“The Lone Wolf Dies, But The Pack Survives”: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Brings Sansa And Arya Stark Together

Game of Thrones fans, myself included, are currently emotionally distraught over the fact that the second last season of the show just aired its finale. It seems like only yesterday the Season 7 trailer dropped. But here we are, with the seventh season finished, and Winter finally upon us.

A lot happened this episode. So we’re going to break this up into a few articles. If you’re an avid reader, welcome back. And if you’re new? I’ll start off with a warning.

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There was so much going on in this episode, and that’s really no surprise! After all, this episode is the longest Thrones finale to date. We all knew it was going to be a big one. And while I’ll get to each and every one of the beautiful and horrific moments in the finale, there’s one particular arc that I’d like to focus on first. One of the biggest, most surprising, and most uplifting plots yet. Sansa and Arya’s reunion.

Family, Duty, Honor

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This entire season has had both sisters seeming a little shady, and to be frank, it was pissing me off. Here we have two of the most bad ass ladies in Westeros. Two incredibly different but equally strong characters. As a duo, they would be unstoppable. But the writers, it seemed, were hellbent on pitting the Stark sisters against each other. An unnecessary and unreasonable decision, to say the least.

Both Arya and Sansa have suffered unimaginable horrors, but through it all, they learned one very important lesson. A lesson that their father tried to instill in them early on.

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies. But the pack survives.”

It was a quote we heard Sansa say in the trailer, and everyone took it as an omen. It was to mark another Stark death. But the truth was the complete opposite. It marked the true reunion of House Stark.

Remember Who The Real Enemy Is

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Though it seemed that Arya and Sansa were at each other’s throats, it was all just a distraction. Both knew the entire time exactly who their anger should be focused on. Who was trying to manipulate them the whole time. A man who needed to face justice after committing countless atrocities and nearly destroying House Stark. Lord Petyr Baelish. Tonight, Littlefinger got his. And it was glorious.

Sansa orders Arya brought into the Great Hall, and when she arrives, the Hall is packed with the Knights of the Vale. Sansa sits at the head of the table as Lady of Winterfell with Bran by her side, and Littlefinger leaning against the wall, smirking nearby. Sansa does her duty. “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges…Lord Baelish?”

There is no shock in anyone’s eyes but his own. Sansa, Arya, Bran, and each and every Knight turns to Littlefinger expectantly. And the genuine confusion is almost enough satisfaction. But Sansa’s just getting going. He murdered Lysa, and before that, he convinced her to poison her husband, Jon Arryn. He is behind the letter that arrived for Catelyn Stark back in the first season, telling that the Lannisters were the cause of Jon’s death. He betrayed Ned, a betrayal which led to his imprisonment and later, his execution.

Each charge worse than the last, but Littlefinger wouldn’t go down without a fight. He fell to his knees and pleaded. He cried declarations of love for both Catelyn and Sansa. But he betrayed both. “I’m a slow learner, it’s true,” Sansa admits. “But I learn…Thank you for your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I’ll never forget them.” And before he can whisper any more lies, Arya steps forward and slashes his throat. And just like that, the man responsible for the hatred between Starks and Lannisters, the man responsible for so much death and endless chaos, is dead.

The True Symbolism Of Littlefinger’s Death

The choice of execution was interesting, to say the least. Beheading, or even hanging, is most accepted. Throat slashing definitely isn’t the Stark way. But it was the most fitting death for him. After all, it was the same way Catelyn Stark died. And though it was not his hand, it was Littlefinger’s deception that killed Sansa and Arya’s mother. It was only fitting that he suffer the same death that she did. An eye for an eye, as it were.

What many, including myself, thought was the worst mistake the writers could make ended up being one of the best, most just arcs in the series. And it proves that House Stark is stronger than ever. “The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” The other houses may fall. The corrupt, like Littlefinger, who only look out for themselves, will fall. But family, the pack, will survive.

As always, thanks for reading, and feel free to geek out with me in the comments! Or, you know, cry over the fact that we may not be getting Thrones again until 2019. Either way, stay tuned for more recaps! Be sure to follow to keep updated.

Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress