Jon Snow's sidekick likely to return in 'Game of Thrones'
'Game of Thrones' is returning for its final season, and fans cannot contain their excitement.
Season 8 will presumably tell us who finally gets to sit on the coveted Iron Throne at King's Landing.
However, there is news that a beloved character is returning to the final season. It is none other than Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost.
Read all about Ghost's return here.
Tread carefully, all who enter here
For those of you, who like my colleague and friend, have not yet watched up to Season 7 of 'Game of Thrones', this article contains spoilers about the show and the book. You have been warned, now enjoy reading about 'Game of Thrones'.
The return of Ghost, confirmed
The VFX supervisor, Dan Bauer, confirmed Ghost's return to Season 8.
He explained how difficult it was to include direwolves for the show as they often shot real wolves' footage and then scaled it up.
However, he promised that Ghost plays an integral role in the season finale.
Dan was quoted saying, "He's very present and does some pretty cool things in Season 8".
The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives
Direwolves are the sigil of House Stark, in the 'Game of Thrones' universe.
In Season 1, the Starks came across a direwolf and stag that killed each other. They took the direwolf cubs in, six wolves for six children.
Sansa got Lady, Robb got Grey Wind, Brandon had Summer, Arya got Nymeria, Rickon got Shaggydog and Jon got Ghost, 'the runt of the litter'.
A bond between bastards and broken things
Jon, notably, has the surname Snow. This is the title given to bastards in the North, in GoT.
Befittingly, his wolf too was strange, an albino with red eyes. Ghost, however, grew up to be as big as the other direwolves. This bodes well, considering Jon is not really a bastard.
He is the child of Ned Stark's sister, Lyanna and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.
The last of the tamed direwolves
Unlike the books where Shaggydog, Nymeria, Summer, and Ghost are alive, the show has killed off all but Nymeria and Ghost.
Despite Nymeria being alive, the last we saw her was refusing to return with Arya to Winterfell, preferring the wilderness.
Ghost thus remains the last of the Stark direwolves who will feature prominently in Season 8, unless Nymeria decides to come to aid.
When was Ghost last seen?
Season 6 saw Jon Snow being stabbed by the mutineering members of the Night's Watch. However, he was revived magically. After that, Jon left Castle Black to fight Ramsay Bolton who was holding Winterfell, and Ghost was last seen accompanying him.
Ghost haunts the battle of the bastards
Ghost remained unseen in Season 7, even during Jon and Ramsay's battle.
Its only mention in Season 7 was by Sansa who told Jon it was unfair to expect the North to wait for him like Ghost.
Notably, reports have suggested that increasing CGI costs on dragons forced show-makers to exclude direwolves.
The bottom of our hearts felt the final cut
Interestingly, Ghost did have a scene in Season 7 where Jon would ask him to watch over Sansa as he left to meet Danaerys Targaryen at Dragonstone. However, the scene never made it to the final cut of the show.
Winter is here and Jon needs Ghost
Ghost will be a valuable addition as Jon takes on the White Walkers who have managed to blow off a chunk of the wall.
Facing an undead army and a dragon, Jon will need all the help he can get.
Ghost has always stayed by his side, and wolf and dragon will fight together in what promises to be an explosive final season.