Fans of Game of Thrones are used to being perpetually on the edge of their seat. It's not hard to understand why: Between massive fire-breathing dragons, deadly White Walkers, and the deaths of beloved character after beloved character (RIP King Robb), GoT loves to remind fans that just about anything can happen in Westeros. But Season 7's most shocking moment came not during a bloody battle, but in a quiet scene between Gilly and Sam, during which audiences learned that Jon is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne. The (former) bastard of Winterfell has yet to discover the truth of his parentage, but actor John Bradley hopes that Sam will tell Jon about his parentage in Game of Thrones Season 8.
"If Jon’s going to hear it from anybody, he wants to hear it from Sam, I think," Bradley, who plays the bumbling but kind-hearted Samwell Tarly on GoT, tells Bustle over the phone while doing press for his movie American Satan. Jon and Sam have built a solid friendship during their time together at the Night's Watch, and Bradley believes that Jon would more readily believe he is not Ned Stark's bastard son, but the heir to the Iron Throne, if it comes from Sam. "It would be poetic for Sam to deliver that information to Jon, because Jon will know that Sam is so thorough and so academic in his research, he wouldn’t be saying that unless he knew that it was absolutely true," Bradley notes.
And this is definitely not information to be taken lightly. Sam learned from his girlfriend, Gilly, that Jon was really christened Aegon Targaryen, and is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, who were married in a secret ceremony. Not only does this make Jon the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne (as Rhaegar was the heir before his death), but it places Danaerys' claim as the rightful ruler of Westeros in jeopardy. Considering that Jon and Dany have just begun an, um, incestuous relationship, this piece of news could throw a real monkey-wrench into the newly-formed alliance between Khaleesi and the King in the North.
For Bradley, this delicate diplomatic situation makes it all the more necessary for Sam to be the one to deliver the news to Jon. While savvier advisors like Tyrion might choose not to tell Jon the truth as so not to upset the alliance or complicate the war for the Iron Throne, Sam only has allegiance to his friend. "If Sam is the one who gets to tell Jon about his true parentage, he’s only telling Jon that because he knows that Jon is the legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, he thinks it would be lovely," says Bradley. "He thinks that it would be good news to Jon, that the Iron Throne is yours by right, he doesn’t know it’s going to cause all those problems with, that it’s going to highlight that Jon is in an incestuous relationship with Danaerys."
And though the burden of having to reveal this information to Jon might weight heavy on Sam, Bradley is just happy to be back at the center of the action in Westeros. "It feels like everything else is happening in the main house, and Sam’s story is like a little outhouse that isn’t connected to the main story, and even though it is connected in broad terms, it didn’t feel like he was part of that mixing pot," Bradley says of Sam's storyline for the past few seasons. Yet with this vital piece of information and Sam's arrival at Winterfell, that's all about to change.
"As soon as he found out about Jon’s true parents and what that means for his relationship with Danaerys and what that means for his title to the Iron Throne, legitimately, that really put Sam right back in the thick of it," Bradley says.
But, in order for Sam to deliver the news to Jon, the two characters would have to reunite — this doesn't seem like the kind of casual note you should just send by raven. Sam hasn't seen Jon since he was sent to the Citadel at the end of Season 5, and now that Sam is settled in at Winterfell, Bradley is holding out hope that we could be seeing a reunion of these best friends in Season 8. "We’ve not seen any scripts yet for Season 8, but... [Kit Harrington] and myself have been keeping our fingers crossed that those two characters have a reunion," shares Bradley. "If they were back together, it feels right, and it feels nice and there’s a warmth that you get from seeing that friendship onscreen that, it would be sad if you never saw that again."
In a season that was full of exciting reunions and main characters meeting for the first time, it was disappointing to see that Sam remained mostly isolated. But, as the series quickly approaches it's end, it only seems fitting that Westeros' favorite duo be granted a joyful reunion. And for Bradley, this would be the ideal resolution for his character's narrative arc. "So I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Jon and Sam kind of get together again in Season 8 and fight that great war together," Bradley says. "I think that would be a perfect ending for them both."
Fans are keeping their fingers crossed, too.