Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have revealed why they chose to leave Lady Stoneheart out of the hit HBO series. The show came to a divisive end last year, with a lot of fans deeply unsatisfied with the way things turned out. A petition was started to have HBO hire on new writers to do a complete do-over of the final season, which gathered a lot of support. There are also fans of George R.R. Martin's source material who were upset that the show never included Lady Stoneheart.
For Game of Thrones fans who didn't read George R.R. Martin's books, Lady Stoneheart is the resurrected and revenge-seeking Catelyn Stark. The character was killed off in the shocking Red Wedding episode in season 3, and the Stoneheart makes two appearances in Martin's books, A Storm of Swords and then later in A Feast for Crows. Martin has revealed plans on bringing the character back in The Winds of Winter, and says he very much wanted the character included in the series. He explains.
"Lady Stoneheart has a role in the books. 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. In the sixth book, I still continue to write her. She is an important character in the set of books. [Keeping her character] is the change I most wish I could make in the [show]."
However, according to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, they really didn't ever think of bringing back Lady Stoneheart for Game of Thrones. "There was never really much debate about [including Lady Stoneheart]," Benioff says. "There is that one great scene." Weiss adds, "That was the only debate... The scene where she first shows up is one of the best 'holy sh*t' moments in the books. I think that scene is where the public response came from."
When it comes down to it, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had three main reasons for not including Lady Stoneheart in Game of Thrones. "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]," says Benioff. At one time, George R.R. Martin was keeping up with the series and writing new books, which slowed down considerably for the final few seasons. Another big reason was because, "We knew we had Jon Snow's resurrection coming up," Benioff says. "Too many resurrections start to diminish the impact of characters dying. We wanted to keep our powder dry for that."
Finally, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say that Catelyn Stark's scenes in the Red Wedding episode were too good. "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," says Benioff. It's unclear what George R.R. Martin will do with Lady Stoneheart in the future, and fans are hoping he'll actually finish the book at some point in time. Entertainment Weekly was the first to drop the Lady Stoneheart news.