John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones, talked to Huffington Post about his character’s segment in the season 7 premiere and apologized to people who were eating their dinner during that poop montage:
“Just an apology. Just an apology. That’s all I can really offer. I kind of knew how [objectionable] that was going to be. We knew that was going to have an impact on people. It was kind of hard to shoot that bit. I knew that it was gonna be shot in little 5-second bursts, so I didn’t have a sense of the overall shape of it, because I had to make sure I made those little 5-second moments all work. But when I first saw it […] it became a monster. It became something that was so horrendous and so disgusting, and I think between myself and the [director Jeremy Podeswa] and David and Dan, who came up with the idea, I think we pulled it off.
The thing about that sequence is it was kind of fun and quirky and a new way of looking at it. We haven’t done a montage like that before, but apart from anything else, it’s ― in terms of the plot ― kind of essential. It’s much more essential plot and character points than people think it is because you’re going to be seeing Samwell dissatisfied and disenchanted. You saw his reaction when he arrived at the Citadel and now you see what the reality is, and you start feeling for him and start feeling his frustration. This thing he invested so much time in just turns out to be an untruth. He had this idea of this place and it’s not the reality of it. That kind of dissatisfaction, disenchantment and frustration is so essential for the character at this point. It’s nice sometimes that you can do expositional and functional plot points and dress it up in this entertaining way.”