‘Game of Thrones’: The Showrunners Finally Reveal the 3 Reasons Why Lady Stoneheart Wasn’t Part of the Television Series

Ask any fan of George R. R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, and they could very well mention that one of their favorite characters is missing from the wildly popular HBO show, Game of Thrones. Lady Stoneheart is a favorite for book readers, who were sadly disappointed when she didn’t make an appearance in the television series. We now finally know why the showrunners decided to not include her in the show, and there are actually three reasons why.

Who is Lady Stoneheart?

Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark on "Game of Thrones" |
Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark on ‘Game of Thrones’ | HBO

To answer the question of who Lady Stoneheart is can be quite complicated. She is actually Lady Catelyn Stark brought back to life. According to the character’s Fandom page, after Catelyn is mercilessly killed at the Red Wedding, along with her son, Robb Stark, she is brought back to life through resurrection. Her death is particularly gruesome, as her throat is slit during the massacre. Most of Robb’s men are killed as well, along with his direwolf, Grey Wind.

Catelyn’s body ends up being thrown in the river, but her daughter Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, finds her and gets her out of the water. Eventually, the Brotherhood without Banners finds Catelyn’s body, and Beric Dondarrion brings her back to life through resurrection, but loses his own life in the process.

Catelyn becomes known as Lady Stoneheart, taking revenge where she can for what was done to her and her son. She becomes the leader of the Brotherhood without Banners, although it’s hard for her to speak, as her throat is still cut. She shows no mercy, and has changed completely from the person she once was while alive.

The showrunners finally reveal why Lady Stoneheart wasn’t part of the television series

The new information as to why the iconic character isn’t included in the show is part of James Hibberd’s new and upcoming book called Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. An excerpt was recently published in Entertainment Weekly, and includes some eye-opening information. The novel takes a look behind-the-scenes at the making of the series. The showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, even revealed why they chose to cut Lady Stoneheart from the series.

Lady Stoneheart only makes two appearances in the books, but she’s still become a favorite among fans. The first appearance happens in A Storm of Swords, where she is finally seen for the first time as her new self. Her second appearance happens in A Feast for Crows. The Brotherhood without Banners takes Brienne of Tarth and brings her to Lady Stoneheart, who tells her to kill Jaime Lannister during the course of the conversation.

Martin has his own plans for the character

There are three major reasons why Lady Stoneheart is omitted from the series. The first has to do with Martin’s plans for the character that are still to come in his novel series.

“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],” Benioff explains in Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon.

It also has to do with Jon Snow’s resurrection

All the way back when Benioff and Weiss were writing season 3, they already knew they were planning Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) resurrection from the dead. They didn’t want to have a bunch of people coming back to life, because it could then lessen the “impact” of the death of characters.

“We knew we had Jon Snow’s resurrection coming up,” Benioff revealed in the novel. “Too many resurrections start to diminish the impact of characters dying. We wanted to keep our powder dry for that.”

The final reason involves the Red Wedding itself and the actress who plays Catelyn Stark in the series

The third and final reason why Lady Stoneheart was not included in the series has a two-part answer. According to the upcoming novel, the Red Wedding itself had the desired result the first time around, and remains one of the most iconic moments in the series. Bringing Catelyn back from the dead could actually distort what was created with that particular scene.

Also, the actress who plays Catelyn in the series, Michelle Fairley, gave an amazingly well-done final moment, and to have her return and unable to really speak “felt like diminishing returns,” according to Benioff.

“Catelyn’s last moment was so fantastic, and Michelle is such a great actress, to bring her back as a zombie who doesn’t speak felt like diminishing returns,” Benioff explained.

There are actually very understandable reasons as to why Lady Stoneheart was not a part of the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones.