On the HBO show Game of Thrones, a dog breed, called the Northern Inuit, has been used to portray direwolves, an ancient and enormous wolf-like creature. Direwolves inhabited North America during the Pleistocene age with other super-sized animals such as saber-tooth tigers and mammoths.
In the popular HBO show, a litter of orphaned direwolf pups are discovered which bond with a family of children and act as their protectors.
Sansa Stark is a teen character played by Sophie Turner. Her direwolf, Lady, met an untimely end in the script, a sacrifice to mollify an angry queen.
“We knew Lady died and they wanted to re home her. My mum persuaded them to let us adopt her,” said Sophie. “Growing up I always wanted a dog, but my parents never wanted one. We kind of fell in love with my character’s dire wolf, Lady, on set.”
The beautiful dog is named Zunni in real life.
The popularity of Game of Thrones has created a demand for the Northern Inuit, a breed developed in the 1980′s in the U.K. by Edwina “Eddie” Harrison. These dogs were created by combining the Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies along with rescue dogs of unknown origins in an effort to create a breed that resembles a wolf but has the personality of a family dog.
These traits made the Northern Inuit a good casting choice in for the television show. The dogs were used to portray the young direwolves and were augmented digitally to make them appear larger as they aged.
The Dog Files always recommends looking for a rescue or breed-specific rescue and adopting before ever buying a dog.