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Catelyn Stark by Natascha Röösli © Fantasy Flight Games.
The Silent Sister
|Title||Lady of Winterfell|
brotherhood without banners
|Born||In 264 AC or 265 AC, at Riverrun|
|Died||In 299 AC, at the Twins|
|Spouse||Lord Eddard Stark|
A Game of Thrones (POV)|
A Clash of Kings (POV)
A Storm of Swords (POV)
A Feast for Crows (appears)
A Dance with Dragons (mentioned)
|Played by||Michelle Fairley|
|TV series||Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3|
Lady Catelyn Stark, née Catelyn Tully, is the wife of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. Together they have five children: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Catelyn is known as Cat to close family and friends.
Catelyn was born into House Tully of Riverrun, the liege lords of the riverlands. She is the eldest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and Lady Minisa Whent, and has two younger siblings: Lysa and Edmure. She is a major POV character in the books and is portrayed by Michelle Fairley in the television adaptation Game of Thrones.
- 1 Appearance and Character
- 2 History
- 3 Recent Events
- 4 Lady Stoneheart
- 5 Quotes by Catelyn
- 6 Quotes about Catelyn
- 7 Quotes about Lady Stoneheart
- 8 Family
- 9 References
- 10 External Links
Appearance and Character
Catelyn is beautiful, with fair skin, long auburn hair and blue eyes. She has long fingers and high cheekbones. Catelyn resembles her own mother, Minisa Whent. Her own sons Robb, Bran and Rickon, and daughter Sansa take after Catelyn in their coloring. Catelyn is a head shorter than her younger brother, Ser Edmure, and slightly taller than her eldest child, Robb.
Catelyn tries to follow the words of House Tully, "Family, Duty, Honor." She is proud, honorable, and honest, although some think she looks down on smallfolk. Catelyn is peaceful and holds duty over desire as a governing principle of behavior, but she is fiercely protective of her beloved family. She is wise and cunning. Catelyn regards Jon Snow as an outsider to her family, and has never forgiven her husband, Lord Eddard Stark, for bringing the bastard into the Stark household.
Catelyn is the eldest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully, the Lord of Riverrun, head of House Tully and Lord Paramount of the Trident, and his wife, Lady Minisa Whent. She was annointed with the seven oils and named in the sept of Riverrun. Catelyn had two older brothers, who both died in infancy, causing her father to regard her as his heir until the birth of Catelyn's younger brother, Edmure. Catelyn also has a sister, Lysa, who is two years younger than her.
Catelyn was raised at Riverrun. She was close with her sister Lysa, and would play with her two younger siblings, as well as with her father's young ward, Petyr Baelish. Just as her younger siblings and Petyr were wont to do, Catelyn would go to her uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, with her tears and tales, whenever Lord Hoster was too busy, and Lady Minisa was too ill. When Catelyn's mother died in childbirth, along with her son, Lord Hoster told his daughter that she had to be the Lady of Riverrun in her mother's stead. Catelyn does not have many memories of her mother, though she still remembers her warm smile and soft hands. Her relationship with her father was a close one, and according to Catelyn, Lord Hoster cherished her best of all his children. Whenever Hoster would ride off to court or a battle, he would tell Catelyn to watch for him from the battlements of Riverrun, which she did. And when his eyes tired, Hoster would have Catelyn read to him in his solar.
Catelyn and Lysa played together as girls, and even had a secret language. Once, they made mud pies and served them to Petyr, who ate them and as a consequence was sick for a week. Catelyn and Lysa also practised kissing with Petyr in the godswood of Riverrun, where Petyr attempted to stick his tongue in their mouths - an attempt which Catelyn halted, but Lysa both allowed and enjoyed. Catelyn often accompanied her father on his travels, and had visited the inn at the crossroads on multiple occasions. Once, Catelyn, Lysa and Petyr accompanied Hoster to Seagard. During the journey to the seat of House Mallister, they stopped at Oldstones, where Catelyn had played at being Jenny of Oldstones, while Petyr had pretended to be her Prince of Dragonflies. On their way back from Seagard to Riverrun, Catelyn and Lysa got lost in the mist, and were eventually found by Petyr Baelish.
