05/23/2014 11:10 EDT | Updated 05/23/2014 11:59 EDT

So, Direwolves Are Basically Real

That is one very, very large canine.

For comparison


direwolf hbo

Real-life arctic wolf

actual wolf

The night really is dark and full of terrors.

In all seriousness though, Game of Thrones author J.R.R. Martin did not invent the direwolf. It was a very real species that went extinct roughly 10,000 years ago. They could weigh as much as 174 pounds.

Also on HuffPost

"Game of Thrones" Cast Pose With Their Action Figures