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miyuki

Who killed Jon Arryn?

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Stupid question, I know, but after re-reading AGoT and ASoS recently, I am confused.

 

Varys, the Spider who knows everything, tells Eddard that ser Hugh of the Vale gave Jon Arryn the tears of Lys. At the end of AGoT the reader is to believe this is true.

In the end of ASoS however, we find out from Lysa that SHE gave the tears of Lys to his husband. 

So was the whole ser Hugh thing just a cover-up created by Littlefinger? If so, then it was very cleverly done, since even Varys believes ser Hugh to be the poisoner. My conclusion from this is that Littlefinger is much more secretive and dangerous than Varys.

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I don't think that after you have read the ASoS exposition Martin wants you to approach it like this. The point is that Lysa poisoned him, either through Ser Hugh or by herself. It's probably the second though, that's why he became a knight and stayed at King's Landing while everyone else left.

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Littlefinger runs circles around Varys. And the biggest failing on Varys' part isn't that he doesn't know what LF is up to, but that he doesn't even make it a priority to find out despite the fact that he knows LF is the one who is screwing up all of their plans:

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Littlefinger . . . the gods only know what game Littlefinger is playing. Yet Lord Stark's the one who troubles my sleep. He has the bastard, he has the book, and soon enough he'll have the truth. And now his wife has abducted Tyrion Lannister, thanks to Littlefinger's meddling.

He then goes on to complain about what Tywin will do and how the Tullys will respond and how he cannot delay any of this the way Illyrio wants, never once recognizing that the source of all these troubles is Littlefinger.

So Varys the spider, who knows everything about everyone, is apparently oblivious to this one huge blind spot and the way it is wrecking all that he hopes to accomplish. 

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2 hours ago, miyuki said:

Stupid question, I know, but after re-reading AGoT and ASoS recently, I am confused.

 

Varys, the Spider who knows everything, tells Eddard that ser Hugh of the Vale gave Jon Arryn the tears of Lys. At the end of AGoT the reader is to believe this is true.

In the end of ASoS however, we find out from Lysa that SHE gave the tears of Lys to his husband. 

So was the whole ser Hugh thing just a cover-up created by Littlefinger? If so, then it was very cleverly done, since even Varys believes ser Hugh to be the poisoner. My conclusion from this is that Littlefinger is much more secretive and dangerous than Varys.

Could you point out in the text where Varys says Ser Hugh of the Vale gave Jon Arryn the Tears of Lys?

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Posted (edited)

It was Lysa, on the instructions of Littlefinger. Here’s what she says in ASOS before taking a trip through the Moondoor...

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"Tears, tears, tears," she sobbed hysterically. "No need for tears . . . but that's not what you said in King's Landing. You told me to put the tears in Jon's wine, and I did. For Robert, and for us! And I wrote Catelyn and told her the Lannisters had killed my lord husband, just as you said. That was so clever . . . you were always clever, I told Father that, I said Petyr's so clever, he'll rise high, he will, he will, and he's sweet and gentle and I have his little baby in my belly..."

As to what Varys tells Ned in AGoT, this is the quote...

Quote

"Some dear sweet friend who often shared meat and mead with him, no doubt. Oh, but which one? There were many such. Lord Arryn was a kindly, trusting man." The eunuch sighed. "There was one boy. All he was, he owed Jon Arryn, but when the widow fled to the Eyrie with her household, he stayed in King's Landing and prospered. It always gladdens my heart to see the young rise in the world." The whip was in his voice again, every word a stroke. "He must have cut a gallant figure in the tourney, him in his bright new armor, with those crescent moons on his cloak. A pity he died so untimely, before you could talk to him …"

Apart from the last part, about him looking gallant in his armour, that could be a description of LF... it was Jon Arryn who gave LF status in the Vale first, and then brought Him to King’s Landing and helped him rise to Master of Coin. Varys can’t just come straight out and say it was LF, he doesn’t know who could be listening, but he’s trying to give Ned enough of a hint to start looking in LF’s direction. Either that, or it actually was Ser Hugh who did it, at the behest of Lysa, in return for his Knighthood. 

Edited by Unacosamedarisa

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20 minutes ago, redriver said:

Could you point out in the text where Varys says Ser Hugh of the Vale gave Jon Arryn the Tears of Lys?

He never actually does. The description of the man Varys suggests killed Jon Arryn could describe Petyr as well. 

