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Lady Stoneheart's state of mind.


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#1 Mr. James

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:00 AM

So with the last episode of season 4 of Game of Thrones almost upon us I got to thinking about "Lady Stoneheart." Hopefully the show runners adapted the epilogue of Storm of Swords and will leave us with one of the most amazing WTF cliff hangers in TV history. I can't wait for the reactions on social media.  
 
Okay so on to Stoneheart, one thing that really interests me is the way in which many ASOIAF fans read her character. There seems to be a sizable number of people who believe that Cat's resurrection as Stoneheart fundamentally changed her personality, and altered her mind in some radical way. As if Stoneheart does things that good "Catelyn Tully-Stark" would never do. I don't get this. Yes it is established that when someone is brought back from the dead in this world  they may loose a small bit of themselves but to me Lady Stoneheart's ruthlessness and violent streak is much more the result of the continual losses Cat has endured then Beric giving his life to bring her back.  I mean let's count off the things that Cat has had to deal with.
 
1. The First man she ever loved was murdered very shortly before they were to marry. 
 
2. She marry's her ex-fiance's brother and though they do eventually fall in love, he brings home a child that he supposedly had outside of their marriage. So in her new home is a constant reminder of her husband's "infidelity" 
 
Those two points alone are pretty painful but let's just focus on the three years leading up to her death. 
 
3. She gets word that her brother-in-law died under mysterious circumstances. 
4. One of her children is nearly killed/crippled for life after he is pushed from a tall building.
5. She captures who she thinks harmed her child, only to have him slip through her hands. 
6. The second man she has loved is beheaded in King's Landing and their eldest has to go to war for him.
7. Her two daughters are both in the hands of the Lannisters, and she thinks Arya is likely dead.
8. She witnesses a strange supernatural murder and has to run for her life to avoid being wrongly executed. 
9. She gets word that Winterfell was sacked and her two youngest sons were murdered by a boy who the Starks had taken into their home. 
10. She has to sit by her father's deathbed and watch as he slips away.
11. Finally the Red Wedding itself in which she sees trusted allies being slaughtered, and has to watch as her "last remaining child" is murdered in front of her eyes. 
 
Is it any wonder that she snapped and sliced open the throat of Walder Frey's grandson? To me Cat's sanity had been dangling on a thread for a while and she became "Lady Stoneheart" not when she was raised from the dead but in her final moments of life when she snapped and was willing to kill an innocent. I don't quite understand why people think that Stoneheart does things that Cat Stark wouldn't do. 
 
Thoughts?                

Edited by Mr. James, 12 June 2014 - 02:06 AM.


#2 FaeryRingsAndForestFires

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:11 AM

There are also the chapters where she equates being a mother with being a warrior. I get the assumption that there is nothing she wouldn't do for her children, and especially after the RW she has no reason to hang on to Catelyn Tully's warmth and softness. We see in the way she treats Jon, and later Tyrion, that she is capable of cruelty already. So by default, as LS, she has the means and the power to seek revenge, using her own latent strength fuelled by her heartbreak.

 

One thing I do wonder about though is whether she is actually aware of who she is? Like, does she have recollections of being Catelyn, or is she simply driven by Frey hate as a result of the RW, that being her final memory?



#3 LordStoneheart

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:13 AM

Always glad to comment on a thread about my Lady.

 

Now first off, minor nitpick, I don't think she "loved" Brandon but was just rather fond of him.

 

I agree that Lady Stoneheart is not some big 180 degree flip of Catelyn's character. She's not 100% the Catelyn we all knew and loved (emphasis on the all, deniers) but she's not NotCatelyn. She remembers. This is the first thing we hear of her, really. She remembers those that have wronged her and she remembers her family. She is actively seeking out her daughters, and she is fascinated by Robb/Jeyne's KitN crown, which suggests she remembers him.

 

Now, her current state of mind is purely conjecture, but its not unbelievable that she's something like Arya's current state of mind. Their personalities and story arcs echo each others' in a lot of ways. Arya is currently trying to become "No One" while burning with a seething hatred for vengeance, i.e. her List. Stoneheart has her own list too, and she's also taken on a new "identity" or many, as Stoneheart, Mother Merciless, the Silent Sister, the Hangwoman... Her list is Freys, Boltons, Lannisters, and with good reason. If Arya is still "Arya Stark" which most Arya fans might agree with, then Catelyn is still Catelyn... but neither of them are the exact same as when we met them, nor can they ever go back. They have been very tormented for a long time and all they can see in the immediate future is their anger and vengeance, yet their family/identities still stick in their mind to a lesser extent.

