In Review

Game of Thrones series 7: Five things we've learned from Aidan Gillen

Littlefinger actor offers clues about his character's plans, confirms a fan theory and makes a surprising revelation

As anticipation builds for the seventh season of Game of Thrones, interviews with one of the show's most intriguing stars has given fans some clues about the series' key relationships.

Irish actor Aidan Gillen, who plays the Machiavellian Lord Littlefinger Baelish, opened up about his character and his key relationships during recent interviews.

Here are five things we learned.

Sansa and Littlefinger continue to get along, sort of

Littlefinger and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) seem to have reached an understanding after he revealed his ultimate ambition to seize the Iron Throne with Sansa as his queen.

"I finished last season on a promising note by laying my cards on the table - at least to Sansa," the actor told Entertainment Weekly.

Littlefinger realised Sansa was an equal, he added, and both had learned not to underestimate each other.

"They're on to each other. They use each other. They enjoy each other," he said.

Littlefinger is undermining Jon Snow

In the previous season, Littlefinger's strategy was to make Sansa question an allegiance with Jon Snow - and that won't change.

"I was [sowing seeds of doubt about Jon Snow] throughout my appearances in season six and, yeah, that will continue," said Gillen. "It's pretty obvious what my game is there. We're playing out that final exchange in the Great Hall in Winterfell."

He did recognise Arya

Fans may remember a scene from season two where Littlefinger met Arya Stark while she was pretending to be a servant for Tywin Lannister, but kept the information to himself.

Why? "It was unclear if he recognised her or not, but I have my own thoughts on that," Gillen told EW. "Yes, I did recognise her. I just didn't say anything or do anything about it."

Gillen didn't say why he didn't expose Arya, but perhaps he wanted her to kill Tywin to further his own rise to power - or does he plan to call in a favour in the future?

Littlefinger is playing with fire

Littlefinger’s schemes always involve an element of risk, but Gillen says that's how his character functions.

"With carefully laid plans, there's always a bit of risk involved," he said. "He puts himself in a situation that could backfire on him. But I think he likes that. His plans are never fail safe. But he puts himself on the line like a good gambler."

He might be a good guy after all

Gillen doesn't see Littlefinger as such a bad person, on balance.

"Recently, I decided to list all the despicable acts. I thought, 'I just want to weigh this up and see am I good or am I bad?' And, you know, overall, I like the guy," he said, in an interview with the Irish Independent.

"People tend to think of it as a villainous role and you can have fun playing the villains, but I think it's beyond that."

He tried to bring warmth and fun to the character, he added, "to make someone who commits despicable acts likeable".

Was Gillen also hinting that Littlefinger might be a better person than we think? No doubt we'll find out when the final battle comes.

Game of Thrones season seven airs premieres on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on 17 July.

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