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Catelyn Stark: Mother on a Mission


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#1

kieran555

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 1:58 AM

Note: All bookwalkers take care not to spoil the unsullied.

From Larapu2000 in the general Stark thread:

Why doesn't Lady Catherine get her own thread? Girl has got it going ON. She fends off a knife attack WITH HER BARE HANDS, she conducts a CSI investigation into her son's fall, she gets in and out of King's Landing without getting killed, she rallies about 500 men at a TAVERN to arrest Tyrion Lannister, her teenage son takes her advice, and she would totally kick Cersei's (sp?) ass in a cage match.

Not to mention the fact that she landed the smoking hot Ned (rowr, Sean Bean) and satisfied him enough in the bedroom to have 5 children.

Put this broad on the throne. I'd swear my fealty.

Your logic is unassailable, Cat does deserve her own thread.

I wasn't sure about the actress at first, but she's played Cat with some real steel. I can easily see her being a worthy and equal partner to a man like Ned Stark, and she's had a lot to deal with in the first season. A crazy sister, a captured husband and daughters, a crippled son, eldest son becoming a warrior, the list goes on.

I do think her hasty reaction to seize Tyrion was a biiiiiig mistake, one which was the spark that lit things off for the coming civil war, but I've come to respect her strength and appreciate the performance.

P.S I thought for literally five minutes but couldn't think of an appropriate pithy sentence for the subtitle(It's too early). Post suggestions for a new one below!

Edited by kieran555, Jun 14, 2011 @ 3:02 AM.

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#2

fallingfortruth

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 8:52 AM

I kind of think "Family, Duty, Honor, Kicking Ass" has a certain ring to it.
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#3

larapu2000

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 9:09 AM

Ooh, thank you!!! I love her. She's kind of a bitch to Jon Snow, but I don't think seizing Tyrion was stupid. Her criminal investigation had led her to that conclusion, false or not. She was right that it was a Lannister, albeit the wrong ones.
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#4

Elehop

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 10:33 AM

Cat squeezing the knife HARDER with her palms to stop the assassin reaching Bran is so brave and painful I have difficulty watching it.

It is definitely the most badass deed on the show so far.

Oh, and I loved her, "I did. Loudly and often," trick that fooled Tyrion. We can see where Robb learned his subterfuge!
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#5

emjay1116

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 12:32 PM

Despite what a bitch she is to Jon (which, yeah yeah I understand. In that time and place, you certainly can't expect her to happily welcome her husband's bastard into her new family with a big smile. But I do think that after Jon showed he was such a good young man and loved her children so much and looked out for them that she could have realized he was innocent -- kid didn't ask to be born a bastard -- and at least learned to silently tolerate him or something), I think I still love her. She's flawed in the way she treats Jon, sure, but over all she's tough as hell. She's definitely very steely. And fighting off an assassin by grabbing his knife with your hands? Ridiculously bad ass. She's definitely a mama bear, and you're freaking stupid if you mess with her family.
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#6

fuzzybear

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 3:06 PM

I love how much the actresses playing Catelyn and Lysa look like each other. Every time they're in a scene together I always think "Damn, that's just what Cate's gonna look like when she goes a little bit crazier!"

I go back and forth on Cate. A lot of the time I hate her without even knowing why (seriously, it's visceral), but she's also pretty bad ass. I have to give it up to the actress. Anyone that can create a character that I spend so much time trying to analyze my feeling for has some chops.
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#7

LargeRedHerring

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 3:07 PM

One thing about her seizing Tyrion that I think no one has mentioned is that in a medieval society, those who are physically deformed would often be assumed to be mentally deranged and/or morally bereft, as their physical appearance is thought to be a punishment bestowed upon them by the gods, so with that mindset it might not have been a huge leap for her to think that Tyrion tried to kill her son once she learned that the dagger belonged to him. He is a dwarf and a Lannister, and therefore untrustworthy by default, and with her mama bear instincts on full throttle, she probably was anxious for someone to pay for hurting her son.

