As Game of Thrones prepares for its final season next year, series creator and author George R.R. Martin reveals the one character from his book series that he wishes had made it into the TV adaptation.
Since the first book hit shelves in 1996, Martin has introduced fans to the warring families of Lannister, Stark, Baratheon and beyond. Over the course of seven seasons, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have taken their own path away from Martin's first five books, meaning that several storylines and big-name characters have been cut from the series.
Now, speaking to Esquire China, Martin laments that fan-favorite Lady Stoneheart never got her own live-action appearance:
In the book, characters can be resurrected. After Catelyn’s resurrection, it was Lady Stoneheart who became a vengeful and merciless killer. In the sixth book, I still continue to write her. She is an important part of the entire book. [Keeping her character] is the change I most wish I could make in the [show].
Despite the character (so far) only appearing in two chapters of Martin's books, she has become a fan-favorite character with an important role to play in the ongoing saga.
With Catelyn Stark becoming one of the casualties of the Red Wedding, the family matriarch was then resurrected by the Brotherhood Without Banners as a vengeful zombie out for the blood of the Lannisters and Frey's. Viewers had long-held out for Michelle Fairley to reprise her role as Catelyn to play Stoneheart, but as the years have gone on, she has never emerged.
There are plenty who echo Martin's words and see the lack of Stoneheart as a major misstep for the series, but her character has been diluted down, with her story being given to other characters like Sansa and Arya Stark. The showrunners have defended their decision to leave Stoneheart out of their imagining, and as the final six episodes loom on the horizon, prepare for even more divergence from Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Sadly, the corpse of Catelyn Stark is left floating in the waters of the Riverlands as just another forgotten piece of Game of Thrones history.