The return of Arya's direwolf Nymeria on Sunday's Game of Thrones episode turned out to be more heartbreaking than exciting.
As Arya heads home to Winterfell, her old buddy Nymeria meets her in the woods, now the leader of a wild pack of wolves. Arya attempts to convince Nymeria to rejoin her in her journeys, but the direwolf walks away, and Arya realizes Nymeria was meant to be in the wild, not kept as a pet.
It's one of the many emotional scenes we've seen between the Stark children and their direwolves, and there may still be more to come. In honor of Nymeria's brief return, let's look back at all the tear-inducing direwolf moments that have happened on Game of Thrones.
1. Puppy Love
Where better to start than the moment when the Starks first meet their canine companions? Back in Season 1, the direwolves were just small, cuddly balls of fluff, not the gigantic, deadly wolves they are today. Jon Snow convinced Ned Stark to let the orphaned litter of five direwolf pups to live with his five children, and Jon wound up with the hidden sixth pup, a runt he named Ghost.
2. Summer Is Coming
If it wasn't for Bran's direwolf Summer, the Stark's resident warg wouldn't be alive today. When a hired assassin tries to kill Bran after he witnessed Jaime and Cersei Lannister's incestuous secret, Summer leaps into action to protect the young Stark.
3. Nymeria's Attack
Back in Season 1, Nymeria was the only one to do what everyone watching the show wanted to do: attack Joffrey. When the sadistic prince threatened Arya's friend, Nymeria attacked his arm. Unfortunately, this led to Arya having to force Nymeria to run away from Winterfell.
4. Lady's Death
Unfortunately for Sansa, she only got to bond with her direwolf Lady for a very short time. After Arya's direwolf Nymeria attacked Joffrey and fled, Cersei demands a punishment, ordering Lady to be killed. Ned Stark insists he be the one to kill Lady, leading to an emotional execution scene.
5. Master Of Intimidation
We didn't see too much of Robb Stark's direwolf Grey Wind, but one scene did reveal his true talents as an intimidating captor. After Robb captures Jaime Lannister, he brings in Grey Wind to help him scare the living sh*t out of Jaime.
6. Ghost Fighter
When Jon is forced to kill another member of the Night's Watch to prove himself to the wildlings, it's up to Bran to warg into Ghost and save the day.
7. Ghost To The Rescue
One of the rare moments in which a direwolf was loyal to someone other than a Stark, Jon Snow's wolf Ghost appears snarling to help Sam Tarly chase off the men attempting to violate Gilly.
8. Summer's Last Stand
One of the most heartbreaking scenes from last season was Hodor's sacrifice, as he died holding the door closed to save Bran from the White Walkers. But Hodor wasn't the only character to die in that fight. As they escaped the tree, Summer leapt into battle and died trying to save Bran.
9. Nymeria's Decision
And finally, the latest direwolf moment on the show was Arya's brief reunion with Nymeria, which ended in Arya realizing she and her direwolf were meant to go separate ways.