Betrothal to Brandon Stark
When Catelyn, at the age of twelve, was betrothed to Brandon Stark, the heir to Winterfell, she thanked her father for making such a splendid match for her. Lord Hoster Tully's ward, Petyr Baelish, was less pleased with the match, however. While Catelyn had come to regard Petyr as a brother, Petyr had fallen in love with Catelyn. When Catelyn's betrothal to Brandon was announced, Lords Blackwood and Bracken were at Riverrun to settle a feud with Hoster's help. Catelyn and Petyr danced six dances that night, but when he tried to kiss her, she pushed him away and laughed at him. Petyr, wounded by the rejection, became drunk and had to be brought to bed by Catelyn's uncle, Ser Brynden Tully. Catelyn's younger sister, Lysa, who had fallen in love with Petyr, snuck into Petyr's chambers and had sex with him that night. However, the drunken Petyr believed he was having sex with Catelyn, and he called Lysa "Cat" before falling asleep again.
When the date of Catelyn's wedding was announced in 282 AC, Petyr challenged Brandon to a duel for her hand. Catelyn refused to give Petyr her favor when he asked, giving it to Brandon instead. She begged Brandon not to kill Petyr, and he agreed. Petyr was severely injured during the duel, and the final cut Brandon gave him was so brutal that Catelyn was convinced the younger boy would die from it. Petyr did not die, however, but was given a fortnight to recover at Riverrun before being sent away. Catelyn did not go see him during this time, nor did she say her farewells to him when he left Riverrun. After the duel, Brandon left Riverrun as well, promising her to return soon for their wedding.
Later, on his way return to Riverrun, Brandon learned about the disappearance of his sister, Lyanna Stark, and the involvement of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Furious, he rode to King's Landing, where he was arrested by King Aerys II Targaryen. When Brandon's father, Lord Rickard Stark, went to King's Landing to champion Brandon in his trial by battle, both men were executed. Shortly thereafter, Robert's Rebellion began. After Brandon had died, Petyr sent Catelyn a letter, which she burned without reading it. By then, her father had promised her hand to Brandon's younger brother, Eddard, now the Lord of Winterfell.
Marriage to Eddard Stark
Catelyn married Eddard Stark after the rebels won the Battle of the Bells, without ever having seen him before their wedding day. She married Eddard in the same ceremony as her sister Lysa married the elder Lord Jon Arryn. Eddard and Jon played key roles in the rebellion, and a fortnight after the wedding both men rode off to war again. Catelyn remained at Riverrun, spending the first year of her marriage separated from her husband. However, Catelyn had conceived a child during their wedding night, and she gave birth to Robb in 283 AC at Riverrun, nine months after her wedding, with the assistance of Maester Luwin.
After the war had ended, Catelyn and young Robb travelled to Winterfell, where she was displeased to discover that Eddard's bastard son, Jon Snow, had already been set up in the castle. While Catelyn had always been aware that men fathered bastards, and had not been surprised to learn of Jon's existence, Jon arriving at Winterfell before Catelyn and Robb had hurt her feelings. Eddard's insistence on raising the boy at Winterfell and his refusal to identify the boy's mother caused frictions between them, leaving Catelyn jealous and angry. Catelyn concluded that Eddard must have loved Jon's mother deeply, and she heard rumors at Winterfell about Ashara Dayne from Dorne. However, when she finally had gathered enough courage to ask her husband about the Dornishwoman, Eddard demanded to learn where the rumor had come from. Ashara's name was never mentioned in Winterfell again, and Catelyn remembers the night as "the only time in all their years that Ned had ever frightened her". Catelyn has never trusted Jon, fearing that the bastard's children might contest her grandchildren's inheritance. Because of her, Jon has always felt like an outsider.
On Eddard's part, the knowledge that Catelyn had actually been his brother Brandon's bride created a rift in their marriage. Despite these issues, however, Catelyn and Eddard grew to deeply love each other over the years. They had four more children—Sansa (b. 286 AC), Arya (b. 289 AC), Bran (b. 290 AC), and Rickon (b. 295 AC)—all delivered by Luwin.
As the Lady of Winterfell, Catelyn became familiar with the lords of the north, and she once comforted a fellow southron, Lady Lynesse Hightower, by telling her how she had once felt out of place in the north, but had come to love it all the same. Eddard had a sept built at Winterfell for Catelyn, so she could pray to her own gods.
A Game of Thrones
After the arrival of the royal party at Winterfell, Catelyn receives a letter from her sister Lysa, stating that the Lannisters had killed her husband, Lord Jon Arryn, the late Hand of the King. This puts the Starks on guard, as Eddard has just been offered the position of Hand by his friend, King Robert I Baratheon. Catelyn pushes Ned to accept the offer along with a betrothal that would make Sansa queen one day. Despite misgivings about going to King's Landing, Ned accepts.
