You would be forgiven for forgetting the minor events of "Beyond the Wall." After all, it's not every week Game of Thrones ends an episode with a cliff-hanger like a freaking resurrected zombie ice dragon. This week's scenes involving Jon, Daenerys, the Night King, and the White Walkers massively overshadowed the more manipulation-driven, dubious dealings in Winterfell. Before all the drama with the ice and fire, there was trouble at Winterfell among Sansa, Arya, and Littlefinger. The episode threw a subtle but puzzling curveball: Just why did Sansa send Brienne, of all people, to King's Landing?
Why was Sansa being mean to Brienne? Why did she send her away so coldly? And what does this have to do with Littlefinger and the years-old letter he planted for Arya to find? Are the Stark sisters in this together, or are they both being played? Has Brienne been banished to the South so she can't defend either sibling? And what horse does Littlefinger have in this race? Many questions have been posed. Let's try and get to the bottom of this.
Could Sansa Try To Hurt Arya?Photo: HBO
No one would blame Sansa for being freaked out by her little sister's creepy deadpan demeanor and sack of faces. Arya explicitly said she could kill Sansa if she felt like it, so it seems strange that she would send away Brienne, who has sworn to protect her.Redditor DutchArya thinks Sansa plans to have Arya killed by the men in her camp. However, she knows if she preemptively strikes out against Ayra, Brienne will have no choice but to side with the younger Stark, protecting her from Sansa and her Northern army. Perhaps that's why the newly christened Lady Stark sent Brienne away to King's Landing: to ensure nothing gets in the way of her self-preservation.
Is Arya's Psycho Personality Just An Act?Photo: HBO
Arya made a dead-eyed, monotoned monologue about her bag of faces and the games she played at the House of Black of White. Was this genuine proof of a terrifying personality transplant, or was it all for show? Many Reddit users theorized that Littlefinger has eyes and ears everywhere, so the Stark sisters know better than to openly discuss their ideas with each other.
Rather than risk Littlefinger finding out the girls are plotting his downfall, it may be better to let him assume Arya is a murderous psycho who casually threatens her own sister. Arya was a lot warmer during their reunion, even if she was making jokes about her murder list. Surely Sansa's ancient letter couldn't have changed her mind so quickly? Did Sansa send Brienne away as part of an elaborate plan to make it seem like the pair is at each other's throats? It would certainly make Littlefinger feel as though he had the upper hand.
Arya Wanted Littlefinger To Know She Was SpyingPhoto: HBO
Arya is no slouch when it comes to spying. She trained at the House of Black and White, where she learned control her emotions in order to become "no one." Even though she shed the identity-free life to pursue Arya Stark's murder list, she's still a certified badass. She has a bag of faces and numerous tricks up her sleeve. So why is she being so obvious while spying on Littlefinger?
Back at Winterfell for the first time in years, Arya is peering around pillars and lurking in corners. Surely Littlefinger knows when he's being watched? Well Redditor kingkongy believes the sisters are in this together, and that Arya's obvious spying is all part of the act. Another Reddit user, gat7305, agreed with this assessment, citing Arya's palpable animosity towards Littlefinger in Season 7's fourth episode, which seems to have disappeared by episode 6. Littlefinger has eyes everywhere, and Arya wants to be seen.
Sansa Doesn't Want Anyone To Think She Needs Brienne To Do Her Dirty WorkPhoto: HBO
Sansa Stark knows how to play the game of thrones. She's positioned herself in a seat of immense power in the North, and it's hard to see her giving that up anytime soon. So how, then, will Sansa solidify her power with the Northern lords? Well, she's fully aware of Littlefinger's treacherous tendencies, and she knows he can never be trusted as more than a wild card in her life. Sansa can never anticipate what he'll do next, and that's a problem for the Lady of Winterfell.
Therefore, Littlefinger has to go. But Sansa is a trueborn daughter of House Stark. As such, she knows that the person who passes the sentence must swing the sword—or, in this case, plunge the dagger into the heart of her betrayers. Sansa sent Brienne away because she doesn't want to be tempted to use her as a fallback for killing Littlefinger. She wants to make sure she'll do it herself, and that all of the Northern lords know Lady Stark doesn't need any bodyguards to be deadly.