*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
Littlefinger. Perhaps the most hated character in all of Game of Thrones (ASOIAF). After all, he was pretty much responsible for the downfall of everyone’s favorite family, the Starks, right? And while that is undeniably true, one thing people seem to overlook is how much he screwed over the Lannisters. And I’m not talking about in Season 5, where he is positioning the Lannisters against the Boltons. I’m talking about how he messed up Tywin’s master plan. First of all, we have to look at what Tywin’s master plan even was.
Tywin was obsessed with family legacy (Was he really, though? Well that’s a story for another time.). He recognized he was growing in years, and he needed to leave behind something for the Lannister legacy. The gold mines of the Westerlands were running dry, and Tywin needed to use what time he had left to turn his economic superiority into political power while he still had a chance. And so, he hatched an intricate set of marriages that would place the Lannisters in a seat of power of nearly every region of Westeros.
- Joeffrey, of Lannister blood, is already king (it sucks that he has the Baratheon name, but there’s not much you can do about that)
- He marries Margaery, bringing the Tyrells under the Lannister umbrella.
- Jaime has to quit the kingsguard and inherit Casterly Rock (another damper in the plan)
- Tyrion marries Sansa, and becomes Warden of the North.
- Myrcella marries the Trystane Martell and her kids will one day inherit Dorne.
- By denouncing Stannis of treason, the Stormlands get passed to Tommen. Perhaps after killing Stannis, they can marry Tommen to Shireen to solidify this.
- Cersei marrying Loras would allow her children to inherit the Reach. While this is important, it is a bit redundant because of Margaery, and in the short run it might have been better to marry her to Walter Frey (secure the Riverlands and after all he is looking for a new wife now lol). Why did he not do this though? Littlefinger.
The only things missing from Tywin’s plan is the Riverlands, the Iron Islands, and the Vale. So who does Tywin use as a proxy to fix the Riverlands and Iron Islands situation? Littlefinger by making him Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and using him to get to Lysa Arryn of the Vale.
So how did Littlefinger screw them over? After getting what he needed (the Riverlands and the Vale) he had no more use for the Lannisters and had no reason to continue serving them. So with one simple maneuver, he destroyed Tywin’s plan. By killing Joeffrey.
- Joeffrey is killed (makes Lannisters look weaker).
- Tommen has to become king, making it hard for him to also inherit Stormlands.
- Margery is able to exert her influence over Tommen in a way she wouldn’t have been able to with Joeffrey, shifting the entire power balance between the Lannisters and Tyrells.
- Tyrion is put on trial, losing the Lannister grip on the North
- Cersei is distraught and refuses to leave King’s Landing to marry Loras now.
- For this reason, she also tries to get Myrcella back from Dorne.
Essentially, the entire plan goes to shit. And this is all not even including Tywin’s eventual death from all of this. Whether you think he is a genius mastermind or he’s simply “winging it”, you can ‘t disagree that Littlefinger clearly came out on top of all of this. He used Tywin to get what he needs, and then kills Joeffrey setting up the downfall of the Lannisters. And with all that, he comes out of it with the key to the North, Sansa Stark, in his pocket. Well played, Littlefinger. Well played.