Game of Thrones' Littlefinger is once again the most manipulative and clever man in the whole of Westeros, as seen on Sunday night's latest episode, "Eastwatch." After Arya follows him throughout Winterfell, seemingly catching onto his wicked ways, Littlefinger lays a trap for Arya to find that would have the potentially lasting effect of driving a wedge between she and Sansa. The trap? A damning scroll that Sansa was forced to write at Cersei's command back in Season 1, easily hidden for Arya to find.
Note: This article contains mild spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5, "Eastwatch."
In "Eastwatch", Arya follows Littlefinger around Winterfell, making mental notes of the people he talks to and the spies he employs inside the castle. Since her training with No One, the youngest Stark daughter has more than proved herself as a master assassin, but now she gets to employ those stealth espionage tactics to see what's up with Littlefinger. We're led to believe that Arya has the upperhand as she follows Littlefinger to his room — where he receives a mysterious scroll from Maester Wolkan — but, from the shadows, we see Littlefinger watching Arya enter and exit his room; he has been toying with Arya all along.
The scroll #AryaStark finds in Littlefinger's room is filled with Sansa's apparent betrayal of her family, saying that her father tried to "steal Joffrey's crown." The differences between the sisters may be a bit clearer now that they are older, much changed and yet finally reunited, but this time there is no reason to believe Sansa is anything but innocent. If anything, it should be clear to audiences — and hopefully Arya at some point — that Sansa's note was a fake and her loyalty is with (as it has always been) with House Stark.
A closer look at the message shows that it is an old scroll written by Sansa when she thought she could help save her father from a traitor's death. Likely dictated by Cersei, the message paints a false picture of Ned Stark and his made-up betrayal against former King Robert Baratheon as a way for Sansa to prove her loyalty to Cersei. It should be noted Littlefinger played a role in this event by convincing Cersei to test Sansa.
Littlefinger's ingenious plan seems to be to use Sansa's old words to create a rift between the sisters, thus undermining Sansa's position as Lady of Winterfell. He was cunning enough to see Arya didn't have any love for him and to expect her trailing his steps in hopes of catching him red-handed. So, he anticipated it, and planned a twist of his own — which Arya fell into quite easily.
For now, Arya seems to be hell-bent on confronting Sansa about the note while Littlefinger is lulled into a confident sense of security that his plan is working. Let's hope the Stark sisters see through his devilish ways and give him his comeuppance ASAP.
The Stark sisters do have a wild card at their disposal though, as the new Three-Eyed Raven just happens to be their brother, and he might have a thing or two to say about Littlefinger and his past transgressions. With all his past plots having failing miserably lately, Littefinger's number seems to up — no matter how clever he thinks he is. The real question is whether or not Arya will take more than one episode to realize she's been played, and to exact her revenge for it, or course.
Game of Thrones Season 7 penultimate episode airs next Sunday, on HBO.