Samwell was the first child of Lord Randyll Tarly and his wife Melessa Florent. Lord Randyll was regarded as one of the finest military commanders in the Seven Kingdoms and he did everything in his power to raise Samwell into what he deemed a proper heir. Unfortunately, Samwell resisted every effort and failed to meet his father's expectations.
He was sent to the Arbor as a page, but the Redwyne twins (Hobber and Horas) bullied him, and Lord Paxter sent him back to Horn Hill where a dozen masters-at-arms proceeded to fail at toughening Samwell. There were many attempts to strengthen Samwell's disposition such as dressing him in his mother's clothes, forcing him to sleep in chainmail, and being bathed in aurochs blood by Qartheen warlocks, but each failed to raise his valor.
After Lady Melessa bore her husband three girls, Samwell's brother Dickon was born. Dickon Tarly showed promise that Samwell lacked, including the physical vigor Lord Randyll had tried to instill in his older son. As a result, Randyll's attentions turned towards raising his more promising younger son to take his place instead of Samwell. For some time Randyll allowed Samwell to enjoy his music, food, and other soft pursuits, but Randyll forbade his son from traveling to Oldtown to become a Maester.
When Sam finally reached maturity, his father told him that he was not worthy of their house's ancestral sword. Randall then told Samwell to join the Night's Watch and renounce his family name so that he would not stand in the way of his younger brother's inheritance. If he refused to do so, Randyll promised that Samwell would then suffer an "unfortunate hunting accident". Having no other choice, Samwell chose to take the black of the Night's Watch.
A Feast for CrowsEdit
Samwell is sent away by Jon with Gilly, her son and Maester Aemon. They are escorted by Black Jack Bulwer to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. Jon wants Sam to travel to Oldtown, to train to be a Maester and succeed Aemon as the Maester at Castle Black.