When Bran is left in a coma having apparently fallen while climbing the First Keep, Catelyn stays by his side for eight days, ignoring her own affairs and those of Winterfell. On the eighth night, she is attacked by an assassin who had come for Bran. During the ensuing struggle she grabs the blade of his knife, causing deep lacerations to her palms, before Bran's direwolf attacks and kills him. After recovering, Catelyn travels to King's Landing along with Ser Rodrik Cassel to inform Eddard, sailing on the Storm Dancer. Despite having travelled in secret they are met by guards upon their arrival, and are taken to a brothel owned by Lord Petyr Baelish, Catelyn's childhood friend, who tells her that the Valyrian steel dagger used in the attack belonged to Tyrion Lannister.
On their way back to Winterfell, still travelling in secret, they encounter Tyrion at the inn at the crossroads. He recognizes her, exposing her identity to those present, which includes men-at-arms in service to bannermen of House Tully. Catelyn successfully appeals to them to detain Tyrion for conspiring to murder her son, and assist her in returning him to Winterfell to await justice. Despite Catelyn announcing her intention to take him to Winterfell, their party instead makes its way to the Eyrie for trial. During the journey they come under attack by clansmen on the high road in the Mountains of the Moon. Tyrion successfully persuades Catelyn to allow her captives to take up arms, and goes on to save her during the skirmish. At the Eyrie, Tyrion is thrown into a sky cell, but escapes execution by convincing a sellsword to fight in a trial by combat. Meanwhile, the arrest had become a catalyst for the war that followed, as Tywin Lannister orders Ser Gregor Clegane and other raiders to attack the riverlands in retribution.
Her son Robb having marched south with his father's bannermen in response to Eddard's arrest in King's Landing, Catelyn joins House Manderly's levies at White Harbor and meets the northern host in the field at Moat Cailin. She is accompanied by her uncle, Ser Brynden Tully, who had left his service to House Arryn, disgusted by Lysa's refusal to help against the Lannisters. When Robb is about to place Lord Greatjon Umber in command of the infantry force sent to engage Tywin Lannister, Catelyn is able to convince him to appoint Lord Roose Bolton, a man of cold calculation. Robb wants Catelyn to return to the north, but she stays with the army in order to see her dying father, Lord Hoster Tully.
When the army finds it necessary to cross the Green Fork, the delicate task of negotiating with Lord Walder Frey falls to Catelyn. She negotiates passage and an alliance with House Frey by promising, among other things, Robb's hand in marriage to one of Walder's daughter and Arya's hand to Walder's son Elmar. Cat is present for Robb's victory at the battle in the Whispering Wood, where her guard is commanded by Hallis Mollen.
After the news of Eddard's execution by order of King Joffrey I Baratheon, Catelyn is filled with grief but maintains composure for the sake of her son. During the war council at Riverrun after the Battle of the Camps, Catelyn argues for peace with the south so that Sansa and Arya might be more easily brought to safety. Robb and the assembled lords make clear their desire to continue the war, with the Greatjon declaring Robb the first King in the North in three centuries.
A Clash of Kings
Catelyn advises against Robb's plan to send Eddard's ward, Theon Greyjoy, on a diplomatic mission to offer terms of an alliance with his father, Lord Balon Greyjoy, as she does not trust either. With Robb south of the Neck, House Greyjoy ends up invading the north and Balon declares himself King of the Isles and the North.
It is Catelyn's idea to attempt to ally with Renly Baratheon, who has a massive host, but she wishes to remain with Robb. When he threatens to send the boisterous Greatjon as his envoy, Catelyn relents and goes herself, accepting the fact that her son was becoming a man. She travels south to Bitterbridge to meet King Renly's host, where she finds him hosting a great melee. When news arrives that Renly's brother Stannis is laying siege to Storm's End, the seat of House Baratheon, Catelyn rides with Renly and part of his host.
Catelyn is present for the inconclusive parley between the two brothers outside Storm's End, and she witnesses Renly's murder later that night by a mysterious creature of shadow. Brienne of Tarth, one of Renly's Rainbow Guard, is the only other person present, so the pair flee in the knowledge that they would be blamed for the murder. They journey to Riverrun, and on the way Catelyn takes Brienne into her service.
Catelyn disapproves of the admittance of smallfolk into Riverrun by her brother, Ser Edmure Tully. When silent sisters bring the bones of Eddard Stark to Riverrun, Catelyn tasks Hallis Mollen with returning them to Winterfell. She and Brienne remain within the castle during the Battle of the Fords.
