Game of Thrones returns on July 16, so until then we’re soaking up any scrap of information like Samwell Tarly with the gravy boat at a wedding feast. Using some older information, as well as what we know about the upcoming season, we’re pretty sure Arya Stark will reunite with her long lost direwolf, Nymeria, in season seven. Here’s why:
**Possible spoilers and book spoilers ahead!**
In February, we learned Maisie Williams was in Canada where only certain Thrones scenes are filmed.
The Canadian locations are where direwolf scenes are shot against green screen. The HBO series enlists local company Instinct Animals For Film for the show’s wolf “actors” and they posted photos on Instagram of their wolves performing around the same time Williams was there. Coincidence?
The white wolf in the top photo is Quigley, who plays Ghost on Thrones. And the other gray and black wolf is a new addition that we’re assuming is Nymeria, who disappeared into the wilderness after biting Joffrey in season one. The fur color matches and the other circumstantial evidence is strong.
Using process of elimination, we can surmise Nymeria is the only wolf that it could be. Let’s recall what’s happened to the six Stark direwolves since they were discovered in the pilot episode:
Grey Wind – Robb’s direwolf, killed at the Red Wedding.
Lady – Sansa’s direwolf, killed mercifully by Ned Stark as recompense to the Lannisters for Nymeria biting Joffrey.
Shaggydog – Rickon’s direwolf, killed by the Umbers.
Summer – Bran’s direwolf, killed by wights protecting Bran.
Nymeria – Arya’s direwolf, last seen in season one, presumably still alive.
Ghost – Jon Snow’s direwolf, alive, currently with Jon at Winterfell.
Nymeria is the only one left besides Ghost so we’re betting this new one is her. The only other possibility we can think of is maybe the show resurrected one of the deceased wolves (Summer most likely) so it could join the Army of the Dead. Imagine a zombie direwolf by the Night King’s side. So that could be it, but the more likely scenario is an Arya/Nymeria reunion. Book readers probably agree.
In the books, Nymeria is mentioned many times after disappearing into the North. In A Clash of Kings, there’s talk of a female direwolf who leads a huge pack and has no fear of men. In A Storm of Swords, Arya sees a pack while on her march with Yoren and howls to them. The largest wolf howls back. Arya also starts dreaming she’s a wolf, teasing her warg ability. In A Feast for Crows, Lannister knights report they were attacked by hundreds of wolves with a giant female leader who protect the Trident. And, in A Dance with Dragons, Ghost actually sees Nymeria in the wilderness singing to the moon. Arya’s dreams persist as well.
It seems obvious Martin is setting it up for Nymeria to return to the fold. Why else even mention her? Narratively, it makes sense and, emotionally, it really makes sense since Arya’s been away for so long and is in the process of finding her roots again. It’s destiny they meet again.