John Bradley and Hannah Murray (Sam and Gilly) stopped by Entertainment Weekly and had some interesting things to say about where their characters are headed in Season 6, at least emotionally—everyone’s keeping a tight lid on explicit spoilers. However, according to Bradley, Sam hasn’t just left Castle Black behind physically: he’s kind of over the whole Night’s Watch thing, a feeling that started when Gilly was almost raped in Season 5’s “The Gift.”
What I found about that whole sequence of the attempted rape of Gilly, the assault on Sam, and then their love scene was that last moment where Sam thinks to himself, pardon my French, “F— these guys! They’ve never liked me from the second I got here. I’m following these stupid rules that tell me I can’t be with the girl that I love…I refuse to give you guys any respect that you don’t deserve…” That was the moment that he felt he can finally break free, and he breaks free from Jon. He knows what his priorities are and he knows it’s just two people and everything else doesn’t matter anymore.
Those two people would be Gilly and Gilly’s baby, little Sam. It’s a bit disconcerting to hear Bradley talk as though Sam is done with the Night’s Watch—he did, after all, promise Jon he’d come back right before he left in “Mother’s Mercy.” But if he ever does come back, it doesn’t sound like it’ll be this season. The two are headed south, and both agree that they haven’t heard about Jon’s death. As Murray says, “They really are setting out on their own path and not looking back.”
The two also reflected on Sam and Gilly’s past, and Bradley spoke fairly eloquently about what Gilly means to Sam.
The thing about love is it makes the bad things good and the good things better, and I think that’s how Sam feels about Gilly toward the end of the day. He feels overwhelmed by how he feels about her, and to play that from a guy who has such a dark cavity within him where love should be, the fact that he’s met this woman who’s now lighting up these dark corners of his soul, I found it to be really good for the character.
Murray is a little less florid about it, but thinks the two characters have found a groove and enjoyed the “weird, old-married couple comedy” they started in Season 3. In any case, Bradley credited Gilly’s influence with giving him the strike out on his own in the first place.
The fact is Sam doesn’t feel that he needs Jon anymore in the way that he used to. Jon healed Sam very quickly, in terms of protecting him physically from all the hardships at Castle Black. But as soon as Sam met Gilly, it was like Jon had fulfilled his purpose. Now I’m ready to go on and save somebody. I’d like to make Gilly feel the way that Jon made Sam feel.
Good for Sam, less good for Jon.
As for where the two will go now, the actors are staying quiet. But Murray did admit that there’s a huge change in store for Gilly this year:
When we were at the premiere in San Francisco last year, Dan Weiss came up to me and said, ‘Two words, new costume,’ and I’ve never been so excited in my life. I had one costume the whole way through the show…It’s like a variety of sacks layered over each other. In season 4, I got really excited because they gave me an apron.
She wouldn’t say what the new costume was, but a change of scenery calls for a change of cloths.