Although wasn't the hair that she found really long? I mean, it was practically longer than Tyrion is tall.
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#8

larapu2000

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 3:20 PM

The hair just confirmed the Lannister suspicion, I though. She probably thought that Tyrion was involved somehow to protect his brother/sister. I've never blamed her or thought she was doing wrong by arresting Tyrion. If all the evidence indicated he was the one, wouldn't you bring that guy to justice? And technically, it's not her fault Ned died. It's Cersei and Jaime's fault for banging each other in the first place.
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#9

Grom

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 4:19 PM

I loved the scene where Cat was trying to stifle her tears as Robb returned from battle. I don't like how she treats Jon but that scene was really sweet.
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#10

Elli DC

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 6:40 PM

Yea, I definitely think she has Favorite Child Syndrome when it comes to Robb. They've had such good interactions with each other, but I think my favorite by far is when Robb goes off to war. She shows up and recognizes that it's show and she can't coddle him in front of the other lords, but he still is her son and she can give him advice, and trust that he'll listen to it.

My other favorite scene is almost the exact reverse of what I just typed, when she was mourning Bran's injury/coma, Robb just walks in to snap her out of her funk. I bet he was the only one capable of doing that.

But yea, Cat is pretty awesome, and I hope that she gets to keep doing awesome things in the second season. I'm dreading her reaction to hearing about Ned's death, because you can't deny they had a real love and strong connection to each other. It will be sad.
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#11

anothermi

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 6:44 PM

P.S I thought for literally five minutes but couldn't think of an appropriate pithy sentence for the subtitle(It's too early). Post suggestions for a new one below!

Thanks for starting Cat's thread kieran555. I had been mulling over Catelyn thread titles for a while now. My best effort is:

Catelyn Stark: Like a Fish...in Wolf's Clothing

Grom, I agree that scene waiting for Robb to return was very affecting.
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#12

Pallas429

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 8:57 PM

Way back on the Unspoiled Speculation thread, after Cat seized the knife for her son, stillshimpy noted that Catelyn's strengths are exactly her flaws: steeliness, verve, conviction. I agree, and wonder if some of the reaction against her is a by-blow of how very much she is a strong mother of teen-aged children.

Catelyn is still very much in the picture -- still a force, and a force demanding to be reckoned with -- at a time when young people want their parents to get the hell out of their way. She is still protective not only of them, but of her own role and dignity, and is in no way taking a back seat to them or to their emerging stories (read, sexuality, among other things). She is herself still vital, passionate, opinonated, dynamic. And there is absolutely nothing left of a "little girl" about her, to deflect the impact. Yes, she is very adeptly tactful with Robb, the commander, but that is another strength that shows both her vision and her will: it's almost as likely to provoke as to disarm.

Throw in her not being a kind step-mother, and I can see why many modern viewers or readers find her raising their hackles.

How about, Lady Stark: Runs With the Wolves
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#13

halfwaygone

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Posted Jun 14, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

Yea, I definitely think she has Favorite Child Syndrome when it comes to Robb.


I always thought Sansa would be her favorite child. The girly girl. Though Robb was her first baby, so I guess I could see that too. All I know is it's definitely not Rickon.
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#14

larapu2000

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Posted Jun 15, 2011 @ 11:56 PM

Does anyone else think Catelyn slept with the bridge troll? My family has differing opinions. His lust for the 15 year makes me think he's not interested in Catelyn because she's a more mature lady, but my sister seems to think she went "undercovers" for the win. Thoughts? Am I just too thick for any amount of subtlety?
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#15

kg1982

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:03 AM

I always thought Sansa would be her favorite child. The girly girl. Though Robb was her first baby, so I guess I could see that too. All I know is it's definitely not Rickon.


I always got a sense that it was Robb. He was born while Ned was away at war, when she thought that she might never see Ned again. I got a sense that Arya is Ned's favorite, Robb is Cat's, and Rickon is just forgotten.

Does anyone else think Catelyn slept with the bridge troll?


