Talisa Stark is one of the few characters Game of Thrones (the TV show) created whole cloth, and while book readers have a general idea of where her story with Robb is going, even the most obsessed A Song of Ice and Fire fan can't be certain what Talisa's motivations are. One interesting theory that's arisen is that she is, in fact, a Lannister spy. Why? Let's examine this idea.
In the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Robb Stark does marry someone who's not a Frey, breaking his agreement just like on the show. But in the books his bride is a Westeros Lady named Jeyne Westerling. Their relationship is very different from Robb and Talisa's whirlwind romance, and Jeyne and Talisa have nothing in common in terms of background or personality.
Why the change? The obvious explanation is that the writers wanted a strong romance that the viewers could root for. By making Talisa an independent nurse from Volantis they essentially made her more modern, which helps justify her disregard for duty and emphasis on the importance of love. Her relationship with Robb is essentially a modern romance; ostensibly viewers should be able to get behind Robb throwing away his deal for love (how convincingly said romance was actually executed is another question).
But this is Game of Thrones. How many characters who are as smart as Talisa appears to be are also without agenda? Basically none. Combine that with the fact that Talisa first showed up as a nurse in a Lannister camp, and suddenly some questions start arising.
Consider: In Season 2, Tywin was well aware of how well Robb was doing in the battlefield. We know Tywin will do anything to win, and he definitely did have a spy in Robb's camp (per Arya discovering a letter written by said spy). Sending a woman to spy on Robb and woo him, causing him to screw up his alliance with the Freys, sounds exactly like something Tywin would do. There ever was a scene in Season 2 where Talisa joked about being a Lannister spy. Just cute banter, or a clue?
It's also worth noting that Talisa didn't just fall in love with Robb: She actively encouraged him to break off his engagement. Yes, that could merely be because she wanted to marry him and didn't give a damn who it hurt, but she could also have a more sinister motive.
This awesome video put together by a fan includes even more evidence that Talisa might not be the foreigner she claims — she does seem to be very well versed in Westeros' culture for someone who claims to know little about it. (Warning, implied book spoilers start at around 5 minutes in.)
What do you think: Could Talisa be working against Robb? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones on Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.