We live in a world where the internet allows rumors to spread faster than any rumor of dragons might in Westeros, and while this can be great when we need to view the new Season Five trailer as soon as it hits Youtube, it can also come back to bite us. This was evidenced recently when a simple change to Michelle Fairley’s IMBD page quickly caused a surge of mass excitement in the Game of Throne fandom. According to the IMBD page, which can be edited by anyone, Fairely would reprise her role in Season Five as t “The Hooded Woman.” Needless to say, this information, caused a case of hysterical speculation across the internet as fans who were disappointed when last season didn’t end with Catelyn’s unique reincarnation, rejoiced at seeming proof that she would appear upcoming episodes. But, as many will tell you in Westeros, words are wind and sadly, it was quickly revealed by a little fact checking on the part of the Huffington Post that Michelle Fairley was not in any way involved in Season Five. A lot of people were disappointed, and many more bitterly decried HBO for it’s apparent lack of “Lady Stoneheart.” However, despite the disappointing news, it’s a little early in the game to give up hope.
Major Spoilers Below
For those who haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire, the level of buzz generated by fans who so desperately want to see Michelle Fairely back in Game of Thrones might be puzzling. After all, Catelyn Stark is dead. We all saw the memorable, heart breaking scene of the Red Wedding in which Catelyn died with her son Robb, victim to betrayals galore, not to mention a graphic slice to the throat. We all saw Catelyn die, but although she was no Ironborn, their words seem to apply to her–“What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” Harder and stronger certainly applies to Catelyn, now Lady Stoneheart who is revealed to have come back to some kind of life– mangled, undead and extremely vengeful. Lady Stoneheart is found in A Feast for Crows inflicting her wrath not just on those who have wronged her, but on pretty much anyone. She hangs people with abandon and is merciless in her drive to punish the world. Ravaged and rotting, Lady Stoneheart is no longer the Lady Stark that we knew with her wise counsel and kind ways. She is deadly and indiscriminate– and a brilliant character that shocks the reader and ultimately creates new plotlines to explore.
Many are disappointed that HBO seems not to be including Lady Stoneheart in the show’s storyline, but there may still be hope for the character appearing. Although we now know that Michelle Fairely is not directly involved in Season Five, that information does not altogether rule out the possibility of Lady Stoneheart. The character is much changed in appearance from the woman we once know and for Fairley to play the part would involve a great deal of prosthetics and costuming for a very few scenes. Given the incredible things we have seen CGI do in Game of Thrones, it is altogether possible that the writers of Game of Thrones saw it as simpler and more cost effective to portray Lady Stoneheart in CGI (at least in part), rendering Catelyn Stark’s original actress unnecessary. Moreover, Lady Stoneheart has difficulty speaking, so it is not entirely impossible that Fairely’s voice would not be needed. Although this is all conjecture, it is enough that we should still entertain the idea of seeing Lady Stoneheart in this season (or perhaps another).
Although the show is making noticeable deviations from the material of A Song of Ice and Fire, it is without doubt that the writers are attempting to portray the story in the most condensed and effective way for television possible. If Lady Stoneheart is to play a major part in upcoming storylines, as many believe, than we have a good chance that she may still appear in the show. Either way, until we have more solid information about the character’s inclusion or exclusion in the show, we should remain optimistic about our chances to see Lady Stoneheart.