At this point in the Game of Thrones — that is, nearing the end — the days of super surprising killings (e.g. Ned Stark, the Red Wedding) are prooobably behind us. That's not to say that we won't watch a few more of our favorite characters get the axe, or the knife, or the White Walker-grip-of-death, but it means that anyone who has remained alive this long in the season likely has some sort of purpose they need to carry out before they bite the dust.
When you think of important remaining characters, Samwell Tarly is probably not at the top of your list. He's not as handsome as Jon Snow, or as brave as Arya, or as powerful as Cersei, or as magical as Bran, and he doesn't have any dragons or armies like Daenerys, but dammit, he can read. And that simple skill is more important than you might think.
John Bradley, the actor who plays Sam on #GameOfThrones, certainly seems to think so. He told Walking the Dog podcast:
"The thing about Sam is, if he’s still around at this stage, you do suspect that there is gonna be a point to keeping him around."
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In the same interview, Bradley touched briefly on a popular theory known as the Samwell The Narrator theory. The theory suggests that the entire story of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones is a story that Sam is telling:
"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."
That particular theory gains even more traction when you take into account the fact that George R.R. Martin himself once said that he identified the most with Sam's character at San Diego Comic-Con:
"I would probably be Samwell Tarly. I love Sam, too. He's a great character. Tyrion might be who I want to be, but Sam is probably closer to who I actually am. The fat kid who likes to read books and doesn't like to go up a lot of stairs."
If the Sam the Narrator theory turns out to be nonsense, there are still a lot of reasons to keep him around a little longer in the world of Westeros. As the only one in the story who is actively researching anything, there's a good chance he'll be the one who can answer some of the looming questions on the horizon. Is there a cure for Jorah's greyscale? Can the White Walkers be defeated? Will anyone ever be able to tell Jon the truth about his real parents?
Study hard, Sam. We're counting on you.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO on July 16. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out below.
What do you think Sam's big purpose will be in 'Game of Thrones'?
(Source: Walking the Dog)