The episode made me thinking what was the point of offerring Harrenhall to LF. If LF believed Tyrion he wouldn't tell the Queen because he obviously wanted Harenhall. If he had some doubts he wouldn't tell the Queen because of suspicions. In both cases such teasing would just make LF angry. So what Tyrion has achieved?
Tyrion doesn't expect to figure out everything about Pycelle, Baelish, and Varys from his meetings. He's just testing the waters to see what's underneath. Tyrion discovers that Pycelle is a simply stooge for Cersei when Pycelle lies to Tyrion and informs Cersei of their private meeting. Tyrio also discovers that the other men aren't simple stooges for Cersei, because Cersei's reaction indicates that she didnt get information from them about Myrcella.
The fact that Varys and Baelish don't run off to Cersei doesnt mean that they are trustworthy at all. And it doesnt mean that Tyrion 'played them' either. It just means that they aren't pawns of Cersei like Pycelle is. That makes Baelish and Varys more useful for Tyrion. He's found intelligent people that he can work with, and he doesnt have to worry about things automatically being parroted back to his sister.
But Tyrion would realize that Baelish and Varys are also more likely to be dangerous in the long run. Either they both realized that Tyrion was just making a ploy, and they played along. Or else they are capable of making plans and keeping things quiet from the queen and her informers. And willing to ship off the pricess, despite the queen's wishes. That's a potential death sentence if they are discovered to be hiding
it from Cersei. Either way it shows significant political skill from both men, making them useful but potentially dangerous allies.
Edited by ChromeWeasel, 19 April 2012 - 10:31 AM.