Drawing by Jay.
If you believed a word of what Arya was telling Sansa in ‘Beyond the Wall’, you probably just lost the game of faces.
The two sisters don’t have the strongest of relationships. That we’ve known since Season 1. But the tension that’s being created between them currently feels like a decoy that’s building up to something big.
Outwitting Arya is going to be a difficult task. As cunning and deceptive as Littlefinger may be, he doesn’t necessarily have the upper hand any more. He seems to be under the impression that because there’s already tension between Arya and Sansa, tearing them apart is going to be easy. And what’s the easiest way to do that? To use what happened to their family and make them blame each other.
But this is Game of Thrones. Nothing is ever easy.
We know exactly what Arya is capable of. She was able to kill the Waif in Season 6 by luring her into an environment where she would have the upper hand. Now, Arya is back in Winterfell. She knows her surroundings and can use that to her advantage. If she wants to bring down Littlefinger, it won’t be too hard for her to devise a plan.
Would Game of Thrones really make us wait this long for a Sansa and Arya reunion, only to immediately pit them against each other? It seems unlikely.
Arya doesn’t want power like Sansa might. She doesn’t want to be Queen. If not to overpower her, why would Arya take the note to the Northern lords? She’s grown, so it wouldn’t be out of spite.
As soon as Sansa found the bag of faces, Arya was standing directly behind her. She knew she would find them, she probably even wanted her to find them (come on, would you really leave a bag of faces just lying around your room if you didn’t want someone to see them?). As Arya answers Sansa’s first few questions about the faces, she then proceeds to explain the game.
“It’s simple. I ask you a question about yourself and you try to make lies sound like the truth. If you fool me, you win. If I catch a lie, you lose. Let’s play.”
But, Sansa doesn’t want to play, so she doesn’t answer Arya’s question. Instead, she asks her a question of her own to which Arya replies: “You want to do the asking? Are you sure? The game of faces didn’t turn out so well for the last person who asked me questions.”
Then Arya starts playing.
“We both wanted to be other people when we were younger. You wanted to be a Queen… I wanted to be a knight. To pick up a sword like father and go off to battle.”
Is that a lie? No. So she doesn’t have us fooled just yet because of course, you don’t start off with a lie.
“With the faces I can choose. I can become someone else, speak in their voice, live in their skin. I could even become you. I wonder what it would feel like to wear those pretty dresses. To be the lady of Winterfell. All I’d need to find out is your face.”
And that, is where she’s made a lie sound like the truth.
Has Arya ever wanted to wear pretty dresses? Has she ever dreamt of being a lady? No. But the way she tells the story to Sansa doesn’t half sound convincing. She even picks up the knife as she makes the threat.
Arya ends the game the second she flips the knife around so that it’s pointed at herself. The music cuts, Sansa takes the knife that has been presented to her and Arya walks out, leaving her to figure out if it was a lie, or if it was the truth.
Now, Sansa has the blade. She holds the power. Does she now hold the weapon that will end Littlefinger? For him to die by the dagger that he passed onto the Stark children would be a hell-of-a way to go. But can he really be defeated that easily?
Don’t forget: the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.