WARNING! Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” Season 7!
Understandably, she suspects he is up to no good. Somewhat surprisingly, he leads her into a trap.
Still, Arya’s snooping turns up a letter from sister Sansa (Sophie Turner), sealed with a Baratheon stag, which gives her a bit of a shock.
A specific line of dialogue earlier this season revealed that Maester Luwin of Winterfell kept a faithful record of every raven’s message sent to the castle. (Observant viewers will notice how quickly Littlefinger turned his head with interest.) That would include the message Sansa wrote to her mother and brother, as directed by Cersei (Lena Headey), all the way back in Season 1.
But although the handwriting is Sansa’s, the words are Cersei’s, and they plead with the Starks ― then mobilizing against the Lannisters ― to “swear fealty” to King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) at King’s Landing. The letter came to Winterfell.
Although Luwin (Donald Sumpter) immediately sees through the message as an obvious product of Cersei’s puppeteering, Arya may hold it against her sister, even though Sansa was much younger and more easily intimidated at the time.
Her discovery of the letter ― which we see was Littlefinger’s plan all along ― is intended to sow even more discord between two trueborn Starks (there are so few these days). That might be good for Littlefinger, who currently appears to be betting on Sansa. But it wouldn’t be good for the North.
Series co-creator D.B. Weiss offered his own explanation in a post-episode clip.
“He’s looking to prevent this sister bond from developing further, because the tighter that bond is, the more definitively he is caught outside of it,” Weiss said.
“On the Sansa end of the relationship, he’s seen the opening, and now all he needs to do is give Arya cause to display real rage toward Sansa,” he added. “He knows full well what’s going on inside Sansa’s head in regard to Arya — how dangerous she is. When Arya starts to act dangerous and act angry, he knows where Sansa’s going to turn.”
Let’s hope Jon hurries up.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.