For my money, Littlefinger is the smartest man in Game of Thrones: the Sun Tzu of Westeros. I find his quotes full of applicable life wisdom.
Here are my favourite 10 (don’t forget to read them in his voice).
“Fight every battle, everywhere, always in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you.”
Critics of the latest episode found this to be nonsense, but I found it profound. Figuring out all the angles ahead of time is why Littlefinger is still alive when so many others are now lying in the dust.
“Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain of who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are likely to do next.”
Deception is vital in war.
“You know what I learnt losing that duel? I learnt that I’ll never win. Not that way. That’s their game, their rules.”
Don’t fight on your opponent’s terms and rules. Sun Tzu via Littlefinger.
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.”
Perhaps his most famous quote and very true. Crisis equals opportunity.
“When the queen proclaims one king and the king’s Hand proclaims another, whose peace do the Gold Cloaks protect? Who do they follow? The man who pays them.” Call it the Golden Rule … whoever has the gold makes the rules.
“So many men, they risk so little. They spend their whole lives avoiding danger, and then they die. I’d risk everything to get what I want.”
YOLO meets fortune favours the brave.
“There’s no justice in this world, not unless we make it.”
Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing.
“It doesn’t matter what we want, once we get it we want something else.”
Littlefinger knows all about the headonic treadmill and the endless nature of desire.
“We only make peace with our enemies. That’s why it’s called ‘making peace’.” Littlefinger channelling Don Corleone: keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
“Which is more dangerous, the dagger brandished by an enemy, or the hidden one pressed to your back by someone you never even see?”
Fear the enemy who isn’t in front of you.
Littlefinger’s talent is to defeat his enemies – Ned Stark, Joffrey – without open warfare ever being declared.
To quote Sun Tzu: “To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”