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Lady Stoneheart Winds of Winter
George R.R. Martin has long maintained that he fought Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss to keep his character Lady Stoneheart in the HBO show. After Catelyn Stark is killed at the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords, her body is retrieved and she is partially revived by Beric Dondarrion. Now known as Lady Stoneheart, she’s takes control of the Brotherhood Without Banners as a heartless murderer. (She’s still pretty messed up, though, as you’d imagine a recently murdered woman would be.)
The character never appeared in Game of Thrones, though, a change Martin still regrets, as he told Time last year:
“At some points, when David and Dan and I had discussions about what way we should go in, I would always favor sticking with the books, while they would favor making changes. I think one of the biggest ones would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart. That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision.”
Now, as he’s writing The Winds of Winter—which he’ll presumably finish in our lifetime—Stoneheart has become a major character in the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
“In the book, characters can be resurrected. After Catelyn is resurrected as Lady Stoneheart, she becomes a vengeful, heartless killer,” he said in a recent interview with Esquire China. “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].”
Given how far the show has passed the books, it’s unlikely that Game of Thrones would write Lady Stoneheart into the final season of the show. What’s promising, however, is that this is an early hint that we’ll be getting two very different stories between the books and the TV show. Martin just has to finish writing them eventually.