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Ponyo Payne

[Book Spoilers] Book Petyr vs. TV Petyr

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In the TV show he is just repeating what has widely been distributed by Stannis and as you said he knows Cersei.

He's not "just" repeating. He's telling her that he knows it's true... and isn't afraid of holding that over her if she thinks she can mess with him. Because, oooh, "knowledge is power".

If that conversation had been written by GRRM? Littlefinger's throat would have been opened by those guards. But of course, GRRM would never have written that conversation.

We do see Littlefinger and Cersei discuss that little story in the books, BTW, in a more appropriate context: when at the small council Littlefinger blithely agrees that of course it's all a lie and offers strategies for undermining Stannis by coming up with their own lies about him (like Shireen actually being Patchface's daughter). He doesn't go and slap Cersei in the face with knowledge he holds over her, he play the part of the useful toady who's all help and smiles and coin when you need it.

And strangely, as others have noted, in the first season he actually explicitly says that's how he does thing: he hoodwinks those in power, because anything else is playing their game, and he can't win their game on those terms. That scene in the second season was uncharacteristic both for the character in the novel and, apparently, the character in the show.

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Thanks Ran. Well I guess a mixed bag is better than a noob move. Maybe the beginning of an upward trend?

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Ran, I think you know how I feel about this, lol. I'm scared.

ETA: Ran, what did you think of the LF/Ros scene?

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I liked that scene, personally, but obviously it's the sort of thing we'd never really see in the books. But I could imagine that Littlefinger in the novels is capable of such sentiments.

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IMHO the main reason is that they simply don't have enough screen time to portray Petyr as they do in the books.

It'd be harder for those who only see the show to understand the true depth of his actions, character

Therefore they had to make him act in a way, that probably most of us as readers of the books, don't agree much with.

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I've been going back and forth in my mind about LF. As already noted, LF's character has been changed in a couple of ways. The question is, why? A few tentative thoughts:

1) Backstory: we know that LF comes from somewhat humble beginnings, so how the heck did he rise to the position, power, and wealth that he now enjoys? HBO's answer: pimping. And this is why he is and will always be an outsider. He may well be successful in many other financial enterprises; he may well be so much more than a proprietor of brothels; but it's the brothels that in a sense define him. And so we need to see what kind of brothel owner he really is--cruel, ruthless, mercliess.

2) Credible motivation: one of the weakness of Book-LF is motivation. Why does he put all at risk? Why does he attempt such an incredibly elaborate, dangerous scheme? Is he trying to take over the world, or is he trying to destroy the world? Does he seek power or chaos? I don't think we know, and it doesn't really matter, as we are all enthralled with this evil genius who would be comfortable in a James Bond novel. Who cares what motivates Blofeld. Who cares what motivates Professor Moriarty. Evil geniuses like this are larger-than-life. But the HBO writers evidently decided that if they were going to make their LF both interesting and credible, they needed to make a bit more human--less the criminal mastermind who never blunders and whose motivations are irrelevant.

3) Interest: How interesting was LF really in the first two books? Those of us who have read all the books marvel at the man's genius and audacity, as revealed after he abducts Sansa and murders Lysa much as we admire a Professor Moriarty; but Moriarty is only interesting to those who know him to be a criminal mastermind. To the rest of the world he's just a university math teacher, hardly worthy of notice. The HBO writers thus faced the problem: how do we make LF interesting during the first two seasons for viewers who have never read the books? And so they decided to reveal his unsavory side early on and to make him vulnerable (his confrontation with Cercei). In other words, they added drama and depth to his character. The cost is that he is no longer Moriarty. He's no longer larger-than-life.

Any of this make sense?

