How did Sam become Grand Maester
|“||The gods were heartless when they chose to examine my oath. They waited until I was old. What should I do when the ravens brought the news from the south? The downfall of my house, the death of my family. I was helpless, blind, weak. But when I heard that they had killed my brother's grandson and his poor son and children! Even the little kids!||”|
Cause of death:
He was born as Aemon Targaryen and was meanwhile the last known Targaryen still alive in Westeros. He is the great-uncle of Daenerys Targaryen, who is in exile and knows nothing of his existence. Through the countless years that Aemon has remained true to his vow to the Night Watch, hardly anyone remembers his true origins.
In game of Thrones Jaehaerys II was replaced by Aerys II, the son of Aegon V. As a result, Aemon is more closely related to Daenerys and Viserys in the original English version of the series. There he is her great-uncle and not, as in the novels, her great-great-uncle. The German version of the series, on the other hand, is based on the novels again and makes Aerys II Aemon's great-nephew, making Daenerys his great-great-niece again. In the first novel, Aemon is 99 years old. Actor Peter Vaughan was 88 years old while filming the first season.
In the series
Aemon comes from the House of Targaryen, the former ruling house of Westeros. He laid off his family name when he joined the Order of Maesters. At around one hundred years old, Aemon is one of the oldest living people in Westeros, but he has retained his wit and sharp mind. He has held the post of Maester of the Black Fortress for many decades.
Aemon has been blind for years due to age. It is not known exactly when or why he went blind, only that he was not born blind, but it was already during Robert's rebellion.
When Tyrion Lannister reached the Black Fortress, Aemon asked him to urge the Queen to send more men for the Night's Watch, as the forces available were insufficient to effectively defend the wall. Both discussed the coming winter and Aemon assured Tyrion that the next winter will be a long and terrible one. Lord Commander Mormont, concerned about the rumors of White Walkers, sent Benjen Stark to investigate the situation beyond the wall.
After Jon Snow and other new recruits had completed their initial training, Maester Aemon assigned them their duties. Jon was assigned as a chamberlain to Jeor Mormont, a great disappointment for him as he had hoped to become a border guard. Samwell Tarly became Aemon's personal steward to help him with the ravens and other things that Aemon was no longer good at doing himself. Sam pointed out to Jon that serving alongside the Lord Commander could mean preparing him for a major position in the Night's Watch.
The bodies of two border guards who had accompanied Benjen were found near the gods' grove and brought to the Black Fortress. The Lord Commander planned to have the bodies examined by Aemon, but they became revenants the following night, attacked Mormont and were burned by Jon.
Jon learned of his father Eddard Stark's captivity and was at odds with his loyalty to the Night's Watch and his love for his family. Maester Aemon intercepted Jon as he was preparing to desert. Aemon, aware of the conflict that was within Jon, revealed that his real name is Aemon Targaryen and that he is the long-forgotten uncle of the Mad King. He stayed by the wall and did nothing when his family was butchered in the course of Robert's rebellion and the last of the survivors fled into exile. By his oath, he was bound to his brothers in the Night Watch and no longer to his family. Aemon knew the gravity of his decision, but he did and will have to live the rest of his life with the consequences of his decision.
With the Night's Watch set out north to face the threat posed by the White Walkers, only a small part of the soldiers and Maester Aemon remain at the wall because they are too weak for such a journey.
Maester Aemon welcomes Sam and Goldy in his apartments, who until then have been the only ones to return from the expedition beyond the wall. Aemon initially assumes that Goldy's son is Sam's son, which Sam can correct. Sam convinces Maester Aemon that her oath should also be applied to the people beyond the wall and that they cannot simply be locked out in the face of the threat posed by the White Walkers. Maester Aemon takes Goldy and her son in and assigns them tasks. At the same time he instructs Sam to send a message to all the high lords of Westeros and implore help for the night watch, as both the wildlings ready for battle and the White Walkers are marching towards the wall. At the end of the season you can see that the message was only read and taken seriously by Ser Davos Seewert, who hands it over to his King Stannis Baratheon, who is apparently willing to intervene immediately.
