“You can’t tame a wild thing. You can’t trust a wild thing… Wild creatures have their own rules, their own reasons, and you’ll never know them,” Kit Harington’s Jon Snow learns in season two of Game of Thrones. The HBO series is filled with wild things — mythical beasts and shadowy creatures that live in the ancient woodland of Westeros. We’ve been introduced to some of those species, many which bear a close resemblance to real-world animals and folkloric beings. Others have yet to be revealed, their presence teased in the season three trailer fans have been replaying for weeks. In anticipation of this Sunday’s premiere, we’ve compiled a Game of Thrones bestiary that collects the fascinating details about many of the animals and creatures from the George R. R. Martin books and the show. We’ve tried to avoid sharing too many plot details, but there could be spoilers. Bookmark this creature compendium for future reference, and add your own entries in the comments section.
These wild, oversized cows existed in our world until the 17th century, but they still roam Westeros near Kingsroad. The word “auroch” was adopted as an insult. The oh so lovable moniker was given to Mark Stanley’s Grenn — a member of the Night’s Watch. The legendary strongman Clarence Crabb of House Crabb (A Song of Ice and Fire) rides an auroch since it’s the only beast sturdy enough to carry him and the human heads he collects.