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Game of Thrones has killed off a ton of characters over the years in a variety of brutal ways. Some deaths are more predictable than others, and there are usually hints in the episodes leading up to an especially big death that the end is coming for a certain character. A major played died in the Season 7 finale when Littlefinger was executed by none other than Arya Stark. As it turns out, actor Aidan Gillen predicted the manner of Littlefinger's death a while ago. In the aftermath of the Season 7 finale, Gillen shared this story about how he predicted his character biting the dust:
Well, I did an interview with a publication [in 2015] and they asked me how I thought I would go. I said I thought Arya would deliver the blow. So it was as promised. And even within the scene, as soon as he walks in that room and Arya produces the dagger he knows the game is up. He at least suspected the game was up back in episode four when Bran told him, 'Chaos is a ladder.' For Bran to come up with that is beyond coincidental. That's when the ground started to shift beneath my feet. At that point, I knew the things I've done in private are not necessarily private.
It seems that Aidan Gillen guessed that Arya would be the one to end Littlefinger years ago. Season 5 aired in 2015, and Littlefinger was doing quite well for himself at that time, what with taking control of the Vale and selling Sansa to the Boltons and all. Arya was over in Essos, learning how to kill from the Faceless Men at the House of Black and White. It was difficult to imagine how they would end up in the same place for Arya to kill him, but Gillen made his guess all the same. Who could have thought back in 2015 that Littlefinger would be executed in Winterfell by Arya, on the orders of Sansa and with the help of Bran as the Three-Eyed Raven?
The writing was on the Wall for Littlefinger in Season 7. Sansa was resisting his whispers more than ever, and Bran showed up with his Three-Eyed Raven knowledge that could poke holes in any and all schemes. Throw in the murderous Arya and the Starks' loyalty to each other, and Littlefinger was bound to die unless he stopped trying to pit them against each other. Unfortunately for him, it was a lesson he learned far too late.
Aidan Gillen went on in his chat with EW to reveal how he found out that Littlefinger was going to die in Seaon 7, saying this:
The infamous call. It's so obvious what it is. [Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff] never ring you up -- maybe once in six years. I learned about that call from [Roose Bolton actor Michael McElhatton] when he told me about his call and he talked about how it made him feel. And I thought if I get that call -- or rather when as this has got to happen sooner or later to a character like Littlefinger -- I wondered how it would make me feel. Because the show is such a part of your life for so many years, you start to think, 'What will your life will be like outside of it?' It's a potent loss.
Apparently Aidan Gillen didn't need Dan Weiss and David Benioff to spell out what was going to happen to Littlefinger. When he got a phone call from the two of them, he knew that the game was over for him. At least he was prepared for the eventuality of Littlefinger's death. Still, it sounds like he'll miss his time on Game of Thrones. It should be a very different show without him in Season 8.