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nyser1

Baelish's plan to the Throne

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On 8/28/2019 at 5:29 PM, nyser1 said:

Given what has happened in the first five books, how could you realistically (realistic in a Westerosi Universe sense) see Baelish becoming King? Or does he simply want authority (and would be a willing Regent/Hand of a Harry/Robin & Sansa baby)?

I don't.  I don't see him realistically becoming king.  Not with the information that we have now.  But should some gut punch from GM comes and says he's a bastard of Aerys the political landscape will change.  Bastards have low claim but a claim nevertheless.

Using Sansa Allayne to get power through Harry is the longest of the long shot.  Harry has to get his power through Sweetrobin.  And Sweetrobin is pretty damn far from any line of succession to the throne.  Every claim to the throne is done on the basis of kinship with a Targaryen or a Baratheon.  

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15 hours ago, Victor Newman said:

I don't.  I don't see him realistically becoming king.  Not with the information that we have now.  But should some gut punch from GM comes and says he's a bastard of Aerys the political landscape will change.  Bastards have low claim but a claim nevertheless.

Using Sansa Allayne to get power through Harry is the longest of the long shot.  Harry has to get his power through Sweetrobin.  And Sweetrobin is pretty damn far from any line of succession to the throne.  Every claim to the throne is done on the basis of kinship with a Targaryen or a Baratheon.  

I think Littlefinger is counting on the throne falling apart to the point where it doesn't matter anymore who your parents were.  But if he got enough power he could certainly just tell everyone he was Aerys bastard, and if no one had enough swords to stop him then he's still King. 

Littlefinger already has power through Robin as his Regent.  Harry is his backup for when Robin dies, since he's so sickly.  Littlefinger isn't foolish enough to bet all his money on one horse.

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I used to think Littlefinger doesn't want to be king. But then - the throne is the ultimate price, and you can have both nominal power and informal power behind the scenes (through the assets you have cultivated throughout the years). The kind of power Littlefinger has up until now is build on sand. Without a dynasty of his own (or at least an heir) he has nothing in the long run. And power behind the scenes is nothing if the whim of the monarch can, in the end, still crush you like a bug.

Regencies end, and officials and advisers can be dismissed. That kind of power is much more fleeting than real nominal power. And that would be the reason why he covets that, too. He also very much liked being Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount of the Trident.

And as the example of Lord Rogar Baratheon shows: The idea of the consort of a dowager queen trying to usurp the throne is not a concept that's unknown or impossible to the mind of the Westerosi. Littlefinger could try to pull that off.

If a dynasty dies out the last people clining to power can be the widows of the previous ruler (we see this in the North with Lady Dustin and Lady Hornwood). And a new dynasty can be established by marrying such a widow (as Ramsay also did with Lady Hornwood). Somebody has to sit the Iron Throne - and if all the Targaryens and Baratheons are gone, why not Lord Petyr Baelish as the consort of the last queen?

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

I used to think Littlefinger doesn't want to be king. But then - the throne is the ultimate price, and you can have both nominal power and informal power behind the scenes (through the assets you have cultivated throughout the years). The kind of power Littlefinger has up until now is build on sand. Without a dynasty of his own (or at least an heir) he has nothing in the long run. And power behind the scenes is nothing if the whim of the monarch can, in the end, still crush you like a bug.

Regencies end, and officials and advisers can be dismissed. That kind of power is much more fleeting than real nominal power. And that would be the reason why he covets that, too. He also very much liked being Lord of Harrenhal and Lord Paramount of the Trident.

Advisers can be dismissed if you have more military power than them.  Otherwise they send you to your quarters and have you given dreamwine to help you sleep. Any King's authority is only as strong as his followers permit.  The Rule of Law isn't paticularly strong in Westeros.  

I think that while Littlefinger's affinity / faction is secret, its be much stronger than anyone realizes.   Medieval factions weren't always based on the vassal ties, and there were plenty of King's who were puppets of their advisers.   Littlefingers friends are willing to risk an awful lot for him.  More than you'd risk for just a dude you owe some money to.  Tyrion seems to be the only person in the series who sees through Littlefinger's "everyone's friend" act.  

