Sam is a character in the third season. He's the son of Craster, a wildling who marries his daughters, and Gilly, one of his daughter-wives, being his mother/sister. He was named after Samwell Tarly, who saved the lives of Gilly and her son.
Two of Craster's wives delivers him in a birthing hut. At the same time the Night's Watch survivors of the Battle of the Fist of the First Men take shelter at Craster's Keep. After Gilly and Samwell Tarly notice he's a boy, they realize that Craster will want to sacrifice him to the White Walkers.
Sam visits Gilly, who is deeply distraught about the fate of her newborn son. She is frantic, and yells at Sam not to draw attention to the fact that it's a boy by calling it a "he" so loud, as Craster will want to offer it up as a sacrifice when he finds out it's a son. He asks her if she's decided on a name, but she responds that there's no point in naming her baby if he's only going to be offered up as a human sacrifice. She gives Sam back his mother's thimble and says she doesn't care about such stupid things, all she's focused on is protecting the life of her baby.
When a mutiny breaks out that results in the deaths of Craster and Lord Commander Jeor Mormont, Sam rushes to Gilly's hut and orders her that they have to escape now or they never will. Sam runs out of Craster's Keep with Gilly and her baby, as loyal Night's Watch members fall to the mutineers, who also kill or rape Craster's other wives. Gilly leads the way into the night because she knows the woods around her home.
After several days of travelling, Sam, Gilly, and her baby arrived at an abandoned cabin in a forest. After lighting a fire, Sam suggested that Gilly name her son but she did not know any boy names. In response, Sam gave her some examples, and also explained the difference between first and last names. Suddenly, they were interrupted by the squawks of several crows outside. When Sam and Gilly, who was carrying the baby, went out to investigate, they saw hundreds of crows squawking angrily at them. Shortly later, Gilly witnessed a White Walker approaching and realized that the creature had come for the baby due to Craster's habit of sacrificing male babies to these creatures. Sam managed to kill the White Walker with a dragonglass dagger. The three of them then fled into the night.
Following their encounter with the White Walker, Sam's mother Gilly and her protector Samwell continued their journey to Castle Black, the headquarters of the Night's Watch. Based on Samwell's knowledge of the roads and places in the North, they agreed to stop at Nightfort, an abandoned castle which had been the former headquarters of the Night's Watch and was situated between Castle Black and Beyond the Wall. After travelling past the Wall, Sam and the adults finally reached Nightfort where they encountered Bran Stark, the half-brother of Samwell's friend Jon Snow. Bran and his companions—Jojen Reed and his sister Meera, the servant Hodor and the direwolf Summer were travelling Beyond the Wall to find the three-eyed raven.
Due to their experiences beyond the Wall, Samwell and Gill were not willing to return to the Wall with Bran and company. After the two parties parted company, Sam and the adults completed their journey to Castle Black. There, they met Maester Aemon, who was furious at the prospect that Samwell had violated his vows. However, Aemon's demeanor softened upon learning that Gilly was one of the late Craster's wives and that Sam was one of his offspring. Aemon acknowledged that Gilly was now a refugee and that she and her child should be sheltered since the North was no longer save for humans. Aemon then ordered Sam to begin writing letters immediately and to make sure that all forty-four of Castle Black's ravens were well-fed, as every one of them was to fly that night: the White Walkers have returned, and Westeros must be warned. For the moment, Sam and his mother were safe from the White Walkers.
|Season Three appearances|
|Valar Dohaeris||Dark Wings, Dark Words||Walk of Punishment||And Now His Watch is Ended||Kissed by Fire|
|The Climb||The Bear and the Maiden Fair||Second Sons||The Rains of Castamere||Mhysa|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Gilly's child actually does not possess a name. The inhabitants of the Seven Kingdoms south of the Wall are named in a ceremony on the same day they are born, which becomes known as a "nameday". A "nameday" is functionally equivalent to a "birthday", hence the phrase "naked as my nameday", it is just a quirk of their culture that the act of naming, not the birth itself, is what is signified.
However, due to the harsh conditions Beyond the Wall, the wildlings have a high infant mortality rate and believe naming a baby after birth is an ill-omen. Therefore, they do not give their babies names at all until they have survived to fully two years of age. Gilly follows that custom, and for that reason she has not given any name to her baby yet. Wildlings do sometimes give their babies nicknames in the meantime, but Gilly hasn't called her baby "Sam" in the books.
Some people in Castle Black call the baby "Monster" affectionately, while others call him "Abomination" because he is born of incest.
- Gilly's baby at A Wiki of Ice and Fire (MAJOR spoilers from the books)