Few people on Game of Thrones have had quite the run as Aidan Gillen. Littlefinger, after all, was a landmark character. He was there in the beginning, was one of the show’s biggest schemers, and there was a time we thought he could end up on the Iron Throne.
In the end, though, the character’s legacy is one of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun. Littlefinger prided himself on being such a master manipulator that he never knew when to stop. Had he taken a back seat in Winterfell after the arrival of Arya Stark to the city, perhaps he would still be alive. Yet, he continued to plot at that point, and couldn’t prepare for Bran Stark as the Three-Eyed Raven. He was able to see his indiscretions, which made him even more expendable. His death was shocking, but also quick given that there was not a need for much of a trial.
One of the key debates that could come out of Littlefinger’s ultimate demise is simply this: Didn’t he realize that with the sort of risk he was taking, there was a chance for everything to go south? Based on what Gillen told Entertainment Weekly, this is just a part of his character’s DNA:
“With carefully laid plans there’s always a bit of risk involved. He’s put himself in a situation that could backfire on him. I think he likes it. [His plans] are never fail safe. But he puts himself on the line like a good gambler.”
This is the problem with gambling: Sooner or later, you are going to lose. Littlefinger was on a hot streak for a long time, given that he’d gained control over the Veil and developed a reputation for being one of the smartest advisers around. Yet, he was also sloppy at times and let his emotions control him more than he should. He loved Sansa on some creepy level, and it was through this love we saw him become overly protective. He didn’t want her to drift more towards her sister, someone who had a less than favorable opinion of him. This was all a great plan to ensure that Littlefinger could be taken out, and in a way that he would not be able to predict.
Now, the larger question to wonder is when Jon returns, what will come of Winterfell then? It’s clear that Sansa is very good at ruling the city, and with Jon being the true heir to the Iron Throne now, you do have to wonder if there is a chance that she could remain Queen of the North if he is to go and take that crown for his own in the future.
For now, though, there are other priorities, including trying to stop the pretty-horrific onslaught coming by the White Walkers and The Night King. If you read our review for the season 7 finale, then you will know that they have destroyed the Wall and are ready to begin the next attack.
Are you going to miss Littlefinger in some odd way? Share in the comments below! (Photo: HBO.)