[Spoilers ahead for the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf”]
About a month ago, I wrote an editorial on how Game of Thrones didn’t seem to really have a role for Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish to play. He was a relic of earlier seasons where everything was about machinations and politics, but the show had moved into an endgame involving dragons and zombies. Following that editorial, the show moved into an awkward storyline where it looked like Littlefinger was up to his old tricks by trying to turn Sansa against Arya, but in the season finale, the Stark sisters showed they were on to him the whole time, and sentenced him to death with Arya happily slicing Baelish’s throat.
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spoke to EW about the character’s exit and how much they enjoyed having Aidan Gillen on board for so long. “He’s just a phenomenal actor and a great one to spend time with. We loved having Littlefinger along for the ride, but he f—ed with the wrong girls,” said Benioff. Weiss added:
He almost turns Littlefinger into a mystical embodiment of will-to-power and thriving on chaos. There’s something impenetrable to everything he does. It’s like you keep peeling away the skins and there’s never an end to the masks.
For his part, Gillen told EW about getting the call that Baelish would be killed off:
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.
Gillen’s a terrific actor, but killing off Littlefinger was long overdue. While he tried to make a meal of every scene he got, it was clear that there was no room in the story for that character, and I’m glad that we won’t have to worry about his machinations in the final season.
For more on Game of Thrones, click on the links below:
- ‘Game of Thrones’: What Is The Golden Company?
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7: Was the Payoff Worth the Frustrating Shortcuts?
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Showrunners Break Down That Season 7 Finale & Tease Season 8
- ‘Game of Thrones’: What Does Jon Snow’s True Name Tell Us?
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Finale Recap: “The Dragon and The Wolf”