Game of Thrones season 7 could find Arya reuniting with a long lost friend

(Image credit: HBO)

As you’ve probably garnered from the headline, this story contains possible spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7. Turn back now if you don’t want to know what’s up.

Production on Game of Thrones season 7 is still underway, and fan site Watchers on the Wall has done some sleuthing and drawn the conclusion that Arya Stark is likely going to reunite with her long-lost direwolf, Nymeria. Actress Maisie Williams was recently seen filming in Calgary, Canada, which is where the production films actual wolves against a green screen before editors digitally enlarge them to the size of direwolves.

This coincides with a couple of new photos from Instinct Animals for Film, the company that trains the wolves used on the show. (I love their tagline: “Leading the way in cinematic wolf performance.”) Instinct shared two photos of its wolves, saying they were “ready to work” and using the hashtag “#winteriscoming”.

Quigley, the white wolf, has played Jon Snow’s direwolf Ghost for the past two years. But there’s speculation that the other wolf could be playing an older version of Arya’s direwolf Nymeria, who we haven’t seen on the show since the first season. I know it’s been a few years since then, so here’s a quick refresher. Back in season one, Joffrey came across Arya practicing swordfighting with the butcher’s boy along a river bed. When he taunted the boy, Arya stood up for her friend and hit Joffrey, enraging the then-prince. Joffrey was about to attack Arya with his sword when Nymeria jumped in and bit him on the arm. Arya, sensing Joffrey would retaliate, chased Nymeria away in a heartbreaking scene in which she threw rocks at her beloved pet in an effort to get her far enough away so Joffrey couldn’t have the direwolf killed. In the fallout, Sansa’s direwolf Lady was killed instead.

In the books, Arya has a psychic link to Nymeria in her dreams, so even though she hasn’t seen her for a long time, they still feel connected. The show avoided depicting the dream connection, so this potential reunion should be a cause of great joy for Arya. After all, she’s experienced some serious shit in the past few years, so getting her pet back would be a rare moment of good karma in Westeros.

Game of Thrones season 7 returns to HBO in summer 2017.

Images: HBO, Instagram

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.