Game of Thrones season 7 finally saw dastardly conspirator Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish executed for his crimes against the Starks, but one fan theory hints that he actually fakes his death using a Faceless Man.
The penultimate season of HBO’s classic historical fantasy series ended with a grand finale that saw the Wall coming down thanks to an ice-dragon, Jon and Dany getting it on, Sam (and Bran) figuring out why Jon and Dany should definitely not be getting it on, Cersei being her typical scheming self… and Petyr Baelish at last meeting his end.
The Lord Protector of the Vale was not a character that fans were excessively upset to see go, after seven seasons of manipulation – not to state the terrible decision to leave poor Sansa with the wicked Ramsay Bolton. Fans cheered as Sansa got her reprisal, outwitting Littlefinger and joining forces with her siblings to have him begging on the floor before Arya slit his throat.
However, not everyone is influenced by the Starks’ obvious triumph. YouTuber Neo has posited a theory that Littlefinger found a way to fake his death, and will be back in the final season.
Was Littlefinger’s Death A Faceless Man?
So if Littlefinger is too smart to be caught in this trap, how could he have escaped – but still had his throat cut in the Great Hall? With the help of the Faceless Men, obviously. We already know that Littlefinger has a connection to Braavos, because before his family came to Westeros, they were Braavosi.
His great-grandfather was a sellsword in Braavos before coming to the Vale, which Petyr mentions in the series. He also confirms that he knows who the Faceless Men are, if “only by reputation” – and it’s very likely that Littlefinger is dishonest about the extent of his knowledge. Most probably, growing up from a Braavosi family, he has heard a lot about the House of Black and White.
Further suggesting that Littlefinger is aware of the Faceless Men is his grin when he hears Arya say to Brienne that ‘no one’ trained her with a sword. It seems that, as common, Littlefinger knows more than he is letting on. Then, in season 7, episode 5, Arya observes an appealing exchange: Littlefinger stops to talk to a blonde stranger in a corner of the castle.
She says to him what sounds like “your time is up,” before he gives her a coin and she goes on her way. She may have just been a spy for him, and he may have been paying her for her services, but if this is the case, it makes it even more likely that he would have left Winterfell right away to save his skin.
However, given his Braavosi connections, it’s probable that this woman is a Faceless Man herself, and that the coin he gives her is not payment, but one of the coins of the House of Black and White. If this is true, Peter could have been setting her up to take on his face, and to stand in his place to be killed, while he leaves Winterfell for the Vale.
We know that it’s possible for a Faceless Man to wear the face of a living person, thanks to Arya seeing her own face on the body of Jaqen H’ghar in season 5, and given Littlefinger’s scheming, wealth, and Braavosi connections, it’s totally possible that the Starks killed… no one.
What This Means For Game Of Thrones Season 8
If this theory pans out, it means that season 8 could play out very differently – because Littlefinger hasn’t bled out on the floor of the Winterfell hall, but is still alive, still devious, and somewhere else completely. It’s possible that he has headed back to the Vale (leaving the soldiers at Winterfell behind), where he is still Lord Protector.
With the news that it looks like Robin Arryn is going to be in the premiere episode, Petyr could absolutely be returning to the Vale and his ‘step-son’ to set up for his next move. As for his plan, it seems doubtful that Baelish would go back to the Lannisters, as they know that he isn’t to be trusted, but it is probable that he could try this.
It’s also probable that he would try to take down the Stark family, but given his fascination with Catelyn, it seems that he may not take self-preservation that far. However, having been exposed to be a conspirator by the Starks, this also means that he would be unable to go to Daenerys and throw in his lot with her as future Queen.
However, he may well have a much larger plan, and one that doesn’t end up with him as Hand, Advisor, or devious brothel-owner. Littlefinger may well go for the throne himself. He would be able to use the turmoil of the White Walkers and the tug of war between the Lannisters and Starks to create his way to the absolute top.
This may have even been a long game he’s been playing the whole time, as it has been disclosed that he orchestrated a lot of the Lannister/Stark clash in the first place.
He may not have a claim to the throne, but he’s obviously a fan of rising in spite of family name, and has all the information that he needs to influence anyone into accepting him in a time of anarchy. And with the Starks and Lannisters under the impression that he is dead, Littlefinger would be able to design his way to the throne unimpeded.
It’s very possible that Littlefinger was finally killed, not because he faked his own death, but because the writers needed to kill him off before the final season. Either is possible, and if Littlefinger is back, that will absolutely make for some appealing final-season politics (and an extremely furious Sansa, which would be wonderful to see).
However, if he is actually dead, at least fans have the fulfillment of knowing that he actually did get what was coming to him.