Saturday 23 September 2017 News Updated at 03:09 AM IST
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The after-effects - Deccan Herald
The after-effects
Jennifer Vineyard,The New York Times,
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ANALYSING plots  John Bradley
During the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) arrived at Winterfell just in time to put two and two together with Bran Stark.

Together, they concluded that Jon Snow isn’t actually Jon or a Snow, but rather Aegon Targaryen, the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. It’s a game-changer for the series, and so we enlisted Bradley to help make sense of this final confirmation of a very popular fan theory - and to weigh in on whether Sam and Bran should continue to drop knowledge bombs on Westeros. Following are edited excerpts from that interview:

So it turns out that Sam knows more than the Three-Eyed Raven, at least in this instance. I thought perhaps Sam had ignored or missed the information Gilly presented about Rhaegar Targaryen.

Even the Three-Eyed Raven has gaps in his knowledge. And if someone has gaps in their knowledge, Sam is very, very keen to fill them. The thing about Sam is that he’s always been wrapped up in his own head.

He’s been so isolated and felt like such an outsider for so long that he’s just constantly living introspectively. I think Sam is the kind of person who can absorb information rather efficiently. He can almost absorb the information by osmosis, almost subconsciously. His brain is never completely closed.

How do you think this is going to change his relationship with Jon Snow? Would he start calling him Aegon, or 'Egg’?

Calling him Egg, that would be a really nice circular continuation of the relationship between Sam and Jon and Maester Aemon. We learned during Maester Aemon’s death scene that he called his brother Aegon Egg. Maester Aemon had an Egg in his life, and now Sam has one as well. But all of this definitely does change Jon and Sam’s relationship, because the man Sam thought Jon was, in terms of what he represented in the world, that’s all changed. Jon is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, and that’s bound to change the way (Sam) perceives him and the future of the Seven Kingdoms. And that could affect Sam’s future as well, in a more positive way than he could anticipate.

How do you think they should break the news? It probably should be Sam, not Bran. Bran has a tendency to freak people out, such as when he told Sansa he knew about her wedding-night rape.

Jon tends to believe Sam. Sam is the right person to tell him, because he’s also very thorough, very academic. Bran is a lot like Sam, in that they’re both outsiders at the moment. Sam was treated with suspicion at the Citadel, and that kind of happened to Bran at Winterfell as well. He’s so isolated and lost in his own world, and he’s kind of freaking everybody out. He seems impenetrable. So it’s quite interesting that these two outsiders have found somebody in each other who recognises their particular gifts - gifts that no one else in the course of the Great War really possesses. And they could be quite a force to be reckoned with because they complement each other so well.

Have you seen that fan theory that Sam is actually the author of 'A Song of Ice and Fire’? That he’s writing about this chapter of Westerosi history?

I have seen that theory, and I really love that theory. If that theory is proved to be true, it changes your entire perception of things. History is written by the victors, so is Sam writing his own version of events? You’d have to completely re-evaluate everything you’ve seen, almost from the start. Was Sam affected by how he sees the world? How he sees Jon? Was he flavouring what he was writing about by his own perceptions? That’s what I love about it, because maybe Sam’s perception is not the truth.

Maybe what we’ve seen for the past seven seasons isn’t quite the truth, but more Sam’s opinions, Sam’s preferences, Sam’s personality. It makes you realise that this could have been different. Maybe Sam made Jon appear to be more of a hero, to be more noble, to be more of a truth-teller, than he actually was! It could have affected the reality of the show. It casts doubt on everything you’ve seen, and it encourages you to go back and re-watch the show with new eyes.

That’s where we have to reconsider what we might have been told about, say, the White Walkers. Do we know what they want, other than perhaps the destruction of mankind?

That’s what I find fascinating. In the scene in the Dragonpit, Jon talks about the army of the dead having no general to negotiate with, and no terms you can negotiate. Are they just on a quest to wipe out the people of the Seven Kingdoms? That’s possible. But if that’s the case, that shows that they are completely devoid of emotion. They’re completely devoid of humanity. They’re not going to be appeased. There’s nothing they can possibly want, other than our death, and then that’s the end of it.

But what if that’s not the case? We’re told that all the time about certain groups of people - these people want this, these people want that - and that’s only half the story. If the White Walkers are humans of a sort, then they do want something.

They are fighting with a moral compass that just might be slightly different from ours. Their priorities are different. So, if they are people with morals, and heart and families and causes to fight for, other than a nihilistic destruction of everything that’s been in the world, then that’s a different prospect.