Looking Forward, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5: The Dirtball Effect

Littlefinger-Winter

“A man with no motive is a man no one suspects.”

What effect has Petyr Baelish had this season? None. Nada. Nothing more than a thorn in the side. A monkey on a back. A tick on Sansa’s ass.

Nothing is just nothing… unless, we’re referring to Littlefinger. Then nothing changes its meaning and usually translates to something. Today a man discusses what no one really wants to discuss… the Dirtball Effect.

Littlefinger and Lysa

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first… Littlefinger deserves to die. Most people would have been fine had he died seasons ago. He most certainly deserved to die right after he caused the untimely exit of my dear Kate Dickie (RIP Lysa Arryn).

That freakin’ moon door-pushing shithead.

But why, exactly, does Lysakiller need to die? Is it because his story arc has simply run out of gas? Because fans in mass quantity are tired of his lurking? Because there is really nothing left for him to contribute to the end of this tale?

Maybe.

Littlefinger Throne

But maybe, the hope for his sooner-rather-than-later demise is because he threatens our view of what the conclusion of the show might look like should he somehow survive until the end. In truth, many people believe he will have entirely no influence one way or the other. I tend to disagree.

Up until this point in Season 7, LF has largely been the creepy guy in the corner of the bar watching everyone else enjoy drinks and conversing.

11 Littlefinger creepin

What should be concerning to everyone is that he is still in the bar at all. That creepy guy in the corner is observing, scheming and waiting to see how the rest of the field fairs before he makes his move. He studies his targets to see how they might react to the unsuspecting advances of would-be one-night suitors. His presence is disturbing enough to get noticed by the management, but not enough to get him kicked out of the joint.

He is disciplined and calculating, ready to strike at anytime if the situation is right. But he is also willing to walk away empty-handed if the situation at hand never unfolds in his favor. He recognizes that if he is patient, that perfect situation will present itself, even if it is at a later date.

That is Season 7’s Petyr Baelish.

Now, let’s talk Bran and Petyr.

Much has been discussed this week about just how much Bran knows and exactly what Baelish realized when that quote came up.

BRan Littlefinger

The fact is that we won’t know how this plays out until sometime in the near future. But, based on logically collected show-only theory, here is what I suspect:

Bran knows very little about Littlefinger. But LF’s discussion with Bran, combined with the overall aura of distrust by the rest of the Stark kids, will prompt Bran to take a closer look which could expose many of LF’s past dealings.

Littlefinger on the other hand recognized that Bran does have a special talent. What he knows of this talent is unclear, but considering his knowledge base, it is conceivable that Littlefinger may have an indication of the power of the sight. For all we know, LF has heard tales about the Three-Eyed Raven himself.

You could easily surmise that this has to be a big concern for Baelish and a complication he did not anticipate. So, where do we go from here?

Sansa and Littlefinger The Queen's Justice

It’s no secret that Sansa and company want him gone. Like, yesterday. But LF has the Stark kids in a precarious situation. First, they still him owe him a huge debt of gratitude for saving Jon at the Battle of the Bastards. Without him, the North as we know it in Season 7 looks a hell of a lot different. And it’s one of the main reasons that he hasn’t gotten kicked out of the bar yet.

The other is that Jon and Sansa know that they need the Knights of the Vale for what is coming. We already know that Jon and Davos don’t believe they have enough men to defeat the Night King, and losing the Vale army sure as hell wouldn’t help.

There are numerous scenarios involving LF that could sway the outcome of this Game. Let’s look at a couple (and throw me some more in the comments).

Littlefinger speaking

What would the Starks do if LF and the Knights loaded the wagons and left Winterfell?

If LF is spooked enough by Bran, or just sick and tired of being disrespected by the kids, it’s feasible (although unlikely) that he might load up the truck and go back to Beverly (hills that is… moon doors, impregnable walls). The Vale might be a good place to watch the Great War go down if he believes his situation is becoming untenable. Would Jon and Sansa be forced to beg LF to reconsider?

As high as ... a gyrfalcon?

If one of the Starks take out LF, what would Robin do?

One indication that this will not happen anytime soon is the absence of Lino Facioli (Robin Arryn). The Starks would be wise to gauge where Robin’s loyalties are should something happen to Uncle Petyr. But remember that much like his wonderful mother, Robin is a bit off-kilter himself and is by no means a sure thing to remain loyal to the North.

“Always keep your foes confused. If they don’t know who you are or what you want, they can’t know what you plan to do next.”

cerseitycho

Is Littlefinger Cersei’s mole?

How possible is it that Dirtball is sitting in the North watching the chaos unfold and is sending Cersei updates on the Starks?

Very.

For starters, Cersei is focused on Dany and the Dragons and has shown very little concern with what is happening in the North. Maybe that’s because she is predisposed with three very large dragons. Or maybe she’s comfortable because she has reliable information coming down the raven pipe.

Every time I’m faced with a decision, I close my eyes and see the same picture. Whenever I consider a question, I ask myself ‘Will this action make this picture a reality’, pull it out of my mind and into the world…and I only act if the answer is yes. A picture of me on the Iron Throne, and you by my side.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Aidan Gillen as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

From a strategic standpoint, it makes sense as well. We are all aware of Littlefinger’s ultimate goal. I would think that he knows that getting there will be easier dealing with Cersei rather than Dany and the Dragons, or even a combination of Dany and Jon.

If Jon and Dany are obliterated taking heavy casualties in their battle with the White Walkers, the door is wide open for his hostile takeover. If Jon and Dany defeat the Night King, perfect. Whatever is left of them would theoretically be easy to finish off or made to bend the knee.

And if they lose, none of it matters anyway.

This would also set up a scene I’m convinced we will see at least once more… a final face-off between LF and Varys.

varysfinger

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse; they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.

For Littlefinger, the climb is ongoing whether it’s apparent or not. That’s what he does… he watches and waits and plots and schemes while everyone else fights with ice and fire and sword and shield and then emerges with an advantage.

Don’t be naïve. LF didn’t make I this far just to be randomly killed in Episode 5. And the longer he lurks, the better his odds. We’ve already seen the fall of many great houses. And with each one, Littlefinger gets a little closer to his goal.

The Dirtball Effect is real, even if it hasn’t materialized through the first four episodes.

Littlefinger

did warn you not to trust me.

That’s it for me today, Ladies and Sers. A man will see you Monday morning for the Unsullied Unepic Recap, bringing you undeniable joy that is simply unattainable anywhere else.

Invite someone to the Wall. Watch out for that creepy guy in the corner tonight. And may there always be peace in your realm.

-Oz

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69 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. The show has completely ignored the fact that Jaime said he was sending Edmure to Casterly Rock with his child. Will Grey Worm find him there? The show has ignored Robin as much as rowing Gendry at this point too.

      I always felt that Varys and LF had unfinished business after their convos in the throne room.

      Varys and Petyr’s schemes aren’t finished.

      I do feel the show has done a pretty poor job of using LF this season and I’m talking about the whole thing: His writing has been poor to middling, his plot has been abysmal and his screen time is so repetitive. That never used to be the case. He has some of the most well written scenes in the show. He reminds me of Tyrion’s time last season only worse. At least they were trying to write Tyrion as entertaining.

      If he is around come the end of the show I could totally see him sitting atop the Iron Throne if it exists at all.

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    2. Many things in the North happened just like LF wanted. Stannis is gone. The Boltons are gone. He is there with the army of the Vale and Sansa.

      But also many things happened in the way which he never predicted. Rickon was alive, but LF was lucky enough that Ramsay killed him. But Jon is still alive and he is the King. Something LF didn’t want at all.

      Now Jon is gone and Sansa is in charge, but Arya and Bran are back.

      Sansa is surrounded by family,friends and supporters. That is extremely difficult situation for LF, since Sansa doesn’t see him as her protector after what happened with Ramsay.

      LF can’t go to KL. He sacrificed his relationship with Cersei when he helped the Starks. He was exposed for the first time. A pact with Dany or Euron was never an option for him any way.

      So he is stuck with the Starks who are getting stronger and stronger, he is loosing his influence on Sansa since there are so many people she can turn to now.

      The only real option for him is to do what he was doing all along. To create division among the Starks and to make them weaker and to use that chaos for his advantage.

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    3. ManderlyPieCompany,

      I don’t think that the show is ignoring Edmure, but that actor was not available to film season 7. He is working on another show.

      At first they didnt even know that he would have time to appear in season 6.

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    4. Good article! I think the Spider and LF will meet again. I loved their exchanges in earlier seasons. Very eager to see how long LF lasts in the north. Would love to see him face to face with a white walker.

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    5. ManderlyPieCompany,

      “The show has completely ignored the fact that Jaime said he was sending Edmure to Casterly Rock with his child.”
      —————

      Well, Walder did tell Jaime that Edmure was “back in his cell”…which made me wonder about the sincerity of Jaime’s offer to Edmure in the first place.

      But back to the matter at hand:

      DouchebagFinger must go. The face-pummeling, puppy chow treatment Ramsay got from Jon & Sansa is too pleasant for LF. An extended M.F. Trant-type demise at the hands of Arya and her new Valaryian Steel toy – capped off by Sansa booting his ass out the Moon Door- would be fun.

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    6. Ten Bears:
      ManderlyPieCompany,

      Well, Walder did tell Jaime that Edmure was “back in his cell”…which made me wonder about the sincerity of Jaime’s offer to Edmure in the first place.

      Well, to be fair, Jaime didn’t actually go back on his offer – Edmure refused. So, Jaime made a new “offer” – “Surrender Riverrun or I’ll catapult your son” (whether he actually would have is another debate altogether). Sending Edmure and his son to Casterly Rock wasn’t part of that deal.

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    7. I have always maintained the suspicion that ol’ Baelish might be one of the few to make it to the bittersweet end…

      My hopeful ending for Li’lfingie: he sits atop the throne, but like many a-lord of Harrenhal, finds it to be a curse. Maybe because people won’t give a shit about the Iron Throne after surviving Long Night II. (Maybe Varys will serve in his small council, giddy to serve a belittled Finger who has to be king of someone else’s ashes.)

      *removes tinfoil, bows and exits*

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    8. Yeah baby!! Never been first to open the Hodoor before 🙂 Thanks for another catchy setup, Oz – nice summery of LF’s motives and where he stands at the moment.

      “A man with no motive is a man no one suspects.” But as we know he has let down his guard, due to his weakness for Sansa, and revealed his ultimate motive to her – the consequence came instantly with her being increasingly suspicious of anything he may do or say! I agree with the possibility of LF not dying right now! As much as I want it to happen at some point, I don’t see it happening just yet…and really don’t want to either.

