There is no denying that HBO's Game of Thrones is one of the biggest spectacles ever to grace the small screen. Turning George R.R. Martin's acclaimed Song of Ice and Fire saga into an eight-season show is no mean feat, while showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have now started using the novels as only a rough guide to where they are taking their own vision.
We saw the show start to diversify from its text most toward the end of Season 5 when Stannis Baratheon lost his life at the Battle of Winterfell, and since then, it has been anyone's guess where the show (or the books) will go next. However, among all the dragons and deaths, author #GeorgeRRMartin is particularly bummed about one big change from his novels.
Turning Your Heart To Stone
Season 3 of #GameofThrones saw one of the biggest twists in its entire run, as audiences stared open-mouthed at the deaths of Catelyn and Robb Stark during the Red Wedding. After Cat had her throat slit, she was tossed into a river, never to be heard from again. However, those who follow Martin's books will know that the Stark matriarch rose from the dead and became the zombified Lady Stoneheart. Although she is very much a part of the ongoing book series, Benioff and Weiss decided not to include the infamous character in their show.
Speaking to Time, Martin himself addressed the lack of Lady Stoneheart, which seems to be something of a sticking point:
“At some points, when David and Dan and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favor sticking with the books, while they would favor making changes. 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.”
The rumors of Stoneheart have long-haunted Game of Thrones, but the showrunners have flat-out denied she will ever make an appearance. This is not only a kick in the teeth to fans of the books, but also to Martin himself. Becoming a fan-favorite without even making it to the screen is quite an accomplishment on a show like GoT, but Stoneheart has done just that.
If you think a reanimated Ser Gregor Clegane was bad enough, Lady S. is a whole other kettle of blackfish, and in the books, she makes it her sole mission to slaughter any remnants of Lannister or Frey forces that cross her path. She joined ranks of the Brotherhood Without Banners and assumed the role as leader after Beric Dondarrion's demise, so with the return of Beric in Season 6 — and with a seemingly big part to play in Season 7 — some had hoped Stoneheart would rise from her watery grave. There were even rumors that one of her daughters could take on the mantle instead, but I guess Thrones fans (and Martin) should resign themselves to the fact she just ain't coming back. That being said, Martin seems to promise she will live on in his books, and will presumably have a part to play in the story's end:
“In my version of the story, Catelyn Stark is re-imbued with a kind of life and becomes this vengeful wight who galvanizes a group of people around her and is trying to exact her revenge on the Riverlands. David and Dan made a decision not to go in that direction in their story, pursuing other threads. But both of them are equally valid, I think, because Catelyn Stark is a fictional character and she doesn’t exist. You can tell either story about her.”
There may still be a small (but loyal) faction that think Cat could drag her corpse from the riverbed up for the show, but let's be honest, this theory has sunk like the proverbial stone(heart).
Check out the Season 7 trailer for Game of Thrones and don't forget our poll below.
Would you like to see Lady Stoneheart on the show?