Get image out of my head... No, I don't think so; I think that Cat helped him get rid of some of his children.
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#16

Quixotess

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 4:05 AM

larapu2000, not a chance. Catelyn loves Ned and every norm in her society forbids her from sleeping with another man, with possible huge consequences if she does. She has strong internal and external motivations to refuse. Whereas something like a marriage betrothal is entirely accepted and proper in their society. It's not even remotely like cuckolding a Great Lord like Ned. I didn't see any interest in Frey's part either, but if he did attempt to insist that Catelyn should sleep with him to cross the river, I believe she would refuse even if it meant losing the crossing, and that Robb would support her in that, and that Lord Frey would be viewed as a traitor. Trying to insist on such an impossible condition is in effect refusing to allow them to cross. Robb would probably lose the battles in that case, but he would not expect Catelyn to make a different choice.

Edited by Quixotess, Jun 16, 2011 @ 7:55 AM.

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#17

halfwaygone

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 7:58 AM

Does anyone else think Catelyn slept with the bridge troll?


Ew! No. Cat is a Lady and she's still married to the Lord of Winterfell at that point too. You don't proposition random highborn Ladies of high houses for sex in exchange for crossing a bridge, especially if they're married, even if you're creepy old Lord Frey.

Later, after she's widowed, when they have to arrange another betrothal to satisfy Lord Frey, someone suggests to Cat she marry him, and she thinks how lucky it is he has a wife at present, though!
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#18

larapu2000

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:40 PM

I got a sense that Arya is Ned's favorite, Robb is Cat's, and Rickon is just forgotten.


I'll say. I just re-watched the episode where they find the direwolves, and they say there are 5, one for each of the Stark children, and for the life of me, I thought it was a script error.

Whew. Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks she wouldn't do it with the bridge troll!
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#19

Maximum Taco

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:52 PM

I always got a sense that it was Robb. He was born while Ned was away at war, when she thought that she might never see Ned again. I got a sense that Arya is Ned's favorite, Robb is Cat's, and Rickon is just forgotten.


I always thought Catelyn favoured Bran to be honest. Maybe this is because Bran is so hurt when he wakes up with her gone. He doesn't blame Ned for leaving while he's hurt, but he expected his mom to stay with him. He's still a bit of a momma's boy.

In any case Ned seems to favour Arya, only because she's a girl who acts like a boy. He understands her but also doesn't feel the need to make her grow up hard and tough (like he does with Robb, Bran, Jon and probably eventually Rickon.)

Catelyn, like any mother, wants her boys to remain her boys, she has that feeling that Robb is growing up now, but Bran is still hers.

Of course Rickon is Rickon, and practically invisible.

Edited by Maximum Taco, Jun 16, 2011 @ 1:53 PM.

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#20

kg1982

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 2:34 PM

In any case Ned seems to favour Arya, only because she's a girl who acts like a boy. He understands her but also doesn't feel the need to make her grow up hard and tough (like he does with Robb, Bran, Jon and probably eventually Rickon.)


Good way to put it.. Ned gets to be the good guy/ neat parent and indulge Arya's fantasies without giving her the harsh realities like he has to with the boys.

Catelyn, like any mother, wants her boys to remain her boys, she has that feeling that Robb is growing up now, but Bran is still hers.


Perhaps, the fact that Robb has suddenly been forced into a position when he has had to grow up really fast has made Robb Cat's favorite. Also, there is some guilt on her part in the whole situation. Without the whole Tyrion, Crazy!Lysa situation, then Robb may not have been leading an army south.
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#21

SimplyS

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Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 6:45 PM

I'll say. I just re-watched the episode where they find the direwolves, and they say there are 5, one for each of the Stark children, and for the life of me, I thought it was a script error.


If you look really carefully you can see him standing in line next to Bran when they greet the royals.

It might be fun, once the season wraps, to play a Spot Rickon! game with the DVDs.
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#22

larapu2000

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Posted Jun 19, 2011 @ 11:40 PM

It might be fun, once the season wraps, to play a Spot Rickon! game with the DVDs.


I almost pissed myself laughing when I read the episode description on Comcast that mentioned our Rickon!

