Game of Thrones: Why Jon’s Reaction in That Sam Scene Is So Surprising

Warning: this article contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere.

The Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones featured a moment fans have been waiting eight years to see: Thanks to Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow finally learned the truth about his parents, Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, and the fact that he’s actually the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

IGN spoke to John Bradley about shooting the pivotal scene with Kit Harington, and how he found the balance between portraying Sam’s grief over losing his father and brother and conveying this vital information to Jon.

“I knew that I’d somehow have to find a very quick transition from Sam being upset and emotional and crying and being on the edge of trauma, and moving to a much more calm space where Sam composes himself and goes on to tell Jon this very sensitive piece of information in a very calm and measured and deliberate way, because Sam knows that Jon’s gonna be angry,” Bradley noted. “If you say anything about Ned Stark or make out that Ned Stark was not knowable or was a liar or deceived anybody, it kind of feels like blasphemy as far as Jon Snow’s concerned, so Sam knows that he has to calm that down, he has to extinguish that flame in Jon Snow that rises up whenever something that he cares about so deeply is brought into question.”

For more on this week’s new episode, check out the record-setting ratings for the Season 8 premiere, what Benioff and Weiss had to say about Jon and Dany’s epic dragon-riding sequence, all the callbacks to Season 1 we spotted, our theory on what kind of weapon Arya asked Gendry to make, how the episode may have referenced Ed Sheeran, and how the opening credits changed in the premiere.

Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.

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