In its penultimate season, Game of Thrones is taking the time to go back and answer some big, lingering questions from earlier seasons, even as the war for Westeros rapidly escalates. One of those mysteries? Where’s the Valyrian steel dagger an assassin tried to use to kill Bran Stark back in Season 1? With Bran having just returned to Winterfell, and White Walker-killing Valyrian steel in high demand, the dagger’s whereabouts seem more important than ever. Thanks to magazine covers, we already knew that Arya would end up getting her hands on it, but the preview for the upcoming fourth episode of the season, “The Spoils of War,” may have accidentally revealed its current owner.
This post contains spoilers for the next episode of Game of Thrones, which hasn’t aired yet, but the information came from the official teaser for the next episode, so maybe it’s not a spoiler? Anyway, here it is.
The Season 7 Episode 4 preview is only 30 seconds long, focusing mostly on Cersei’s relationship with the Iron Bank and Daenerys’s increasingly desperate situation, but there’s a flash of somebody pulling a dagger from its scabbard.
Based on the handle, we can tell it’s the catspaw dagger, which last appeared in an illustration in one of Sam’s books in the season premiere, and it last physically appeared in the show’s third-ever episode. In the books, it’s confirmed that somehow Littlefinger ended up in possession of the blade, but the show hasn’t explicitly done that — until now.
How can we tell? Well, it’s all about Littlefinger’s … little fingers.
The hand that wields the dagger in the preview is adorned with a couple of distinctive rings. As Insider’s Kim Renfro notes, we’ve seen them before, on Littlefinger, as can be clearly viewed in the scene from Season 5, where he comforts Sansa Stark before handing her over to a sadistic rapist.
Why does this matter? Well, here’s where we’re getting into more speculative territory, but we know Arya’s headed back to Winterfell (another shot from the preview sees her overlooking the castle). If, as an Entertainment Weekly cover from earlier this year revealed, Arya eventually ends up with the dagger, and that doesn’t bode well for Littlefinger.
It’s also possible that his possession of the dagger might implicate him in the attempt against Bran’s life (we still don’t know for sure who ordered the hit, though it’s implied that it was Joffrey in the books) or reveal that he betrayed Ned Stark. If Sansa found out either of these things, it would be pretty bad for their already frosty relationship.
Game of Thrones Season 7 is currently airing on Sunday nights on HBO.