sansa arya


This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 7.

For several weeks now, Game of Thrones' Lord Baelish—the devious Littlefinger—has been trying to turn the sisters Sansa and Arya Stark against each other, an attempt to get himself closer to Sansa because of some weird deferred crush. (Baelish was, after all, hopelessly in love with the late Catelyn Stark.) He planted a letter Sansa had written, under duress, apparently betraying her family to the Lannisters, in a convenient location for Arya to find; he whispered of Arya’s plotted betrayal in her ear. Arya, for her part, seemed to buy it: Sansa’s betrayal, the power going to her head as lady of Winterfell. Sansa, too, appeared to lap up all Littlefinger’s schemes, eager to affirm her position as the ruler of the north in Jon Snow’s absence.

But, after all, it was all too convenient. Arya Stark was too smart to succumb to Littlefinger’s schemings. Sansa, too, for that matter. Midway through Sunday night’s season finale, while a peace summit was underway all the way down in King's Landing, all the action was going down back in the north. After Littlefinger had done his utmost to turn Sansa against her sister and all but telling her outright Arya aspired to be lady of Winterfell, Sansa summoned her sister to the castle’s Great Hall. Sansa delivers the charges: murder, treason. Dramatic pause. “How do you plead,” she asks, “Lord Baelish?”

When Littlefinger vehemently denied the claims, Bran Stark chimed in—the Three-Eyed Raven had seen it all. It turns out, Littlefinger was the one who got them into this whole mess in the first place, turning Lannisters against Starks by killing Jon Arryn and then, in the fourth season, Arryn’s wife Lysa, aunt of Sansa and Arya. (Littlefinger had been fostered by Lysa’s parents, making them practically siblings—and making the betrayal all the more cutting.)

So, with no defense in the face of Bran Stark’s omniscience—finally, the socially inept Three-Eyed Raven serves his use—Littlefinger and his little mustache were doomed. In a bit of poetic justice, Arya pulled out the dagger Littlefinger gave Bran, and Bran passed on to Arya, and slit his throat. (Here’s hoping the Faceless Woman at least gets to keep Lord Baelish’s face. It could come in handy.) Despite the finale's nearly feature film length, Petyr Baelish's violent demise was the first and only major death in an episode that yielded plenty of setup for next season, but not the usual bloodshed of a Game of Thrones season closer. Still, Twitter had plenty to say on the subject—read on for a few of the reactions to the sudden reversal, and Lord Baelish's death, circulating across social media Sunday night.