If there is one thing Game of Thrones Season 6 will be remembered for besides Jon Snow’s resurrection and the confirmation of several long-standing fan theories, it’s the show’s shameful treatment of direwolves.
Season 6 saw an early grave for both Bran’s wolf Summer as she fell defending her Stark from White Walkers, and Rickon’s wolf Shaggydog, as he fell victim to Ramsay Bolton along with his Stark. It was a more brutal time for wolves than any prior season.
And to rub salt in our wounds, Ghost hardly appeared in the Battle of the Bastards, because as director Miguel Sapochnik explained, “It’s also an incredibly time-consuming and expensive character to bring to life. Ultimately we had to choose between Wun Wun and the direwolf, so the dog bit the dust.”
But as poorly as they were treated overall, it seems that Season 6 did not originally begin with nefarious intentions towards direwolves. As a new deleted scene from “Home” reveals, Ghost originally had more screen time, and so did poor Edd, who is ostensibly the new Lord Commander now that Jon shoved his commander cloak at him and stormed off. Although he’s only half-formed thanks to incomplete special effects, it’s satisfying to see him snarl at Alliser Thorne. The sixth season was not as cruel to direwolves as it appeared to be.
Season 7 spoiler alert, Varys’s little birds are chirping about Arya reuniting with her long lost wolf, Nymeria. Winter might be coming, then, but a time for wolves is still on the horizon.
You can catch these deleted scenes on Game of Thrones’s Season 6 Blu-ray release, out now.