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2 minutes ago, argonak said:

Advisers can be dismissed if you have more military power than them.  Otherwise they send you to your quarters and have you given dreamwine to help you sleep. Any King's authority is only as strong as his followers permit.  The Rule of Law isn't paticularly strong in Westeros.

When we talk about children (or half-autistic people suffering from post-traumatic stress like Aegon III), this is doable. But those are the powers of regents or royal officials dealing with a boy king. That kind of power is granted only for a limited amount of time.

I made a strong case that Unwin Peake could have continued to dominate Aegon III and his court even after the king had come of age - under the right circumstances - but it would have been a difficult task, a task where you have to be constantly on your guard to protect against the many rivals would have to fight back.

But Unwin Peake would have been a lord of high standing and good breeding, an experienced general and war veteran, wielder of a (stolen) Valyrian steel sword. He wouldn't be a man with Littlefinger's background.

Also, historically, nominal power usually gravitates towards actual power - meaning that if Littlefinger became king in all but name he would, eventually, try to become it in name, too.

And if the rule of law is as weak in Westeros as you think it is then this should actually work.

I'm not completely in agreement there since I think the obsession of the Westerosi with their noble families strongly implies that you do need some kind of a claim or link to actual royalty to take a throne. If you lack that, you will be seen as a usurper and you will quickly fail. But as I said, marrying a dowager queen could provide that link.

2 minutes ago, argonak said:

I think that while Littlefinger's affinity / faction is secret, its be much stronger than anyone realizes.   Medieval factions weren't always based on the vassal ties, and there were plenty of King's who were puppets of their advisers.   Littlefingers friends are willing to risk an awful lot for him.  More than you'd risk for just a dude you owe some money to.  Tyrion seems to be the only person in the series who sees through Littlefinger's "everyone's friend" act.  

He has some friends, especially in the Vale, and in the mid-level royal bureaucracy and, presumably also among the merchant class in KL (unless those were all Antler Men Varys handed over to Joffrey) but we have at this point no indication that he has the kind of power base one would need to dominate the Crown or the Realm.

In the end, I doubt Littlefinger is happy to remain the guy in the shadows who is dependent on controlling old men or little boys or women, etc. to exercise and keep his power. That makes him, in the end, dependent on circumstances he cannot control. And I think he secretly resents the fact that he had to dance around Lysa and Jon and Robert and Ned and Cersei and Tyrion and Tywin and Olenna and Lysa (again). I think he really wants to run the show in his own right once he is at the top. But I could be wrong.

Although I think the fact that he never married before Lysa strongly indicates he wants the right bride to found a dynasty - Sansa or somebody with equally good breeding.

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24 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

When we talk about children (or half-autistic people suffering from post-traumatic stress like Aegon III), this is doable. But those are the powers of regents or royal officials dealing with a boy king. That kind of power is granted only for a limited amount of time.

I made a strong case that Unwin Peake could have continued to dominate Aegon III and his court even after the king had come of age - under the right circumstances - but it would have been a difficult task, a task where you have to be constantly on your guard to protect against the many rivals would have to fight back.

But Unwin Peake would have been a lord of high standing and good breeding, an experienced general and war veteran, wielder of a (stolen) Valyrian steel sword. He wouldn't be a man with Littlefinger's background.

Also, historically, nominal power usually gravitates towards actual power - meaning that if Littlefinger became king in all but name he would, eventually, try to become it in name, too.

And if the rule of law is as weak in Westeros as you think it is then this should actually work.

I'm not completely in agreement there since I think the obsession of the Westerosi with their noble families strongly implies that you do need some kind of a claim or link to actual royalty to take a throne. If you lack that, you will be seen as a usurper and you will quickly fail. But as I said, marrying a dowager queen could provide that link.

He has some friends, especially in the Vale, and in the mid-level royal bureaucracy and, presumably also among the merchant class in KL (unless those were all Antler Men Varys handed over to Joffrey) but we have at this point no indication that he has the kind of power base one would need to dominate the Crown or the Realm.

