Petyr Baelish, better known as “Littlefinger,” is one of the cleverest characters in Game of Thrones; his calculating approach to Westeros’ escalating political conflicts is evidence enough of his intelligence, particularly when it comes to war. So it’s fitting that Aidan Gillen, the actor behind Petyr, will soon be narrating one of the oldest, most well-known texts on warfare in history: The Art of War by Chinese military general Sun Tzu.
The audiobook will be released tomorrow through Audible, one of the largest providers of audiobooks out there. Sun Tzu’s philosophies have often been boiled down to simple aphorisms, such as “all warfare is based on deception” and the well-known “know your enemy,” but the text as a whole, as it has been passed down and translated worldwide, has guided all manner of leaders—military and non-military alike. Of course, the text is preambled by Sun Tzu saying that not fighting is preferable to fighting; to me, that seems more like Varys’ game than Littlefinger’s, though the two are definitely cut from the same cloth. And no, Sun Tzu did not originate the phrase “chaos is a ladder.” As far as I know, that’s a Game of Thrones original.