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Why is Baelish considered the "great architect" of the war?

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it seems completely reliant on freak luck, people being idiots, and the tensions created by Renly making his own attempt on the throne, and cersei's affair with jaime. 

rather than it being only one person, WO5K was a snowballing disaster from a series of independent decisions. 

his entire plan would literally collapse into nothing if Robert Baratheon wasn't gored by a boar, for example.

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I agree. While Baelish is clever and skilled at politicking, he is not some puppet master that is behind every event in ASOIAF. He makes mistakes as everybody else and I'm sure that some things have not turned out as he planned. 

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I don't think LF planned for the war to turn out as it did, but I do think he set the Lannisters and Starks against each other which resulted in the subsequent war.

He and Lysa poisoned Jon Arryn and then sent a letter to Cat blaming the Lannisters.  Then when questioned about the dagger, he blamed Tyrion.  He probably ratted out Ned when he went to the Brothel.  Then he orchestrated Ned's arrest at the hands of the Lannisters.

In some ways things might have worked out better for him than he could have hoped.  Stannis and Renly both claimed the Iron Throne.  Robb Stark won every battle he fought, thus giving Tywin problems.

He was able to fill a vacuum and become a great lord.

If he didn't orchestrate the war, he lit the match.

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At the very least he was making himself a wealthy man by siphoning money from the Crown. Then when opportunities presented themselves for him to acquire power, he made moves to further his position.   Not sure if that makes him a "great architect" of anything, but he does seem to be very good at "playing the game."

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He was certainly instrumental in launching the war. Whether that counts as being the “architect”, I don’t know. It was obviously his intention to sow discord between the Starks and the Lannisters, and benefit from the chaos that ensued. How detailed his plan was is something we don’t know. He may have meticulously planned every twist and turn, or he may have had some broad strokes of a plan, and acted on opportunities.

Personally, I think it was the latter. I think his aim was revenge on Starks and Tullys, and his emerging as a great lord. He wouldn’t have known that Harrenhal would be up for grabs, but would have known that discord between two great houses would lead for an opportunity to climb the ladder in some respect, which in turn would have helped him marry Lysa and gain the Vale.

What his plan is now he’s achieved those goals is an open question.

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7 hours ago, UFT said:

it seems completely reliant on freak luck, people being idiots, and the tensions created by Renly making his own attempt on the throne, and cersei's affair with jaime. 

Yeah, but if it wasn't for Cersei's affair with Jaime then Littlefinger wouldn't have needed the war in the first place.

I don't think it was some big, elaborate plan though. He just put stuff in motion and let things play out, while making sure he'd be protected no matter what happened.

I always think Littlefinger's conversation with Ned just before he turns on him in AGOT is a great indicator of how his mind works. He appealed to Ned to rule through Joffrey, until they got rid of Stannis then, if Joff steps out of line, they could reveal his secret and put Renly on the Throne. If Ned had gone for that, I honestly think Baelish would've had Slynt and the City Watch back him. Since Ned went with Stannis, Littlefinger stuck with the Lannisters and used the opportunity to prove his loyalty to them.

He's certainly been lucky but I'd disagree if it was "freaky". For example, he made an educated guess that Ned wouldn't just go to Robert and say "Lady Lysa believes that the Lannisters killed Jon" at which point an actual investigation might be carried out.

Aside from anything else, I fully believe that keeping Stannis off the Throne is Baelish's true goal and everything else is just a bonus.

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Without LF TWOT5K would have just been the war of everyone ganging up on and destroying the Lannisters.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, UnFit Finlay said:

I always think Littlefinger's conversation with Ned just before he turns on him in AGOT is a great indicator of how his mind works. He appealed to Ned to rule through Joffrey, until they got rid of Stannis then, if Joff steps out of line, they could reveal his secret and put Renly on the Throne. If Ned had gone for that, I honestly think Baelish would've had Slynt and the City Watch back him. Since Ned went with Stannis, Littlefinger stuck with the Lannisters and used the opportunity to prove his loyalty to them.

Very possible. I think ultimately Littlefinger would have turned on Ned in the end, but if Ned was willing to seize power and share it with LF, it would have been a great step up for LF, from which he could continue to weave his plots and plans. 

That being said, I doubt LF seriously believed Ned would go for the plan. He almost certainly knew Ned would turn his nose up at the idea, and reckoned he was pretty much doomed. 

