Sam is a character who is introduced in the third season. He is 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 deliver Gilly's baby 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 that her new baby is a boy, they realize that Craster will want to sacrifice him to the White Walkers.
Sam visits Gilly, who is deeply distraught about the impending fate of her newborn son. She is frantic, and yells at Sam not to draw attention to his gender, as Craster will want to offer it up as a sacrifice when he finds out. He asks her if she has decided on a name, but she responds that there is no point in naming her baby if he is 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, and is focused only on 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 tells her that they must leave. 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 suggests that Gilly name her son but she does not know any boy names. Sam gives her some examples, and also explains the difference between first and last names. They are interrupted by the squawks of several crows outside. When Sam and Gilly, who is carrying the baby, went out to investigate, they saw hundreds of crows squawking angrily at them. Shortly later, Gilly witnesses a White Walker approaching and realized that the creature has come for the baby due to Craster's habit of sacrificing male babies to these creatures. Sam manages to kill the White Walker with a dragonglass dagger. The three of them then flee into the night.
Following their encounter with the White Walker, Sam's mother Gilly and her protector Samwell continue 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 head for Nightfort, an abandoned castle which was formerly the headquarters of the Night's Watch and is situated between Castle Black and Beyond the Wall. After travelling past the Wall, Sam and the adults finally reach Nightfort, where they encounter 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 are travelling Beyond the Wall in search of the three-eyed raven.
Due to their experiences beyond the Wall, Samwell and Gilly are not willing to return to the Wall with Bran and company. They part company, and Sam and the adults complete their journey to Castle Black. There, they met Maester Aemon, who is furious at the prospect that Samwell has violated his vows. However, Aemon's demeanor softens upon learning that Gilly was one of the late Craster's wives and that Sam is one of his offspring. Aemon acknowledges that Gilly is now a refugee and that she and her child should be sheltered since the North is no longer safe for humans. Aemon then orders Sam to begin writing letters immediately and to make sure that all forty-four of Castle Black's ravens are well-fed, as every one of them will fly that night: the White Walkers have returned, and Westeros must be warned. For the moment, Sam and his mother are safe from the White Walkers.
A whore is annoyed that Gilly's baby woke her up during a night in Mole's Town. Meanwhile, a wildling raiding party, including Tormund, Styr, and Ygritte, attack the town, killing everyone in their path. Ygritte discovers Gilly hiding with her baby, but urges them to keep quiet, sparing their lives.
|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|
|Season Four appearances|
|Two Swords||The Lion and the Rose||Breaker of Chains||Oathkeeper||First of His Name|
|The Laws of Gods and Men||Mockingbird||The Mountain and the Viper||The Watchers on the Wall||The Children|
In the books
In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Gilly's child actually does not possess a name. 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.