One of the things I really appreciate about Petyr Baelish (in a genuine way not even a trash fave way) is how he intentionally uses the cultural prejudices of toxic hypermasculinity to his advantage. I think a significant amount of his success derives from the fact that he is underestimated and dismissed by most of the powerful figures in Westeros as a non-threat–due partially to classism, but largely to his divergence from their culture’s stereotypical standards of masculinity. Since physical strength and brute force/violence are so highly prized and held as a measure of value, anyone lacking these traits is automatically not viewed as “dangerous,” except to someone very shrewd and perceptive (ie Tyrion). Couple hypermasculinity with misogyny, where anything remotely “feminine” (often including the social arena) is viewed as weakness or a waste of time, and the Westerosi cultural lens sees Petyr as the complete opposite of menacing or formidable. What I love is that he knows this and he plays it up strategically, rather than letting it be the disadvantage it was when he was a boy.He is physically small in stature; he does not fight or bear arms; he doesn’t even spend time hunting or riding or any especially “masculine” hobby. He is witty and social; he banters and manipulates; he wears fancy ostentatious clothes (seriously, if you haven’t read the books please look up this man’s wardrobe because WOW MR FANCY PANTS). He takes everything that is naturally “beta-male” or “effeminate” about himself and ups it times ten so that people will think he is a silly dandy who, okay, is great with money and makes good business decisions, but would never be able to kill you in a million years, and he’s just so harmless and Littlefinger-y, guys, like why would you ever suspect him of starting a civil war so he can take advantage of the fallout.
Because his culture is so deeply entrenched in hypermasculinity, he will literally get away with plotting to kill you because he is mild-mannered and quippy and short.
He’s a goddamn social genius. Mic drop for the trash fave.
“ (Petyr) He looked so
wounded […] and afterward he drank until he passed out at the table.
Uncle Brynden carried him up to bed before my father could find him like that” Lysa Arryn. A Storm of Swords.
Let this sink in:
Yep, this guy, at some point had to carry Petyr Baelish’s teenage angsty pissed as fuck arse and put him to bed.
I need Littlefinger to tease Jon about his inappropriate feelings for his ‘sister’. I need LF to panic as he sees how close Jon and Sansa are. I need LF to dwell in despair because Jon is so much like Ned and Sansa so much like Cat and it’s history repeating for him all over again. I need LF to try something stupid. And I need Jon to punch him in the face. Basically I need LF to suffer. Yes, that would be nice.