The last time we saw Petyr Baelish, aka Littefinger, (played by Aidan Gillen) in Game of Thrones, he was having his neck slit by Arya Stark in front of a gathering of many of the important folk of the North. Baelish's death seemed appropriate as Arya went literally straight for the jugular, and specifically Baelish's vocal chords. There are a lot of odd accents in Game of Thrones, but Baelish's accent was joke unto itself, and changed across the show, and Arya was doing us all a favour by removing them.
Baelish had been a thorn in the side of two generations of Stark's, and his death seemed to be a sign of the growing agency of the Stark sisters. His death was pretty definitive.
So it was strange then to see Baelish's name among the favourites to sit atop the Iron Throne in a press release before Season 8 premiered.
Baelish - who is dead - is listed as a 12/1 bet to claim the Iron Throne , with the Night King - who is undead and the commander of an army of undead that includes an undead dragon - is at 11/1. Even for GoT. this seems odd.
So where does the belief that Littlefinger is actually not dead despite being blatantly stabbed to death originate from?
The theory is best articulated in a youtube video from Neo:
The theory all boils down to a mysterious coin exchange between Baelish and an unknown maiden in Winterfell witnessed by Arya, which is never explained. Neo's belief - based on not much evidence - is that Baelish has in fact produced a Bravoosi coin similar to the one that Arya herself was given earlier in the show. The coin allows its owner to switch identities with a Faceless Man, and it was in fact the woman who's neck was slit. This theory is given some credence by the fact that in Season 4, Baelish says his grandfather came from Braavos, and how out of character Baelish's snivelling pleading was just before his death.
There are a lot of obvious holes in this theory, but park them for just a moment. Would there be anything more Thrones-y than Littlefinger emerging from the dead at the perfect chaotic moment to make his most cunning move on the Iron Throne? It is a testament to GoT's ability to unexpectedly kill and unexpectedly revive its own characters that the corners of the internet are ready to believe that Littlefinger could be planning a stunning return, despite all evidence.
The theory was discussed in depth on the Ask The Maester show this week (starting at 21.31), and generally dismissed, although there was more sympathy for the idea that Arya might have Littlefinger's face in her travelling satchel.
Gillen, meanwhile, did his best to quash any hope that he might be planning a return to the show in this interview in the Australian media two weeks ago.
So will we see Littlefinger again before the end of GoT? Most likely not, but if we do, we can only imagine what kind of weird accent he'll be peddling.
The bigger question is why the showrunners would risk bringing Baelish back - and all the potential shark-jumping that could provoke - when it has so many other knotted plotlines among its living characters to resolve. We hope this is just another GoT theory that is purely fiction.