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"The runt of the litter. That one's yours, Snow."
Theon Greyjoy to Jon Snow[src]

Ghost is one of six direwolf pups that are found by the children of House Stark. He is adopted and raised by Jon Snow. Ghost is an albino with white fur and red eyes. Though he was the runt of the litter when he was born, he quickly grew to be as big as the rest of his siblings. Of their litter, only Ghost and Nymeria remain alive.

Biography

Season 1

Jon Snow finds Ghost as a pup.

When a litter of five direwolf puppies are found by the Starks, Jon convinces his father Eddard Stark to spare the pups. He urges his father to allow his siblings to adopt them, stating that there are five pups for the five trueborn Stark children and the direwolf is the sigil of the Stark house. Shortly after, Jon finds a sixth direwolf pup - an albino wolf. Theon Greyjoy mockingly calls the pup "the runt of the litter" and says this pup belongs to Jon. Jon and the other Stark children adopt the direwolf pups. Jon names his direwolf 'Ghost'.[1]

Jon takes Ghost with him to Castle Black when he joins the Night's Watch. Ghost helps him to threaten Rast in the middle of the night, to prevent him from bullying Sam. Jon warns Rast that “no one touches Sam” while Ghost stands over Rast, snarling.[2]

While Jon and Sam say their oath of fealty to the Night's Watch in front of a heart tree north of the Wall, just inside the eaves of the Haunted Forest, Ghost finds the corpses of two rangers, Othor and Jafer Flowers, and brings one of their severed hands back to Jon and a horrified Sam.[3]

Ghost snarls at Rast.

When Jon is confined to quarters for threatening Ser Alliser Thorne, Ghost begins to whine at the door in the middle of the night. Jon understands something is wrong and follows the wolf to the Lord Commander's quarters. Suddenly the door shuts and Ghost is locked outside the room. Jon encounters the undead Othor, risen as a wight, and saves the life of the Lord Commander.[4]

When Jon nearly deserts to join Robb in his war against the Lannisters, Ghost leaves with him. However, they both return to Castle Black.[5]

Ghost at the Fist of the First Men with the Night's Watch.

Season 2

Ghost follows his master and the rest of the Night's Watch as they venture deep into wildling territory in their Great Ranging. While the Night's Watchmen stay at Craster's Keep to rest and inform themselves about Mance Rayder, one of Craster's daughters, Gilly, is frightened by Ghost when he approaches her, attracted by a dead rabbit she's holding. Sam, who had already taken notice of her, tells Ghost to stay away.[6]

Ghost accompanies Jon north.

Along with the black brothers, Ghost climbs the Fist of the First Men.[7] Later, when Jon asks to join Qhorin's raiders, Ghost follows, but as they travel, the direwolf separates from the group and ultimately disappears, despite Jon's calls for Ghost to stay with them.[8]

Season 3

Ghost saves Sam's life.

Following the attack of the White Walkers against the Night's Watch at the Fist, Ghost saves Sam from a wight, giving Jeor Mormont the chance to destroy the wight with fire.[9]

Ghost later accompanies the Night's Watch survivors to Craster's Keep but refuses to enter this time. Instead, he ventures back into the Haunted Forest.[10]

When Sam stumbles across Bran, Jojen Reed, Meera Reed, and Hodor, Sam recognizes Bran due to the presence of Bran's direwolf Summer, having spent enough time with Ghost to be able to recognize a direwolf.[11]

Season 4

Ghost reunites with his master Jon after being freed by Bran.

Ghost has been captured and caged by the Mutineers. One night, Karl Tanner orders Rast to feed Ghost, which he refers to as "the beast". Rast taunts Ghost by pouring water in front of the cage. Later, Ghost is briefly reunited with Summer for the first time since leaving Winterfell, when his cries summon the other direwolf to his cage, but Summer falls into a trap.[12] After escaping Craster's Keep, Bran and his companions release Ghost and Summer. Ghost remains nearby and kills Rast when he flees the massacre of his fellow mutineers. Afterward, Ghost reunites with Jon after being apart for more than a year.[13]

Ghost kills a Thenn warrior.

They arrive together at Castle Black, yet Alliser Thorne orders Jon to lock him away.[14] During the Battle of Castle Black, Jon has Sam release Ghost so that he can help kill the wildlings raiding the castle. Immediately, Ghost lunges at a Thenn warrior and tears out his throat. He ultimately survives the battle.[15]

Season 5

Ghost nibbles on a bone.

Ghost remains in Castle Black, having grown considerably. While Jon trains Olly, Ghost chews on a large bone.[16]

Ghost protects Sam and Gilly from Night's Watch bullies.

