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Ghost Mysterious disappearance/reappearance beyond the wall


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I am trying to figure out where Ghost was when Jon told him to go "home" back to Castle Black. Why he returned when he did and seemed to not have fed in a while. I did notice in this book Bran's, Arya's and Jon's powers grew as noted in Arya being able to sense things about others especially how they were feeling. I feel in my gut she is the most powerful empath of the Starks because she feels things so strongly. Jon's I do not know if he unintentionally warged in Ghost or vice versa and Jon knew Ghost was pretty hungry. Arya was dreaming very heavily of Nymeria.

Anyways back to Ghost...(I am comparing his actions to Nymeria to show contrast in behavior)

In AGOT--- Even after biting Joffrey and Arya running off and Nymeria following, Arya tells Nymeria to go leave etc.. They leave and Nymeria follows and Arya stated it took them so many rocks to make her leave. Even after that they had to continue to throw rocks because she continued to follow them and finally they were able to get her to leave. I was thinking it should have been the same way with Ghost when Jon told him he had to go because he was climbing the wall. Where Nymeria took a lot to get Nymaria to leave and did not even go when Arya was telling her to go and the other wolves seemed hard pressed to leave their Stark child ( ex: how Shaggy and Summer reacted to being locked up shows a lot), but that is not the same for Ghost. Ghost left without much hesitation after Jon told him to leave and go back to Castle Black. I found that strange because I thought it would take more than that. It is not like the Direwolf could not find castle Black and found it even more weird that Ghost did not return to Castle Black before Jon and seemed to disappear w/o a trace. The Direwolf was very hungry when he returned and lost weight which I thought was odd because he should have found easy prey if he stayed near the wildlings or such.

The only time Arya seemed not to be connected to Nymeria is when she was in KL and curious why that is because everywhere else she is connected to Nymeria through dreams. Jon lost his connection through Ghost when he left and did not even have dreams. I was wondering if the wall or something else was preventing Jon to connect with his wolf even in his dreams. Jon was about ready to go to Stannis and make a pact with him for Winterfell when Ghost suddenly re-emerges from the wood and Jon can feel him and instantly knows the wolf is very hungry. Jon knows when he is warging and is a quick study. The wolf is what makes Jon decide against the offer even before the brothers' vote.

I found Ghost's reappearance very odd as well as the timing. Any thoughts on that? Why did Ghost leave so willingly? Where was he? Then I started thinking about Varamyr sixskins words: " Once a Beast is bonded to man, any man can warg the beast.." he said some more but forget.. Do you think someone else warged Ghost beyond the wall? Do you think when the wolves are baring their teeth at nothing it is because someone other than their Stark child is trying to warg the beast? Do you think if The STark children can warg their wolves the wolves could warg them too?

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How warging works is that Jon wanted(strongly)for Ghost to go to Castle Black as he did not want his brothers to be killed by the incoming wildling attack. Since hunting would slow him down, Ghost probably ate very little while trying to get back to Castle Black.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I find the direwolves to be one of the most intriguing parts of these books. Just my two cents about the relationship between the direwolves and their Stark (note: I approach this from my knowledge of real wolf and dog behavior, thus the basis of my assumptions on the direwolves, then apply the fantastical story from Martin's books):

Given the following:

1) The direwolves have always been very obedient for their masters and likely view their Stark as their alpha and the others as their pack.

2) The direwolves are very protective of their Stark.

3) Add the communicative abilities (warg) between direwolf and their Stark and sometimes the others in their pack. (Domestic dogs have proven "sixth" sense abilities - recognizing anxiety, blood sugar changes, etc)

I assume:

1) there is a very strong power of the direwolves in understanding their person. Almost a reciprocal of the human's ability to warg but without the ability to control the person (?)

2) I have always seen a contrast between the situations of the Stark girls and the guys. Arya and Sansa were the two Stark kids sent to Kings Landing. The trip was against Arya's wishes (right?) and, although excited at first, Sansa was forced to quickly recognize how unfortunate the situation was. Both girls lost their direwolves while traveling to Kings Landing. Both girls subsequently lost their father. So now both girls are left without their protectors (wolf and father) in out of control situations. Whereas both girls are basically lost, and are primarily responding to circumstances and trying to survive, Jon is more "in control" because he is chose to go to the Wall and is following expectations and instructions by the Nights Watch.