Tonight, Lady Stark beats a man in the head with a rock and quietly contains her grief and rage. Why are we bothering with Robb Stark when his mother clearly rocks?

I laughed out loud when she came across Robb beating the hell out of the tree. Not an "I see you're in pain" or anything less than what a real mother would say. "You've ruined your sword." Moms can always find a way in any situation to point out our flaws or mistakes. LOL.
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#23

pretoriantoo

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:04 PM

Catelyn, like any mother, wants her boys to remain her boys, she has that feeling that Robb is growing up now, but Bran is still hers.

I've always thought it was a byproduct of Robb's fondness for Jon Snow, Bram seems to like Jon but no more than he likes the servants of their Castle. Robb, however, treats Jon as a brother, with the evident affection that Ned kept implied and Catlyn doesn't seem to like that any more than she likes Jon.

Edited by pretoriantoo, Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:05 PM.

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#24

Reia

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 1:35 PM

I. Love. Michelle Fairley.

There's this quiet steel that just seems to radiate from her. Cat bashing Jaime in the face with that rock elicited a "Daaaaaaamn" upon my first viewing. I think the bannermen are respectful of her not only because of her status as Lady Stark, but also because her presence just seems to command respect in and of itself. To be crass, she seems like she would cut a motherfucker up, in the most regal way possible.

Just as Sansa was killing me in "Baelor" with her grief, I almost started openly crying when Cat held it together long enough to make it to the woods to grieve alone and comfort her son, and then to swear "Death to all Lannisters." I liked Cat in the books (and I'm always sad that she sometimes gets so much hatred), but she was never my favorite. In show, I'm in love. Catelyn Stark, Head Bitch In Charge.
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#25

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 2:45 PM

I've always thought it was a byproduct of Robb's fondness for Jon Snow, Bram seems to like Jon but no more than he likes the servants of their Castle. Robb, however, treats Jon as a brother, with the evident affection that Ned kept implied and Catlyn doesn't seem to like that any more than she likes Jon.


Jon and Bran are the first two we see talking together, and Jon is the one who coaches Bran on the execution AND makes the case for the direwolves Bran desperately wants to take home. They get lots of time together in the Pilot that seemed to establish them as close, and Jon was anxiously waiting for that raven.

We see gushy Stark/Snow moments with all but Sansa and Rickon (but Rickon is largely ignored), I think, in the first few episodes. Which is why I always thought Cat liked Sansa best. But I could be wrong.

And am! The books say Bran is her favorite. I just don't believe it.
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#26

Skyblade

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 4:50 PM

I think a child being like their parent doesn't cause them to favor them. Sometimes, the opposite can be true. It can aggravating to see a rawer mirror image of yourself.

I get the sense Arya and Bran are probably apples of their respective eyes by the way they talk to Ned and Cat. Which is "I'm going to totally do this and you know I'm totally going to do this." Bran obviously has a good relationship with his father, but even then he's a little intimidated by him. Not cowed like Tywin's kids get, but like Robb where he's like "Okay, he's being serious, gotta knock off the bull."

Sansa's an odd case. She's a black sheep, but in a weirdly respectable way. It's like, she's good with embroidery and royal decorum and she's totally into this marriage the king is pushing on them. In a big picture way, she's not a problem child. But Ned's really not into this, even Cat seems to have lost a taste for the royal court stuff. So they indulge her because objectively, it's also supposed to be that way. But as a person, she's probably a real headache.

Edited by Skyblade, Jun 21, 2011 @ 4:55 PM.

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#27

pretoriantoo

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Posted Jun 22, 2011 @ 1:15 PM

I've always thought it was a byproduct of Robb's fondness for Jon Snow, Bram seems to like Jon but no more than he likes the servants of their Castle. Robb, however, treats Jon as a brother, with the evident affection that Ned kept implied and Catlyn doesn't seem to like that any more than she likes Jon.

