Arya Stark is our new Lady Stoneheart in ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7
This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 1, titled “Dragonstone,” as well as plot points from George R. R. Martin’s books.
Even if you’ve never read George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, chances are you’re familiar with the name Lady Stoneheart — if only from hearing your disgruntled book-reading friends complaining about all the deviations that HBO’s Game of Thrones has made from Martin’s storylines.
In the book series, Lady Stoneheart is the reanimated corpse of Catelyn Stark, resurrected by Beric Dondarrion through the power of the Lord of Light. After being dumped in the river by the Freys following her murder, she’s almost unrecognizable, only able to speak by covering the slit in her throat. Following the Red Wedding, she’s consumed by a thirst for vengeance, and kills any Frey, Bolton or Lannister she comes across as payback.
Many fans hoped to see Catelyn make a reappearance following Season 3 of Game of Thrones to take her revenge on the Freys, but as the years have passed with no sign of “LSH,” our dreams dwindled — until now.
After seeing the Season 7 premiere, it looks like there’s a new Lady Stoneheart in town, and her name is Arya Stark.
While we’ll probably never get to hear the words “Lady Stoneheart” on the show — unless the writers decide to give Arya that nickname as a nod to the books (but that could feel kind of forced) — it looks like Arya is picking up her mother’s quest and visiting bloody murder on everyone who has wronged her family… and there are a lot of them, let’s be honest.
In the premiere, after killing Walder Frey and his sons last season, she finished the job by taking out all of his remaining family members and bannermen in a truly spectacular pre-credits sequence, delivering the crowd-pleasing line of the night: “When people ask you what happened here, tell them the north remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.”
Arya has always shared some similarities with Lady Stoneheart — she’s been keeping a naughty list of all the people she wants to kill since way back in Season 1 — and now that she’s spent time studying under the Faceless Men, she has the skills to match her determination.
She’s so confident in her ass-kicking ability, she doesn’t even hesitate to sit down with a bunch of Lannister bannermen (including Ed Sheeran, LOL) for a meal when she’s out on the road — and she’s even bold enough to tell them that she’s heading to King’s Landing to kill Cersei. Sure, they all laugh if off because she’s still a kid, but we know that if they’d actually taken her seriously, she probably could’ve killed them all without breaking a sweat.
So maybe we won’t ever get to see Catelyn in her Lady Stoneheart glory (especially since Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr are now heading north with The Hound and probably would’ve mentioned if they’d secretly resurrected Mama Stark by now), but it’s nice to know that Arya is carrying on her legacy.
What’s cooler than being cool? An ice cold Stark on a murder spree.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.