Jon's Direwolf In 'Game Of Thrones' Is Ready For Battle — But He's Not Going To Survive It


Game of Thrones is (probably) about to kill a bunch of your favorite characters in the Battle of Winterfell, but perhaps one lucky direwolf will make it out alive? Ghost's fate in the Game of Thrones books (as well as those of the other direwolves) hints that he may survive in the novels. However, the TV show is a totally different ball game.

George R. R. Martin may have no issues killing people in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, but the direwolves have mostly been spared. In his unfinished series, only Grey Wind (Robb's direwolf) and Lady (Sansa's direwolf) have died. Contrast that to the TV series where the only living ones are Arya's wolf Nymeria who is feral in the woods now and Jon Snow's Ghost. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss don't care about the dogs, y'all. (More realistically it's that CGI wolves are expensive, especially when you have to animate dragons too, so the show may not have been able to afford to keep them all alive.)

The books differ in another major way with regards to direwolves. Jon Snow can actually warg into Ghost in the novels, whereas, in the series, only Bran can warg. Also, in the books, Bran's wolf Summer didn't die protecting him from wights and Rickon's wolf Shaggydog didn't get murdered by Lord Umber. The book version of Westeros may be a dangerous place for humans, but the wolves are mostly left alone. As of A Dance With Dragons, Martin's most recent book, Ghost is still alive. In fact, Jon Snow actually calls out the wolf's name when he's being stabbed at Castle Black.


The show has now moved beyond the books, which means that pretty much anything could happen to Ghost. The last fans saw him, he was bravely standing with Jon, preparing for the White Walker battle. Ghost has defended his master before, and he'll likely do so again. And since the showrunners seem to have a personal goal to kill every Stark family direwolf, don't count on Ghost making it out alive.

In true Ghost form, though, he'll likely go out in style. Game of Thrones visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer told Huffington Post that Ghost "has a fair amount of screen time in Season 8" and that he "does some pretty cool things." Considering that some fans think they spotted Ghost in a battle scene in the trailer, those "cool things" likely come in the name of defending Jon and Winterfell.

But even if Ghost dies to protect his master, it's going to be a huge blow for Jon. He may not be able to warg into Ghost in the show, but the two still have a deep connection. Jon rescued Ghost, the runt of the litter, from certain death in the woods — and the two have been pretty much inseparable since. Martin once said in an interview with Robert Shaw that Ghost was intended to be the direwolf version of Jon's character. "Jon was the bastard. He was the odd one out ... Ghost is very similar to that. He's the albino, he's the one who makes no noise, so he's related to the other direwolves but one apart as well," Martin said.

Perhaps, as an allegory for Jon, Ghost will get to live as long as Jon Snow does — at least in the books. But the show has too much history with killing the Stark pets for fans to rest easy about Ghost's fate. The night is dark and full of terrors for direwolves.