Game of Thrones Season 7 concludes this coming Monday, and by the looks of the trailer, things are going to be big. HBO have promised us that the finale, titled ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’, will see nearly all the major characters from the show assemble in the dragon pit at King’s Landing to present Cersei the gift Jon and his men got from Beyond the Wall.
It’ll be big. It’ll be bloody. There’s a chance – a chance – The Mountain will fight The Hound in the long-mooted ‘Cleganebowl’.
All-in-all, they’ll be a lot going on, which is good considering it’ll have a 79 minutes and 43-second run time. But it wouldn’t be an episode of Game of Thrones without some callbacks to previous episodes, and for that, it looks like something mentioned aaaaaallll the way back in Season 1 could be key to the future of House Stark.
Die-hard Game of Thrones fans may remember that in the final trailer before Season 7 began airing, Sansa Stark can be heard stating “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives”. The statement has yet to be heard in the series itself, so we can safely assume we’ll be hearing it this week. Considering the current rift between Arya and her sister Sansa, many have speculated that it could have something to do with one killing the other as Littlefinger continues his nefarious plans.
There’s only one problem: The lone wolf line isn’t the words of Sansa, but in fact from Ned Stark.
As redditor ThatsSplendid points out, back in Episode 3 of Season 1, Ned Stark offers a bit of fatherly advice to Ayra, following a fight between the Stark daughters on the Kingsroad. That speech paraphrases the one he makes in the first book:
“Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths. So if you must hate, Arya, hate those who would truly do us harm. Septa Mordane is a good woman, and Sansa … Sansa is your sister. You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you … and I need both of you, gods help me.”
“I do not mean to frighten you, but neither will I lie to you. We have come to a dark dangerous place, child. This is not Winterfell. We have enemies who mean us ill. We cannot fight a war among ourselves. This willfulness of yours, the running off, the angry words, the disobedience … at home, these were only the summer games of a child. Here and now, with winter soon upon us, that is a different matter. It is time to begin growing up.”
It’s a lovely bit of dad advice, and completely changes the meaning of Sansa’s lines from the Season 7 trailer. Rather than have them be a statement of “sometimes a Stark must die for the rest to live”, the line becomes one of “Starks have to put aside their differences in times of true hardship”.
Which means there’s probably a good chance Littlefinger is getting murdered.
Throughout Season 7, much has been made of Littlefinger’s attempts to control and divide the Starks as he tries to manipulate the Northern Houses into securing him the Iron Throne. His gesture to gift Bran Stark the catspaw dagger was a Chekov’s gun that still needs to go off, and following the conversation between Sansa and Arya in ‘Beyond the Wall’, the pair are set to have a big clash in the finale this week.
We've been promised a "violent and surprising" incident involving Arya and Sansa, and while most signs point to the two Stark daughters slugging it out, this is Game of Thrones, a show known for zigging when we expect it to zag.
Someone’s going to die in Winterfell in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’. Someone’s going to use the catspaw dagger to use it. We reckon Littlefinger’s done for.