Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 7, titled “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
Well, he had it coming.
To the sadness of no one, Petyr Baelish, Master of Mustache Twirling for House Stark, is finally six-feet-under. Long may he rot.
You probably joined us in lifting your wine glasses and crying out “THE QUEENS IN THE NORTH” during the season finale’s double (triple?) crossing scene. Finally, we not only saw the Starks truly reunited again, but also the raw power of sisterhood after a man tries to undermine it.
Spoiler alert: it ends his blood congealing on the cold, hard floor beneath their feet.
We’ve been warning Littlefinger since episode 2 that he’d get what was coming to him. If you ask us, his grave was made the minute he decided to treat not one but two Stark ladies like they were sweet, summer children instead of winter hardened badasses.
Like, have you even met the noblewomen of the north, Lord Baelish? Well let us introduce your corpse to Lyanna Goddamn Mormont, Arya Friggin Stark, and Sassafras Sansa Stark.
With seemingly minimal help from their all-powerful, omniscent Three-Eyed Raven brother, the Stark ladies taught Baelish his final lesson. Like so many other men learned throughout the seasons, underestimating women is a bad idea in Game of Thrones. And failing to take the Starks at their word is an even worse idea.
The North remembers. And Sansa didn’t ever forget the lessons you taught her, Lord Baelish.
“That’s what you do,” she tells a cornered Littlefinger in front of all the Northern lords and Knights of the Veil. “You turn family against family. Sister against sister. That’s what you did to my mother and my Aunt Lysa. And that’s what you tried to do to us.”
Baaaad decision, Baelish.
Over the season, viewers watched an interesting (if awkward) shift in the power dynamic between Baelish and Sansa. Once the supposed “master” of lies and deception, Littlefinger’s student did much more than just surpass him. She played chess, while she let her master think she just wanted to play dress up.
But as she revealed in the finale, Sansa’s not in this Lady of Winterfell business for the nice things and pretty dresses.
Meanwhile, Littlefinger’s been whispering vague yet dire lessons into Sansa’s ear for several seasons. Yet he never expected her to heed his words better even he did. In the end, Sansa imagined every possibility, she expected the worst, and she didn’t underestimate her opponent.
But Littlefinger made every one of those mistakes.
It comes down to the fact that Baelish failed to adapt his game to the new game he found himself in at Winterfell. He believed the Starks were as power hungry and devoid of human decency as he was. It was the miscalculation that cost him his life.
Because you might be able to bring a chaos ladder to a Lannister fight. But you can’t bring it to a direwolf den. In a game ruled by northern values rather than southern ones, you need to fundamentally understand who people are, and how their better halves works.
And the concept couldn’t be more foreign to a man like Littlefinger.
But Sansa understands people perhaps better than any other player in the Game of Thrones. And much like Catelyn, her shrewd yet loyal attitude toward her people just might be one of house Stark’s greatest assets going forward.
Interestingly, Littlefinger’s death scene mimicked his betrayal of Ned Stark in the Throne Room at the end of Season 1. Except, unlike the fight that lead to Ned’s eventual death, no one stood up to defend Baelish.
He was alone. The Great Hall of Winterfell was silent as a crypt. And it was more than just satisfying. It seemed to signal a shift in the Game of Thrones world as a whole.
For the first time in a very long time, the honorable thing was the right choice to make. We’ve grown accustomed to a Westeros ruled by the cut throat “win or you die” rules. But now, goodness and loyalty — rather than serving as the fatal character flaw in Robb, Ned, and even Jon — once again have a place in politics
So excuse us if we don’t buy your pitiable pleas, Baelish.
You can catch the ladies of Winterfell drinking up your male tears while they continue to save the North next season.