Last night’s installment of Game of Thrones definitely gave all of us plenty to chew on and theorize about — but there was one little details involving Samwell Tarly which may have escaped your attention.
I feel like it’s already obvious, but just in case you’re dense, SPOILERS AHEAD.
Perhaps you recall the scene where Samwell and Archmaester Marwyn are fetching books from the library, and the Archmaester reveals that he has been writing a chronicle of history. The following exchange takes place:
Archmaester Marwyn: “If you’re going to write histories, Tarly, you have to do the research … If you want people to read your histories, you need a bit of style. I’m not writing, ‘A Chronicle of the Wars of Following the Death of King Robert’ I so it can sit on a shelf unread.”
Sam: (Makes a disgusted face.)
Marwyn: “What? You don’t like the title? What would you call it then?”
Sam: “Mm, possibly something a bit more poetic?”
Marwyn: “We’re not poets, Tarly.”
This somewhat meta exchange gets lost in the episode, thanks to the bloody battle at sea and the eunuch sex scene — but it hints at a compelling theory.
What would be a more “poetic” title for the chronicles of the wars following the death of King Robert? A Song of Ice and Fire, perhaps (i.e., the name of the book series upon which the HBO show is based)? If this hint is interpreted correctly, it would mean that the entire Game of Thrones book series is a historical text chronicled by Samwell himself.
Though this may seem like a reach, it actually makes sense for the series to be written by Samwell. John Bradley, the actor who plays Samwell, once mentioned this fan theory when talking to The Hollywood Reporter:
“One theory is that what we’re seeing now and how we’re experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones. If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library. The visual motif of that is you’re about to be told a story — the sense of an idea of being told a story, and people gaining that knowledge, the way Sam is absorbing knowledge in the library.”
And let’s not forget what George R.R. Martin once told a crowd at San Diego Comic-Con when asked which GOT character he would be:
“I would probably be Samwell Tarly. I love Sam, too. He’s a great character,” he said. “Tyrion might be who I want to be, but Sam is probably closer to who I actually am. The fat kid who likes to read books and doesn’t like to go up a lot of stairs.”
This certainly hints that there’s a some sort of connection between George R.R. Martion and Samwell Tarly, which may very well mean that the whole series is Samwell’s account of what happened.
Though this theory may not actually reveal much in the way of future plot twists, it at least frames the story, and potentially sets up future spinoffs. Also — it’s comforting to imagine that Samwell survives long enough to write the historical documents.