Game of Thrones Fans Never Realize How Crucial Sam Tarly Really Was

Game of Thrones Fans Never Realize How Crucial Sam Tarly Really Was
Image credit: HBO

Sam is a socially awkward, shy, and bookworm guy who sticks close to Jon Snow for protection. But that’s far from everything he is: Sam is also near-essential to the plot.


  • Most fans severely underestimate Samwell Tarly’s importance to the Game of Thrones plot.
  • Without Sam, several crucial characters would’ve died, and Jon and Bran would’ve never advanced.
  • On the other hand, Sam has indirectly helped the Night King destroy the Wall, which was suboptimal.

Samwell Tarly has never been the most appealing character in Game of Thrones. A disgrace to his father and a laughing stock for his fellow Crows, Sam always stuck close to his only friend, Jon Snow, as he was incapable of defending himself. Most fans consider Sam just an annoying add-on to Snow, but that’s far from the truth.

Because the truth is, this shy but wholesome man singlehandedly changed the course of the Westeros story several times and was an essential element of it.

What Would Have Fallen Apart Without Sam?

It was Sam who discovered the true power of dragonglass as a weapon against the White Walkers. Without him, no one would have learned about that, and the defenders of Winterfell would have had no effective means of defending themselves.

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It was Sam who was largely responsible for Jon Snow becoming the new Lord Commander of the Night Watch. Without him, Snow would have lost the election; and without Snow as Lord Commander, thousands of wildlings would have been slaughtered by the undead, adding thousands of troops to the Night King’s army.

It was Sam who helped Bran Stark find a way north of the Wall which led to Bran becoming the Three-Eyed Raven. Without those abilities, Bran would have never learned about Jon Snow’s true Targaryen legacy. And in the normal version of the finale, that would have actually meant something…never mind, moving on.

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We’re not even talking about the people Sam directly saved, but we definitely should. Sam saved Gilly and her son from the tyranny of her father. Sam saved Ser Jorah Mormont, Daenerys Targaryen’s beloved friend and ally, from the Greyscale. Without him, Gilly and Jorah would have been dead or stranded, and that means something.

What Would Have Been Better Without Sam?

As much as we want to defend Samwell Tarly, there are also some things that would have improved greatly without Sam’s interference. In fact, some of the most dramatic events of Game of Thrones could have been avoided entirely — first of all, the entire “Night King’s army marches south of the Wall” story arc would have not existed.

The thing is, if Jon Snow didn’t become Lord Commander of the Night Watch — which he most likely wouldn’t have without Sam’s help — Daenerys Targaryen would have taken no interest in him. Without their alliance, Dany wouldn’t have learned about the Night King, the White Walkers, and the upcoming undead hordes.

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Then, she would’ve had no reason to fly beyond the Wall and lose a dragon there. Without the undead dragon, the Night King wouldn’t have been able to break through the Wall’s ancient magical defenses that have been keeping the Walkers and all things undead at bay for the longest time. The undead would have been stuck.

This sounds like quite a positive change in our book — and one that would’ve further influenced everything else. Including the outcome of the war, Daenerys’s madness, the King’s Landing massacre, and so on and so forth. As a bonus, without Bran getting beyond the Wall, the original Three-Eyed Raven would have lived, too.

Alright. Sorry, Sam, but you kind of messed up many things.

Source: Reddit