      First I need him to really feel the combined knowledge of the Starks working against him and THEN I want to see his full potential with his back’s against the wall. Without being 5 steps ahead… A last desperate move for us to experience an unfiltered raging version of the small, lowborn mockingbird, who climbed the ladder of chaos higher than any other – a very dangerous Mr. Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish!

      With that said and done, I keep thinking about GRRM’s “bittersweet” ending. If this goes for the show as well as the books, he might hang around a lot longer than I care for right now… Perhaps it ends with a democracy! 😉

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    9. There is nothing I’d like more than to see LF on the Iron Throne. Won’t happen of course, he’ll likely be killed off as will half of the other characters (Aidan is one of my favourite actors, so obviously doomed), but boy would it be nice if his scheming paid off in a big way before he goes. Unfortunately they seem to be making him not do anything this season, except lurk on the balcony with Sansa, which I wish would be set on fire and disappear from the set.

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    10. Very interesting thoughts on LF. Although his season 7 scenes are for most of them not good, poorly written, and everyone thinks he is step by step digging his own grave, I doubt it’s gonna be so easy: LF has a strong survival instinct, sometimes his ego plays against himself (like, when he provoqued Cersei with his power definition…), but he is the guy who went from brothel keeper, to master of coins, to acting lord of the Vale and saviour of the North. He is smarter than each of the Stark kids individually, because he is able to see more than the surface of things, but maybe he is not smarter than the pack of Stark kids… I hope he is going to be an important character in the end of season 7, and potentially in season 8.

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    11. Dead Dane Walking:
      With that said and done, I keep thinking about GRRM’s “bittersweet” ending. If this goes for the show as well as the books, he might hang around a lot longer than I care for right now… Perhaps it ends with a democracy!

      I’ve often thought that this might be the ending…bittersweet, indeed.

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    12. Enjoyed the post Oz! I think LF is watching and waiting for his opportunities. A lot of changes have been happening in the North and South, so I can imagine him sitting back and observing for a while. He’ll do something eventually but I hope this time a Stark or two will be there to catch and stop him.

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    13. Littlefinger will die this season. Sansa´s statement “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” points to ned starks death alone in kingslanding and is for littlefinger himself, after the plot to segregate the stark children (the pack) emerges . He will be finished by a faceless man trick from arya or the mymeria wolf pack if he is trying to escape winterfell (they did not show nymeria for no reason) . Lord Royce will decide to stay in the north with the knights of the vale, because he was threatened by LF and surely never liked him.

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    14. Catspaw Assassin: Is it too late for HBO to retitle the episode “The Dirtball Effect”?

      Hahaha…good one! 🙂 …First sequel after season S8Ep6: “The Usual Dirtballs” starring Petyr Baelish, Meryn F*cking Trant and Ilyn Payne with guest appearances by douchebag-champions Maester Pycelle and Xaro Xhoan Daxos!

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    15. b:
      With only 3 episodes left will Lyanna Mormont or Ser Jorah meet?

      That would be the bestest!

      And thanks for the reminder that there are three episodes left this season. For some reason *cough* getting old *cough* I was thinking there are only two left — plenty of time for such a momentous meeting. And that goes for Meera and Howland Reed as well. My prediction rate continues to stand at 0%, but I don’t we’ve seen the last of Meera. Here’s hoping the dragonglass swords gets to Greywater on time!

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    16. ramses,

      Arya will kill littlefinger wearing Cat’s face? Maybe that’s too creepy though.

      Maybe she will wear his face and no one will notice it

      ramses:
      Ser Shiz of Renia,

      “He will be finished by a faceless man trick from arya “

      Arya will kill littlefinger wearing Cat’s face? Maybe that’s too creepy though.

      Maybe she will wear littlefingers face doing something good.

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    17. Ser Shiz of Renia,

      I agree. I think that we will be saying bye-bye to LF this season. (And not a moment too soon for me.) The dagger discussion by the weirwood makes me think that the Stark siblings will collectively play a role in his demise. However, I’m sure that he will try to sow discord between them before his “untimely” death. Beyond that, he doesn’t seem to have much of a storyline this season.

      As much as I welcome LF’s end, I will always hold Aiden Gillen in high regard as an actor because he is in my two favorite shows – GOT and The Wire.

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    18. Great post as usual, Oz. I agree with you – he is biding his time. He knows the kids can’t force him out. He’s watching everything and everyone; there is a lot of scheming going on behind those eyes. What I hope is that when the four Starks are all together in this, he will have no place to hide..

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    19. If this season is the end for Littlefinger it would for sure be sad mostly because Aidan Gillen is brilliant as Littlefinger ,i always enjoy hes scenes , the scene with Lysa is amazing , thats my thought though .

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    20. Where would Arya get Catelyn’s non-decayed face from? We don’t know the magic behind the transformation, but in the show it seems pretty clear you have to have the person’s skinned off face (presumably fresh) to be able to do it.

      I hope Littlefinger gets crushed soon, but since he’s not doing anything noteworthy yet in terms of treachery at WF, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what he does first. Unless Bran does some digging into his psychic visions of the past. But I think he’s gonna be preoccupied with the bigger WW threat right now.

