'Game of Thrones' has once again come to a climactic close with last night's season 4 finale "The Children," but rather than focus on the landmark events of the 66-minute installment, many fans are more vigorously debating a hotly-anticipated character reveal that went ignored by the hour. Now, the episode's director Alex Graves explains the stone-hearted decision to leave out one of the book's most shocking character appearances.

You're warned of major spoilers for a potential fifth season character reveal, but last night's "The Children" shocked fans not for its major deaths, by for the exclusion of Lady Stoneheart, AKA a resurrected Catelyn Stark seeking vengeance for the injustices done to her family. The character appeared in the epilogue of George R.R. Martin's novel 'A Storm of Swords,' resurrected by the Brotherhood Without Banners (seen in season 3), and subsequently encountering (and condemning) Brienne of Tarth.

Fans were all-but-certain Stoneheart would appear in the final moments of last night's finale as a final gut-punch for the season, though Graves told Entertainment Weekly the appearance had never in fact been slotted for filming, and cast doubt as to whether or not Michelle Fairley would return to the role in the future:

It was never on the docket to do this season — ever. The [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] have such a challenge adapting the books into a really focused television experience. It’s very hard, it’s very complicated, it’s much harder then they’ve been given credit for, I think, and they do a brilliant job. But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while — and just kill people?

It is really sort of, what are we doing with that? How does it play into the whole story in a way that we’re really going to like? It just didn’t end up being a part of what was going to happen this season...what’s funny is that it was never going to be in the season, yet it took off on the Internet like it was going to happen.

Of course, Graves wouldn't rule out the possibility that Lady Stoneheart might appear in the fifth season, though he admitted showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss were playing their cards too close to the chest to know for sure. For our part, we'd have to imagine that if 'Game of Thrones' intended to use the character at all, last night's finale would have been the moment to introduce her.

Well, what say you? Were you disappointed to hear Catelyn Stark only referenced in passing, without any actual appearance from Lady Stoneheart? Would the showrunners do well to include the figure in 'Game of Thrones' season 5? Go inside the finale below, and tell us in the comments what you want to see when HBO's fantasy drama returns for a fifth season in 2015!