Jon and Bran are the first two we see talking together, and Jon is the one who coaches Bran on the execution AND makes the case for the direwolves Bran desperately wants to take home. They get lots of time together in the Pilot that seemed to establish them as close, and Jon was anxiously waiting for that raven.

Yet Bran seems to have more confidence with Arya, whom he chases around after she beats him at practice with the same casual manner as Robb teases Jon at the hair cut (although that could be because they're closer in age).

Most of Jon and Bran scenes in the pilot seem to me like a way to establish Catlyn is the child's mother and not Jon's, she was adamant Bran shouldn't go to the execution with the rest of them and threw a nasty look at Jon as if everything was his fault.
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#28

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Posted Jun 25, 2011 @ 1:36 PM

I agree. I think Bran is more like Ned and Arya is at her base more like Cat. That is why Ned favors Arya and Cat favors Bran. I also think of the scene where Bran was seriously pissy that his mom went off while he was in the coma and no one would tell him where she was. Like he was slight mama's boy and was shocked and seriously disappointed that his mom would leave him in his ultimate time of need. Arya/Ned is pretty obvious.

That's another reason I feel for Sansa. She is the black sheep of the family. No one understands her and no one tries to understand her. I'm sure both parents love her but, they don't know what to do with her or how to bond with her. I guess that's one of the reasons that she will prob be able to navigate and survive the situation she's stuck in. She's always prob felt alone and isolated but, now she's in a seriously dangerous situation where it will really count. She prob will never connect the dots that her father sacrificed his honor for her. Firstly, because she doesn't want to think like that because that would mean her fathers murder was her fault and second because things like that prob just never cross her mind because she's used to being kinda ignored.

As for Cat, she killed in the finale. Keep it up Cat!
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#29

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Posted Sep 6, 2011 @ 12:58 PM

I'll be the weird one and say that I don't particularly like her. I came to this conclusion when rewatching the season over the weekend. The actress is fantabulous, I'm just not very fond of the character.

The sheer stupidity of the knife is dumbfounding, not just by her but by everyone involved. An assassin using a unique and therefore easily identifiable knife is either a terrible assassin, or is trying to set someone up. Kat falling for it is one thing, though I can't believe an intelligent human being would. The fact that the two spymasters don't even consider it a possibility blows my mind. But that's neither here nor there.

I think what I don't like about her is that she's overly dramatic and doesn't stop to consider the consequences of her actions. Nor does she seem aware enough to realize when she's fucked up and seemingly makes no effort to correct an obvious mistake.

So yeah, not a big fan of her as a character.
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#30

LargeRedHerring

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Posted Sep 6, 2011 @ 10:10 PM

The sheer stupidity of the knife is dumbfounding, not just by her but by everyone involved. An assassin using a unique and therefore easily identifiable knife is either a terrible assassin, or is trying to set someone up. Kat falling for it is one thing, though I can't believe an intelligent human being would. The fact that the two spymasters don't even consider it a possibility blows my mind.


Ah, but why don't the spymasters consider it a possibility? My theory is that both Littlefinger and Varys already know what's going on at that point, or they had something to do with it.

The knife thing has always bothered me, because it just doesn't make sense. I guess we are supposed to believe that Catelyn was so desperate to blame someone that she was willing to accept Littlefinger's story about the dagger, and she was already convinced the Lannisters were guilty. And I know he's her childhood friend and all, but seriously, Littlefinger? The guy couldn't be more slimy. I think we're supposed to read Cat as not stupid, but blinded by her emotions so that she makes bad decisions. But you're right. I'd expect Littlefinger and Varys to mislead and not tell the truth but NO ONE seems to consider that there might be more going on here. So it's not just Cat, and seems to be a flaw in the plot rather than of her character.

I wouldn't call her overly dramatic, though, seeing as how someone crippled and tried to murder her child. I can understand her being upset about that and not necessarily making the best judgements in that situation. And as for realizing when she's fucked up, she did seem to have moments where she thought she might have been making a mistake but once she captured Tyrion she couldn't really go back on that decision and had to stick with it, even though her sister was obviously short of a few marbles and it was clear things weren't going to go her way.
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