A Time for Starks

Sansa and Aria are Playing Littlefinger (Not the Other Way Around)

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Just now, Samwell_Tarly said:

Royce is not stupid he knows whats going on and what LF  is capable of. Royce has to do as Robyn says and LF is calling the shots through Robyn. Royce has to be careful and do the right thing not because he trusts LF but he doesnt want to end up dead which he could have done in season 6.

Sansa doesnt know that LF told Royce she was kidnapped by the Boltons......

Robyn is still in the Vale, so again, it's absurd that Royce hasn't had LF killed already via an accident.  

Why wouldn't Sansa know that, other than plot contrivance, they've all been at WF for months, its' not believable that she doesn't know that, or that Royce and the Vale lords wouldn't have ever, not once, mention the reason they rode North.

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1 minute ago, Cas Stark said:

Robyn is still in the Vale, so again, it's absurd that Royce hasn't had LF killed already via an accident.  

Why wouldn't Sansa know that, other than plot contrivance, they've all been at WF for months, its' not believable that she doesn't know that, or that Royce and the Vale lords wouldn't have ever, not once, mention the reason they rode North.

Yeah plot doesnt make sense I know.

I really dont know, as far as I am aware she doesnt know. 

But if she did Id Imagine the convo would go.

Sansa - Thanks for saving us Lord Royce

Royce - No problem, when we heard you had been kidnapped by the boltons we rushed to your aid to save you

Sansa - Wait what?!? I wasnt kidnapped, LF arranged the whole thing.....

Royce - Wait til I get hold of that Scheming mother fucker.

LF is executed.

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2 hours ago, RhaenysB said:

I mean... we thought there would be a twist when Arya got stabbed too... 

my expectations are below zero at this point. 

Lol, that event singlehandedly made me reevaluate many theories I'd somewhat subscribed to. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Samwell_Tarly said:

Yeah plot doesnt make sense I know.

I really dont know, as far as I am aware she doesnt know. 

But if she did Id Imagine the convo would go.

Sansa - Thanks for saving us Lord Royce

Royce - No problem, when we heard you had been kidnapped by the boltons we rushed to your aid to save you

Sansa - Wait what?!? I wasnt kidnapped, LF arranged the whole thing.....

Royce - Wait til I get hold of that Scheming mother fucker.

LF is executed.

This so much!  I'd forgotten that LF claimed the Boltons grabbed her and ran off.  

I imagine they didn't want to use that as a reason for his execution because it would differ too greatly from the book resolution. You know, since none of that bS ever happened to Sansa. 

But it seriously screws with the logic of the show. 

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The problem I see with the Sansa and Arya are plotting theory, is that there is no point and doesn't even seem like it would work. 

First if Sansa wanted to move against Littlefinger she knows enough of his plots to turn the lords of the north and of the vale against him.  She doesn't because she doesn't want to lose his help.  She thinks she can handle him and he hasn't done anything unforgivable (in her mind) or at least he has proven himself to be more helpful than hurtful.

Second what could this scheme really cost Littlefinger.  Arya shows, by her bloodthirsty comments, that she is a potential threat to Sansa so Littlefinger devises a scheme to see how dangerous she is.  And if she is a significant threat to neutralize her.  Now it isn't proper and no one asked him to do such a thing but if he says that he only acted because he thought Sansa was in danger, who would blame him?  Everyone knows he is a schemer but if his goal appears to be Sansa's well being, and all of his current actions can easily be portrayed as such, it won't be enough to turn the lords away from him.  And Sansa and Arya revealing that they came up with this elaborate deception just to move against Littlefinger will make them look bad in the eyes of the honorable lords of the north and of the vale.

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, A Time for Starks said:

I’ve thought long and hard about this, and the Arya, Sansa and Littlefinger plotline is clear: Arya and Sansa are the ones playing Littlefinger (not the other way around).  The supposed rift developing between the sisters is an act, and they’re the ones playing Littlefinger at his own game.

