‘Game of Thrones’ fans love direwolves. Huskies may suffer as a result, activists say

“Game of Thrones'” mythical direwolves have been appearing on the show since the first season, when they were introduced as pups. But some animal rights activists are warning that fans’ emotional bond to the animal characters could have unintended consequences.

The direwolves of the show are similar to a real-life extinct species of large wolf, and for many fans, the connection to the husky dog breed is apparent for their wolfish appearance.

“Sadly, (direwolves) popularity has sparked an alarming trend. More and more huskies are being bred and bought because of their resemblance to direwolves,” “Thrones” actor Jerome Flynn said in a video published by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in April. The show’s fans will recognize Flynn for his role as Bronn — a character who’s story arc may continue into the series finale Sunday.

If there was any doubt that many “Thrones” fans love the direwolves, it became clear earlier this month when fans took to social media filled with rage that the show portrayed Jon Snow abandoning his direwolf without so much as a parting “good boy.”

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But fans who think they can be a better master than Snow may be in for an unpleasant surprise if they take home a husky. While the breed is “marvelous,” owning a husky can be challenging, the Siberian Husky Club of America has written.

“…They do have their shortcomings, and may not make the ideal pet for everyone who is attracted to them,” the club wrote in a post updated in 2009. “Siberians are a gregarious lot and need the company of other dogs or of people at all times. If you work all day, or have room for only one dog . . . don’t buy a Siberian.”

The breed has a proclivity towards running and digging; they shed aggressively, the club said. 

And yet, as “Game of Thrones'” final season comes to a close, National Geographic and PETA have said interest in huskies has greatly increased. Local media reports, including ones from California and Ohio, are among the evidence for the trend.

It’s similar to what typically happens with rabbit adoptions close to Easter, National Geographic reports. People rush to adopt an animal that is popular at the moment, not realizing the extent of the commitment. 

In the case of huskies, they are at risk of becoming among America’s millions of lost or abandoned dogs — many of which are euthanized, PETA says. 

The organization has previously worked with “Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage to ask viewers not to adopt direwolf lookalikes. 

“Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, ALWAYS, adopt from a shelter,” Dinklage — who plays Tyrion Lannister on the show — said in 2017.

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