After watching the finale of the 4th season, I had just one question to the screenwriters:

Where is Catelyn Stark?

AFAIK, the book shows us

Her being resurrected at the very end.

Instead, we just see:

The death of Tywin Lannister and the escape of Arya Stark.

So, did HBO producers give any official disclaim? Will this character appear at least in the 5th season?

  • 5
    One thing to keep in mind is that even in all the books up to this point, we've basically only had two scenes with LSH. Replicating that in the show would basically mean introducing her as a cliffhanger in Season 4, and then doing effectively the same thing in Season 5. Especially given the year-long gap, this just doesn't really make sense. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 16:09
  • 1
    @KrisHarper to be fair I'm not sure it makes so much sense in the books either... But book readers are more accustomed to bizarre mystery side characters coldhandsing their way into the story then vanishing. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:47
  • 1
    Also let's not forget that a major TV show killing its major characters is even more remarkable than a book doing it. There's contracts and agents to deal with. It's much rarer. GoT is even more known as "the show where any character can die at any time" than the books, and has more to lose by telling its fans that death isn't final, that dead major characters can just come back. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:51

3 Answers 3


According to this interview with Alex Graves, the director of the finale, the final scene was never on the season 4 docket. It was a creative decision to not include the character as the few available scenes wouldn't have played into the other plots presented in the season.

After being asked if the show even shot a Lady Stoneheart scene — since so many book-reading fans assumed she would appear at the episode’s end – Graves replied, “It’s a great question, because it’s all I asked about last year when I was doing [the episode with Brotherhood Without Banners leader] Beric Dondarrion — who ultimately is the person who finds Catelyn and turns her into Lady Stoneheart. But no, they didn’t do it. It was never on the docket to do this season — ever.”
But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while — and just kill people? It is really sort of, what are we doing with that? How does it play into the whole story in a way that we’re really going to like? It just didn’t end up being a part of what was going to happen this season. And finally one [more] reason: In case you didn’t notice, a lot happens this season … To add that in is something they opted out of.

  • Thanks for the link. So they never even planned that for season 4. I just hope they will include that in season 5 Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 11:21

I recently read this article where Michelle Fairley (the actor who plays Catelyn) said that she won't be returning to the show.

"Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead," Fairley said. The actress went on to defend the option to leave out her character's arc in Season 4.

"You respect the writers’ decision," Fairley said. "They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show." Which basically means we can say goodbye to any hope of seeing Lady Stoneheart during Season 5.

There have many changes from the books to the show. I'm not sure why, but I guess we won't see any Lady Stoneheart.

  • 1
    Thanks for the link, but still, that's not the makers of the show speech, so we do hope to see something in season 5. Otherwise that would be a very major difference and a drawback. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 11:20
  • 4
    @SPIRiT_1984: I’m not familiar with the books (although I was aware of the existence of Lady Stoneheart), but I don’t think it would be a drawback. Unless the TV show is about dead people coming back to life and wreaking havoc on those that wronged them in life, then I think it’s too much of a distraction to have that happen to a major, and previously-not-murderous, character. Even in a fictional universe with dragons and warging and White Walkers and occasional shadow monsters, I don’t think zombie Catelyn would be credible. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 12:33
  • 4
    Also, in the books, the reader doesn't know who LSH actually is until long after she's introduced. It's a lot harder to pull off that kind of reveal on TV.
    – Dan C
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 17:14
  • 2
    @PaulD.Waite - You might actually be correct. In the books, LSH's effect on the plot has been somewhat minimal. Though we still have two books to go, and she may very well have a bigger role ahead. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 18:43
  • 1
    @SPIRiT_1984: well, season 5 is down, and there’s no Lady Stoneheart. Yet people still seem to like the show. Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 16:34

GRRM has stated in an interview with Time magazine that the show decided not to bring back Catelyn Stark as Lady Stoneheart. He also states that he argued against the change but in the end D&D stuck with their decision.

You’re in unusual territory, with your characters very much still in your hands but also out in the world being interpreted for TV. Are you able to have walls in your mind such that your Daenerys, say, is your Daenerys, and Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys is hers and the show’s?
I’ve arrived at that point. The walls are up in my mind. I don’t know that I was necessarily there from the beginning. 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.
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.
Time Magazine, George R. R. Martin on the One Game of Thrones Change He 'Argued Against'

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.