The direwolves have always acted as a prophetic tool for the Stark family and, in subsequent, the rest of the series at large.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, episode 2.]
To be clear: this has nothing to do with the far more talked about direwolf story making the rounds right now. This isn’t about Nymeria and Arya Stark’s “reunion” that left many of us feeling devastated. In fact, this story isn’t even about living direwolves of any sort.
This is about the direwolves statue that stand tall and proud at Winterfell, guarding the Starks as they make their way through their home.
In the most recent episode, there’s a scene where Jon Snow is coming out of the crypts where he had encountered a conniving Littlefinger. One eagle-eyed Redditor, however, spotted an interesting development just off to the side. The direwolf statues seemed to have been desecrated by the Boltons prior to Jon Snow’s return..
Comparison shots collected by Lardt were posted on Imgur and can be seen below.
It makes a great deal of sense that the tyrannical Ramsay Snow — and his army of despicable evil-doers who belonged to House Bolton of Winterfell — would decapitate the statues, desecrating an important part of the Starks’ image. When the Boltons took over Winterfell, the goal was to destroy everything the Starks stood for and exert their own dominance. They wanted people of the North to fear the name Bolton and forget the word Stark. Decapitating the direwolves, the symbol of the Starks’ authority, isn’t just a form of dominance and aggression, it sends the same disturbing message.
Of course, the direwolves’ statues also aren’t the first Starks to lose their heads. Ned Stark was decapitated in the first season, his head stuck on a wall to warn others of the price for betraying the Baratheons and Lannisters. His son, Robb Stark, also had his head impaled on a stake. The desecration of the direwolf statues continue the theme of decapitated Starks.
Now that Jon has returned to Winterfell and has been crowned King in the North, it’s up to him and his sister Sansa Stark to bring honor back to their home. With Jon off to see Daenerys at Dragonstone and discuss plans of attack on both the White Walkers and King’s Landing, where Cersei currently sits on the Iron Throne, there are numerous changes coming to the show.
Hopefully, Game of Thrones addresses the regime change at Winterfell and finds a way to get new, full-headed statues back on the grounds. This is something we’re going to keep an eye on any developments.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.