SPOILERS for Season 6 of Game of Thrones ahead. John Bradley aka Sam Tarly of Game of Thrones, answered questions about the Citadel gyroscope and his character in Season 6.
We all remember the scene from the final episode of season 6 – The Winds of Winter – where Samwell Tarly stands in front of the huge Citadel gyroscope. He marvels in pure awe at the device, as well as the endless books in the Citadel Library.
Another thing that fans have noticed, is that the same gyroscope appears in the opening credits since the beginning of the series. John Bradly, the actor behind the character, shared his thoughts with THR regarding that scene –
“I only became aware of that after I saw the episode. On the day, it was all green screen. It’s only after I saw the episode and people started telling me about the gyroscope. I think it could mean any number of things. One theory is that what we’re seeing now and how we’re experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones. If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library. The visual motif of that is you’re about to be told a story — the sense of an idea of being told a story, and people gaining that knowledge, the way Sam is absorbing knowledge in the library.”
He also added that revealing the gyroscope so far in the series’ run, is testament to show-runners David Benioff and D.B Weiss ability to patiently reveal plot devices at meaningful junctions –
“The one thing I found moving about that object being the same in the Citadel and in the opening titles is that it’s a testament to [showrunner David Benioff and Dan Weiss’] foresight, that they can plan something that only comes to fruition much later on,” Bradley says. “It shows an incredible kind of long game, in terms of giving people drips of information and being brave enough to puzzle people for a while. I think once that becomes apparent, that this is something we’ve seen every week, and now we’re finally having it explained to us at the end of season six, shows us how much control they have as writers and how in charge of the form and structure they are. They’ll only give out information when they feel you should get that information. I think it’s a testament to the pace and the overall detail of the show.”
When asked about Heartsbane, the ancestral Valyrian sword that Samwell stole from his father, John said –
“We saw in Jon and Sam’s final scene in season five, that Sam was talking about the effects of Valyrian steel on White Walkers. They’re talking about Jon’s experience at Hardhome, and how Longclaw came into play in a big way there. Sam’s constantly aware of these details, and he knows that Heart’s Bane is Valyrian steel. He knows the impact it can have. But it’s an interesting kind of mix between the symbolism of Heart’s Bane to him, and the practical use of it in the wider world. It’s a coming together of head and heart, which you don’t get very often. It’s not always that satisfying. Quite often your heart can rule your head, or the other way around. But this is the first time for Sam where he’s having something personally very satisfying and practically satisfying as well.”
Bradley further added “I think when he took the sword, it was a symbolic gesture of him taking what’s his. He has every right to have that sword and to use it for whatever practical uses it has. But he knows only too well that if it’s wasted, and if it stays at Horn Hill, if it’s just there as a symbol of the power of the Tarly house, if it’s just an ornament, a little trinket or affectation, then it’s not going to do the good he knows he can do with it. Although Randyll might be furious, and probably is furious, Sam knows only too well that as symbolic as it is and how much he would like to have it just to claim ownership and prove a point, that if he learns how to wield its practical use then it will be of much more good to him than it is displayed on a set of antlers in the Tarly dining room. It’s a beautiful moment of when someone’s impulse and bravery to do the right thing is combined with a slightly more abstract practical knowledge as well. It’s a big pay off for him.”
Do you think the Citadel gyroscope theory is what we should expect going forward? What do you think about how Sam’s story went in Season 6? Share your thoughts in the comments.