After Jon departs for Hardhome and Maester Aemon passes away, Thorne cryptically warns Sam that he is losing all of his friends, presumably prompting him to free Ghost until Jon returns.

Two former criminals in the Night's Watch attempt to rape Gilly and Sam comes to her defense; they beat him, but Ghost arrives to defend him, snarling at them; unwilling to take their chances against the angry direwolf, they flee.[17]

Season 6

After Jon is assassinated by several of his black brothers, Ghost howls in mourning from his pen nearby. His cries summon Davos, Eddison Tollett, and a handful of other black brothers who quickly move Jon's body. At Davos's suggestion, Edd frees Ghost so that he can help them protect Jon's body. On their way back to Jon's quarters, Edd and Ghost are accosted by Thorne and the mutineers. Ghost snarls at Thorne, aware of his role in Jon's murder. Unnerved, Thorne suggests that they release Ghost beyond the Wall, but Edd refuses and leads Ghost to Jon's chamber, where he sniffs Jon's body mournfully. When the mutineers offer the loyalists peace terms through the locked door, Ghost growls.[18]

Ghost sleeps near Jon's body.

At nightfall, the mutineers attempt to break their way into Jon's chambers to kill Davos and the loyalists. Ghost stands beside the loyalists, ready to fight to the death. Edd and the wildlings arrive in time to save Ghost and the loyalists and place the mutineers in custody. Later, Ghost remains close to Jon when Melisandre seemingly fails to resurrect him, and sleeps beside Jon's body. Once everyone has left, Ghost is roused from sleep by something and is the first to witness Jon come back to life.[19] Ghost then watches Jon intently as he gets up.[20]

Ghost leaves Castle Black with Jon as he travels with Davos Seaworth, Melisandre, Tormund, Sansa, Brienne and Pod as they prepare to rally the North against Ramsay Bolton.[21] Following Jon and Sansa's victory after the Battle of the Bastards, Ghost returns to Winterfell with his master.[22]

Season 7

Ghost remains at Winterfell with Sansa when Jon leaves to meet Daenerys at Dragonstone.[23]

Season 8

Ghost charges alongside the Dothraki.

Shortly before the Battle of Winterfell, Ghost stands on the battlements with Jon, Edd, and Sam.[24] He is later seen alongside the strike team on the battlefield beside Jorah Mormont, as they charge the first wave of wights but is not seen for the rest of the battle. Ghost survives the battle, which ends when Arya Stark kills the Night King, defeating the army of the dead.[25]

Ghost is present among the surviving allies in the aftermath of the battle and witnesses the bonfire funeral of the fallen men and women. He is shown to have lost most of his right ear as well as sustaining cuts in the battle.

Ghost watches as Jon departs Winterfell.

Later, as Jon is preparing to march south with the Northern forces and Daenerys's army to defeat Cersei and take the Iron Throne for Daenerys, he suggests to Tormund (who is making his way back to Castle Black with the remaining free folk) that he take Ghost with him. Jon believes Ghost belongs in the true north. Ghost exchanges one last glance with Jon before watching his old master depart.[26]

Ghost reunites with Jon at Castle Black.

Ghost is reunited with Jon, when the latter is exiled to the Night's Watch for Daenerys's assassination after she razes a surrendered King's Landing. Jon and Ghost accompany Tormund and the wildlings on the return to the lands beyond the Wall.[27]

Appearances

Game of Thrones Season 1 appearances
Winter Is Coming The Kingsroad Lord Snow Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things The Wolf and the Lion
A Golden Crown You Win or You Die The Pointy End Baelor Fire and Blood
Game of Thrones Season 2 appearances
The North Remembers The Night Lands What Is Dead May Never Die Garden of Bones The Ghost of Harrenhal
The Old Gods and the New A Man Without Honor The Prince of Winterfell Blackwater Valar Morghulis
Game of Thrones Season 3 appearances
Valar Dohaeris Dark Wings, Dark Words Walk of Punishment And Now His Watch Is Ended Kissed by Fire
The Climb The Bear and the Maiden Fair Second Sons The Rains of Castamere Mhysa
Game of Thrones Season 4 appearances
Two Swords The Lion and the Rose Breaker of Chains Oathkeeper First of His Name
The Laws of Gods and Men Mockingbird The Mountain and the Viper The Watchers on the Wall The Children
Game of Thrones Season 5 appearances
The Wars to Come The House of Black and White High Sparrow Sons of the Harpy Kill the Boy
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken The Gift Hardhome The Dance of Dragons Mother's Mercy
Game of Thrones Season 6 appearances
The Red Woman Home Oathbreaker Book of the Stranger The Door
Blood of My Blood The Broken Man No One Battle of the Bastards The Winds of Winter
Game of Thrones Season 8 appearances
Winterfell A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms The Long Night
The Last of the Starks The Bells The Iron Throne

