Feature Article

Game Of Thrones Episode 4: Here's What Happened To Ghost, Jon Snow's Direwolf (Season 8)

Spoilers beyond!

If you're all caught up, check out why this huge battle's deaths were disappointing, what Melisandre said to Arya back in Season 3, and just what the battle tactics this episode actually were. You might also be wondering what happened to Jon's dragon and what happened to Ghost, not to mention what new theories we have based on Episode 3. And for a deep dive into each episode of Season 8, check out GameSpot of Thrones with Westeros superfans Lucy, Ryan, Tamoor, and Dave each week as we count down the final three episodes of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones completed what is arguably its biggest and most expansive plotline in "The Long Night," the third episode of the show's six-episode Season 8. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, with just about every living major character left in Westeros, met the Night King, the White Walkers, and the army of the dead in a final showdown. We even saw Ghost, Jon Snow's often-missing direwolf, join the fighting. It wasn't clear what the heck happened to Ghost when he raced off with the Dothraki screamers to fight the army of the dead, but we discovered he made it through the battle in the post-episode teaser for Episode 4, "The Last of the Starks."

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Now Playing: Game of Thrones Watch Guide For Season 8 - GS Universe News Update

Now we know what happened to Ghost during the battle: He apparently mixed it up with some wights but ultimately survived. When he shows up in Episode 4, Ghost is a little worse for wear, having lost an ear in the fighting. But don't expect to see any more of the direwolf, because during the episode, Jon revealed that we're saying farewell to his very large doggo friend.

Now that the war with the dead is won, Jon is heading south with Daenerys to fulfill his commitment to her--she agreed to fight his war against the White Walkers, and he agreed to help her get the Iron Throne. The plan is for Jon to head down the King's Road with the bulk of Dany's remaining armies of Unsullied, Dothraki, and Northmen, heading for King's Landing to block Cersei's supply lines and turn the people of the city against her. Ideally, it'll mean the war will end with the people overthrowing Cersei, while Daenerys won't have to attack the city and kill thousands of innocents to take the Iron Throne.

Before heading off, though, Jon says some farewells to his surviving friends. When he talks to Tormund, we find out that the Wildlings have decided to head back north of the Wall to their home. The south, Tormund tells him, is no place for the Freefolk. Jon responds that it's no place for a direwolf either, and asks Tormund to take Ghost with him when he heads back to Castle Black after the winter storms subside.

It sounds like that's the last we'll see of Ghost (and Tormund, for that matter). The direwolf isn't heading down to King's Landing with his master, and that pretty much means direwolves are out of the show. The only other surviving wolf is Nymeria, which belonged to Arya Stark. We briefly saw Nymeria when Arya was traveling to Winterfell in Season 7, when the direwolf and a pack of smaller wolves came across Arya in the woods. The two had a moment together when Arya asked Nymeria to come with her back to her home, but the wolf chose to stay wild instead.

As far as direwolf longevity, though, it's probably good that Ghost isn't going with Jon, since Stark direwolves don't fare so well in the South. Lady, Sansa Stark's wolf, was killed in retaliation after Arya Stark's wolf Nymeria bit Prince Joffrey in Season 1, and Robb Stark's wolf Grey Wind died at the Twins during the Red Wedding. Then again, they don't do great in the North, either--Bran Stark's wolf Summer died north of the Wall defending him during "Hold the Door," when he first encountered the Night King at the Three-Eyed Raven's cave. And Shaggy Dog, Rickon Stark's direwolf, was killed by the Umbers when they captured the youngest stark for Ramsay Bolton.

The dismissal of the last major direwolf is a bummer, though. In the early seasons of the show and in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels on which they're based, the direwolves and their connection to the Stark children always seemed like a very big deal, and a relationship that was leading somewhere. In fact, there were some fan theories that suggested both Ghost and Nymeria would have a part to play in the battle against the Night King and in saving their respective Starks. That the direwolves and their relationships with the Stark family has seemingly amounted to so little is one of the bigger disappointments with the show's adaptation of the novels.

With no direwolves left, it seems Game of Thrones is mostly doing away with its cool animal friends and their relationships with major characters. At least we don't have to watch another beloved canine get murdered at the orders of Cersei Lannister, though.

Check out our reviews for Episode Episode 3 and Episode 4 for our impressions as we move on toward the last two episodes of the series. You might be interested in some complaints about who died in the Battle of Winterfell, as well.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a former senior writer at GameSpot and worked as a journalist for newspapers and websites for more than a decade, covering video games, technology, and entertainment for nearly that long. A freelancer before he joined the GameSpot team as an editor out of Los Angeles, his work appeared at Playboy, IGN, Kotaku, Complex, Polygon, TheWrap, Digital Trends, The Escapist, GameFront, and The Huffington Post. Outside the realm of games, he's the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel and The Space Hero's Guide to Glory. If he's not writing about video games, he's probably doing a deep dive into game lore.

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