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Here’s a look at the most shocking moments from the finale of the seventh season of ‘Game of Thrones.’
USA TODAY

Spoiler alert: This story contains details from Sunday’s Season 7 finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Rest in Peace, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish — if you can. That’s quite the interesting life you lived.

Littlefinger, the self-made lord and schemer extraordinaire, came to his end in Sunday’s Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, his death sentence for treason and murder pronounced by former ward Sansa Stark and carried out by her sister, Arya, who slit his throat in an emotional scene.  

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Irish actor Aidan Gillen (The Wire, The Dark Knight Rises), 49, who imbued the treacherous Littlefinger with charm, wit and a hint of danger, spoke Monday with USA TODAY about the death scene, his character’s downfall, his favorite moments and how it feels to be departing an international phenomenon a year before it ends its run.  

How do you feel about Littlefinger, a character you’ve embodied for seven years, being dead?

I’m in the U.K., where it airs tonight, so I’m not dead here yet. … It was inevitable. I knew that was coming sooner or later. … I felt they gave me some good space to continue to develop the character. … It’s been a long ride and an exciting one, so you feel a little empty afterward. In a way, it’s good to get out when you’re ahead. 

Do you think Littlefinger deserved to die?

As the actor playing him, I’ve always been able to justify his actions: This is survival, this is revenge. If you’re talking to me as Littlefinger, I’d probably say no.  From (the audience’s) point of view, they want him to get his comeuppance. He’s a classic villain, in a way. That’s what they want. It’s a classic payoff. I’m fine with that.

Did Littlefinger really love Sansa or was it political, a means to an alliance that would lead to greater power?

Tricky question. … You can tell somebody you love them, and it can mean 50 different things. I’ve always tried to be a bit nonspecific about that. He definitely has feelings for her and strong…