GoT: Does the Wolf Make the Stark?

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One off the very early questions in Game of Thrones was, how attached are the Stark children to their dire wolf counter parts? It seemed like when a Stark died, their wolf did as well, yet we have cases of wolves dying and the child not. Is there some sort of soul connection between the Stark children and their Dire wolves?

Pairing of the Wolves

Stark Dire Wolves

In the very first episode, we see the Stark hunting party stumble upon the corpse of a dead female dire wolf. Not only was it unusual for a dire wolf to be so far south, but after investigating, she was found to have a litter of pups, five in fact.

Ned would have them killed, a quick death. How fitting Theon leaps forward to kill the pups without hesitation given what he does later, but Brandon and Jon Snow argue against it. There is even a wolf pup for each child. Ned relents because as Jon points out, it is the sigil of House Stark.

As they walk away, Jon hears a new source of whining. He turns back and there, all by itself and white, is a sixth pup. Now, even the bastard Stark has a pup. Six kids. Six pups. Not only that, but we see very strong bonds between the pairs as the show moves forward. The table is now set for wolf and human to walk together.

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