Two Main Reasons:

  1. Sansa’s time with Littlefinger has led to two things: 1. Through his tutelage, she has now learned how to be a smart political player of this game, and 2. She has learned that Littlefinger is only in it for himself and will do whatever it takes to accumulate all the power, including destroying others that Sansa cares about.  On the first point, think of the dialogue clues from earlier in the season.  Sansa says to Jon “we have to be smarter than Robb and father.”  Tyrion and Jon conversation, about Sansa being smarter than letting on, and Jon responding with “she’s starting to let on.”  These lines of dialogue are in there for a reason.  She’s not dumb.  She knows what Littlefinger is up to.  She knows he wants all of the power.  She’s no longer the person to just sit back and be the one being played.  She will now do the playing.

  2. Aria’s training with the faceless men and her interest in the theater company has led her to be a convincing actress.  I believe she is just playing a part of the angry sister in the scene with Sansa and playing the part of the clumsy spy in the scenes with Littlefinger. 

Two Supporting Reasons:

  1. Deaths in this series are often ironic in some fashion (not sure if ironic is the right word here but that’s all I could think of).  One of Ned’s first scenes is him beheading a deserter of the night’s watch, then he is beheaded.  Tywin is the most respected man in Westeros, and he is killed on the toilet.  Stannis is a great military commander and he is killed by being taken by surprise militarily.  Ramsey kills others with dogs, and he gets killed by his own dogs.  Olenna poisons Joffrey at his wedding, then she drinks poison to kill herself while confessing to Joffrey’s murder.  I am sure there are more, but you get the point.  What would be more fitting to this series than Littlefinger, the one who plays everyone in his quest for power, gets played himself and it leads to his death.

  2. I believe Bran also plays a role here.  Think of Bran’s scene with Littlefinger, “Chaos is a Ladder” is meant to basically say that Bran knows what Littlefinger is up to and how big of a scumbag he is (because even though Sansa knows the type of person Littlefinger is, she doesn’t know the extent of all he’s done).  And behind the scenes, Bran could be informing Sansa and Aria about all of this.

     

So I believe behind the scenes the Stark kids are working together.  And the scenes we are seeing are just an act since they know Littlefinger will have spies or some other way to overhear their conversations and track their whereabouts (think of the young lady that is getting paid by Littlefinger in this most recent episode, probably a Littlefinger spy).  If true, this would be in some ways a culmination of the three Stark kids greatest gifts coming together to bring down Littlefinger.  Bran can see what Littlefinger has done and is doing/will do and he conveys that to the Stark sisters.  Sansa is now a powerful political player in this game that will no longer be the pawn in someone else’s game.  And Aria is a sneaky assassin with the ability to convincingly lie and act.  When working together and using all of these abilities together they beat Littlefinger at his own game.

What do you think?

What you are proposing is reasonable, make sense and is complex.  So... no...

What the show has demonstrated that most things need to be taken at face value. So, I would be that the ilogic and odd aggressiveness between arya and sansa are indeed being played by LF. However, he will make a mistake and will be killed at the end.

I hope I am wrong and you are right...

Edited by King Louis II (KLII)

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

That would be much more clever of the Starks and the show, but since I can't see what the purpose of putting on such a show is.....what they are trying to trap him into doing....I think this is more over thinking of things.  Bran will just tell his sisters that LF is bad and betrayed their father and then they'll have him killed.

In order to retain the Army of the Vale, the truth about Lysa's death needs to come out, so everyone knows what a snake Littlefinger is. I'd love if the truth about Jon Arryn's murder were to come out as well... but I'll settle for everyone learning Petyr pushed his own wife out of the Moon Door.

And yes, OP, I totally agree they'll end up playing him, because they're not the idiots he thinks they are.

Quote

The problem I see with the Sansa and Arya are plotting theory, is that there is no point and doesn't even seem like it would work. 

Littlefinger has to die, that's the point. And why wouldn't it work?

Quote

First if Sansa wanted to move against Littlefinger she knows enough of his plots to turn the lords of the north and of the vale against him.  She doesn't because she doesn't want to lose his help.  She thinks she can handle him and he hasn't done anything unforgivable (in her mind) or at least he has proven himself to be more helpful than hurtful.