 

Edited by Shouldve Taken The Black

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9 hours ago, UFT said:

it seems completely reliant on freak luck, people being idiots, and the tensions created by Renly making his own attempt on the throne, and cersei's affair with jaime. 

rather than it being only one person, WO5K was a snowballing disaster from a series of independent decisions

his entire plan would literally collapse into nothing if Robert Baratheon wasn't gored by a boar, for example.

I agree.  Baelish took advantage of the stupidity, pride, and emotional weaknesses of the main players.  Jaime and Cersei could not wait and took a risk in Winterfell.  Catelyn had to have justice for one son at the expense of thousands.  Tywin could have cared less whether Tyrion was guilty of attempted murder on Bran, he was going to kill thousands for his family's honor.  Ned was going to support his wife even if it meant many thousands could die.  Robert was too inept to deal with his wife.  Robb chose war instead of peace.  

All that being said, I like Baelish a little bit because he guided the conflict along to make sure the Tullys, the Baratheons, and the Starks are taken down.  All three are families that I do not care for.  To me, all Baelish need do is toss Sansa from the moon door and he will get my vote to replace the Arryns as the lead house of the Eyrie.  

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"Great architect"? Architects build things. Any $%$&# mule can kick something apart.

But I agree. Baelish's destabilizing moves have paid off for him handsomely, as well as wreaking vengeance on untold numbers of people who may not have even realized they'd offended him. He's bringing down the society that failed to kiss up to him, leaving nothing but ashes. Baelish isn't an "architect"; he's a wrecking ball.

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Petyr destroys, doesn't build, like @zandru perfectly explains.

He took actions which he knew would potentially lead to a war, such as the murder of Jon Arryn. After that, he pointed this way or that way to people who wanted to know what happened, knowing how they would react in the given position.

The Stark people such as Ned and Catelyn were predictable, and he took measure of them and destroyed them personally.

He destroyed three key Lannister people in a single stroke - Joffrey, Tywin and Tyrion.

He practically usurped the Arryn's seat after killing BOTH Jon Arryn and years after Lysa Arryn.

He destroyed the Tullys and the Riverlands via just feeding Catelyn with his stories and knowing Tywin's reaction to Tyrion's arrest.

Damn, when you look at it, this guy destroyed a whole continent.

 

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40 minutes ago, The Sunland Lord said:

He took actions which he knew would potentially lead to a war, such as the murder of Jon Arryn. After that, he pointed this way or that way to people who wanted to know what happened, knowing how they would react in the given position.

This, and he also had an insane amount of luck, everything went in the best possible way for him (I think that's why he looks like a master puppeteer, while in reality he just took every opportunity to sow dissension).

For instance the lie about the dagger was a huge and frankly stupid gamble that could have easily backfired and got him killed, in fact it's kinda unbelievable that it didn't.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, UFT said:

it seems completely reliant on freak luck, people being idiots, and the tensions created by Renly making his own attempt on the throne, and cersei's affair with jaime. 

rather than it being only one person, WO5K was a snowballing disaster from a series of independent decisions. 

his entire plan would literally collapse into nothing if Robert Baratheon wasn't gored by a boar, for example.

It wasn't his planning. It was his opportunism and LF is very adept at running with a situation

9 hours ago, PrinceHenryris said:

He was able to fill a vacuum and become a great lord.

If he didn't orchestrate the war, he lit the match.

exactly

8 hours ago, Kandrax said:

He is a gambler.

bingo, and it paid off. He is now the lord of harrenhal and protector of the vale 

Edited by Dorian Martell's son

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I would call him the Great Gardener of the War. ;)

LF’s skill isn’t in outlining a detailed master plan with the intent to have everything fall into place accordingly. It’s in improvising what he has at hand at any given time and make it work to his ends, whatever those are. Notice LF also lost his five year gap!

AFFC Alayne II

I had hoped to have four or five quiet years to plant some seeds and allow some fruits to ripen, but now . . . it is a good thing that I thrive on chaos.

ASOS Sansa VI

"Yes, but don't let that trouble you. You're still half a child. Every man's a piece to start with, and every maid as well. Even some who think they are players." He ate another seed. "Cersei, for one. She thinks herself sly, but in truth she is utterly predictable. Her strength rests on her beauty, birth, and riches. Only the first of those is truly her own, and it will soon desert her. I pity her then. She wants power, but has no notion what to do with it when she gets it. Everyone wants something, Alayne. And when you know what a man wants you know who he is, and how to move him."

