Folks, hate to break it to you, but Catelyn Stark’s zombie, aka Lady Stoneheart, was not lurking in the background of a scene at Winterfell in the last episode of Game of Thrones, as a new, truly reaching fan theory suggests.
Sure, Thrones fans are an obsessive lot. Look no further than the show’s busy subreddit or the tons of articles unpacking fan theories just like this one. But sometimes that obsessiveness goes a bit too far, and you end up with clearly untrue theories like this one, born from a Zapruder-esque level of attention to detail and wishful thinking.
If you’re not a book reader, this theory might sound even more insane than it actually is, but there’s a reason why people are seeing the undead Stark matriarch where she isn’t. In the Song of Ice and Fire book series, the Brotherhood Without Banners (the crew the Hound is currently rolling with in the show) came across Cat’s corpse shortly after the events of the Red Wedding and brought her back to life. But, unlike Jon Snow, she came back … different. She had already started to decompose, and her mind was gone. All she wanted was vengeance, and she adopted the fitting name of “Lady Stoneheart.”
The show, perhaps to simplify things, or to make Jon’s resurrection have more impact, didn’t include Lady Stoneheart. Cat Stark is still super dead in Game of Thrones, and given how much time has passed since the Red Wedding, she’s way too rotten to ever come back now.
That didn’t stop fans from thinking that perhaps a random woman in a hooded cloak in the background behind Arya’s sparring match with Brienne was actually Cat’s zombie.
“You swore to serve both my mother’s daughters,” Arya tells Brienne, referencing her oath to Cat. At that moment, the woman walks by. Is it Lady Stoneheart?
Sorry, but no. There are nine episodes of Game of Thrones left. There’s no way that the show is going to spend time introducing a plot that they deliberately didn’t adapt earlier with this little time left. Not to mention that they’d be bringing it up in the weirdest, most random way possible. It doesn’t make sense for this to actually be Lady Stoneheart within the fiction of Game of Thrones (How did she come back to life and get to Winterfell?), and it certainly doesn’t make sense from a more meta storytelling perspective.
Maybe — maybe — this is an intentional homage to the missing, undead book character, but that’s about it. Game of Thrones is full of mysteries, secrets, and Easter eggs, but it’s better than actually bringing a character back from the dead in the background.
Game of Thrones Season 7 continues on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.