(Major spoilers and stuff ahead.)
Although Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is officially on the side of the Starks, in the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” “Eastwatch,” it’s clear he’s still up to his old machinations.
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish has been manipulating events in Westeros for the entire run of the series, starting with the murder of Jon Arryn that kicked off the entire series by bringing Ned Stark (Sean Bean) down to King’s Landing.
Now he’s hanging out with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in Winterfell, trying to get close to her. She doesn’t trust him, and now her sister, Arya (Maisie Williams), is back. Littlefinger obviously isn’t too stoked about them being together, and possibly icing him out.
In “Eastwatch,” the fifth episode of Season 7, we see Littlefinger working his angles to try to create a rift between the sisters — who never really liked each other all that much anyway. At the end of the episode, fans saw Arya using her tricky skills to track Littlefinger, watching him talking to various people in obviously secret ways. The last thing she sees is Maester Wolkan (Richard Rycroft) delivering a document he found among Maester Luwin’s documents. Littlefinger confirms that what he has is the only copy, and then hides it in his room.
Arya breaks into Littlefinger’s room later and discovers what he hid. When she leaves, we see that Littlefinger is watching her go — signaling that this whole thing was a ploy to plant information for Arya to find. So what did the note she found in Littlefinger’s room say?
Eagle-eyed fans might have been able to read the document and recognize it from way back at the beginning of the series. The note is the message Sansa sent from King’s Landing at the request of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), telling Robb Stark (Richard Madden) to bend the knee to King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).
Sansa sent the message in return for Cersei’s promise of mercy for Ned Stark (Sean Bean) after he was captured during his attempt to take the Iron Throne back from the Lannisters after the death of King Robert (Mark Addy). In order to stay alive, Sansa had to denounce her father as a traitor.
Littlefinger knows that’s not going to sit well with Arya, or with the northern lords who are already putting their support behind Sansa over Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who they named the King in the North. Jon hasn’t been around, but Sansa has been a good leader in his absence. Arya’s not happy that the lords are disrespecting Jon and picking Sansa, and there’s friction between them because of it.
Now Littlefinger has provided Arya with a document that can undermine Sansa and will definitely create a divide between the sisters — who already don’t trust each other. Littlefinger’s ultimate quest is to get the Iron Throne, and while he claims he’s in love with Sansa, it doesn’t look like he’s going to let even her stand in his way.