Samantha, known to her friends as Sam, is the lead protagonist, and a playable character in Until Dawn.
She was voiced and motion captured by actress Hayden Panettiere.
Sam has dirty-blonde hair tied in a classic bun-tied hairstyle.
At the Prologue, she wears a red, and white patterned wool sweater, with jeans, and irregular-shaped golden dangling earrings.
At the beginning of the game, she wears a red shirt, an onyx-black leather jacket wrapped with a lipstick-red thick scarf around her neck, and a plaid-styled skirt.
Later on, she is clad in only a white towel. She then later finds her backpack and changes into a white shirt, crimson-red sports jacket, and grey workout/yoga pants.
Sam is described in game as diligent, considerate, and adventurous. She seems to be the most level-headed and friendly member of the group and is rarely the cause of drama.
Sam is a warm and caring individual, and cares deeply about her friends and their feelings, especially Hannah after the prank they pulled on her. The others may find her a little quirky, but she is comfortable in her own skin. She is a nature enthusiast with a love for animals, and dreams of becoming a conservationist.
She is a pacifist which has a disdain for violence and conflict, but will not shy away from fighting in order to save herself or her friends. Highly resourceful and resilient, Sam demonstrates remarkable calmness and decisiveness when under pressure. She is also strong-willed and doesn't scare easily.
- If player does not hold still during the lodge escape attempt, Sam will have her abdomen impaled by Hannah's arm.
- Mike (Caused, Accidental) (Determinant)
- Ashley (Caused, Accidental) (Determinant)
- Emily (Caused, Accidental) (Determinant)
- Hannah (Determinant)
Sam and Ashley are not seen interacting each other much but It is implied that they are good friends. Sam and Josh are often tease Chris and Ashley about their relationship and try to make them be together and have Chris make his move on Ashley as Sam can choose to say Ashley and Chris would make a cute couple during one of her conversations with Josh. If Chris dies, Sam along with other survivors in the lodge, will comfort her. If Ashley survives in the tunnel to the sanatorium , she will be relieved to see her safe and sound.
Sam was Hannah's best friend before her disappearance and attempted to warn Hannah about the prank set up by her friends. Sam was angered when she was too late to intervene, chastising her friends for the antic. Despite the close friendship, after turning into a wendigo, Hannah is merciless and will brutally kill Sam by impaling her in the abdomen if given the chance, for reason that her old memory is gone.
According to Beth's relationship menu, Sam and Beth were good friends. Sam is listed as Beth's third highest relationship and highest non-familial relationship.
It is implied that Sam and Chris are good friends. She is seen affectionately punching him on the shoulder, and later, Chris is worried about her when he and Ashley are looking for her. However, Sam will get angry with Chris if he shoots a squirrel during target practice.
- If Sam snoops on Chris's phone, their relationship score will decrease.
- Sam and Chris's relationship will decrease if Chris shoots the squirrel at the shooting range.
Sam and Emily appear to be neutral friends. Although criticizing Emily for her involvement in the prank, the two seem to have a good relationship according to their relationship statuses. In the beginning of the game, Emily tells Matt she needs to go find Sam. After Emily makes it back from the mines, Sam will listen to her story. If Emily is bitten, Sam will defend her by urging against hastily shooting her.
Sam argues with Jessica, Mike, and Emily about their plan to play a prank on Hannah. Later, when Sam and Chris are stuck in a cable car station, Sam asks for Jessica's help on getting out. Jessica responds, "Uh are you having a really weird stroke?" before complying and opening the door for them.
- If Sam shows concern for Jessica after Mike returns from the Sanatorium, her relationship with Jessica will increase.
- Jessica and Sam's relationship will decrease if Jessica explains to Sam and Chris that she and Mike are together.
As Hannah's best friend, Sam has a fairly amicable relationship with Josh, which can become closer depending on the player's actions. Notably, Josh frequently came to her for moral support after the disappearance of his sisters; in an interview with police officers, Sam admits to feeling betrayed by him after the prank he pulled on the group, saying that she thought they had a strong connection implying they were very close friends with a possible crush on Sam's part, Josh's being unknown.
- If Sam tells Josh that she's there for him when he thanks her for coming back to the lodge, their relationship will increase.
- Josh and Sam's relationship will increase if Sam chooses the serious dialogue option upon picking up the baseball bat.
- Sam's relationship score with Josh will also increase if she chooses the brave dialogue option when she hears a noise in the boiler room.
Mike and Sam have markedly different personalities that can put them at odds with each other at the beginning of the game. However, their trust and support for each other gradually increases as the situation becomes increasingly grim, forcing both of them to take action and eventually depend on each other for survival. When they are reunited after being separated they are happy to see each other alive and Sam can even show concern towards Mike's fingers if he had them amputated, showing that she cares for his well being. Regardless of Mike's and Sam's differences in personality, their survival skills and resourcefulness allowed them to rely on each other and develop a strong mutual trust for each other towards the end.
- If Sam shows concern for either Mike's amputated fingers or Jessica when Mike returns from the Sanatorium, her relationship with Mike will slightly increase.
- If Mike spares Emily and Ashley tells the truth about The Stranger's journal, Sam's relationship with Mike will considerably increase.
- If Mike shoots Emily and Ashley tells Sam the truth about The Stranger's journal, her relationship with Mike will drop to zero.
Sam and Matt have actually never been seen together and they don't talk to each other throughout the game, but it is assumed that they are good friends - their relationship status is on the high end in the beginning of the game.
- Sam is one of three characters that can only be killed in Chapter 10. The other two are Mike Munroe and Josh Washington.
- As long as Sam is alive, she will be the one to tell the police to go down into the mines.
- Sam is the only character that doesn't have a doll to represent her in the dollhouse in Chapter 6.
- According to Hayden Panettiere, the actress that plays Sam, she is a vegan and a pacifist. Although, given some of Sam's gameplay sections, she isn't afraid to defend herself and her friends from harm.
- Sam's dream job is conservationist.
- Sam loves animals and hates violence.
- Sam is voted most likely to become an activist.
- In ten years, Sam hopes to see herself making a difference in people.
- Sam's highest traits are brave, charitable, and honest.
- Sam's lowest traits are romantic, funny, and curious.
- Sam's highest relationship status is with Josh, Chris, Emily, Ashley ,and Matt.
- Sam's lowest relationship status is with Mike and Jessica.
- She has a fear of the supernatural.
- Considering her quick climbing skills and her sporty outfit it could be possible that climbing is one of her hobbies.
- She is the first and the last character to play in the game.
- Sam can be the cause of the most deaths under all the main protagonists, as she is able to kill Mike, Ashley and Emily when turning on the switch, but by accident.
- "You know Mike, I kinda think you're the last person she wants to talk to right now." - Sam to Mike after he suggests going after Hannah and Beth.
- "You guys are jerks, you know that?" - Sam to the survivors that played the prank on Hannah.
- "Nice shootin', Tex." - Sam complimenting Chris at the shooting range.
- "Famous last words." - Sam to Mike when they're in the mines going into the water and Mike says everything is fine.
- "This is all getting really out of hand, okay? It was all very funny, ha ha, look at Sam walking around in a towel, but now I just really want this to be over, alright?" - Sam after coming out of the bath to look for her clothes.
- "Are you guys done yet, or am I just gonna have to walk around in a towel for the rest of the weekend? ..... Towel it is then." - Sam in a towel, while looking for her clothes.