etc. Did anyone else ever think this?
I also entertained the idea that Varys and Illiro had some knowledge (spies, prophecy, or other) regarding the Others and the coming war (Iace and Fire), that made them think that getting the last known dragon eggs into the hand of a Targaryen could be useful for that upcoming conflic. I am now less convinced, but early on I really got the impression that Varys really did think he ahd the realm's best interests at heart. Not that what he was doing was actually helpful to that end, but that he believed it was, or, at least, justified.
My last crazy idea relates to the proposed idea of Little Finger having influenced Joffrey to execute Eddard, instead of having him sent to the wall. I thought it was possible that Little Finger influenced Tywin in the whole Red Wedding and incentivising the Bolton's innevitable betrayal, idea. Tywin was a devious and cruel man, so he could obviously have come up with it himself. I know a lot of people think that Little Finger loved (or was at least obsessed with) Catlyn, but at this point it sort of seems like maybe he'd moved on to Sansa. While Sansa never loved Tyrion, Robb, Catlyn and everyone else's brutal murders would have made her hate the Lannisters all the more and made her all the more egar to run away with someone she didn't really know and didn't have any real reason to think would be any better.