‘Game of Thrones’ George R.R. Martin Wishes HBO Hadn’t Cut Lady Stoneheart
If last night’s Game of Thrones trip to “Hardhome” proved anything, major deviations from creator George R.R. Martin’s books still carry huge payoffs. That said, Martin still misses a few characters cut from the HBO adaptation, among them a fan-favorite resurrection fans had expected in Season 4.
You’re warned of both spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 4 (and potentially Season 5, what with the rumor mills churning again), but Martin spoke to Entertainment Weekly of some of the HBO drama’s expected omissions, including Daenerys’ eunuch gladiator Strong Belwas, additional Tyrell siblings, and Sansa’s childhood friend Jeyne Poole, for who Sansa substitutes with Ramsay Bolton in season 5.
The most bitter pill however, has proven the exclusion of Catelyn Stark’s zombified return as Lady Stoneheart, an image that many fans had expected to close out the fourth HBO season. Producers have since downplayed their interest in the character (whether by her cheapening the significance of death, or having a minimal book role in Martin’s work), though Martin countered with the character’s significance:
Lady Stoneheart does have 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.
Martin went on to compare Catelyn’s resurrection to that of Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings, in that the wizard returned largely unchanged from his previous iteration, lessening the impact of his death. The author argued that Lady Stoneheart returned demonstrably different from Catelyn, a turn foreshadowed in the books (and somewhat the series) by Beric Dondarrion’s similar resurrections:
Lady Stoneheart is not Cateyln. I’ve tried to set it up beforehand with Beric Dondarrion and his repeated [resurrections]. There’s a brief appearance by Beric in Book One and he rides into the city and he’s this flamboyant Southern knight. That’s not that man we meet later on.
We won’t know until The Winds of Winter (or worse, A Dream of Spring) what further purpose Martin intends for Lady Stoneheart, though HBO’s incarnation has again fueled rumors that the character will pop up in Season 5, particularly with finale title “Mother’s Mercy.” Stoneheart’s book presence would also require some drastic reconfiguring of Brienne’s arc this season, but might Martin get his wish after all?
What other major Game of Thrones book changes have made the biggest waves with Martin’s literary tale?