Maybe you’ve never embarrassed yourself online, and that’s great. Congratulations! But two years ago I wrote over 2,000 words explaining why I was sure that A Song of Ice and Fire fan favorite Lady Stoneheart would be appearing in the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones. Then, a year later, I wrote 2,000 more, explaining why she was definitely going to show up in the finale of season 6. Both arguments were based on hints from HBO promotional material, pre-announced episode titles, actor sightings, and what I imagined were reasoned arguments about what the show had chosen to adapt from the books and where that must lead.
I was wrong both times (and a mid-season third time). Gee, extremely embarrassing. But HBO isn’t done messing with me yet.
Beric Dondarrion, who gives his own life to revive the water-logged Catelyn Stark and turn her into the silent, vengeful serial killer known as Lady Stoneheart in the books, got a glamour shot from HBO earlier this month. He’s also prominently featured in today’s new trailer, wielding a flaming sword. The fact that he is still alive and that Catelyn has now been dead for 31 episodes means she’s definitely not coming back. But the fact that he’s still part of the show is so far unexplained. He and the Brotherhood Without Banners served a specific function in the book. They were there to be Stoneheart’s ragtag team, and to provide a window in the horrors that war had inflicted on the common people in Westeros.
We’re way past that now, with teasers hinting at much bigger wars between Daenerys and everybody, Cersei and everybody, dragons and White Walkers, Sansa and Jon, me and my ability to endure prolonged dramatic tension, etc.
So what is Beric doing here? Trolling me. (And yes, probably fighting in the Great War.) It’s rude and I don’t feel good about it, nor is it the first time HBO has done this. I’m not even that impressed by fire, so there’s nothing here for me. In any case, Dondarrion already pulled this fire-sword trick in season 3 when he fought the Hound, died, and came back to life — establishing that resurrection is possible in HBO’s Westeros, and that it was possible in relation to him. At the time, some overeager viewers took that as a sign that Lady Stoneheart would be resurrected... by him. Nope!
Very cool jacket, but I’m unhappy.
Maybe you think I wrote this blog post for selfish reasons, but maybe you’re feeling hurt, angry, and alone right now, too, and just want to feel hurt and angry together. You can tell me in the comments either way.