Imagine a 175 pound arctic wolf charging at you at full speed. With a simple command from a nearby trainer the wolf stops dead in it’s tracks. That ends another successful day of filming on the set of Game of Thrones with Andrew Simpson owner of Instinct animals for film and his pack of 30 trained wolves.
Since the wolves were pups animal trainer Simpson has dedicated himself to training these wolves including the arctic wolf who portrays Ghost, Jon Snow’s Dire Wolf, in the series. The 8-year-old arctic wolf responds to the name Quigly in real life. If that isn’t the best name for a wolf ever then I don’t know what is. Similarly, Jon Snow of course discovered Ghost as a pup who has been his lifelong companion.
This past season Quigly’s scenes were shot in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Originally the producers almost had Simpson fly over to Ireland along with the rest of the wolf pack but decided on an undisclosed location in Calgary instead.
Simpson’s training with the pack all started only a few years ago. Over the years he has formed a strong bond with each of them although he attests that you cannot simply train a wolf to do something it does not want to do. Makes sense considering a wolf is a wild animal and can never be fully tamed, only trained. When this all started Simpson never imagined he would be one of the most sought after wolf trainers in Hollywood. His history of work with animals has now appeared in film and television all over the world.
With continued speculation online as to what will happen during season six in Game of Thrones Quigly and Simpson may have some work to do in the coming months. Will Ghost avenge Jon Snow? Will Jon Snow’s spirit see through Ghost’s eyes? The only thing that seems likely at this point…Quigly is coming.
(2015, May 18). Game of Thrones casts Alberta wolf as Jon Snow’s canine companion. CBC News, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/game-of-thrones-casts-alberta-wolf-as-jon-snow-s-canine-companion-1.3078253