The dust has settled on the very last season of Game of Thrones, with most of us by now having come to terms with coffee cup slip ups and surprise coronation choices.
It was a controversial season, bearing the weight of fandom and expectation more than any other show in television history.
Although full of some truly spectacular moments, the showrunners were never going to please everyone, and indeed they didn’t, as subsequent infuriated petitions have shown.
On reflection, there is just one thing I – and many other dog lovers – would have liked to have seen as the magnificent television event came to a close: more direwolves.
In my humble opinion, the direwolves were a little underused in the show, despite having their heroic moments. Dispatched with grim regularity, I would have liked to have seen more from these wolfish incarnations of the Stark children.
My hopes were raised in season seven, when Arya came across a huge and wild Nymeria leading a pack in the forest. Like many others, I couldn’t help but wonder if Nymeria was going to have a key part to play as the action reached a crescendo.
Sadly, this was not to be and I later chalked up Arya and Nymeria’s brief reunion to be merely symbolic of Arya’s own adventurous spirit preparing to fly ‘west of Westeros’.
Season eight came around and there was precious little in the way of direwolves. Worse, Jon Snow repeatedly proved himself to be such a terrible pet owner that I was sorely tempted to call the RSPCA.
However, things could have been very different. Speaking during a recent podcast interview with IndieWire, director Miguel Sapochnik teased there could have been a scene with no less than 50 direwolves.
Sapochnik – who directed episode 3, The Long Night and episode 5, The Bells of the last season – said:
There were many things that happened that people would’ve been so happy to happen – attacks of direwolves and crazy stuff.
And at a certain point you’re like, ’50 direwolves attacking an undead dragon does not a good movie make.’ … This was stuff we did not shoot – it’s part of the process.
Given the inclusion of direwolves has been limited due to CGI costs, it perhaps isn’t all that surprising a proposed scene where 50 are on screen battling a CGI dragon was cut.
While I get Sapochnik’s point this is a scene which would have definitely grabbed me. I feel a bit cheated to be honest, but I’m keeping my paws crossed for more direwolf drama in the spinoffs…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.