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14 June 2011 @ 11:11 am
A Pedophile? (Spoilers up to book 3)  
In a Game of Thrones community I posted that my favourite character was Littlefinger and gave my reasons. The responses were varied but the one that has stood out the most and bothered me a little was this one:

"I find him incredibly amuszing in the show, but when I think of it more? A pedophile? No, thank you, do not like him, no matter the wit."

I went on the respond with what their thoughts were on Tyrion or the Hound, both of whom seemed just as keen on getting a piece of Sansa. My argument was that Westeros is not supposed to be a 'modern' society and that it is not a good idea to judge the characters based on our societal standards. If you judge one, then you have to judge the others and if you think about it with that logic, they ALL end up looking depraved. Unsurprisingly, I did not get much of a response to this defence but I want to know what others' thoughts are on this. Do you think that readers are prone to judge Littlefinger as a pedophile because he is a villain and it is easier to think of that way while selectively forgetting about all the other characters that wanted to bone Sansa? What about the social climate of medieval-ish society that the characters live in; Does that come into play when you think about this?
direwolfdragon: The Hand is Not Amuseddirewolfdragon on June 14th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
I think you hit the nail on the head, as it were.

One thing I tend to keep in mind when looking at this series, and in fact, looking back in human history over the world in general- today's ideas of what constitute a child are vastly different.

The construct of 16 or 18 (14 in some locales) as being the age of consent and 18 being generally seen as the 'magic' age of no longer being considered a child are modern.

A 13 year old from 1800 say, couldn't even compare to a 13 year old today. The responsibilities, what was expected of them- incomparable really.

As far as the world of Westeros, from what I gather, the magic age of adulthood, at least for females is when they have their first menstrual cycle. From then on they are considered adults and that is something that folks should keep in mind when they are reading.

Basically, I don't see Petyr Baelish, if he found himself magically transported to our world and part of our society with our views on adulthood, hanging out outside the local junior high looking to score.

Sansa was to be wed to Joffery and by the books they are far younger than they appear on TV- done, I am sure to try to keep in tune with today's views on what would be acceptable. We can't have a show marrying 13 year olds and having 8 year olds running about killing stableboys with 'Needle' after all.

Sorry for the rambling, it is all just to say I agree and when reading the term 'pedophile' never even crossed my mind because when reading I immerse myself in whatever world I find myself in.

I think that it all boils down to a person's feelings on the character. If they like them, they are willing to set certain concepts aside, but if they deem them a villain, then they will go to any lengths to vilify them- including judging them by standards completely unknown to the character.
tallmagetallmage on June 14th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
I was actually hoping for a few good rambles on this subject! I had a good laugh at the mental image of Littlefinger trolling for underage action outside of a local junior high. ^__^

I'm glad that you elaborated on on how age of consent varies according to cultural hegemony and how the responsibilities of of a certain age group helps determine that. I also think that the point you made about the females and their 'flowering' was a good one. I had forgotten about that but now that I think of it, they bring that up rather often. It makes sense that they would use that as a mark of adulthood as dying young seems to be a rather common occurrence in Westeros :-P

As for the show, I knew before I saw any of it that they were going to make all the characters a little bit older and generally a lot more attractive than they should be...because let's face it, It's the television AND it's the 21st century. 'Nuf said.
anna_salemanna_salem on June 14th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)
He is attracted to Sansa because she reminds him of her mother, of his childhood love, and he wants to reclaim that. I don't consider him a pedophile for it.

♔ Lydzi ♔ Au service du Roi Rickon.: Danger.lydzi on June 14th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
I never saw Baelish as a pedophile probably because while Sansa is extremely young, I ceased somehow to see her as a child since she had her period. Also because the main reason why he's attracted to her in the first place is not because she's that age, but because she looks a lot like her mother. Therefore that draws the line.

But, you know who is a pedophile in ASOIAF? Ser Lyn.

Edited at 2011-06-14 06:49 pm (UTC)
Staringiscaringstaringiscaring on June 15th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
No I don't. One, he's canonly shown to be with adult women in both the books and tv show as opposed to a bunch of pre-teen girls. Two, Littlefinger is more interested in Sansa because of Catelyn and hasn't slept with her. Three, people seem to die at like 35 in Westeros and seem to marry at 13 so it seems like a different perspective. Though, until last year, Canada's age of consent was 14 so its not like its unheard of in this world either.
tallmagetallmage on June 15th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Great! I'm glad that others see it the same way I do. I'm going to honest, I felt a bit of a squee coming on when I read about Petyr kissing Sansa after he helped her build the snow castle :-)
MostePotentePotionsmostepotente on February 1st, 2012 08:04 am (UTC)
Months late to the party but, as I read ASOFAI, the more I like Petyr. Part of it's my personal kink for mysterious sneaky gray bastards... but for how obscure Littlefinger's motivations are to us, to me he is the probably the most relatable character. He, I think, is what happens when smart and ambitious people are born into a culture that values bloodlines and physical prowess over intelligence.

Actually, the skeeviest part for me (as of book 3/4) is the whole father/daughter role play between Petyr and Sansa contrasted with the way he "grooms" her, so to speak (kissing on the lips and the whole "young girls are happier married to older men"). We know they're not father and daughter, but Sansa has completely submerged herself into the role and THAT is what disturbs me more then anything. She sees them as father and daughter.

However, I'm also at the point where Sansa should be have learned by now to be asking some questions about Petyr's games, and start inquiring a bit more into what exactly he is getting out of this. She's survived Joffrey's reign and Cersei's court, but she's either being deliberately blind or she's just that obtuse. And if it's obtuse, then I kind of feel sorry for Petyr.
Eric LynchTinyBrando on December 5th, 2012 10:40 am (UTC)
Look Closer
You guys seem to have missed three major hints of Petyr's pedophilia in the television series version.

Keep an eye out for the scene where Petyr is overlooking the children bathing and another where Petyr is confronted by the Queen and later reacts with a look to a child performing cleaning duties on the grounds of King's Landing.

Also, the eunuch does remark about Petyr that he hides his weaknesses well but "not as well as he thinks."
woodgods on May 17th, 2013 09:16 am (UTC)
That Kiss!
Regardless of Littlefinger's attraction for Sansa (which is made plain in the books) isn't kissing her merely Littlefinger's way, knowing Lysa will be watching, of having her open up the moon door...