In S07 E04 Littlefinger presents Brandon Stark with a dagger used by the assassin. Brandon asks "Do you know who this belongs to?" and Littlefinger says "No, that very question is what started the War of the Five Kings".

In the first season Littlefinger admits that it was his dagger but won from him by Tyrion Lannister, thereby implicating Tyrion as trying to murder a Stark.

Does this mean Littlefinger lied to Catelyn Stark in order to start a civil war?

  • Sorry, I don't know if this is a spoiler or how to hide text for spoilers.
    – Steve H
    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:25
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    Littlefinger exaggerated quite a bit there. While also a factor, the dagger's origin is by far not the only reason that the war started. Other questions that played an important role are e.g. "Who killed Jon Arryn?" or "Who pushed Bran out of the window?"
    – Annatar
    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:30
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    And little Finger did lie. Tyrion never bets against His Family. And as per Petyr, he was betting on Loras Tyrell against his brother Jaime, which is a lie. Not only this, the first letter Lysa sent to Winterfell where she lied that Cersei had killed Jon Arryn was also sent because Petyr told Lysa to do that. There he laid the foundation of Stark-Lannister mistrust
    – Aegon
    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:48
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    @LordPraxis In the books the dagger was technically Robert's. Joffrey took it from a war chest to give to the cutthroat (IIRC). I'm not sure the show goes into that much depth.
    – Skooba
    Aug 17, 2017 at 12:07
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    I don't think this is a duplicate. This is the first time this dialogue between Brandon and LF occurred. So this is new information. It's because of this specific conversation that I'm asking the question.
    – Steve H
    Aug 17, 2017 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


Littlefinger was one of the primary drivers of the war and the assassination attempt on Bran was a part of it.

Littlefinger had Lysa Arryn kill her husband, Jon Arryn -- Ned Stark's friend, who had been investigating the parentage of the incest-made Lannister children.

Littlefinger implicated Tyrion in the knife carrying, and in the books he did so knowing full well that it was actually Joffrey in order to cause more chaos. As noted above, the person who hired and armed the assassin in the books was Joffrey -- and Littlefinger knew it. In order to impress Robert (who said putting Bran out of his misery would be the right thing to do), Joffrey stole the dagger and hired the assassin.

In the show, however, it is revealed in the Season 7 finale that the knife was Littlefinger's own -- Bran reveals that the knife belongs to him at his trial, which allows Sansa to draw out the implication that the enmity between the Starks and the Lannisters is due to Littlefinger's conniving.

These two threads work to pit the Lannisters and Starks against each other -- allowing Littlefinger to both dispose of one of the two people preventing him from separating Sansa Stark from her family and get himself one step closer to the throne, after betraying Ned and setting the events leading to the war in action.

With this knowledge, Littlefinger's chat with Varus becomes a tacit admission of his hand in starting the war by getting the balls rolling. He admits to wanting the throne and having a hand in Lysa Arryn's widowhood in one response while talking about the throne:

Lord Varys: The Lysa Arryn of chairs. Shame you had to settle for your second choice.

Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish: Early days, my friend. It is flattering really, you feeling such dread at the prospect of me getting what I want.

The assassination of Jon Arryn is one of the major reason that Ned Stark went to King's Landing, his suspicions against the Lannisters only further exacerbated by the assassination attempt on Bran.

Littlefinger flat out admits to stopping Sansa's marriage to Loras Tyrell:

Lord Varys: Thwarting you has never been my primary ambition, I promise you. Although, who doesn't like to see their friends fail now and then.

Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish: You're so right. For instance, when I thwarted your plan to give Sansa Stark to the Tyrells, if I'm going to be honest, I did feel an unmistakable sense of enjoyment there.

Sansa's being held captive was one of the major points leading to the war, and her marriage to the Tyrells was to be her way out of Lannister captivity.

Given our near-omniscient viewpoint, which Bran clearly has some insight into, we see that, yes, Littlefinger is absolutely at fault in starting the war -- and he did so purposefully, because chaos is a ladder and he intended to climb it.

  • Yeah, I'd say his betrayal of Ned was the final spark.
    – tobiasvl
    Aug 17, 2017 at 22:00
  • Exactly. But my question was particularly about his comment to Bran in S07 E04 that [No-one knows who the dagger belongs to, but it started The War of the Five Kings] even though he had previously admitted that it was his - stolen by Tyrion. So was this a tactic admission that he armed the cut-throat with Tyrion's dagger in order to start a war?
    – Steve H
    Aug 20, 2017 at 11:01
  • @SteveH Unless they rewrite it so it was Littlefinger rather than Joffrey, no. It was, however, his admission to having a hand in starting the war. I'll edit my answer to make this more obvious.
    – user40790
    Aug 21, 2017 at 17:56
  • Actually having just watched E7 I think it answers the question. He is accused of lying about the dagger's origin and starting the war by killing Jon Arryn.
    – Steve H
    Aug 28, 2017 at 9:51
  • @SteveH It does. I will update accordingly.
    – user40790
    Aug 28, 2017 at 15:45

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