Heading into last week's episode of Game of Thrones, Battle of the Bastards, most fans knew this would feature the long-awaited battle between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to see who would control Winterfell. While the battle was certainly epic, and easily amongst the biggest in TV history, there was one character who some fans noticed was missing, Jon Snow's direwolf Ghost. As it turns out, there's a perfectly practical explanation for why Ghost wasn't part of the battle, according to director Miguel Sapochnik.
Before this episode aired, several stars such as Liam Cunningham and Iwan Rheon remarked how massive this battle truly was, and we learned shortly after the episode aired that it took a whopping 25 days to film, whereas most episodes take just a week or two to shoot. As for Ghost, who is most often seen by Jon Snow's side, Business Insider asked director Miguel Sapochnik why the direwolf wasn't around for this battle. Here's what the director had to say below.
"[Ghost] was in there in spades originally, but it's also an incredibly time consuming and expensive character to bring to life. Ultimately we had to choose between Wun-Wun and the direwolf, so the dog bit the dust."
Wun-Wun is one of the Wildling giants that helped Jon Snow get into Winterfell, so he could beat Ramsay to a pulp. While Jon may or may not have been able to breach the Winterfell walls without Wun-Wun, Ghost's presence may have been welcomed in Ramsay's death scene. After his defeat, Ramsay was tied up, left in a cell with his own hounds, who he had admitted earlier in the episode that he hasn't fed for seven whole days. While Ramsay's death by his own hounds was certainly satisfying for many fans, others may have liked to see Ghost involved in this brutal death as well.
It remains to be seen if Ghost will return in Sunday night's season finale, The Winds of Winter, but we don't know for sure because very little has been revealed about this episode. We do know that this episode will be the longest in Game of Thrones history, clocking in at 69 minutes long. The show has already been renewed for Season 7, but there have been rumors that next season will only be seven episodes long, which will lead into Season 8 as the last season, which is rumored to be just six episodes long. Stay tuned for more on Game of Thrones as we get ready for the season finale.