Obviously we were all aware of the Game of Thrones crossover happening in the latest Star Wars effort, Solo, with Emilia Clarke playing the role of Qi’ra.
But there was a far more subtle sharing of cast from the HBO series, with Saxon appearing in Ron Howard’s contribution to the space saga.
Haven’t heard of Saxon before, or wondering whether he’s some new-fangled pop star with a mononym who got a needless five-second cameo, like Ed Sheeran or Gary Lightbody?
Fair enough, but no, Saxon is a dog – specifically, the dog who plays Nymeria, Arya Stark’s direwolf.
Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo made the revelation during an episode of The Star Wars Show that the thespian-canine turned up on Corellia as one of the planet’s local hound dogs.
This is me meeting a real honest-to-gosh star. Saxon plays Nymeria in Game of Thrones. Also: a good dog. pic.twitter.com/lmQzXlPclH
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) June 13, 2018
“He’s done this for quite a while. He’s done quite a few film jobs,” trainer Jo Vaughan said.
“For this particular film, we’ve trained him to wear a suit so he doesn’t look like a dog at all, he looks like another creature entirely.”
Fabricator Sherri Hazzard gave a breakdown of how they managed to make the northern inuit – a breed created in the 80s with the express purpose of allowing people to have a domestic pet that looks insanely wolf-like – look like a species of dog from a completely different planet.
“We first start with a lycra body suit which we get them used to getting in and out of the suit, build everything up very slowly, and then, once we’ve got that, we start adding muscle shapes and then we just build it up from there,” Hazzard said.
As for concerns we’ve seen the last of Nymeria in Westeros, George RR Martin said in a 2014 interview that she still has a role to play.
“You know, I don’t like to give things away,” he told Mashable.
But he then added: “You don’t hang a giant wolf pack on the wall unless you intend to use it.”