Game Of Thrones Season 3: Love is Sam’s “reason to stay alive”

Game Of Thrones star John Bradley on Sam Tarley flight from the White Walkers in Season 3

John Bradley as Sam Tarly in Game Of Thrones
John Bradley as Sam Tarly in Game Of Thrones

At the start of Game Of Thrones Season 3 (read our review of the premier), Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) – Jon Snow (Kit Harington)‘s brother in arms and world’s least convincing defender of Westeros from the horrors beyond the Wall – found himself on the run from a marauding horde of otherworldly White Walkers. Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow, John Bradley revealed that Sam has definitely been changed by his experience…

“The last time we saw Sam he was literally staring death in the face, and I think when you’re in that situation what flashes through your mind is ‘I’ve got some business to finish – I’ve got a reason to stay alive’,” says Bradley.

“He fell in love, and he’s got a reason to stay alive. And when you’re in the face of death, you think, ‘I’m not gonna be a man who doesn’t act on my impulses anymore because my life’s too short’. My life was very nearly too short and I’ve got these things I want to explore, and people that I want to do things for. I think being placed in that situation gives you resolve, galvinises you into action, I think we’re gonna see a bit more of that – if he survives of course.

The relationship between Sam Tarly and Jon Snow is one of the few good, honest friendships in Game Of Thrones – a welcome break from all the skullduggery. But that’s not to say it’s without a certain amount of the show’s characteristic self interest.

Jon Snow (Kit Haringon) and Sam take the Black in the Godswood.
Jon Snow (Kit Haringon) and Sam take the Black in the Godswood.

“Yeah, the big moment where you see that especially is episode 7 of Season 1 where they’re passing out and they’re given roles they’ll fulfil and Jon is a steward initially,” explains Kit Harington.

“[Jon Snow] hates it, it’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to him, and then Sam, in a space of about 30 seconds, convinces him that it’s a good thing to be – he uses persuasive rhetoric and all this kind of thing, to have an influence on someone. At the start you don’t think he’s capable of it. He’s just something passive, someone that things happen to as opposed to somebody who can effect things.”

“You have to watch the quiet ones, because I think he just absorbs things,” adds Bradley. “He’s in the middle of this world and he takes things in – takes in Jon’s characteristics and uses them to his advantage. Because he knows when there’s something wrong with Jon – going back to episode 7 when Sam’s watching Mormont speak, and Sam can tell Jon isn’t happy and he’s supposed to be happy.

“When I played that I was thinking, ‘He is concerned for Jon’, but also it’s like when you know there’s something wrong with your mum for example, and you try and cheer her up, because you want to cheer her up, because you want her to be strong, because you want her to be mother again.

“Sam, in a special way, is quite cunning in getting what he wants out of people.”

Game Of Thrones is airing now on Sky Atlantic. Read our review of the premier and pick up Season 2 now on DVD for £28 and Blu-ray for £36 from Amazon.co.uk.