Finally Game of Thrones Season 8 kicked off and for Samwell Tarly, it was a no good, very bad day indeed. It’s not every day you get to deliver life-changing news to your bestie while also having a perfect stranger (well, many think Dany IS perfect) deliver life-changing news to you as well. Poor Sam.
Let’s start with the latter. It was awfully cruel that Sam’s (John Bradley) bosses at the Citadel didn’t feel the need to notify him of his brother and father’s fate at the hands of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). It left him wide open to the shock of hearing it from the woman herself. Of course, it was no great shakes for Dany having to deliver such news.
It was incredibly awkward, in fact, since she has just finished bestowing her incredible gratitude on Sam for having saved her beloved Sir Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) from the Greyscale that had afflicted him. Jorah was so pleased to be able to point out to the Queen the daring young man who risked his position to save his life.
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But Jorah hadn’t heard about Dany’s actions and didn’t realize she had ordered the burning deaths of the remainder of House Tarly. So when Dany inquired about Sam’s father’s name, she at least had the decency to take responsibility as she told him their shared fate. While Sam’s father was cruel to him, Sam did love his brother.
Bradley did a stunning job of conveying Sam’s quiet devastation at being delivered this news from the woman who carried out the order and could easily call for his death as well.
He had to be measured, but the reaction was palpable and it did appear to have helped Dany to finally realize the human cost to her rash decision — a decision that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) had failed previously to get her to see wasn’t necessarily the wisest move.
It was in this state that Sam had to tell Jon (Kit Harington) the truth about his being the rightful heir to the Iron Throne and perhaps that’s why Sam simply blurted it out rather than use his usual care. Yet Sam didn’t bring his own feelings into it — for the most part.
Sam knew he was delivering a blow to Jon — putting the weight of everything on his shoulders. He had originally wanted Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who grew up thinking he was Jon’s half-brother, to help but Bran knew better. He knew Sam was the brother Jon chose and would be the best one to deliver the blow.
Sam needed Jon to see the truth and absorb it. He stayed with him until Jon stopped fighting the news. There is still so much fallout that has to happen on Jon’s part, but Sam did what he had to do and saw it through — and it couldn’t have been easy.