Sansa no longer needs Littlefinger's "help."

Quote

Everyone knows he is a schemer but if his goal appears to be Sansa's well being, and all of his current actions can easily be portrayed as such, it won't be enough to turn the lords away from him. 

His goal has never been for Sansa's wellbeing. I don't even think Sansa ever believed that. 

 

Edited by ShadowKitteh

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7 hours ago, Lurid Jester said:

 

But it seriously screws with the logic of the show. 

Logic of the show? you are so Season 3.....     :P

New times my friend...new times...

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7 hours ago, Samwell_Tarly said:

Yeah plot doesnt make sense I know.

I really dont know, as far as I am aware she doesnt know. 

But if she did Id Imagine the convo would go.

Sansa - Thanks for saving us Lord Royce

Royce - No problem, when we heard you had been kidnapped by the boltons we rushed to your aid to save you

Sansa - Wait what?!? I wasnt kidnapped, LF arranged the whole thing.....

Royce - Wait til I get hold of that Scheming mother fucker.

LF is executed.

Agreed, it is pretty bad.

The only thing I can come up with is that Sansa has simply not wanted to harm LF in any way yet because she wants to be sure that she has the Vale army in camp, on her side.  The only way to ensure they stay at her side is to control LF via his obsession with her.  Who knows what SweetRobin would do without LF there controlling him for Sansa's benefit (in her mind).

LF is lusting after Sansa and Sansa knows it and he knows it and she is using it and he is aware of that too but he believes he can have her in the end.  They are both using each other for their own purposes and both of them are totally aware of it too.  Basically, Sansa is protecting LF for her own reasons.  Those reasons are about to end though.

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53 minutes ago, King Louis II (KLII) said:

Logic of the show? you are so Season 3.....     :P

New times my friend...new times...

Lol so very true.  

I swear though, the show now feels like they took the entire Lord of the Rings extended trilogy and edited them down to three 1 hour tv episodes.  

 

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Posted (edited)

I didn't buy in the "there's more to it" theories for seasons. I've always taken stuff at face value.

But here the face value is that

  • Sansa doesn't trust LF at all. She even snipes at him she can imagine what type of last word comment he can make without her caring for it.
  • Arya doesn't trust LF at all. Show botched her S6 arc by not showing what she learned. Instead they had her survive huge mistakes that should have gotten her killed, like Jaime should have drowned in the Mariana Trench. However, that siad, in the S6 finale and S7 cold open she has been established to be this perfect assasin, carrying faces (male or female), without being caught whatsoever. So, despite them not showing us learning it, they have shown us the results. So, yes, I am perfectly willing to accept she can read lies better than the Waif, she can snoop around her own home without anyone noticing and knowing it, and able to wear faces without needing to kill someone in the castle (assume she still has at least the servant's face she used at the Twins). She's not getting caught at snooping without wanting it.
  • Bran doesn't trust LF, and knows all. And when Bran said "it doesn't matter", he was only dismissing the catspaw attempt on his life. Which indeed does not matter. LF was not the man who hired the catspaw.

I'm deliberately ignoring some "POV info from the leaked preliminary scripts" here, because it seems to me there were alterations to it (such as Bran saying "it doesn't matter").

What do we have as scenes once Arya arrives:

