Game of Thrones Season 7 – That Mysterious Letter from Sansa, Explained

What did Arya Stark’s scroll say? That’s the question Game of Thrones fans are asking after Season 7, Episode 5 (“Eastwatch”) used it as a plot point to set up some confrontation down the road. More important that what the scroll says, however, is the context in which it was written, how and why Arya found it, and what it means going forward.

And if you haven’t already guessed, the remainder of this article will contain major, wide-open spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones, and from an earlier episode, and possible future episodes. So, you know, proceed with caution.

What Did The Scroll Say?

If you did like this writer did and paused the DVR when you watched “Eastwatch” Sunday night, you were likely disappointed. About all you could see of it were some out-of-focus scribbles, with only a few words (“King Joffrey” and “oath of fealty” among them).

Here, now, courtesy of Business Insider, is what it said, in its entirety.

“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”

What It Means

Sansa wrote that message several seasons ago (Season 1, to be specific), and if you watched that episode, you know that Sansa wrote it under duress. At the time, Sansa was a naive little girl, not the battle-hardened leader that she is today. Queen Cersei used Sansa’s desire to save her father’s head as a means of forcing her to write to her brother Robb, in an attempt to convince him to surrender.

As Maester Luwin explained to Robb Stark at the time, according to Vanity Fair, “It is your sister’s hand but the Queen’s words.”

The problem, if you haven’t already figured it out, is that Arya didn’t know that Cersei had (almost literally, as well as figuratively) forced Sansa’s hand when she wrote that scroll. Already there is tension simmering beneath the surface in Arya and Sansa’s relationship, and when she read the scroll, not knowing all of the facts — well, it’s almost certainly going to play a role in their relationship going forward.

OK, But Why Now?

What does a years-old letter, written under duress, have to do with what’s happening in The Seven Kingdoms? In a word: Littlefinger.

One thing you’ve come to realize if you’ve watched every episode of Game Of Thrones is this: Littlefinger is always up to something. What’s more, his cunning is exceeded only by his ambition.

Clearly, he intended for Arya to overhear him trying to find the scroll, and he intended for Arya to find it. What he hopes to gain from that is at once obvious and elusive: he wants to sow discord between the sisters, although what he intends to get from it, and how, will likely be revealed in later episodes.

As Littlefinger famously said in Season 1, “Chaos is a ladder.” If there’s chaos in Wintefell, he can use that to “climb the ladder” to — well, who knows what Littlefinger wants. His allegiance usually lies with whichever side it’s most expedient for him to be on. And even when he saves the day, it comes at a price.

Is he angling for Sansa’s hand in marriage? Does he want to be Warden of the North under Queen Cersei? Does he want to drive Arya to kill Sansa for sport?

Of course, as Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson notes, Arya and/or Sansa may just be clever enough to see through Littlefinger’s scheme.

Needless to say, how it’s all going to play out is anyone’s guess.