John Bradley: Sam thinks Daenerys is “volatile,” “dangerous,” “psychopathic”


On this past Sunday’s new episode of Game of Thrones, Samwell Tarly met Daenerys Targaryen for the first time, and it did not go well. Ser Jorah Mormont, whom Sam saved from greyscale in season 7, introduced the pair, and things were pretty good for 30 seconds, but then Daenerys realized who Sam was, and felt compelled to admit that she had executed his father and brother for refusing the bend the knee to her after the Loot Train Attack. Remember these goods times?

Sam, who had a complicated — at best — relationship with his father but a decent relationship with his brother, did not take it well. And when Sam cries, the whole world cries with him.


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Speaking to The Wrap, actor John Bradley didn’t mince words when discussing how Sam sees the Dragon Queen. “Sam is now very, very aware that Dany is very imbalanced and very volatile and in quite a dangerous state with people,” he said. “He sees with his own eyes, and is kind of connecting this to his own set of emotions, just how cold she is and how sacrificial she is in other people’s lives. And he learns the lengths that she’ll go to if somebody decides to disobey her and how her quest for power seems to know no moral code when it comes to that.”

"When she’s talking to him and she’s telling him about his own family, she’s telling him kind of without any sense of compassion at all. She comes at it in a very clinical way, and a very cold and a very detached way. And it feels psychopathic, really, that she didn’t offer him any kind of comfort at all. She says, you know, ‘They refused to bend the knee.’ And that’s a very pragmatic way of dealing with it, ‘They disobeyed me, and so I killed them.’ And in that moment he sees what a dangerous figure she is and that’s what motivates him to tell Jon."

“Dangerous,” “volatile,” “psychopathic”…them’s fighting words.

Now, on Game of Thrones, there are always two sides to every story. Sam clearly sees Daenerys in a bad light, but she has many loyal followers who laud her for the good she’s done and wants to do. And we watched when Dany burned the Tarlys; personally, I thought it was a pretty straightforward execution, at least by the standards of this world, with Dany offering the two men an out they didn’t take, but I also get why Sam wouldn’t see it that way at all. Conflicts between sympathetic characters are the best kinds of conflicts.

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Anyway, as Bradley says, Sam goes on to tell Jon Snow about his true parentage right after his conversation with Daenerys, and isn’t THAT timing interesting? “He’s probably dreading telling Jon Snow that very sensitive piece of information because nobody wants to hear that,” Bradley said. “And also, Sam is not the kind of person who wants to cause any trouble for Jon Snow either. He just wants things to go smoothly for Jon Snow. It’s only because of the key piece of information about Jon actually being the true heir to the Iron Throne, it’s only because things are in such a precarious state with the person who everyone thinks should be on the Iron Throne, who is such a volatile character — that’s what is actually pushing Sam on to relay the information.”

"[Sam] can see the trouble that she could spell, not only for Jon, but for the Seven Kingdoms in general. And also, you know, just the safety of his own family. Sam is always thinking about that. Sam is always thinking about the safety of Gilly and baby Sam. And what he was put on this earth to do is protect them. And he sees all of this put in jeopardy if we continue with this campaign of volatile, murderous, completely irrational behavior. So I think he’s very scared. He’s terrified of Daenerys after that. Terrified of what she’s capable of, and he wants to do all he can to put a stop to it."

“Volatile,” “murderous,” “completely irrational”…more fighting words! This is gonna be good, especially if Sam pushes Jon to assert his claim over Daenerys’. And you know that if Jon’s secret gets out, people like Sansa and maybe Arya will push Jon to take the throne, as well. And all this while Jon is in love with Daenerys. The drama. The drama! PUT IT IN MY VEINS!

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And if you’re wondering, Gilly and Baby Sam are fine. “Yes, they are safe in Winterfell,” Bradley laughed. “They are being very well looked after.” We may not have seen them in the premiere, but when we interviewed actor Hannah Murray a while back, she told us that Gilly would interact with new characters in season 8, so expect her to show up soon.

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