HBO's Game of Thrones was a series filled with shocking moments, with Season Three's "The Rains of Castamere" episode and its "Red Wedding" being one of the most unsettling, though some fans weren't entirely upset by Catelyn Stark's death in the episode, as George R.R. Martin's books explained how she would ultimately return as Lady Stoneheart only for the series to omit this narrative thread found in the source material. In the new book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss detail there were a number of reasons why they chose to avoid this plotline, all of which are hard to ignore, even if it disappointed viewers.
One factor for that decision was as to not potentially step on Martin's plans for Lady Stoneheart in the books, with Benioff noting, per EW, “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].”
Another shocking death was when Jon Snow was killed by the Night's Watch in Season Five, with the showrunners already planning to resurrect the character and not wanting to overload the audiences with yet another resurrection narrative.
“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.”
The Red Wedding saw a number of characters meet their demise, though Catelyn Stark didn't go out without causing a fatality of her own, with the showrunners thinking that her sendoff would have been diminished had she been brought back as Lady Stoneheart.
“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,” Benioff admitted.
Martin, on the other hand, had hoped to see these plot points brought to life in the series.
“Lady Stoneheart has a role in the books," the author confessed. "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.”1comments
Luckily, Martin aims to use Lady Stoneheart in the upcoming sixth book of his narrative, The Winds of Winter, which doesn't yet have a release date.
Do you wish the character would have appeared in the series? Let us know in the comments below!