This season of Game Of Thrones has been all about reunions. Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is back at Winterfell, the Stark sisters are once again at each other's throats, and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has crossed paths with both Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) after years apart. One reunion that hasn't happened, however? Jon and his direwolf, Ghost.
There's already been one direwolf reunion this year, when Arya (Maisie Williams) briefly ran into Nymeria. We last saw saw Ghost in season 6, episode 3, when he watched Jon come back from the dead. But there's a reason he stopped appearing in all of Jon's major moments, and it's decidedly not as satisfying as it should be.
"One reason we haven’t seen the direwolves more often is that the producers set a high bar for visual realism on the series and ultra-large wolves are difficult to render convincingly," James Hibberd told Entertainment Weekly. "A naturalistic furry animal takes more time and resources to create using computer effects than a fantastical scaly dragon."
This isn't to say they haven't tried. In an interview with Business Insider last year, Miguel Sapochnik — the director of "Battle Of The Bastards" — said that Ghost was supposed to be in many of the scenes, but they ultimately had to cut him.
"[Ghost] was in [the Battle of the Bastards] in spades originally, but it’s also an incredibly time consuming and expensive character to bring to life," he told the outlet. "Ultimately, we had to choose between Wun-Wun and the direwolf, so the dog bit the dust."
While we may not get to see Ghost, this doesn't mean he's not there in spirit. In fact, he was just mentioned in episode 5 of season 7 when, as Buzzfeed spotted, Sansa (Sophie Turner) tells Arya, "I warned Jon this would happen. He couldn't leave the North and expect it to just sit and wait for him like Ghost."
That being said, we'll sit and wait for as long as it takes for this on-screen reunion to finally, hopefully happen.