A lot has gone down on Game of Thrones in the past seven seasons. So many characters have died, all in such creatively brutal ways, that it can be hard to keep them all straight. And so much happened in the supersized Season 7 finale over a year and a half ago that it’s totally not your fault if you can’t remember certain characters’ fates as we head into Game of Thrones’ final season on April 14.
But there’s one character in particular who has been confusing Game of Thrones fans for a while about whether he’s still alive or dead: Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Back when the Season 7 finale was about to air, there was a theory floating around that Littlefinger might have already been dead this whole time and we didn’t even know it — and apparently, there's a way that theory could actually bring the character back into play in season 8. So what’s the deal with Littlefinger in the final season of Game of Thrones?
Let's Talk About The Moment Littlefinger Died (Or Is It "Died"?)
While we had our suspicions that Arya Stark had killed Littlefinger before the Season 7 finale, we definitely got what seemed like a confirmation of his fate during the finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” The 80-minute episode pumped the brakes on the action (until the last scene, of course) to give all the shifting character dynamics room to breathe and blossom, which gave us one of the most anticipated moments of the series so far. The Stark sisters, Arya and Sansa, weren’t actually splintering, as both Littlefinger and fans assumed all season long. They had actually come together at some point offscreen and conspired to trick Littlefinger into believing he was manipulating them into a fractured relationship. But instead, they worked with Bran (who can now see into the past thanks to his Three-Eyed Raven status) to confirm all of Littlefinger’s lies and crimes to finally hold him accountable.
The scene in which Sansa pretends to hold Arya on trial only to flip the tables and accuse Littlefinger of all his crimes was as delicious as Game of Thrones revenge can possibly get. He didn’t see it coming at all. But thanks to Bran’s creepily detailed accounts of Littlefinger’s actions, the laundry list of his crimes were finally revealed: he poisoned the Hand of the King Jon Arryn (which arguably started the war and every horrible thing that's happened on this show since), manipulated sisters Lysa and Catelyn against each other, betrayed Ned Stark, killed Lysa, tried to kill Bran, plus probably a bunch of other things we haven't seen on the show. He was found guilty, and Arya carried out his execution with pure joy. Or did she?
Here's How Littlefinger Could, Potentially, Still Be Alive
Littlefinger & The Faceless Men
Littlefinger's death was a moment seven seasons in the making, and a fitting end to one of the most scheming, manipulative characters in the history of TV, but there are some who refuse to let dead Petyrs lie. A new fan theory has been gaining a lot of traction in the Game of Thrones offseason that suggests that not only is Littlefinger still alive (explained in much greater detail by YouTuber Fire and Blood) but also that he faked his death-by-Arya with a Faceless Man. The evidence has been there from the very start of the series: Littlefinger’s family were from Braavos, the same place where the House of Black and White trains the Faceless Men assassins who can become anyone. Littlefinger even mentioned in the past that he knew who the Faceless Men were, when very few characters on the show actually know about them. And when he overheard Arya telling Brienne that “no one” trained her how to fight, he smirked. He definitely knew more about the Faceless Men than he let on.
How The Faceless Men Connection Theoretically Changes His Fate
So it’s entirely possible that Littlefinger hired a Faceless Man to take his place when Arya and Sansa schemed to put him on trial. Earlier in Season 7, it appeared as if an unknown person tipped Littlefinger off that his “time is up,” so he could have been more prepared for the Stark betrayal than he let on. With enough time to enact his own scheme to save his life, he could have brought a Faceless Man to Winterfell to take his place and be murdered, thus allowing him to make a secret getaway. And if Littlefinger is still alive in Season 8, that means even more trouble is coming. If there’s one thing this man knows how to do, it’s cause problems from the shadows.
So, Where Does All This Faceless Action Land Us?
If this theory is wrong, Littlefinger will definitely be missed on Game of Thrones, but only because he was such a perfect villain to hate. His “death” succeeded in bringing the Stark sisters closer together than ever before, and for that we’ll always be thankful. If he's alive, there's a chance he could test that bond and their ability to stick together all the way through the final season, which isn't ideal.
But let's just consider the fact that his death scene was a moment seven seasons in the making, and a fitting end to one of the most scheming, manipulative characters in the history of TV. If the writers undo that Stark sister victory to pave the way for more scheming, they'd better have a very, very good reason.