  • crypt scene: Sansa hugs her, but Arya is less warm. She asks whether Sansa indeed killed Joffrey. She says she didn't, though she wished she had. They hug again, and Arya's hug is notable warmer now. => Arya knows that Sansa came to hate Joffrey to want him dead.
  • godswood scene: There's the exchange of the dagger (including Sansa warning Bran that LF wouldn't give such a thing without wanting something), the catspaw story, Bran's dismissal of the plot about who tried to kill him. Bran reveals he knows Arya was on her way to kill Cersei. Sansa asks who else is on her list, with Arya saying that most of them are dead already. The scene is cut.
  • Three Stark children: after the cut we see them all three together in the yard, seemingly close and a unity, despite the fact that Bran's different now. The sisters don't bother Bran anymore in the godwood. => Is there a scene missing, a continuation after the godwood scene was cut? Did Bran reveal what does matter?
  • Brienne-Arya fight: done in full display of everyone. Sansa stops to watch, LF by her side. Arya establishes that Brienne is supposed to be the guard of both girls, that she actually doesn't need Brienne's protection, that she has the dagger and ends up holding it at Brienne's throat with a sligth of hand and misdirection. => the scene is set up in a way to think that Sansa is disturbed and envious over Brienne being friendly with Arya at face value. Besides Arya teaching Brienne a fan-service lession just look nakedly at the scene for LF's benefit. What does LF see?
    • He can see that Bran gave Arya the dagger, Bran who used the "chaos is a ladder" line to throw it in his face. LF would logically be worried what Bran "has seen" and "has told" Arya.
    • He can see that she's deadly and might know what "no one" implies about Arya. => Arya wants LF to see her as a threat.
    • She uses the water dancing style of Braavos, using Needle which is more of a Braavos style fencing sword => She's letting LF know she's been to Braavos for a long while.
    • Arya wins the duel by misdirecting Brienne to block Arya's "hand", who then ends up holding the dagger to Brienne's throat. LF held that dagger to Ned's throat in the throne room. So, Arya already knows this imo, and she can only know it from Bran. So, yes Bran and Arya talked imo. I would say Sansa was included in the revelation and that it happened in the godswood. But it might have been just a Bran-Arya convo, without Sansa. Not sure if LF was that perceptive of it, but he migth have.
    • Arya establishes that Brienne swore to protect both of Catelyn's daughters. Who else claims that all he's doing is protecting Cat's children? O, that's right: LF (he repeated the whole nonsense of wanting to protect Cat's children to Bran). Arya holding a dagger to Brienne's throat after establishing this is Arya using Brienne as a stand-in to threaten LF's life without words.  
    • Sansa stops to watch from the start from the gallery. LF follows Sansa, only looking at her. He only looks into the training yard, when Sansa keeps staring and stops speaking mid-sentence. Sansa is the one who makes LF pay attention. The music becomes exciting with the choreography and Sansa is watching it entranced (not negatively). But when Brienne looks up at her, smiling. Yes, Sansa's face falters, but not before having looked sideways at LF. She actually rolls her eyes at him in disgust and walks away, while LF is staring, smiling smugly and thinking.
    • Brienne's instructions to Pod: don't lunge, don't follow where the enemy leads you, and Arya finishes it with "don't fight someone like her in the first place". => Arya knows that following LF around would only be following where the enemy leads her. So, if she's following LF to where he leads her, she already knows she's following him to a trap he set up for her. Instead, Arya manages to make Brienne follow her, but switches the dagger to the other hand.
    • So, IMO the whole Brienne-Arya fighting scene can be analysed to contain plenty of clues of Arya wanting LF to regard Arya as a threat, and thus prompt him into trying a ploy to get rid of her. And I find more evidence of Sansa's dislike and distrust of LF than her being put out with Brienne. Still, I don't think they're doing this fully coordinated behind the screens. Arya took initiative here, and Sansa followed suit.
  • Then Glover and Royce suggest they ought to make her Queen in the North and not support Jon anymore. Arya walks in accidentally and watches Sansa's response to it. Her words repeat that Jon is king and he's doing what he believes is in the interest of his people, but no more than that. Given that she has publically has shown to disagree with a lot of Jon's decisions (that Arya didn't witness), Sansa is indeed leaving room for Glover and Royce to believe that she wishes they had elected her queen. She's not actually displaying Stark unity. This is what Arya notices and picks up on. Sansa confides in her how Jon isn't making it easy on her, and Arya confronts her calmly. It's not something that comes across as envy or anger, but holding up a mirror to Sansa, and to not lie to her. The camera lingers on Sansa, after Arya has left, to ponder things (I guess to fight every battle everywhere always in her mind). But they do show Sansa pondering and trying to figure out what's going on.
  • Then Arya watches LF pay a servant girl as obvious as can be.
  • She watches him again in an obvious spying manner talk with Glover and Royce (the two men who complained about Jon's absence and voiced to support Sansa as queen. The spying take almost cartoonish forms. Look at me, standing behind this post, with my head peeking out. We don't actually overhear the conversation and Glover and Royce glower more at LF than anything else. So, yes, obviously LF wanted Arya to see him talk as if conspiring with these 2.
  • Next she spies on maester Wolkan giving the letter that Sansa once wrote to Robb, with LF explicitly asking whether it's the only copy and saying, "Lady Sansa asks you for your service". Obviously LF here is setting up the trap to try and make Arya believe that Sansa wants to get rid of a letter that may harm her reputation, and that LF is working in Sansa's interest and how much he is in the confidence of Sansa. Arya steals into his room without waiting long after he leaves it, picking the lock, searches it and find the letter, reads it, leaves, closes the lock and LF the creep smiles satisfied.

