Could Lady Stoneheart appear in Game of Thrones season 8? So far, the zombie-like resurrected Catelyn Stark from George R.R. Martin’s original book franchise hasn’t been part of the HBO series, and there may be a good reason for that.
Catelyn Stark was a main character during the first three seasons of Games of Thrones, with much of the primary narrative revolving around the legacy of her loved ones. In Game of Thrones season 1, Catelyn’s husband Ned is executed, leaving the House Stark matriarch to look over Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Meanwhile, Ned’s alleged bastard son, Jon Snow, haunts her memories. During the War of the Five Kings, Catelyn supports her eldest son, Robb. However, they are ultimately set up and executed at the infamous Red Wedding orchestrated by House Lannister, House Bolton, and House Frey. Since Game of Thrones’ penultimate season 3 episode “The Rains of Castamere,” Catelyn has not been seen (because she's dead).
That all happens in the A Song of Ice and Fire books on which Game of Thrones is based, except Catelyn's story doesn't end there. Her body is dumped into a river, sniffed out by the direwolf Nymeria, and then resurrected by the immortal Beric’s “Last Kiss.” Now known as Lady Stoneheart, she wreaks havoc on her enemies seeking vengeance for Stark deaths. Even though the show has now massively overtaken the books, the resurrected Catelyn is still a fan favorite to appear before the end. It is possible that Lady Stoneheart could be part of Game of Thrones season 8?
The first barrier to Catelyn's return as Lady Stoneheart in Game of Thrones season 8 is that Beric Dondarrion is still alive. In the books, he gives his immortality to resurrected Lady Stark, who takes up leadership of the Brotherhood Without Banners. As of the season 7 finale, Beric is still alive, meaning this can't have happened yet. While it's possible Lady Stoneheart could be created by another form of magic, the severing of this connection vastly reduces her role.
Indeed, a lot of Lady Stoneheart's chance to impact Game of Thrones story has passed. Arya Stark has already avenged the Red Wedding and killed the Freys, and her run-in with Brienne - where she almost killed her for carrying a Lannister sword - feels considerably less important given how much Brienne and Jaime have been through together, and are now on the brink of fighting the Night King.
And there's not much more of a place for Lady Stoneheart in what's to come for Game of Thrones either. There'd be an emotional reunion with her surviving children, sure, but no tangible role in the wars for the living or the Iron Throne. If Game of Thrones season 8 was to see Lady Stoneheart’s arrival, the showrunners would surely have included more clues since the Red Wedding. There have been no discussions about a “Last Kiss,” nor have there been teases of Nymeria discovering the body. The best evidence was a moment in Game of Thrones season 7 when Arya references her mother just as a figure appears in the background, and that's incredibly suspect.
While it's impossible to rule out Lady Stoneheart in Game of Thrones season 8, at the moment it certainly doesn't look likely. All will be revealed when the show returns next month.
Game of Thrones season 8 begins on HBO on April 14.