In the end, I doubt Littlefinger is happy to remain the guy in the shadows who is dependent on controlling old men or little boys or women, etc. to exercise and keep his power. That makes him, in the end, dependent on circumstances he cannot control. And I think he secretly resents the fact that he had to dance around Lysa and Jon and Robert and Ned and Cersei and Tyrion and Tywin and Olenna and Lysa (again). I think he really wants to run the show in his own right once he is at the top. But I could be wrong.

Although I think the fact that he never married before Lysa strongly indicates he wants the right bride to found a dynasty - Sansa or somebody with equally good breeding.

And in the end, is there anyone Littlefinger cares about more than Littlefinger?

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19 minutes ago, nyser1 said:

And in the end, is there anyone Littlefinger cares about more than Littlefinger?

Possibly Sansa or a child of his and Sansa. We have to wait and see.

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1 minute ago, Lord Varys said:

Possibly Sansa or a child of his and Sansa. We have to wait and see.

Which is why I could see him being the one to get her pregnant, then killing off the husband and raising the kid with Sansa as Hand/Regent in some capacity. 

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15 hours ago, nyser1 said:

Which is why I could see him being the one to get her pregnant, then killing off the husband and raising the kid with Sansa as Hand/Regent in some capacity. 

That, or merely marrying her to a king, killing all other potential claimants, then the king, and then marrying the grieving widow to start a new royal dynasty with her. Then he would be king and his son would be his own successor.

If he ends up controlling most of the available food in winter this could become a realistic plan. If you can feed starving people they should have no problem calling you 'King Petyr', and Littlefinger nominally (and in case of the Vale factually) already controls two of the Seven Kingdoms. If the Vale were to back this power play then their fresh troops would have enormous effect considering the relative weakness of the other regions (especially after the continuous warfare in the Stormlands, the Reach, the Crownlands, the Riverlands, and the North should also finally start to weaken the Dornishmen).

He would have both bread and clubs.

I don't think it will work for a number of reasons, but I certainly can see him being tempted to try - or rather: I think such a scenario could be his ultimate endgame. The thing he dreams to accomplish - King Petyr Baelish married to Queen Sansa Stark (dowager queen of the late King Aegon VI), being a happy family father and loved by all the people of the Seven Kingdoms.

Littlefinger's joke when Joffrey granted him Harrenhal - that he would have to father children now - can be seen as a hint that he always wanted to found a proper noble house of his own. He just never married because he wanted to marry either Catelyn or Lysa (and, of course, Sansa after he first met her).

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8 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

f he ends up controlling most of the available food in winter this could become a realistic plan. If you can feed starving people they should have no problem calling you 'King Petyr', and Littlefinger nominally (and in case of the Vale factually) already controls two of the Seven Kingdoms. If the Vale were to back this power play then their fresh troops would have enormous effect considering the relative weakness of the other regions (especially after the continuous warfare in the Stormlands, the Reach, the Crownlands, the Riverlands, and the North should also finally start to weaken the Dornishmen).

He can only realistically store enough for the Vale nobility.  Grain is very fragile.  A little mold spore and the whole stock could go bad very very quickly.  Rodents and insect infestation can destroy the grain in a short amount of time.  

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46 minutes ago, The Lord of the Crossing said:

He can only realistically store enough for the Vale nobility.  Grain is very fragile.  A little mold spore and the whole stock could go bad very very quickly.  Rodents and insect infestation can destroy the grain in a short amount of time.  

If this were the case then the Westerosi would have all starved to death in the first years-long winter.

Jon Snow expects to buy food for winter in the Vale, something that would be impossible if the Vale were to produce only food for the consumption of the population of the Vale. We also see Vale lords selling food in Sansa 1 (but not Littlefinger and his allies) indicating that there is enough food to be sold. And considering that people know winter can last years they won't touch on their own winter provisions when they sell food on the market. That would be only surplus food - food, the Vale can use to feed people in other regions of the Seven Kingdoms or, possibly, in Essos.

The Vale is famously fertile.

