In "The Dragon and the Wolf" (Game of Thrones, S07E07), Litllefinger was accused and found guilty of many crimes. Before that scene, we see Sansa talking to Litllefinger and not sensing any treason on his part, but in court, in front of all the northern lords, and her sister and brother, she was declaring his crimes, one by one, as if she was there when he did them.

Was it Bran who told her these pieces of information? And if it was him who told her, how can she accept what he [Bran] said?

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    She already knows Bran can see the past from her own interactions with him. She knew some of the information already and probably speculated on some others. As for the conversation beforehand Sansa answers that herself I'm a slow learner it's true but I do learn... thank you for your many lessons Lord Baelish. Aug 30, 2017 at 8:49
  • It's quite the assumption that Sansa did not sense any treason on his part during that scene. The way I interpret that conversation is that Sansa was trying to figure out what Littlefinger would try to get her to do - once she heard Littlefinger was essentially proposing for Arya to be executed, she'd heard enough - she even lists this as one of his crimes: What's the worst reason you have for turning me against my sister? That's what you do, isn't it? Turn family against family, turn sister against sister. Aug 30, 2017 at 9:52
  • she was declaring his crimes, one by one, as if she was there when he did them. That's because for many that she listed, she was. She was there when Lysa explained that she killed Jon Arryn at Littlefingers command. And she was there when he pushed her out the moon door. Having seen that, once she decided he was doing the same to her it wouldn't take much convincing for her to believe he did the other things as well.
    – IronSean
    Aug 30, 2017 at 13:04
  • "not sensing treason on his part" - She's been harsh with him ever since the marriage to Ramsey Bolton, she says to Bran "it's not in his nature to be generous. He would never give something unless he thought he'd get something in return" - I'm not seeing a lot of trust there. Now, playing dumb instead of being dumb? Sure. It just reached a critical mass when he started trying to turn the remaining Starks against each other. Also, Bran filled in some gaps about Ned that they didn't know. Aug 30, 2017 at 17:30

3 Answers 3



It's made clear in a deleted scene

In a Variety article titled ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Reveals Scene Cut From Season Finale, we learn that a scene in which Sansa talks to Bran and asks for "help", at the height of the Arya-Sansa rivalry and tension, was cut:

It’s clear after Sansa turns the tables on Littlefinger that she has had some sort of conversation with Bran, but we don’t get to see it. When did it take place?
We actually did a scene that clearly got cut, a short scene with Sansa where she knocks on Bran’s door and says, “I need your help,” or something along those lines. So basically, as far as I know, the story was that it suddenly occurred to Sansa that she had a huge CCTV department at her discretion and it might be a good idea to check with him first before she guts her own sister. So she goes to Bran, and Bran tells her everything she needs to know, and she’s like, “Oh, s—.”
—Isaac Hempstead Wright, "‘Game of Thrones’ Star Reveals Scene Cut From Season Finale", Variety

It seems this scene was instrumental in Sansa's decision to confront Lord Petyr Baelish for all the crimes she was already aware of, on top of the new ones she just became aware of, thanks to Bran, aka the "huge CCTV department at her discretion".

She trusts and believes Bran because his ultimate trick to get you to believe him is by bringing something up that nobody else in the world but you could know. In the case of Sansa, only her, Ramsay and Theon know about her rape, which he so charmingly and poetically brought up for her to enjoy as a memory to reminisce over in a previous episode.

She already knew Littlefinger was an untrustworthy crook responsible for a lot of the misery she's had to endure, but verifying with Bran her sister's intentions and Littlefinger's deepest darkest crimes only confirmed further for her that he is a problem she has to deal with. That she consulted with Bran and that she had problems with Littlefinger was implied in the trial scene when she lists off the crimes she knew about and personally held a grudge against him for, plus Bran's line about holding a knife to his father's throat - this was probably why it was cut, as well as the fact that showing that scene would reduce the tension and break the "illusion" that Sansa was going to have Arya stand trial.


Update - A more direct answer to your question.

Your question implies that you missed a key point where Littlefinger was being tricked by the Stark siblings. Sansa specifically acted like everything was normal in the conversation with Littlefinger, so that he wouldn't leave Winterfell before they could convene the trial.

Sansa pretends like she's putting Arya to trial, because it makes Littlefinger think that he is getting what he wants: a divided Stark family. Littlefinger attends the trial because he thinks that he has gotten away with it, completely unaware that he is actually attending his own trial.

