Game of Thrones: See how much the cast has changed since the first season

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Samwell Tarly

Samwell Tarly can be considered one of the underdogs of Game of Thrones, beginning his role on the show as a timid boy whose father sends him to the wall because he isn’t a fighter. And though Sam does learn to fight slightly better than when he first appears on the show, he also begins to embrace his other strengths as the seasons continue.

Sam’s father ridicules him for being bookish, but his friends and mentors in the Night’s Watch show him that his talents for reading and writing can be of use at the Wall—and even eventually for the good of the realm. Through his experiences and friendships, Sam slowly gains some confidence in himself, even if he still has a tendency to get nervous.

From the first season to the seventh, Sam overcomes far more than he believes himself capable of. He faces the White Walkers and comes out on the other side, discovering a possible advantage against the Night King’s army in the process. He also manages to save a number of lives over the course of the series, most notably Gilly’s, baby Sam’s, and Jorah Mormont’s.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

And with Sam’s discoveries regarding dragonglass and greyscale, he may save even more. By the time viewers reach the seventh season finale, Sam has accepted himself, embracing his strengths and weaknesses. Sam’s experiences will serve himself and many others during the final season, especially given his discovery about Jon’s parentage.

Of course, Sam’s scholarly qualities will also prove useful when and if he becomes a Maester—though, at this point, we’d much rather see him on Horn Hill with Gilly.