John Bradley teases season 7: There’s probably “gonna be a point to keeping Sam around”


Plenty of Game of Thrones cast members are talking about the show ahead of the season 7 premiere on July 16, and John Bradley (Sam Tarly) is no exception. He recently appeared on The Times’ Walking the Dog podcast, hosted by Emily Dean. The gimmick: Dean and her interviewee walk her dog together and chat.

Dean and Bradley walk through a huge range of topics before they get to Game of Thrones season 7, but Dean finally brings it up around 45:22. Bradley has been around the block way too many times to drop any outright spoilers, but he does let slip a juicy tease for the final couple seasons of the show:

"The thing about Sam is, if he’s still around at this stage, you do suspect that there is gonna be a point to keeping him around."

Last we left Sam, he had arrived at the Citadel in Oldtown eager to begin training as a maester. In season 7, we know he’ll share a lot of scenes with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, who will play an archmaester. (Broadbent himself revealed these details in an interview a while back). HBO is expending some major resources on Sam’s plotline, so yes, we assume that it’ll pay off. But Bradley doesn’t know, or isn’t revealing, the specifics.

Bradley also talked about the early days of Game of Thrones — as someone trained at a drama school that focused on theater, he was unprepared for the reality of TV and film work. “My one memory of that first day was just how much my ignorance was exposed,” he said.

Other people were in the same boat, though. Game of Thrones was the first high-profile acting job for both Bradley and Kit Harington (Jon Snow), and the two quickly bonded. “I’d like to think that our real-life relationship…does lend itself to a certain chemistry on screen.” According to Bradley, his chemistry with Harington was so strong that the producers wrote a new scene — the one where Jon and Sam talk about girls while washing tables in Castle Black — late in the production cycle just to take advantage of it.

It’s a great interview that digs into Bradley’s character. He comes off as shy, smart, and funny. A little insecure, maybe, but affable. Listen to the full episode here, and read some highlights below.

  • Some details about Bradley’s life: he’s afraid of dogs, doesn’t drink, can play the drums, and used to date Emily Dean, the interviewer.
  • Joking about being compared to Sam: “If someone says to me, ‘You’re exactly like your character,’ what they mean by that is, ‘You seem very nice in person,’ but what I take that to mean is, ‘You’ve got no skill as an actor.'”
  • Around 24:00, Bradley completely geeks out over this one time he saw David Beckham on a plane. It’s adorable.
  • Bradley was interested in acting, or performing, from a very early age. He used to fashion a costume out of his mother’s clothes, get his family to announce his entrance, and walk out to applause. Says Dean: “Your act was opening a door.”
  • Thinking about the end of Game of Thrones, Bradley thinks it’ll be easier to take for actors who had careers before the show. He, on the other hand, kicked off his career with this show, so who knows how he’ll react?