Tumnas the Torpid, on 13 April 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:
When Baelish describes (to Sansa) the nature of his prompting the Tyrells to act, I got the impression that he was taking every precaution to make sure they were not actually aware of his agency. Obviously, this would have involved the use of Dontos, or some other catspaw that the Tyrells could think of as their own. I could certainly be wrong about this, however.
No. He was playing both sides against the middle. Making overt overtures to Mace Tyrell, to make sure he pushed for the alliance. Setting the hook by planting the seed of the idea that Loras should join the Kingsguard. And covertly he made overtures to Lady Olena.
Sansa spooned up some juice from her own orange. “But if it wasn’t the Kettleblacks and it wasn’t Ser Dontos... you weren’t even in the city, and it couldn’t have been Tyrion...”
“No more guesses, sweetling?”
She shook her head. “I don’t...”
Petyr smiled. “I will wager you that at some point during the evening someone told you that your hair net was crooked and straightened it for you.”
Sansa raised a hand to her mouth. “You cannot mean... she wanted to take me to Highgarden, to marry me to her grandson...”
“Gentle, pious, good-hearted Willas Tyrell. Be grateful you were spared, he would have bored you spitless. The old woman is not boring, though, I’ll grant her that. A fearsome old harridan, and not near as frail as she pretends. When I came to Highgarden to dicker for Margaery’s hand, she let her lord son bluster while she asked pointed questions about Joffrey’s nature. I praised him to the skies, to be sure... whilst my men spread disturbing tales amongst Lord Tyrell’s servants. That is how the game is played.
“I also planted the notion of Ser Loras taking the white. Not that I suggested it, that would have been too crude. But men in my party supplied grisly tales about how the mob had killed Ser Preston Greenfield and raped the Lady Lollys, and slipped a few silvers to Lord Tyrell’s army of singers to sing of Ryam Redwyne, Serwyn of the Mirror Shield, and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight. A harp can be as dangerous as a sword, in the right hands.
“Mace Tyrell actually thought it was his own idea to make Ser Loras’s inclusion in the Kingsguard part of the marriage contract. Who better to protect his daughter than her splendid
knightly brother? And it relieved him of the difficult task of trying to find lands and a bride for a third son, never easy, and doubly difficult in Ser Loras’s case.
“Be that as it may. Lady Olenna was not about to let Joff harm her precious darling granddaughter, but unlike her son she also realized that under all his flowers and finery, Ser Loras is as hot-tempered as Jaime Lannister. Toss Joffrey, Margaery, and Loras in a pot, and you’ve got the makings for kingslayer stew. The old woman understood something else as well. Her son was determined to make Margaery a queen, and for that he needed a king... but he did not need Joffrey. We shall have another wedding soon, wait and see. Margaery will marry Tommen. She’ll keep her queenly crown and her maidenhead, neither of which she especially wants, but what does that matter? The great western alliance will be preserved... for a time, at least.”
But he is only running the Vale so long as he holds Robert (or Harrold, after him). In fact, if he were not all the way up in the Eeyrie, Bronze Yohn and company would most likely have just taken young Arryn by force, with no need for any declaration.
if ifs and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be christmas
Which is exactly how Littlefinger has made every step up the ladder, so far. He has manipulated the witless among his social 'betters' in order to gain their patronage, and the advancement that comes with it. The custom of Gulltown, the master(y?) of coin, and Protectorship of the Vale came through manipulating and marrying Lysa Arryn, and Harrenhal and the empty title that made the Arryn marriage possible came through his helping the Lannisters out of the chaos he himself unleashed upon them.
The point is, all these things were appointed to him by his betters, which is the situation he is doomed to by his station. So, if Hand of the King is the highest honor/office/title one can gain by virtue of appointment (and not blood), it is the highest Baelish can realistically aspire to go.
The hardest job ought to go to the most able player, but you may be right in thinking that Petyr isn't concerned with that.
It is the highest honor he can get by appointment. But he would never take it, for its own sake. Its a poison prize. Too weak and all the realms problems are blamed on you, too strong and the king perceives you as a threat. Its not his blood that would entitle him to the Iron Throne, it would be the blood of his enemies, blood & fire. The same way Dany became Queen of Meereen, the way first Stark won the North, the first Baratheon the stormlands, the way the first Arryn rested the Vale from the hands of the First Men. Blood & Fire.