The Red Wedding was a massacre, but Catelyn Stark didn’t actually die in there. In the novels, she comes back as Lady Stoneheart and goes on a killing spree.
The mention of ‘The Red Wedding’ itself is enough to send a chill down the spine every time. It was ruthless, barbaric and, most importantly, it was completely unforeseeable.
Catelyn Stark made our hearts cry out when she begged for her son’s life from Lord Walder Frey, but instead got her throat cut. That was all of Catelyn Stark we found on the show. However, if you have read the novels, you would know that her legend lived on as Lady Stoneheart even after the horrific wedding. This time, in the form of a reincarnated corpse (no, not as a White Walker)!
Why Was She Removed From The Show?
Lady Stoneheart missed out on the show, although she made an influential presence in the novels. Now, when books are adapted into shows, lot of details are just cut because it’s hard to completely adapt the plot in so little time. You can read more about the tricky adaptation process here. There was considerable excitement when a shadowy figure was spotted beyond the gates in Season 7, Episode 4. However, it was rapidly disregarded as just another stray actor doing her duties.
Michelle Fairley, who played Catelyn Stark on the show, had the exact thing to say:
“Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead,” she told EW. “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 a brilliant show.”
George Martin, the man above all, wanted Lady Stoneheart to make an appearance, but was dominated by the show-runners:
“At some points, when David and Dan and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favoir sticking with the books, while they would favour making changes,” Martin said back in 2017. “I think one of the biggest ones would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision.”
That is it then. We can definitely put out all hopes to see Lady Stoneheart back in the final season.
In The Novels
Catelyn’s dead body was pulled up from the river by Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria. The corpse was later discovered by the ‘Brotherhood without Banners’. Thoros of Myr tried to revive her but it was Beric Dondarrion who gave up his life in order to bring her back to life. Beric is already dead in the novels unlike in the show.
Thoros says in the books:
“The Freys slashed her throat from ear to ear. When we found her by the river she was three days dead. Harwin begged me to give her the kiss of life, but it had been too long. I would not do it, so Lord Beric put his lips to hers instead, and the flame of life passed from him to her. And… she rose. May the Lord of Light protect us. She rose.”
After she was brought back, she took charge of the brotherhood. She had gained a whole new personality drastically different from that of Catelyn Stark. Her mission was to kill any person associated with the ‘Red Wedding’, that is the Freys, Boltons or the Lannisters. She hunted down and executed numerous people constantly reminding herself of the horrific wedding.
Lady Stoneheart even decided to put Brienne of Tarth, Pod and Hyle to execution unless they killed Jaime Lannister. She believed that Brienne had joined hands with the Kingslayer, especially when she had a glance of Oathkeeper made from Ned Stark’s valyrian sword ‘Ice’. She is a dreadful character in the novels and her actions were hardly justifiable.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones returns on 2019. Would you have liked to see Lady Stoneheart on the show? Let us know in the comments section!