What happened to Bran's Direwolf


A Direwolf (in the original: Direwolf) is an unusually large and intelligent species of wolf. The coat of arms of the House of Stark von Winterfell shows a gray direwolf on a white background.

In the series


Shadow wolves are almost mythical in the southern lands of Westeros. Northerners know that they are real creatures, but they are very rare to see there. There are rumors that some of them live in Wolf Forest near Winterfell, but without any evidence. Millennia ago there was a large direwolf population in the north, but over the centuries they have been displaced to the far north by human expansion.

Beyond the wall there are sightings confirmed by the night watch. The wildlings that live there claim that direwolves live in great numbers in the Cursed Forest. At the beginning of the plot, during the reign of King Robert Baratheon, no direwolf had been sighted south of the wall in more than 200 years.


A fully grown direwolf is about the size of a smaller horse. He can rip the arm off the shoulder of a grown man. Even a not-yet-grown direwolf can kill a man by biting his throat. Despite the similarity to their smaller relatives, the wolves, there are still some differences, especially when it comes to physical proportions. Direwolves, for example, have a much larger head with a more pronounced snout. Their legs are also longer and they are a lot more muscular than normal wolves.

A direwolf litter can include multiple pups.


Direwolves are loyal to their masters and attack anyone who threatens them. Nymeria, the direwolf of Arya Stark, injured Prince Joffrey when he threatened Arya with a sword, while Sommer, the direwolf of Bran Stark, thwarted an attempt on his life and killed the assassin in the process.

In the War of the Five Kings, Grauwind, Robb Stark's direwolf, played an important role in the Battle of Ochsenfurt, killing several Lannister soldiers and the panicked horses.


  • In the first season, the still young direwolves were represented by adult dogs. The puppies and young wolves were played by Northern Inuit Dogs, most of which were provided by the Mahlek Northern Inuit Dogs breeding company. In interviews it was said that the audience could get used to them better this way instead of coming up with special effects. From the second season, on the other hand, it was no longer possible to do without CGI effects to bring the horse-sized animals onto the screen.
  • During the development phase of the first season, the dogs that the direwolves were supposed to play were offered to the actors who impersonated their owners on the series. The role of lady actress Zunni, who was adopted by Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) after filming, was particularly big.[1] Zunni's grandson Indie played another leading role (which one is unknown) and the dogs Sully and Zuis played two of the puppies.[2] Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) wanted to take in Sommer, but his family already had two dogs.
  • In the second season, real wolves were used to represent the growing direwolves. The use of different camera tricks and techniques made the wolves appear larger and they were then cut together with the background and images for the final shots. As a result, the shadow wolves of the second season have been embodied by real wolves, which were enlarged again in the post-production.
  • Because there is no clear translation for "Direwolf" into German, the species was named "Direwolf", which means "Shadow Wolves" when translated into English.

In the books

A direwolf is a close relative of the wolf, but it is larger and stronger. The Canis dirus served as a real model and namesake, an already extinct and larger version of the modern wolf, but not as powerful as shown in the book. Direwolves became extinct south of the wall as they are very large and dangerous predators, believed to have been driven away by humans. House Stark's coat of arms is a gray direwolf on a white background.


Direwolves can grow as big as ponies. In relation to their bodies, their legs are longer and their heads larger than those of normal wolves. The snout is longer and more pronounced. There are different colorations including gray with yellow eyes and black with green eyes. Albino direwolfs have white fur and red eyes.


Like other wolves, direwolves are social animals and live in packs. They are efficient and covert hunters with a high level of intelligence. Left to their own devices, a direwolf can join a pack of common wolves that it dominates because of its size.

The wood dancers of the children of the forest are reported to have summoned direwolves to fight on their behalf. According to Theon Greyreud, no direwolf had been sighted south of the Wall in two hundred years when Robb Stark found a dead female direwolf with six pups from one litter on the way between Winterfell and the place where Gared was executed.

Like common wolves, direwolves can create a magical bond with a warg.

Well-known direwolves

Lord Eddard Stark's six children took in six orphaned direwolf pups that were found in the wolf forest. These goods:

  • Gray wind, recorded by Robb Stark. He accompanied the army of the north to the south and was used by Robb as a war dog. He was killed by several crossbow bolts at the Red Wedding on the twins by men of the Frey family.
  • lady, recorded by Sansa Stark. She was killed by Eddard Stark on the orders of Robert Baratheon, whom his wife Cersei Lannister had urged.
  • Nymeria, recorded by Arya Stark. Concerned for Nymeria's life, Arya chased her away after wounding Joffrey Baratheon, who had previously threatened Arya. Present in the River Lands, the first direwolf, alongside Gray Wind, in centuries.
  • summer, recorded by Bran Stark. Fled with Bran and his companion from Winterfell after the castle was burned down. Beyond the wall, he died trying to protect Bran against an attack by the revenants.
  • Shaggy, recorded by Rickon Stark. Also fled Winterfell with Rickon. After separating from Bran's group, Rickon, Osha and Struppel go into hiding. Killed when Lord Umber captured Rickon and Osha.
  • ghost, recorded by Jon Snow. An albino with red eyes who accompanied Jon to the night watch and also beyond the wall. Jon and Tormund later took him with them when they moved into the woods north of the wall.[3]

Real background

Canis dirus, Latin for "terrible dog", is a species of dog that became extinct about 10,000 years ago. It belonged to the genus Canis, which is still represented today by wolves, domestic dogs, jackals and coyotes and lived in the Pleistocene of North and South America. Its common name is Dire Wolf. Canis dirus resembled a wolf in physique, but was slightly larger than this. The average head-torso length was around 1.5 m and the weight was around 50 kg. In contrast to the wolf, Canis dirus was somewhat stockier and had shorter, stronger limbs. The head was larger than that of a correspondingly large wolf, but the brain volume was smaller. Its teeth were stronger than those of any other species in the Canis genus.

The Canis dirus (Direwolf) is often taken up as a particularly large, primeval and intelligent wolf in books and films of the fantasy genre. Often these creatures only have their name in common with the extinct species, for example because their bodies are heavily overdrawn or adapted to the respective situation.

See also

Individual evidence