Why Sansa Isn't Arya's Real Target on 'Game of Thrones'
Why Sansa Isn't Arya's Real Target on 'Game of Thrones'
Derek Stauffer
Derek Stauffer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
According to "Beyond the Wall," everything in Winterfell is going exactly to Littlefinger's plans. After finding Sansa's letter Arya has completely turned on her sister and spent most of her time in "Beyond the Wall" threatening the current Lady of Winterfell. It's a sad state of affairs for House Stark but it might not necessarily be the truth. As awful as Arya was to Sansa in "Beyond the Wall," Game of Thrones planted enough seeds to suggest that it all might be a ploy for Littlefinger to expose himself.


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Worst. Assassin. Ever.

The most crowd-pleasing result for Game of Thrones fans would be that Sansa and Arya are working together to take down Littlefinger but that doesn't seem to be the case. Sansa, with very good reason, seems extremely disturbed and scared of Arya. It isn't an act. Sansa is acting out of fear for her life and nothing else around Arya. Arya's behavior seems much more suspect. 

Arya obviously doesn't have qualms with murder at this point but we've rarely seen her be so open about threatening her targets. The point of being a Faceless Man is that Arya shouldn't reveal herself or her intentions before she has the knife (either literal or metaphorical) at her victim's throat. With Sansa, Arya couldn't be any more obvious. If she's truly planning on killing Sansa it's an incredibly stupid way to go about it. 

While the second scene of Arya and Sansa confronting each other happened in private, the first was in no way a secret. Arya menaced Sansa in the courtyard of Winterfell. It's true that Game of Thrones made it seem like the courtyard was empty at the time but it would've been incredibly easy for someone to be lurking in the corner and hear the whole thing. I highly doubt that before Arya killed Walder Frey she had a public meeting with him where she heavily implied that she was about to slit his throat and make him eat a pie of his offspring. 

The Game of Faces

The courtyard confrontation isn't even the most revealing aspect of Arya's supposed murderous plot. Though that second encounter did happen in private (though I wouldn't doubt Littlefinger could find a way to eavesdrop) it almost completely exposed Arya's real plan. Arya still comes off as threatening as ever but at the same time she could be dropping anvil-sized hints that Sansa is not her real target. Arya tells Sansa she wants to play the game of faces, a game that is about trying to suss out who is lying. It's easy to interpret everything Arya says from that point forward as a lie. 


Arya tells Sansa that she could kill her and become her, something she has always wanted to try. Based on everything we know about Arya, this is a bald-faced lie. Game of Thrones has never presented Arya as wanting anything more than what she is or has become. Arya is define by her fiercely independent streak. She has never wanted to be like Sansa and becoming the Lady of Winterfell would hold no appeal for her. The biggest clue that Arya drops, however, is handing Sansa Littlefinger's dagger, hilt first. It's the one thing Littlefinger couldn't possibly understand in the conversation and it's the biggest hint to Arya's true intentions. 

It's Littlefinger who Arya is really after in "Beyond the Wall." Every threat that Arya delivers to Sansa is a message for Baelish. Arya wants Littlefinger to feel as comfortable as possible because that will lead to one of two outcomes. He will either do something that will give Sansa no choice but to kill him herself or he will never suspect that Arya is coming to cut his throat.

At least this is the hope, because if Arya truly kills Sansa or dies in the attempt, it will be a pathetic end to one or both characters who deserve much better. But what do you think? Is Arya really targeting Littlefinger not Sansa? Will Sansa realize Arya's game or will it be too late for her? How do you hope the situation plays out? Will someone in Winterfell die in the season finale?

Game of Thrones season 7 airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO. Want more news? Like our Game of Thrones Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of HBO)