Spoilers for the books on which Game of Thrones is based, especially upcoming unpublished books.
When will Lady Stoneheart show up on HBO's Game of Thrones? Entertainment Weekly asked Michelle Fairley, who would be playing the character on the TV series. The answer? Never.
"She's dead," Fairley said.
For those who don't know (and if you don't know I'm not sure why you're reading this), Lady Stoneheart is the vengence-seeking re-animated corpse of Catelyn Stark, who was murdered at the famous Red Wedding. In the novels this wight extracts harsh, deadly justice from Lannister bannermen, and even seems to hang Brienne at one point, although the warrior appears to be mostly okay later. Fans were psyched to see this character show up, because the idea of one of our favorites returning from the dead with a thirst for blood is too cool to pass up. Unless you're David Benioff and DB Weiss, the Game of Thrones show runners.
Said Fairley: "You respect the writers’ decision. I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show."
Which is kind of a major spoiler for the books, as we now know that Lady Stoneheart won't be playing a major role. How that 's possible I don't know, as the last book ended with Brienne bringing Jaime Lannister to Lady Stoneheart seemingly to get his shit fucked up and that seems vital.
The show also cut out Coldhands, another undead character. This seems to be a trend - they're excising smart wights, leaving only the dead who serve the White Walkers. I had a lot of theories about how some of the risen dead were smart while others were thralls, but the fact that the thinking dead are being cut from the show makes me think none of that matters, and their role in the overall story will be minor.
Is it possible that the show is keeping the smart dead sidelined so that Jon Snow's eventual resurrection (come on, you know he's not permanently dead at the end of A Dance With Dragons) hits harder and feels less like yet another deus ex grave?