There was one scene in Game of Thrones Season 6?s The Winds of Winter episode that not very many fans noticed. It?s the one that involved Samwell Tarly shortly after arriving at the Citadel in Oldtown, where he?s supposed to begin his training as a maester.
In that scene, Samwell Tarly was staring with child-like wonder at the thousands and thousands of books found inside the Citadel?s cavernous library. There he saw a familiar object: a massive gyroscope hanging from the ceiling of the library.
Eagle-eyed fans were quick to point out that it?s the same gyroscope featured in the opening credits of Game of Thrones. This sparked theories that Sam?s training at the Citadel could hold a very important role in the grand scheme of things.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, said that when he first shot the library scene, he didn?t know that there would be a gyroscope. The gyroscope, turns out, was only added in the post-production stage.
?I only became aware of that after I saw the episode. On the day, it was all green screen. It’s only after I saw the episode and people started telling me about the gyroscope. I think it could mean any number of things.
?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.?
John isn?t quite sure yet what the gyroscope really means in the scheme of things. But he does know that it would play a pivotal part next season.
When John finally made the connection between THAT scene and the show?s opening credits, he couldn?t help praising the writers? foresight.
?The one thing I found moving about that object being the same in the citadel and in the opening titles is that it’s a testament to [the showrunners’] foresight, that they can plan something that only comes to fruition much later on.?
John added that he now understands why fans have become obsessed with every detail found in Game of Thrones. Every element in the show, big or small, has a significant role that will unravel or play out sooner or later in the series.
?It shows an incredible kind of long game, in terms of giving people drips of information and being brave enough to puzzle people for a while.
?I think once that becomes apparent – that this is something we’ve seen every week – and now we’re finally having it explained to us at the end of season six, it shows how much control they have as writers and how in charge of the form and structure they are.
?They’ll only give out information when they feel you should get that information. I think it’s a testament to the pace and the overall detail of the show.?
In the same interview, John is genuinely happy for his character Samwell Tarly, who despite not being able to fight like Jon Snow, has achieved many, many personal triumphs, including falling in love.
?When we first meet Sam, his ambitions for life are so modest. People wonder if Sam would be a good leader if he was given the Iron Throne, but he wouldn’t ever want it. It’s out of his even peripheral vision. All he wants in life is to be loved, be accepted and do the things he enjoys. It’s not about power in the world. It’s about the power of taking control of his own life.
?He’s in a position now where he’s achieved a lot of those things. He’s now in this environment, he’s fallen in love and that’s something he never would have guessed would even be possible ? not only because of all the psychological boundaries he has in place, and his introverted nature and his lack of confidence, but also the fact that he’s even geographically somewhere that was so far away from women.
?He must have thought there was no chance he would ever fall in love. Being such a romantic deep down, that must have really had a weight, the thought he would never experience that. So the achievement of falling in love, keeping the person he loves close to him and going to a place where he’s accepted ? they’re all ambitions he never thought he could achieve. It’s a pipe dream. You find him at the end of season six having achieved all of that through one method or another. It’s been a very slow and progressive success story for Sam.?
Samwell Tarly has definitely come into his own. John is excited about the fact that Sam now has Heart?s Bane, the ancestral Valyrian sword of House Tarly, is in his possession. He took it just before leaving Horn Hill. This could only mean that his character may have a bigger, more significant role in Season 7.
?We saw in Jon and Sam’s final scene in season five, that Sam was talking about the effects of Valyrian steel on White Walkers. They’re talking about Jon’s experience at Hardhome, and how Longclaw came into play in a big way there. Sam’s constantly aware of these details, and he knows that Heart’s Bane is Valyrian steel. He knows the impact it can have. But it’s an interesting kind of mix between the symbolism of Heart’s Bane to him, and the practical use of it in the wider world. It’s a coming together of head and heart, which you don’t get very often. It’s not always that satisfying. Quite often your heart can rule your head, or the other way around. But this is the first time for Sam where he’s having something personally very satisfying and practically satisfying as well.
?I think when he took the sword, it was a symbolic gesture of him taking what’s his. He has every right to have that sword and to use it for whatever practical uses it has. But he knows only too well that if it’s wasted, and if it stays at Horn Hill, if it’s just there as a symbol of the power of the Tarly house, if it’s just an ornament, a little trinket or affectation, then it’s not going to do the good he knows he can do with it. Although Randyll might be furious, and probably is furious, Sam knows only too well that as symbolic as it is and how much he would like to have it just to claim ownership and prove a point, that if he learns how to wield its practical use then it will be of much more good to him than it is displayed on a set of antlers in the Tarly dining room. It’s a beautiful moment of when someone’s impulse and bravery to do the right thing is combined with a slightly more abstract practical knowledge as well. It’s a big payoff for him.?
Do you think Samwell Tarly would have a pivotal role in Season 7? Share your predictions and fan theories here.