This post contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones episode 'Beyond the Wall'.
The latest Game of Thrones episode, 'Beyond the Wall,' saw the fall of one dragon and the start of a beautiful romance. The episode also confirmed that the Stark sisters are kind of terrible at snooping around the sleeping quarters at Winterfell, despite the fact that one of them trained hard at Bravos to be “No One”. Following the footsteps of Arya in Littlefinger’s room, where the former walked right into a trap and found an old letter as the latter lurked and watched, Sansa happened upon Arya’s room this week and found her "faces" - faces she’s potentially used for disguise. One definitely belongs to Walder Frey, who died at the hands of Arya after she fed him his sons in a pie.
The other is more of a mystery. While the face bears some resemblance to Meryn Trant, one can’t help but notice his eyes are intact, which doesn’t make sense because Arya gauged the shit out of them in season five. Could this be part of the Faceless Man process? Kill someone, extract their face, and preserve it to its pre-death condition?
Or could this be the face of Lothar Frey (who killed Talisa) or Black Walder (who killed Catelyn)? This is what they looked like before they were made into pie:
Arya and Sansa’s conversation in this scene goes beyond the typical, “What are you doing in my room, dear sis?” As Arya explains, back in Bravos, she used to play a “game of faces,” which challenges one player to “make lies sound like the truth”. She goes on to ask Sansa, whose face at this point basically screams, "I’m not here to play games," how she really feels about Jon being king. “Is there someone else you think should rule the north instead of him?” When Sansa tries to turn the conversation back to the faces, Arya offers this thought about how their childhood dreams never came into fruition - for one of them anyway.
We both wanted to be other people when we were younger. You wanted to be a queen, to sit next to a handsome young king on the iron throne. I wanted to be a knight, to pick up a sword like father and go off to battle. Neither of us got to be the other person, did we? The world doesn’t just let girls decide what they want to be. But I can now, with the faces, I can choose. I can become someone else, speak in their voice, live in their skin. I can 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.
Before Sansa has a chance to respond/cry out of utter fear, because the thought of getting a literal facelift from Arya is just too much, Arya hands her the Catspaw Dagger, which Bran gave her by way of Littlefinger. Is this Arya’s way of telling Sansa to protect herself, because the “hundreds of men at Winterfell” could turn against her at any given point? Are they putting on a show for Littlefinger, who could be watching nearby and thinking that his plan to turn the sisters against each other is working smoothly?
There’s also this very convincing fan theory explaining why Bran gave Arya the dagger in the first place, and why a hug can speak a thousand words. As eagle-eyed fan riffy61 recently pointed out on Reddit, Bran remained stone-cold when he reunited with Sansa earlier in the season, but when he saw Arya, there was some emotion, and more importantly, a hug was returned. The theory is as follows:
Bran knows that something is not right with Sansa and that she will likely do something that hurts her family. He made a point of arming Arya with that dagger, which he can see she will have to use for some reason not yet known to us. Will she have to kill Sansa?? Only Bran knows for now.
Is Arya also telling Sansa to protect herself from Arya ... and a future Faceless encounter? As GoT producer D.B. Weiss told Entertainment Weekly after Sunday’s episode, the makeup of who Arya is at this point is unclear. “How much of Arya is Arya Stark of Winterfell and how much is the Faceless Men? Sansa has undergone her training, for good or for ill, under Littlefinger’s supervision. So how much of that Machiavellian quality has rubbed off on her?” To borrow from Sophie Turner’s words (in the same interview), things look like “a f***ing horror movie” right now. As the season finale awaits, best of luck to everyone involved. (Except for Littlefinger. He can rot in the dark. Just let these sister have a totally normal, boring reunion and not make threats with daggers, OK?)
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