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Hugh is a set up by Littlefinger. For starters, he is the one who told Ned about Hugh;

Ned frowned. "Would that I could. Lady Arryn took her household back to the Eyrie." Lysa had done him no favor in that regard. All those who had stood closest to her husband had gone with her when she flet. Jon's maester, his steward, the captain of his guard, his knights and retainers.
"Most of her household," Littlefinger said, "not all. A few remain. A pregnant kitchen girl hastily wed to one of Lord Renly's grooms, a stablehand who joined the City Watch, a potboy discharged from service for theft, and Lord Arryn's squire."
"His squire?" Ned was pleasantly surprised. A man's squire often knew a great deal of his comings and goings.
"Ser Hugh of the Vale," Littlefinger named him. "The king knighted the boy after Lord Arryn's death." (Eddard V, AGoT 25)

Then Hugh is killed during the tourney of the Hand by Gregor Clegane, a Lannister lackey, which reinforces the idea in Ned's mind that the Lannisters were the ones behind Jon Arryn's death. 

I mean, I thought for sure that the order for Hugh's death came down from Cersei, especially when we see her using Clegane to do her bidding in the trial by combat against Oberyn Martell.

The set up is perfect. We have Lysa's letter to Catelyn accusing the Lannisters of Arryn's death, Littlefinger lies about the dagger, Littlefinger puts Ned on Hugh's trail, Hugh dies at the hands of Gregor Clegane because the Lannisters are allegedly trying to mop up anyone who could say something against them. 

Littlefinger put Lysa up to killing her husband because he was going to send Sweetrobin away from her to Dragonstone because he was getting ready to move against Cersei and wanted his son away from King's Landing and safe. Littlefinger was likely trying to stop that from happening, so he had to get rid of Jon Arryn and used Lysa and her weird AF love for her son (and him, because this was also about them being together) to do that.

Looking forward to Littlefinger getting his.

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Lysa arryn via Baelish.

 

But I think it really comes down to Jon Arryn getting Jon Arryn killed. Since he is the de facto ruler of the kingdoms yet is completely oblivious to everything of importance around him.

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"Some dear sweet friend who often shared meat and mead with him, no doubt. Oh, but which one? There were many such. Lord Arryn was a kindly, trusting man." The eunuch sighed. "There was one boy. All he was, he owed Jon Arryn, but when the widow fled to the Eyrie with her household, he stayed in King's Landing and prospered. It always gladdens my heart to see the young rise in the world." The whip was in his voice again, every word a stroke. "He must have cut a gallant figure in the tourney, him in his bright new armor, with those crescent moons on his cloak. A pity he died so untimely, before you could talk to him …"

I don't think Varys is talking about Petyr since the mention of Lysa fleeing from King's Landing and "him" prospering do not go together with Petyr, but with ser Hugh. Littlefinger prospered already before Lysa escaped King's Landing, ser Hugh's rise started just then. So this is what bothers my mind. Clearly Littlefinger orchestrated the whole thing, but exactly who gave Jon Arryn the poison is still unclear to me. Both ser hugh and Lysa seemed to do it.

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Although even though this one detail confuses me, I do like the ambiguity around Jon Arryn's death. If Littlefinger hadn't gotten him killed, then Cercei would have anyways. If Cercei hadn't, then Pycelle with his eagerness to protect house Lannister would have. Learning the horrible secret doomed him one way or another.

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10 hours ago, miyuki said:

Stupid question, I know, but after re-reading AGoT and ASoS recently, I am confused.

Varys, the Spider who knows everything, tells Eddard that ser Hugh of the Vale gave Jon Arryn the tears of Lys. At the end of AGoT the reader is to believe this is true.

In the end of ASoS however, we find out from Lysa that SHE gave the tears of Lys to his husband. 

So was the whole ser Hugh thing just a cover-up created by Littlefinger? If so, then it was very cleverly done, since even Varys believes ser Hugh to be the poisoner. My conclusion from this is that Littlefinger is much more secretive and dangerous than Varys.

Varys is correct about the Tears of Lys. Whether he never realized that it was Lysa or whether he merely did not tell Ned is unclear at this point. I'd be surprised if he were ignorant considering he also played along with Littlefinger's dagger lie.

8 hours ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

I don't think that after you have read the ASoS exposition Martin wants you to approach it like this. The point is that Lysa poisoned him, either through Ser Hugh or by herself. It's probably the second though, that's why he became a knight and stayed at King's Landing while everyone else left.

I actually think Hugh might have been a bastard son of Jon's who he never acknowledged - it is odd that a baseborn youth with no family name is squire to the Lord of the Vale and the Hand of the King. That place should have belonged to a highborn youth.

One imagines Jon asked Robert to knight him and that he did.

8 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Littlefinger runs circles around Varys. And the biggest failing on Varys' part isn't that he doesn't know what LF is up to, but that he doesn't even make it a priority to find out despite the fact that he knows LF is the one who is screwing up all of their plans:

He then goes on to complain about what Tywin will do and how the Tullys will respond and how he cannot delay any of this the way Illyrio wants, never once recognizing that the source of all these troubles is Littlefinger.

So Varys the spider, who knows everything about everyone, is apparently oblivious to this one huge blind spot and the way it is wrecking all that he hopes to accomplish. 

That is just a snapshot in time, though. It would have been difficult for anyone at court knowing Littlefinger's desire for advancement what he was up to while so many balls were in the air. Once Littlefinger's ball fell down in the lion's lap it would have been much easier to predict what he would do - even more so after he offered to bring the Vale back into the fold.

Littlefinger certainly plays a crucial role in accelerating the beginning of the war, but Varys is quite correct that Ned is the real problem. Littlefinger doesn't (necessarily) want a war - but it is clear that Ned will cause one should he find out about the incest. Littlefinger fuels the fire of mistrust between the Lannisters and the Starks, but he never caused it. Ned resented them before Lysa's letter arrived, just as Jaime resented Ned.

7 hours ago, Unacosamedarisa said:

Apart from the last part, about him looking gallant in his armour, that could be a description of LF... it was Jon Arryn who gave LF status in the Vale first, and then brought Him to King’s Landing and helped him rise to Master of Coin. Varys can’t just come straight out and say it was LF, he doesn’t know who could be listening, but he’s trying to give Ned enough of a hint to start looking in LF’s direction. Either that, or it actually was Ser Hugh who did it, at the behest of Lysa, in return for his Knighthood. 

If Varys wanted to talk about Littlefinger there he could. Varys is the only one who employs little birds that sit in the walls. He can speak freely when others can't - and he talks to Ned in his own solar in that scene. He has no need to be afraid they are overheard.

But then - the point here is to actually push Ned to bury his Jon Arryn investigation. Varys confirms the murder - but also tells him that the murderer is already dead. Which is convenient if you want to shut down the investigation - which Varys wants - so Ned is not going to learn about the incest too soon. He really has no motive to implicate Littlefinger or Lysa even if he knew or suspected they were behind it.

Which is not that unlikely considering that Varys himself also had a very good motive to see Jon dead. He knew about his and Stannis' investigation and, like Littlefinger, had no interest in Robert learning the truth too soon (or at all). It is not that unlikely that Littlefinger and Varys were both involved in the murder of Jon Arryn.

6 hours ago, Alexis-something-Rose said:

Hugh is a set up by Littlefinger. For starters, he is the one who told Ned about Hugh.

Then Hugh is killed during the tourney of the Hand by Gregor Clegane, a Lannister lackey, which reinforces the idea in Ned's mind that the Lannisters were the ones behind Jon Arryn's death. 

It is possible that Littlefinger expected that to happen. If Cersei told Gregor to kill Hugh in the lists it is likely because she feared Hugh, as Jon's squire, may have known stuff about the twincest and the investigation - just as she fears Lysa knew things about that, too (which is why she wanted Lord Robert as a hostage).

Littlefinger, on the other hand, also has the plan/intention to prevent Ned from actually entertaining the thought that somebody else may have murdered Jon Arryn. Presenting a culprit and reinforcing this idea by getting the culprit killed in a suspicious manner can do the trick.

All Littlefinger/Varys needed to do to convince Cersei to kill Hugh via Gregor - if she didn't come up with that herself - would be to point out that Jon and he had been very close - or perhaps only that Eddard Stark was trying to question Hugh the way he questioned Pycelle (which Littlefinger as the guy who told Ned about Hugh would have been ideally suited to tell Cersei).

The fact that Varys goes follows that narrative later on when he talks to Ned adds more fuel to the fire.

It is still possible that Gregor killed Hugh without being prompted to do so, but there could be much more to this whole thing.