And all that food is going to become more precious than gold in winter. Littlefinger easily could transform his nominal overlordship in the Riverlands into an iron grip simply by making them choose between empty and full stomachs.

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On 9/5/2019 at 9:03 PM, Lord Varys said:

In the end, I doubt Littlefinger is happy to remain the guy in the shadows who is dependent on controlling old men or little boys or women, etc. to exercise and keep his power. That makes him, in the end, dependent on circumstances he cannot control. And I think he secretly resents the fact that he had to dance around Lysa and Jon and Robert and Ned and Cersei and Tyrion and Tywin and Olenna and Lysa (again). I think he really wants to run the show in his own right once he is at the top. But I could be wrong.

No, you are not wrong and this is the problem with Littlefinger. He cannot come to accept that truth for himself, so he is going to go in a more destructive path, for others as well as for himself. 

 

On 9/5/2019 at 9:03 PM, Lord Varys said:

Although I think the fact that he never married before Lysa strongly indicates he wants the right bride to found a dynasty - Sansa or somebody with equally good breeding.

But, it is still unlikely they would accept him as a overlord.

And if his only objective was to found a dynasty he had the opportunity with Lysa. Get rid of Sweetrobin and get her pregnant, rule as regent and so on. But this is not enough for him. Nothing will be enough for him and this is his problem.

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1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

No, you are not wrong and this is the problem with Littlefinger. He cannot come to accept that truth for himself, so he is going to go in a more destructive path, for others as well as for himself. 

We will have to wait and see how problematic that's going to be. When the alternatives are Stannis, Euron/Cersei, or a vilified Daenerys, then nice and amicable Petyr Baelish might actually look like a great potential king to a number of people - especially if he runs around with the bread basket.

While Aegon is still around this is unlikely to happen, but Aegon might not live forever - and Littlefinger might play a crucial role in his untimely death (or attempts on his life).

1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

But, it is still unlikely they would accept him as a overlord.

The steps to the crown would be him marrying a widowed queen - ideally Sansa, who has previously married a King Aegon VI. That way he would start as Hand, Lord Regent, or Protector of the Realm, seizing the actual power and creating an influential coterie of lords and officials who would really like to see him be king before he actually makes a move to get himself crowned.

Under the right circumstances this could work, especially if all legal claimants simply died and somebody has to sit the throne. Then somebody very close to the throne who already has a lot of power has the best shot. And Littlefinger could see to it that he was the best candidate.

Mace Tyrell would have a similar chance should both Tommen and Myrcella die - and if there were no other Targaryen-Baratheon or Targaryen claimants around (which isn't the case). But if we assume for a moment that Myrcella was the last living descendant of Aegon the Conqueror and there were no cousins around (or at least none people know about or were willing to support in their bids to the throne) then the Hand of the King certainly could have a shot to take the throne. Mace would have the problem that he could not marry the dowager queen Cersei Lannister to give himself a little more legitimacy, but he was widowed he could try that.

During Jaehaerys I minority Rogar Baratheon was always a king because he was the husband of a queen - and people thought he had both the intention and the power to claim the throne for himself (granted, he also had royal blood - or was believed to have royal blood - but this was not the only reason why people thought he could be king).

1 hour ago, rotting sea cow said:

And if his only objective was to found a dynasty he had the opportunity with Lysa. Get rid of Sweetrobin and get her pregnant, rule as regent and so on. But this is not enough for him. Nothing will be enough for him and this is his problem.

I actually think they tried. Littlefinger tells Sansa and the reader that Lysa wanted another child by Petyr, a little brother to Lord Robert who should inherit the Gates of the Moon. But we know that Lysa was not the most fertile of women and Littlefinger did not spend all that much time with Lysa after their marriage, so they wouldn't have slept with each other not all that often.

But it seems clear that Littlefinger never wanted to found a proper dynasty with Lysa - originally the plan would have been to do that with Cat, and now it should be Sansa.

That doesn't mean he would not also jump on the chance to do that with an actual royal princess - if he ever had the chance to marry one. But that opportunity never presented itself.

