Not only will you find SPOILERS for everything up to the sixth episode of Season 7 here, but you could potentially find some spoilers for events yet to come. Consider it a woods witch’s warning.
Littlefinger’s Valryian steel dagger, also known as the Catspaw Dagger, has certainly made the rounds. As far as we know, Littlefinger had it first, then Robert Baratheon, then an assassin (or “catspaw”), then Catelyn Stark, Ned Stark, Littlefinger again, Bran Stark, Arya Stark, and finally Sansa Stark. Yeesh.
Now, Littlefinger is a puppet master, the best player in the game of thrones, but he has one weakness: Stark women. More specifically, Catelyn Stark, and, after her death, Sansa. Although it seems Littlefinger always manages to come out on top, he’s made one dire mistake: he taught Sansa how to play the game.
Whatever Littlefinger’s endgame may be is irrelevant, because Sansa will kill Littlefinger and she’s going to do it with his dagger. Poetic justice is a dish best served cold as icy steel, in this increasingly mixed metaphor. So what exactly led us to this point, and what clues have we been given to reach this conclusion? Look into the flames, and you shall see. “Flames,” in this case, being in-depth critical analysis.
We Were Introduced To The Catspaw Dagger A Long Time Ago
We were introduced to the Catspaw Dagger very, very early. It was the second episode of the series, in fact. After Jaime Lannister threw Bran out the window when he caught him “wrestling” with his twin sister, the Starkling was paralyzed and in a coma. In “The Kingsroad,” a witless assassin tries to sneak in and kill Bran, but Catelyn is in the room, and after they struggle, Bran’s direwolf Summer rips his throat out.
The dagger intended to kill Bran was a rare Valyrian steel blade, with a dragonbone hilt. Given its remarkable nature, Catelyn decides to take it to King’s Landing so she can show it to Ned, and perhaps determine its origins. Also, for clarity, it’s called the “Catspaw Dagger” because a catspaw is an assassin—that is not the official name of this dagger.
So, What The Hell Is The Catspaw Dagger?
The Catspaw Dagger is Valyrian steel with a dragonbone hilt—not super common. Plus, the very same dagger was in an ancient text Sam was reading at the Citadel, which you can see in the image above. While the book doesn’t explicitly state the dagger originally belonged to the Targaryens, it discusses this type of rare weapon, mentioning that Aegon and his descendants popularized such models among the wealthier families.
The implication, of course, is that this particular dagger could very well have belonged to the Targaryens. Hopefully, it didn’t belong to Rhaegar (the likeliest candidate to be Azor Ahai), because then this dagger could be Lightbringer, the magical blade destined to defeat the White Walkers. And that would just confuse the seven hells out of everything.
The Dagger (Kinda) Started The War Of The Five Kings
When Catelyn brought the dagger to King’s Landing, Littlefinger claimed it was Tyrion’s, which was all Catelyn needed to kidnap the diminutive Lannister. In response to this offense, Tywin invaded the Riverlands and set the Mountain on its citizens, and thus erupted the war.
Now, did Tywin really give a flying Frey about Tyrion? No. Unequivocally not. The war was bound to start regardless, but the dagger did offer a convenient inciting incident. Without it, Robb Stark may have never called his banners south to meet the Lannisters on the field of battle, and events could have unfolded very differently.
So Did Littlefinger Send The Assassin To Kill Bran?
Although it seems like the most convenient explanation, perhaps Littlefinger didn’t try to have Bran killed. We later discovered Littlefinger lost the dagger to King Robert Baratheon in a bet. It seems unlikely Robert would try to have his best friend’s child killed, but his “son,” on the other hand, may have.
Joffrey May Have Stolen The Dagger
In A Storm of Swords, both Jaime and Tyrion independently reach the conclusion that Joffrey is responsible for the assassination attempt. Tyrion overheard Joffrey joking with the Hound in Winterfell about “killing a wolf,” and when Joffrey slices a book Tyrion gave him as a wedding present using his new Valyrian steel sword, he tells Tyrion, “I am no stranger to Valyrian steel.”
Jaime reaches the same conclusion when Cersei tells him what Robert said of Bran in Joffrey’s presence: “We kill our horses when they break a leg, and our dogs when they go blind, but we are too weak to give the same mercy to crippled children.” Jaime thinks Joffrey then hired the assassin to gain approval from Robert. Joffrey stole the blade from Robert’s own weapons carriage, thinking that it was plain and unassuming. Little did he know how distinctive the blade really was…
Littlefinger Has Done A Lot With The Dagger
Regardless of who sent the assassin , Littlefinger has possessed the dagger a number of times, and he’s done a lot with it. He’s offered it as a “gift” to numerous people, including Tyrion and Bran. He also held it to Ned Stark’s throat while the naive lord watched his men get slaughtered in the throne room, after attempting to take Cersei and Joffrey into custody. Most recently, the blade has passed from Bran to Arya to Sansa. But, it’s likely Sansa will give it back to Littlefinger, just not the way he would like.
