Note: This post is dark and full of terrors. And also spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Game of Thrones has a mere five episodes remaining before we find out who takes the iron throne. But, before fans find out who will rule the seven kingdoms they are hoping one more character will return from the dead: Lady Stoneheart.
As far as fan theories go, the return of Lady Stoneheart does have legs. But, before we get into all that, and in case you never read the books, let us fill you in on who Lady Stoneheart is and why she was once such a pivotal character.
In the novels and in the HBO television show, Catelyn Stark dies at the tragic Red Wedding along with her son, Robb Stark. However, this is where the two mediums diverge. You see, in the books, Catelyn is resurrected from the dead after her body is found by Brotherhood Without Banners. The brotherhood brings Catelyn back with a magical kiss from Beric Dondarrion. Dondarrion dies as a result of the kiss, but Catelyn, now known as Lady Stoneheart, takes his place.
However, she’s not the loving mother we once knew anymore. Instead, she is a mere shell of a human.
“Death has changed Catelyn,” the Game of Thrones fan Wiki explains. “Stoneheart is less gracious and forgiving than in life and is consumed with a desire for vengeance on anyone she thinks betrayed her and her son, Robb. She hangs any men associated with the Freys, Boltons, or Lannisters, even if they had nothing to do with the ‘Red Wedding’ or if they are boys.”
In fact, in the books, Lady Stoneheart goes on to kill several characters including Podrick Payne and Brienne of Tarth, who are both still very much alive in the show. However, their lives could soon be in danger if fans of the series get their way.
Here’s where the theory of her return began: During a Q&A at Radio Times and BFI Festival, Joe Dempsie, the actor who plays Gendry, discussed his own character’s long absence from the show.
“They were kind of saying they wanted people to forget about him. And, I think what they underestimated and I think what everyone underestimated, because of the rich mythology that George R.R. Martin has created, this world in which there are family trees which go back thousands of years and political implications of certain relations are so crucial and it leads to endless theorizing,” he shared. “The longer a loose end is left untied, the more conspicuous it gets in Game of Thrones, rather than it just being something that fades from the memory.”
This answer prompted the interviewer to ask about Lady Stoneheart and her potential return. While Dempsie didn’t reply, Jacob Anderson, who plays Grey Worm, interjected by saying, “Give it up!”
However, both actors and the people working behind the scenes of Game of Thrones are well-known for attempting to throw fans off the scent of what’s going to happen next, so they could merely be lying.
To make the return of Lady Stoneheart even more convincing, just look back to this quote from show’s creator, George R.R. Martin:
“That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and [creators] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] made that decision,” Martin told Time. “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.”