John Bradley (Sam) Gives an Inspiring Response to Conan During a 2019 ‘Game of Thrones’ Reunion

Actor John Bradley, who played the gentle and intellectual yet fiercely loyal Samwell Tarly for all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, gave a truly inspirational answer to a question posed to him by Conan O’Brien during a cast reunion in 2019. Conan asked Bradley how he felt about the longevity of his character throughout the series. Bradley humbly responded that he admired Sam quite a bit.

I think that Sam is a great lesson to people…that there are any number of sets of skills that can get yourself through life. And you shouldn’t look at other people and say ‘if I was like them I’d survive’. I think that the fact that he’s made it to the end of the series just goes to show that, if you have a belief in yourself and you have an iron will to apply what you love and what you’re good at then you can get kind of anywhere really

Bradley also talked about what he learned from Sam, particularly how it affected how he saw himself.

There were a lot of things I didn’t like about myself you know. … and all that time I was thinking that those two guys [showrunners Benioff and Weiss] they were looking for exactly me. They were looking for an actor who knows what it’s like to be bullied because of his weight. And looking for an actor he knows what it’s like to be painfully shy and have grave doubts about yourself and the stuff that they were looking for. Not only did they see worth in me when I couldn’t see it myself, but they saw what I consider to be my failures as virtues and I think that that Sam’s journey throughout this whole thing as well.

Bradley also appeared on CONAN after the reunion.

Here’s the more from the cast reunion.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.