This article contains spoilers from the Song of Ice and Fire books and the HBO series.
For the past few seasons, the house words of some Game of Thrones fans have been “That’s not what happened in the books!” From altering Sansa’s storyline to removing a character who literally poops on a dead guy, the show has made a number of unforgivable changes, but none have hurt more than the absence of Lady Stoneheart.
If you’re not familiar with who Lady Stoneheart is, we’d recommend you don’t Google (or even Bing) the name, so here’s the spoiler free rundown: Stoneheart is a Stark family supporter hellbent on vengeance. Introduced in the epilogue of A Storm of Swords, she acts as judge, jury, and executioner, hanging anyone she believes to be associated with the Red Wedding. She’s blinded by her quest for revenge. “She wants [Rob Stark] alive, or the men who killed him dead,” warns one soldier, “She wants to feed the crows, like they did at the Red Wedding. Freys and Boltons, aye. We’ll give her those, as many as she likes.“
The show has teased the character’s appearance a number of times, even airing an episode titled Mother’s Mercy, one of Lady Stoneheart’s nicknames. And just last year, Lena Headey posted a photo to Instagram of a literal stone heart.
The recently leaked list of season six episode names includes the title Oathbreaker, a phrase first uttered by Lady Stoneheart in the books. While the character is unlikely to appear in the show at this point, there’s reason to believe a familiar face will be taking over the role: Sansa Stark.
Last season, Sansa’s storyline diverged significantly from the books, which led fans to question the direction of her character. Transforming her into a strong, Stoneheart-like figure would give meaning to her otherwise pointless season five plot line while delivering on the promise of a darker Sansa.
The show’s latest trailer contains several pieces of evidence to support this theory including a more fearsome looking Sansa, several shots of the Riverlands (where the Red Wedding takes place and where Lady Stoneheart operates), and Sansa’s chilling declaration of vengeance: “It’s all I think about. What was taken from me.”
Game of Thrones returns April 24th.