The direwolf is an ancient species of wolves believed to be extinct. They are the sigil of House Stark, and are said to be much like a regular wolf but larger, more intelligent, and more fierce, although slower runners. Their lesser running ability is thought to have contributed to the extinction of the direwolves. In the beginning of A Game of Thrones, the five Stark children and bastard Jon Snow find six direwolf pups in the snow near their mother, who was killed by the antler of a stag. It is quite obvious that the wolves and Stark children hold close connections, almost so much so that their fates seem to mirror one another.
Children and WolvesEdit
- Robb Stark names his wolf Grey Wind. They battle together during the War of the Five Kings and die together at the Red Wedding. After they die, the Frey men cut off Robb's head and sew Grey Wind's onto his body.
- Sansa Stark names her wolf Lady, and After prince Joffrey is humiliated, Cersei Lannister demands that Lady be killed, so Eddard Stark kills her near the Crossroads Inn.
- Arya Stark names her wolf Nymeria, after the warrior queen of the Rhoynar. When Nymeria attacks Joffrey, Arya throws rocks at her to scare her away so Cersei will not kill her. Since then, Nymeria has been rumored to be leading large packs of wild wolves all around Westeros. Arya, who travels over a large part of the seven kingdoms killing those she must and changing names at will, mirrors her wild tendencies. At times she dreams through the eyes of her wolf, but her dreams aren't as controlled as her brother's.
- Bran Stark names his wolf Summer when he wakes from his coma. The two of them share a special bond; eventually, Bran gains the ability to wear Summer's skin and become him. This, at Jojen Reed's instruction, is good because it allows Bran to hone his greensight, but if Bran is not careful he may lose himself altogether. The two of them travel past the Wall with the stableboy Hodor and Jojen and Meera Reed.
- Rickon Stark names his wolf Shaggydog. Both boy and wolf are wild and dangerous, and so Shaggydog spends much of the series locked up. The two of them go with the wildling Osha into hiding at the end of A Clash of Kings.
- The bastard Jon Snow names his wolf Ghost, as it is an albino and makes no sound. They share similar skinchanging abilities, though his are not as developed as Bran. Both wolf and boy go to the Wall and beyond it to defend the kingdom from the Others and the wildlings.