In Game of Thrones' season 7 finale,

Sansa Stark charges Lord Baelish with murder and treason, including the murder of Lysa Arryn, conspiracy to kill Jon Arryn and conspiracy with Cersei Lannister and Joffrey Baratheon to betray Eddard Stark, thus starting the War of the Five Kings.

What events led the Stark children to deduce Littlefinger's plans? — obviously at least some degree of Greensight is to thank, as implied by Bran saying

"you held a knife to his throat".

However, there is at least some suggestion that Arya knows more than what she says even before that moment, given that

she hints at killing Sansa with a knife but then offers the knife to her instead.

Was there any hint at all about how the Stark children connected the dots, or is this all thanks to an act of deus ex machina by Bran?

  • Not to mention that Sansa has been shown to be shrewd and capable of forming her own plots and recognizing others. Plus she has known Little Finger long enough not to trust him. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 18:09
  • Obviously some things Sansa knows first hand: His conspiracy with the Boltons and his murder of Lysa, of course. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 18:16

3 Answers 3


I think Sansa exposes that it was Littlefinger's own lessons that showed her the light. When she repeats his lesson to him:

Sometimes when I'm trying to understand a person's motives, I play a little game.

I assume the worst.

What's the worst reason you have for turning me against my sister? That's what you do, isn't it? That's what you've always done turn family against family, turn sister against sister.

That's what you did to our mother and Aunt Lysa, and that's what you tried to do to us.

She is explaining that rather than following his lesson and applying it to Arya, she instead asked that same question about him. Sansa knows he killed Lysa. She knows Lysa killed Jon Arryn for him. She can then start to suspect even more, and suspect he's doing a similar thing to her and Arya.

So off-screen she must have spoken to Arya and come to the truth. Then speaking to Bran, they learned even more about what Littlefinger has done, some of which he said in the trial itself.

Regarding Arya in the previous episode

I think Arya wanted to intimidate and scare Sansa, to show that not only could she kill her, but she could wear her face to get away with it as well. But Arya didn't want to, and gave her the knife to prove it.

  • 2
    "I think Arya wanted to intimidate and scare Sansa ..." or they were already playing Littlefinger and were performing for his spies.
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 3:09
  • 2
    But littlefinger wasn't in that room, so what would be the point. It was clearly done to lead us (the audience) on
    – Worthy7
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 7:07
  • I also do not think that Littlefinger or any of his spies heard that conversation. Out of universe it was created to keep leading the audience into thinking that we will have a conflict between Arya and Sansa. In universe I feel like it could have been a showoff between the two sister. They have not seen each other for a long while and both have developed a lot. Arya is proving that she is definitly not a "Lady of Winterfell" whilst Sansa has built up a natural defense against intimidation.
    – Marv
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 7:24
  • @DaleM: I agree that it's possible that Arya and Sansa put on a show for Littlefinger. I argued the same even before the reveal. It makes sense that they keep it up, since they don't know when they're spied on. However, it makes no sense for Arya to give Sansa the dagger if they were trying to put on a convincing act for potential eavesdroppers. It would've been much better for Arya to fully threaten Sansa. Instead, I now believe that Arya handing Sansa the dagger is the exact moment where Sansa realized that Arya was not the enemy; and their charade only started from then on.
    – Flater
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 11:19

deus ex machina by Bran

This is not really a deus ex machina. Bran can see the past and he saw that Littlefinger was responsible for a lot of crap. Since it was related to his family, he let Arya and Sansa know so that Littlefinger could be taken care of.

  • 6
    It's an example of a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem (things Littlefinger did in private) is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the inspired and unexpected intervention (greensight) of some new event, character, ability or object (Bran, who is suddenly not being a distant and awkward twit). A deus ex machina.
    – user40790
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 18:36
  • 4
    Bran gave up his humanity (or perhaps more accurately his likeability as a character) to become nearly omniscient and then uses these powers to avenge the family of his previous self? -- there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind his insights other than progressing the plot, and there doesn't seem to be a cost/sacrifice associated with it either. Sounds like a deus ex machina to me. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 18:59
  • 7
    @Axelord Since Bran and his abilities (even specifically that he had already seen into Littlefinger's own past) were established earlier in the season, no it's not a deus ex machina. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 20:54
  • 8
    Bran using his greensight is not the "unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability". His character has been following this arc since S1E1 when he fell from the tower. It is supernatural, but is nothing like a deus ex machina because of all the build-up. Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 22:48
  • 2
    @errantlinguist - Bran gave up his humanity to fight the night king, and then uses his powers to stop someone from conspiring to undermine Jon Snow's hold on the North, a character whom the Red God considers to be important enough in the fight against the night king to be worth resurrecting. Seems completely in character for Bran/the three eyed raven, no?
    – Scott
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 23:54


This actually has nothing really to do with Sansa or Arya figuring it out on their own but apparently Bran basically told Sansa. The implication is that Sansa had actually learnt nothing and was actually believing Arya to be the guilty one and for her to be killed. However, before doing it she asked Bran and he told her she was being a muppet. This is allegedly in a deleted scene.

It’s clear after Sansa turns the tables on Littlefinger that she has had some sort of conversation with Bran, but we don’t get to see it. When did it take place?
We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran’s door and says, “I need your help,” or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she’s like, “Oh, s—.”
Variety, ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Reveals Scene Cut From Season Finale

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.