The final season of Game of Thrones was divisive at best, but we can all agree on one thing: it failed its furriest cast member.
Ghost, Jon Snow’s direwolf, has served the former King in the North faithfully for seasons. The runt of an orphaned litter of pups found in the show’s premiere, Ghost was almost abandoned, left for dead by Lord Stark and his children before Jon Snow heard him whimpering by a creek and claimed him as his own. Ghost was a fighter though. He grew up to be a strong, loyal watchdog, following his owner to Castle Black and warning him of an attack from a wight — the first Jon Snow had ever encountered.
He left Jon who eventually joined with the Wildlings to save Samwell Tarly, Commander Mormont, and the rest of the Night’s Watch at the Fist of the First Men. He’s later kidnapped, caged, and taunted by mutineers. He’s forced to watch as Jon Snow is brutally stabbed to death by his fellow brothers of the Night’s Watch, and he stands vigil, guarding Jon’s body as Melissandre works to bring him back to life.
Ghost has been through some sh*t. Ghost is a good boy.
Which is why the farewell he’s given from Jon Snow is so hard to stomach. After watching his master fly around on dragons for much of Season 8, the seemingly discarded dog is handed over to Tormund and the Wildlings to head North while Jon Snow heads South to King’s Landing. Jon believed Ghost would be happier where he can roam free — a nice sentiment if you also believe that animals aren’t sentient beings with feelings who form attachments that aren’t broken easily. Ghost has spent his entire life at Jon’s side. Would he like a big backyard with room to run and some snow on the ground? Probably. What dog wouldn’t? But I doubt he’d appreciate being pawned off to strangers so his master can enjoy the summer weather and a seat on the Iron Throne.
What’s worse, Ghost isn’t even afforded a heartfelt goodbye from Jon, who elects to give him his trademark brooding stare instead of a hug, or an ear rub or a damn pat on the head. As if sacrificing himself in the battle against the White Walkers, losing an ear, and tearing through hundreds of wights hasn’t earned him at least a second of human contact.
And yes, in the end, Ghost gets to be with Jon Snow. The two are seen riding off into the snow-covered forests north of the wall. But it’s a lucky coincidence, a stroke of fate that Bran was able to use his newly elected status as King to pardon his brother of his crimes and send him to Castle Black. Jon left Ghost planning to never see him again. He came back, not by his choice, but by someone else’s.
Ghost deserves better.
Ghost deserves a friend who doesn’t use his physical presence to intimidate others. Ghost deserves a friend who doesn’t see him as merely a weapon. Ghost deserves a friend who doesn’t ditch him the minute riding dragons becomes a possibility. Ghost deserves to be free of Jon Snow who, let’s face it, is carrying around some bad juju at this point.
Ghost, you are our boy now. A very good boy.
Ghost is the best boi that ever lived and he never got his due on Game of Thrones. We will die on this hill.