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John Bradley (Sam) says George R.R. Martin’s character-killing tendencies made Game of Thrones successful




Game of Thrones was notorious for murdering off some of the show’s most beloved characters. These killings contributed to the story’s purpose and desire for vengeance. The show went a somewhat different path than George R. R. Martin‘s novels, but maintained his famous ambiguity over who would die next. Even the performers were uninformed of the plot and had no idea if they would be the next to be thrown off the set. The show’s star John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) explained how that contributed to its success.

George R. R. Martin was tired of restrictions

In a recent interview with, Bradley was asked what he thought was the main reason behind Game of Thrones’ success. He surmised,

“It comes from the books, but it gained such wide recognition when the show came out; that is, the risks that it takes getting rid of characters. I think George R.R. Martin had written so much for TV where the rule of TV is – don’t kill your lead character too early. He became sick of that restriction and so wanted to write books that broke all of those rules and which led to his lead characters being killed off at the end of the first book.”


The death of important characters creates shock

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Bradley went on to explain how the numerous deaths surprised viewers and increased viewership, “When that was made for TV they were stuck with the fact that the lead characters were now killed at the end of the first season. It’s how constantly surprising it was. Once you get to a level where people are expecting to be surprised, how do you then surprise them? The whole show was based on surprise. In terms of surprising moments, they executed those brilliantly, time after time.” 

Read Next: John Bradley (Sam) reveals why he joined Game of Thrones showrunners’ new Netflix series


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