Warning: Contains Spoilers
Jon Snow angered a lot of Game of Thrones fans when he left Ghost behind without even a courtesy ear scratch, but now director David Nutter has explained why he didn’t say goodbye.
Viewers were met with highs and lows in the aftermath of the Battle of Winterfell and episode four, The Last Of The Starks, with one of the most memorable events being the case of the mysterious coffee cup.
Of the scripted moments, Jon’s unworthy farewell to Ghost was the most heartbreaking.
In the recent fourth episode, the surviving characters only had a short time to celebrate before they had to focus their attentions on the next fight – the one for the Iron Throne.
The teaser for the upcoming episode shows Jon bringing the war to Cersei, but before he set off for King’s Landing, he instructed Tormund to take Ghost back to the north, explaining the direwolf ‘belongs’ there.
The loyal animal had been by Jon’s side through thick and thin since his very first scene on the show, but when it came time to say goodbye, all Ghost got from his master was a momentary look.
— Erika Heidewald 🔜 EDC LV & Electric Forest (@erikaheidewald) May 6, 2019
While fans were understandably devastated on behalf of poor Ghost, Nutter explained there was a valid reason for the lack of contact between the old friends.
Speaking to Insider, the director spoke about the complications of including a CGI wolf in a scene – because as much as we might love him, Ghost sadly isn’t a real animal.
Nutter described how keeping the animal separate from the actors made the footage easier to work with, saying:
Well the good thing was [Ghost] wasn’t right next to the actors and so forth, so there wasn’t any issues with green screen or situations where we’re dealing with any kind of rotoscoping.
So basically it was just reminding Kit [Harington] about the direwolves and discussing them. He knew the importance of the direwolf very well and how close [Jon] was to him. [Harington] understood exactly where to play that and where to take it.
To sum up, the director confirmed that the decision to keep Jon and Ghost separate was made to simplify the filming process.
Now, I understand that obviously a lot of work goes into creating Game of Thrones, but if the post-production team could make Daenerys and Jon fly around on dragons for the best part of 80 minutes during the Battle of Winterfell, then I’m sure it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch to award Ghost a little pat on the head.
I’m sure fans would have been much more satisfied with that kind of farewell, but I suppose the creators know best.
We all love you, Ghost!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.