Warning: Spoilers of “Game of Thrones” season seven, episode seven “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
And just like that, one of the biggest bad guys in “Game of Thrones” is now dead.
After a frustrating season in Winterfell, the season seven finale of “Game of Thrones” delivered the death that fans have been yearning for since season one — the demise of Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger.
While some fans may have thought that Sansa was going to turn on her sister Arya, it was Lord Baelish who got his final comeuppance.
“You stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason, how do you answer these charges … Lord Baelish?” Sansa asked. She went on to talk about all of Littlefinger’s crimes — he murdered Lysa Arryn, their aunt; he conspired to murder Jon Arryn, Lysa’s husband; he started the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks; his treachery lead to Ned Stark’s death; and so much more.
“[You] turn family against family, turn sister against sister,” Sansa said. And then Arya executed Littlefinger with a swift cut to the throat, with the catspaw dagger that it turned out had originally belonged to him.
And fans went wild.
It was a much needed scene in Winterfell to end the season, especially because the show had stumbled after reuniting Bran, Arya, and Sana Stark under one roof.
The writers had to straddle reacquainting the Stark kids with one another and bringing them all up to speed with who (and what) they have become since season one while also moving the story forward.
The problem was there was so much for them to catch up on. Bran Stark is now the Three-Eyed Raven, Arya is essentially a Faceless Man who revels in killing her enemies, and Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell standing in for King in the North Jon Snow.
That’s a lot for anyone to take in.
It lead to the storyline slowing down dramatically. Fans already knew that Bran was the Three-Eyed Raven and could see anything during any time period in Westeros, but he had to prove it to his sisters. We watched Arya don the face of Walder Frey and murder the men of House Frey at the very beginning of season seven, but Sansa had to learn for herself what her sister is capable of.
Meanwhile Sansa needed to fill in Bran and Arya that not only is she the Lady of Winterfell, but she’s also the reason Battle of the Bastards was won in the first place.
It just felt like a lot of rambling backtracking that wasn’t moving the storyline forward.
Worst of all, when these revelations did occur, it seemed lazy. Bran told Sansa he knows Ramsay Bolton raped her, and she just walked away. After Arya confronts Sansa about the note she was forced to send to Robb back in season one, Sansa just flat-out says she’s the reason the Lords of the Vale helped the Starks take back Winterfell. And Sansa finding Arya’s faces lead to one of the most confusing and bizarre scenes in season seven between the sisters.
But Littlefinger’s sudden death at the hands of Arya Stark finally moved the plot along. The entire season it seemed as though Arya and Sansa had been manipulated by Littlefinger. But the Stark siblings finally figured it out and turned the tables on the master schemer — something he obviously didn’t see coming.
A few things still don’t make sense. Did Arya and Sansa know the whole time Littlefinger was playing them? What about Bran, did he finally let them know? And how did Petyr Baelish, one of the greatest players in the game of thrones, let his guard down and not realise the tables were turning on him?
All these questions will be left to the final season of “Game of Thrones.” But if season seven was any indication, maybe we’re better off moving forward and never addressing it again.