Game of Thrones: Star was left with stutter and performance anxiety after eight year role

Game of Thrones star John Bradley rose to fame after playing Jon Snow’s right-hand man Sawmell Tarly for eight yeas in the HBO drama. However, having to portray such a socially awkward character for so long took its toll on the star.

Speaking on the Blank Podcast, the actor spoke candidly about how his time on the show affected him in auditioning for other roles.

In conversation with Giles Paley-Phillips and comedian Jim Daly, John admitted he lost control of Sam’s stutter at point while filming a scene with Kit Harington.

He said: “Towards the end of Game Of Thrones, it became the only way I could act, and I got into the unconscious mindset that people want me to do this.

“I got into this trap with Sam, I set myself traps, because he had a traumatic childhood and suffered a lot – and it manifested through a stammer and a twitch sometimes.”


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Explaining his character, he revealed that Samwell was brought up in an environment where he was frightened to speak, which lead him to be fearful of expressing his opinion as he got older.

However, part way through the series, the actor lost control over when he would stammer.

He added: “There are takes of me where it felt like it would be five minutes where I am just standing with other the actors and I couldn’t speak and I just can’t get the words out and certain sounds would trip me up.

“In one scene I came in first with Kit Harrington and in the nicest way he said to me ‘can you come in a bit quicker?’ so I can react a bit quicker and I was like ‘I can’t, I just can’t’.”

Moreover, the stammer led the crew to think the star had forgot his lines.

The star added: “As lovely as the crew were, they assumed it was because I had forgotten my lines. It took me a while to get out of it and it went away over time.”

The problem isn’t go away after the series wrapped in May, the star revealed the stammer affected his auditions for future roles.

He explained: “Towards the end of that journey, that stammer would turn up in non-Sam acting and I’d do auditions when I’d stammer because it just seemed like the default place that I went to when I acted.


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“I think people thought it was part of me but it wasn’t, but it was performance anxiety.”

Meanwhile, Game of Thrones fans have been creating alternative endings for the series, including this one about Bran Stark becoming a mach darker ruler.

Reddit user burntsun11 said: “With Bloodraven teaching him the powers of the three eyed crow, I think GRRM is setting up a really nice twist in his character.”

The fan went on to compare the three-eyed crow to Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) trainer Jaqen H’ghar.


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They added: “I’ve always seen the three eyed crow as a dark power that tempts bran in the same way that Jaqen H’ghar tempts Arya; with the promise of them learning to become powerful enough to overcome their troubles.

“I think that their stories will end with one of them embracing darkness and becoming either no-one or the three eyed crow and the other will overcome the temptations of it.”

The fan went on to suggest that if Bran had more of a battle with darkness, this would have made him a far more interesting character.

They concluded: “Bloodraven corrupting Brans mind and then Bran becoming a King and ruling in the same way Bloodraven did when he was hand is messed up. This is why I think that Bran becoming king is such a good idea.”

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