Arya looks like a cartoonish amateur in epi 5, following the enemy where he leads her. But epi 4 Brienne-Arya duel scene gave us clues that Arya is the one leading LF, provoking him into taking actions. She wanted him to take notice of her, and thus watch her. Sansa too leads LF to watching Arya.

I don't think Sansa and Arya communicate freely in some secret spot to discuss each other's moves. But she is trying to figure out what Arya is giving as clue directions on how to play it.

I think this time the idea that they are conning LF might be valid. D&D show awareness of memes and what viewers think (see 'still rowing'). And the whole speculation about Arya's arc in S6 being more than what it was at face value even hit mainstream media, including the fact it turned out to be exactly what we saw. I do consider the whole prolonged LF-life WF plot for S7 absurd and a bad idea. But when they put their mind to it, they can execute filler arc minutely and in detail.

Edited by sweetsunray

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I would really love it if the theory you propose came true. I found the whole thing a mess, because it doesn't make sense for Stark kids to turn on each other, not when they spent 6 seasons waiting to come home and family. Then again I don't expect much, given how many plot lines the show has butchered.

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Posted (edited)

When Arya keyed LF's room when she left, don't you think she overdid it to make sure she got noticed? That would be stupidly clumsy otherwise, especially coming from a faceless assassin...

 

9 hours ago, Lord Okra said:

 Who knows what SweetRobin would do without LF there controlling him for Sansa's benefit (in her mind).

Robyn really liked Sansa tho. I'm sure she'll have no problem controlling him with or without LF.

Edited by DirePenguin

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5 hours ago, Princess_of_Sunspear said:

I would really love it if the theory you propose came true. I found the whole thing a mess, because it doesn't make sense for Stark kids to turn on each other, not when they spent 6 seasons waiting to come home and family. Then again I don't expect much, given how many plot lines the show has butchered.

 

4 hours ago, DirePenguin said:

When Arya keyed LF's room when she left, don't you think she overdid it to make sure she got noticed? That would be stupidly clumsy otherwise, especially coming from a faceless assassin...

 

32 minutes ago, A Time for Starks said:

sweetsunray, very good points and details

 

6 hours ago, Illiterati said:

I lold at Mariana trenchB)

Of course, they do have a knack at strange erratic confusing character development, and especially strange ways of exaggeration for faux cliffhanger drama. One moment Jaime is dropping in the Mariana Trench, and the next he's somehow hundred yards further along, floating, in his armor. One moment Arya is completely careless and just strolling in Braavos to admire the coloss, only to be taken by surprise with multiple stabs in the gut, drops into a canal that's practically a sewer, but all she needs is a bit of milk of the poppy and some stitches by an actress, to then do parcours being chased by a mean terminator waif, and masterfully kill her off-screen in the dark, claiming to go home and be a Stark, to then pop up at the Twins and bake Frey Pies, and have all the men die from poison, not missing a beat. Sandra doesn't trust LF, knows what he wants, refuses Brienne's service of protection, gets in a panic when she learns LF means to marry her to Ramsay Bolton, but agrees because "marrying your enemy is a good plan to avenge your dead family from within, as good as catching a wight for Cersei" (that'll show them).

