John Bradley’s weight loss has been a topic of conversation over the years. Bradley, who plays the role of Samwell Tarly on HBO’s Game of Thrones, joined the series in 2011. Throughout the course of the show, Samwell Tarly has been the lovable, loyal friend that almost everyone wishes they had. It’s no secret that Tarly isn’t in shape like his best friend, Jon Snow and, in many ways, it had made him even more likable.
“Though he is overweight and neither the bravest nor the most skilled of warriors, he is intelligent, well-educated, and insightful, his vast knowledge serving the Night’s Watch well in their battles with the forces beyond the Wall,” reads Sam Tarly’s bio on the Game of Thrones Wiki.
Here’s what you need to know:
He Has Been Ridiculed About His Weight Over the Years
A few years back, Bradley was approached by a fan who wondered why he hadn’t lost any weight. He talked about the exchange during an interview with Conan O’Brien back in 2015.
“He says, ‘No, I’ve just been wondering … why are you still so fat?’ I said, ‘Well … what?’ He said, ‘No, no, no, I just don’t believe it. You’re right up north, you’re not eatin’ anything, you’re trekking across landscapes and running from things all the time. You should be losing weight.’ and I said, ‘OK, look. This is a fantasy show. We’ve got fire-breathing giant dragons, we’ve got ice zombies, we’ve got women giving birth to a cloud — why do you think it’s me still being fat that you just don’t buy?'” Bradley explained.
As you can see, Bradley has a pretty good sense of humor and was able to handle the potentially hurtful comments with ease.
He Has Lost Weight But Is Sure to Keep in Line With His Character
Bradley has noticeably slimmed down since he took on the role of Samwell Tarly in 2011. When the show was in its initial couple of seasons, Bradley chatted with FanSided’s Winter Is Coming blog about losing weight.
“You can’t go on diets, right? You’re not allowed to do various things to adjust your body weight. You sort of have to maintain a shape. Casting directors would say don’t fix your teeth, all that,” FanSided asked.
“Yeah, exactly. But… well, realistically, Samwell would be losing weight,” Bradley responded.
“What with all the stuff he does,” FS added.
“Of course he would. I think he would,” Bradley said.
Samwell Tarly isn’t going to end his time on Game of Thrones looking like a Jon Snow stunt double, but Bradley has been able to keep Tarly’s character in check while dropping some pounds in real life — and fans have noticed.
“Man, a bulked and cut Sam in season 8 throwing that family sword around would be f*cking wicked,” one Instagram user commented on a recent pic of Bradley.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres on April 14 on HBO. You can watch the trailer here.