The Season 5 finale of “Game of Thrones” featured the deaths of some major characters in the HBO television series. Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne, and John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, talked about the deaths and shared their insights in separate interviews. [Spoiler alert]

Brienne killed Stannis Baratheon, played by Stephen Dillane, in the episode. The character may still be alive in the books written by George RR Martin. Speaking to EntertainmentWeekly, Christie joked that if she continued doing this she may be in the show till the very end.

Talking about the difference in the way her character reacts to situations this time around, Christie said that Brienne had become “a little more clever in the way she deals with people.” The actress quotes the scene where her character was able to extract information about Sansa from the inn keeper in one of the episodes as evidence of the change in the way the character acts.

Her hard work did not yield the result she was hoping for, however, and Brienne had to abandon her wait for Sansa. Christie said that her character was “depressed” about her current situation, but the character rarely focuses on herself and puts all her efforts on “the greater good.” The killing of Stannis is “one moment [where] she responds to her emotional world and her feelings.”

Talking about the future of Brienne, the actress said that she told author Martin that she is prepared for the eventual death of her character. One thing that Christie said would not happen in “Game of Thrones” Season 6 is her killing Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, because the actress apparently likes dragons.

The other major death in the Season 5 finale was that of Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington. Speaking to Vulture, Bradley said that the “goodbye” his character said to Jon this time seemed final. He added that he felt that it was going to be a difficult scene when he read the script and explained that even though the show has fantasy elements it is ultimately a story about people.

“Game of Thrones” Season 5 also featured a departure from the books with regard to Sam. In the books, it was Jon who makes Sam go to the Citadel and become a master but in the TV series it was Sam who makes the suggestion. Bradley explained that this was because the main motivation behind his character's actions in this season were safeguarding Gilly, played by Hannah Murray, and the baby, by getting them out of Castle Black.