Things have been looking up for the Starks in Game of Thrones Season 6, especially with Sansa and Jon Snow finally having a game plan for their much-awaited Winterfell takeover. But with the show being the merciless heartbreaker that it is, viewers are already sensing foreboding doom.

Jon and Sansa are not the only ones interested in winning back Winterfell. Petyr Baelish is also a sharp contender. For now, Littlefinger is supporting Sansa’s cause and he even informs her that he has rallied the Knights of the Vale to help her win the war against Ramsay Bolton. Knowing him, Littlefinger does not act when it doesn’t suit his best interests. His siding with Sansa is seen as a stepping stone to executing his larger agenda. His actions are self-serving.

Petyr Baelish wants to be Warden of the North. In Game of Thrones Season 5, he acted on his plan by bringing Sansa to Winterfell and forcing her to marry Ramsay Bolton, in the hope that she would be able to bring the usurpers down. When he returned to King’s Landing, Baelish asked Cersei to be appointed as the new Warden of the North once the Boltons and Stannis Baratheon are defeated. His plan, of course, did not come into fruition.

With the impending war between the Starks and the Boltons in Game of Thrones Season 6, a window of opportunity opens for Littlefinger to rehash his ambitions. If the tides turn in favor of Jon and Sansa, a defeated Ramsay is expected to scurry back to Winterfell and use Rickon Stark as a bargaining chip to make his way out of the dicey situation in one piece. If that happens, Baelish would follow Ramsay before Jon and Sansa arrive in Winterfell.

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Rickon is the sole Stark boy in Westeros that could inherit Winterfell. Thus, he could kill the young Stark and kill Ramsay thereafter. Both deaths having no witnesses, Baelish could easily pin Rickon’s murder on Ramsay.

Sansa and Baelish’s relationship is currently strained, but he could get back on her good graces by showing that he has freed Winterfell from the Boltons. Since Sansa is the only legitimate Stark successor left, it is likely Winterfell would be hers. The only way Baelish could become Warden of the North in this situation is by marrying Sansa.

In past episodes, Baelish has shown in a way that he actually cares for Sansa and that his affection for Catelyn Stark might have transferred to her. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, actor Aidan Gillen revealed that Baelish is regretful of what happened to Sansa.

“There’s a level of atonement in relation to Sansa and my misjudgment of Ramsay Bolton,” said Gillen. “A lot of what I’m up to is atonement and really trying to align myself the right people.”

According to Bustle, Baelish’s love for Sansa is genuine. While he is a cold-hearted manipulator to everyone, Sansa is the sole exception and his only weakness.

Considering his feelings towards Catelyn’s daughter, it is not likely that he would off her just to satisfy his lust for power. As a matter of fact, he sees Sansa as a vital element to making his dreams come true.

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Although Sansa wasn’t very happy to see Baelish in episode five of Game of Thrones Season 6, he lied to Jon about his meeting with him. Perhaps this indicates that Sansa still trusts Baelish enough to consider him a worthy ally.

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