Littlefinger is America (going a little against the point of the thread).
- Started from humble beginnings and rose to be a power to be reckoned with.
- Caused the crown to be heavily in debt.
- Not the most trustworthy guy in town.
- Makes alliances and readily disposes of their leaders.
Somewhere in the Stormlands so that I could declare for Stannis Baratheon.
I liked all of the Baratheons and am rather fond of overcast skies and high levels of rain (I am sure I would think differently if I were a peasant or some other), as well as being far enough south that I wouldn't have to bury half of my family during the winter.
The quote about Stannis breaking before he will bend does not necessarily mean that he is brittle. It could just as well mean that he will never bend, making breaking more likely, but still damn hard to break.
Noye is simply saying that Stannis will never concede defeat and is willing to fight to the bloody end.
Like Varys said, power is where man believe it lies. Baelish doesn't have any real power in the Vale, he has no armies, only influential words, and because the Lords and Ladies of the Vale love Robert a hell of a lot more than him, Sansa's betrayal of him in that regard could very well mean death for him. Although I must admit that I expect Sansa to eventually end Baelish in some other manner.
If I am not mistaken, George R. R. Martin was the writer of that episode. I am not sure how much control he would have had over all of the production of it, but he had a hand in a good deal of it at least. Also, there is the inherent budget and time costs already mentioned, as well probably including a lot of minor detail and characters that would not have been introduced until that point (I haven't read this section recently).
Father - Ned Stark, honorable and just, who believes in swinging the sword himself.
Mother - Catelyn Stark, she is very loving to her children, dutiful to her family, fertile (Bearing 5 children), and above all merciful; she simply wanted an end to Robb's war and to return home with her children.
Warrior - Brienne Tarth, a woman, yes, yet she is one of the few truly honorable and chivalrous knights presented to us throughout the story.
Maiden - Sansa Stark, her head full of songs and ever courteous, Sansa was innocent and virtuous, at least until the more recent events.
Smith - Gendry or Donal Noye, for obvious reasons as well as their inherent strength and perseverance.
Crone - The Three Eyed Crow/Bloodraven, he watches over the North and is guiding Bran to the path of wisdom and illumination.
Stranger - Ilyn Payne, ever silent and the royal executioner.
I think it is possible that he may have wanted to hurt Catelyn for what she had done to him by refusing his love back in Riverrun, seeking some sort of vengeance. The only perspective that we get on their relationship comes from Cat, who claims that he would be glad to see her because of their shared childhood, yet it could be just as likely that he had grown resentful over what had transpired in the later years. Baelish's love was not only rejected, he was nearly killed by the man that she was to marry instead and IIRC, Cat never attempted to communicate with him after his near death. Such a cold treatment after nearly dying for her could have grown into resentment over the years. It does not seem that Baelish went out of his way to help Catelyn either; Baelish lied to her about the origins of the dagger used on her (leading to a great number of negative occurrences) and plotted the betrayal of her husband, Ned. In my eyes, his courting of Sansa is his final insult against Catelyn, he couldn't have her love, so he will have her daughter's, in spite.
The Tyrells wanted a queen, and I doubt that they would only have connections to the Iron Throne for a single generation. They would find a way to ensure Renly had an heir of his own, even if it was simply having Renly close his eyes and sleep with Margery.