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I've been going back and forth in my mind about LF. As already noted, LF's character has been changed in a couple of ways. The question is, why? A few tentative thoughts:

1) Backstory: we know that LF comes from somewhat humble beginnings, so how the heck did he rise to the position, power, and wealth that he now enjoys? HBO's answer: pimping. And this is why he is and will always be an outsider. He may well be successful in many other financial enterprises; he may well be so much more than a proprietor of brothels; but it's the brothels that in a sense define him. And so we need to see what kind of brothel owner he really is--cruel, ruthless, mercliess.

But why do we need to see this more so than the book reader? He actually didn't rise to his current level of power thru pimping in the books, he rose in great part because of Lysa Arryn, which we find out at the end of Storm of Swords. She convinced Jon Arryn to promote him up thru the court to his eventual title of Master of Coin, and he had the ability to make the best of those promotions.

2) Credible motivation: one of the weakness of Book-LF is motivation. Why does he put all at risk? Why does he attempt such an incredibly elaborate, dangerous scheme? Is he trying to take over the world, or is he trying to destroy the world? Does he seek power or chaos? I don't think we know, and it doesn't really matter, as we are all enthralled with this evil genius who would be comfortable in a James Bond novel. Who cares what motivates Blofeld. Who cares what motivates Professor Moriarty. Evil geniuses like this are larger-than-life. But the HBO writers evidently decided that if they were going to make their LF both interesting and credible, they needed to make a bit more human--less the criminal mastermind who never blunders and whose motivations are irrelevant.

I don't think Littlefinger is motivationless in the books. He is motivated by his lack of noble birth which made him an unsuitable match for Cat, and that motivation has inspired him to gain the title of nobility and to stick it to the nobles that looked down on him. He may have even deeper motivations and no one knows what his end game strategy is yet, but personally I think that is part of what makes him interesting. Besides the person who needs everything spelled out for him isn't likely to spend alot of time wondering what Moriarty or Blofeld's motivations are in the first place, and the person who thinks about such things is more likely to appreciate the subtlety and mystery of wondering.

3) Interest: How interesting was LF really in the first two books? Those of us who have read all the books marvel at the man's genius and audacity, as revealed after he abducts Sansa and murders Lysa much as we admire a Professor Moriarty; but Moriarty is only interesting to those who know him to be a criminal mastermind. To the rest of the world he's just a university math teacher, hardly worthy of notice. The HBO writers thus faced the problem: how do we make LF interesting during the first two seasons for viewers who have never read the books? And so they decided to reveal his unsavory side early on and to make him vulnerable (his confrontation with Cercei). In other words, they added drama and depth to his character. The cost is that he is no longer Moriarty. He's no longer larger-than-life.

This may be how the TV writers view it, but I strongly disagree. How interesting was Benjamen Linus when we first met him in LOST? How interesting was Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects? Part of the payoff is the characters starting off as less interesting, or threatening, and becoming much more than they originally appeared. But the TV changes don't add drama or character to Littlefinger in my eyes. They telegraph his villainy and make one question how someone could be so dumb as to provoke Cersei for no gain in public and, yet have the forsight and patience to execute the plans that are revealed in books 3 and 4.

Now I think they do have to add some scenes of some sort to keep the actor happy so he has something to do in the early seasons. But the writing for those scenes could be more true to the book's character, much like Varys who is similar in the level he is playing the game and what we do or do not know about him at this point. Honestly from season 1 I think they really missed an opportunity when they cut Loras's plee to hunt the Mountain instead of Beric Dondarrion. The follow up to that scene was Littlefinger and Sansa running into each other and Sansa complaining to Septa Mordaine about how Ned should have sent Ser Loras because heroes kill monsters. Littlefinger responds "Well, those are not the reasons I'd have given.. "Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day to your sorrow". Which is a shame because I really believe that is the core theme of Sansa's story line so far, and is a line that Littlefinger references again in Storm of Swords to her.

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(longtime lurker, recently posting)

I have a strange, silly hope that the power scene was planned by Petyr to give Cersei a false sense of power and control.... Still, there's 99,9% of chance I am wrong.