One moment they can do magical stuff to utter perfection to impress us, the next they bumble along for dramatic effect and are stupid, but don't worry too much and just hand wave at it for it'll all be alright, because off-screen they become super-intelligent again, but yeah, they were really stupid in the mid-section, because creepy LF is by definition a "smart man". It's just that we can't manage to make him smart without dumbing everybody else down.

So, there's a very good chance that Bran didn't say anything, that Arya just bested Brienne and was showing off and those choreographed parallels are in there because it's cool, and Arya's a cartoonish spy who only managed to kill all male Freys because the Freys are stupider, but LF is a perceptive man. There's a very good chance that while Sansa doesn't trust LF at all she still runs to him for advice the moment she needs him, to then not take that advice and plot how to get rid of her sister by herself for her own survival, but just in the nick of time, she'll finally for once will realize she'd rather be rid of LF, and finally will use all the ammunition that she has. Sansa also says the right things in Jon's absence, but indeed is the least Stark and in her heart of hearts is pissed that she wasn't chosen to be QitN. Especially because she'd be better at it since she knows how to make armor, and marrying your enemy makes you an expert in the enemy and how to destroy them, after you first (almost) throw a Stark under the bus, because there's no saving them anyway. And while Arya is not good enough a spy to fool LF, she's an expert in detecting lies, especially because she knows her sister has a weakness for nice things and titles.

:dunno:

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4 minutes ago, sweetsunray said:

 

snip

So, there's a very good chance that Bran didn't say anything, that Arya just bested Brienne and was showing off and those choreographed parallels are in there because it's cool, and Arya's a cartoonish spy who only managed to kill all male Freys because the Freys are stupider, but LF is a perceptive man. There's a very good chance that while Sansa doesn't trust LF at all she still runs to him for advice the moment she needs him, to then not take that advice and plot how to get rid of her sister by herself for her own survival, but just in the nick of time, she'll finally for once will realize she'd rather be rid of LF, and finally will use all the ammunition that she has. Sansa also says the right things in Jon's absence, but indeed is the least Stark and in her heart of hearts is pissed that she wasn't chosen to be QitN. Especially because she'd be better at it since she knows how to make armor, and marrying your enemy makes you an expert in the enemy and how to destroy them, after you first (almost) throw a Stark under the bus, because there's no saving them anyway. And while Arya is not good enough a spy to fool LF, she's an expert in detecting lies, especially because she knows her sister has a weakness for nice things and titles.

:dunno:

LMAO.  Bring on more Emmys!  

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No matter how this plays out Im gonna be disappointed I suspect. Unless the reason for an elaborate ploy is very good, its going to come across as totally needless and nonsensical(especially at this point if you've seen the leaked episode). 

Because they've done a pretty bad job of conveying Arya as competent, aside from dealing with the freys, it will be unsatisfying if she set a contrived plot and its LF's undoing.

It will also be unsatisfying in a sense if LF played them successfully(which based off the trailer line of sansas, and that bran/arya clearly can't die yet is immensely unlikely) because it would make Aryas embarrassingly poor attitude and spy skills unexplainable. I'd view it as an outright plot hole in the sense that she has faces.

lastly if its not a ploy, but they unite against LF after Bran talks to them or they bond etc. etc. its the worst of both worlds. LF is crushed nearly at random, Aryas a failure and weirdo and the whole WF arc will be pointless.

Its near certain LF is done for, which is just a shame, especially since he wasn't even doing anything villainous this season especially compared to what he's done in the past- He's supporting Sansa and his plot is only a response to Arya and the sister drama in the first place. This would have made more sense if he A. Had more power or B. Had some immensely malicious plot in the works this season. Him dying now in this fashion is a real disservice to his character. I wanted him to die with some insane plot afoot, or blindsided by something completely unforeseeable- Which could have been the supernatural elements of the Starks if done right, but the execution has been sloppy at best. 

