Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have opened up on why Lady Stoneheart, a character from George R.R. Martin's original book series, was not included in the television adaptation.
Ahead lie spoilers for the GoT books and the TV show, so if you've yet to complete, feel free to click away now!
In a new book, Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, in which Benioff and Weiss talk about what happened behind the scenes as they brought the iconic book series to life, the showrunners reflected on why they chose not to portray Lady Stoneheart, who is the scorned resurrection of Catelyn Stark.
“There was never really much debate about [including Lady Stoneheart],” Benioff explains (thanks, EW (opens in new tab)). “There is that one great scene.”
“That was the only debate,” Weiss says. “The scene where she first shows up is one of the best ‘holy s***’ moments in the books. I think that scene is where the public response came from. But then...”
Perhaps more pressingly, though, the showrunners were already planning to kill off – and then resurrect – another fan-favorite character...
“We knew we had Jon Snow’s resurrection coming up,” Benioff says. “Too many resurrections start to diminish the impact of characters dying. We wanted to keep our powder dry for that.”
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That's not all, though. The team also feared that bringing Catelyn back would in some way undermine the horror of the Red Wedding, which has gone on to be one of the series' most shocking scenes.
“Catelyn’s last moment was so fantastic, and Michelle [Fairley] is such a great actress, to bring her back as a zombie who doesn’t speak felt like diminishing returns,” Benioff added.
Martin himself, however, was seemingly disappointed that Lady Stoneheart never made an appearance. “Lady Stoneheart has a role in the books,“ he says. “Whether it’s sufficient or interesting enough. I think it is or I wouldn’t have put her in. One of the things I wanted to show with her is that the death she suffered changes you.”
ICYMI, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss have announced their next project: a TV series adaptation of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy of books (opens in new tab) by author Liu Cixin. Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is an executive producer, while The Terror: Infamy creator Alexander Woo is also a writer and executive producer.
As we reported at the time, the series features Chinese characters and influences, but this will be an English-language adaptation. Liu Cixin is confirmed to be on board as a consulting producer, along with translator Ken Liu, to “help ensure that the spirit of the books remains intact“.