Most Game of Thrones fans know of the online furor that arose after the credits rolled on the show’s fourth season finale. For book readers, there had been an omission: a character who makes an appearance in A Storm of Swords’ Epilogue. From there, there was much discussion back and forth within the fandom and in a variety of media outlets over whether the omission was a good thing, to the point of whether the character should be eliminated from the storytelling altogether. Hit the jump for a recent interview that could clear some of this speculation up, but warning, there will be MAJOR book spoilers about who the character is.
The character in question is of course Lady Stoneheart, who is essentially the resurrected body of Catelyn Stark. After the Red Wedding, when Catelyn’s throat was slit and she was thrown into the river, she was then rescued by The Brotherhood Without Banners, whose leader, Beric Dondarrion, gave his life for hers. From that point, Lady Stoneheart takes over command of the Brotherhood, roaming the land in order to exact vengeance for her family’s suffering.
There are several things to say about this. First of all, if Stoneheart was going to appear in Game of Thrones, the backstory necessary to remind viewers not only exactly what happened to her at the Red Wedding, but the significance of Beric (who has been re-cast at least once) and the Brotherhood would have been too much for Season Four. The reveal would be far more likely to take place in the next season (if at all).
On the other hand, there are many who think the story of Stoneheart is patently ridiculous, and doesn’t need to exist (to some, it also lessens the effect of the Red Wedding). In A Dance With Dragons, Stoneheart’s story intersects with Brienne’s, but if show decides to eliminate Stoneheart, it would potentially show a very different direction for Brienne’s future.
EW recently spoke to Catelyn Stark actress Michelle Fairley about her role on 24: Live Another Day, but also a lot about Stoneheart. After saying she wasn’t aware of the online discussions after the finale, the interviewer asks about what she does know about the character’s fate:
There was a lot of online conversation. I heard third-hand that you were basically told that it’s not likely to ever happen. Is that accurate?
Fairley: Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead.
Do you have a preference at all—do you think Catelyn’s arc should end where it ended, or would you be into the resurrection idea?
Fairley: You respect the writers’ decision. I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show.
So this seems to be cut and dry. Still, given showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff‘s penchant for zombies on the show (they’ve added several scenes, or moved up things regarding things happening North of the Wall), it’s quite surprising that they would pass up an opportunity for such a shocking moment. On the other hand, these comments have not been confirmed, so perhaps Lady Stoneheart will still appear at some point as a surprise for everyone. After all, Lena Heady did post that heart made of stones on Instagram before the finale (though later claimed she was just drunk and thought it looked cool … ok).
What say you, fans? Should Lady Stoneheart make an appearance in the next season, or beyond? Or should Catelyn remain in her watery grave?