Now, I caught up with Game of Thrones by watching all of the seasons in less than a week. During my [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) binge, I was also simultaneously researching the summaries of the books and character bios in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series...
So I still do have a few holes in my understanding, but here’s what I’ve pieced together so far:
The mother direwolf was killed by a stag. Thus, leaving her children to fend on their own. Eddard was beheaded under the command of Joffrey “Baratheon.” Though Joffrey isn’t a true Baratheon, the House of Baratheon is represented by a stag.
During the Red Wedding, Grey Wind was caged up while they shot at him with arrows. Much the same, Robb and his men were confined in the dining hall while they were being massacred.
When Jon first presented the five direwolf pups to Eddard, he swayed Eddard from killing them as they symbolized the Stark children. After the rest of the group has turned away, Jon discovers another pup that is furthest away from where the original litter is found and is physically different from the rest. This aligns with Jon’s circumstances as Eddard’s bastard as he is simultaneously of their blood but fundamentally separate from them. In the TV series, when Jon encounters Ygritte, she trips him and he is then ambushed by wildlings and taken captive. Ghost has separated from Jon at this point of the story to wander off on his own. He saves Sam from a Wight at the Fist of the First Men, and then accompanies the Night’s Watch at Craster’s Keep. He then leaves to wander the forest. After some time, like Jon, he gets captured.
After Nymeria attacked Joffrey, Arya anticipated that Nymeria would be killed as retribution for the attack so she drove Nymeria off. Nymeria now wanders around the Riverlands freely, much like how Arya escaped King’s Landing and is now traversing about the war-ravaged Riverlands, fending for herself. I think it’s important to note that Nymeria was aptly named after a warrior-queen, which resonates well with Arya’s character.
In a recent episode, while under the control of Bran, Summer approaches a trapped Ghost. But as he gets closer, he falls into a pit. I’m willing to bet Summer gets injured from this fall much like how Bran is handicapped. (I may have to come up with a back up for this parallel. We’ll find out soon.) All the Stark children are Wargs, whether they recognize it or not. But Bran is the only one who embraces his abilities. This allows him to deeply bond with Summer. They nearly become one and the same whenever he wargs into him. Because Bran is a parapalegic, Summer serves as an extension of himself and is also a means to allow him to experience using legs again.
In the TV series, there isn’t enough screen time for these two. I guess one can say their fates are parallel in the fact that they're both still alive. Moreover, It is readily apparent that each of the Stark children share deep connections with their respective direwolves. With Rickon, ShaggyDog’s wildness mirrors Rickon’s. In the books, ShaggyDog is described as the least disciplined of the direwolf pups. This could align with the fact that Rickon is the youngest of the Stark children, and was quite young when shit hit the fan. He didn’t spend as much time growing up with his siblings as they had with each other. And he also lost his parents at a young age. Thus, he probably was a lot less disciplined than the other Starks.
This one is the only one that is debatable. But if you think about it, after losing Lady, Sansa is sort of severed of her Stark identity. So Lady’s death doesn’t necessarily imply that Sansa is going to bite the dust. Rather, Lady’s death probably serves as a symbolic death for Sansa. After suffering abuse as a captive of the Lannisters, she grows disabused of all the silly romanticized notions she was so fixated and known for. She lost her “Lady” like fixations.
It's also important to note that Eddard is the one who had to kill Lady under the request of the Lannisters. This aligns with the fact that Ned still believed Sansa had to uphold her promise to marry Joffrey despite his repulsive, sociopathic personality.
"Sansa will be married to Joffrey someday. She cannot betray him. She must take his side even when he’s wrong" -- Eddard Stark to Arya Stark.
And I think the names of the direwolves carry a lot of significance/foreshadowing as well:
- “Lady” died. Much like Sansa’s lady-like romanticized notions.
- “Summer” being the opposite of Winter. Denoting of Bran's endeavor to fight off Winter.
- “Nymeria” the warrior-queen, which resonates with how Arya is training how to be an awesome assassin.
- And this from nooneshouldbethissparkly (viaTumblr) who corrected me before these edits:
“It’s also been pointed out that Ghost is snow white, in parallel to Jon Snow’s name. Additionally, the Stark coat of arms is a gray direwolf in a white field. Bastards who use a coat of arms typically reverse the colors, so if Jon had a coat of arms, it would be a white direwolf in a gray field.”
But can you think of any more parallel's between the Stark's and their Dire-wolves, especially as, after last Sunday's episode and Jon Snow being reunited with Ghost, they are more apt than ever?