AFFC Alayne I

"—I might have to remove her from the game sooner than I'd planned. Provided she does not remove herself first." Petyr teased her with a little smile. "In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you've planned for them. Mark that well, Alayne. It's a lesson that Cersei Lannister still has yet to learn. Now, don't you have some duties to perform?"

 

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It’s true that there are several factors that helped him to succeed but at the end he did achieve what he wanted and elevated the status of his house by becoming Lord Protector.

I really think that what made him a great player is his ability to work out the sudden turn of events that happen in the Seven Kingdoms and turn those events to his side even for one day.

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11 hours ago, PrinceHenryris said:

Then he orchestrated Ned's arrest at the hands of the Lannisters.

And then his execution.

 

7 hours ago, UnFit Finlay said:

Yeah, but if it wasn't for Cersei's affair with Jaime then Littlefinger wouldn't have needed the war in the first place.

Wouldn't he? He had been robbing the crown for years; if we learn that Jon Arryn started to suspect something, I won't be surprised.

Also... his very personal grudge against the Tullys and Starks. Jaime and Cersei merely provided convenient means.

7 hours ago, UnFit Finlay said:

I always think Littlefinger's conversation with Ned just before he turns on him in AGOT is a great indicator of how his mind works. He appealed to Ned to rule through Joffrey, until they got rid of Stannis then, if Joff steps out of line, they could reveal his secret and put Renly on the Throne. If Ned had gone for that, I honestly think Baelish would've had Slynt and the City Watch back him. Since Ned went with Stannis, Littlefinger stuck with the Lannisters and used the opportunity to prove his loyalty to them.

Ned was doomed from the very start, I'm afraid.

7 hours ago, UnFit Finlay said:

Aside from anything else, I fully believe that keeping Stannis off the Throne is Baelish's true goal and everything else is just a bonus.

And I believe his true goal was the destruction of those who ever "slighted" him and took what was "his", while elevating his own status  and showing a finger to all those high and mighty houses that were looking down on him the whole time.

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Posted (edited)

He is the architect.   It's his baby.    Not that it all unfolds exactly to his specifications, it takes on a life of its own.   He doesn't do it with crystal ball prophetic accuracy, but with the deepest knowledge of human nature of anyone, applied to specific people in specific situations in the now.  In chess, you try to plan ahead, but you can also win by making the best possible move available to you right now....and then continuing to do that every step of the way.   Because you have the best knowledge of the underlying theory, the physics of power and manipulaton.   Pete is the best under time pressure as well (outpacing chaos) while his deeply prepared strikes allow him to tweak a continent the way he intends.  He sees trends and knows how to play them, which means he doesn't plan exact sequences of 35 moves into the future, but knows the toolkit of how to get from here to there no matter what moves are called for down the road.

Edited by The Mother of The Others

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8 hours ago, Shouldve Taken The Black said:

That being said, I doubt LF seriously believed Ned would go for the plan. He almost certainly knew Ned would turn his nose up at the idea, and reckoned he was pretty much doomed. 

 

Oh, true. However he'd arranged things so that he had nothing to lose by making the offer. Certainly more than "dumb luck" as OP suggested.

2 hours ago, Ygrain said:

Wouldn't he? He had been robbing the crown for years; if we learn that Jon Arryn started to suspect something, I won't be surprised.

Nope. If Jon had learned about Littlefinger's corruption - which is doubtful since Tyrion replaced him as Master of Coin and couldn't figure it out - then his murder would've been sufficient to cover it up. There'd be no need to start a war.

Quote

Also... his very personal grudge against the Tullys and Starks. Jaime and Cersei merely provided convenient means.

Jaime and Cersei provided convenient means for what?

The war began because he had Lysa kill Jon Arryn and send Catelyn a letter saying the Lannisters did it and then lied about Tyrion owning the dagger that was used in the attempt on Bran. This directly led to Cat arresting Tyrion and kick started the armed conflict.

Aside from Jaime shoving Bran out of the window - which Littlefinger couldn't have known about - the Twincest had nothing to do with any of this. He could've done pretty much the same things whether Jaime and Cersei were having sex or not.

