11

On his way to the Citadel of Oldtown, Samwell Tarly stops at his family's fortress. Sam's relationship with his father is not good and on top of that Sam had brought a wildling girl with him.

Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, hates Sam, since he could not make a "good heir" from him.

When Sam turned fifteen, his father bluntly told him that he was not worthy of their house's ancestral Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane, and that he must join the Night's Watch and renounce his family name so that he would not stand in the way of Dickon's inheritance.

Source: Samwell Tarly: A wiki of Ice and Fire

During this visit Sam's father keeps teasing him that he is going to the Citadel "to read about the great quests of other men".

Nevertheless, when Sam leaves his family's manor, he takes with him their house's ancestral Valyrian steel sword.

It should be clear that Sam, Gilly, "their" baby and a such a precious artifact as an ancestral Valyrian steel sword disappear at the same time (or almost).

Why didn't Randyll Tarly ever investigate the disappearance of the sword and/or track Sam in order to recover it?

13

He just does, no one has either noticed it or mentioned it

It's difficult to tell whether or not Randyll (or another member of the household) has noticed or not, given that it's never mentioned again afterward.

The fact
is that Sam did take the sword, and presumably still has it in Winterfell now. That's all we know for sure.

The explanations
are that either:

  • Randyll and everyone else didn't realise
    • Which is completely both out of character for a Valyrian Steel sword to go missing without notice, as well as inconceivable for Randyll (one of the most pragmatic and prideful men in Westeros) to not notice this.
  • Randyll did notice, but just hasn't mentioned it on-screen
    • This can be understood because Randyll doesn't get much screen time to begin with, also, I'd doubt that Randyll would want anybody to know anything about the missing sword, given its significance.
    • Would you want to tell the likes of Jaime and Cersei Lannister that your denounced and shame-ridden son and his 'wildling' girlfriend stole the ancestral sword (the single most important possession of House Tarly)?

From here
there's likely going to be two outcomes:

  1. The show-runners forget to mention or leave out this detail, as it's deemed not worthy of spending screen-time on
    • In true D&D fashion
  2. Sam may explain it to Jon once Jon returns to Winterfell and Sam conveniently hands him an awesome White-Walker Killing weapon

Either way, let's wait and see.

  • 5
    +1. A suggestion, Mayhaps he was just pleasantly surprised that his coward son for once showed guts and he was pleased by that. Samwell is a Tarly, as long as he has the sword, it is still in the family. Would have been a "feels" scene, if they had shown Randyll Tarly watching Sam stealing the sword, lips curving in the same smile that he showed to Dickon when he decided to burn along with his father – Aegon Sep 7 '17 at 7:07
  • 1
    Another suggestion: Randyll already considers Sam irreparably incapable of being a soldier or leading a meaningful life, and that's evident from how he assumes Sam to be incapable of anything (even different things, not just being a soldier). It's possible that Randyll assumes Sam to have stolen the sword but not kept it ("As if that pathetic weasel would have a use for it. Laughable!"). Maybe he sold it, maybe someone already took it from "that weakling". So there's little purpose to chasing Sam (not able to get Heartsbane back anyway), and he'd rather just never see or hear from him again. – Flater Sep 7 '17 at 9:05

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