The Importance of Catelyn Stark

From the beginning of the first book, I knew Catelyn Stark was a good person (and a good mother, of course, although I still think she could be nicer to Jon Snow). Maybe liking House Stark was my default mode because they’re the protagonists.

However, like Bran, I didn’t realize what Catelyn Stark represented for me personally until I watched the show. I was watching Season 2, Episode 6, “The Old Gods and the New” the other day, in which Catelyn finally arrives back at Robb’s camp, presumably with news from Renly.

She calls Robb’s name, and before he could even turn around to respond, I squealed “Mom!” out loud. Softly, of course, but I’m still surprised my own mother didn’t hear.

I wasn’t sure what to make of my reaction at first, and it messed with me for days. It wasn’t like I was super invested in the familial relationships in Game of Thrones before. But maybe I was, at least subconsciously.

Because a few days later, the reason for my reaction came to me: Catelyn Stark respects her son’s decisions. She may not always like them, but she doesn’t complain or try to change his mind. She doesn’t undermine her king.

Not everyone is as lucky as Robb Stark. Some of us, unfortunately, have parents who think that their way is the best way to do things, which inevitably makes us doubt ourselves. Or they interrogate us with what seems like a million questions about the most random things. We’re not allowed to make mistakes because they’re afraid our mistakes will make them look like bad parents.

I really hope people as fortunate as Robb know how good they have it.

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