This article is intended for folks who are caught up with the Game of Thrones books, and will include a description of the series' events up to and including the most recent episode of HBO's television show. Check out all of Polygon's Game of Thrones coverage.
In George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Catelyn Stark doesn't stay dead long, although her resurrection has yet to take place in the show. Until this Sunday.
Listen, this is all speculation and conjecture based on hints the show has dropped and threads that have been hanging for a few years but it's safe to say this is definitely going to happen no matter what and if it doesn't please don't message me to say I was wrong. I'll already be grieving.
On that note, let's begin.
Cersei spoiled it in 2014
So I doubt Lena Headey's Instagram was meant to confirm that the character is coming, especially back in 2014, but it means they were at least talking about it. Or they just wanted to tease fans.
Besides, in the show ...
They keep bringing up Catelyn
The show really wants you to remember who she was, and she keeps popping up in weird places and in odd bits of dialogue.
- We saw her die, again, in one of Bran's visions. (Episode 6)
- The Blackfish says Sansa is just like her mother when he reads the letter brought to him by Brienne. (Episode 8)
- Edmure and Jaime discuss her in the tent before Edmure orders everyone to surrender. (Episode 8)
So we've seen, and heard about, Catelyn in a way we haven't for the past few seasons. The show's writers and producers want to make sure she's fresh in our minds.
On the other hand...
Lem Lemoncloak is dead
He showed up, he was hung. The end.
In the books he was a named character who continued on with the Brotherhood Without Banners after Lady Stoneheart took over, but in the show he's worm food. Although the actor who played him did throw us this bone, taken from the scene where readers first meet Stoneheart:
Fine! As promised here's Lem's great line from A Storm of Swords we didn't get in the show. #GoT #Lemoncloak pic.twitter.com/VAyRpzAstB— Jóhannes Haukur (@johanneshaukur) June 13, 2016
But who cares? The show has already deviated from the books in many important ways, and it's telling that the Brotherhood, led by Beric Dondarrion himself, is back in action. He's the one who is supposed to give up his resurrection to bring Catelyn back from the dead and, while this series of events changes the timing of Lady Stoneheart's reveal, it doesn't remove the possibility.
Although, I mean. The corpse has to look pretty bad by now. Which is a pretty good argument for her not showing up. There's no way Catelyn's body would be in any state to be brought back at this point; in the book she's retrieved from the water by Nymeria and is resurrected soon afterward. That was a long time ago in show terms, and if she's not brought back yet ... let's just say the photo manipulation take on the character from Vasilis-Kun at DeviantArt at the top of this story may be a bit optimistic.
I mean, that's going to take some heavy makeup to achieve that effect. The body would barely exist in any human-shaped form. I did some estimates on timing and looked up what happens to human bodies, and let's just say that's a Google image search I'll never do again.
Let's watch the preview for the finale together, shall we?
OK, so we have a dinner party with a lot of Freys, there's Jaime right over there, and Walder is quoting the Red Wedding. That would be a pretty convenient time for Lady Stoneheart to show up and wreck shit, right? That is, as those in the military might say, a target of opportunity.
Our own Russ Frushtick brings up the fact that the Brotherhood Without Banners doesn't seem strong enough to attack a force that large, but he's a stinky poophead who shouldn't be dumping on my fan theories.
So in conclusion
Brienne was last seen at Riverrun, where Jaime gave her his sword. This all lines up with details from the book, such as Lady Stoneheart believing Brienne to be in league with the Lannisters, and of course Riverrun is Catelyn's family's home. There are just a whole lot of coincidences and teases that seem to be pointing in one specific direction, and we're not the only ones to think so.
So, to wrap this all up: Lady Stoneheart is definitely happening and will likely be 100 percent computer-generated because at this point she's basically a puddle of rotting flesh.
This is a real thing that's (maybe) happening Sunday and I can't wait.