Ever since Catelyn Stark (played by Michelle Fairley) was brutally murdered at the infamous Red Wedding, fans of George R.R. Martin’s books have been hopeful that her literary ghost will appear to exact revenge.
In the novels, Lady Stoneheart is the reanimated corpse of the Stark mother and sets about exacting revenge on any Frey, Bolton or Lannister she crosses as payback for destroying her family.
Although the show’s producers confirmed that the eagerly anticipated ghost would not appear in the HBO series, it seems that they introduced her last night, in the form of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).
In a dramatic opening scene, “Walder Frey” (David Bradley) seemed to poison all of his remaining family members and bannermen for failing to kill all of the Starks.
However, fans will remember that Arya actually killed the tyrant at the end of the sixth season.
With the ominous line, “When people ask you what happened here, tell them the north remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey,” Walder tore off his mask, revealing himself to actually be the little Stark warrior.
So while actual Lady Stoneheart hasn’t made an appearance, it seems that Arya has taken on the mantle, setting about killing everyone who has done her and her family wrong.
Author George explained that he fought the producers to bring in his legendary character, but to no avail.
He told Time Magazine: “I think one of the biggest [diversions] would probably be when they made the decision not to bring Catelyn Stark back as Lady Stoneheart.
“That was probably the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision.
“In my version of the story, Catelyn Stark is reimbued with a kind of life and becomes this vengeful wight who galvanizes a group of people around her and is trying to exact her revenge on the Riverlands.
“David and Dan made a decision not to go in that direction in their story, pursuing other threads.
“But both of them are equally valid, I think, because Catelyn Stark is a fictional character and she doesn’t exist,” he added.
Game of Thrones season seven episode two will air next Sunday and will be simulcast in the UK at 2am on Sky Atlantic. Catch up on season one to seven on NOW TV.