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Season 8 of Game Of Thrones was controversial, to say the least, and it wasn't just the way the HBO drama ultimately wrapped up that had people a little up in arms.
One common complaint was Jon Snow’s treatment of his dire wolf, Ghost, before he left Winterfell for King’s Landing in Episode 4. Fans were appalled at the writers for not allowing Jon Snow to have a moment with his beloved pet before leaving. Now, the actors from the show are appalled at some fans for adopting huskies because they look like dire wolves, only to abandon them when they tire of the poor pups.
Most recently, Jerome Flynn, who played Bronn on Game Of Thrones, is the latest cast member to speak up on behalf of PeTA and appeal to the Thrones fans’ better instincts and ask them to stop adopting the dogs. In the video, posted to YouTube, he says,
Animal shelters around the world are reporting a surge in the number of abandoned huskies because the casual acquirer, drawn to the dog’s appearance, failed to take into consideration the amount of time, patience, and money required to care for these animals properly.
You can see more of his comments below.
According to some reports, the number of huskies in some areas has jumped nearly 7% in the years since the show began on HBO in 2011. It’s not the first time something like this has happened, either. According to Riverside (CA) Animal Services Chief Jaclyn Schart, similar trends happened in the wake of other Hollywood hits, as she explained to NBC Los Angeles,
It's the same trend shelters experienced with 101 Dalmatians or Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Popular culture drives up interest in certain breeds.
The adoption issue isn’t a new one. Two years ago, Peter Dinklage – he played Tyrion, if you’ve already forgotten – put out a message through PeTA’s (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals) Instagram account that urged Game Of Thrones fans to think long and hard before making the decision to adopt a husky.
That post didn’t stop fans from adopting the breed and now shelters all over the United States and the United Kingdom are filling up with huskies whose owners were either unwilling or unable to care for them properly.
Dire wolves are hugely important animals on Game Of Thrones; the litter that belonged to the Stark children were introduced in the very first episode of the show and they are, of course, on the Stark sigil. While most of the dire wolves (poor Lady) faced untimely deaths, one became one of the most beloved non-human characters on show. Jon Snow’s Ghost was by Jon’s side from Episode 1 of Season 1 right up until the Battle Of Winterfell in Season 8, where Ghost was part of an epic battle against the army of the dead, even losing an ear in the combat.
Ghost stuck with Jon even after Jon left him with Tormund Giantsbane without so much as a scratch behind the wounded ear, before heading to King’s Landing and the final battle of the series. When Jon finally returned to the north on Game of Thrones, there was Ghost, ready to defend his beloved master beyond The Wall once more.
As cool as it seems like it would be to own your very own dire wolf -- your own Ghost or your own Nymeria -- huskies are a tough breed that demands a lot of attention, exercise, and training from their owners and if you are not ready to commit to that, it’s best to take the advice of Tyrion and Bronn and not adopt one.