Upon hearing of her two youngest sons' supposed murders at the hand of Theon following his capture of Winterfell, Catelyn meets with the imprisoned Ser Jaime Lannister. The Kingslayer admits to having thrown Bran from the First Keep but insists he did not send the catspaw to attack the comatose boy.
A Storm of Swords
Catelyn frees Jaime in a covert attempt to exchange him for her daughters Sansa and Arya, believed to be captives at King's Landing. Cat sends Brienne as Jaime's escort and Ser Cleos Frey as an envoy.
Catelyn is placed under house arrest at Riverrun by Ser Desmond Grell and by Edmure once her brother returns from battle. After returning from the westerlands, Robb's bannermen are cool toward Catelyn because of her release of Jaime, and Lord Rickard Karstark is especially outraged at having been denied vengeance for Jaime having slain two of his sons, Eddard and Torrhen. Robb forgives his mother after he tells her of his wedding to Jeyne Westerling after the storming of the Crag. Rickard later murders two of Robb's prisoners, Willem Lannister and Tion Frey, leading to his own beheading by the King in the North.
While traveling to the Twins for Edmure's marriage with Roslin Frey, Catelyn objects to Robb's intention to name Jon Snow his heir. Against her wishes, Robb intends to have Catelyn remain at Seagard under the protection of Lord Jason Mallister for the remainder of the war.
Catelyn attends Edmure's wedding at the Twins, sitting between Ser Ryman Frey and Lord Roose Bolton during the feast. However, the Freys and Boltons betray the Starks in an act of treachery that becomes known as the Red Wedding. In a desperate attempt to save her son's life, Catelyn seizes Lord Walder Frey's lackwit grandson, Aegon, and tries to trade his life for Robb's. When Robb is killed by Roose, Catelyn saws through Aegon's throat with a knife. Walder had planned to take Catelyn hostage, but the maddened woman claws her own face and Ser Raymund Frey is allowed to slit her throat. The Freys dump her body naked into the Green Fork, a mockery of House Tully's funeral customs, after Catelyn has been dead for a day and a night.
Three days after her death, Catelyn's corpse is retrieved from the Green Fork by Arya Stark's direwolf, Nymeria, who runs away when humans approach. Catelyn is resurrected by Lord Beric Dondarrion, who gives his life for hers through the last kiss. Catelyn's wounds only partially heal, however, leaving her mutilated and without the ability to speak. Consumed with the desire for vengeance over her family's betrayal and murder, she assumes command of Beric's outlaw band, the brotherhood without banners, and leads them in mercilessly pursuing and executing everyone she considers a Lannister collaborator, among them Petyr and Merrett Frey at Oldstones.
A Feast for Crows
A cloaked and hooded woman is spoken of in the vicinity of Fairmarket and Hag's Mire. There are also tales of a woman called Stoneheart leading a band of outlaws different from Beric's brotherhood. According to one story, she was hanged by Freys but revived by Beric, and now the two lovers cannot die. The mysterious woman is also known as the Silent Sister, Mother Merciless and the Hangwoman.
While leading the brotherhood, Stoneheart's outlaws come upon a small party led by Brienne of Tarth, who insists she is searching for Sansa at the behest of Jaime Lannister. Thoros reveals to Brienne that Beric's brotherhood has been broken. Using a young northman as her interpreter, Stoneheart says that Brienne has turned traitor, as she carries Oathkeeper, a Lannister sword forged from the Stark Valyrian steel blade, Ice. Brienne swears she is still faithful but Stoneheart insists she must prove it by killing Jaime. Brienne refuses, stating that Jaime has changed. Stoneheart says she must choose, either kill Jaime or be hanged. Brienne refuses to choose. Just before she, Hyle Hunt and Podrick Payne are to be executed, however, Brienne shouts out a word.
A Dance with Dragons
After Theon Greyjoy returns to Winterfell for the wedding of Ramsay Bolton and "Arya Stark", Catelyn's ruined sept is among the places he visits. Within the castle crypts, Lady Barbrey Dustin recollects to Theon that her one-time lover, Brandon Stark, had not wanted to wed Catelyn. Barbrey had also hoped to wed Eddard Stark after Brandon died, but Ned instead married Catelyn during Robert's Rebellion. Barbrey intends to prevent Hallis Mollen from returning Ned's bones to Winterfell.
