Game Of Thrones: 10 Sam Quotes That Should Have Been In The TV Show

The first season of House of the Dragon is at its end, and the show has already surpassed anything the book could have offered. Having taken everything that Fire and Blood gave it, House of the Dragon improved on every detail and presented fans with a masterful production.

Yet Game of Thrones did not do the same with the A Song of Ice and Fire books. Characters like Sam Tarly were never fully realized on television, as many key details were left out. Had some book quotes been included, Sam could have been a much deeper character.


“We Don’t Know Anything, Really. I Wish Jon Was Here.”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell II

Samwell Tarly and Azor Ahai in Game of Thrones

Sam was a character who could always rely on only a single thing in his life: his mind. A man with a knack for reading and recalling meaningless minutia, Sam proved himself a worthy man of the Night’s Watch by using his mind to keep himself alive and in the game.

Yet one key moment in the books came when Sam couldn’t rely on his brain. Facing the best secondary villains in Game of Thrones, the wights, he couldn’t think his way out of the situation. It was the first time Sam really didn’t know something, and it was striking that he immediately defaulted to needing his friend.

“That’s How They Mourn. They Answer Death With Life.”

A Feast For Crows, Samwell IV

John Bradley as Samwell Tarley on Game of Thrones

A major part of Sam’s arc was learning how to overcome his own cowardice. Sam had spent his entire life afraid, and it was only after Maester Aemon grew fatally ill that he finally started to come into his own. When he watched the Summer Islanders celebrate the life of the dead man, he became a man himself.

After all, he overcame his fears and slept with Gilly, proving that he wasn’t too cowardly to break his vow for love. He learned to celebrate life, rather than bear through it in fear and in pain. While still awkward, it helped him come into his own and showed how far he had come to accept that mantra.

“The Worst Is Just Beginning, And There Are No Happy Endings.”

A Feast For Crows, Samwell II

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones Season 5

While Ramsay Bolton had the sentiment in the show, it was Sam who knew that Game of Thrones would never end well. Up against a horde of White Walkers and wights, he was always well aware that one small mistake could mean the end of the Night’s Watch.

Having a line like this come from Sam, rather than Ramsay, made it more meaningful. After all, Samwell Tarley can be summed up as a wise and brilliant hero. Where Ramsay was manipulating Theon, Sam was a man who said what he meant. Having a villain and a hero agreeing would have been unsettling.

“No Matter Where He Went In This Wide World, His Fears Went With Him.”

A Feast For Crows, Samwell III

Samwell Tarly Jon Snow Night's Watch

Always the first to admit that he was a coward, Sam was actually the furthest thing from it. Ned Stark once said that fear didn’t make men cowards, and Sam was living proof of that. Further emphasizing that Sam was afraid of everything everywhere could show just how brave he was.

After all, Sam traveled across Westeros multiple times. He faced White Walkers, he became a killer, and he even traveled to Essos and worked to become a maester. Everywhere he went, he was afraid. Nowhere did he cower.

“I Went Beyond The Wall And Fought In Battles. They Call Me Sam The Slayer.”

A Feast For Crows, Samwell V

It took time for Sam to realize his potential. Eventually, though, he did. Having discovered that he could fight in battles and kill his foes, he started to realize that he didn’t need to be afraid anymore. He could stand taller and look his foes in the eyes without shying back.

Sam had the best arc in Game of Thrones as he grew from coward to proud fighter. He embraced his identity as Sam the Slayer, though he had cast it aside multiple times. He knew who he was, and he was actually proud of himself. It was a major step for Sam, and it was a necessary one.

“But His Feet Moved Again.”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell I

Samwell Tarly in his Night's Watch cloak in Game of Thrones

Sam was never afraid to back down. When he and the Night’s Watch were marching away from the wights, he was terrified and often thought of just laying down to die in the cold. Yet, no matter how much he wanted to give up and to give in, his feet kept moving.

It showed Sam’s strength. The son of one of the most important Houses in Game of Thrones, Sam was not going to back down and let himself die for no reason at all. He had the willpower to keep moving and the resolve to never back down. It takes a hero to keep marching, and he kept marching.

“I’m Fat And I’m Weak And I’m Craven, But I Did My Duty.”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell I

Even when the other men of the Night’s Watch weren’t bullying Sam, he was often bullying himself. He was always happy to proclaim that he was too fat, weak, or craven to do anything worthwhile. It was everything that his father taught him, and it wreaked havoc on his self-esteem.

​​​​​​Yet Sam eventually found his inner strength. He may have been fat, weak, and craven in his mind, but that didn’t stop him from completing his duties as a steward. He did his duty and sent off the ravens when required, and it was a major turning point for Sam.

“Why Can’t I Just Be Samwell Tarly?”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell II

Samwell in furs in the snow in Game of Thrones

​​​​​​Surrounded by trained nights and fierce warriors, there was little Sam could do to distinguish himself. So when Sam actually managed to kill a White Walker, he was the talk of the Night’s Watch. Dubbed Sam the Slayer, after months of being mocked as the Piggy, Sam was no happier.

It shows both Sam’s low self-esteem and his humble nature. He didn’t want to be a hero any more than he wanted to be a laughingstock. Sam was always a fascinating character, but never more than when he was refusing titles both positive and insulting.

“I’m Not Frightened Anymore. Of You, Or… Of Anything.”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell II

lord commander joer mormont

In moments of crisis, even the most honorable characters in Game of Thrones can fall apart. So when Sam watched Lord Commander Mormont be cut down, while the Night’s Watch devolved into in-fighting, it was all the more impressive that he pushed away his fears and stood his ground.

Sam may have called himself a coward, but he was far from it, and he showed it time and time again. Giving him the chance to acknowledge his bravery was touching, even if it came at the least opportune time.

“No One Sings Of The Stranger.”

A Storm Of Swords, Samwell III


In Game of Thrones, the Faith of the Seven dominated Westeros. Having been born a Tarly, Sam was raised in the light of the Seven. Yet, while Sam would make his Night’s Watch Oath before the godswood, Sam still retained everything that he knew about the Seven.

His fear of the Stranger, the representative of death, haunted him. This quote alone showed just how heavily the specter of the reaper hung over Westeros. With the Stranger himself, the Night King, coming to claim them all, this quote could have been a horrifying moment for fans everywhere.

Next: 10 Best Twists In Game Of Thrones, According to Reddit

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