Few characters in Game of Thrones are as quotatious as Lord Baelish, aka Littlefinger. A political mastermind and avid player of the game, Petyr Baelish has a load of quotes relating to power, desires and scheming that happens among the nobles of Game of Thrones.
His “Chaos is a Ladder” speech remains one of the most infamous in the series, and is a testament to how epic his quotes are.
Here are the 18 best Petyr Baelish quotes from the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones.
1. “Don’t tell anyone, I have a reputation to maintain” – Lord Baelish
After Cat tells Littlefinger he’s a true friend, Baelish reveals the importance of perception in a world as full of machiavellian scheming as King’s Landing. He asks, in a half-sarcastic tone, not to let anyone know as he has a fearsome reputation to uphold.
2. “Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed off your horse” – Lord Baelish
In a typically-Baelish retort to Ned saying that he may have been wrong to distrust Baelish, Littlefinger once again warns of the treachery that’s abound in King’s Landing. Petyr doesn’t hide his treacherous nature, and tells Ned in this very candid quote just what to expect from him.
3. “Brothels make a much better investment than ships I’ve found. Whores rarely sink” – Lord Baelish
Ever the astute businessman, Baelish explains his liking for investing in Brothels to Ned Stark, comparing them to ships by saying they rarely sink unlike their wooden counterparts.
4. “A stupid saying. What we don’t know is usually what gets us killed” – Lord Baelish
Littlefinger demonstrates his awareness and intelligence when Ros says that what the women Baelish is saving himself for doesn’t know won’t hurt her. He expresses his view on a common phrase, saying that it’s the unknown that usually leads to someone’s death. He casts aside the common quote “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” with this interesting Baelish quote.
5. “I learnt that I’ll never win. Not that way. That’s their game, their rules. I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them. That’s what I know, that’s what I am. And only by admitting what we are can we get what we want” – Lord Baelish
Baelish reveals how feeling like an outsider in a world full of great fighters led him to his seat of power he holds today. He decided to change the rules, to fuck people rather than fight them. This is a clever saying as it ties into the theme of him owning brothels while also having hidden connotations of him going beyond fighting and plotting awful things, foreshadowing at schemes to come.
6. “Only if we lose” – Lord Baelish
When Baelish treasonous plan is revealed to Ned Stark of how to win him the throne, Lord Stark dismisses it as treason. The daring response from Baelish shows why he loves to play the game, replying that it’s only treason if they lose.
7. “You must be one of the few men in the city who isn’t a man” – Lord Baelish
Baelish and Varys snipe at each other with insults, so after Varys says he is “one of the men in the city who doesn’t want to be king”, Baelish jumps at the chance to say he’s one of the few men who isn’t really a man, since he’s a eunuch. This is probably the funniest quote from Petyr Baelish.
8. “Look around you. We’re all liars here – and every one of us is better than you” – Lord Baelish
Littlefinger says he will take Sansa home after Joffrey, in front of the court, discards of Sansa in order to marry Margaery Tyrell and ally their houses. Sansa tries to hide her happiness, and lies to Baelish when he offers this to her, saying her home is King’s Landing now. He sees right through this, and tells her everyone in King’s Landing is a better liar than her. This is a great quote about the personalities that are the nobles in Game of Thrones.
9. “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love – illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is” – Lord Baelish
Lord Baelish’s most iconic quote in the whole of Game of Thrones comes in Season 3 Episode 6. It’s also one of the best quotes about power in GoT. It’s said to Lord Varys when Baelish is telling him the story of how Ros was discovered to be an informer of Varys’. While Baelish speaks, a chilling montage takes place showing Ros’ dead body at the hands of Joffrey (who is meant to represent the many who try to climb the ladder but fail) as well as Baelish’s ship, which he had promised room for Sansa on to take her to her family, sails off without the young Stark. Sansa represents the people who are given a chance to climb the ladder but refuse, love being her reason for doing so as she is set to marry Loras Tyrell but later learns she will be wedding Tyrion. The whole scene and accompanying quote is magnificently done and truly resonates with fans.
