Game Of Thrones Season 6 Finale: 10 Ups And 2 Downs From 'The Winds Of Winter'

Downs...

2. Sam's Story Was A Bit Superfluous

Game of Thrones Sam Tarly Oldtown Citadel
HBO

After Sam's arc in Season 5 ended with him heading to Oldtown, there was the expectation that we might actually get to see him spend some significant time there in Season 6.

It wasn't to be, as Sam only appeared in two episodes before the finale: once on a boat, and the other at Horn Hill, stealing his father's Valyrian steel sword. That plot point isn't acknowledged here, with no sign of Randyll Tarly giving chase. Instead, Sam, Gilly, and baby arrive at the Citadel, with the former ready to train to become Maester for a Lord Commander no longer a part of the Night's Watch.

Having the chance to see the Citadel was a cool moment, and the library Sam visits - complete with an astrolabe that looks like it's straight out the opening credits - is very impressive. But there doesn't seem to be any need for the inclusion of this story in The Winds of Winter, save for going 'Oh yeah, remember Sam? Here he is'. It doesn't really add anything, and given there has been no urgency in Sam's storyline, there's nothing here that leaves you longing for it to be picked up.

If they want to inject some impetus into Sam's story, then it would've been better leaving him out of this finale, and picking up his story in Season 7, with a stretch of episodes to build some real momentum. In this great episode filled with memorable moments, it's more than likely going to be forgotten.

Contributor
Contributor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.