The full answer about what happened.

There have been many things that happened which did not make sense (thus implicitly hinting that they were a facade for something else, i.e. trapping Littlefinger). Though we can't know for certain where Sansa, Arya and Bran started working together, we can piece together the most likely turn of events that led to this scheme.

This list is not necessarily in chronological order, though I've tried to arrange the events in a way that explains how the Stark siblings started scheming (which should be somewhat chronological per chapter)

I'm aware that you're asking who convinced Sansa, and I'm responded with how the scheme started, but the two are connected. The Stark siblings started scheming together because they started to understand the truth.

Chaos is a ladder.

Bran pretty much called LF a liar to his face. When given the dagger, he immediately asks if LF knows who it belonged to.

Why would that be important? That is not an obvious question to ask. The only likely reason that Bran asks this question, is because he already knows that LF has lied before about who the dagger belongs to.

LF lies to Bran and says that he doesn't know. LF tries to distract the conversation by talking about Bran's experiences, but Bran promptly brings the topic up again when he says "Chaos is a ladder", another one of LF's quotes (while it's not a lie, it's a clear indication of how LF approaches the game of thrones, an indirect admission that he sows chaos to reap the rewards).

Most likely, Bran talked to Sansa soon after, and they started working together. Bran may have taken longer to talk to her (his three-eyed-ravenness gets in the way of his humanity from time to time).
If Bran was already scheming with Sansa at the time, then it was a mistake to blatantly call LF out on a lie, since they were trying to trap him.

The best assumption we have is that Bran was not aware of a scheme against Littlefinger yet. However, Littlefinger's lies in this conversation may have put fuel to the fire, and caused Bran to proactively seek out Sansa and talk to her.

Tangentially, Littlefinger should have understood from this conversation that Bran knows his secret, and likely knows more than what he is saying. Littlefinger should've hightailed it out of Winterfell at this point, aware of the sword of Damocles that Bran has blatantly pointed out to him. It feels like bad writing that LF goes on with his business in Winterfell unhindered.
Though it's not impossible that it shows a flaw in character, that he takes the risks because he still wants more power.

Sansa has seen behind Littlefinger's mask.

Sansa has known LF for some time. He has acted like a friend to the family, offered Sansa a way out of King's Landing, implicated Sansa in Joffrey's murder, killed Ser Dontos (a well meaning oaf who Sansa had saved from death before) in front of her, makes her join in his web of lies, tells her how much he loved her mother and then inappropriately kisses her, kills aunt Lysa (to be fair, she did threaten to kill Sansa but she was clearly an unhinged woman), and marries her off to Ramsay.

It is true that Sansa was a naive girl for most of these experiences, so she never saw LF's manipulations for what they were (at the time). However, Ramsay was the straw that broke the camel's back. Since then, Sansa has changed and matured considerably. She can now look back on the past events, and possibly see them for what they actually were.

LF made some slipups in Winterfell too. During their time spent together (both in the Vale and Winterfell) LF has revealed a lot of his MO to Sansa. He has taught her to lie, he has made her a partner in crime, he has taught her how to think the worst of people. She knows how he works.

Most viewers assumed that LF loves Sansa because he sees her as the next best thing to Catelyn. But given the fact that LF has explained what he knows, it's possible that he sees her as a pseudo-daughter, the daughter him and Catelyn should have had.
It's somewhat of a trope that those who consider themselves a parent (sub)consciously end up teaching their (perceived) child their "skills of life", to pass on their knowledge.

One of the bigger slipups occurred when he tried to suggest to Sansa that Arya wants to kill her to become Lady of Winterfell. Anyone who knows Arya, knows that she doesn't want to be a lady.

If Sansa even just considers Littlefinger being dishonest, withough being certain that he is in fact lying, that can bring back all her past memories of him, and very quickly an image starts to form. The image of a man who lies and schemes and manipulates, and has no issue whatsoever with throwing people under the bus even if they're friendly to him (Ser Dontos, Aunt Lysa, Sansa herself when he married her off to Ramsay).

It's equally likely that Sansa could have approached Bran. However, this makes less sense, if you consider that Bran has been absent from the events for a long time.
The only reason Sansa would've approached Bran (instead of the other way around) is if Sansa is looking for confirmation ("checking the video footage"). Which is of course also possible, though it seems a bit cheap (narratively speaking) for characters to start running to Bran for confirmation about their suspicions. It gets too close to a deus ex machina.

