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The magical animals that are still alive on Game of Thrones

These dragons and direwolves avoided death and will enter the final episodes

rhaegal in game of thrones season 8 HBO
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Game of Thrones is not a series known for Tolkien-esque creatures. So it’s understandable that the few mythical beasts that are involved with the saga, like the Stark children’s direwolves and Dany’s dragons, have become some of fans’ most treasured characters. Human characters come and go in Game of Thrones, but with so few of them on the show, the deaths of these furry and flying companions are almost as tragic.

On that note, let’s talk about the new episode.

[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, “The Last of the Starks.”]

The latest death of one of these few majestic creatures (as far as three giant arrows and a plummet into the sea confirm death) is Rhaegal, killed at the giant-crossbow-wielding hands of Euron Greyjoy and his fleet. That means, with this latest dragon death, there are only a few magical animals left in all of Westeros. Here’s a rundown as we enter the siege of King’s Landing.


Drogon is alive

Probably the most important of all the remaining mythical creatures on the show, Drogon is now Dany’s only remaining dragon. Despite the problems he’s caused her, Drogon has also always been Dany’s favorite of her three dragons. He’s always her first choice when she’s riding into battle, and now he’s her greatest weapon against Cersei. While she’s been reticent to use Drogon and his fire to their full potential in most of her fights so far, it’s possible that could change now that she’s lost so much. If Dany decides to start having Drogon roast whole cities, it’s possible he could be in quite a bit of danger, and it could and put him on the wrong side of most of Westeros. But if Westeros’ last dragon is going to go out, maybe it’s best for it to be in a fiery inferno.

ghost on game of thrones HBO

Ghost is alive, but out of the game

Ghost is the big, gray, wolf-shaped elephant in the room. Introduced in the first episode, and probably the most present on-screen of all the animals on the show, Ghost has been absent for way too much of the last several seasons. Sure, he showed up in one scene in episode 2 of season 8 and then again for a few seconds each in episode 3 and 4, but that’s not enough! His fans aren’t happy.

For the first several seasons of the show, Ghost was Jon’s loyal and trusted companion; now it’s hard to tell if Jon even remembers he has a giant mythical wolf. It’s a shame that Ghost has been sidelined while Jon’s been focused on dragons — of several different types — but at least it’s kept the direwolf safe so far. If not seeing Ghost on-screen is the price we have to pay for him to live a happy life, so be it. And since his journey is now taking him up north with Tormund, hopefully things will be okay for him.

nymeria on game of thrones HBO

Nymeria is alive

Speaking of off-screen adventures being the best thing for direwolf health, Nymeria left the show in episode 2 of season 1 and didn’t return until season 7, and she seems to be doing great. She’s got a huge pack of wolves following her, and she’s just roaming the Seven Kingdoms. We’re happy to see Nymeria living a happy life, but we’ll see what the rest of the show has in store. Her reunion with Arya was a nice moment, but it’s hard not to feel like she was brought back for a specific reason. Hopefully, whatever that reason is, she makes it out all right.