What the writers seem to be doing with Catelyn is really upsetting me. In the original text, she was a pragmatic feudal lady with keen political insights, whose less competent teenaged son pushed her aside and wanted her to go away and leave him alone. A teenaged son who was portrayed as generally politically inept, and whose chest-thumping refusal to trade the Kingslayer for his sisters enabled the Red Wedding, a Lannister power grab through Sansa, and a Bolton power grab through a false Arya.
The way that she has been adapted for the screen is, frankly, sexist. She was a politically smart and ambitious woman who was ignored for merely being a woman while a young teen ruined their House through misplaced trust and naiveté. She is hated by fans for, well, being a politically smart and ambitious woman who interferes with the male “heroes” and points out their poor decisions instead of going back to her babies where she belongs.
So the way HBO decides to adapt her is to make Robb recite her lines from the book that show political insight, remove her from the table where the political decisions are being made, and validate all the misogyny being directed her way by having this adapted character say that her place is back with her babies (because, of course, that’s where a good woman belongs and should want to be!).
In the books, she was *right* in almost every call she made — but her opinions are dismissed because she is a woman and Robb is 1) a rebellious teen; and, 2) has embraced some of the ingrained sexism of his society and doesn't want his bannermen to see him taking advice from Mom. The commentary here, which passes straight over the heads of a lot of fans, is really genius. If Robb *had* listened to mommy, House Stark would not have been demolished the way it was.
And the writers chose to not only ignore that, but to diminish the female character so as to pump up the male — in a way that completely validates the misogyny targeting the character (a good woman’s place is with her babies and not involved in politics – in fact, if she’s involved in politics at all, it should be reluctantly!) but that also misses the point of the entire arc. My honest-to-God reaction was, WTF are you doing HBO?
Catelyn's plotline deals heavily with themes of sexism. After Ned’s execution, she was calling for peace while the men around her chose war (and devastated the North and the Riverlands). Robb wanted her to go back to Bran and Rickon but she wanted to stay with him, where the future of their family was being decided. It was her idea to visit Renly to attempt to make an alliance, not Robb’s. She wasn’t entirely against sending an envoy to Balon, just not Theon. She wanted Ned to go south to become Robert’s Hand.
Now, she’s been downgraded. One assumes that the reasons for it are three-fold: 1) To pump up Robb and make him sexier to the audiences instead of portrying the tragic boy king in over his head that he actually was; 2) to make her more palatable to audiences (because a woman’s place is with her babies, doncha know); and 3) to amend Cersei’s characterization as she gets the storyline of a son who has slipped her control instead.
Congratulations on either completely missing the entire point of a character arc and plotline or demonstrating a stupendous level of sexism, all while validating the misogyny that permeates this fandom.
Whilst I agree with most of your points, Catelyn was not right in almost every call she made. In fact one of the few bits of advice she gave to Robb that he took, well, it proved quite disastrous.
Why does Roose Bolton have half the Northern Army? Robb wanted to give it to the Greatjon but Catelyn said something about good leaders needing restraint or calmness or etc etc. That's good in theory, but... it didn't work out too well for the King in the North, eh? In fact, I would say that was one of the pivotal points of the entire war. Roose Bolton sending the Stark forces to suicide at Duskendale and of course the Red Wedding.