Game of Thrones theory: Symbolism of the dead Dire wolf and its five abandoned pups.
Is the end preconditioned in Game of Thrones ? Is it all just a perpetual cyclical change of summers and winters? We are all trapped in this transition with the rest of living and dead of Westeros.
As we all know the Grey Direwolf on a white background is more than a sigil for the Starks in the north. So what does it symbolize for the Starks? A Sigil is the like a referent but more. In the series Game of Thrones as if the plot wasn’t twisted enough layers of symbolism is another thing which makes it so unpredictable. Likewise a house sigil is quite symbolic in nature as members of that particular family recognises with it and some sense live by their core traits. In monarchical days Kings were expected to pick their own Court of arms, which spoke of what they represent, the notion of sigil is very similar.
The Stark sigil of grey Direwolf on a white background symbolizes that they draw strength from the family just like the wolf hunting in pack. The white is symbolic of their home which is covered in snow all year around, it also symbolizes their innocence and strength in adversity. The Starks are symbolized by the direwolf, like wolves, they are ferocious, persevering, with loyalty and integrity, and they do best in a pack. Throughout the whole series we are more attached to Starks and secretly praying for their wolf pack to succeed.
But there is more to the first episode of season 1 where we meet the mother Direwolf dead, with Stag’s antlers stuck in her stomach. Her pups are all scattered and wailing. Jon Snow hears the wail and goes to check only to come across the litter of the dead direwolf. A sense of foreboding sets in with the scene itself and one can’t help but think of it as a premonition. Each Stark children picks one pup each and are made responsible for the same. They all name their pup’s.
Sansa as we see her in the first season is a docile, naive and impressionable teenager who wants to be marry Joffrey and be a queen someday. She names her direwolf ‘lady’ and somehow that's what she emerges out to be in the course of the seven seasons. Lady is killed in the start instead of Arya’s direwolf for attacking Joffrey. Similar to the fate Sansa met with. Throughout the series she is made to suffer because she was the captive from the house Stark and an easy target to extract revenge from the Starks. But in the end she does emerge as the Lady of Winterfell.
Robb names his direwolf Grey Wind. He is known as young wolf himself. People are scared of him fighting alongside Grey Wind. The myth about him turning into a direwolf while fighting shows how connected they both are. At the Red wedding before the brutal massacre, Freys make sure to cage the direwolves, who are then killed just like Robb and the rest.
Arya names her direwolf Nymeria. In the book "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin, Nymeria was a warrior queen of the Rhoyne who brought ten thousand ships to the shores of Dorne, crossing the narrow sea. She struck an alliance with House Martell, taking Lord Mors as her husband and with his help, conquered the rest of Dorne. Those who have followed the series would vouch for the fact that Arya is in every manner and form a warrior and could be a queen as well. As she is already joining the house of Stark and Baratheons. She may be very well be the person who continues the lineage of “ours is the fury” with Gendry. But they have to survive the war.
Bran couldn’t name his direwolf as he is crippled because of Jaime Lannister but that also means he is most connected with his direwolf and the two are not separate beings. In fact if one were to notice, his wolf is always on the bed with him and he enters his wolf consciousness from time to time. Bran later on names his direwolf Summer, who dies protecting Bran, Hodor and Meera. Summer’s death is also the arrival of the winter. Somehow this hunch is there that Bran’s death could put an end to the winter and we will have Summer once again. Bran is of course been called the ‘sweet child of summer’.
Rickon named his direwolf Shaggydog and it is as if he was looking in the mirror while naming. He looked shaggy and died the death of a shaggy dog, who just happens to be caught in the middle of the fire or traffic. An unfortunate fate actually. But not whole of the litter survives, weaker pups are killed at the first strike of winter.
Jon Snow names his direwolf ghost. Well, just saying, it may be very well be his fate as he happens to have come close to it quite a many times. Ghost also looks very different from the rest, with its snow white fur and bright red eyes, implying a different birth history from the start. Jon as well doesn’t belong with the rest, with him being a bastard though now everyone knows he isn’t one. Ghost is found separate from the rest very similar to what happens in the start as Jon goes to join the brotherhood of Nights watch and Robb gives him the last brotherly hug. In season 8, Ghost will be fighting alongside Jon with the white walkers in the upcoming battle. Lets see what the future holds. Is it really Jon Snow Night King wants?
The mother Direwolf is dead and so is Ned. Robb and Rickon have met their unfortunate fates. Now we have Arya, trained assassin who is also romancing Gendry, Sansa, who has become the fierce motherly Lady of Winterfell and Jon Snow is may be in the process of becoming a ghost.
Meet the author
Hey this is Anjali Shukla. I am pursuing my masters in English and Cultural Studies at Christ University. I am a movie buff and a classic nerd. When it comes to picking holidaying options I am quite satisfied with good chinese takeout and my movie hard drive or my mini library with a generous supply of books. I love travelling as it is a default hobby of having your father serving in the air force. I am interested in reading Philosophy especially that of existentialist philosophers like Nietzsche and Jean Paul Sartre.
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10 July 2019