With Game of Thrones season 7 now upon us, there are a multitude of storylines we need to get our heads around once again. One question, however, has been rumbling on for years:
Where are the Stark direwolves?
“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies — but the pack survives.”
Season 7’s trailer ends with this haunting fable from Sansa Stark, reminding viewers of the moment the six pups were first found way back in season 1.
The six furballs were rescued from their dead mother by Ned Stark (RIP), who then gave the Stark children – Sansa, Arya, Bran, Rickon, Robb and Jon Snow – a direwolf each.
The mythical beasts have been a constant presence in all six seasons so far – but have had mixed fates.
Here’s what we know about their current whereabouts:
Belongs to: Sansa Stark
Last seen: Season one, episode two
Lady was bonded to Sansa Stark and is the gentlest of all the pups, but was sadly the first of the direwolf litter to be killed.
Cersei Lannister brings about the killing of Lady after Arya’s pup Nymeria bites her son Joffrey. Ned Stark puts Lady down, enraging Sansa in the process.
Belongs to: Rob Stark
Last seen: Season three, episode nine
Rob Stark’s pup is also dead but had a bigger role than Lady. Grey Win accompanied his owner when he marched the Stark army South.
He was killed alongside King Robb at The Twins by Frey’s henchmen with crossbows during the infamous, bloody ‘Red Wedding’ episode.
His head was then sewn onto Rob’s decapitated corpse. Eugh.
Belongs to: Rickon Stark
Last seen: Season six, episode nine
The black-haired green-eyed wolf is the third of the litter to meet a nasty end. He fled Winterfel with his owner Rickon Stark and Bran’s group including Osha but they got separated and he was killed by the Umbers last season, prior to their betrayal of Rickon and alliance with Ramsay Bolton.
Blood thirsty Ramsay apparently skinned him and used his fur as a carpet. Nice.
Shaggydog was one of the most vicious of the pack, as Redditor Lord_Yohn_Royce explained, “Shaggydog is too far too vicious to be around others, feeding off the negative emotions of Rickon and going into violent tantrums … “
But points to Rickon for giving his dog THE coolest name.
Belongs to: Bran Stark
Last seen: Season six, episode five
Adopted by Bran Stark, Summer escaped Winterfell with her owner following the castle’s Sack of Winterfell.
Bran realises early on that he is bonded to Summer and can warg into the direwolf’s mind.
Summer is the fourth wolf to be killed, consumed by a gang of White Walkers at the Cave of the three-eyed-raven while buying time for Bran to escape.
Belongs to: Arya Stark
Last seen: Series 1
Status: Alive, but AWOL
Nymeria is still alive. Yay! Arya’s pup with her dark golden eyes and grey fur was meant to die on Cersei’s orders for biting Joffrey, but Arya chases the direwolf away to save her life.
Sansa’s Lady is killed in Nymeria’s place, causing Sansa and her little sister to turn against each other.
Arya’s warg bond with Nymeria is strong throughout the series and she often dreams of her pup, seeing trough her eyes, and Game of Thrones author George R. Martin has promised big things for Nymeria.
He told Mashable: “Nymeria in particular, will play an important role. You know, I don’t like to give things away. But you don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.”
Belongs to: Jon Snow
Last seen: Winterfell, Season six
“He’s not like the others. He never makes a sound. That’s why I named him Ghost. That, and because he’s white. The others are all dark, grey or black.“
The runt of the litter, Ghost, was the last pup to be discovered by Jon Snow huddled under the root of a tree near his dead mother. The albino pup with red eyes followed Jon during his service with the Night’s Watch at the Wall and beyond and is currently at Winterfell with Jon.
He’s been a huge help to his master along the way. In season six, Ghost rips off the right hand of the dead Jafer Flowers and then wakes Jon that night, alerting him to the presence of wights. They then save Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, from the undead Othor.
There have been numerous fan theories of what Ghost’s purpose will be. When Jon died at the hands of his men many theories pointed to the fact that he could have warged into Ghost, who would then be used by Melisandre to bring the Lord Commander back to life.