This is the 'missing' Game of Thrones character you will see make a 'pretty cool' return for the final season

This is the 'missing' Game of Thrones character you will see make a 'pretty cool' return for the final season

Throughout the Game of Thrones series, we've seen literally hundreds of characters come and go - and hundreds more die.

There were the major players such as - spoiler alert! - Joffrey Baratheon and Eddard Stark, the medium hitters such as Marjorie Tyrell and Oberyn Martell, and the little guys, like Dickon Tarly and Lancel Lannister (and if you're saying "who?" right now, don't worry - we feel the same).

With all that going on, then, it's pretty easy to forget which characters are still alive and kicking but laying low off-screen, and which ones are actually dead and gone.

Credit: HBO

But cast your minds back to season one, when the Stark family were still all together and everything seemed fairly ok in Westeros. In the very first episode, Eddard Stark finds six direwolf pups that have just been orphaned, and - as chance would have it - he also has six children who all seem keen on adopting a dog.

After a little convincing, Ned agrees to let his children keep the pups - and that turns out to be a very good decision later on.

Unfortunately, the direwolves have thus far fared even worse than the Stark kids themselves, with only two of the original six still alive.

But hold on a second, we haven't seen a direwolf on the show for ages - so whose pup is still part of the story?

Lady was obviously the first wolf to meet her end in season one, quickly followed by Grey Wind at the red wedding. Shaggydog bit the dust a little later on, and Summer went to the great doggy heaven in the sky after accompanying Bran beyond the wall.

This leaves just two wolves: Nymeria, Arya's wolf, who did show up recently (albeit briefly), and Ghost, who was strangely absent for all of the last series.

john and ghost Credit: HBO

According to Game of Thrones' VFX supervisor, Joe Bauer, Ghost is set to make a return in the final season - and it sounds like he might have a fairly important role to play.

"Oh, you’ll see him again. He has a fair amount of screen time in season eight," Bauer said in an interview with Huffington Post. "He does show up."

It turns out the pure white direwolf was actually meant to be in season seven, but the scene never made it to the final cut. Plus, as the wolves are difficult to create realistically onscreen, they require quite a lot of effort in filming.

"The direwolves are tough because you don’t want to get them wrong, so we end up always shooting real wolves and doing a scaling trick with them, but the real wolves only behave in certain ways," Bauer explained.

game of thrones season 9 leak image actor character back return Credit: HBO

Nevertheless, we can now rest assured that John's four-legged companion is coming back next year - and that he might be instrumental in the show's plot

"Ghost does show up, and he does some ... he’s very present and does some pretty cool things in Season 8," Bauer teased.

Only seven more months to wait!