 

hope that answers anything. :D



#4 IRON BANK

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:13 AM

I think your right. UnCat seems to be on a revenge fiiled murder spree.  I think for one it is fitting.  However it seems through the text some of the brtother hood w/o banners are questioning her motives as well.  I feel that when UnCat gets closure with Jon Snow or Sansa she will finally pass on.  Til then it will be a murder spree.



#5 Mr. James

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:07 AM

The thing is I don't think the Brotherhood would be following someone who was just a mindless revenge zombie. Lady Stoneheart still has to be mostly Cat Stark. 



#6 Lord_Takahashi

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:15 AM

Oh yeah, it makes sense. I can have sympathy for Cat as long as I don't remember her saying "Jon, it should have been you." At which point I am driven up the fucking wall.

LSH and Catelyn are as similar as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader in my mind.



#7 Wise Fool

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:25 AM

Way I see it, when a person (i.e. Beric Dondarrion, or Catelyn) is raised from the dead by the power of a red priest, a little something is lost in the transition. I gather this because Beric mentions this in his conversations with Thoros, after a couple of resurrections. He has memory loss (amnesia), can't remember his own personal preferences (depersonalization) and seems a bit out-of-it in general (derealization). So, each resurrection will take its toll, in humanity or personality or life essence. My hypothesis is in addition to this base toll, there's an additional rate taken based on how long the person was clinically dead for. In Beric's case, each time he was only dead for a short while, since Thoros was always on hand. But with Catelyn, she was dead for over a day - long enough to be dumped in the river, washed up on shore, and found by Beric. So I estimate that even though she was only resurrected once, she will suffer as much as Beric or greater. Furthermore, I would venture that the skill, or priestliness, of the resurrector is a factor - Thoros was a red priest channeling the power of the red god (apparently), call him skill level 1. But Catelyn was resurrected by Beric (skill level 0) himself - not a red priest - and from what I recall all he did was somehow "give" his own resurrection(s) to Catelyn (because he was tired of being UnBeric by that point). So she's not getting the full level resurrection, but rather Beric's hand-me-down transference of his own - that may or may not include all the penalties Beric has suffered from his multiple resurrections. In either case, with her being dead longer, resurrected by a non-priest, and given a transferred resurrection by a damaged resurrector, I conclude that Lady Stoneheart is most definitely not the full Cat, either in mind, soul, or (of course) body.

 

Lady Stoneheart dwells in a misty half-way point between life and death; she remembers things, but probably not the same way she would in life. She thinks, but probably not all that terribly clearly. She feels, but only some of the feelings. And most of all she lacks that kind of essence or spark that made her who she was.

 

A living human is a fire, a wight is only ashes, Cat is somewhere in between.



#8 The brown snake

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 02:36 AM

Do you think she will try to get to her Brother who is (in the books) is being transported to Castely Rock, or kill him or does not remember him.

And if she does find him and his new wife (who is a frey) will she try to kill her?

Also does LS still remember she has a Daughter Sansa, do you think she still cares?



#9 Reek Havoc

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 02:46 AM

I often wonder if the amount of time that Catelyn's body was left floating in the river caused any irreversible damage.  I mean the decaying process must have started in the brain tissue at least a little by the time the Brotherhood found her, which might hinder her ability to return to her original self in the same capacity that Dondarrion was able to.  As it was, she went mad when just before she died.... I just wonder if the decomposition of her body prevents her from returning from her madness, or if she even thinks rational thoughts, other than 'kill Freys' and 'find my daughters' like a broken record.  The fact that she can't speak very much keeps us from knowing for sure.

 

I know it probably seems a little silly to try and bring science into fantasy, but it also seems possible that it was intentional, as a way of differentiating between LS and Dondarrion. Sort of adds to the whole zombie feel a little, too. I dunno.  It's late and I'm probably over-thinking it. lol  But still the thought has crossed my mind a few times.


Edited by Reek Havoc, 15 June 2014 - 02:46 AM.


#10 Rhaegar the Dragon Prince

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 03:14 AM

I thought the same kind of thing, maybe she died literally and figuratively at the RW, (Like how The Hound 'died') And was re-born as Lady Stoneheart, the un-dead revenge machine. 



