Game of Thrones: Why Is the Dagger So Important?
The infamous Valyrian steel dagger used in the season 1 attempt on Bran's life resurfaced in the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
Littlefinger returns the dagger to Bran and muses that it made him what he is today.
That dagger famously kickstarted the War of Five Kings and helped Littlefinger's ascent on his so-called chaos ladder.
My question is: why? What is so important about this dagger? Sure, it is made of Valyrian steel which can be used to kill White Walkers, but what is the significance of the dagger in this context?
I have to assume that the dagger's purpose is more than a poetic bookend, (Bran is nearly killed with the dagger and later receives it as a gift) since so much time is being spent on it.
The Chekhov's Gun rule of writing dictates that every object has a purpose, so if a dagger is flaunted at every turn, it better damn well be used on someone.
Arya has the dagger now and gave Littlefinger a rather menacing look so perhaps she will return it to him (right in the heart).
The books and the show diverge with regards to the mastermind behind the attempted hit on Bran Stark.
"You weren't s'posed to be here."
The dagger originally belonged to Petyr Baelish. He later lost the blade in a bet to King Robert. Baelish lies that the blade belonged to Tyrion which set off a chain of events that threw the whole world into chaos.
The dagger did however, likely belong to another.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire series, it is made more plain that Joffrey Baratheon actually gave the order (and the dagger) to the catspaw assassin in a misguided attempt to please his father.
When Joffrey heard his father Robert Baratheon drunkenly rambling that Bran would be better off dead than living as a cripple, he made the order to try and impress the not so easily impressed King.
It is reasonable to believe that someone as reckless and foolish as Joffrey would stage an egregious assassination attempt with such an easily traceable weapon.
Jaime later admits to Catelyn that he and Cersei thought about having Bran killed but decided against it since he was being constantly guarded. Catelyn realizes Littlefinger lied to her about Tyrion.
For more evidence, when Joffrey is gifted a Valyrian steel sword at his wedding, he boasts that he is no stranger to the weapon which tips Tyrion off that he orchestrated the hit.
The puppet master in the TV series however is a little more ambiguous.
There is no such attempt made to reveal Joffrey as the mastermind. They even omitted Joffrey's line at his wedding, "I am no stranger to Valyrian steel."
Maybe the showrunners would like to have people believe that either Cersei or Littlefinger were behind it.
And there is plenty of reason to think that could be the case: Cersei demanded Bran be pushed out a window in the first place and Littlefinger thrives on chaos.
We Got Recaps
In my opinion, the TV show version strongly implies that Littlefinger tried to have Bran killed.
I wonder if we will get some answers on the matter soon. You'd figure that Bran would know what happened considering he is the Three-Eyed Raven and all.
Although, trivial things such as these don't seem to matter to him anymore.
And perhaps the whole purpose of this plot-line is for Arya to use the dagger on Littlefinger as revenge for trying to kill Bran. (As well as countless other betrayals, lies and schemes).