Published On: Thu, Aug 31st, 2017

Winds of Winter: The DIREWOLVES are the key to which two Starks live and which two DIE


Game of Thrones Season Seven ended on another thrilling cliffhanger. As always, the death toll has been high and some shock deaths (human and mythical animal) have kept fans on the edge of their seats.

For the first family of Westeros (the Targaryens may disagree) everything remains on a knife edge after the brutal loss of their youngest, Rickon.

Four Stark children remain alive but George RR Martin has provided incredibly precise clues about who will live and die.

The answers are right in front you if you want to look a little closer, but no howling if you don’t like the answer…


Martin laid all his clues down in the very opening scenes of the first book.

Six direwolf cubs were found, corresponding with the five Starks and one (supposed) bastard. Even though fans finally know that Jon Snow is actually half Targaryen, he is still a Stark, through his mother Lyanna, who was Eddard’s sister.

The fates and, indeed, the names of the direwolves are incredibly important and hold the key to everything that has happened to their human counterparts.

Robb Stark Named his cub Grey Wind. Grey is the colour of House Stark and associated with truth. The phrase “words are wind” bleakly corresponds with his attempts at always taking the honourable path. Grey Wind and Robb both met their fate at the infamous Red Wedding. Both killed by Freys.

Rickon Stark never had a chance. His cub was called Shaggydog, which sums up the importance of the youngest Stark to the main plot. He amounted to a mainly off-screen “shaggy dog story” which lead nowhere and ended in a truly awful death. Both killed by Ramsay Bolton.

Which leaves the four surviving siblings…

Sansa was the first to lose her direwolf, Lady, in Book One. The animal symbolised her dreams of being a fine princess although her death initially only killed Sansa’s faith in her own family, especially her sister Arya, who she blamed for the tragic loss.

Arya’s Nymeria represents the younger sister’s drive to be a fierce warrior. She drove her direwolf away to save her and the animal’s distant roaming and solitary existance is mirrored in Arya’s own dark path.

Bran named his cub Summer. Bran’s path to becoming a greenseer, warg and the Three-Eyed Raven was set up to symbolise his role in breaking the power of the White Walkers and the coming of Winter. Summer’s shocking death at the hands of the Winter King does not bode well for Bran or Westeros.   

Jon Snow has the most pth of all and his direwolf Ghost has been by his side throughout. Technically the newly-revealed Targaryen heir has already died and his direwolf’s name predicted what would happen from the start.

With the Starks and their direwolves so closely linked, it seems impossible that any of them can ultimately survive if their wolf has died.

Reddit user Jaysunn72 hammers the point home: “Only Arya and John Snow’s wolves are left. That means Bran and Sansa will both die before the last seasons last episode. Each of the dead wolves were killed by someone somehow related to their owners death. Rickon’s dog was killed by Ramsey. Rickon was too. Robb’s wolf was killed by a Frey. Robb was too. That means that Bran’s going to be killed by white walkers and Sansa will be killed by a Stark.”

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