Woods Witches And The Ghost Of High Heart Could Be The Key To Everything
In Game of Thrones, we are introduced to a woods witch named Maggy the Frog, who prophesied Cersei’s life:
Cersei: When will I wed the prince?
Maggy: Never. You will wed the king.
Cersei: I will be queen, though?
Maggy: Aye. Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.
Cersei: Will the king and I have children?
Maggy: Oh, aye. Six-and-ten for him, and three for you. Gold shall be their crowns and gold their shrouds, she said. And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
The prophecy is thus far accurate, and will likely be completed when Daenerys dethrones Cersei. It’s fair to say, then, that the prophecies of woods witches are not to be discounted. The most prevalent woods witch in the books is known as the Ghost of High Heart.
The Ghost Of High Heart Had A Prophecy For Sansa
Now, things get a little messy here because the Ghost of High Heart hasn’t actually been in the show yet, only the books, but she’s still relevant. In the books, the Ghost of High Heart has at least three accurate prophecies (pertaining to Balon Greyjoy, Catelyn Stark, and the Red Wedding), and one relating to “a girl with purple vipers in her hair.”
This likely refers to Sansa, with the poisonous black amethysts from Asshai in her hairnet used to kill Joffrey (this was changed to a necklace in the show). The prophecy also refers to her “slaying a giant in a castle built of snow,” which has yet to come to fruition.
But the time is drawing close. Littlefinger’s family sigil is the Titan of Braavos–a giant–and Littlefinger is in Winterfell–a snowy castle–with Sansa currently in possession of his dagger. Devala of A Song of Ice and Fire Wiki gets credit for this insightful interpretation.
Arya Sent Messages With Her Creepy Speech To Sansa
It the end of “Eastwatch,” all Game of Thrones fans released a collective groan at Arya, for being so stupid she woul let Littlefinger play her. But would she be so careless? Or does she want Littlefinger to only think he has the drop on her? Consider her terrifying speech to Sansa in “Beyond the Wall.”
Redditor anexanhume said of it, “Everything Ayra said sounded completely unhinged and then she handed over the dagger without a word. It’s almost like she assumes someone else is listening, and wants to tell them a story.”
In the same thread, user jiruga adds, “Yup. ‘I want to know what it feels like to wear those pretty dresses, to be the lady of winterfell’ she really doesn’t, she never wanted to wear pretty dresses or be a lady, she is obviously playing a game here.”
In this scene, it seems Arya is only fooling any eavesdroppers, while simultaneously giving Sansa both the means and the motivation to kill Littlefinger.
Sansa Is Definitely Going To Kill Littlefinger
There’s no doubt Arya’s threatening speech in “Beyond the Wall” got to Sansa. Sansa wanted desperately to absolve herself of any fault in her father’s death, but Arya makes her see the error of her ways. Beyond that, even though Sansa and Littlefinger have a messed up relationship, making it difficult to tell whether Sansa trusts him or not, he has taught her to hide her true desires and how to play the game of thrones.
Now she possesses the very tool to end his machinations, and it’s likely she will do so. Remember, she is the only one he has opened up to about his true plans: to sit on the Iron Throne with her at his side. That was his one slip up. That was when he lost the game.
So How Is Littlefinger Going To Die?
This is the most interesting part to speculate about, especially because we know it’s bound to happen. The manipulative, behind-the-scenes operative with radical and terrible ideas always gets the axe. But while we may be certain it’s coming, how exactly will Sansa do it? Reddit user wolfdog410 offers perhaps the most cathartic hypothesis:
“What would really be ironic is if Sansa has been conspiring with the other lords of the Vale to oust Littlefinger too. Brienne warns that LF could try to turn Winterfell soldiers against her, but what if it’s Sansa that orchestrates a double-cross of her own?
The scene could play out like when Ned was betrayed in Season 1 – where LF is surrounded by Vale knights when Sansa confronts him, he calls the knights to protect him, but they turn on him instead. She could come from behind, whisper a little one-liner in his ear, then get him with the dagger.
Sansa has been learning from him for a while now; I like the idea that he’s taken out by the monster he created.”
After all, we have seen Littlefinger holding hushed conversations with all manner of Northmen while in Winterfell. Sansa could very well do the same and provide some sweet, sweet justice.