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Maggie Boyd
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Post count: 66

I think the article you mean was published by Esquire. Here it is:

As it stands after Sunday’s episode, the Arya and Sansa storyline back in Winterfell is completely aggravating. Neither of their actions in the last few episodes have made much sense at all for their characters. They’re embroiled in some petty feud over a letter that Littlefinger planted for Arya to find. The Stark sisters are playing right into Littlefinger’s game—and it seems unlike either of them. Naturally, Game of Thrones fans have been scrambling to find an explanation for their weird behavior.

One very compelling theory is that Arya is deliberately putting on a show for Littlefinger. Perhaps this is all an act, Arya playing the long game until she eventually kills Littlefinger, as Game of Thrones fans have speculated for years. As one Reddit user pointed out, Arya arrived at Winterfell as herself, and has been acting and investigating without a mask:

Arya can change faces, yet she isn’t using that ability currently. Why? Because Littlefinger doesn’t know she can do that and she WANTS him to see her, Arya Stark, snooping around. Arya has enhanced senses from when she lost her sight, she knows that Littlefinger has been following her. Its also been mentioned that Littlefinger has a certain scent, most likely the only one there who has that type due to his wealth and connections, thus easy for Arya to track with her enhanced sense of smell. Littlefinger doesn’t know that Arya was trained by the faceless men. Based on what he knows he can only assume that she has no real training hence why he doesn’t question why she’s acting so sloppy and obvious.

Which makes sense. If Arya has been trained as an assassin who can change her appearance, why the hell would she sneak into Littlefinger’s room as herself? Certainly she wanted to be seen by Littlefinger as Arya sneaking into his room. And, she must have known he was there.

So, what about Arya and Sansa’s conversation in Episode Six? That was also pretty clearly a setup. It’s unlikely that Arya would just leave those creepy ass masks lying around like that. And it also seemed pretty coincidental that she just walked into the room right after Sansa found them. The key in this scene is that the two were playing the game of faces and Arya made it clear that she was lying about everything. And at the end, she handed Sansa the dagger as gesture of loyalty.

This, it seems only clear, is Arya playing the long game, leading Littlefinger into a false sense of security before she assassinates him. With Littlefinger out of the way, the Knights of the Vale have already made their loyalty to Sansa clear. Another possibility is that after killing Littlefinger, Arya could then get a Littlefinger mask to lead the Knights of the Vale.

They also have a very interesting counter theory:

For years, fans have been asking for the Starks to reunite on Game of Thrones. And this year, the writers finally delivered, bringing Sansa, Arya, and Bran together in Winterfell. Well, almost. They’re all different…

Bran was dragged through the snow for a few years and cooped up in a cave having visions and animorphing into various beasts. Sansa was subjected to multiple wars and terrorized by evil men after she watched her father get beheaded. Arya was a slave, a beggar, blind, and eventually an assassin after getting her ass beaten every day for an entire season. In other words, they all have some baggage.

So these greetings weren’t as satisfying as one might hope. Which is fine, but not exactly fun for us viewers to see these depressing meetings and the awkward bickering and stares. But maybe there was some subtle foreshadowing when Bran greeted Sansa and Arya, as one Redditor pointed out:

When Bran reunites with Sansa at Winterfell (S7 EP3) he very clearly does not embrace her back when she is hugging him (we see a view that shows his hands remain by his side). In fact, while Sansa hugs him he stares blankly beyond her (which yes, I recognize is kind of his thing to do now). However, when he reunites (S7 EP4) with Arya he does hug her back (a view is shown with his arm around her), and while his face is still blank-ish, there definitely appears to be a hint of concern as he stares over Arya’s shoulder at Sansa (who looks down). 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.
Let’s take a look. Bran does seem less engaged when he’s greeting Sansa. His hands are underneath that squirrel pelt cape and there’s no sign of him making a move to hug her.

Now let’s look at how he acted when he saw Arya. He was certainly more personable, and you can clearly see his hands around her. But, as the Redditor points out, he’s staring directly at Sansa.

As another user pointed out, it’s possible that Bran just needed some time to acclimate to becoming a regular-ass human again. But that doesn’t seem to quite fit with what we know of Bran now. He speaks in riddles, like his “chaos is a ladder” comment to Littlefinger. Everything is deliberate—part of his role is seeing the future, past, and present all at once. He’s doing exactly what he needs to do to set events in motion. That’s why he hasn’t told anyone about Jon’s real parents or anything else he’s seen in his visions. They aren’t supposed to know yet.

These clues could be as subtle as hugging his sisters when he sees them. Maybe he knows Sansa will betray the Starks. Maybe he knows Arya will be the one to kill her. That would be an intense turn of events, but in Game of Thrones, anything is possible. And if you think Bran’s greeting is too subtle to be foreshadowing, remember King Robert’s first scene back in Season One, and how it predicted the fate of all the Starks?