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13 hours ago, sweetsunray said:

I didn't buy in the "there's more to it" theories for seasons. I've always taken stuff at face value.

But here the face value is that

  • Sansa doesn't trust LF at all. She even snipes at him she can imagine what type of last word comment he can make without her caring for it.
  • Arya doesn't trust LF at all. Show botched her S6 arc by not showing what she learned. Instead they had her survive huge mistakes that should have gotten her killed, like Jaime should have drowned in the Mariana Trench. However, that siad, in the S6 finale and S7 cold open she has been established to be this perfect assasin, carrying faces (male or female), without being caught whatsoever. So, despite them not showing us learning it, they have shown us the results. So, yes, I am perfectly willing to accept she can read lies better than the Waif, she can snoop around her own home without anyone noticing and knowing it, and able to wear faces without needing to kill someone in the castle (assume she still has at least the servant's face she used at the Twins). She's not getting caught at snooping without wanting it.
  • Bran doesn't trust LF, and knows all. And when Bran said "it doesn't matter", he was only dismissing the catspaw attempt on his life. Which indeed does not matter. LF was not the man who hired the catspaw.

I'm deliberately ignoring some "POV info from the leaked preliminary scripts" here, because it seems to me there were alterations to it (such as Bran saying "it doesn't matter").

What do we have as scenes once Arya arrives:

