In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Monday, April 18, 2011

The White Dire Wolf and Game of Thrones

Well, I got myself hooked on HBO's Game of Thrones, of which the first episode aired tonight. The series is based on the series by George R. R. Martin. I'm not familiar with the books, and have no idea how the television version compares, so no comment there.
A Game of Thrones is the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 6 August 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award,[1] and was nominated for both the 1998 Nebula Award[2] and the 1997[1] World Fantasy Award. The novella Blood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. (Wikipedia)
A scene in the first episode includes the discovery of "direwolf" cubs by Lord Eddard Stark, leader of the House Stark. The mother dire wolf had been killed by a stag and the pups are about to be killed as well by the humans who find them. At the last minute, the cubs are saved, adopted by the would be killers, for, as one of the characters says, (paraphrasing) "The wolves were meant for us to find," since the dire wolf is the House Stark's totem.

image source here
After gathering up the five cubs, they are about to walk away, when one of the characters notices a sixth cub. Picking up the wolf, the others laugh at him, for this one is a runt. They comment that it figures he'd get the runt, since he himself is the bastard child of the group. An outsider, like the runt cub, which is all white. The bastard son's name is Jon Snow; the last name symbolically underscoring the symbolism of the white cub. Jon Snow has always been an outsider because he's the bastard son; his cub is also an outsider: white, a runt, and mute.

I suspect that the fact the bastard of the group found the runt of the litter -- and a white animal -- will reveal something along the lines of this character's heritage. A surprise, a link to royalty (magickal or otherwise), power. The white animal will also become something quite powerful; a protector, a fierce and wise guardian... both outsiders, both carrying power, magick, keepers of a legacy, or secret, a lonely quest, the hero's journey.

For those who know all about Game of Thrones, this might seem obvious, silly, or exasperating ("boy, will she be surprised when it turns out that... ha ha") but for me, it's all new, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, including the fate of the direwolves.

Direwolf - Game of Thrones Wiki


  1. I've not read the book but am hooked on the series. I was very upset when Ned had to kill his daughters pet. From reading your overview above, perhaps there's something else in the wings and the end will justify the means and that horrible family gets its comeuppance!

  2. MAG, that scene upset me so much! That was awful. But I agree with you, maybe something good will come of that, and justice/revenge will be served.

  3. as somene who read the books and is watching the series, you are really on to something with your hypothesis I believe!!! But, still no ones knows for sure to this day even with the books, because the series is still not yet done.

    The wolves are actually really downplayed in the tv series. In the books, their undying loyalty to their masters is powerful and beautiful (and in Sansa's case, sad).