Family tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Famtree-GreyWind.png
Grey Wind
Robb's direwolf
Deceased
 
Famtree-LadytheDirewolf.png
Lady
Sansa's direwolf
Deceased
 
Famtree-NymeriatheDirewolf.png
Nymeria
Arya's direwolf

 
Famtree-SummertheDirewolf.png
Summer
Bran's direwolf
Deceased
 
Famtree-Shaggydog.png
Shaggydog
Rickon's direwolf
Deceased
 
Famtree-GhosttheDirewolf.png
Ghost
Jon's direwolf

 

Gallery

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Ghost is the quietest and stealthiest of the six direwolf pups. While the other wolves are darker-colored, Ghost is an albino and silent. Jon Snow's younger brother Bran Stark notices that Ghost has already opened his eyes while the other pups' eyes remain closed. Ghost's like-but-unlike nature appeals to Jon as a kindred spirit and he shares Jon's thoughtful, observant, and quiet nature. Also shared is that Jon and Ghost are both part of their respective families, but a bit apart from their siblings at the same time as Jon is an illegitimate child while Ghost is a silent, albino wolf.[28] Ghost's appearance is said to resemble that of the faces found on heart trees in the North.

Jon finds Ghost separated from his siblings. Ghost also matured faster than the others: he was the first to open his eyes and walk on his own, and was attempting to find shelter away from their mother's corpse. Like in the TV series, Jon also convinces his father to spare the pups for his trueborn siblings and later finds the sixth pup shortly afterward. However, unlike in the TV series, Theon suggests they leave the pup to die, which Jon emphatically refuses and Jon himself claims Ghost as his own.

In the books, it is emphasized that Ghost is unnaturally silent: Jon tells Tyrion that he named him "Ghost" partially because of his albino coloring, but also because of how little noise he makes. In the books, Ghost is completely mute, utterly silent making no sound of any kind. This wasn't found to translate well to the screen, so Ghost makes noises like growling at Rast in his bunk or whining at Gilly holding rabbits.

Ghost accompanies Jon when he goes to Castle Black with his uncle Benjen Stark and helps Jon defend Sam from being harmed in training. When Jon joins Qhorin's scouting group, Ghost comes along. When Jon is forced to kill Qhorin as part of Qhorin's plan for Jon to infiltrate Mance Rayder's host, Ghost helps Jon defeat Qhorin. Before going with the wildlings to scale the Wall, Jon orders Ghost to leave and attempt to return to Castle Black. Ghost departs into the forest, and Jon hopes he understood his command. Many weeks later, several days after the Battle of Castle Black is over, Ghost returns to the Wall, where Jon and Ghost are overjoyed to be reunited.

In the TV series, Ghost initially shadows Qhorin's scouting group, but he does not appear again after Jon is captured. Apparently, on his own initiative, Ghost made his way back to the Fist of the First Men, the Watch's main base camp, but it had come under attack by the White Walkers. Ghost is later seen with the survivors when he helps Jeor Mormont kill a wight that was attacking Sam. Ghost apparently then tried to return to Castle Black alongside them, but when they reach Craster's Keep, Ghost senses the coming danger, and retreats back into the Haunted Forest. In the TV show, the mutineers at Craster's Keep capture him, but when Jon leads a scouting force back to Craster's Keep to finish off the traitors, Ghost is reunited with Jon and brought back to Castle Black. Afterward, he is let loose during the wildling attack on the fortress to aid the Watch's defense, and is seen to be by Jon's side at Castle Black in Season 5 - putting him back in sync with his book location.

In the books, Melisandre warns Jon of "daggers in the dark" and advises him to keep Ghost near him all the time. However, Jon does not listen to Melisandre, since one of her visions about "a girl in grey on a dying horse" (whom Melisandre believed to be Arya, but turned to be Alys Karstark) proves to be wrong; this turns to be a fatal mistake for Jon.

In his last breath, Jon whispers "Ghost" - similar to Robb, whose last words were "Grey Wind". It is unknown if there is a connection between these instances. There is a fan speculation that Robb and Jon, in their last breath, managed to warg into their respective direwolves. It did not do any good for Robb, since Grey Wind was killed shortly after him; it is not the case with Jon, whose direwolf was not around when he was stabbed - he might have survived.

See also

References

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