'Game of Thrones': Why Jon Didn't Pet Ghost When He Left Winterfell

Meaghan Darwish
HBO

Fans had a major bone to pick over the most recent episode of Game of Thrones when Jon Snow (Kit Harington) departed Winterfell for the next battle at King's Landing.

Why? Well, the true heir to the Iron Throne didn't pet his direwolf Ghost goodbye while he hugged friends Samwell (John Bradley), Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) in farewell. Considering their bond since Season 1, the departure certainly stung, especially since Ghost appeared to have been injured during the Battle of Winterfell.

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The premium cable service is addressing that onscreen blunder from Episode 4.

Instead of petting Ghost, Jon just nodded in the direwolf's direction as he told Tormund to bring the pet with him further north. A flurry of upset overtook the internet following the interaction with people wondering why Jon would treat the animal so coldly, but there is an explanation.

In a statement made to the Huffington Post, episode director David Nutter explained, "Since the direwolves are kind of CG creations, we felt it best to keep it as simple as possible... And I think that it played out much more powerfully that way."

Jon Snow meets Ghost in Season 1 (Credit: HBO)

The notion makes sense if you consider how they create the direwolves — by filming real wolves and then making them look larger in scale. In doing this the animal's behavior determines the performance surrounding it. Still, the idea doesn't offer any solace for Ghost fans who feel he was ghosted by Jon Snow.

"Keeping Ghost off to the side, I thought that played out better," continued Nutter. "Then he just walks off by himself, he turns to Ghost and has this moment with Ghost that I thought was very, very powerful."

(Credit: HBO)

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Could the HBO show underwhelm during its final chapter?

While it's unlikely we'll see Ghost again, Hivju commented, "Well, there's still two more episodes to go. We don't know if they survive."

Despite the rough goodbye, it's safe to say most fans can probably agree that the south is no place for a direwolf.

Game of Thrones, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO