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Sam Is the Key to Game of Thrones' Ending

...At least if you're going by the book

Alexander Zalben

Spoilers forGame of ThronesSeason 6 finale past this point.

Of all the big, explosive scenes in the Game of Thrones finale, one curiously stood out: Sam (John Bradley) gawks excitedly at a library.

Fans made plenty of jokes, most of them Beauty and the Beast-focused... but it turns out that this might be one of the most important moments in the history of the series, and it all has to do with a chandelier.

For the entirety of Season 6, Sam and his sorta wife Gilly (Hannah Murray) have been traveling to the scholarly city of Oldtown. Sam is doing this for a few reasons. On the surface, he's aiming to become the new Maester of Castle Black, meaning he'd deal with more book-focused pursuits while the rest of the Night's Watch ineffectively protects Westeros from ice zombies.

But more importantly, he's on a mission for his best friend Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to discover how they can MORE effectively defeat said ice zombies. The research at Castle Black is incomplete, and only in the library of Oldtown will Sam (hopefully) be able to discover their Achilles heel.

That's all side to what the eagle-eyed folks at Uproxx noticed as the camera whipped around the massive book depository: the chandelier is also the orb-esque astrolab structure the camera hinges on in the opening credits.

HBO/Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair's always excellent Joanna Robinson did a nice job of mashing up those two moments, by the way. And the whole thing could be just a neat shout-out, but there's one more detail: the magnifying spectacles the Maester (Frank Hvam) who gives Sam a hard time is wearing would certainly provide the fish-lens look we get of the lands of Westeros, again in the opening credits.

Frank Hvam, Game of Thrones HBO

So what does this mean, exactly? It's a fun visual shout-out to something we've lived with for six years, but does it have some greater purpose in the story of Game of Thrones?


George R.R. Martin's books, on which the series is based, are actually titled A Song of Ice and Fire, not Game of Thrones. In the books, epic tales often take modifiers that don't specifically indicate how the stories are delivered. For example, the "Dance of Dragons" isn't a lovely ballet; it's the story of the Targaryen war of succession. So it stands to reason that "A Song of Ice and Fire" isn't the Seven Kingdoms' hot new single, but a story.

The crux of this theory is that someone needs to write down this story and tell it. There are two options, really, and they both make sense: it could be Sam; or it could be Sam.

... or stated more clearly, the author could be our beloved Samwell, or it could be his adopted, enormous son Sam.

It's a little on the nose, actually, if this turns out to be true. Martin has very publicly talked about how his books are a response and tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings cycle. Those books are an epic tale as well, told by the best, most loyal friend of the grim, darkly tousled haired hero Frodo. That friend? Samwise.

Look, this isn't a mic drop or anything. Samwell has always been the most directly analogous character between the two series. So it stands to reason that at the end of the story, Sam would be the one left alive to tell the tale -- just like Samwise is in Lord of the Rings.

Which means good news, at least one of the Sams (big or little) will live through whatever is coming in the final few episodes of the show. And we also know that the series will most likely end with Sam 1 or Sam 2 telling the epic story of Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). How we'll get there, though, is still very much tbd.

And to think, all this from a simple chandelier. Sia would be so proud.