WARNING: Spoilers ahead for “Game of Thrones” Season 7.
One bit of Valyrian steel keeps cropping up around “Game of Thrones” this season: the dagger used in the attempt on Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead Wright) life in Season 1.
Let’s quickly recap: After being pushed out of a window, the young Stark was attacked in his recovery bed by a hired assassin who ends up getting mauled by Bran’s direwolf, Summer (RIP). His mother, Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), then takes the distinctive blade to her husband at King’s Landing, where Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) claims it originally belonged to him but that he lost it in a bet with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Thing is, honesty is the last quality Littlefinger is known for.
With a black tapered handle and blood-red stone topping off a curved blade, the dagger ― sometimes called “catspaw” for its association with the assassin ― is a fairly wicked-looking instrument.
And the foreshadowing is strong with this one: HBO Nordic featured the weapon in a cheeky teaser for Season 7 alongside the words “be prepared” on its Facebook page. It was also featured prominently on Arya’s (Maisie Williams) hip in Season 7 promotional images for Entertainment Weekly, suggesting it’ll end up in her care.
But last we know, the dagger was still in the possession of Littlefinger. And in the Episode 4 trailer, we see what appear to be his hands unsheathing the blade. (Catch the full trailer above.)
Although the shot is dark, the rings appear to be the ones Littlefinger is shown wearing earlier in the series. The sleeve styling appears similar to that favored by Littlefinger, too.
If the blade changes hands, some fans wonder whether that might spell the end for Littlefinger, whose betrayal of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) in Season 1 isn’t widely known at the moment.
There are a few good reasons to believe his time is now running out. Even though his knights saved the day during the Battle of the Bastards, Sansa (Sophie Turner) clearly doesn’t have much love for Littlefinger after the whole Ramsay thing. Bran has also returned to Winterfell with his newfound ability to see into the past and present, worldwide, making it pretty clear that he’s been doing some off-camera exploring. If he discovers Littlefinger’s past scheming, he could pass on that knowledge to his assassin sister Arya, who may make her return in Episode 4. (It sure looks like Arya is looking out onto Winterfell from horseback at the end of the teaser.)
Another detail in the show suggests the dagger will do some damage: It shows up in a book Sam was reading at the Citadel in the Season 7 premiere. As Samwell Tarly actor John Bradley told HuffPost earlier this month, viewers are meant to notice it ― he was told to linger on that page during the shoot.
Aside from its obvious power to enact vengeance, the dagger might also prove useful in the war to come. Valyrian steel is one of few things that can kill White Walkers, which we observed when Jon (Kit Harington) killed a Walker with his Valyrian sword, Longclaw. (Dragonglass also gets the job done.)
We like the idea of Arya having some at her side, just like her big brother ― er, cousin. Aww.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Now.