Catelyn Tully

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Catelyn Tully
House Stark.PNG
Catelyn by aniaem.jpg
Artwork by Anja Dalisa©

Alias Cat
Lady Stoneheart
The Silent Sister
Mother Merciless
The Hangwoman
Title Lady of Winterfell
Allegiance House Stark
House Tully
Brotherhood Without Banners
Culture Riverlands
Born In 264 AC, at Riverrun
Died In 299 AC, at the Twins
Spouse Eddard Stark
Book(s) A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows

Played by Michelle Fairley
TV series Season 1 | Season 2
Catelyn Tully by Amoka©

Catelyn Tully is the wife of Lord Eddard Stark and Lady of Winterfell. Together they have five children: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Catelyn was born into House Tully of Riverrun, Lords Paramount of the Riverlands. She is the daughter of Lord Hoster Tully and Minisa Whent, and her siblings are Edmure and Lysa. She is a major POV Character in the books.

Appearance and Character

Catelyn is proud, strong, kind and generous, She loves her five children very much. She is seen as honorable and upright by acquaintances, holding duty over desire as a governing principle of behavior. She has a deep love for family and a strong faith in the Seven. However, she regards the bastard Jon Snow as an outsider to her family, and has never forgiven Eddard for bringing him into her household.

She is described as beautiful, with auburn hair, blue eyes, and long fingers.


Catelyn Tully by Wouter Bruneel.

Catelyn grew up in Riverrun, where she befriended her father's ward, Petyr Baelish of the Fingers, a small region in the Vale of Arryn. He fell in love with Catelyn, who in turn loved him as a brother, but no more. When she was twelve, it was announced that she was betrothed to Brandon Stark, heir of Winterfell. Upon hearing this news, Petyr challenged Brandon to a duel for her hand. Brandon won handily, but spared Baelish's life in compliance with Catelyn's pleas. Catelyn did not speak to him after he was sent back to the Fingers and burned the single letter Petyr sent after Brandon's death without reading it.

Despite loving and being betrothed to Brandon, she ended up marrying his younger brother, Eddard, after Brandon was killed by the Mad King and her father sought to continue the alliance during Robert's Rebellion. In time, she came to love Eddard as well.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

After the arrival of the royal party at Winterfell, Catelyn received a letter from her sister Lysa, stating that the Lannisters had killed her husband Jon Arryn, the late Hand of the King. This put the Starks on guard, for her husband had just been offered the position of Hand by his friend the king, Robert I. Catelyn pushed Ned to accept the offer along with a betrothal that would make Sansa queen one day. Despite misgivings about going to the capitol, Ned eventually accepted.

When Bran fell comatose after apparently falling while climbing one of Winterfell's keeps, Catelyn stayed by his side for eight days, ignoring her own affairs and those of Winterfell. On the eighth night, she was attacked by an assassin who had come for Bran. During the struggle, the man injured her hand before being killed by Bran's direwolf.[1] After recovering, Catelyn traveled to King's Landing along with Ser Rodrik Cassel to inform Eddard, sailing on a ship called Storm Dancer. There, her childhood companion Petyr Baelish met her in one of his brothels and told her that the dagger used in the attack belonged to Tyrion Lannister.[2]