This is definitely the most iconic Petyr Baelish quote and one of the most loved in the whole series.
10. “Money buys a man’s silence for a time. A bolt in the heart buys it forever” – Lord Baelish
In the world of Game of Thrones where treason and treachery is abound in every corner, this train of thought that Baelish carries seems to be the norm with people.
11. “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects. Always keep your foes confused, if they don’t know who you are, what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next” – Lord Baelish
Sansa quickly comes to realise that it was Littlefinger who was responsible for Joffrey’s death, and asks him why he’d do this when the Lannisters have given him power, wealth, even Harrenhal. Baelish’s answer is a smoky one, and only really reveals his absolute love for the Game of Thrones and its power plays.
12. “I’d risk everything to get what I want” – Lord Baelish
Another awesome quote from Lord Baelish as he tells Sansa about his decision to kill Joffrey. When brought up on the dangers it could have caused him, he tells Sansa he’d risk it all to get what he wants. A great Season 4 quote.
13. “Know your strengths, use them wisely, and one man can be worth ten thousand” – Lord Baelish
On their approach to the Bloody Gate of the Eyrie, Baelish lectures Sansa on the castle’s history, saying it has never been overcome in a thousand years as the first lords of the Vale knew their strengths, the mountains that surrounded them, and used them to their advantage. He draws a parallel between this and everyday life. Should you play to your strengths you can accomplish what would take ten thousand others to do.
14. “I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life: your sister” – Lord Baelish
Baelish prevents a frantic Lysa from throwing Sansa down the moon door after she thinks she killed Petyr. As he consoles her, he begins this misleading quote, drawing a smile from the tearful woman. The ending to his quote, however, did not bring such jubilation, especially as he accompanied it by pushing her out of the moon door to fall to her death below. This is easily one of the most badass Lord Baelish quote in Game of Thrones, and one of the most chilling quotes in the whole series.
15. “People die at their dinner tables, they die in their beds, they die squatting over their chamber pots. Everybody dies sooner or later. And don’t worry about your death, worry about your life. Take charge of your life for as long as it lasts – that is what it means to be Lord of the Vale” – Lord Baelish
Baelish provides Robin Arryn with more useful information in one quote than he over got from Lysa, and it’s certainly a quote to remember. Not only is it a badass one about living your life as best you can, it also foreshadows some future deaths in this season. We shan’t spoil it in case anyone hasn’t watched the series, but remember the examples that Baelish gives of where people may die.
16. “There’s no justice in the world, not unless we make it. You loved your family. Avenge them” – Lord Baelish
Baelish somehow manages to convince Sansa to marry Ramsay Bolton with a line about how all her life Sansa has sat by and watched bad things happen to her family, so she should take this marriage as a way of her to take some control and wrong those who have wronged her. The logic behind this we don’t quite get, but it includes this awesome quote from Baelish at least.
17. “Don’t fight in the north or the south. 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. Everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before” – Lord Baelish
One of the most distrusting Game of Thrones quotes there’s been comes in Season 7 Episode 3 when Sansa tells Sansa his advice on which war to fight…which is to say all of them at once, only in her head to outfit for herself for any eventuality. It gives a rare look inside of the workings of Baelish’s minds, one of the greatest in the seven kingdoms.
18. “The other dagger, the one that took her life, I would have stopped that dagger with my own heart, if I could have” – Lord Baelish
Baelish has always worn his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his affections for Cat, and it’s no different when speaking to Bran about the dagger that almost killed him. He reflects on the dagger that did kill Cat, and claims he would have stopped it with his own heart if he could.
That covers the best quotes from Baelish for the first seven seasons! As you’d expect, he has some really brilliant ones that encapsulate his character as a master chess player. For similar lines, be sure to check out the best quotes from Lord Varys.
Tyrion Lannister quotes offer a mix of powerful quotes like Baelish’s mixed in with light-hearted ones.
Image credit: HBO