Arya joins the plot only after settling some grudges with Sansa.

Bran and Sansa both have been eye witness to LF's past shady dealings (in different ways). Any conversation between them would very quickly cement the actual truth.
This is similar to how Sam and Bran figure out Jon's legitimate birth together. Sam suggests a marriage between Rhaegar and Lyanna, and Bran "checks the video footage". Bran hasn't seen everything that happens everywhyere, but he has access to it. He only needs to know where to look (Sam and Sansa can give him that direction).

However, I think that Arya wasn't part of the scheme initially. The first conflict out on the wooden walkway seems genuine. Arya was bringing up things that she has carried from her childhood, and actively calls Sansa out on undermining Jon, even if only subconsiously.

But then we get to the scene with the faces and the dagger. A quick rundown of the scene.

  • Sansa finds the faces.
  • Arya explains why she uses them, also revealing a scary and dark side to her character.
  • Sansa is visibly upset and scared by this information.
  • Arya wants to play the game of faces and tries to focus on Sansa undermining Jon. But Sansa doesn't respond (she's too busy talking about the faces) and Arya doesn't get a straight answer.
  • Arya picks up the dagger and mentions becoming Lady of Winterfell by cutting Sansa's face off.
  • Arya then gives Sansa the dagger and walks off.

The big question here is whether Arya was already part of the scheme.

If she has been part of the scheme, then the only way that this scene makes sense is that it is staged, intended for Littlefinger (who is probably spying) to think that there is real animosity between the sisters.
But if they are expecting Littlefinger to spy on them, why would Arya give the dagger to Sansa? They're trying to give Littlefinger ammunition to accuse Arya of treason; and Arya giving Sansa the dagger is basically Arya saying "I'm not your enemy". This doesn't make sense. If Sansa and Arya were already in cahoots, there's no need for a show of faith/trust.

If she had not been part of the scheme, this scene makes more sense. Arya gets to reveal something extraordinary (shapeshifting) that she hasn't been able to talk to anyone about (in Westeros). Sansa learns about the changes to Arya's character.
Arya hints at cutting Sansa's face off with the intention of becoming Lady of Winterfell (not just petty revenge), as a way to probe Sansa. If Sansa had taken the bait, that indicates that Sansa believes that the position of power comes before family (thus somewhat proving that she is willing to undermine Jon).
But Sansa does not take the bait. She looks hurt and distraught. Sansa responds to her sister telling her something hurtful, not someone taking her power. To understand the distinction between these options, imagine how Cersei would've responded to the same threat. Her response would've focused on her power being taken away from her, she would call it treason. Her focus (power, not family) reveals her priorities.

Arya takes this as sufficient proof that Sansa is not intent on betraying family for a seat of power.

Note that before Arya tried probing Sansa, she tried it more directly, trying to make Sansa play the game of faces:

Back in Braavos, before I got my first face, there was I game I used to play. The game of faces. It's simple: I ask you a question about yourself and you try to make a lie sound like the truth. If you fool me, you win. If I catch a lie, you lose. How do you feel about Jon being king? Is there someone else you feel should rule the North instead of him?

But Sansa was much too distracted by the faces, and also did not understand the point of the game, so she did not partake in it. Arya then changed gears and decided to use a more indirect approach (unsettling Sansa in order to find out what's important to her).

Arya then gives Sansa the dagger. It's a way of saying "you passed the test", Arya is no longer suspicious of Sansa. And this has another consequence (likely unforeseen by Arya): it also telegraphs to Sansa that Arya is not trying to do the same (kill Sansa for her seat of power).

Arya giving Sansa the dagger is likely the turning point here, which puts an end to both sisters' suspicions about eachother. Sansa would then be likely to include Arya in the scheme to trap Littlefinger.
Somewhat obviously, she would not have included Arya when she was still suspicious of Arya wanting to take up Sansa's seat of power, because that means that Arya could possibly be working with Littlefinger.

And so the scheme begins

Bran, Sansa and Arya are now working together. When you combine their information, it paints a clear image of Littlefinger and his past misdeeds.