I like the book Petyr better. I don't have the feeling he's too perfect or anything... after all, some of his actions are def made under the influence of his feelings over Cat. My problem with TV Petyr is that I think he's too... I don't know, stereotypical villain, you know? :/ Stereotypical might not be the word I'm looking for, but I don't know... I just think the book Petyr is more subtle... you know he is really evil and cruel, but I don't think it is as clear to the other characters.

I'm not sure I'm choosing my words wisely, but anyway...that's how I feel.

P.S I did not notice the change of accent! Might be 'cause my country speaks another language...I'll try to watch the episode again to check that out!

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I am sorry but you guys in love with Book LF need to go reread GoT. Seriously guys this is the same person who told the fib to Ned Stark about the origin of the knife that was used on Bran. In doing so he shows that he can make reckless mistakes, as the consequences would have been fatal if Ned had lived longer. He is not a perfect player of the game.

I think people like to put him on a pedestal because his lack of PoV chapters make him more mysterious, but in doing so they overlook the obvious.

Since Ned wasn't about to make any damage - going to the Wall or dying were the two options - that was safe.

He is a great player, and barring some awful mistakes he has in the past outplayed both Varys and Tyrion in it (I presume it is general consensus these three are the best players of the game of thrones?). One of them (keep in mind book 5 isn't translated over here yet) at the end of AFFC is on the run, including from his own family. One of them has dissappeared for reasons unknown (it's not as if Jamie is about to reveal to anyone he let Tyrion go, and sink Varys along with himself), and one of them is safely away, blameless, and with the heir to Winterfell, no less. And lest it be forgotten this is the man that orchestrated not only Hand Arryn's death, but also helped to orchestrate the capture of Hand Stark.

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With the exception of the Varys-LF-alone in room-playing with words scenes, Littlefinger never pass the lineand getsrecless with no lord in 1st season. There are only 2 such moments for him

1. When in the Hand's Tourney he pins Renly on the ground after losing the bet of Loras-Mountain duel. His impliacation was almost as direct as it was against Cercei in s2e1 and with much much more people listening to them.

2. When he lures Eddard to his brothel Lannister trap.

To me, the Cercei thingy was too much for a solid char like him to do. The most reasonable outcome of the scene would be

Cercei: Lord Baelish I need you to pull some strings and find me that little beast Arya

LF: Of course your Grace, rest assured what can be done will be done.

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Since Ned wasn't about to make any damage - going to the Wall or dying were the two options - that was safe.

He is a great player, and barring some awful mistakes he has in the past outplayed both Varys and Tyrion in it (I presume it is general consensus these three are the best players of the game of thrones?). One of them (keep in mind book 5 isn't translated over here yet) at the end of AFFC is on the run, including from his own family. One of them has dissappeared for reasons unknown (it's not as if Jamie is about to reveal to anyone he let Tyrion go, and sink Varys along with himself), and one of them is safely away, blameless, and with the heir to Winterfell, no less. And lest it be forgotten this is the man that orchestrated not only Hand Arryn's death, but also helped to orchestrate the capture of Hand Stark.

Ned's fate was not known at the time that LF "identifies" the knife. LF's motives for this bit of deception will never be known because he did not have a PoV, but from an outside perspective he is rolling the dice that the Lions and Wolves will fight each other and no one will ever ask why... it is definitely one of the stupidest moves (from the game of thrones perspective) that anyone in the series has made up to the start of TWoW.

LF survives to be in a powerful position at the end of AFFC because he gets lucky with this mistake.

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Ned's fate was not known at the time that LF "identifies" the knife. LF's motives for this bit of deception will never be known because he did not have a PoV, but from an outside perspective he is rolling the dice that the Lions and Wolves will fight each other and no one will ever ask why... it is definitely one of the stupidest moves (from the game of thrones perspective) that anyone in the series has made up to the start of TWoW.

LF survives to be in a powerful position at the end of AFFC because he gets lucky with this mistake.

