WARNING: This article is dark and full of spoilers.
Game of Thrones' epic 'Battle of the Bastards' had almost everything; Daenerys' fire-breathing dragons, Jon Snow going on a one-man killing spree, and the oh so satisfying death of Ramsay Bolton. One fan-favourite character who was noticeably absent however was Jon's direwolf Ghost, but the episode’s director Miguel Sapochnik has a good reason for leaving him out:
"[Ghost] was in there in spades originally, but it’s also an incredibly time consuming and expensive character to bring to life", Sapochnik told Business Insider. "Ultimately we had to choose between Wun-Wun and the direwolf, so the dog bit the dust".
"Anything with the giant is a challenge", continued Sapochnik, "because he's not there, and you have to shoot multiple layers for each shot, and get extras to react to something that doesn't exist, and then shoot the actual giant played by Ian Whyte months later on a green screen stage".
For those who may not recognise the name, Wun-Wun is the wildling giant who assists and ultimately gives his life for Jon during the battle for Winterfell. Here's hoping that the character's unfortunate fate means that more time and money could be devoted to giving Ghost - one of the few living direwolves - a little more screen time in future episodes.
Season 6 of Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO in the US, and Sky Atlantic on Mondays in the UK.