SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains spoilers from the Season 7, Episode 6 of Game of Thrones, “Beyond The Wall”. Proceed at your own risk.
R.I.P. Viserion. We hardly knew ye. Mainly because you weren’t Drogon, and that’s the one dragon that everyone recognizes. But still, R.I.P. all the same. Even if that rest only lasted for a few minutes before the Night King had his frozen flunkies drag you out of the water (where did they get those chains, btw?).
While Viserion’s death is undeniably heartbreaking (especially hearing Drogon’s shriek as he watches his brother fall) you have to admit it’s gonna be pretty cool to see a damn ice dragon flying over Westeros, breathing frost (we hope) and generally wreaking freezing havoc.
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. No, something happened in Winterfell that was a bit more subtle than a dragon-death-by-frozen-javelin. Something that could have huge ramifications for the story going forward.
Littlefinger Plays Sansa Against Arya
Littlefinger was quick to understand the potential threat Arya posed to him upon her return to Winterfell. In an attempt to drive a wedge between the sisters, he planted a scroll that the Lannisters forced Sansa to write back in Season 1 where he knew Arya would find it.
Thus it would appear that Littlefinger’s plan has worked.
Littlefinger Plays Sansa Against Arya
Following this confrontation, Sansa meets with Littlefinger to discuss what should be done about Arya now that she has this scroll. Littlefinger suggests utilizing Brienne of Tarth as a defense against any moves Arya might make. After all, Brienne had sworn an oath to their mother Catelyn Stark that she would protect her daughters.
It’s at that moment Sansa may have realized what Littlefinger’s up to.
Sansa Vs. Arya
Following this suggestion, Sansa quickly sends Brienne to King’s Landing to represent Winterfell after receiving a summons from Cersei. Brienne understandably objects, saying that they still don’t know what Littlefinger is up to. Sansa reassures her that there are many lords in the castle willing to defend her with their life. Littlefinger had hoped Brienne would drive a wedge between the Stark sisters; with her departing Winterfell, the sisters are free to talk — and that’s exactly what they did.
But Sansa still isn’t convinced that Arya can be trusted, so she investigates Arya’s room, where she discovers the bag-o-faces that Arya acquired during her Tour De Murder of Westeros. And then Arya shows up.
Arya Threatens Sansa… Or Does She?
At first, it seems that Arya intends to instill deep fear in her sister to show her how terrifying and sinister she’s become since her days in Braavos at the House of Black and White. She brandishes the notorious Catspaw dagger menacingly and approaches Sansa. It seems pretty clear that she wants Sansa to understand how intimidating she can be. After all, Sansa had already seen her sparring with Brienne and got a sense of how formidable a warrior she’d become.
At this point, Arya doesn’t know where Sansa’s loyalty lies either; is she loyal to Jon or is she simply a pawn of Littlefinger?
Would Arya Actually Kill Sansa?
Arya is absolutely loyal to Jon Snow. There can be no doubt about that. If she truly believed that Sansa was actually working for Littlefinger in any way to undermine Jon, she’d undoubtedly take Sansa and Littlefinger out without a moment’s hesitation.
But they are both Starks, first and foremost, raised by Ned Stark, perhaps the most noble and honorable man ever to appear in the series. It seems unlikely that Arya’s true intent was to kill Sansa.
It’s possible that this whole encounter was Arya’s (admittedly bizarre) way of communicating to her sister “I can be your weapon.” As if to illustrate that point, she then flips the dagger she’d been holding over and gives it to her. The same dagger that Littlefinger gave to Bran in this season’s fourth episode. If you recall, Sansa had this to say of any gift from Littlefinger;
“He’s not a generous man. He wouldn’t give you anything unless he thought he was getting something back.“
It’s conceivable that this is Arya’s way of signaling to Sansa she’s aware that Littlefinger is manipulating them. Without explicitly saying it out loud — as Littlefinger might have ears anywhere listening in — she remains cautious in regards to Sansa’s loyalty while simultaneously letting her sister know how dangerous she can be and that she’s fully aware that Littlefinger is a creep.
What Does This Mean For Littlefinger?
If both Sansa and Arya are truly aware of Littlefinger’s scheming, it certainly seems as though his days could be numbered. Considering he’s a man from a minor house, isn’t a swordsman or any kind of warrior, has few actual friends, only people he’s manipulated or is about to, and who’s been involved in almost every bit of treachery in the series, it’s pretty amazing Petyr Baelish has lasted as long as he has.
What do you think? How much longer do you think Littlefinger will be around? Let us know on the Game of Thrones Fan Community.