Aemon is present at the side of Allisar Thorn and Janos Slynt during the interrogation of Jon Schnee for breaking oath. In contrast to the other two, Aemon strikes conciliatory notes and relativizes Jon's offenses. When Maester Aemon confirms his credibility in describing his point of view and the verdict is not to punish Jon, Ser Allisar angrily asks him how he can always recognize liars at first sight - Aemon laughs bitterly and says it is because that he grew up in King's Landing.
After the boy Olly was sent by the Wildlings to the Black Fortress to report on the brutal attack on his village, some brothers demand the slaughter of Wildlings in return. Ser Allisar warns, however, that the wildlings want the Night's Watch to hunt them down in groups so that they can further decimate the number of brothers. Aemon adds that with the chamberlains and builders and himself included, they are barely a hundred men. He urges himself to consider the task of the night watch; to guard the wall.
In the middle of the night Samwell Tarly was reading a book when Maester Aemon came up to him unnoticed and frightened him. Sam tries to help him to sit down, but Aemon refuses, as nowhere is he more familiar with the fortress than the library. He notices the irony that there are so many books there that nobody reads because he is old and blind. He wants to know what Sam is reading and learns that Sam is reading a book by a maester about wildlings and how brutal they are. Aemon doesn't think much of it, however, as the author has never met a wildling. Aemon is of the opinion that the wildlings also only tell gruesome things about the deeds of the night watchmen among themselves. Aemon knows immediately that Sam is only reading these things because he is thinking of Goldy and what could happen to her and her child. Sam denies loving Goldy, but Aemon has known since Sam brought Goldy to him. Aemon remembers what it was like when he was in love, when he was still a prince in King's Landing who could one day have become king. Many girls tried to conquer it and one of them succeeded.
The old maester can still clearly remember her face and says she is much more real to him than Sam, who is sitting next to him. On Sam's request, however, Aemon does not reveal anything about her identity and sends him to bed.
Aemon gives the funeral oration for the brothers of the Night's Watch who fell in the Battle of the Black Fortress and he is the first to light the pyre with a torch before passing it on and also other brothers, such as Sam and Jon Schnee, gradually into the pyre Set fire.
Together with Othell Yarwyck, Maester Aemon directs the election of the 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, but appears more sickly than usual. He asks his brothers to name possible candidates for the election. Janos Slynt proposes Ser Allisar Thorn and emphasizes his qualities, one of the men of the shadow tower proposes his commanders Ser Denys Mallister as the new Lord Commander. Shortly before the actual election, Sam proposes his friend Jon Schnee as a candidate, who is first killed by Slynt until Sam reveals Slynt's embarrassing escape in the Battle of the Black Fortress, which Maester Aemon also has to smile about. Ultimately, there is a tie between Ser Thorn and Jon Snow before Maester Aemon casts his vote and decides the election for Jon.
Sam reads a message to Maester Aemon about Daenerys Targaryen's difficult situation in Meereen and says she sounds like a remarkable woman. Maester Aemon sadly notes that she is alone and that her last relative, near death and useless, is thousands of miles away from her. They are interrupted by the new Lord Commander Jon Snow, who needs advice from Maester Aemon. Jon wants to do something that he deems necessary but that will bring him many enemies among the brothers. Maester Aemon stops him and insists he should do it without wanting to know what exactly Jon wants to do. He feels Jon's face and warns him that he will not enjoy his office very much, but that now that winter is approaching, he has to do what has to be done. It is time to leave your youth behind and become a man.
Maester Aemon is visited in his sick bed by Samwell Tarly and Goldy along with little Sam. He compares little Sam to his younger brother Aegon, who would have laughed and been happy as a baby and was one of Aemon's first memories. When his powers run out, Aemon tells Goldy to take Sam south before it is too late as winter is almost here. Sam and Goldy insist on staying with him until he dies. Later, when he was delirious, he kept calling to Aegon and then saying that he had a strange dream in which he was old. In the morning, Samwell gives the funeral oration for Maester Aemon in front of the body, which is laid out to be cremated.
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