Game of Thrones‘ direwolves have been as unlucky as the Stark family so far over the course of the past six seasons, we’ve lost Lady, Grey Wind, Shaggydog and Summer, and we haven’t seen Arya’s wolf Nymeria since the second episode of Season 1, when Arya sent her away to protect her from being killed by the Lannisters after biting Joffrey.
But that could change in Season 7 at Con of Thrones this past weekend, sound designer Paula Fairfield revealed that the show will feature a “beautiful wolf scene this year,” and it’s got our wheels turning.
We haven’t seen Nymeria on the show for a while, but in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series she makes frequent appearances, with Arya sharing Bran’s ability to see through her wolf’s eyes when she dreams. Throughout the books, other characters share rumors of a large wolf pack roaming the Riverlands led by “a she-wolf of monstrous size,” which has a habit of killing men who are loyal to the Lannisters and Freys.
Add Fairfield’s comment to Timemagazine’s recent feature on the new season, which notes that “wolves described in the script as ‘skinny and mangy’ showed up to the shoot looking fluffy and lustrous,” and all signs point to a long-awaited reunion between Arya and Nymeria, perhaps along with Nymeria’s new pack. This seems even more likely considering that Arya is back in Westeros for the first time in a while, and was last seen killing Walder Frey in the Riverlands, where she said goodbye to Nymeria.
The Season 7 trailer also offers a potential clue we see a shot that seems to imply someone is observing Arya from nearer ground level than a human would be, as if an animal is watching her as she builds a fire. While the frosty surroundings would ordinarily be a clear sign that she’s in the North, we know that winter is here, so perhaps the Riverlands are feeling the chill too.
And Martin himself has even hinted that Nymeria will play an integral role in his final two books, telling Mashable back in 2014: “You know, I don’t like to give things away … But you don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.”
And it’s reassuring to know that the people involved in the series love their animals as much as the Starks do. Fairfield’s Con of Thrones tease came as part of a heartfelt story about how she and language creator David Peterson have used episodes of Game of Thrones to pay tribute to pets that theyve lost.
For Peterson, it was his beloved cat, Okeo, who would sit with him while he was working on Season 1. After he died, Peterson used Okeos name as the Dothraki word for friend in remembrance.
Fairfield says she used her dog, Angel who passed away before New Years as the inspiration for the beautiful wolf scene this year all of the vocals are hers; its my love letter to her.