Game of Thrones Season 7 finale left us confused about a number of things, but we've finally got a good answer to our question about what was going on with the Stark girls this year.
One of the most gratifying moments in all seven seasons of Game of Thrones was watching Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) list off a whole host of crimes to her sister Arya (Maisie Williams) and then turn coyly to Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and ask how he pled. Just when you thought she was going to execute her own sister, she flipped the script and came at Littlefinger with the very cunning grace he'd shown her how to wield.
Littlefinger had the gall to try to turn Sansa on her own sister, which is where he made a fatal mistake. We thought he'd succeeded until that final, pivotal moment when Arya slashed his throat and left him to die on the floor. But questions remained. Was Sansa just playing Littlefinger the whole time? Was Arya in on it since her return to Winterfell? How did Bran get involved? Did the Stark sisters nearly kill each other?
According to Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark in the show, Sansa's storyline was not as manipulative as all that -- she really did fall under Littlefinger's thrall and came dangerously close to killing Arya. We just couldn't tell because the scene explaining all that was cut from the finale.
"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," Hempstead-Wright told Variety. "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---.'"
It's definitely hilarious to hear Hempstead-Wright compare his character to a Westerosi CCTV system, but it's even more hilarious that it's kind of true.
Still, it clears up any doubts that Sansa and Arya were playing Littlefinger the whole time, faking their squabbles and tension in order to lull him into a false sense of security. It would have been nice to think they'd become partners in crime so quickly, but it definitely makes more narrative sense this way. After spending six difficult years apart and growing up under extreme conditions, there would obviously be a brief period of time for someone to drive a wedge between them before the bonds of family snapped them irrevocably back together.
Game of Thrones Season 8 does not have a premiere date yet.