Game Of Thrones: This is why Littlefinger panicked when Bran said 'chaos is a ladder'

Stephanie Soteriou

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season seven, episode four.

Although it is safe to say that after the dramatic end to this week’s episode of Game Of Thrones we have much bigger things to talk about, we can’t let little dialogue hints go unnoticed – especially when crafty Littlefinger is concerned.

Before it all kicked off in ‘The Spoils Of War’ this week, Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish and Bran Stark had a very interesting conversation as Littlefinger attempted to win over the paralysed Stark boy upon his return to Winterfell.

Littlefinger was clearly shaken by the remark. Copyright: [HBO]
Littlefinger was clearly shaken by the remark. Copyright: [HBO]

Clearly keen to remain as close to the Starks as possible, Littlefinger offered Bran his Valyrian steel dagger; explaining the significance of the blade – which is the same one that was sent to kill Bran back in season one – the sleazy character unwittingly uses the word “chaos”, only for Bran to reply: “Chaos? Chaos is a ladder.”

The shocked and arguably wary look on Littlefinger’s face after the remark was made caught the attention of viewers, although many were unable to pinpoint the significance of it – which is understandable considering his reaction is a result of something that happened a staggering four seasons ago.

Yes, back in season three Littlefinger was having a private conversation with the equally mysterious Varys, with Littlefinger admitting that he knows Varys is spying on him and that he’d killed the informant.

Littlefinger said the same thing to Varys in a private conversation four seasons ago. Copyright: [HBO]
Littlefinger said the same thing to Varys in a private conversation four seasons ago. Copyright: [HBO]

Varys responded: “I did what I did for the good of the realm”, Littlefinger hit back: “The realm. Do you know what that is?

“It’s the thousand blades of Aegon’s enemies. A story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget it’s a lie.”

Varys: “But what do we have left once we abandon the lie? Chaos? A gaping pit where you can bury us all?”

And here is the important bit, Littlefinger replied: “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.

Bran knows everything. Copyright: [HBO]
Bran knows everything. Copyright: [HBO]

“And some are given a chance to climb but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusion. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”

With Bran being the new all-knowing Three Eyed Raven, it is safe to assume that him repeating things that Littlefinger has previously said in private is actually him letting Littlefinger know that he knows exactly what he is playing at:

In short, Littlefinger, the most secretive and untrustworthy character in all of Westeros, is now at risk of all of his secrets being exposed, and if he really wants to remain alongside the Starks then he better keep a close eye on Bran because Bran has seen everything.

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