It's hard to believe that the Season 7 finale of #GameofThrones is less than a week away. With #HBO's hit show quickly wrapping up the season, a lot of loose ends are being tied. Alliances are being made, reunions being held, and while there is much cause for excitement, there is one particular arc that has many fans upset. The reunion between #SansaStark and #AryaStark is not what fans were hoping for. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Instead of these two incredible characters joining together to create a dynamic duo, they are at each other's throats. And while much of this is Littlefinger's doing, this story arc could have been avoided. And it should have. Pitting the Stark sisters against each other is one of the most disappointing plots of the show.
Both sisters have learned the value of family.
Many fans are quick to jump to Arya's side when it comes to the Stark sisters. But the fact of the matter is both characters have changed greatly since Season 1. Arya has become braver and bolder and is one of the most skilled fighters in the North. Sansa is no longer the naive person she once was. She's endured more than any character on the show, and come out stronger. They both have. And they both learned one unquestionable truth: the Starks belong in Winterfell.
Both Sansa and Arya spent years away from their home. Arya was on the run and later trained to become a Faceless Man, and Sansa was a captive to multiple families, including her own Aunt! And even when she returned to Winterfell, it wasn't home. It was held by the men that betrayed her family and brutalized her. And through the turmoil that both sisters faced, they learned that family is more important than anything. Arya realized she does not belong in Braavos. Sansa owned up to the mistakes she made as a child, and sought to fix them. There's no question the sisters have their differences, but they both know how important family is. Ned made sure that they both learned that lesson. So why, against all reason, have the writers decided to have Arya and Sansa on opposing sides?
Pitting strong women against each other is all too common.
We see it all the time in the media, even if we don't realize how extreme it is. How often do we see headlines about feuds between female popstars or actresses, feuds that often are only there because of the media? Our society is obsessed with this idea that there can only be one talented person on top, but this is not true. You can have two talented women, and you can have two strong women. And you do not need to pit them against one another. In fact, they should be raising each other up.
The thing about the Stark sisters is that we knew them both when they were just children. We have watched them grow up, face unimaginable horrors, and take back what is theirs. Sansa and Arya are two of the strongest characters in Westeros, but in different ways. They showcase different strengths. This is why they would make a fearsome duo. If they worked together, they could take on the world and destroy all their enemies. So, why are they fighting?
It all comes back to the obsession with competition. It adds drama and turmoil, but the show already has enough of that! This isn't what we need. What we need to see is the two Starks working together. Arya bringing her physical strength, and Sansa bringing her mental and emotional strength. Ruling the North together, proving that there is more than one kind of strength and that those strengths can be combined to make an unstoppable force. This is the ideal, and it shouldn't be so far away. But are we past the point of no return? Is there hope for the strained relationship between Arya and Sansa?
Honesty and trust is the key.
We all know Arya's feelings on Littlefinger. And while he can be a valuable ally, her mistrust is sound. But Arya has pushed her mistrust of Littlefinger onto Sansa. This is a dire mistake. Sansa is not the girl that Arya remembers. As Sansa said to her sister in the most recent episode, she has endured things Arya cannot even imagine. And it is because of her, not Jon, that they have retaken Winterfell. The Knights of the Vale rode into battle for her. And while Arya knows, at least partially, that this is true, she is blinded by her anger.
After finding the letter that Sansa wrote under duress back in Season 1, begging Robb to bend the knee, Arya is infuriated. She believes they are her words, not Cersei's, and that she was simply doing the Lannister's bidding. What she doesn't realize is that by believing this, she is falling right into Littlefinger's trap. Arya accuses Sansa of betraying their family, but she won't listen to Sansa's explanation. It almost feels like she wants to be against her sister, which quite frankly is very out of character for Arya. She is a fighter, of that there is no question. Defiant, brave, and stubborn, sometimes to a fault. But she is loyal. Arya, the Arya that we know and love, would never kill or hurt a member of her own family. She wouldn't want to. It's one of the reasons that this arc feels so forced, because truthfully, it is.
Arya has made no attempt to veil her threats. In episode 6, Sansa found the faces that Arya took from Braavos. They attempted to play the game of faces, and Arya spoke freely of what she could do if she wore Sansa's face. She wondered what it would feel like. Sansa looked pretty terrified, as she should be. Imagine hearing that from your sister! Sansa is afraid of Arya, Arya is angry with Sansa. And as both pointed out, people can do stupid things out of both fear and anger. If Sansa feels that Arya will make an attempt on her life, which right now isn't seeming unlikely, she may seek the help of Littlefinger. She already seeks his counsel, after all. And if Arya feels that Sansa is working for the Lannisters, she may try to kill her. Both of these actions are rash and unnecessary. And as Sansa points out, they're giving Cersei exactly what she wants.
If Sansa and Arya had sound reason to be against each other, this plot wouldn't be so infuriating. But after all they've been through, they should be working together. Helping each other and building up strength. While Sansa took care of politics, Arya could help train warriors for the battle against the Walkers. And together they could root out the corruption in Winterfell, and Sansa could shake Littlefinger for good. But instead, for dramatic effect, the two sisters are against each other. We can only hope this is a part of a bigger and better plan, one that will hopefully reveal itself in the Season 7 finale. Until then, all we can do is pray to the Old Gods and the New that things will turn around.