We gave it an A
Arya presses Littlefinger — “My sister asked you a question” — and we cheer. The sisters are finally working together!
Sansa runs down his crimes: Littlefinger poisoned the Stark kids’ uncle and King Robert’s former Hand of the King Jon Arryn — which started this whole chain of events that led to war. He turned Sansa’s aunt Lysa against their mom Catelyn — playing the sisters against each other (so Littlefinger playing Sansa against Arya is really a reprise that not many of us picked up on — he was doing the same trick twice). He betrayed Ned Stark, of course. And he shoved Lysa out the Moon Door (ehhh, we’re okay with that one).
Littlefinger says she can’t prove it. That’s when Bran speaks up, blowing him out of the water with his third-eye evidence. Baelish demands to be returned to the Vale, but there’s no escape. “I might be a slow learner, but I do learn,” Sansa says.
Sansa is upset. She doesn’t really want to do this. Arya is gleaming. She totally wants to do this — and never takes her eyes off Littlefinger the whole scene. Bran doesn’t much care about anything and is probably already watching one of HBO’s upcoming GoT prequels in his mind.
Together, they are literally the judge (Sansa), the jury who examined the evidence (Bran), and the executioner who carries out the sentence (Arya).
Littlefinger falls to his knees and begs and cries. He’s utterly humiliated. This too is a callback, and one that actor Aidan Gillen reveals in our interview tonight (link at end of recap).
Arya walks casually in front of Littlefinger and shows off how gracefully and effortlessly she can slash somebody’s throat. Killed by his own dagger, and nobody is more shocked than he is. The man famously said, “Chaos is a ladder,” but the rest of that speech is typically forgotten: “Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” Littlefinger started from the modest of houses and climbed higher than anybody would have expected. But he reached for one rung too many.
Later, Arya and Sansa have a chat. We get the bonding we’ve been longing for all season — mutual respect and understanding of each other’s talents and sufferings. “The lone wolf dies but the pack survives,” Sansa declares. But we suspect that with only one more season remaining, even staying together in a pack won’t keep all the Starks safe.
Later: Samwell arrives. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s huge in the show’s history. Sam was the final major Game of Thrones character to have his own separate story line. Now all the surviving major characters are clustered into groups with one another for the first time since early in the show’s debut season. No more lone wolves; they’re all in packs.
Sam has a chat with Bran, who explains he’s now the Three-Eyed Raven. Somebody needs to buy Bran a T-shirt that says, “I’m the Three-Eyed Raven” so he can stop telling people this. Together they hold the two Jon Snow ancestry puzzle pieces that will reveal the King in the North’s true identity and doubtless put the poor guy into years of therapy. The subject of Jon Snow thankfully comes up rather quickly. Can you imagine if it did not and these two just chatted about ravens and food? We’d be dying. Next: Hey Bran, is there a middle name Jon can use instead?