Ned's eyes flicked to the king's letter on the table beside him, its seal unbroken. "And how is it you know that, my lord?"
Varys hinted as much, Littlefinger said, "and you have just confirmed it."
Ned's mouth twisted in anger. "Damn Varys and his little birds. Catelyn spoke truly, the man has some black art. I do not trust him."
Excellent. You're learning. Littlefinger leaned forward. "Yet I'll wager you did not drag me here in the black of night to discuss the eunuch."
No, Ned admitted. "I know the secret Jon Arryn was murdered to protect. Robert will leave no trueborn son behind him. Joffrey and Tommen are Jaime Lannister's bastards, born of his incestuous union with the queen."
Littlefinger lifted an eyebrow. "Shocking," he said in a tone that suggested he was not shocked at all. "The girl as well? No doubt. So when the king dies ... "
The throne by rights passes to Lord Stannis, the elder of Robert's two brothers.
Lord Petyr stroked his pointed beard as he considered the matter. "So it would seem. Unless ... "
Unless, my lord? There is no seeming to this. Stannis is the heir. Nothing can change that.
Stannis cannot take the throne without your help. If you're wise, you'll make certain Joffrey succeeds.