  • Bran has seen Littlefingers betrayals in King's Landing (let's assume he only knows what he has shown that he knows, to prevent Bran from becoming the deus ex machina).
  • Sansa has seen Littlefinger's manipulations and murders in King's Landing, the Vale and Winterfell.
  • Arya found the note, which proves that Littlefinger was trying to start an argument between the Stark sisters.

edit Small addition to finish my thought and more directly answer your questions.

What the Stark siblings know is not enough to conclude that Littlefinger is guilty, at least not in the eyes of third parties (anyone can argue that Bran is lying).
This is why the trial is held. It gives Littlefinger the chance to defend himself (which he fails at), and it gives third parties the chance to intervene on Littlefinger's behalf (if there is evidence to the contrary, but we as the viewer of course already know that LF is definitely guilty).

Your question implies that you missed a key point where Littlefinger was bring tricked by the Stark siblings. Sansa specifically acted like everything was normal in the conversation with Littlefinger, so that he wouldn't leave Winterfell before they could convene the trial.
Sansa pretends like she's putting Arya to trial, because Littlefinger thinks that he is getting what he wants: a divided Stark family. This is why Sansa suddendly shifts her accusations to Littlefinger. He did not see it coming, and it caught him off guard.

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    Maybe not a show flaw. Littlefinger is clearly taken aback, but I'm not sure the average brain is going to leap to "he's an all-knowing three-eyed raven greenseer" vs. "hey, I've said that. Weird coincidence...." They were immediately interrupted after Bran said that. People have an amazing capacity to talk themselves into what is more familiar and comfortable, given time. Had he had more immediate interaction with Bran's weirdness, it may have bothered him more and been less likely to be able to be hand-waved away. Just another possibility. Sep 1, 2017 at 16:27
  • +1 This is the best answer in my opinion. I really appreciated the interpretation of the faces scene with Sansa and Arya. Really clarified some things I had been wondering about that scene. Thanks! Sep 6, 2017 at 18:33
  • @PoloHoleSet: I agree that you don't jump to the "omniscient greenseer" conclusion. However, what do you jump to? At the very least, you expect that someone has informed Bran. Bran clearly wasn't guessing and his remarks were on point and targeted. Who informed Bran? Littlefinger tries to control his environment and yet is absolutely blindsided by this supposed person behind the scenes revealing the truth. Even if not supernatural, Littlefinger should still have seen the signs of the truth catching up to him.
    – Flater
    Oct 19, 2018 at 10:28
  • @Flater - I live in Wisconsin. Raised in western Pennsylvania. If I hear someone use the term "jagoff" I don't think "they are reading my mind," I think "maybe they are from western PA" or "must have heard the mayor of Pittsburgh call Trump that." Both of which I have no evidence of, but it seems a more reasonable place to go for me. Anything is going to be more reasonable than "he somehow knows everything that has ever happened at any time or place." Oct 19, 2018 at 22:03
  • @PoloHoleSet Without any missing shots, Bran asks a question that is meaningless in and of itself but is exactly the lie Littlefinger has told with the biggest consequences (starting the Lannister/Stark war) and follows it up with the quote Littlefinger used to justify his lie to Ned Stark when he found out about Littlefinger's lie. The odds of Bran hitting the bull's eye twice in a row, specifically relating to the dagger that LF is currently giving Bran, without any foreknowledge about it, is astronomically low.
    – Flater
    Oct 20, 2018 at 7:59

I doubt that question makes sense. Why would Sansa need convincing? She was there when he killed Lysa. Yes, Bran saw many things which Sansa may or may not believe. But lately Littlefinger advised her to deal with Arya since she is dangerous. Sansa knows him better than anyone. He did loved her in a way which is why he thought her some things which was his mistake. It doesn't take too much thinking to realize that he wants something and he obviously wants to get rid of Arya.

One conversation with Arya would reveal that Arya stole that message from his room, which Sansa would immediately understand that it was his doings to set up a freud between Stark sisters. And this conversation must have happend when we don't see it, because Stark children are accusing him together, so all three probably talked. Could be Sansa started conversation because she suspected something about Littlefinger. Arya wouldn't hide how she got the message for long since she doesn't care anyway. Or Bran saw it and he started the conversation. Either way, as soon Sansa learns how Arya got the message, she would figure out in second that Littlefinger is setting her up to kill Arya.

And Lady of Winterfell is not taking things like that easy.

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    Not to mention Littlefinger basically giving her away to Ramsey. I don't think that was something she'd ever forgive or forget. Aug 30, 2017 at 12:12

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