Warning: This post contains spoilers for George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords and for HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones fans who were outraged that, despite Lena Headey’s widely circulated Instagram teaser, Lady Stoneheart didn’t even get a cameo in the Season 4 finale, may want to brace themselves for some more bad news.
Michelle Fairley, whose Catelyn Stark met her memorably bloody end at the third season’s Red Wedding, appears to confirm she won’t be returning to the HBO drama as the vengeful reanimated corpse of the lady of Winterfell.
“Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead,” the actress tells Entertainment Weekly. “[…] You respect the writers’ decision. I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. 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.”
Alex Graves, who directed the Season 4 finale, recently clarified that Lady Stoneheart was never intended to be part of the episode (Headey insisted the “stone heart” photo was just “me in Palm Springs drunk going, ‘This is so pretty'”), and cast doubts as to whether the character will ever appear.
“I think the bottom line is that there was so much going on [in the episode], at least from where I stood,” he told Vulture, “that it wasn’t something to get into because, you know, when you get into taking Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, and making her a zombie who doesn’t speak and goes around killing people, what’s the best way to integrate that into the show? I don’t think there was room for it this season. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it, because it is certainly something people attached to. […]
“From what I know of the books, it’s like, OK, what’s she really there for? Because I think she goes around — and it’s vague to me because I haven’t had to direct it, so I haven’t looked at this in detail — but essentially she’s a reaction to the Red Wedding. Part of the reason I think people got so wound up with her coming back, I think, was because of the emotional toll of the Red Wedding, which I totally get. Like, Bring her back and have her kill some people! Joffrey’s death was meant to play to that need a little bit. And also Tywin’s.”