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:49 PM, The Lord of the Crossing said:

He can only realistically store enough for the Vale nobility.  Grain is very fragile.  A little mold spore and the whole stock could go bad very very quickly.  Rodents and insect infestation can destroy the grain in a short amount of time.  

Humans have been storing food for long periods of time for millenia in our world, and we're pretty good at it.  Even in the middle ages they knew how to keep grain for up to a decade without signficant spoilage.  Of course, other vitimins and nutrients are also very important.   Otherwise they'd lose all their teeth to scurvy when they can't get fruit, but that can be countered wtih things like pickled cabbage, or dried vegetables and fruit.

While its possible to survive multi-year winters with proper preperation, its not going to be pleasant or easy.  But we also don't know for sure what the winters are like.  Are they just little ice age periods (where you could fit a few small harvets in during the "false springs")?  or are they literaly winter?  I find it just being a multi year winter really tough to accept, because all the animal and most of the insect population would die off.

Edited by argonak

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On 8/28/2019 at 2:29 PM, nyser1 said:

Given what has happened in the first five books, how could you realistically (realistic in a Westerosi Universe sense) see Baelish becoming King? Or does he simply want authority (and would be a willing Regent/Hand of a Harry/Robin & Sansa baby)?

I think his motives are to advance purely for the sake of it. I'm sure he sees himself as a person who simply keeps climbing, to whatever end, it probably doesn't matter to him as long as he can, and I think he gets a lot of satisfaction out of being "everyone's friend," who bothers to solve problems and handle the practical matters while the nobility can't be bothered. He thinks he can use the right mix of bureaucratic rationality, financial instruments of mass destruction, and chaotic allegiance. That said, I dont see the author allowing him to be king in the story because he's basically Steerpike with a more involved backstory. 

Edited by Rose of Red Lake

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It'd be tough to cram that 12 step regency plan into the few remaining littlelinger chapters.    So I'd kind of expect Finger to point at that tapestry of lineages and say, "look, it's all the stuff Megorova detailed on page one of this topic!   I'm the king!"      Or you pull a stunt like when Arwyn showed up to marry Strider in Return of the King and the 7 kingdoms rally around that Sansa/Aegon option for their own reasons.  Or, Finger has the solution for the blackfyre feuding and the realm is thankful for a field of fire averted.  The 2 targs play come into my castle with Sansa & Petey.  Or the food thing, plus the vale troops are the last army committed so they're able to mop up all the loose ends on their way to the throneroom.   And a dragon trap at Harenhal.   And better murder Rickon for safe measure.   But that would make Jon biased against saving Petyr from the dead.   And maybe Tyrion is safer after all and dragon rescues Sansa from the high castles of the Vale.   Uh oh, this stuff would take up too much of the book too, like the plan i just objected to.   Maybe dude just craps out.   

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:03 PM, Lord Varys said:

I'm not completely in agreement there since I think the obsession of the Westerosi with their noble families strongly implies that you do need some kind of a claim or link to actual royalty to take a throne. If you lack that, you will be seen as a usurper and you will quickly fail. But as I said, marrying a dowager queen could provide that link.

What if Littlefinger already does have that link? What if he is a dragonseed and is bloodrelated to Targaryens? What if he can prove that he is Aegon IV's descendant? Doesn't that give him a right to claim Targaryen crown (in case if Dany, Stannis and Shireen, and all Blackfyres will be out of the picture)?

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9 hours ago, The Mother of The Others said:

It'd be tough to cram that 12 step regency plan into the few remaining littlelinger chapters.    So I'd kind of expect Finger to point at that tapestry of lineages and say, "look, it's all the stuff Megorova detailed on page one of this topic!   I'm the king!"      Or you pull a stunt like when Arwyn showed up to marry Strider in Return of the King and the 7 kingdoms rally around that Sansa/Aegon option for their own reasons.  Or, Finger has the solution for the blackfyre feuding and the realm is thankful for a field of fire averted.  The 2 targs play come into my castle with Sansa & Petey.  Or the food thing, plus the vale troops are the last army committed so they're able to mop up all the loose ends on their way to the throneroom.   And a dragon trap at Harenhal.   And better murder Rickon for safe measure.   But that would make Jon biased against saving Petyr from the dead.   And maybe Tyrion is safer after all and dragon rescues Sansa from the high castles of the Vale.   Uh oh, this stuff would take up too much of the book too, like the plan i just objected to.   Maybe dude just craps out.   

Well, realistically it'll be tough to fit the remaining story into two books.  And we probably won't get even that if we're being honest with ourselves.

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On 8/29/2019 at 7:34 AM, Megorova said:

I think that in the past Littlefinger was one of Varys' agents, so he knew about fAegon years ago. Also I think that LF is a dragonseed, and Aegon IV's descendant, thru Aegon's daughter-mistress, Jeyne Lothston, and Jeyne's son, the Bastard of Harrenhal (who was defeated in a melee by Ser Arlan of Pennytree). I think that that Bastard was either first Lord Whent of Harrenhal, or he was the father of first Lord Whent (he was grandfather of Lady Shella Whent, and great great-grandfather of Littlefinger. So, LF and Catelyn Tully are something like third cousins).

After Daeron II Targaryen, Aegon's next son is Balerion Otherys, then Daemon Blackfyre, then Bittersteel (who possibly died childless), then Bloodraven (who supposedly had no children, and went missing beyond The Wall), then next is son of Jeyne Lothston (if the real reason of her exile from Targaryen court was her pregnancy from her father, King Aegon). Could be that Jeyne's son, who was Aegon's secret child, after his father's death, went to Braavos, to visit there his Otherys-siblings, who, same as the Bastard of Harrenhal, were never acknowledged by Aegon as his children. Possibly while he (the Bastard) was in Braavos, he had a child/son with Balerion's daughter. This son is Littlefinger's great-grandfather, the sellsword from Braavos. All of Daeron's male descendants, such as King Aerys, Rhaegar and his son, and Viserys, are dead, and no one knows about Jon. Thus, officially male line of House Targaryen has ended. If Balerion Otherys had only daughters, then male line from this House has also ended. It is known, that male line of Blackfyres is also dead. Bittersteel and Bloodraven had no children. Viserys Plumm and Ambrose Butterwell were never acknowledged by Aegon as his children. Though, in case with Bellegere Otherys and Jeyne Lothston, they both were Aegon's official mistresses. Thus, if in the span of their relationship with Aegon, they gave birth to sons (Balerion was born between 163 and 172, and the Bastard of Harrenhal possibly was born in 178, or 179, or 180), then those sons are next in line for Iron Throne, after male-Targaryens.

If Littlefinger is descendant of Aegon IV, thru Jeyne Lothston's son, the Bastard of Harrenhal, and thru Balerion's daughter, then he has a higher claim over Iron Throne than Daenerys.

I think, that Varys is a Blackfyre from male line. But because he can't have children, to have a claim over Iron Throne, he went to Westeros, to look for other people with Targaryen blood, who can have a claim over their throne. And that's when he found Petyr Baelish, revealed to him his dragonseed ancestry, and offered to him to conspire together, to get Iron Throne for him. So, LF became Varys' agent, and he thought, that thru their partnership, he will become the King of 7K. Though later Varys had found a better option (could be that Barristan Selmy is grandson of Aenys Blackfyre, and fAegon is Barristan's son from septa Lemore/Jeyne Swann), and cast Petyr aside, as a candidate. That's when Petyr decided to betray Varys, and use everything he had learned from him, to get to Iron Throne on his own.

So, Littlefinger knows Varys' plan, how to get Iron Throne for fAegon, because originally Varys made that plan, to make Petyr the King of 7K. Thus LF is going to offer Sansa to fAegon. She's the heiress of The North, also, as Robb's sister, she can have a claim over Riverlands (because Riverlanders proclaimed Robb not only the King in The North, but also the King of the Trident, and Tullys acknowledged him as their overlord). Probably, if fAegon will agree to marry with Sansa, and to make her his Queen, then LF will promise to additionally give him support of The Vale. Thus, Sansa is the key to three Kingdoms, and thru marriage with her fAegon will get significally more power than thru marriage with Arianne Martell or Margaery Tyrell.