3) I think that following some sort of stressful circumstance the different Starks recognize their ability to warg and then learn to develop it. Sansa, having lost her direwolf has essentially lost her connection to her roots (and ability to warg), therefore she is constantly seeking a human protector. Arya has decided to protect herself, feeding off of the strength of her connection to the house of wolves, thus eventually developing her warg abilities. Bran seeks power through being a knight but is hindered by his disability, thus he has developed his abilities to compensate (and he is a greenseer too right?). Furthermore, Bran came out of his coma when Lady was killed, so his talent might be a result of a connection forged while unconscious (which is when the abilities seem to first appear for everyone - dreams).

So I concluded, relative to the original post above:

1) Arya was forced to send Nymeria away while under duress, thus Nymeria's conflict between staying and protecting Arya or following the command.

2) Summer and Shaggy were locked up, likely against Bran and Rickon's wishes, and not because of a direct command.

3) Jon gave Ghost a specific command along with a direction (return to Castle Black), and Jon was more in control of his situation

4) Ghost appeared when Jon was suddenly faced with a major decision that was suddenly against his previous "in control" situation.

Was the only time that Jon warged during the eagle attack, which was another person warging thus making the ability stronger for Jon somehow?

(I am halfway through book 4 FfC)


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Martin carefully organizes his plots and subplots to establish continuity, parallels, and verisimilitude. By insinuating that Ghost has a way to travel from one side of the Wall to the other without detection foreshadows Ghost/Jon retracing those steps to escape beyond the Wall from the aftermath of Jon’s stabbing. Once Jon wargs Ghost, Ghost will have much and more to communicate to Jon, and within their telepathic connection, Jon will need to trust that aspect of Ghost that relies on “instinct” as opposed to reason.

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  • 1 year later...

I am trying to figure out where Ghost was when Jon told him to go "home" back to Castle Black.

I found Ghost's reappearance very odd as well as the timing. Any thoughts on that? Why did Ghost leave so willingly? Where was he?

After Jon and the wildings leave the Fist and take refuge in a cave. At the time Jon was thinking that they were near Shadow Tower or CB.

Jon's directions were to follow the ice, east and east into the sun. Considering that CB is on the south side of the wall how was Ghost going to get through the gate. I don't know. IMMHO Jon wasn't thinking clearly but hoping Ghost's appearance would set off alarms warning of the wildings approach.

I'm thinking that Ghost had to follow the wall all the way to Eastwatch and somehow work his way around Eastwatch to get on the south side of the wall. Then travel all the way back along the south side to Castle Black. That would account for the long separation and the thinness of the direwolf.

Jon later thinks that he and the wildings are climbing the wall somewhere between Stonedoor and Greyguard. Once over the wall that would mean they had a shorter journey to CB than Ghost did.

And I too, think that the timing of the reunion was a tad bit to coincidental.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Thisare meager observations on the issues addressed here.

1. With regard to Jon not having any link to Ghost while on different sides of the wall, it is clear that the Wall played a part there. A lot of emphasis is put on how the Wall is a structure of not just ice and stone but of magic forgotten. It would be a very important defence mechanism to disallow cross-Wall abilities such as Warging because in essence it would make the Wall a useless structure if Warging on a large scale was possible (?).

2. The different routes couldpossibily account for the difference in the times that Ghost and Jon arrive. However the difference in time is too great if you take into account that Jon had to pass through deep in the Gift and yet reached weeks before Ghost who had a more direct route.

3. With regard to Nymeria, I think she is emulating Arya's actions. Arya is trying make her own pack with Gendry and Hot Pie but fails. Nymeria has better luck with the wolves because they are simpler beings.

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At first I did not know that this was ASOS forums. Then I kicked myself in the butt for possible spoilers. I think that the OP had a good question. Perhaps it should be moved to General forums so that more information can be shared. All I know is that Ghost showed up while Jon was thinking about Stannis' offer to become Lord of Winterfell.

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