Warning: Major spoilers for the "Game of Thrones" novels, and potentially the show, are ahead.
"Game of Thrones" fans who read the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels that the show is based on suffered severe disappointment at the end of the season four finale. That's because one of the saga's most unusual characters didn't show up as expected — a character known as Lady Stoneheart.
In the books, Lady Stoneheart, a resurrected version of the murdered Catelyn Stark, leads a band of outlaws against all of the Frey and Lannister forces who betrayed and killed her son Robb at the Red Wedding. She appears at the very end of the third novel in the series, and by that logic, fans expected to see her at the end of the season four finale. But it never happened, leaving some fans to wonder if Stoneheart would ever appear on the HBO series.
Now, based on an interview with Catelyn Stark actress Michelle Fairley, it doesn't sound likely to happen. Fairley told Entertainment Weekly that while she's aware of the Stoneheart concept, the Catelyn of "Game of Thrones" is very much deceased.
"Yeah, the character's dead. She's dead," she said. "You respect the writers’ decision. I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show."
Losing Stoneheart is something that's sure to bother some of the book purists, while others will agree with Fairley's sentiment that the show can't include every single detail from the books. Does it indicate that Stoneheart won't play a major role in the "Ice and Fire" end game, or is this nothing more than one of many departures the show has made and will continue to make from the books? Either way, expect more and more deviations as the show continues on.