Wow, Jon, not even a pat on the head? That was the reaction many fans had during this past week’s episode of Game of Thrones. As Jon Snow doles out affectionate, hug-filled goodbyes to everyone from Tormund to Sam and Gilly, his most trusted sidekick, his direwolf Ghost, barely gets a nod as the hero departs Winterfell.

While some viewers thought Jon’s cold, somewhat confusing, gesture toward Ghost might have been symbolic of his leaving behind the Starks to officially rule the Seven Kingdoms, the episode’s director, David Nutter, gave a different explanation to the Huffington Post:
“Since the direwolves are kind of CG creations, we felt it best to keep it as simple as possible.” He repeated this reason to the New York Times, claiming the chilly goodbye was “very much so” a CGI obstacle.
Apparently, the CGI needed for Ghost is difficult. Miguel Sapochnik, director of the Battle of the Bastards episode, said that the direwolf is “an incredibly time-consuming and expensive character to bring to life.”
Keeping Jon Snow away from the CGI pet apparently made filming and postproduction an easier process, which the team needed to do for what seems to be budgetary and time-constraint pressures from higher ups.
Let’s hope Ghost didn’t feel too brushed aside and that he psychically felt Jon’s love from afar. And now he can hang out with Tormund, which is pretty awesome.