Winds Of Winter Will Have A Better Death For Littlefinger

Littlefinger Won’t Go Down So Easily In The Books
9.5
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
2011-04-17
sophie-turner-as-sansa-stark-and-aidan-gillen-as-littlefinger-_-photo-helen-sloan_hbo
Littlefinger has lost the Game of Thrones. In the books, he'll be far more conniving. HBO

Among the bigger surprises of the dramatic and game-changing Game of Thrones season 7 finale was the death of Littlefinger in a trial he thought would bring down Arya Stark and consolidate his control over Sansa Stark. But the Starks turned Littlefinger’s trap against him, and Sansa revealed she had finally seen through Petyr Baelish’s schemes and was ready to rid herself of the man who truly had played a large role in starting the War of the Five Kings and the Stark family’s misfortunes. He whined, begged, and died, and thus Littlefinger was no more. But have no doubt: Littlefinger won’t go down so easily in Winds of Winter.

Littlefinger Will Last Longer In The Books

Littlefinger lasted a surprisingly long time in Game of Thrones, which killed off characters by the dozen for the last two seasons. He had a good run, and yet, somehow, his death still came somewhat abruptly. He was exposed for his past treachery and longstanding attempts to destroy the Starks, but Sansa didn’t linger long enough on exposing Littlefinger’s plans. Why had he saved Jon Snow in the Battle of the Bastards? Why had he thrown his lot in with Sansa at all, even while he simultaneously sought to sow dissent between her, Arya and Jon Snow? What was his end goal? Why did he show his hand so much in an attempt to achieve it?

Littlefinger is no fool; he’s the greatest schemer in the Seven Kingdoms. Game of Thrones season 7 has become the Cliff’s Notes version of itself: it doesn’t have time to linger on the details. Littlefinger’s trial suffers for it. In Winds of Winter, it’s likely, if events go down in a similar way, Sansa will take the time to more fully expose his schemes—it’ll be the only way to truly entrap him, and convince the Lords of the Vale to turn against him.

Littlefinger has come a long way in HBO’s Game of Thrones compared to where he is in the books. At the end of Dance with Dragons, Littlefinger and Sansa are still in the Vale, where she’s slowly learning from his wily ways, and he has quickly consolidated full control over the small and ancient region. The debacle with the Boltons and the return of Stark rule in Winterfell have not happened, and if they do, they’re a long way off. Littlefinger will have plenty of time to scheme. But remember that he’s one of the savviest operators in Westeros, along with Varys and possibly Tyrion. In the books, which have more time to breathe and slowly explore character motivation and depth, Littlefinger—who has built himself up from nearly nothing into the Lord of Harrenhal and de facto ruler of the Vale—will not be so transparent in his motivations. Bran Stark may well still be able to expose him, but he’ll need to be caught redhanded to swiftly feel the Lady of Winterfell’s justice.

Littlefinger’s death, like much of Game of Thrones season 7, simply happened too quickly and without enough buildup. In Winds of Winter, his fall—if it ever comes—will be much more drawn out. And best of all, we may finally learn whether his schemes had any true aim—what drove him? Did he want to somehow sit the Iron Throne? Or did he just want to climb the ladder of chaos for his own sake?

Someday, when Winds of Winter comes out, we’ll know.

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