  • crypt scene: Sansa hugs her, but Arya is less warm. She asks whether Sansa indeed killed Joffrey. She says she didn't, though she wished she had. They hug again, and Arya's hug is notable warmer now. => Arya knows that Sansa came to hate Joffrey to want him dead.
  • godswood scene: There's the exchange of the dagger (including Sansa warning Bran that LF wouldn't give such a thing without wanting something), the catspaw story, Bran's dismissal of the plot about who tried to kill him. Bran reveals he knows Arya was on her way to kill Cersei. Sansa asks who else is on her list, with Arya saying that most of them are dead already. The scene is cut.
  • Three Stark children: after the cut we see them all three together in the yard, seemingly close and a unity, despite the fact that Bran's different now. The sisters don't bother Bran anymore in the godwood. => Is there a scene missing, a continuation after the godwood scene was cut? Did Bran reveal what does matter?
  • Brienne-Arya fight: done in full display of everyone. Sansa stops to watch, LF by her side. Arya establishes that Brienne is supposed to be the guard of both girls, that she actually doesn't need Brienne's protection, that she has the dagger and ends up holding it at Brienne's throat with a sligth of hand and misdirection. => the scene is set up in a way to think that Sansa is disturbed and envious over Brienne being friendly with Arya at face value. Besides Arya teaching Brienne a fan-service lession just look nakedly at the scene for LF's benefit. What does LF see?
    • He can see that Bran gave Arya the dagger, Bran who used the "chaos is a ladder" line to throw it in his face. LF would logically be worried what Bran "has seen" and "has told" Arya.
    • He can see that she's deadly and might know what "no one" implies about Arya. => Arya wants LF to see her as a threat.
    • She uses the water dancing style of Braavos, using Needle which is more of a Braavos style fencing sword => She's letting LF know she's been to Braavos for a long while.
    • Arya wins the duel by misdirecting Brienne to block Arya's "hand", who then ends up holding the dagger to Brienne's throat. LF held that dagger to Ned's throat in the throne room. So, Arya already knows this imo, and she can only know it from Bran. So, yes Bran and Arya talked imo. I would say Sansa was included in the revelation and that it happened in the godswood. But it might have been just a Bran-Arya convo, without Sansa. Not sure if LF was that perceptive of it, but he migth have.
    • Arya establishes that Brienne swore to protect both of Catelyn's daughters. Who else claims that all he's doing is protecting Cat's children? O, that's right: LF (he repeated the whole nonsense of wanting to protect Cat's children to Bran). Arya holding a dagger to Brienne's throat after establishing this is Arya using Brienne as a stand-in to threaten LF's life without words.  
    • Sansa stops to watch from the start from the gallery. LF follows Sansa, only looking at her. He only looks into the training yard, when Sansa keeps staring and stops speaking mid-sentence. Sansa is the one who makes LF pay attention. The music becomes exciting with the choreography and Sansa is watching it entranced (not negatively). But when Brienne looks up at her, smiling. Yes, Sansa's face falters, but not before having looked sideways at LF. She actually rolls her eyes at him in disgust and walks away, while LF is staring, smiling smugly and thinking.
    • Brienne's instructions to Pod: don't lunge, don't follow where the enemy leads you, and Arya finishes it with "don't fight someone like her in the first place". => Arya knows that following LF around would only be following where the enemy leads her. So, if she's following LF to where he leads her, she already knows she's following him to a trap he set up for her. Instead, Arya manages to make Brienne follow her, but switches the dagger to the other hand.
    • So, IMO the whole Brienne-Arya fighting scene can be analysed to contain plenty of clues of Arya wanting LF to regard Arya as a threat, and thus prompt him into trying a ploy to get rid of her. And I find more evidence of Sansa's dislike and distrust of LF than her being put out with Brienne. Still, I don't think they're doing this fully coordinated behind the screens. Arya took initiative here, and Sansa followed suit.
  • Then Glover and Royce suggest they ought to make her Queen in the North and not support Jon anymore. Arya walks in accidentally and watches Sansa's response to it. Her words repeat that Jon is king and he's doing what he believes is in the interest of his people, but no more than that. Given that she has publically has shown to disagree with a lot of Jon's decisions (that Arya didn't witness), Sansa is indeed leaving room for Glover and Royce to believe that she wishes they had elected her queen. She's not actually displaying Stark unity. This is what Arya notices and picks up on. Sansa confides in her how Jon isn't making it easy on her, and Arya confronts her calmly. It's not something that comes across as envy or anger, but holding up a mirror to Sansa, and to not lie to her. The camera lingers on Sansa, after Arya has left, to ponder things (I guess to fight every battle everywhere always in her mind). But they do show Sansa pondering and trying to figure out what's going on.
  • Then Arya watches LF pay a servant girl as obvious as can be.
  • She watches him again in an obvious spying manner talk with Glover and Royce (the two men who complained about Jon's absence and voiced to support Sansa as queen. The spying take almost cartoonish forms. Look at me, standing behind this post, with my head peeking out. We don't actually overhear the conversation and Glover and Royce glower more at LF than anything else. So, yes, obviously LF wanted Arya to see him talk as if conspiring with these 2.
  • Next she spies on maester Wolkan giving the letter that Sansa once wrote to Robb, with LF explicitly asking whether it's the only copy and saying, "Lady Sansa asks you for your service". Obviously LF here is setting up the trap to try and make Arya believe that Sansa wants to get rid of a letter that may harm her reputation, and that LF is working in Sansa's interest and how much he is in the confidence of Sansa. Arya steals into his room without waiting long after he leaves it, picking the lock, searches it and find the letter, reads it, leaves, closes the lock and LF the creep smiles satisfied.

Arya looks like a cartoonish amateur in epi 5, following the enemy where he leads her. But epi 4 Brienne-Arya duel scene gave us clues that Arya is the one leading LF, provoking him into taking actions. She wanted him to take notice of her, and thus watch her. Sansa too leads LF to watching Arya.

I don't think Sansa and Arya communicate freely in some secret spot to discuss each other's moves. But she is trying to figure out what Arya is giving as clue directions on how to play it.

I think this time the idea that they are conning LF might be valid. D&D show awareness of memes and what viewers think (see 'still rowing'). And the whole speculation about Arya's arc in S6 being more than what it was at face value even hit mainstream media, including the fact it turned out to be exactly what we saw. I do consider the whole prolonged LF-life WF plot for S7 absurd and a bad idea. But when they put their mind to it, they can execute filler arc minutely and in detail.

So much this. All of it.

:agree:

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LF being undone by an underhanded backdoor scheme would be poetic justice at its finest.

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