#11 LordStoneheart

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 04:29 AM

I thought the same kind of thing, maybe she died literally and figuratively at the RW, (Like how The Hound 'died') And was re-born as Lady Stoneheart, the un-dead revenge machine. 

 

 

She wouldn't be searching for her daughters or remember Brienne's oath if this was the case.



#12 Trillian

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:27 AM

For some reason, I see LS like somebody who has just had a big dose of illegal substances, as her actions are something she wouldn't have done normally, with self-control and social rules, but she definitely had it in her.

Well obviously the metaphor is rather silly, what I mean is that LS in not completely out of character. I do believe that LS has lost part of Cat when resurrected, but not that much. If I had to put it in numbers, I would say she's still 70% Cat. I think that to understand her new self, remembering the circumstances of her death, her current physical state and her state of mind at the moment of the death.

As somebody already stated, a series of tragedies led her to the day of the Red Wedding, and what she feels are desperation, anger, venegance, and desire to go back to the status quo when Ned was still in Winterfel. Now, we've seen other characters in the book who have been revived after dying (Beric) or having a near-death experience (Aeron Greyjoy and - though it's too soon to talk about it - the Hound), and something that all those characters have in common is that afterwards they decided to devote their new life to one cause, respectively helping the smallfolk, the Drowned God, and a peaceful and spiritual life. For LS it's revenge. She went through all those tragedies, starting to lose her mind when she was still alive and lost a further bit of herself by dying. Now she has no boundaries, rules ans social constraints and she wants "justice", meaning that everyone that cause her misery deserves the same fate. Also I might add that the state of decay of her body doesn't help, she wouldn't be able to do anything or go anywhere in her conditions, and it's itself a constant reminder to herself and to everyone else of what happened. 

Regarding why most of the BWB is following her, I think that the fact thar Beric revived her instead of Thoros could be part of the explanation, as she was "chosen" by him (although Beric had probably no idea of the consequences). We also need to remember that the BWB is currently split in two, and it's totally possible that most of the people that decided to keep following LS are the ones who, consciously or not, detached themselves from the original purpose (helping the smallfolk, etc) going through a darker path and basically enjoying killing people like Lem, or smallfolk that had a hard time under some careless Lord and would like seeing people like the Freys getting meeting the Stranger.

 



#13 Lady Sansa Stark

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:36 AM

Although she remembers, I see Lady Stoneheart and Catelyn Stark as two different characters, who surely are intimately connected with each other, but I would never say that Lady Stoneheart = Catelyn Stark. Stoneheart is merely a murderous ghost of Catelyn Stark, seeking revenge for the Red Wedding. Catelyn just completely lost it after she saw her son die at the hand of Roose Bolton, which is understandable. Though I did not think she would actually do it, I understood why she was driven to kill Walder's grandson. There was nothing left for her, and there was nothing left of her. 

 

She remembers, but she's not Catelyn.



#14 The Sleeper

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:08 AM

For my part, I don't see Lady Stoneheart doing anything inconsistent with what Cat would be doing if she had somehow survived the Red Wedding (which was the actual plan) and somehow found herself at large again. She had vengeful inclinations before, but put them aside because she had the living to worry about. Having lost everyone it is easy to see how she would turn to revenge. The lack of previous observed constraints can also be accounted by the Red Wedding and the circumstances of finding herself at the head of an outlaw band. As for organic damage Beric's head was bashed in and had hole in it, yet he retained all of his functions. And I have to vehemently disagree with claims that she is insane. Being harsh and vengeful, after all she has gone through seems very normal to me and she is still running the BwB, sending spies maintaining an orphanage, looking for her daughters etc. I'd say she is at least as functional as Beric was.

 

So, what gives. I am taking my cue form Beric again. We know that Beric was self aware and unhappy with his condition. He lost memories but knew who he was and how he got there. What seems extreme is his devotion to the mandate given to him from a dead hand and a dead king after he found himself on the wrong side of a war. Duty is one thing, but he gave up on everything else. Interestingly the memories he lost seemed centered on those things. If anything I would say he was stuck on that mindset. I'd guess the same about Lady Stoneheart. I wonder what would have happened to Beric if he had fulfilled his mission and killed the Mountain.



#15 WeaselPie

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:17 AM

I've read theories that Robb spontaneously tried to warg Grey Wind when he was initially wounded, then when Grey Wind died, he unintentionally warged into Cat.  I think part of him is inside UnCat.  Or he may have tried to and failed, but UnCat could still have remnants in her mind.



