Warning: Spoilers ahead for future episodes of “Game of Thrones” season seven.
“Game of Thrones” fans (rightfully) freaked out when the teaser for season seven, episode two — “Stormborn” — appeared to show Arya Stark coming face to face with a wolf.
Since Arya’s reunion with her direwolf Nymeria is one of fans’ most-anticipated reunions in the series, it was logical to assume that the wolf we saw in the preview for next week’s episode was Nymeria.
But I really don’t think it is. Now, that’s not to say I don’t think Nymeria will appear this season (or even on the next episode), it’s just that I don’t think the wolf we saw was a direwolf at all. Instead, it looks to me like one of Nymeria’s wolf pack.
This tweet from @OshaWildling is what made me rethink our previous Nymeria hypothesis:
now i get why nymeria is the leader of a wolf pack. look who small the other direwolves are compared to her pic.twitter.com/6TjgBLaVAR
— osha (@oshawildling) July 17, 2017
The wolf in the preview looks far too small to be a full-grown direwolf, especially when compared to her brothers and sisters.
Take a look at Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind, on season two:
Grey Wind had grown so large that he came to Robb’s waist by season two. So you’re telling me that by season seven, when even more years have passed, that Nymeria looks pretty much like a regular ferocious wolf?
Then there’s Ghost, Jon Snow’s direwolf who was last seen on season six. He’s also enormous, and clearly larger than the grey wolf seen in the “Stormborn” preview.
True, Nymeria has presumably been out in the wild and fending for herself, which could explain the smaller stature, but the difference is too large for me to completely buy that argument.
Then there’s the coloring of the wolf’s fur. The last time we saw Nymeria, she was mostly white with grey markings around the top of her heard.
I know what you’re thinking — they probably just got a new wolf to play the role of Nymeria, right? It has been ages, after all.
This is true, but I would counter by saying that the wolves are brought to life by real animals and CGI. The show has had some inconsistencies, but they would likely take the time to match Nymeria’s coloring and overall appearance. Plus I don’t believe HBO would want to show Nymeria in a preview when they surely know how hyped everyone will be when she finally reappears.
I do think the wolf seen in the “Stormborn” preview is likely a part of Nymeria’s wolf pack. In the books, Arya has “wolf dreams” where she appears to warg into Nymeria and see from her point-of-view. We also hear secondhand rumors of a wolf pack ravaging the Riverlands (which is where Arya is near in the season seven premiere).
Then there were the news reports that hinted at a “beautiful wolf scene” and multiple wolves being on set for season seven.
So everything is adding up for the Nymeria and Arya reunion, and it will likely happen as soon as episode two, but just know that we probably haven’t seen the grown-up Nymeria yet.