5 hours ago, miyuki said:

I don't think Varys is talking about Petyr since the mention of Lysa fleeing from King's Landing and "him" prospering do not go together with Petyr, but with ser Hugh. Littlefinger prospered already before Lysa escaped King's Landing, ser Hugh's rise started just then. So this is what bothers my mind. Clearly Littlefinger orchestrated the whole thing, but exactly who gave Jon Arryn the poison is still unclear to me. Both ser hugh and Lysa seemed to do it.

One assumes Lysa did the deed herself. It would have been very easy for her, and she would have reacted very quickly after she learned at the tourney that Jon intended to send Robert to Dragonstone to be fostered with Stannis.

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7 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I actually think Hugh might have been a bastard son of Jon's who he never acknowledged - it is odd that a baseborn youth with no family name is squire to the Lord of the Vale and the Hand of the King. That place should have belonged to a highborn youth.

One imagines Jon asked Robert to knight him and that he did.

That also may be yes, a good theory that fits with House Arryn's decay during the events of ASOIAF. The thing is that it was not important for the story to add that much more detail so we will probably never know. The thing is that Littlefinger manipulated Lysa Tully to murder Jon Arryn and so she did, shifting the blame on The Lanninsters and starting the events that would eventually lead to The War of The Five Kings.

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Varys doesn't know everything.  He sees clues and builds a theory.  It doesn't mean it's right.  

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11 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is just a snapshot in time, though. It would have been difficult for anyone at court knowing Littlefinger's desire for advancement what he was up to while so many balls were in the air. Once Littlefinger's ball fell down in the lion's lap it would have been much easier to predict what he would do - even more so after he offered to bring the Vale back into the fold.

Littlefinger certainly plays a crucial role in accelerating the beginning of the war, but Varys is quite correct that Ned is the real problem. Littlefinger doesn't (necessarily) want a war - but it is clear that Ned will cause one should he find out about the incest. Littlefinger fuels the fire of mistrust between the Lannisters and the Starks, but he never caused it. Ned resented them before Lysa's letter arrived, just as Jaime resented Ned.

Varys knows that Littlefinger, not Ned, is the reason events are moving too fast for Illyrio. He also knows, or should know, that Littlefinger is mucking with the finances of the realm that they are seeking to usurp. And yet all he can say is "gods know what game Littlefinger is playing."

If he had an ounce of sense, he would make it a priority to find out what game he is playing, since it is interfering on a fundamental level with the game that he and Illyrio are playing. And yet there is no indication that Varys does this or is even aware that LF remains a huge blind spot in a surveillance program that dredges up the secrets of literally everyone else of importance in Kings Landing and elsewhere. Even as late as Joffrey's wedding, Varys has no idea what happened to Sansa, that LF was even involved, that the connection was through Dontos, that the meetings were taking place in the godswood . . .

LF has done a complete number on this supposed wizard.

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8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

Varys knows that Littlefinger, not Ned, is the reason events are moving too fast for Illyrio. He also knows, or should know, that Littlefinger is mucking with the finances of the realm that they are seeking to usurp. And yet all he can say is "gods know what game Littlefinger is playing."

In this context. He does not know yet what Littlefinger wants in relation to the Stark-Lannister tensions. Who does he back? What is he aiming at in the short timeframe that's going to be the difference between war and peace. The idea that he has no idea at all what Littlefinger wants is not very likely. Even Tyrion knows that.

What's your evidence that Varys has no idea what Littlefinger is doing with the finances? The whole thing about the Crown paying money to non-existing staff in the dungeons seems to be something Varys would be very aware of (considering that he happens to be Rugen). It is also not really clear whether the finance thing is something that is (going to be) all that relevant to the plot - aside from the fact that the Crown being in debt clearly is a problem for the present administration.

8 minutes ago, John Suburbs said:

If he had an ounce of sense, he would make it a priority to find out what game he is playing, since it is interfering on a fundamental level with the game that he and Illyrio are playing. And yet there is no indication that Varys does this or is even aware that LF remains a huge blind spot in a surveillance program that dredges up the secrets of literally everyone else of importance in Kings Landing and elsewhere. Even as late as Joffrey's wedding, Varys has no idea what happened to Sansa, that LF was even involved, that the connection was through Dontos, that the meetings were taking place in the godswood . . .

Do we know for a fact that Varys doesn't know where Sansa is? I don't think we do. He claims this is the case. There are ways to avoid the little birds, and Littlefinger knows how to do that, but Varys might certainly have agents in the Eyrie and the Vale. Not to mention that his birds (or he himself) may have overseen or noticed Littlefinger's interest in Sansa.

The question how he got the note into Sansa's room in Maegor's is also interesting - could he do that without Varys knowing? Might be ... or not.

4 hours ago, Dreadscythe95 said:

That also may be yes, a good theory that fits with House Arryn's decay during the events of ASOIAF. The thing is that it was not important for the story to add that much more detail so we will probably never know. The thing is that Littlefinger manipulated Lysa Tully to murder Jon Arryn and so she did, shifting the blame on The Lanninsters and starting the events that would eventually lead to The War of The Five Kings.

Sure. Although one has to keep in mind that war may have not be what Lysa and Littlefinger ever wanted. They wanted to ensure their involvement in Jon's murder is never found out and they wanted Petyr to rise high enough so that he can marry Lysa without causing a scandal that challenges their hold over the Vale. That there is war in the end is due to crucial things completely out of Petyr's control - like Tyrion's arrest, Jaime attacking Ned, Ned telling Cersei what he knows, Robert's death, etc.

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" It is still possible that Gregor killed Hugh without being prompted to do so, but there could be much more to this whole thing. "

I think this is one of the less "smooth" contrivances done in the series. It's meant to come across as deliberate in AGOT, but later events don't indicate that Cersei ordered Gregor to do this (it never comes up in conversation or her thoughts), and Sandor gives sufficient justification that Gregor saw an opportunity to kill the guy and win the match, and so that's what he did.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Littlefinger certainly plays a crucial role in accelerating the beginning of the war, but Varys is quite correct that Ned is the real problem. Littlefinger doesn't (necessarily) want a war - but it is clear that Ned will cause one should he find out about the incest. Littlefinger fuels the fire of mistrust between the Lannisters and the Starks, but he never caused it. Ned resented them before Lysa's letter arrived, just as Jaime resented Ned.

Petyr most certainly did initiate the open hostility between between House Lannister and House Stark. War was between the two houses was inevitable once Eddard concluded that the Queen had poisoned the Hand to cover up the true parentage of her children. 

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22 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Petyr most certainly did initiate the open hostility between between House Lannister and House Stark. War was between the two houses was inevitable once Eddard concluded that the Queen had poisoned the Hand to cover up the true parentage of her children. 

Yep. Persuading Lysa to 1. Kill her husband. 2. Pin it on the Lannisters, is pretty much responsible for the war. In fact, there's little benefit to Littlefinger killing Jon Arryn OTHER than the fact that he can blame it on the Lannisters to start conflict between them and the Starks.

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18 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Petyr most certainly did initiate the open hostility between between House Lannister and House Stark. War was between the two houses was inevitable once Eddard concluded that the Queen had poisoned the Hand to cover up the true parentage of her children. 

If Robert hadn't died it could have been a quick war - or no war at all, if Ned had convinced Robert to keep Cersei/Jaime and/or the children alive as hostages against Tywin.

Bran's fall, the attempt on him, and the Mycah incident all individually contributed to fuel things in the framework of Ned's very own issues with Tywin and Jaime.

Petyr fueled the fire, but he didn't cause it. And if he had never found out about the twincest and Robert had died he would have served as Joffrey's regent to the best of his abilities, one assumes.

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1 minute ago, Lluewhyn said:

Yep. Persuading Lysa to 1. Kill her husband. 2. Pin it on the Lannisters, is pretty much responsible for the war. In fact, there's little benefit to Littlefinger killing Jon Arryn OTHER than the fact that he can blame it on the Lannisters to start conflict between them and the Starks.

Lysa killed Jon, not Littlefinger. Littlefinger told Lysa to poison Jon to prevent him from sending Robert to Dragonstone - which was her desire - and telling her to write the letter was part to shift the blame away from them. Other advantages came from that, of course, but those were, in my opinion, mainly to help Petyr to get in the good graces of the Starks as 'Lysa's and Cat's friend'. He wanted to ride them to power, not the lions. In fact, before he saw Sansa chances are pretty high that Littlefinger's hidden motive with the letter was to convince the Starks to take the Handship and for him to continue his affair with Cat at court - which he believed to have had.

If that had worked he would certainly have wanted to get rid of Ned eventually, but then he would have married into the Starks with Cat the way he married into the Arryns with Lysa.

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