Art Parkinson (Rickon Stark) shoots down fan theory about “Oathbreaker”

This past Sunday, Rickon Stark returned to Game of Thrones after a two-season absence. Unfortunately, he didn’t return under the best of circumstances. The last time we saw Rickon, he and Osha the wildling were headed off to the Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber. The idea was that the Umbers would keep Rickon safe, but in “Oathbreaker,” they turned the youngest Stark over to Ramsay Bolton in an attempt to cement an alliance. Worse, they presented Ramsay with the head of his beloved direwolf, Shaggydog.

Some fans have a theory: they think that the Umbers are secretly still loyal to the Starks, have turned over Rickon in an attempt to gain Ramsay’s trust, and will double-cross him later. Some don’t even think that was Shaggydog’s actual head. In an interview with The Huffington Post, actor Art Parkinson avoids answering questions directly, but he does clear up one thing. Here’s what he said when the Post asked him if that was really Shaggydog in “Oathbreaker.”

Uh, yeah, I’d say so. It was a little bit disappointing because, you know, looking at the dogs we had on set … and that you’d never really get to hang out with them again. When I read that Shaggydog was dead, I was definitely a little upset.

Game of Thrones

Shaggydog and Rickon in better times.

Let me just take a moment here: NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

While the 14-year-old Parkinson dashed hopes that Rickon’s direwolf was alive, he was a little less committal on the possibility that the Umbers were running a long con.

Well, you know, the show is so full of twists and turns, so it is possible, but it would be disappointing if Jon Umber did really betray us.

And later:

It’s definitely going to be an interesting season, and to keep an eye out for the little details.

Will do.


The Huffington Post also asked Parkinson how Rickon had changed while he’s been offscreen. Of all the Stark children, he’s the one we got to know the least, but if you think back to the early seasons, you might recall that he was moody and a bit wild. That’s continued.

I think because he’s been away for so long — the show hasn’t stated where yet — I think he’s a lot more independent and a little bit more feral.

If Rickon dies this season, will he go down swinging?

I think if Rickon does go down, there will definitely be a fight in it. Rickon’s quite a tough character, so I would definitely expect a fight.

More as it breaks.