There were a surprising number of goodbyes in Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4, "The Last of The Starks." The show opened with a funeral pyre encompassing all of the fallen from the Battle of Winterfell the week prior, allowing audiences to say goodbye to Jorah, Theon, and others. But those weren't the only ones. By the time Daenerys and Jon were taking their leave of Winterfell to face down Cersei, Jon was saying goodbye to others too, including Ghost, Tormund, and Sam. Will Sam return to Game Of Thrones Season 8? It seems like the answer is no, except for one small detail.
From all angles, the goodbyes at Winterfell seem like permanent ones. Ghost has never been a character the show knew how to deal with in the first place, giving him away to Tormund makes sense, considering how the wolf has been treated thus far. Tormund also has no reason to stay now that the threat beyond the Wall has fallen.
Sam has everything he ever wanted, more than he ever dreamed really. He and Gilly have little Sam and a potential little Jon on the way as well. With both his father and brother gone, Sam is now the Lord of Horn Hill, and with the loss of the Tyrells, the defacto Warden of the Reach. It's a happy ending all around.
Or is it?
This image of John Bradley was part of last week's "Game Revealed" episode that accompanied the Season 8 Episode 3, "The Long Night." It's not actually all that important what Bradley is saying here, as much as it matters where he is, and what he is wearing.
When Game of Thrones films these behind the scenes interviews, they're usually done at the end of the actor's run with the show. So, for instance, Natalie Dormer, who played Margaery Tyrell, did several behind the scenes clips during Season 6, all of them were filmed on the Red Keep set in the grey gown she wears to the Sept in the finale. This season, Tormund has filmed all his interviews at Winterfell, wearing the injury makeup from his wounds from the Battle of Winterfell, suggesting his final moments on the show will be on that set, in the outfit and makeup fans saw him wearing last night.
Which is why seeing Sam in a completely different outfit, sitting on the set of the Dragon Pit in King's Landing, is so suspect. The show may have made it look like his story was finished. But the production didn't fly him to Seville (where the Dragon Pit scenes are filmed) and put him in a brand new and frankly slightly mysterious looking outfit just to shoot a few behind the scenes interviews.
In short, whatever this week's episode may have tried to pretend was happening, Sam will be back before the final two episodes are over, and he will be part of the events in King's Landing. However, what those events are and why Sam is involved remains a mystery.