11 Clues That 'Game Of Thrones' Was Planning To Turn Lady Stonehart Into Lord Stoneheart All Along

It might be a bit of an understatement to say that Game of Thrones Season 6 is an emotional roller coaster. While the stakes are still high for the huge cast of characters, the Starks continue to be the punching bag of the kingdom. The reunion of Jon and Sansa may have been a bright spot for the family, but there's still a long road ahead. When will the fandom be able to breathe a sigh of relief on their behalf? The current Stark sitch is grim. Jon and Sansa are gearing up for a major battle to reclaim Winterfell, Arya is literally fighting for her life and way out in Braavos, Bran is still chilling with Uncle Benjen and Meera, and poor baby brother Rickon is being held prisoner in Winterfell by the evil Ramsay Bolton. The odds still feel a bit insurmountable, right?

Which leaves me wondering (despite all the signs that point toward a big "Nope") whether there is any chance of Robb or Catelyn Stark coming back from the dead. Well, let me clarify: I truly hope that Robb Stark will be coming back from the dead. The opportunities are there. The need for a leader with the Stark name who can gather supporters is so high. Even if the Lady Stoneheart plotline (aka a resurrected Catelyn Stark, out for revenge) isn't happening, as the producers have so often reminded us, I have to wonder ... Has Game of Thrones been hinting at a Lord Stoneheart plotline (aka a resurrected Robb Stark out for revenge) for a while now? It's possible.

1. Bran's Warging Ability Could Be A Key

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In "The Door," we saw definitive proof that Bran can influence the past. This could signal an opportunity to perhaps reverse Robb's fate and allow him to return from the dead. If Bran has the means to find out the fate of his brother, wouldn't he be compelled to find a way to bring him back to life to save the Starks?

2. The Undead Have Risen Before

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If the White Walkers are any proof, GoT is very comfortable dipping its toe into zombie territory. Lady Stoneheart is essentially a vengeful zombie in the books, further adding proof that a Lord Stoneheart could rise up in GoT.

3. Richard Madden's IMDb Page Is Mysteriously Low-Key

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Alright, I know this is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out: Madden's star power is undeniable. He's been cast in a number of hot flicks post-GoT, including Cinderella. So unless he has taken a long sabbatical, there's reason to believe his IMDb could be failing to mention his return to a certain HBO fantasy show as a means of protecting the plot. It happened with Kit Harington; it could happen with him.

4. Madden Also Spoke About Returning

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It wasn't too long ago that Madden was getting as candid as possible about a return to GoT. When asked in an interview whether he would be up for appearing in a flashback, he took a heart-stoppingly long pause before answering: "I don't know. I've kind of put Game of Thrones to rest ... But, you know, never say never."

5. Outlaws Give Rise To Action

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There's been some majorly hyped curiosity about whether the Brotherhood Without Banners would be making an appearance this season. Thanks to a casting notice posted by Watchers on the Wall calling for a few outlaws for two episodes of Season 6, the primary function of the Brotherhood, and the fact that Season 6 is operating separately from the books, there could still be one Stark getting revived.

6. Robb Could Be The Key To Avenging The Stark Misfortunes

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Lady Lyanna Mormont brought up a salient point when she demanded to know why she and her men should follow Jon and Sansa into battle. Mormont's chief hangup was that the Stark name, presented in the form of Jon and Sansa, didn't carry much weight. Robb Stark, both fortunately and unfortunately, would give some assurance to other leaders when asking to build an army, not only because he is a legitimate Stark, but also because he is a man (I know, I know, but men are just more likely to earn trust in GoT). If this means getting the army together quickly to take down Ramsay, then let's get this Lord Stoneheart theory going.

7. Nobody Keeps A Secret Like GoT Keeps A Secret

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Please refer back to the year-long discussion around whether Jon Snow was dead or not to bring you up to speed on how much GoT likes to manipulate us. Whether or not Robb could seriously return in some form is still totally up for discussion based on #Snowgate.

8. The Return Of Walder Frey

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We've already caught glimpses of Walder Frey in Season 6. If Lord Stoneheart is an undead avenger, it would make sense that his first mission would be to destroy the man who was responsible for his death and the deaths of his wife and mother.

9. Riverrun Is A Special Place For The Starks

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The army gathering at Riverrun could be where we not only see the Brotherhood Without Banners, but also where we see the appearance of Lord Stoneheart. Riverrun is the seat of the House of Tully, better known as the place where Catelyn Stark (née Tully) grew up. Given the amount of magic that would be needed to bring back Robb from the dead, it's reasonable to believe the Brotherhood could find a way into the castle to find family heirlooms to help their mission along. In addition, the Freys have a presence at Riverrun, meaning it's a ripe location for Lord Stoneheart to appear and exact vengeance.

10. Robb Deserves To Take Down Ramsay

If there was every one person who totally deserves to have a crack at Ramsay, it's Robb. As the eldest Stark, the honor of reclaiming Winterfell should be given to the son who has fought the hardest to get back home. It's undeniable that Ramsay will get his comeuppance; Robb as Stoneheart should do the honors.

11. The Show Is No Longer Following The Books

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This by no means an instant pass for GoT, but we do need to seriously factor in Season 6's complete separation from the books when discussing what directions the characters could take. Yes, Lady Stoneheart is in the books. No, Robb doesn't come back from the dead in the books. But playing by the rules of the books is out the window. It's very possible Lord Stoneheart is on the table if the writers truly want to flip the script.

The biggest fly in the ointment for Robb returning as Lord Stoneheart is that he was, well, beheaded ... and then his direwolf's head was attached to his body and paraded about. So his body may no longer be the right vessel to be resurrected in. There's no precedent on GoT that allows for a headless character to return from the dead. If that were the case, we'd have a reason to clamor for Eddard Stark's return. In spite of this, I still think that the Lord Stoneheart theory has legs. There are more clues pointing to this possibility than were present for Jon Snow's return, and we all know how that turned out. Call me crazy, but I'm really ready for the impossible to happen, and for the Starks to return to their former glory.

Images: HBO; Giphy (11)