#16 Lyanna<3Rhaegar

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:18 AM

The only thing she has done that I feel is out of character with her former self is with Brienne. Catlin Tully knew how important an oath was to Brienne and upon catching Brienne I understand things look bad but I believe Cat would have at least listened to what Brienne had to say and thought it through. Probably coming to the correct assumption. While UnCat doesn't care to listen to or evaluate anything Brienne has to say and demands for her to kill Jaime or die along with her innocent (of anything to do with the Jaime/Brienne/Cat triangle anyway) comrades. I don't think Cat's former self would have handled things that way.

#17 Daemon I Blackfyre

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:33 AM

I don't think she's crazy. She's just homicidal.

She wishes for revenge and has developed quite the hatred for Freys and Lannisters alike. She doesn't care about honor, duty and stuff like that anymore because she's been dead, her family has been totally wiped out (or so she thinks) and her son got killed in front of her eyes. She's basically a shadow of Catelyn Stark/Tully.

 

She is burning with hatred and rage and in her eyes every Lannister and Frey deserves to die, and whoever is a bit nice to them or is getting in the way has gotta go. So that explains Brienne.

I think she asked for Pod to be hanged just to convince Brienne to go get Jaime.

The other knight was searching for Sansa to hand her over to the Lannisters, so he might've really been killed after the cliffhanger.

 

So yeah, she's not honorable and "good" anymore, but I think her state of mind can be considered "sane".

She's been also hanging Freys left and right. You must be at least right in the head not to get caught while busy hanging your enemies.



#18 The Sleeper

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:54 AM

The only thing she has done that I feel is out of character with her former self is with Brienne. Catlin Tully knew how important an oath was to Brienne and upon catching Brienne I understand things look bad but I believe Cat would have at least listened to what Brienne had to say and thought it through. Probably coming to the correct assumption. While UnCat doesn't care to listen to or evaluate anything Brienne has to say and demands for her to kill Jaime or die along with her innocent (of anything to do with the Jaime/Brienne/Cat triangle anyway) comrades. I don't think Cat's former self would have handled things that way.

Given the betrayals she has gone through and the evidence before her how can she trust anything Brienne says? For all she knows she might be lying to save her life and/or has been duped herself? It wouldn't also be out of the question that she does believe her and set this up to get her hands on Jaime.

 

All of Brienne's paraphernalia if nothing else, prove she has access to Jaime, whom she knows is in the riverlands.


Edited by The Sleeper, 15 June 2014 - 11:55 AM.


#19 Lyanna<3Rhaegar

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 12:27 PM

Given the betrayals she has gone through and the evidence before her how can she trust anything Brienne says? For all she knows she might be lying to save her life and/or has been duped herself? It wouldn't also be out of the question that she does believe her and set this up to get her hands on Jaime.
 
All of Brienne's paraphernalia if nothing else, prove she has access to Jaime, whom she knows is in the riverlands.


I understand why her character is where it is at this point & that Brienne appears as if she has broken her oath. I was just saying that given the same circumstances before this I think Cat would've dealt with it differently that UnCat. Whether that is because she has been brought back to life or it is because of all the hardships she's had I'm not sure. My guess would be a little of both. It is still hard, as a reader, to not get angry about how Cat is dealing with Brienne because we know she is anything but an Oath breaker.

#20 Lady Flandrensis

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 01:24 PM

Although she remembers, I see Lady Stoneheart and Catelyn Stark as two different characters, who surely are intimately connected with each other, but I would never say that Lady Stoneheart = Catelyn Stark. Stoneheart is merely a murderous ghost of Catelyn Stark, seeking revenge for the Red Wedding. Catelyn just completely lost it after she saw her son die at the hand of Roose Bolton, which is understandable. Though I did not think she would actually do it, I understood why she was driven to kill Walder's grandson. There was nothing left for her, and there was nothing left of her. 

 

She remembers, but she's not Catelyn.

This. At her death, the only child she thought surviving was Sansa. That must surely inform who LS is, and what LS does- kill in revenge. It isn't outlandish that she would want to kill Brienne in these circumstances; Brienne didn't bring her daughter back to her. Nor that she'd kill any Freys in her path. Wasn't she game to kill any Lannisters in life? So why would that attitude be different in death? It's supersized now, and LS thinks in terms of black and white. LS isn't Cat anymore, she's a revenge machine.