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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Let's be honest: direwolves are fucking sick. Not only are they epic companions, but they've also saved the bacon of a few Stark children when they were in danger. They're also a sigil of House of Stark and they've been a pretty integral asset to Jon, Arya, Sansa, Robb, Bran and Rickon (well... when they were all alive).
So you wouldn't be alone in thinking that it's pretty slack that Jon has virtually ditched his direwolf, Ghost, and has been hanging out with Daenery's dragon Drogon more.
Some would argue that a dragon is way more badass than a land-dwelling direwolf and that Jon is slowing embracing his Targaryen heritage. But there could be a third reason behind the distinct lack of Ghost, and it's arguably more depressing.
It costs too much.
When Jon faced off against Ramsay Bolton last season in Battle of the Bastards, everyone thought Ghost would appear out of nowhere and fuck shit up, but we were left waiting. However, the episode's director Miguel Sapochnik has told Business Insider: "[Ghost] was in there in spades originally, but it's 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."
Wun-Wun is the Wildling giant, for those who can't remember.
That episode took an astonishing 25 days to shoot, compared to the week or two that an average episode usually takes. According to Entertainment Weekly, there were 600 crew members, 500 extras, 70 horses and 25 stuntmen.
So it was going to be too much of an ask to include Ghost in the scene.
The towering white animal was supposed to make an appearance in the second episode of the latest season, Stormborn; however it was later cut. The site Winter Is Coming notes that the episode's writer, Bryan Cogman, tweeted that a scene was written for Jon and Ghost before he left Winterfell but it was discarded on the cutting room floor.
The tweet has since been deleted.
There is speculation that he might appear in the season finale, but the trailer foreshadows Jon's meeting with Cersi Lannister, so Ghost might not be needed just yet. Hopefully show creators David Benioff and D B Weiss will include Ghost in the final season - or better still, maybe they'll give the direwolf his own spin-off. Well, you never know.
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