Game Of Thrones’ Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish has proven time and again how adept he is at four-dimensional chess, what with his unique ability to stay three or four steps ahead of his adversaries. We’ve been pondering just what nefarious plans he has for Sansa and the rest of North for the last several seasons, and now we’re getting a sense of just what exactly he’s up to.
Clarity came through a note. After secretly stalking Littlefinger, Arya sneaks into his room, where she finds a note tucked in his sheets. Viewers only caught a quick, obscured glimpse at it, but those completists in the r/gameofthrones subreddit had a transcript straightaway.
Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.
It’s okay if the letter is unfamiliar to you. We haven’t seen it since season two, when Sansa was forced to write the letter at the behest of her then-husband, that vicious moppet Joffrey. And it’s really not something Sansa would want Arya reading.
As Redditor TheVillageGoth explained:
Petyr Baelish meant for Arya to find it, to turn the two sisters against each other. Arya won’t understand the context under which it was written, and will interpret it as Sansa betraying her family—when it was actually written under distress.
It’s an ingenious plan.
It’s also a confirmed one. In the behind-the-scenes clip for last night’s episode, co-creator D.B. Weiss discusses it.
Arya is very used to being more clever and more stealthy and smarter than any of the people she’s up against, and she hasn’t dealt with Littlefinger for awhile. So she gets roped into spying on somebody who’s actually leading her by the nose to something that he wants her to have. He’s looking for a way to prevent this sister bond from developing further, because the tighter that bond is the more definitively he is caught on the outside of it.
But would Arya be fooled this easy? She’s a faceless man, for Christ’s sake. She’s pretty much supernatural. Also, why is she following Littlefinger with her own face when she can disguise herself as any number of guards or servants? It’s easy to forget just far Arya’s powers stretch, and that no matter how clever Littlefinger is he’s really no match for her manner of stealth.
Asking questions such as these, though, is on par with asking why Bran can’t just, like, tell everybody everything what’s going to happen. That wouldn’t be much fun, would it?