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    21. I totally agree with the chain of thoughts of this comment. The fact that LF is sitting in the corner observing does not mean that the writers have nothing to offer to him. There is a purpose for all this and I am sure it is going to be grand. LF made his moves. The “all in your head” monologue to Sansa, the Jon scene and lately the Brann scene all so well made are an indication that LF doesn’t sit idly. I can’t understand why people keep complaining about LFs arc this year but frankly I can’t see what else he could do other than observing and playing mindgames with Sansa. And scheming. LF has a plan but he is trapped. He thought he could manipulate Sansa against Jon. He failed. He tried to approach Jon. He failed. Then Brann came back. He tried to bribe him. He failed. Arya came back too and it was just an exchange of looks with her to convince him that he is totally trapped. So what we should expect from him is an attempt to find a way out. With Jon preoccupied with the WWs he has only the rest of the pack to deal with. And I am sure he will do it with a typical LF manner. It is not without significance that his chaos tactics were mentioned. He is the chaos master and chaos will be. So all his lurking and scheming will be paid off grandly. I have a feeling that he will survive this season. And as many guess I thing the chaos master and the whisper master will meet again for a last time…

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    22. mau:
      ManderlyPieCompany,

      I don’t think that the show is ignoring Edmure, but that actor was not available to film season 7. He is working on another show.

      At first they didnt even know that he would have time to appear in season 6.

      You mean that real-life Logistics or actually a thing and that Dan and Dave can’t just do whatever they want? You will probably tell me next that there is actually a budget and there are real time constraints for filming to right?

      This is what some posters on this site just don’t understand. Dan and Dave aren’t idiots.

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    23. Fantastic article 🙂

      I’m used to LF dislike so I won’t bash as it’s pointless.

      I hope Petyr stays until the end and makes a grand impact. I can see why some call his scenes this season “boring” however, as also noted he is a player. LF is one of the overall enjoyable characters in GoT.

      I wish upon a star Petyr will do the right thing and take Sansa down a few pegs. I’m just over that inflated bitch and reminds her of a few choice dialogues.

      LF working for Cersei? HA! Where in the hell does that tinfoil come from? I have heard it a few times. Does it come from the books or weird imagination? Cannot come from the show, obviously.

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    24. dothrakian raven: It is not without significance that his chaos tactics were mentioned. He is the chaos master and chaos will be.

      And let’s not forget quite a few events and character arcs on GoT have had a tendency to “spin around the wheel” just to end in similar/opposite fashion as they started – LF is pretty much the Big Bang of everything, we have been witnessing the last 6-7 years! He may be needed in order to end it.

      I would hate to be cheated of an awesoe LF death scene, but…

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    25. It seems to me that Master “imagine every possibility” has been blind-sided a LOT lately. I think his initial plan was to get Sansa made Queen of the North, and then marry her, then he would be a King of at least part of the country, and take it from there

      He was blind-sided (like everyone) by Lyanna’s KingindaNorf play, and tried to counter that by putting a wedge between Sansa and Jon, then he was blind-sided by Bran’s return, meaning Sansa was no longer alone, then by Bran’s powers, and then again by Arya and her fighting skills. Suddenly he’s not dealing with a lonely scared young girl, but a fully-fledged wolf-pack.

      My big question is how much does he know (or suspect) about who Jon really is, and how will he try to use that? He already hinted to Sansa that he knows a different story than the one she was told. And if anyone can work out the number of days between an alleged abduction/rape and a baby being born, its the ex-brothel keeper.

      I’m guessing he might do his usual trick of trying to drive a wedge between them, especially while Jon’s hanging out on Dragonstone instead of being in the North. “He’s really a Targ, he’s more loyal to his Aunt the dragon-queen than he is to you lot, etc. etc.”

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    26. Lord Peytr Baelish has been one of my favorite — if not my absolute favorite — characters in the show, and Aiden Gillen gets much of the credit for this. Littlefinger started the entire plot in motion by arranging the murder of Jon Arryn, tricked poor ol’ dim Cat into believing Tyrion Lannister tried to have Bran knifed, and egged poor ol’ stupid Ned into provoking Tywin. He and his counterpart, Varys, began this drama together and should end it together.

      If democracy does come to Westeros, Baelish will be elected Maximum Leader, and Varys will be his Prime Minister.

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    27. At the end of TBOTB, the LF as Cersei’s mole plot might have made sense, as he basically had done what he promised Cersei he would do in return for WOTN — clear out whoever survived the Stannis-Bolton battle. But once he chose to support the Stark restoration in the north (which at that time he thought meant Sansa would take control) that plot was foreclosed. Cersei despises Sansa and blames her for Joffrey’s death of course. He would have been better off just taking Winterfell for himself, as his own troops far outnumbered those loyal to Jon and Sansa.

      Certainly if LF is in contact with Cersei, either the Winterfell maester must be in on the plot, or LF sending out riders frequently to the Eyrie with messages. There’s also the fact that LF knew Jon’s exact itinerary to go to DS, but Cersei didn’t bother to send anyone to intercept him (and doesn’t appear to know that both of her rival monarchs are now on the same basically undefended island together).

      At this point the best explanation would seem

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    28. He makes a move against Arya and Nymeria shows up and chases him off. As he’s running through the woods, he stumbles and looks up to see a hooded woman. We can’t see her face, but he can.

