The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season seven.
It's been a while since the season finale of Game of Thrones, but fans are still reeling from all of the huge moments that occurred during the season. One particular twist that had everyone shook was the trial and execution of Petyr
the Creeper Baelish. True, a majority of the audience was all too happy that Littlefinger had finally died; he had made it through seven seasons without ever paying for his part in effectively starting the War of the Five Kings and he finally gets his comeuppance at the hands of the remaining Starks. Poetic justice.
That's all well and good, but it still raised questions. When did the Starks come together to plan his takedown? Was it all a scheme to lure Baelish into a false sense of security? WHAT IS THE TRUTH?! We got a little insight into the dirty truth when Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Three-Eyed Raven Bran Stark, told Variety that there was a scene cut in which Sansa turns to Bran before she ends up betraying Baelish:
"We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran's door and says, 'I need your help,' or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she's like, 'Oh, s—.'"
On one hand, it's nice to have that tidbit because it helps set the scene before we arrive in the great hall for the execution. On the other hand, what the hell?! This only opens up a plethora of other questions, as well as shines a terrible light on the characters involved. It's possible that Hempstead-Wright misunderstood the scene's intention, since scenes are rarely shot in order and he even says, "As far as I know." The deleted scene could have occurred earlier in the season than right before the execution, or it could have been that the theory of Sansa and Arya working together was correct and her going to Bran was for the final nail in the coffin rather than her needing clarification. But if that isn't the case, then everything leading up to the surprise trial was real. And though some people may feel like this scene ties up the story in a neat bow, consider these points that show the opposite.
- Everyone was very obvious about not trusting Littlefinger. Sansa especially told her siblings that Littlefinger was never to be trusted and discussed how she knows exactly what he's after with Brienne. If everyone knows not to trust Littlefinger, why are they letting him give them the run-around? Why does Sansa suddenly need his counsel, especially when it comes to matters of her family? She genuinely seems to be taking his advice into consideration, which is baffling since she knows he's manipulative to a fault. Arya falls clumsily into his trap with no questions about the legitimacy of the situation. Yes, he's very sly and quick-witted, but that doesn't mean anything when you know he's a weasel.
- The Stark sisters are way out of character. OK, yes, the sisters were never particularly close and hadn't seen one another since their father's execution in season one, so it's no shock that they rub each other the wrong way. In fact, that first conversation the two have after the Northern lords complain about Jon and tell Sansa they should have given her the crown makes sense. Arya would have seen that as power move on Sansa's part rather than a placating one. But their actions after that interaction are far from reasonable — they're unbelievable. First, we're to believe that Arya, who's been taught how to be this badass stealthy assassin and just wiped out the Frey house with her skills, got so easily duped by Littlefinger? He didn't even put that much effort into it; he just hid in the shadows and she stumbled onto the note like he planned. Really, Arya?!
- What was the point of the game of lies? Some think this is where Arya "tests" Sansa and subtly tells her that she can trust her by handing her the dagger. But there's no sign that this is true. Arya plays the game of lies, but Sansa never calls her out because she doesn't know what the hell is going on. As far as she knows, her sister is being a complete psycho, first threatening to out her to the Northern houses and now basically telling her she could kill her for her face at any moment. Some might assume that because Arya hands Sansa the dagger at the end, this is her signaling that she trusts her and means no harm. But it could also just be Arya telling Sansa she isn't afraid of her and that she's no challenge for her, even with the blade. After all, she just got through telling her how she could take her down.
- Why didn't anyone ask Bran for help in the first place?!? Seriously, he's like having the cheat codes before you even need to start the game. It seems ridiculous that either sister didn't think to speak with their brother before their argument escalated so quickly.
Personally, I like thinking that the sisters were a little smarter than that. We didn't come this far into the game for our favourite characters' development to slide into obscurity and have us question their every move. Whatever happens in season eight, here's hoping it shows the true strength of the Stark siblings and the sisterhood we've been waiting for since season one.