Warning: Full SPOILERS for “The Dragon and the Wolf” below.
The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” played out in somewhat predictable fashion overall (who didn’t see the Night King’s Wall destruction via wight dragon coming?) but one scene that truly delivered on shock and awe was the execution of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish at the hands of the Stark sisters. Following last week’s somewhat controversial episode, which saw Arya and Sansa seemingly on the cusp of committing fratricide against one another, it was surprising to see that it was all part of a long con against the series’ master manipulator, Littlefinger.
During the “Inside the Episode” segment for “The Dragon and the Wolf,” series showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discussed Littlefinger’s dramatic departure and explained that it was all a culmination of setup work done in prior episodes.
“So much of that scene is about what happens beforehand, and building up the tension between Sansa and Arya in the earlier episodes of the season, where you really believe that one will potentially kill the other,” Benioff explained.
According to the duo, they were able to get viewers to buy into an apparent rift between the Stark sisters because of the unpredictable nature of Game of Thrones and its characters up to this point. “It’s one of the benefits of working on a show like this, where over the years so many beloved characters have been killed, and so many characters make decisions you wish they hadn’t that you can believe Sansa might conspire against Arya, or that Arya might decide that Sansa has betrayed the family and deserves to die,” Benioff added.
Weiss and Benioff credit Aiden Gillen, the actor who plays Littlefinger, for playing a side of the character that viewers had never seen before. “I was actually very interested and excited to see what Aiden would do with that moment because it’s a moment he’s never been in before,” Weiss said. “He’s imagined every conceivable eventuality except this one.”
As Benioff notes, Littlefinger’s disbelief stems from his affection for Sansa, as even though he is “clearly a sociopath amongst other things, he does have strong feelings towards Sansa.” However, Sansa proves to be a better student than Littlefinger ever imagined her to be, as Benioff notes that “he’s trained her too well and she’s not about to be swayed by his tears or his pleas.”
What did you think of Sansa and Arya pulling a fast one on Littlefinger? Sound off in the comments below!