      He smiles in disbelief, then screams as the figure lunges for him. They find him, dead if a heart attack.

      Brienne finds him first. She hears a whisper in the wind. She’s not even sure it’s real.

      “Your oath is fulfilled”

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    29. I don’t see Littlefinger on the throne. Who would want him there? He doesn’t have the family name like Tyrell or Stark or Lannister to get anyone to follow him. He hasn’t shown any type of military prowess (the way Jon did) to win people over despite the lack of family name. Nobody trusts him, nobody likes him. To get the throne he would have to pull a Cersei and get it by default by killing anyone else who is even close to claiming it. But with potential claimants spread out all over the place, how would he do that? Even if he waited until after the battle with the white walkers, and after the north/Dany/Cersei fight it out, who would let him get the throne? Pretty much ANY one who survives the battles would have just as good claim as him. And I think this applies to Varys as well. That’s why I don’t see either of them ever getting the throne.

      Although, I did wonder if Littlefinger was feeding info to Cersei, but ended up rejecting that. I think it’s too late for him to ingratiate his way back in. But I wondered early on this season because when Cersei was talking to Jaime about their enemies, she said Sansa – not Jon – was the enemy in the North. Only Littlefinger would consider Sansa (and not Jon) as the leader in the North. But then I remembered that Cersei is a misogynist who hates other women more than anything, and realized she would focus on Sansa over Jon whether she had a mole or not.

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    30. I love the idea of LF being in league with Cersei…

      Will Arya find a raven message under his bed? In one of the trailers, she finds something under one, and I don’t think it’s Nymeria.

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    31. Call Me Crazy:
      I have always maintained the suspicion that ol’ Baelish might be one of the few to make it to the bittersweet end…

      My hopeful ending for Li’lfingie: he sits atop the throne, but like many a-lord of Harrenhal, finds it to be a curse. Maybe because people won’t give a shit about the Iron Throne after surviving Long Night II. (Maybe Varys will serve in his small council, giddy to serve a belittled Finger who has to be king of someone else’s ashes.)

      *removes tinfoil, bows and exits*

      Little finger has done too much dirt to survive it all. Karma will catch up quick, I can’t wait!
      The long night is not meant for him. He’s a coward at heart. Only the strong will survive and only the brave will die fighting. Petyr is none of those

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    32. I would like to see Sansa play the game more now that she is letting people know she is smart (as Jon and Tyrion were talking about). Seems to me, to get LF off the board, Sansa needs to make sure the Vale still will be allies once LF is gone. As OZ said,

      The other is that Jon and Sansa know that they need the Knights of the Vale for what is coming. We already know that Jon and Davos don’t believe they have enough men to defeat the Night King, and losing the Vale army sure as hell wouldn’t help.

      The North needs their 30,000 men. Currently without LF it would be hard to guarantee the Vale. Sansa could play the game with a scene with Lord Royce. She is trying to think like Cersei. She could plot with Lord Royce to kill Robin and allow Lord Royce to become Lord of the Vale. I believe Sansa would be lady of the Vale if Robin died wouldn’t she? Even more strategic, Sansa could promise to marry Lord Royce once Robin was dead as his reward. That would be something. As plan b, she could send Arya to kill Robin, but that probably wouldn’t work since Robin never did anything to hurt her or her family. As we saw at the house of B&W, Arya wasn’t so quick to agree to kill if she thought the person didn’t necessarily deserve it. LF on the other hand, if it could come out somehow how LF betrayed Ned, that’s all Arya would need for a reason. Right now, Sansa is putting up with LF’s lurking since she needs the Vale, but she could play the game and send LF out of Winterfell at the very least once she had the Vale locked up without him.

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    33. “Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend……”
      He may be eyes and ears for Cersei, working both sides so that he can be prepared for all possible outcomes – evil never rests. However, he may have some difficulty finding a way to deal with the transformed Bran and Arya.

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    34. Nice job, Oz. I feel very strongly that Sansa is incredibly gormless to keep that Dirtball around, especially knowing he is ambitious, superbly manipulative, and has killed at least four people. And she supposedly cares for her family and her home. Ned is spinning in his grave. After BoB she should have had a quiet word with Lord Royce and explained about Lysa and how LF prevented her from telling the truth. Royce knows LF is a treacherous wanker and will readily believe it. To keep the Vale men there, she should remind him she’s betrothed to Robin. Goodbye Littlefinger.

      Instead, the pack coming together has made LF realise he’s cornered. A rabid animal in a corner strikes out. Come to think of it, why was he so noticeably alert to Maester Wolkan’s remarks about Luwin’s archive of mail? A smart Sansa would at least warn Bran and Arya to be wary that LF’s stealthy ways and to be on the alert. But I doubt she will. Bran is sufficiently withdrawn and knowledgeable to be LF-proof. Also, since LF has sussed out how deadly Arya, she’s an immediate threat. She’s home and for the first time in years feeling safe enough and cocky enough to lower her guard. Yes, she’s trained in stealth and can detect lies, but what lies under that bed in the first trailer? Surely it’s not in her room or Sansa’s, so it must be in LF’s. I wager she finds Dirtball slime. Whatever LF gets up to, if Sansa had gotten rid of him in the first place nobody would be in danger and nobody would be fodder for his scheming.

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    35. ““A man with no motive is a man no one suspects.”