On her way back to Winterfell, she encountered and arrested Tyrion at the Inn at the Crossroads, imploring her father's bannermen to help her bring him to justice.[3] Despite announcing her intentions taking him to Winterfell, she instead went to her sister at the Eyrie for trial, making the ascent after coming under attack by clansmen on the High Road in the Mountains of the Moon.[4] At the Eyrie, Tyrion was thrown in the Sky Cells, but escaped execution by convincing a sellsword to fight in a trial by combat.[5] Meanwhile, the arrest had become a linchpin of the war that followed, as Tywin Lannister ordered 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 Lord Eddard's arrest in King's Landing, she met up with House Manderly's levies and met the northern host in the field at Moat Cailin, accompanied by her uncle Ser Brynden Tully, who had quit his service to House Arryn, disgusted by Lysa's refusal to help against the Lannisters. When Robb is about to place Greatjon Umber in command of the infantry force sent to engage Tywin Lannister, Catelyn is able to convince him to appoint a man of cold calculation: Roose Bolton. Robb wants Cat to return to The North, but she stays with the army to see her dying father.[6] When the army found it necessary to cross the Trident, Cat took the delicate task of negotiating with Lord Walder Frey, gaining passage by promising (among other things) Robb's hand in marriage to one of the many women of House Frey.[7] She observed his victory at the Battle of the Whispering Wood, where her guard was commanded by Hallis Mollen.[8] After the news of Eddard's execution by order of King Joffrey, Catelyn was filled with grief but put on a strong front for the sake of her son. During the war council at Riverrun, Catelyn argued for peace with the south so that Sansa and Arya might be more easily brought to safety, but Robb and the assembled lords made clear their desire to continue the war, with the Greatjon declaring Robb the first King in the North in three centuries. [9]

A Clash of Kings

Catelyn advised against Robb's plan to send Eddard's ward, Theon Greyjoy, on a diplomatic mission to forge an alliance with his father, as she did not trust either. It was Catelyn's idea to attempt to ally with Renly Baratheon and his massive Reach-Stormlands host, but she wished to remain with Robb. When he threatened to send the boisterous Greatjon as his envoy, Catelyn relented and went herself, accepting the fact that her son was becoming a man. She traveled south to Bitterbridge to meet King Renly's host, where she found him hosting a tourney. With Catelyn in tow, Renly rode to Storm's End when he heard his brother Stannis was threatening the Baratheon seat. Catelyn was present for the inconclusive parley between the two rival brothers, and witnessed Renly's murder later that night by a creature of shadow. She took Brienne of Tarth, one of Renly's Rainbow Guard, into her service as they fled the scene. Upon hearing of her younger sons' supposed murder at the hand of the turncloak Theon Greyjoy, she freed Robb's hostage Jaime Lannister in a covert attempt to exchange him for her daughters, captives at King's Landing.

A Storm of Swords

Her brother Edmure places Catelyn under house arrest at Riverrun, but Robb pardons her after he tells of his wedding to Jeyne Westerling. She attends Edmure's wedding at the Twins. Despite her wariness throughout the ceremony, she, Robb, and many of Robb's men are murdered by members of House Frey, an act of treachery that became known as the "Red Wedding". In a mad attempt to save her son's life, she took and executed the lackwit hostage Aegon Frey, but nonetheless had her throat slashed by Raymund Frey.[10] Three days later she was resurrected by Lord Beric Dondarrion, who gave his life for hers. Catelyn's wounds only partially healed, leaving her mutilated and without the ability to speak. She became consumed with the desire for vengeance over her family's betrayal and murder. She took the name "Lady Stoneheart" and assumed command of Dondarrion's outlaw band, the Brotherhood Without Banners. She led the Brotherhood to mercilessly pursuing and executing everyone she perceived to be a traitor, including Petyr and Merrett Frey.[11]

A Feast for Crows

While leading the Brotherhood, she comes upon a small party led by Brienne. Brienne informs her that she is searching for Sansa at the behest of Jaime Lannister. Stoneheart is convinced that Brienne has turned traitor, since 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, kill Jaime or be hanged. Brienne, who is falling in love with Jaime, refuses to choose. Just before she is executed however, she seems to have a change of heart and shouts out a word.

Lady Stoneheart

Lady Stoneheart by Indabitubil©

It seems that death has changed Catelyn. She 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 to the Freys, Boltons, or Lannisters, even if they had nothing to do with the "Red Wedding" or if they are boys, as was 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 in the water for days. Half of her hair is gone and the rest is white and brittle. Also, 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 and even then she is difficult to understand.


Lord Tully
2 sons[12]
House Stark
House Arryn

References and Notes