Tag Archives: Littlefinger

Dances with Wolves: Analyzing the Martial Language of Sansa’s Story

Today, we are joined by a very special guest glass_table_girl for an analysis of Sansa Stark and how she has used courtesy to survive so far, and how she’s weaponizing it for the future. – BryndenBFish


in_the_gardens_of_eyrie_by_bubug-d6j8w82In the gardens of Eyrie by bubug

Every fan can recite the trademark phrases from Sansa’s storyline, such as “courtesy is a lady’s armor” or “women’s weapons.”

Despite these metaphors, Sansa’s storyline through the lens of fighting and warfare goes unexplored, and ignores motifs that contrast with other characters to highlight the themes in both Sansa’s storyline and the progression of her character.

tl;dr: Sansa’s storyline is defined in language that equates her learning to warfare. Throughout her story, she accumulates an arsenal while playing defense, pivoting to an offensive position in her first TWOW chapter with the act of “dancing,” which the books establish to be a metaphor for violence or fighting. By framing Sansa’s education in martial language, the story establishes her learning as becoming a warrior—in a different sense.

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Filed under ASOIAF Character Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis

The Ravenry: Week of 2/1/16


Good morning (or afternoon, or evening, or whenever you’re reading this), adventurers!

As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages).  Even more excitingly,  we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, SomethingLikeaLawyer and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

A little bit of a quieter week at Headquarters, but nevertheless got out some solid answers to solid asks. The Hand went back to his great Aegon Doctrine to explain why Aegon took away royal titles, and reanalyzed Viserys I as a poor Targaryen king. For my part,  I looked at Littlefinger’s financial blackmail of Anya Waynwood, and the decline of Visenya’s ideal of the Kingsguard. We also released two – two! – essays this week: one from BryndenBFish about Aurane Waters, and one from me about Tyrek Lannister.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of February 1:

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF History, ASOIAF Meta, ASOIAF Military Analysis, Ravenry

The Ravenry: Week of 5/25/2015


As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages, but they’re not important right now. I mean, they are, but not in this post).  Even more excitingly, a little while back we here at the blog partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire.  We – that is, myself and SomethingLikeaLawyer – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr.

This is all well and good, but we wanted to make sure all our lovely fans were included in the fun. That’s why this week I’m starting a new feature on the blog: The Ravenry.  Every Monday, I will collect the questions we’ve answered during the previous week over on the Tumblr in post form, with a brief description of each, and publish it here, and link that post on Twitter and Facebook as well. It’ll be like Best Week Ever, except with fewer bright flashy graphics and probably no Paul F. Tompkins.

So, without further ado, here’s The Ravenry for the week of 25 May:

As always, we love to hear your text-based questions, so if you have a burning question about ASOIAF, click this link to send us a raven. The more specific the question, the better text-based answer we can write, although we do our best to answer them all.

Love you lots,

The Queen Regent (NFriel)


Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Meta, Ravenry

The Agents of Chaos: Spies, Spymasters and Their Tradecraft in Westeros Part 2: The Power of Suggestion

Spoiler Warning & Forward: This essay contains minor spoilers for The Winds of Winter. I invite you to follow us on wordpress,  facebook & twitter



In terms of mysteries in A Song of Ice and Fire, there are major ones that exist (e.g. Jon’s parentage, the true identity of Aegon VI, who wrote the Pink Letter etc), middling mysteries (e.g. Who is the Hooded Man in Winterfell?) and minor ones (What happened to Weasel?) However, there are a handful of mysteries that belie categorization. One of the more interesting ones is how Stannis Baratheon discovered the parentage of Cersei’s children. It seems like a question with a relatively straightforward answer. He figured it out on his own.

But did he actually figure this out on his own? Or did he come across this information in a different way? In part 1 of the Agents of Chaos series, we puzzled out the identity of Taena Merryweather as an agent of Varys’. In part 2, we shift our focus from Varys to Littlefinger, but our focus will be on his methods of spreading chaos, and I’ll make a plausible case that Littlefinger was responsible for Stannis discovering the parentage of Cersei’s children with a bonus section of who Littlefinger’s unwitting agents might possibly be.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Espionage, ASOIAF Speculation

Littlefinger: The Gambling Man and the Master Player Part 2: The Maniac


“Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you.” (ASOS, Sansa V)

Part 1

When I was younger, I had delusions of playing poker professionally. After losing money early on, I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. So, I read books to improve my game. While I was never able to really turn a profit in playing, I did learn about the various styles of play which made the actual pros tick. One of those styles of play is known as loose-aggressive. Loose-Aggressive players (sometimes pejoratively known as maniacs) play a lot of the hands dealt to them no matter the strength of the cards in hand. In this way, they consistently keep other players guessing what the true strength of their hand is.

If Littlefinger were a poker player, he would be a maniac. Like me, his early forays into the game resulted in losses for him — a scar and a broken heart being the most prominent. Unlike me, his later maniac style of play netted huge personal profits. But how did Littlefinger achieve this feat? We’ll pick up the story chronologically from part 1. I’ll talk about the knife and Littlefinger’s early intrigues of the court with Ned as Hand.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis

Noble as a King: An Examination of Hoster Tully Part 2: Thank the Gods for Old Lord Hoster


In part 1, we examined Hoster Tully’s actions before the A Song of Ice and Fire series began. 3 years before the beginning of A Game of Thrones, Hoster Tully became bedridden with a serious illness to the stomach. Despite this infirmity, Hoster was sitting comfortably, having married his two daughters to the Starks and the Arryns. Even more than this, he had the gratitude of the sitting king, Robert Baratheon. But like the wasting disease threatening his life, trouble on the horizon threatened to erode the successes that Hoster had worked so hard to achieve.

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by | January 14, 2014 · 2:56 pm

Littlefinger: The Gambling Man and the Master Player Part 1

This is just a series I’m working on in /r/asoiaf. You can find the original post and discussion here!



Littlefinger . . . the gods only know what game Littlefinger is playing. (AGOT, Arya III)

Petyr Baelish: master player in the game of thrones or reckless opportunist motivated by personal reasons? The question is one that divides the fan-community, but I’d say that a majority favors the view that Littlefinger is a master strategist and player in the Game of Thrones. But is that sentiment true? Or is Littlefinger a reckless opportunist?

To spoil my main point, Littlefinger is both. Both sides of Littlefinger come through in A Song of Ice and Fire, often working in tangent with one another. But to come down squarely on one side of the debate does a disservice to the complexity of Petry “Littlefinger” Baelish. He is both a master player in the Game of Thrones and a reckless gambler motivated by personal grievance.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis