“The Dragon and the Wolf,” the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones, delivered moments fans have awaited for many years and it did not disappoint. What it was shockingly light on, especially in lieu of the carnage of the season, was deaths. Season 7 was notable for how several major ancillary players were wiped off the map of Westeros, including Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg), Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and the Sand Snakes (Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, and Keisha Castle-Hughes), and Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye). Season 7 saved its biggest death for last, though: farewell Lord Petyr Baelish a.k.a. Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen)!
After the events of the last couple of episodes involving Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), fans were divided in terms of this story. It seemed like the Stark sisters were going to go to war after six long seasons apart, all manipulated by Littlefinger in order to maintain his control over Sansa. Littlefinger made sure Arya discovered the letter Sansa was forced to write in season 1 after their father Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was executed by the Lannisters. Arya learned what part Sansa played in Ned’s execution, and it seemed like she was poised to take vengeance in her father’s memory. However, after consulting with Littlefinger and being fed more of his self-serving lies, Sansa – who has grown to be much smarter than anyone gives her credit for – came to a different conclusion and put a plan into action.
Under the guise of bringing Ayra before the bannermen of the North to be tried to treason, Sansa, Arya and Bran (Isaac Hemstead-Wright) together revealed it was Littlefinger who was truly being tried for treason and his many crimes against the Stark family. Sansa laid all of Littlefinger’s acts bare: He conspired with their aunt Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) to murder her husband Jon Arryn; he pushed Lysa through the Moon Door of the Vale to seize power as Lord Protector of the Vale, and he of course conspired with the Lannisters to have Ned Stark arrested, tried and executed on false charges of treason against the Crown. And, as Bran reminded Littlefinger, he held a knife to Ned’s throat and said “I did warn you not to trust me.”
Abandoned by the Lords of the Vale and proven guilty by the Starks, Littlefinger, the master manipulator who rose from a minor House in the Fingers to become Master of Coin of the Small Council and later Lord Protector of the Vale, became a pathetic beggar, dropping to his hands and knees and pleading with Sansa to spare his life. This is where having a Faceless One being member of your family comes in handy – with brutal swiftness and efficiency, Arya slit Littlefinger’s throat with his own Valyrian steel dagger. The story of Lord Petyr Baelish has come to an end, and the havoc his greed and ruthless ambition wreaked over the Stark family has been avenged.
The only other deaths in “The Dragon and the Wolf” occurred in the episode’s climactic moments when the White Walkers finally breached the Wall. Thanks to the dragonfire of Valerion, piloted by the Night King, the White Walkers were able to bring the part of the Wall over Eastwatch castle down and finally march through its remains into Westeros. This was witnessed by Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), who may have been among the Wildling casualties when the Wall came down. But there was no confirmation Tormund and Beric met their end, so it’s likely they survived to fight for the living in the Great War of season 8.
With Winter now truly arrived in Westeros, we have an untold number of months to brace ourselves for Game of Thrones’ 8th and final season, and the deaths of some more of our favorite characters yet to come.
Page 2: Who Died in Beyond The Wall?
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