Game of Thrones ended about a year and a half ago. Fans still debate the ending and the effect it had on the series as a whole, but there will always be questions, questions that need answering. Thankfully, some of those questions recently received answers in the form of a forthcoming book – Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon by James Hibbard. One of the biggest questions from the series was what happened to Lady Stoneheart?
This may contain slight spoilers for those who have yet to read the books, so if you plan to read them you may want to be careful with what follows.
Lady Stoneheart – Where Did She Go?
Lady Stoneheart emerged when Nymeria found Catelyn Stark’s body in the river. She had been dead three days after having her throat slit at the Red Wedding. Beric Dondarrian finds her and gives his ‘immortality’ to resurrect Catelyn. Renamed Lady Stoneheart, she becomes a machine of vengeance. The problem was when Benioff and Weiss came to this part of the story for the television show, Lady Stoneheart never surfaced. Fans often wondered why they did not use her.
Benioff talked with EW and had the following to say:
“Part of the reason we didn’t want to put it in had to do with things coming up in George’s books that we don’t want to spoil [by discussing them].”David Benioff with Entertainment Weekly
This makes sense as in takes place in the book A Feast For Crows, the second to last released book. This took place in season 3 of the show in 2013, but the last book George R. R. Martin wrote came out only two years prior in 2011. The show was passing the books (obviously since Martin has yet to even release the next book 9 years later (not that we are bitter)). Lady Stoneheart had to have a destiny that brought her back with the main characters, so why spoil what the books would set up (even though he’ll never finish them!)?
Lady Stoneheart – What Does Death Mean?
The other reason Benioff and Weiss did not use Lady Stoneheart makes much more sense.
“We knew we had Jon Snow’s resurrection coming up,” Benioff explained. “Too many resurrections start to diminish the impact of characters dying. We wanted to keep our powder dry for that.
“Catelyn’s last moment was so fantastic, and Michelle [Fairley] is such a great actress, to bring her back as a zombie who doesn’t speak felt like diminishing returns,”David Benioff
This is true. Michelle Fairley’s final performance sold that scene as much if not more than everyone else’s death. As much as we all would have liked to see Lady Stoneheart in the show, it let Fairley put an emphatic punctuation on Catelyn Stark. Also with Benioff and Weiss wanting out of the show the added story line probably would not have seen a satisfactory conclusion. George Martin had this to say about the character:
“Lady Stoneheart has a role in the books. Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough. I think it is or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”George RR (Im not finishing the books) Martin
So finish the books George! (As you can tell I have no opinion on the timelyness of the next book).
If you wish to know more about the ins and outs of the television series while you wait for the next book (good luck with that), check out Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon by James Hibbard. The 464 page book let’s people know behinds the scenes activities and why certain choices were made. The book releases Oct 6, 2020.