      LF believes that his seemingly chaotic actions will keep him safe.

      About that motive. He has told SANSA what he wants, and Jon his love for SANSA. Someone picked up on his potential motive before. Ros told VARYS about the shipping manifest with the two feather beds. Arya was at his meeting with Tywin, SANSA was saved by him then present when he murdered her Aunt. Then we have Bran who can connect the dots. The more people who figure out that he seems to be playing one side against the other the closer LF gets to losing all he worked for.

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    36. Stark Raven’ Rad:
      Nice job, Oz. I feel very strongly that Sansa is incredibly gormless to keep that Dirtball around, especially knowing he is ambitious, superbly manipulative, and has killed at least four people. And she supposedly cares for her family and her home. Ned is spinning in his grave. After BoB she should have had a quiet word with Lord Royce and explained about Lysa and how LF prevented her from telling the truth. Royce knows LF is a treacherous wanker and will readily believe it.To keep the Vale men there, she should remind him she’s betrothed to Robin. Goodbye Littlefinger.

      Is she still betrothed to Robin? I mean, once she left the Vale – she immediately went and married Ramsey… wouldn’t that bit of news sort of break any betrothal? Or did I forget something, was is done after Ramsey was killed?

      Instead, the pack coming together has made LF realise he’s cornered. A rabid animal in a corner strikes out. Come to think of it, why was he so noticeably alert to Maester Wolkan’s remarks about Luwin’s archive of mail?A smart Sansa would at least warn Bran and Arya to be wary that LF’s stealthy ways and to be on the alert. But I doubt she will. Bran is sufficiently withdrawn and knowledgeable to be LF-proof. Also, since LF has sussed out how deadly Arya, she’s an immediate threat. She’s home and for the first time in years feeling safe enough and cocky enough to lower her guard. Yes, she’s trained in stealth and can detect lies, but what lies under that bed in the first trailer? Surely it’s not in her room or Sansa’s, so it must be in LF’s. I wager shefinds Dirtball slime. Whatever LF gets up to, if Sansa had gotten rid of him in the first place nobody would be in danger and nobody would be fodder for his scheming.

      I think the archive of mail will play a role, why point it out otherwise… what could be there that would cause trouble or be definitive proof of anything? is it again Littlefinger, or someone else? Which letters have been sent to WF in the show? Or are they going to invent something new but plausible… Catelyn and Robb probably sent and few, maybe something from Ned while he was the Hand? Oh… Sansa sent a letter too, the one Cersei told her to write to Robb… forget exactly what it said, but with Cersei dictating….

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    37. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “Whatever LF gets up to, if Sansa had gotten rid of him in the first place nobody would be in danger and nobody would be fodder for his scheming.”
      ———————-
      ———————-

      Amen. Who keeps a pet boa constrictor in the house with a lid off his cage? Sansa shouldn’t have him anywhere near her family, especially without telling them that he has killed: Aunt Lysa, Ser Dontos, Jon Arryn (she should’ve figured that out from Lysa’s whine “I lied for you; I killed for you!”), and Joffrey (and framed her for Joffrey’s murder).
      It’s one thing to let LF prance around the Vale unpunished while he manipulates Robyn Arryn; it’s another thing entirely to let him run around WF endangering Bran, Arya and Jon – and herself. (He doesn’t “love” her; she’s a disposable commodity, just like Ros.)
      As de facto Queen in the North, Sansa couid sentence him to death and have Brienne carry out the sentence a la the way Brienne executed Stannis. Though I’d rather watch Sandor do the honors with his axe.

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    38. Addendum:

      I wish they’d tweaked the dialog during the Bran + Sansa + Arya scene in front of the godswood heart tree…

      Bran: “Cersei’s on her list of names.”

      Sansa: “Who else is on your list?

      Arya: “Most of them are dead already. What other name would you like A Girl to speak?”

      Sansa: “Rhymes with Spittleflinger.”

      Arya: “That will suffice. A Girl will do the rest.”

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    39. mau: Many things in the North happened just like LF wanted. Stannis is gone. The Boltons are gone. He is there with the army of the Vale and Sansa.

      But also many things happened in the way which he never predicted. Rickon was alive, but LF was lucky enough that Ramsay killed him. But Jon is still alive and he is the King. Something LF didn’t want at all.

      Now Jon is gone and Sansa is in charge, but Arya and Bran are back.

      Sansa is surrounded by family,friends and supporters. That is extremely difficult situation for LF

      Right. LF is a master manipulator, but he’s not omniscient. His plan was a good one: Wait for Stannis and Bolton to take one another out then swoop in with the knights of the Vale as some kind of savior and install Sansa as the Queen in the North with her in eternal debt to LF for securing the victory.

      There was NO WAY IN HELL that he could have predicted what followed: the Northern lords proclaiming a bastard their king instead of the last (known to be) living child of Ned and Catelyn Stark. And then, Arya and Bran, Starklings everyone thought dead, returned home. That in turn made it possible for Sansa to depend on LF even less because she was now surrounded with her siblings. Psychologically it made her much less vulnerable and not nearly as open to LF’s shady BS.

      Littlefinger can’t honestly be blamed for failing to account for Stark zombies not really being zombies after all and the assembled nobles passing up the obvious candidate for the throne. And now he’s kinda screwed, with no one left to work his magic on. He tried to drive a wedge between Jon and Sansa. He looked for an opening with Bran. Doesn’t seem to be working. But again, he can hardly be faulted that his plans are starting to fall apart. He gambled — as he always does — but a whole bunch of circumstances that were almost impossible to happen, well, happened.

