With Game of Thrones coming to a close in only two seasons, the end is near for all of our favorite characters in Westeros — but this time, I'm not necessarily talking about death. Happy endings are kind of a possibility now, and may have already begun to come true. For example, having made it to the library of his dreams, is Samwell Tarly's story over on Game of Thrones ? In an interview with Bustle, actor John Bradley talked about how Jon Snow's best friend has finally found his happy place, and where he could possibly go from there.
"When I first read the [Season 6 finale] script," Bradley says, "I said that this would be a perfect way to end Sam's story if they wanted to give him a happy ending. If they thought that Sam had been downtrodden and battered around enough that he deserves a happy ending, this would be Sam's ideal happy ending for himself."
Sam has always loved books and reading, and now has access to every book in Westeros. He tells me that the largely computer-generated library was described to him by the director and crew as "heaven for Samwell," basically.
"Let's not forget that he's been kind of conniving his way to get to the Citadel for quite a few seasons now," adds Bradley. "In the end it took Jon to make the decision, but it's all Sam's journey and Sam's been chipping away at Jon. Through the whole of Season 5, he was trying to find away to get Gilly and the baby and himself out of Castle Black and get them somewhere safe."
"It feels like the end of a quest," Bradley continues. "But you know the fact is that he wants to, he wants to change things, he wants to affect things, he wants to apply his knowledge ... So it does feel like the end of a quest but the start of Sam finally contributing his best efforts to the greater good, it feels like the start of that."
In terms of hopes and dreams for Season 7, actually, Bradley might want more for his character than the character himself. "It's tricky, really," he says. "Sam would probably like to stay [at the Citadel] for a long time, but I would personally like Sam to find something pivotal and then get out of there and go apply it." Remember, Sam is not just at the Citadel to protect Gilly, become a Maester, and rebel against his father. He is researching White Walkers for Jon Snow and the Night's Watch. As we learned from the white raven's weather report and the Citadel's current understanding of who is leading Castle Black, news doesn't exactly travel fast from that corner of Westeros.
"If Sam does come across any certain pieces of information or stumbles across that may have kind of wider reach and affect," says Bradley, "then I just wonder if that will get him out of there and get him to deliver the news, or whether he can carry that news, or whether as soon as he finds out the piece of information that — you know the key piece of information, the piece of the jigsaw that's hidden somewhere in amongst all these books, he'll consider that to be his work done..." One would think that Sam would have to leave the Citadel at that point, though that does put him back in harm's way.
This show is very well-rounded in terms of payoff and character especially, as Bradley notes, in a world that traditionally rewards physical prowess over mental prowess. I am actually the most curious to see how his story in Season 7 compares to Bran, who accesses knowledge in such a different way. The characters could make excellent foils. "Bran's abilities are slightly more other-worldly than Sam's," Bradley says, "but ... it's nice that you find somebody like Sam and somebody like Bran that kind of, they don't necessarily have those skills and they don't buy into that dogma, but they're still incredibly useful and they can still solve a lot of problems and both keep the story moving through the very kind of unique attributes they have."
Personally, I like that even though Samwell Tarly got to steal a sword and have a big hero moment in Season 6, his reward was the biggest library in the world. While it may seem as if his story is over on Game of Thrones, let's hope that there is much more to come!