The first wholly originally-scripted season of Game of Thrones is drawing to a close with just two more episodes remaining in season 6. While many questions have been answers and surprises dropped, there’s still one thread that the creators haven’t tugged and it’s starting to drive fans a little crazy – will we see Lady Stoneheart?
Mark Mylod, the director of 2 episodes this season, spoke with IGN this week following his last installment, No One, on June 12. Throughout the interview he called the Game of Thrones audience sophisticated, smart and attuned to detail, referencing the show’s need to use misdirection to provide some suspense.
Discussing the most recent episode’s plotline, which followed Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and The Waif on a cat-and-mouse chase, he said it was scripted to keep viewers riveted, “You know, getting anything past them is nigh impossible, so hence the ambition was to keep that misdirect going as long as possible, ideally up until the last second, in an ideal world up until the swish of that sword to cut that candle. That’s where I wanted to get it to. You know, our audience, a lot of them will have seen that coming before that.”
But audiences do seem baffled about showrunners’ D.B. Weiss and David Benioff plans for Lady Stoneheart, a resurrected phantasm of Catelyn Stark. In the books Catelyn’s body was pulled from the river (by Nymeria, Arya’s long lost direwolf!) after the Red Wedding, and Beric Dondarrion gave his last life to raise her back to life. Her wounds did not heal, however, so with throat cut through she can’t talk, but nevertheless took leadership of Dondarrion’s brotherhood without banners and pursued revenge. Thus ends book three.
On the show, Beric and the man who first brought him back to life, Thoros of Myr, appeared in the first three seasons. Everyone expected Stoneheart to show up in season 3’s finale and were startled by the change, but that whole storyline was basically dropped in seasons 4 and 5. Just last week, in episode 6 of season 6 Beric returned along with the brotherhood without banners, as Sandor Clegane came upon them in a forest. Beric is still alive at this point and Lady Stoneheart is nowhere in sight, so if she’s going to join the story then sometime in these next two episodes are the obvious point.
Mylod told IGN that he has not heard anything about Lady Stoneheart and that her potential return didn’t come up at any point during the discussions about his episode’s scripts. “I’m not in the writers room, and I can honestly say, hand over heart, that I have not had one discussion about Lady Stoneheart. So I have no idea what’s going on in David and Dan’s minds.” If indeed Stoneheart is about to appear that would seem strange, since his scripts flow into these last two episodes. On the other hand keeping even a director in the dark could be an effort by the creators to keep secrets under wraps as long as possible.
AMC is currently threatening to sue a fan website over their frustration with predicting plot points and posting spoilers for The Walking Dead. HBO has apparently also been sending copyright notices to sites. TWD and GoT are probably the two most over-analyzed properties on TV right now, so it has to be tough to prevent spoilers. But Thrones has proven they can with their perfectly consistent denials about the return of Jon Snow and surprise reveals this season for Melisandre, Bran, Hodor, Danerys, Benjen, Gilly, and Arya.
Last year a fan group called Irish Thrones tweeted a spoiler leak that indicated Lady Stoneheart was going to show up but no details have followed. Michelle Fairley hasn’t been seen on set, but it has been noted that with Catelyn’s physical changes – she’d been dead 3 days by the time she was brought back – they wouldn’t necessarily need to bring the same actress in.
**SPOILERS Season 6** CLOSE SOURCES Lady Stoneheart 'WILL' appear and command an army!
— Irish Thrones (@IrishThrones) August 29, 2015
So are Mylod’s comments just one more misdirect? With time ticking down on the series – just 13 more episodes are projected over the final two seasons – forces have to be gathering for a final showdown. It’s hard to imagine the Stark matriarch being left out on purpose by the TV version, there just doesn’t seem to be a good reason to do so as her children come into their own in Westeros.
That would be one grisly family reunion though.
On a fun note Jóhannes Hauker, who plays Lem Lemoncloak on the show, took to Twitter to give fans a smidgen of the presence of the lady:
— Jóhannes Haukur (@johanneshaukur) June 13, 2016
What do you think, is Catelyn coming back to seek vengeance as the nearly-headless Lady Stoneheart?