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    40. Catspaw Assassin,

      I really like the idea. It is something I was thinking a lot since the I have to send a message to Cersei scene with Roose Bolton and since we haven’t have a confirmation that LF and Cercei broke up their relationship. It would have been easy for LF to persuade Cersei that it is better to have a weak and under surveillance Sansa Stark as Wardess of the North than an unpredictable mad dog like Ramsay. Of course if this was the intention of D&D we would have seen something to indicate towards this direction. But maybe they will use the element of surprise in order to make LF’s arc bitter and harder to take in. In any case I am totally titillated by the dynamics in the North with LF and the Stark wolves in the mix.

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    41. I really enjoyed this article. I, too, think that Littlefinger will play a major role in the story. He has always played both sides. When he was last with Cersei he told her that the Boltons had taken Sansa and married her to Ramsey, and that he would keep an eye on the North for her. I’m sure he is sending Ravens to her saying the exact opposite that he says to the Starks. There has also been a notable absence of any mention of the Vale as a part of the BoB as we heard from Hot Pies rendition to Arya. Also, Jon and Davos did not seem to include the Vale in their discussion of army size. No way Littlefinger is going to stay there with that army when the army of the dead show up.

      The reappearance of Bran and Arya, as well as Jon being proclaimed KITN, are definitely variables he has not counted on. His mind is spinning as he calculates his changes in strategy. He has been doing this many years in KL and, in my opinion, is still far beyond Sansa’s abilities. She has become very savvy, but can’t begin to compare to his years of experience. If she outwits him, I believe it will be in large part because he discounts her abilities.

      His lurking scenes are monotonous and annoying but, I believe, it’s meant to lead the audience to discount his threat. As he said, “knowledge is power,” and that is what he’s accumulating in the North. Also the teases in filming locations in WF, such as where the Ravens are after he noticed the mention by the Maester of all the messages being saved, show he is keeping himself very busy, but not visibly.

      The WF messages could go back to Ned’s childhood. Perhaps there is some kind of message re Jon’s birth. I think they leave the message history open to potentially be a variety of topics, not just recent events.

      This is what I love about this show. Every bit of dialogue is relevant. The show is unpredictable, and it’s so enjoyable to try to predict what happens. We are all Littlefingers….

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    42. Good points Oz; I agree and think the show is purposefully showing him as being lame, creepy and ineffectual as a plot device when all the time he is still scheming, watching and just biding his time and I think we’ll be surprised when he eventually makes some major move.. but my guess is this time he’ll be out manoeuvred by Sansa – she’s one Stark we haven’t seen use their talents in a big way yet and I think this has been forshadowed by jon and Tyrion ‘she’s smarter than she lets on’ convo. It would also be poetic justic for Sansa to not only learn from political and manipulative players like Cercei, Baelish and Ramsay .. but to overtake and outplay her mentor. I think he’ll go down but it will be a big moment not with a whimper and I suspect we won’t see the build up for it on either side so we get the full surprise effect.

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    43. Thanks! Great article. Of all the characters on the show, I will always gleefully anticipate this slimy slimes death. I don’t think that anybody owes Little Finger anything! He owed Sansa for everything he did to her. Saving them at the BOB was her due and I still don’t think that makes them even! He should still be groveling, Knights of the Vale or not.

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    44. Great article Oz!

      Your comments about Lysakiller in your recaps this season remind of your comments about Ollie in season 5. We all know how that turned out!

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    45. I’ve always thought Littlefinger is what Rasputin would be like if he were an accountant. Therefore his death should be gruesome. I understand with only a handful of episodes left we won’t get the 30 minute death scene he deserves, but I would settle for seeing him loaded into a trebuchet and launched against the outer wall of Winterfell. Afterwards we can call him Splatterfinger.

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    46. Sansa is smart and knows it is best to keep your enemies close. I am hoping to see Arya kill him, take his face and control the Knights of the Vale. She could use that face to get close to Cersei too.

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    47. Littlefinger has an extremely valuable asset – the Vale’s food supply. Their food supply was left relatively intact because they didn’t participate in the War of the Five Kings. Winterfell does not have enough food. King’s Landing does not produce food and Highgarden’s food stores were just destroyed by Dany. As Bronn mentioned several times when a siege is on, food becomes the new currency, making LF the richest man in Westeros. Look for him to take full advantage of this.

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    48. z4luvr,

      So Littlefinger would believe until he goes to the Vale and finds out Not-so-little Robin has been making food crates of onions and peas and carrots fly. The Lord protector of the Vale needs his entertainment.

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    49. This kind of fits in with the question “What did Sansa’s reaction to Arya fighting mean?”. The following is ALL speculation and just how my mind works…

      I’ll skip to the TLDR: Sansa is going to marry Littlefinger. That foreshadowing of Jon threatening to end Baelish’s life wasn’t hung on the wall for no reason.

      I’m guessing she feels like a “stupid girl” again because:

      Bran is omnipresent
      Arya is super badass
      Jon leapfrogged right of her to be KitN/Lord of Winterfell

      When Arya said “You swore to serve both my mother’s daughters”, Sansa looked to me like someone who’d been forced to share something against their will… AGAIN. Remember how well sharing a pretend snow-castle version of Winterfell went with cousin Robin Arryn? She’s not big on sharing.

