HBO’s Game of Thrones returned for its eighth and final season premiere on Sunday and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finally learned that he’s no bastard. Trusted friend and fellow Night’s Watch steward Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) broke the news of Jon’s true parentage. And it is not necessarily for altruistic reasons, as the Bradley explained in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sam always had a habit of manipulating Jon,” Bradley explained. “Sam is so hyper-intelligent and calculated that any plot he can scheme and any route he can take to keep Gilly and Baby Sam safe, he’s going to do it.”
And after Daenerys Targaryen’s reveal to Sam that she executed his father, Randyll Tarly and his brother, Dickon, in the GoT season eight premiere? Sam’s loyalties, and scheming, will take a decided turn.
“I think he definitely sees Daenerys as unstable, as a volatile character, as somebody who is determined to succeed without a real moral compass,” Bradley told THR.
“She’ll kill people for a minor act of disobedience,” he continued. “I think Sam is very wary of her now and sees how dangerous she can be — not just for Jon Snow, but also in terms of the entire Seven Kingdoms. We could have a Mad Queen here. Sam knows enough about history to know what people who are slightly unhinged and slightly unbalanced are like when they’re in charge, and the damage they can cause. Sam has learned from the mistakes of history. He’s never going to come around to Daenerys. He’s too wise for that. He’s too wary and suspicious of her now.”
Bradley said he relished his seismic role in the premiere. He and Harington prepared extensively for the scene. They examined and rehearsed the scene from all angles. The success of Bradley’s message depended on how he expressed Sam’s pain while keeping Sam’s emotions in check to communicate that pivotal message.
“If we would have [fumbled] this reveal, there would have been an unsatisfactory taste in the mouth for the rest of the season,” he said.
To see how Sam’s revelation plays out, check out the new episode of Game of Thrones, which airs Sunday, April 21 on HBO.
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