And after Queen Sansa will get pregnant (from LF, not from fAegon), Petyr will use her, same way as he used Lysa. He will make Sansa to poison her husband. Then he will either marry with her, and will become her King-consort, or he will kill her too, same as he killed Lysa, and then he will become the Regent of Sansa's child. It's likely, that Robert Arryn is actually Littlefinger's son, not Jon Arryn's. So LF is planning to use with Sansa and fAegon the same scheme, that he has already used with Lysa and Jon Arryn. If it had worked once, then why not to use it again?

And he thinks, that he has a right to sit on Iron Throne, because he is Aegon IV's descendant, and has a higher claim than Daenerys Targaryen.

I like this but for one minor point- Varys doesn’t strike me as the type to leave a loose end as big as Littlefinger walking around  with that type of knowledge. 

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6 hours ago, Reekazoid said:

I like this but for one minor point- Varys doesn’t strike me as the type to leave a loose end as big as Littlefinger walking around  with that type of knowledge. 

Though if Littlefinger for many years was one of Varys' closest people, then he knows what kind of methods Varys is using, so he made according countermeasures. If something will happen to LF then all of Varys' secrets will be revealed. Neither of them can kill the other, or to directly challenge or oppose the other. If LF will reveal to Lannisters, or to anyone else, what he knows about Varys, then how is he going to explain how did he get access to that information, and why didn't he revealed that information to authorities, if he knew all that for years? Thus revealing to authorities who Varys is, and what he is planing to do, would also reveal LF as Varys' ex-agent, so he will also be punished for treason, same as Varys. It's their shared secret, and revelation of it will damage both of them, so for LF it's the last resort. But if Varys will try to do something against LF, then LF will reveal his secrets. I think that there are some kind of countermeasures that will be activated in case of LF's sudden death. And Varys probably did something similar in case of his own death. So neither of them can get rid of the other. It's a stalemate. They can change their situation in the Big Game, only thru usage of other people as their pawns. fAegon is Varys' trump card, and Sansa is LF's.

AGOT, Ned IV - "Littlefinger smiled. "Leave Lord Varys to me, sweet lady. If you will permit me a small obscenity - and where better for it than here - I hold the man's balls in the palm of my hand." He cupped his fingers, smiling. "Or would, if he were a man, or had any balls. You see, if the pie is opened, the birds begin to sing, and Varys would not like that. Were I you, I would worry more about the Lannisters and less about the eunuch.""

LF's personal sigil is a mockingbird (which has nothing to do with symbols of House Baelish. Their sigil is a grey head with burning eyes on green field). I think it means that he used to be one of Varys' Little birds. So mockingbird is a symbol of LF's victory over Varys, it means that he outsmarted his teacher.

Maybe I'm totally wrong about this, and my theory is incorrect. Though why either of the two of them didn't got rid of the other? They are obviously in each other's way, but so far neither of them tried to actively get rid of the other. So there's definitely some serious reason for their mutual toleration. And if it's not what I wrote above, the what else could it be?

P.S. Varys and loose ends - Daenerys and her dragons are out of Varys' grasp, and his original plan failed (thru Dany's marriage with Khal Drogo to get support of Dothraki during Golden Company's invasion into Westeros); Jorah, Barristan Selmy, Arya, Sansa, Bran, Euron Greyjoy, Varys doesn't even know about Jon's real identity <- and each of those people is able to greatly influence the outcome of the Big Game. Varys doesn't know everything, and he doesn't control everything. It's not like he can get rid of any obstacle on his path, or to remove from the Game any unpredictable element, just because he wants so.

ASOS, Sansa VI - " "In King's Landing, there are two sorts of people. The players and the pieces."

"And I was a piece?" She dreaded the answer.

"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." "

Maybe he was talking about himself too, that when he was younger, half a child like Sansa is now, he also used to be a piece, even though at that time he thought that he was a player. But instead he was used by Varys as his pawn, and then moved aside, when a better option appeared (fAegon). So LF stopped being one of Varys' "pieces" and instead became a player on his own.

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