Character Summary – Catelyn Stark

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Day 10 of our Character Summary Countdown is with Catelyn Tully, Lady of Winterfell.

She is the wife of Eddard Stark, and mother of 5 of Stark’s children, Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon.  She is of the House Tully of Riverrun.  She is a strong figure and regarded as honorable and dutiful.  She loves her children as a strong mother does, and is by all accounts generous, kind, and loyal.  However, her pride reveals itself strongly when it comes to Jon Snow, Eddard’s bastard son, for whom she has no care for.

Catelyn receives a letter from her sister, who is also Lord Arryn’s widow, that Lord Arryn may have been murdered by the Lannisters.  Lord Arryn was the Hand of the King, a position offered to Eddard Stark.  She doesn’t want him to take the offer, but he does anyway, leaving her behind in Winterfell to take care of Bran, who was in a coma after falling out the window of an abandoned tower.

When there is an attempt made on Bran as well as her own, being that she was there when the assassin came into the room, she suspects the Lannisters had something to do with Bran’s “accident.”  She then decides to go on a secret trip to King’s Landing to warn her husband, leaving Robb Lord of Winterfell.

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Upon arriving in King’s Landing, she is intercepted by Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and brought to his brothel for safety.  Upon conversation with Littlefinger and Varys, she is given to the assumption that Tyrion Lannister was responsible for the assassination attempt since Tyrion won the assassin’s dagger from Littlefinger a while back, or so that’s what Littlefinger says.  Because of this, she puts her trust in Littlefinger and convinces Eddard to do the same.

Catelyn travels north to encounters Tyrion Lannister at the Inn at the Crossroads and promptly has him arrested for the attempted murder.  She goes to her sister, Lysa, in the Vale to have Tyrion tried, but on their way there, Tyrion actually saves her life when they are attacked by barbarian tribesmen.

After the trial, Catelyn asks for help from her sister, but her sister, clearly unstable, refuses to help in the upcoming battle with the Lannisters.  Catelyn then leaves and meets up with Robb as he and his army are heading south towards King’s Landing.

Catelyn becomes dutiful mother to Robb after the death of Eddard and reminds Robb that must save his sisters at King’s Landing.  When they capture Jaime Lannister and his army, she confronts him about Bran’s fall, to which he admits responsibility for, but he refuses to tell her why.

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There’s something about those that are fiercely loyal to duty and family.  Sometimes they can’t see beyond themselves and refuse to acknowledge any fault.  This is how I see Catelyn.  As loving as she is to her family, sometimes her love blinds her to finding truth rather than justice.  I find her character quite annoying in this fact, especially when it comes to her disgust for Jon Snow and her swiftness to find blame in someone, anyone, for harm done to her family.  Granted, that is noble, but it’s often blinding when you can’t take in other options.  Much can be said about her trust in Littlefinger, considering it was she who convinced Eddard to trust in him, which resulted in Eddard’s imprisonment and ultimately his death.

Catelyn is played by Michelle Fairley, who it seems in recent years has had guest roles on several UK TV shows.  She also played Hermione Granger’s mother in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.  If Catelyn is supposed to be all that I’ve surmised her to be, then Michelle is doing an excellent job.  I like that she’s able to portray Catelyn’s loyalties and love to her family as well as being able to portray a harder side to her, a strong side to Catelyn. 

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