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Ghost the Direwolf Is the Only Good Choice for the Iron Throne

Humans had their shot. They blew it. Long live the Direwolf Dynasty.

by River Donaghey
May 17 2019, 3:41pm

Original photos courtesy of HBO

We've only got one Game of Thrones episode left, and there's still no clear winner in the quest for the Iron Throne. Sure, Daenerys has overthrown Cersei and taken King's Landing in a sea of dragon fire, but the whole thing cost her her sanity and the trust of her subjects, and she'll likely die for before the finale is done. So if Dany's out, who's going to wind up ruling?

The bookies in Vegas are betting on Bran, and the internet is overrun with takes about how Sansa or Jon Snow or Gendry or literally no one should wind up with the crown. But let's be real here: Bran is a Middle Ages Dr. Manhattan and would be an awful king; Littlefinger rubbed off too much on Sansa; Jon Snow is a terrible military tactician and doesn't want it anyway; and Gendry? Come on, just stop.

If the last season of Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it's that no human is good enough to actually rule Westeros. There's only one character left who has proven, time and time again, that he truly deserves to sit on the Iron Throne: Ghost the Direwolf, obviously.

In your heart, you already know it's true. But let's make the case anyway, shall we?

He's a True War Hero

While Jon Snow was goofily zipping around the skies on Rhaegal during the Battle of Winterfell, Ghost was down on the front lines. He was not scared; he did not run whimpering for the hills; he led the charge into near-certain death without so much as a breastplate for protection. As scores and scores of men fell around him in battle, Ghost raged on, tearing wights limb from limb with his gnashing, CGI-enhanced jaws. And somehow, he survived, with only a few surface wounds and half an ear to show for it.

From Robert Baratheon all the way back to Aegon the Conqueror, kings have earned their place on the Iron Throne through sheer bravery and fortitude on the battle field—and that's exactly what Ghost has.

But Ghost isn't just a noble fighter. He won't just be another ruthless warrior king. Because he, like precious few Westerosi rulers before him, has a heart.

He's Deeply Empathetic and Loving

Is there anyone in the lying, deceitful, back-stabbing world of Game of Thrones who has ever been as caring and loyal as Ghost? Not even close. He licked away Sam's tears during those early days at the Night's Watch and stayed with Jon Snow's dead body until Melisandre brought him back.

Westeros needs a king who cares for his subjects, and no one cares as deeply or as faithfully as Ghost.

The North Will Follow Him

Ghost isn't just another member of the Stark family—he's the living embodiment of the Stark sigil. The direwolf is a near-mythic beast up north, and the houses still standing after the war against the White Walkers will surely bend the knee to Ghost when given the chance. You know Lyanna Mormont would make some rousing speech about him if she was still around.

He's Been the Brains Behind Jon Snow's Operation for Years

Who warned Jon that there was a wight in the Lord Commander's office? Who helped him find that hidden cache of Dragonglass weapons? Ghost has low-key been Jon Snow's Cyrano from the beginning—and Jon knows it, too. Here's the thing: When Jon Snow told Tormund that direwolves "have no place in the South," was he just referring to the fact that the weather's too warm down there in King's Landing, or was he making some kind of veiled attempt at knocking Ghost's rightful claim to the throne?

Why are you so speciesist, Jon? Could you not even give him one final pet before you left Winterfell? Or are you really so threatened by the way Ghost has grown into a smarter, braver, and more open-hearted being than you will ever be that you can't even stand to touch him before abandoning him forever?

Oh, and while we're on the subject of petting...

He's the Goodest Boy and Deserves All the Pets

Seriously, come on. This should go without saying. Just look at him! Who's a good direwolf? Who's a good direwolf? Yes, yes, yes you are. Yes you are! Come here, you—oh, sorry, stop, the wound on your ear opened back up and you're getting blood all over the carpet. Let me get a rag. You don't need to lick it up! You're too sweet! Stop! Oh, forget the blood, just come over here and get some pets. That's it. That's a boy. That's a good boy. Shhh.

The Show Can Actually Afford to Do the CGI Now

Apparently, the reason Ghost has been so notably absent in the past few seasons is that direwolves are a real pain to computer-generate. Way back in 2016, "Battle of the Bastards" director Miguel Sapochnik told Business Insider that they cut Ghost from the battle because he's an "incredibly time consuming and expensive character to bring to life."

"Ultimately we had to choose between Wun-Wun and the direwolf, so the dog bit the dust," he said. That's also likely the reason that we got such a terrible goodbye between Jon and Ghost a few episodes back, too.

But what about the series finale? Wun-Wun is dead, the White Walkers are gone, and two of the three dragons are fully cashed. There aren't many massive, labor-intensive CG characters left now, so, come on, give us some Ghost. Get some people to drag the Iron Throne out of the rubble of the Red Keep and haul it up to Winterfell, where Ghost can take his place as king. It's only right.

Humans had their shot. They blew it. Bring on the Direwolf Dynasty.