Tonight”s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Broken Man,” set into motion the wheels that are needed to bring Lady Stoneheart to the show. If you don”t know who that is, either go here first or flee into the night, because I”m about to drop some serious spoilers.
WARNING: SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. SERIOUSLY. THEY”RE COMING.
To the surprise of no one, The Hound is alive and well. To the surprise of some, he”s found a measure of peace as a peon building a sept and living among the smallfolk with the Westerosi version of a hippie preacher. But because this is Game of Thrones, all of The Hound”s new friends are dead by the end of the episode. Killed by the Brotherhood without Banners. Odd.
Meanwhile, in another part of the Riverlands, Jaime Lannister arrived at Riverrun to flush the Blackfish out of the ancestral Tully castle. The Blackfish has other plans. The Freys and Lannisters betrayed the Tullys, killed his sister and her son, and tried to wrest control of the Riverlands into Frey hands. He was born in Riverrun, and he”ll die there if he has too. But he”s taking the enemy with him. This leaves a huge mess of Freys and Lannisters in the open like sitting ducks until they can build trenches. Huh.
What do these two seemingly disconnected events have to do with each other? They”re setting the stage for Lady Stoneheart/undead Catelyn Stark. Let”s look at the evidence.
The Brotherhood without Banners is acting out of sorts. Killing smallfolk for believing in a different religion doesn”t jive with Beric Dondarrion”s message. But if Beric is perma-dead, the Brotherhood would fracture. Some would go out and become fanatics, like those The Hound ran afoul of. The rest would follow the new leader of the Brotherhood…Catelyn Stark.
In the novels, Dondarrion and his men come across Catelyn”s body in the river after the Red Wedding. Using the last of his strength, Beric transfers his unnatural life into her body. Resurrected, Lady Stoneheart cannot speak for the gash in her throat, but she can still wreak vengeance on her enemies. She”s also now the bearer of Lightbringer. For those who don”t remember, Lightbringer is the flaming sword that Beric fought with. The sword that must get to Azor Ahai. Which is probably Jon Snow. So now Catelyn Stark has to bring her bastard son/nephew the weapon with which he will destroy the Night”s King.
The Freys, the Lannisters, and Brienne are all in one place. Riverrun. Catelyn Stark”s childhood home. Jaime has sworn to kill every Tully in the world if it gets him out of the Riverlands. With that kind of motivation, the time is nigh for Lady Stonheart to take out the main force of her enemy (and save her beloved uncle) all in one swoop. She”ll even get to take Brienne and Jaime to task for failing to live up to their vows.
All of this would just be wishful thinking if this season of Game of Thrones hadn”t been bringing out all the big reveals. We”ve had the Mad King, Coldhands, part of the Tower of Joy, and the origins of the White Walkers, and we aren”t even to the penultimate Episode 9, which is where the showrunners really like to trot out the plot twists. If ever Lady Stoneheart was going to join the battle, now is the time.