- See also: Images of Lady Stoneheart
Death has changed Catelyn. Stoneheart is less gracious and forgiving than in life and is consumed with a desire for vengeance on anyone she thinks betrayed her and her son, Robb. She hangs any men associated with the Freys, Boltons, or Lannisters, even if they had nothing to do with the "Red Wedding" or if they are boys, as is the case of Podrick Payne. Her appearance has been altered as well, with her flesh becoming soft and the color of curdled milk due to her corpse being submerged in river water for days. Half of her hair is gone and the rest is white and brittle. In addition, her wounds have not healed with her face covered in scratch marks and her throat still slit open. To speak she must cover the wound on her throat; even then she is difficult to understand.
Quotes by Catelyn
My son lies here broken and dying, Luwin, and you wish to discuss a new master of horse? Do you think I care what happens in the stables? Do you think it matters to me one whit? I would gladly butcher every horse in Winterfell with my own hands if it would open Bran's eyes, do you understand that? Do you?
—Catelyn and Brynden Tully
—Catelyn, to Robb Stark
If I must trade our four Lannisters for their two Starks, I will call that a bargain and thank the gods. I want you safe, Robb, ruling at Winterfell from your father's seat. I want you to live your life, to kiss a girl and wed a woman and father a son. I want to write an end to this. I want to go home, my lords, and weep for my husband.—Catelyn, to Robb Stark and his council
I want to weep, she thought. I want to be comforted. I'm so tired of being strong. I want to be foolish and frightened for once. Just for a small while, that's all ... a day ... an hour.—Catelyn's thoughts
It is a monstrous cruel thing to lose a child.—Catelyn to herself
Wars need not be fought until the last drop of blood.—Catelyn to Robb Stark
Catelyn: On my honor as a Tully, on my honor as a Stark, I will trade your boy's life for Robb's. A son for a son.
Walder: A son for a son, heh. But that's a grandson ... and he never was much use.—Catelyn and Walder Frey
Quotes about Catelyn
All his life Tyrion had prided himself on his cunning, the only gift the gods had seen fit to give him, yet this seven-times-damned she-wolf Catelyn Stark had outwitted him at every turn. The knowledge was more galling than the bare fact of his abduction.—Tyrion Lannister's thoughts
Catelyn Stark might take a man prisoner, but she'd never stoop to rob him. That wouldn't be honorable.
You have courage. Not battle courage perhaps but ... I don't know ... a kind of woman's courage.—Brienne of Tarth to Catelyn
Quotes about Lady Stoneheart
She don't speak. You bloody bastards cut her throat too deep for that. But she remembers.
Her cloak and collar hid the gash his brother’s blade had made, but her face was even worse than he remembered. The flesh had gone pudding soft in the water and turned the color of curdled milk. Half her hair was gone and the rest had turned as white and brittle as a crone’s. Beneath her ravaged scalp, her face was shredded skin and black blood where she had raked herself with her nails. But her eyes were the most terrible thing. Her eyes saw him, and they hated.—Merrett Frey's thoughts
And there's this other band, led by this woman Stoneheart... Lord Beric's lover, according to one tale. Supposedly she was hanged by the Freys, but Dondarrion kissed her and brought her back to life, and now she cannot die, no more than he.
The Freys slashed her throat from ear to ear. When we found her by the river she was three days dead. Harwin begged me to give her the kiss of life, but it had been too long. I would not do it, so Lord Beric put his lips to hers instead, and the flame of life passed from him to her. And... she rose. May the Lord of Light protect us. She rose.
|House Stark||House Arryn|
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 18, Catelyn IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 42, Brienne VIII.
- See the Catelyn Tully calculation.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Catelyn Tully.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 33, Catelyn IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 71, Catelyn XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 55, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 1, Bran I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 10, Jon II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 14, Catelyn III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 63, Catelyn X.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 14, Catelyn II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 79, Jon XII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 44, Jaime VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7, Arya I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 39, Catelyn V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 38, Tyrion V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 28, Catelyn V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 22, Catelyn II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 45, Catelyn VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 31, Tyrion IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 38, Jaime VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 49, Catelyn VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 19, Arya V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
- George R. R. Martin's A World of Ice and Fire, Petyr Baelish.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 80, Sansa VII.
- See the Petyr Baelish's duel against Brandon Stark
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- See the calculations for Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, and Rickon Stark
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 43, Eddard XI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 31, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 35, Catelyn IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 53, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 58, Tyrion VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Epilogue.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 65, Arya XII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 37, The Prince of Winterfell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 46, A Ghost in Winterfell.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 41, The Turncloak.