"Game of Thrones" director explains the Lady Stoneheart situation

Warning: Book spoilers ahead!

By Prachi Gupta
Published June 16, 2014 5:02PM (EDT)
                    ("Game of Thrones"/HBO)
("Game of Thrones"/HBO)

Though the "Game of Thrones" season four finale may have satiated viewers, many fans devoted to George R.R. Martin's book series, "A Song of Ice and Fire" were left unsatisfied, even angry, by the glaring omission of Lady Stoneheart. For those not familiar with the books, Lady Stoneheart is the undead Lady Catelyn Stark, a zombie who first appears in Martin's third "Ice and Fire" installment, "A Storm of Swords."

Although fans of the books had expected to see Stoneheart in the finale, director Alex Graves told EW that her resurrection "was never on the docket to do this season — ever.”

“It’s a great question, because it’s all I asked about last year when I was doing [the episode with Brotherhood Without Banners leader] Beric Dondarrion — who ultimately is the person who finds Catelyn and turns her into Lady Stoneheart," he said. "But no, they didn’t do it. It was never on the docket to do this season — ever.”

Lady Stoneheart's story arc didn't add to the increasingly complex plot-line, he explained:

“They [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. And finally one [more] reason: In case you didn’t notice, a lot happens this season … To add that in is something they opted out of. But 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.”

So will book nerds be blessed by Lady Stoneheart's vengeful presence next season? "I have no idea," Graves admitted. “They won’t tell me. They’re very good at being secretive.”

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Catelyn Stark Game Of Thrones George R.r. Martin Lady Stoneheart Zombies