Has HBO’s Game Of Thrones secretly been setting in a plan in motion to bring back a character long thought perished? A story arc long thought abandoned by creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss? Before I continue on with this article and the evidence I’ve obtained to explain my theory, I must warn you with this expertly crafted meme:
You Have Been Warned: Spoilers Ahead!
After all this time spent waiting (three super intense nail-biting seasons to be exact), it finally appears that Game of Thrones is going to introduce the fan favorite vengeance wreaking machine from the Song of Ice and Fire book series: Lady Stoneheart. For those of you who don’t know who that is, I suggest you read the books or divert yourself away from this post as I explain, if you want to wait and see for yourself. Lady Stoneheart is the resurrected zombie-like Catelyn Stark, brought back with the kiss of life by Beric Dondarrion (leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners). As Dondarrion dies, Catelyn assumes the mantle of Lady Stoneheart and takes control of the Brotherhood.
Last we saw of Catelyn, she was killed at the infamous Red Wedding alongside her son Robb, his wife, nearly the entire Stark army, and her unborn grandson. Sansa Stark revealed in a later episode that her mother was stripped naked and dumped into the river by the Freys following the massacre, as a way of insulting her family’s name and sigil.
Now – along with many others – I’ve been making the case for Lady Stoneheart since season 4 and have been left utterly disappointed and near fatally scorned. Every. Single. Time. I’d almost given up on her appearing altogether, that was until all these clues began to piece themselves together in my mind.
Michelle Fairley was Spotted Near the Set
During shooting last year, a fan of the series spotted a cloaked Michelle Fairley having lunch with fellow Game of Thrones castmate, Clive Russell. Russell is the actor who currently portrays Ser Brynden Tully (aka The Blackfish) on the series. It aroused my suspicion a little, I admit. But was easily explained away when I realized that Fairley could’ve just as easily been filming something else close by and decided to have lunch with a close friend.
The Freys are Having Troubles with the Brotherhood
Season 6 saw the return of Walder Frey and his many, many sons and daughters. During an interaction between Lord Frey and his sons in the episode in which they return, his sons reveal that the Blackfish has taken back Riverrun and they’ve also been having troubles keeping the land because of the devious invervening of the Brotherhood Without Banners. This was my first real solid clue. In the books, once Catelyn takes control of the Brotherhood, she begins to hunt down and mercilessly murder any Freys or suspected Frey allies she comes across.
Horrendous Actions of the Brotherhood
In last night’s episode, we saw the miraculous return of Sandor Clegane (aka The Hound) who’s been working with some poor folk, living off the land, with the guiding hand of a mysterious veteran turned holy man played by Ian McShane. During one scene, The Hound and the people he surrounds himself with, come across a few members of The Brotherhood in a nerve wrenching interaction. Later on, whilst Sandor Clegane is working in the woods, the three men return and butcher the entire clan. This is quite the break with what Beric Dondarrion sought for The Brotherhood, I would say. Could it be they are under new management? It is said in the books that Lady Stonheart spares no lives in her hunt for vengeance.
Lady Stoneheart Holds The Sword of Light
Taking the leadership of the Brotherhood from Beric Dondarrion, Lady Stoneheart also is granted Lightbringer, the sword Dondarrion used in his trial by combat with The Hound. It’s the same sword that, later on, will need to be delivered to Jon Snow in his battle against the Night King. After revealing so many spoilers already, I wont venture further as to why, I’ll leave that up to the books and the show.
Everyone is at Riverrun
All paths have eventually led to this. Jaime Lannister, Brienne, Podrick, and Ser Brynden Tully have all come together in one area of Westeros. The very same area that happens to be Catelyn’s childhood home. In spite of the Tully’s rejection for peace, Jaime has sworn to kill every last one of them to get Riverrun back in the hands of the Freys. This would be the most opportune time for Lady Stoneheart to come to the aid of her Uncle and Brother. It would also set up a plot in the story line where Stoneheart makes Brienne and Jaime stand trial for not living up to the oath they made to bring her daughters to safety.
The Season of Resurrection and Resurgence
Season 6 has been all about resurrection and surprise returns of people long believed to be abandoned by the show’s creators. Jon came back, Benjen came back, the Freys suddenly returned, and The Hound is alive and well and presumably heading deep into Brotherhood territory to seek vengeance for what they did to his people. Why ignore Lady Stonheart now? In my opinion, it is one of the best story lines the books have ever had. It would also finally give fans the thing they’ve been aching for ever since the premiere episode of season 4: the death and complete obliteration of House Frey.
Of course, this could all end up meaning absolutely nothing. The people behind the scenes for Game of Thrones have never completely denied the existence of Lady Stoneheart making an appearance on the show, but have several times alluded to the fact it wasn’t going to happen. However, these clues are awfully compelling and if there was ever a time to enact this epic storyline into motion, now would be the final opportunity for the showrunners to take advantage of it.