Samwell Tarly Is More Important To The Future Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Than You Realize

In a Game of Thrones season finale otherwise marred by death, there was one understated scene involving a man and his books. His thousands and thousands of books. Samwell and Gilly finally made it to Oldtown, where they report to Citadel at the same time as hundreds of white ravens are leaving to signal that, indeed, winter isn’t coming; it’s here. Gilly isn’t allowed past the front desk, but Sam is granted access to the library, where he feels like the god of tits and wine, but with books. He’s dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?

The happy look on Sam’s face is a sweet, well-deserved moment, but it’s also an important one, claims actor John Bradley. He told the Hollywood Reporter that “one theory is that what we’re seeing now and how we’re experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones. If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library.” Without him, there literally is no story; he’s like Roseanne in the deeply weird, yet poignant series finale. George R.R. Martin has previously said that if he was anyone on Game of Thrones, he’d be Sam, “the fat kid who likes to read books and doesn’t like to go up a lot of stairs.” Sam’s the rotund, lucky-to-be-alive author and audience surrogate, and him being the one telling us the story of White Walkers, Kings of the North, and Frey pies would be an interesting wrinkle.

As long as snow globes aren’t involved.

(Sam in the library — my favorite Belle & Sebastian song — could also lead to him discovering how to defeat the undead invaders from the north. Either way, he’s, despite all awkward evidence contrary, set up to be one of the most important characters on the show over the next 13 or so episodes.)

Bradley later added, in reference to the library’s gyroscope looking similar to the one in the series’ opening credits, “The one thing I found moving about that object being the same in the Citadel and in the opening titles is that it’s a testament to [showrunner David Benioff and Dan Weiss’] foresight, that they can plan something that only comes to fruition much later on. It shows an incredible kind of long game, in terms of giving people drips of information and being brave enough to puzzle people for a while.” Bradley’s sucking up to his bosses so he can keep sleeping with Gilly, er, so they don’t kill Sam.

Can you blame him?

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)