      She’s already second fiddle to Jon, and now Arya’s been there for a couple hours and she’s won the respect of Brienne – one of the fiercest warriors (man or woman) in existence. Up until that point Brienne was Sansa’ sworn sword and Sansa’s alone.

      At this point she’s already wondering “What do I bring to the table?’

      I’m *guessing* Peter tries to threaten to take his men back to the Eyrie soon (because he’ll state what we’ve all noticed – he aint doing much). So how could Sansa ever stop that or use it to her advantage? Marry the prick. But wait, just marrying Littlefinger doesn’t give her control, there’s still Lord of the Vale Robin Arryn to deal with right? Well, maybe she actually leaves Winterfell and it *looks* like she’s abandoned the North. – Without actively plotting Robin’s demise she’d passively know full well that Peter would dispose of cousin Robin at first chance (I mean, who wouldn’t believe that the kid decided to try to fly out the Moon Door?) For a split second they are Lord and Lady of the Vale and LF is as happy as he’s ever been… BOOM! Sansa kicks Littlefinger out the door in a mirrored to perfection scene of what LF did to Lysa (“He tried to stop Robin and fell right along with him!”) – and not a soul in the Vale would shed a tear for either of them.

      Now she’s very important because *she* alone commands the Knights of the Vale (remember that “someone else’s army” comment Littlefinger stuffed in her face?) -AND- she’s in a very important castle. The show says no army has ever gotten up there – could an army of dead? We may find out.

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    50. Direcat,

      Spot on! Even throwaway lines often have meaning. But the words of people with serious motives almost always have serious underlying meaning. Early on, LF told one of his whores (Ros?) about his humiliation over Catelyn by Brandon Stark. He says, “I’m not going to fight them. I’m going to fuck them.” His relentless pursuit of Catelyn and Sansa is part of that, mixed with genuine lust—by marrying either of them he’d literally fuck the legacy of Brandon and Ned Stark, both of whom won Catelyn.

      Ten Bears,

      You’re in great form, TB. Love the dialogue and the boa constrictor analogy. I only differ about Brienne or Sandor doing the deed. This is personal for the Starks. For years now, Arya and her family have been nearly destroyed by Littlefinger, probably more than she and we clearly know. Only she and Sansa have the right to bring about his demise. After Arya glaring daggers at him last week, we can expect her to finish the job.

      viki,

      TBH, Viki, I’m not certain if it was ever official or just tacit. When Sansa and Robin talked in the Eyrie’s courtyard, one of them (Robin?) mentioned that they’re going to be married. Even an informal arrangement would be enough for Sansa to use as leverage to prod Yohn Royce to back her. With his respect for Ned and loathing for Baelish, he’d probably jump at the chance.

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    51. Catspaw Assassin: So near and yet so far! (⊙ ⊱⊙ )

      Ain’t that the truth! Still a good 22,000 seconds left…and they’re reeeally tickin’ by slowly today!!

      Did you see the new official twitter-teaser from Dragonstone? Can’t wait to finally be served some WW on screen again, and some Oldtown history class too and just maybe a rowing blacksmith or Jorah 🙂

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    52. Ser Shiz of Renia,

      I think youre onto something there. she might wear his face to keep control of the knights of the vale maybe? she might use it to to get sickly little robin to pledge for stark and when that is done,royce will take control of the army 🙂

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    53. J+D=AA: J+D=AA

      Well I guess I was wrong on this one… unless Bran informs Arya and Sansa they’re both being manipulated – Peter and Sansa are on very thin ice!

      Looks like Peter is in cahoots with Glover and Royce too – fanning the flames of dissent. More chaos. Will Arya kill them all? Just Littlefinger?

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    54. Little Finger’s days are numbered. He has been one of the greatest players in the game. Some would say the best. Little Finger has controlled the puppet strings of Westeros for a very long time but the story is coming to an end and while every other players are developing, Peter is playing the same game. Many of the themes in Season 7 have been circled around learning from the past. Little Finger however is using the same old tricks. He has a history with the Stark girls and has observed them arguing. He also was at the small council meeting where Sansa wrote the letter to Robb declaring her father a traitor. He knew if he planted that letter for Arya to find that he would be killing two birds with one stone. The two sisters would be pitted against each other and in that chaos he would be one step higher on the ladder on his way to the Iron Throne. But this will be his downfall. For he threw his stone not at birds but at wolves. He used his knowledge of the past to try and drive a wedge between this two to gain power of the north. However he should have used a lesson he learned long ago. Knowledge is not power, power is power. I hate to give the Mad Queen props but she delivered Little Finger a lesson he should have put away for future use. Every time a Stark has lost, they have done it alone. But now the Stark sisters are playing together and to bet against them would be foolish. However Little Finger entered the game and as you know you either win or die!

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    55. Interesting topic. I’d say Littlefinger is likely to die soon because the focus is shifting away from the political scheming and towards the war with the White Walkers so he becomes less relevant to the story. If we are lucky he will cause some rift between Sansa/Arya and we he takes Sansa down with him but I don’t hold out much hope there (sorry guys I’m not a Sansa fan).

      It will be interesting if he does go what happens with the Vale forces though.

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