Littlefinger is a character who’s influence in this series has caused various conflicts and war. He is a kind of a villain that everyone loves to hate.
He always has a plan whether he was betraying Ned Stark, scheming to murder a monarch, killing someone who passionately loves him, or making creepy moves on a girl way too young for him.
He always moves ahead of everyone else, keeps his enemies guessing, and always seeming to hold the upper hand.
He has various hidden secrets of his own and today we will look into the commonly unknown things about Littlefinger that many fans are unaware of.
1. Existence of House Baelish
House Baelish has a very short history. They don’t have a huge castle or grand swath of land to call home. Their seat of power is a minuscule tower which Petyr himself dubbed the “Drearfort,” because he despises its insignificance.
Drearfort is located on the eastern shore of Westeros just above the Vale of Arryn. There is a collection of four narrow, extended peninsulas called the Fingers. The Drearfort is located on the very smallest of the Fingers, on a tiny piece of land. This is how Petyr acquired the nickname of ‘Littlefinger.’
He is the only remaining member of House Baelish, with no siblings or other family members to speak of.
2. Littlefinger Picked His Own Sigil
The traditional sigil of House Baelish is the head of the Titan of Braavos. The head on the sigil is stone and grey with a Trojan-style helmet and eyes aflame, just like the real Titan. The head is typically displayed atop a green background.
In keeping with his disdain for everything related to his heritage, Petyr Baelish opted to discard the Titan sigil when he came of age.
He instead created a new crest that he seems to prefer and brandishes proudly — a Mockingbird. This symbol is usually seen over a green background as well, but not always. Why did he choose a Mockingbird? It’s never been fully explained.
3. He always has a Minty fresh Breath
This has never been mentioned on screen but according to the books, Littlefinger’s breath always smells fresh. Back from his childhood, Baelish has made a habit of chewing on mint leaves.
Two different characters — Catelyn and Sansa — take note of this in point-of-view chapters in two of Martin’s novels.
It seems like a minor, insignificant detail, but it reinforces the duplicitous nature of Littlefinger’s character. Everything about him is friendly, approachable, and helpful, on the surface. But it’s just a mask, a ruse to hide his real motives.
4. His Family is not Native to Westeros
Baelish family line is not native to Westeros. They are immigrants from Essos. Baelish Grandfather was born in Braavos, that is why House Baelish original sigil was the Braavosi Titan. His grandfather was a sellsword there.
The original Baelish pulled up stakes and moved to Westeros after being hired by House Corbray. Presumably, he swore fealty to House Corbray and gave up his sellsword ways, because history reports nothing further from him outside of his service to Lord Corbray.
House Corbray, incidentally, is a poor house located in the Vale that’s loyal to House Arryn.
5. He’s practically a Tully
Littlefinger’s father was a very good friend of Hoster Tully and thanks to that friendship Petyr was sent to Riverrun, where he was raised alongside Catelyn, Lisa, and Edmure Tully, making them his foster siblings.
It was Edmure Tully who came up with the name “Littlefinger” for Petyr, but it was never meant as anything more than childish teasing. Nevertheless, it stuck.
It wasn’t long before Catelyn became the primary object of his affections, and by the time they were teenagers, he was madly in love with her. Unfortunately for him, Catelyn never felt the same way toward him.
Lysa Tully fell in love with Petyr, however, and although he would occasionally kiss her playfully, he never truly reciprocated her affections.
6. Petyr Thought He’d Slept With Catelyn Once
Catelyn was betrothed to Ned Stark’s older brother, Brandon. But Brandon died before they were wed so she was promised to Ned instead.
At the night of first engagement was announced, a big shindig was held at Riverrun, where Petyr danced with Catelyn no less than six times. At the end of their last dance, Petyr made his move. But Catelyn merely laughed and pushed him away instead of accepting his kiss. Petyr took it hard.
He drank himself to sleep after the rejection and he was so drunk that he was carried to his bedroom. Lysa Tully snuck into the room once he was alone, and slept with him, which was undoubtedly one of the best nights of her life.
