Game Of Thrones: 10 Quotes That Perfectly Sum Up Sam As A Character

Though it remains to be seen whether HBO’s House of the Dragon will become quite the enormous success as its predecessor, Game of Thrones, the series’ imminent release has still caused many people to recall with fondness the many characters they got to know during its 8 seasons.

One of the most beloved of these was Samwell Tarly, the young man who befriended Jon Snow on the Wall and, ultimately, became one of the most important people in all of Westeros. There are a remarkably large number of quotes that manage to sum up his entire personality.


"I Always Wanted To Be A Wizard"

Samwell Tarly Reveals He Had Big Dreams To Jon Snow In "You Win Or You Die" (Season 1, Episode 7)

Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones season 8

In the world of Game of Thrones, many people are relentlessly cynical, always willing to do whatever it takes to gain power. As this quote demonstrates, however, Sam has never been one of those people. Indeed, there is something almost child-like and innocent about his desire to be a wizard, and it’s easy to see a young Sam aspiring for such a position.

Fortunately for Sam, and for the viewer, he never entirely loses his naivete–no matter what happens to him–making this particular quotation all the more poignant.

"I'm A Coward."

Samwell Tarly Shows Jon That He Is Very Self-Aware And Honest In "Cr***les, B**tards, and Broken Things" (Season 1, Episode 4)

Samwel Tarly Becoming The Grand Maester

There are many brave characters in Game of Thrones, but Samwell is, in the eyes of many of his fellow Westerosi, not one of these. However, while others might try to fake it or lie to themselves about the reality, Sam is more than happy to acknowledge that he is, when all is said and done, little more than a coward.

Though this is not strictly true–as he does many brave things throughout the course of the series–it is nevertheless a testament to his fundamentally good personality that he is willing to admit such a supposedly shameful thing.

"Sometimes A Man Has To Make Hard Choices, Choices That Might Look Wrong To Others, But You Know Are Right In The Long Run."

Samwell Tarly Shows That He Has The Power Of Foresight In "Hardhome" (Season 5, Episode 8)

Samwell in furs in the snow in Game of Thrones

Many are more than happy to underestimate Samwell Tarly. They believe that just because he doesn’t exhibit the traits that they expect from a man he must also be something of a fool. However, as quotes like this demonstrate, he is actually one of the series’ most intelligent characters.

He has a keen grasp of the long arc of history, precisely because he has spent so much of his life reading. More to the point, he also has a profound sort of wisdom that is quite extraordinary for someone his age.

"Maybe The Decision About What's Best For Everyone Should Be Left To... Well, Everyone."

Samwell Tarly Proves Himself To Be A Strong Advocate For Democracy (Season 8, Episode 6)

Samwell Tarley studying books at the Citadel

Of all of the many important moments that happen in Game of Thrones, arguably one of the most pivotal occurs in the finale when the powers of the Seven Kingdoms meet to decide who will next sit on the throne. While the others are willing to go on with the status quo, Sam makes the revolutionary suggestion of implementing true democracy.

It is peak Sam, full of his usual naivete and surprising wisdom (as he realizes, though the others don’t, that this might be the only way of saving the monarchy itself).

"I Was Nothing At All, And When You’re Nothing At All, There’s No More Reason To Be Afraid."

Samwell Tarly Has A Moment Of Self-Realization With Pypar In "The Watchers on the Wall" (Season 4, Episode 9)

Sam in black in a hall in game of thrones

Many things contribute to Sam’s becoming one of the best characters in Game of Thrones, and one of the most important of these is his ability to grow and change as the seasons go on. This arguably reaches its fruition when he comes to realize that he doesn’t have to be the bravest warrior of Westeros in order to succeed.

In fact, it’s precisely when he comes to accept his stance as “nothing” that he is able to attain the kind of victory that most of those in Westeros never fully attain.

"I Can't Steal Her. She's A Person, Not A Goat."

Samwell Tarly Proves He Is An Honorable And Respectful Person In "The Night Lands" (Season 2, Episode 2)

Gilly holding her baby with Sam in Game of Thrones

The relationship between Sam and Gilly is one of the most important in Game of Thrones. It’s easy to see why, since each of them brings something valuable to the dynamic. For Gilly, Sam is one of the few people to see her as a person rather than an object (as is the case with her father) or a barbarian (the other members of the Watch).

As he shows in this quote, Sam is the type of person who is uniquely capable of seeing the humanity at the heart of every person and would treat them with respect - no matter what.

"I Read It In A Very Old Book."

Samwell Tarly Proves That His Knowledge And Intelligence Is His Key Strength In "The Rains Of Castermere" (Season 3, Episode 9)

Sam and Gilly together at a desk covered in books

One of Sam’s most endearing–and useful–qualities is his propensity for reading. Along with Tyrion, he is one of the few people in the series who genuinely cares about knowledge and its acquisition. Thus, there is something both very funny and very apt about this quote, as it says so much about Sam’s personality.

He rightly operates with the understanding that there are few problems afflicting Westeros that can’t, in one way or another, be solved by locating the secrets of the past, most of which can be found in books.

"You’re Better Than Me In Everything. Except Reading."

Samwell Tarly Boasts About His Intelligence To Jon In "Two Swords" (Season 4, Episode 1)

Jon and Sam in Game of Thrones season 8

The friendship between Jon and Samwell is one of the most endearing, and enduring, in the series. It’s easy to see why this would be the case, since each of them brings out the best in the other. However, Sam is very much aware of the ways that Jon exceeds his own abilities.

At the same time, as this quote makes very clear, he is willing and able to be honest with his friend when it comes to his own skills as a reader and researcher. It is the one thing that he does better than Jon, and he takes pride in it.

"You Gave Up Your Crown To Save Your People. Would She Do The Same?"

Samwell Tarly Isn't Afraid To Get Brutally Honest With Jon Snow In "Winterfell" (Season 8, Episode 1)

Sam meeting Dany in Game of Thrones

Though Jon easily falls under the sway of Daenerys, the same cannot be said of Sam. In fact, he is one of those who rightly sees in her the seeds of what will happen later, when she fully embraces the darkness and becomes the tyrant she was fated to be.

This quote demonstrates Sam’s fundamental honesty and, just as importantly, his ability to see that Jon has in him the innate goodness that would make him a good king for the Seven Kingdoms. He’s also willing to tell Jon the truth, even when he doesn't want to hear it.

"I’ve Been Worrying About Jon For Years. He Always Comes Back."

Samwell Tarly Proves To Be A Good Friend To Jon Snow In "Hardhome" (Season 5, Episode 8)

Sam outside in the snow in Game of Thrones

Though Jon sometimes lacks allies, he always knows that he can count on Sam to have his back. In fact, as this quote makes clear, Sam is one of those people who is always concerned for Jon and his well-being.

Unlike many others, however, who continually underestimate him, Sam realizes that Jon is one of the most formidable warriors that the Watch has ever known. Though he might worry about him, he never loses his faith that his friend will come back to him.

NEXT: The Best Character In Each Season Of Game Of Thrones