Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones finale. If you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading!
From the dark battle scenes to certain characters’ seemingly-pointless character arcs, Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season has received its fair share of complaints. But perhaps the most controversial moment of all was Jon Snow’s goodbye to Ghost in episode four, when he sent the direwolf to live with Tormund and the wildlings without so much as a nose boop.
Well, if you couldn’t bare the thought of Jon and Ghost never seeing each other again after that unceremonious farewell, then you probably loved the Game of Thrones finale! At the end of the episode, our new king, Bran “The Broken,” sends Jon to the Wall as a means of making peace with Daenerys Targaryen’s supporters (Jon killed Dany, after all). It seems like a pretty grim sentence…until Jon arrives and is reunited with Tormund Giantsbane and a bunch of other wildlings. Best of all, Ghost is there, too!
Now, Ghost could have given Jon the cold shoulder after that lackluster goodbye, but he doesn’t—he’s pleased to see him. In one of the more emotional scenes in the finale—and I’m not even a dog person!—Jon finally pets his pup. I got teary, and judging by the reactions on social media, other fans did, too. Some said it was the most satisfying moment in the whole finale.
Why is Jon and Ghost’s reunion so moving? It’s not just the basic notion of a man seeing his dog again; it’s the comfort of knowing our hero Jon Snow will be happy in his new life. Watching it, we got the sense that Jon really does belong in the lands beyond the wall, just like Tormund said.