In one of their very first scenes together, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) grabbed Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) by the throat and threw him up against a wall, demanding answers. Moments later, Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) appeared and tensions thawed — if only until the next time Ned and Littlefinger met at the neck, this time with Lord Baelish pressing a dagger to Lord Stark's throat.
Will history repeat itself in the upcoming Game of Thrones episode? New photos for the second installment of the season, called "Stormborn," raise the possibility: In the photo above, we see the first-ever direct conversation between Littlefinger and the newest Lord of Winterfell, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), in the castle's crypts. At worst, it should be an engaging scene between two people with plenty of reason to distrust one another. At best, it could potentially realign everything Jon knows about his past, present and future.
HBO released a "Stormborn" preview following the season seven premiere, in which someone grabs Littlefinger by the throat and tosses him into a wall. Previous trailers for the season identify the attacker: Jon, of course, who might not be Ned Stark's biological son, but certainly mirrors his father in the "honor, loyalty and integrity" department.
What's Littlefinger suggesting that has Jon so riled up? There are a few possibilities. For one, it could just be that Jon does not like Littlefinger; he has all the reason in the world to dislike the schemer, from his role in Ned's death to the simple fact of his snarling demeanor. It's also very likely that Littlefinger is the instigator in his own right, needling Jon in his quest to put Sansa (Sophie Turner) in a position of power.
Another intriguing option on the table: Littlefinger is about to share some very curious news with Jon. Back in season five, when they were together in the crypts of Winterfell, Sansa spoke with Littlefinger about her late aunt Lyanna Stark. When she mentioned how Lyanna was kidnapped and tortured by Rhaegar Targaryen, Littlefinger gave a quiet but knowing look — an expression that suggested he was as in on the R+L=J theory as any fan.
Is it possible that Littlefinger knows Jon's true origin as the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen? Could he be delivering this news to Jon in the same place we last saw Littlefinger chew on this ancient bit of history, the crypts of Winterfell? And if so, what's the reason for the revelation? Is he trying to drive Jon toward King's Landing and away from Winterfell? Does he want to earn Jon's trust? Does he simply want to needle King Snow, to remind him that even though he's following in Ned's footsteps, he's still quite possibly the most historically significant bastard in Westeros history? We'll see how it all shakes out on Sunday night.
Here are other photos from "Stormborn," including an especially regal Sansa, Samwell (John Bradley) once again palling around with the Archmaester (Jim Broadbent), and more.
Watch the trailer for "Stormborn" in the video below.
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