CAUTION: THIS POST CONTAINS POTENTIAL SPOILERS
If filming on Game of Thrones season 7 isn’t over, it’s very nearly done. But we still had reports as recently as last week that Maisie Willaims (Arya) was filming scenes in Canada, and that there were direwolf actors nearby.
Now, the chair of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association, Michael Jorgensen, has confirmed that the show was indeed in the area, telling the Global News that the production was drawn to this particular location in part because of the local fauna.
I just spent the weekend with the DOP [director of photography] of Game of Thrones in Banff. They are shooting. It turns out Alberta has the biggest wolves in the world, so they’ve shot a little bit here.
Banff is a resort town in Alberta, located within the Banff National Park. This tracks with shots of the area Williams has posted to her Instagram account.
The last time we saw Arya Stark on the show, she was killing Walder Frey and his sons at the Twins, located in the Riverlands. And now Williams is filming in an area where there live “the biggest wolves in the world.” This is yet more evidence that Arya may run into Nymeria, the direwolf she chased off in the “The Kingsroad,” should she head north from the Twins.
In the books, Nymeria is currently roaming the Riverlands at the head of the largest pack of wolves anyone in Westeros can remember seeing. And Arya constantly has “wolf dreams” where she can see through Nymeria’s eyes, and taste what she eats. We haven’t heard much of what Nymeria is or isn’t up to on the show, but she’s still presumably out there. If the show reunites Arya and Nymeria, there are going to be loads of happy fans.
One more little bit of evidence that Nymeria could make a return: not long ago, Instinct Animals for Film, the company that supplies the show with its wolf actors, posted a photo of a wolf who looked like a grown-up version of Nymeria to its Instagram account. The photo included the caption “Ready to work” and the hashtag “#winteriscoming.” It’s since been removed. Hmm.
Instinct Animals for Film also posted a photo of Quigly the wolf, who plays Ghost, although it was also later removed. If Nymeria were to return, she would be Ghost’s only remaining sibling from the litter of pups the Stark boys found in the first episode of Game of Thrones.