Game of Thrones

In 2011 HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 1, adapted from Geroge R R Martin’s Song of Ice & Fire series, first aired on TV and the show became an instant hit worldwide. Northern Inuits bred by NIS Breeders were selected to play both the puppy and the young Direwolves in Season 1. In later seasons of Game of Thrones, as the Direwolves became adults, wolves which were enhanced using CGI were used to portray Direwolves due to the size Direwolves were said to grow to in the books.

In the show the Direwolves, Ghost, Nymeria, Grey Wind, Summer, Shaggydog and Lady were adopted by the Stark children and follow them on their trials and tribulations. The NIS provided Northern Inuits to assist with filming the pilot for Season 1 a year before it aired on TV. The NIS was ultimately given the contract to provide Northern Inuits for Season 1 due to Northern Inuits’ easy going nature and their trainability.

got-1All the Northern Inuits used to play Direwolves in Season 1 are now happily living out their lives with their families. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, and her family fell in love with Zunni (who played Lady) during the filming of Season 1 and with the permission of her owner and breeder adopted her after filming ended. Zunni was bred by Mahlek and prior to her acting career she had some stunning litters – whilst she is now retired from breeding and quietly enjoying life with Sophie’s family, her famous legacy will live on through her puppies, grand puppies and great-grand puppies. Sully, also bred by Mahlek, played a puppy Direwolf in the opening episodes of Season 1. Not only is he famous for playing a Direwolf but in 2014 he became an NIS Champion thanks to his performance in the show ring and winning three gold stars.

2 of the puppies used at the very start of the show have stayed on location in Northern Ireland. As well as being beloved family members, dogs Thor and Odin delight visitors from all over the world at Direwolf Tours. The duo are proving to be true ambassadors of the breed with there friendly outgoing natures and have developed quite the fanbase!



A word of warning: whilst the NIS is incredibly proud of its association with Game of Thrones and Northern Inuits have gathered a large fan base as a result, Northern Inuits are not the breed for everyone. If you are interested in owning a Northern Inuit (whether a puppy or a rescue) browse through our Website to learn more about the breed and contact NIS Breeders to discuss whether you are suited to owning a Northern Inuit.

Northern Inuit Society