Quote

And I believe his true goal was the destruction of those who ever "slighted" him and took what was "his", while elevating his own status  and showing a finger to all those high and mighty houses that were looking down on him the whole time.

....And yet he only took any action towards that goal when it looked like Stannis would become next in line to the Iron Throne. Seems extremely convenient timing doesn't it?

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I think that Varys is a Blackfyre (descendant of Calla Blackfyre and Aegor Bittersteel, founder of Golden Company), and he came to Westeros years ago, to prepare 7K for the Sixth Rebellion of Blackfyres. He planned to use strategy divide and conquer. He was creating chaos in 7K, and wanted to clash Targaryens against each other. Everything he was telling to Aerys about Rhaegar were lies. And after father and son fought against each other in war, he was going to summon Golden Company from Essos, to finish off whichever of Targaryens would have survived after their civil war. And it would have been easy, because the realm would have been weakend by that war, and thus GC would have defeated, whatever opposition faced them in 7K.

But instead of becoming Varys' pawn, Rhaegar played his own game. He didn't rebelled against his father, he just totally unexpectedly eloped with Lyanna Stark. This caused Robert's Rebellion, and totally ruined Varys' original plan. Unknown to him, Rhaegar was influenced by greater forces. His actions were motivated by prophecy about three heads of the dragon. He wanted to fulfill the prophecy about the promised Prince, and thus got involved with Lyanna. So as result of everything that happened, after Robert became King of 7K, and Westeros became more or less united after that war, Varys was unable to proceed with his plan, and to attack 7K by Golden Company. They were unable to defeat united troops of 7K. So Varys had to wait for many years, prior he will be able to launch his Blackfyre invasion.

In the years that passed, he created not only Bird's Network, consisting from street urchins, but also recruited for his cause various agents, and Lords of 7K. And amongst those people was young Petyr Baelish. He became Varys' most talented apprentice, and eventually in certain sense even surpassed him. While Varys, is at least partially cares about citizens of 7K, or at least he thinks that he does, unlike him, Littlefinger cares only about his own wellbeing. Varys wants to seize 7K, and take it under control of Blackfyres. Probably he thinks, that they will be better rulers, than Targaryens were, so under their reign citizens of 7K will strive and prosper. So he thinks that he does it for people. While Littlefinger doesn't lie to himself, doesn't pretend that what he does, is done for someone else, or for greater good, and not for his own gain. He doesn't care, how many people will die, or whether they will live better under this or that ruler, all he cares about, is his own gain and benefit. If Varys is a spider, then Littlefinger is a tick. He's sucking blood and grows on it.

I think that originally this conflict, that preceded War of Five Kings, was part of Varys' plan, as prelude for fAegon's coming. He knew about incest between Cersei and Jaime, he knew about Robert's bastards, and that Cersei's children are not Robert's. He planned to use this information in the same manner, how it was utilized by Littlefinger. Though probably confrontation between Stannis and Renly, extinction of Starks, and using Sansa as key figure, to get thru her access to three Kingdoms (The North, Riverlands, and The Vale), were Littlefinger's own additions to Varys' plan.

Varys was going only to cause civil war in 7K, make them fight against each other (Stannis and his supporters, against Lannisters and their supporters), and became weakened. And then he planned, that Golden Company with fAegon will conquer Westeros, with help from Dany and Khal Drogo's Dothraki. Varys planned to make fAegon King of 7K. Because him and the boy, both are Blackfyres. But Littlefinger became too ambitious, and decided to play for himself, and not for Varys.

I think that his goals changed, when he impregnated Lysa Arryn, and in gratitude for that, she arranged that Jon Arryn gave to Littlefinger position in Small Council. Or vice versa - the baby as a payback for Lysa's help in creating place for LF in the Small Council. Either way, after he got so close to power, money, and Iron Throne, and also thought, that he can be able to marry Lysa, and became Lord Paramount of The Vale, and Warden of the East, if Jon Arryn will die, he realised that he doesn't have to play Varys' game. With available to him resources and chess pieces, he is able to play his own Game of Thrones, that will make him, and not fAegon, if not King of 7K, then at least King of 3K, or even more, if he will be able to get his hands on The Reach too.

Thus Baelish is indeed an architect, but he learned all of it from Varys. And his personal sigil - mockingbird, is a 'Fuck You' to Varys, from one of his ex-Little Birds, that grew up, and now is able to fly on his own.

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