LF identifies the dagger falsely on purpose to Cat, which leads to her capturing Tyrion under the assumption that it was his knife. Though I am sure LF did not plan her capturing him at the inn, he did want to add to the animosity between the Lannisters and the Starks, but luckily for him, it turned out even better with Tyrion being captured. This was the catalyst of the war, and it wouldn't have happened if he didn't tell Cat that Tyrion won the knife. It was a planned move the whole time to start the chaos that he thrives in. His "fib" was actually planned pretty well.

Though I don't really know what you are talking about in regards to Ned and this iie. The story with the knife was more important for Cat's story in GOT. Plus, Ned couldn't prove his lie was false anyways, so LF was never really at risk.

That is how I gathered that part in the books. Plus, in the novels, Joffrey apparently just found that knife and armed the assassin with it. LF never really knew this himself I don't believe.

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Yes, let's not forget that he framed another great player, Tyrion, twice. First the knife, and later, murder of Joffrey.

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Yes, let's not forget that he framed another great player, Tyrion, twice. First the knife, and later, murder of Joffrey.

I am hoping in the books those two get together again, now that would be interesting!

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Yes, let's not forget that he framed another great player, Tyrion, twice. First the knife, and later, murder of Joffrey.

Framed is when you plant evidence, all LF did was tell a story and hope no one ever asks a follow up question.

It could easily have gone something like this:

Ned - Hey Tyrion did you give your knife to an assassin so he could use it to try and kill my kid?

Tyrion - I am not that stupid... why would I give my knife to an assassin, even if I wanted to kill your kid, don't assassins have their own knives?

Ned - Good point.. hmmm perhaps the two of us should go talk to LF.

LF - Gurgle gurgle gurgle (as Ned shoves a blade through his throat or Tyrion has him killed off for causing trouble)

Ok so I am no GRRM, but you get the idea...

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Plus, in the novels, Joffrey apparently just found that knife and armed the assassin with it. LF never really knew this himself I don't believe.

Exactly which makes his behavior even more reckless. He seems to know nothing about the knife but still takes a shot in the dark with it.

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Framed is when you plant evidence, all LF did was tell a story and hope no one ever asks a follow up question.

It could easily have gone something like this:

Ned - Hey Tyrion did you give your knife to an assassin so he could use it to try and kill my kid?

Tyrion - I am not that stupid... why would I give my knife to an assassin, even if I wanted to kill your kid, don't assassins have their own knives?

Ned - Good point.. hmmm perhaps the two of us should go talk to LF.

LF - Gurgle gurgle gurgle (as Ned shoves a blade through his throat or Tyrion has him killed off for causing trouble)

Ok so I am no GRRM, but you get the idea...

If Tyrion did come back to King's landing, LF would know about it and talk to Ned before he arrived. LF keeps very good track of Ned in KL, I really don't think he would have just let Tyrion waltz in and tell Ned it wasn't his knife, leading to a confrontation and his death.

And framing someone doesn't necessarily mean you plant physical evidence, it can also mean building up a false idea, leading someone to a false conclusion that is very believable.

LF knew how the Starks and especially Cat felt about the Lannisters, he knew she came a long way to try to prove her point about the Lannister's planned murder of Bran, so LF just helped bring her to to the conclusion she already had in her mind. He was smart in using Tyrion in the plan, because he has the least political power, and Tyrion would have a lot more trouble getting to LF than Jaime or Cersei. He wanted to bring about more hate between the families, and Tyrion was the best choice to help him accomplish that.

Plus, he knew Cat would trust him because he was a childhood friend, and by association, Ned would trust him as well, which he admits he did.

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I have a strange, silly hope that the power scene was planned by Petyr to give Cersei a false sense of power and control.... Still, there's 99,9% of chance I am wrong.

I have that tiny little silly hope as well. Oh, well. Hopefully they can redeem him somehow.

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