Littlefinger on other hand thought that he was doing the deed with Catelyn as he was too drunk. Even years later, well into adulthood, he still refused to believe that he’d never slept with Cat.
7. He duelled with Brandon Stark
His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all capable fighters or soldiers. Petyr is most decidedly neither.
Littlefinger has no skills as a fighter, a fact that was made very clear when he attempted to participate in a duel. When Catelyn was betrothed to Ned Stark’s older brother, Brandon, he brashly challenged Brandon Stark to a duel in the last ditch attempt to win Catelyn’s heart.
Brandon Stark, five years his senior, nearly killed Petyr in the duel, and he would have had Catelyn not begged for him to be spared. Littlefinger tried his best to stand his ground in the fight, but he was dramatically outmatched. Brandon tried to get Petyr to give up the fight several times, but the younger combatant refused. The battle ended only after he’d suffered numerous lashes from Brandon’s sword.
8. He Almost Had a Child
Petyr was forced to leave Riverrun in disgrace after his disastrous duel against Brandon Stark. Before that happened, he was allowed a few weeks to recover from his injuries.
Catelyn never visited him while he was recovering from his wounds. Catelyn never visited him while he was convalescing. but the one person that did visit him was Lysa. He slept with Lysa for the second time. After Petyr had returned to live at the Drearfort, Lysa discovered that she was pregnant with his child.
Lysa saw an opportunity to cement her love for Littlefinger with marriage. She confessed her pregnancy to her father Hoster Tully, hoping for his blessing to marry Petyr Baelish. But Hoster had never approved of his daughter’s infatuation with him, because of what he saw as Petyr’s “lowborn” status. Lord Tully instead tricked Lysa into drinking some kind of concoction called Moon Tea, which resulted in the termination of her pregnancy.
9. In a short period of time, he gained a lot of Power
Littlefinger never lost contact with Lysa despite their distance from one another, and he used her to manipulate her eventual husband, Hand of the King Jon Arryn. At her urging, Arryn appointed Petyr to a position in the city of Gulltown, where he was finally able to show his true talents. During his brief time in Gulltown, he increased the city’s profits to ten times their previous amounts.
Due both to his financial skills and the strings he pulled through Lysa, Baelish was soon brought to King’s Landing, where his greatest ambitions awaited. Just three short years after his arrival there, he was appointed to the king’s Small Council and made Master of Coin — two positions he was still holding when the events of both the books and the TV series began.
10. His Power Surpasses Most of his Rivals
Petyr Baelish gained a lot of Power in the short period of time. For Petyr Baelish everything is about power. Or rather, acquiring as much of it as he can. He is the same boy who was rejected as a teenager and now he became a man who has the power to affect everyone in Westeros.
His first big win came after the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Littlefinger was instrumental in securing the alliance between House Lannister and House Tyrell via the engagement of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. So after the battle was won, Joffrey rewarded Baelish by giving him the strategically significant castle known as Harrenhall. This officially elevated him from “lowborn” status to a Lord. He was also named Lord Paramount of the Trident, a large area named after a nearby river.
Later, Petyr married Lysa Arryn; not for love, of course, but for the acquisition of further power. Lysa named him Lord Protector of the Vale, effectively giving him the keys to the Eyrie and command of the Vale’s sizable army. With Lysa no longer needed, he murdered her by shoving her through the Eyrie’s moon door.
11. Role of Littlefinger was almost played by a Different Actor
Before Aidan Gillen landed the role on Game of Thrones, someone else was offered the job. The show’s producers initially tried to hire an actor named Tom Hollander for the part.
Tom Hollander is probably best remembered by American audiences as the white-wigged villain of the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, British naval officer Lord Cutler Beckett. Brits know him for a number of quirky roles in film and television, including the sitcom Rev, big screen romance About Time, TV thriller The Night Manager, period drama Doctor Thorne, and loads more.
Incidentally, in the time since he was offered the part of Littlefinger, Hollander has expressed regret at turning it down. Can’t imagine why.