A Song of Ice and Fire

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I'm honest. It’s the world that’s awful.

A Song of Ice and Fire (1996 -) is a series of epic fantasy novels written by American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. Martin began the series in 1991 in response to the limitation of television production and published the first volume, A Game of Thrones, in 1996. Martin gradually extended the originally planned trilogy into four, six and eventually seven volumes.

Quotations[edit]

In the name of the Warrior I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother I charge you to defend the young and innocent. In the name of the Maid I charge you to protect all women...
Winter is coming.
Night gathers, and now my watch begins.
  • A knight who remembered his vows.
    • Steely Pate in The Hedge Knight (1998). Describing Duncan the Tall, to explain why the commoners are on his side.
  • In the name of the Warrior I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother I charge you to defend the young and innocent. In the name of the Maid I charge you to protect all women...
    • The Hedge Knight (1998). Start of the knighting ceremony
  • Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.
    • Vow of the Night's Watch
  • Winter is Coming.
    • Words of House Stark
  • Fire and Blood
    • Words of House Targaryen
  • Hear Me Roar
    • Words of House Lannister
  • Ours is the Fury
    • Words of House Baratheon
  • Family, Duty, Honor
    • Words of House Tully
  • We Do Not Sow
    • Words of House Greyjoy
  • As High As Honor
    • Words of House Arryn
  • Growing Strong
    • Words of House Tyrell
  • Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.
    • Words of House Martell
  • Our Blades Are Sharp
    • Words of House Bolton
  • Valar morghulis.
    • "All men must die," A maxim in High Valyrian
  • Valar dohaeris.
    • "All men must serve," A maxim in High Valyrian.
  • The cold winds are rising.
    • Common saying
  • The night is dark and full of terrors.
    • Often said by worshippers of The Lord of Light
  • In a coat of gold or a coat of red a lion still has claws. 'And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours.
    • A line in the song "The Rains of Castamere." (A song written about the destruction of House Tarbeck and House Reyne brought about by Lord Tywin Lannister.)
  • A Lannister always pays his debts.
    • A saying about the Lannisters
And now his watch has ended
  • What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.
    • Ironborn creed
  • And now his watch has ended.
    • Epitaph of the Night's Watch
  • I am so sorry.
    • Said by The Sorrowful Men right before an assassination
  • Words are wind.
    • Common saying
  • May the Father judge him justly.
    • Common Epitaph

A Game of Thrones (1996)[edit]

  • “We should start back,” Gared urged as the woods began to grow dark around them. “The wildlings are dead.”
    • Prologue (opening words)
  • The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.
    • Bran (I)
  • "Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?"
    "That is the only time a man can be brave."
    • Bran (I)—Bran & Ned
  • If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.
    • Bran (I)—Lord Eddard Stark
  • A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is.
    • Bran (I)—Lord Eddard Stark
  • The words gave her a chill, as they always did. The Stark words. Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes, touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. All but the Starks. Winter is coming, said the Stark words.
    • Catelyn (I)-Catelyn Stark
  • Anger flashed in her brother’s lilac eyes. “Do you take me for a fool?”
    The magister bowed slightly. “I take you for a king. Kings lack the caution of common men.”
    • Daenerys (I)—Viserys & Illyrio
  • Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head.
    • Jon (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.
    • Jon (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • Give me honorable enemies rather than ambitious ones, and I'll sleep more easily by night.
    • Bran (II)—Jaime Lannister
  • I beg to differ. Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.
    • Tyrion (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • I ask you, Ned, what good is it to wear a crown? The gods mock the prayers of kings and cowherds alike.
    • Eddard (II)—King Robert Baratheon
  • My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind...And a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.
    • Tyrion (II)—Tyrion Lannister
  • Never draw your sword unless you mean to use it.
    • Catelyn (III)-Ser Rodrick Cassell
  • He was always clever, even as a boy, but it is one thing to be clever and another to be wise.
    • Catelyn (IV)—Catelyn Stark
  • Jon could not find it in him to pray to any gods, old or new. If they were real, he thought, they were as cruel and implacable as winter.
    • Jon (III)
  • "They hate me because I'm better than they are"
    "No. They hate you because you act like you're better than they are."
    • Jon (III)-Jon Snow and Donal Noye
  • Let them see that their words can cut you, and you'll never be free of the mockery. If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. Then they can't hurt you with it anymore.
    • Jon (III)—Tyrion Lannister
  • "Know the men who follow you, and let them know you. Don't ask your men to die for a stranger."
    • Arya (II)-Lord Eddard Stark
  • “The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,” Ser Jorah told her. “It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.” He gave a shrug. “They never are.”
    • Daenerys (III)—Ser Jorah Mormont
  • I swear to you, I was never so alive as when I was winning this throne, or so dead as now that I've won it.
    • Eddard (VII)—King Robert Baratheon
  • Wizards die the same as other men, once you cut their heads off.
    • Arya (III)—Desmond
  • A true man does what he will, not what he must.
    • Eddard (XII)—Cersei Lannister
  • When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.
    • Eddard (XII)—Cersei Lannister
  • "Ah, but when the queen proclaims one king and the Hand another, whose peace do they protect?" Lord Petyr flicked at the dagger with his finger, setting it spinning in place. When at last it slowed to a stop, the blade pointed at Littlefinger. "Why, there's your answer. They follow the man who pays them."
    • Eddard (XIII)-Lord Petyr Baelish, discussing the loyalty of the Gold Cloaks
They follow the man who pays them.
  • You wear your honor like a suit of armor, Stark. You think it keeps you safe, but all it does is weigh you down and make it hard for you to move.
    • Eddard (XIII)—Lord Petyr Baelish
  • Laughter is poison to fear.
    • Catelyn (VIII)—Catelyn Stark
  • Some commands are more easily given than obeyed.
    • Jon (VII)
  • There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man.
    • Eddard (XIV)—Lord Varys
  • For fifteen years I protected him from his enemies, but I could not protect him from his friends.
    • Eddard (XV)–Lord Varys
  • "What strange fit of madness led you to tell the queen that you had learned the secret of Joffrey's birth?"
    "The madness of mercy."
    • Eddard (XV)–Varys & Ned
  • “You are an honest and honorable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life.” He glanced around the cell. “When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why.”
    • Eddard (XV)—Lord Varys
  • Tell me, Lord Eddard ... why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?
    • Eddard (XV)—Lord Varys
  • In life, the monsters win.
    • Sansa (VI)
  • Wherever you have a camp, you are certain to have camp followers.
    • Tyrion (VIII)
  • A man who fights for coin is loyal only to his purse.
    • Tyrion (IX)—Ser Kevan Lannister
  • It is no good hammering your sword into a plowshare if you must forge it again on the morrow.
    • Catelyn (XI)—Ser Brynden Tully
  • Is it so far from madness to wisdom?
    • Danaerys (X)–Danaerys

A Clash of Kings (1999)[edit]

  • Many called her beautiful. She was not beautiful. She was red, and terrible, and red.
    • Prologue
  • The world preferred to forget that men who knew how to heal also knew how to kill.
    • Prologue
  • "The Watch needs good men" he told them as they set out, "but you lot will have to do."
    • Arya (I)–Yoren
  • Prince Tommen was not so obedient. “I’m supposed to ride against the straw man.”
    “Not today.”
    “But I want to ride!”
    “I don’t care what you want.”
    “Mother said I could ride.”
    “She said,” Princess Myrcella agreed.
    “Mother said,” mocked the king. “Don’t be childish.”
    “We’re children,” Myrcella declared haughtily. “We’re supposed to be childish.”
    The Hound laughed. “She has you there.”
    • Sansa (I)
  • Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.
    • Tyrion (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • Schemes are like fruit, they require a certain ripening
    • Tyrion (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • Doubtless fresh rats were to be preferred to old stale rotten rats ... When times grew lean, even bakers found sellswords cheaper than bread, he reflected.
    • Tyrion (I)
  • Only cowards kill the vanquished
    • Tyrion (I)—Shae
  • I'm terrified of my enemies, so I kill them all.
    • Tyrion (I)—Tyrion Lannister
  • “I’ll have the boy.” ...
    “You’ll have no one,” Yoren said stubbornly. “There’s laws on such things.”
    The gold cloak drew a shortsword. “Here’s your law.”
    Yoren looked at the blade. “That’s no law, just a sword. Happens I got one too.”
    • Arya (II)
  • There's no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it.
    • Jon (I)
  • Some men want whores on the eve of battle, and some want gods. Jon wondered who felt better afterward.
    • Jon (I)
  • Catelyn was finding that kings do not listen half so attentively as sons.
    • Catelyn (I)
  • “He’ll want what kings always want,” she said. “Homage.”
    • Catelyn (I)—Catelyn Stark
  • "My first rule of war, Cat—never give the enemy his wish."
    • Catelyn (I)–Brynden Tully
  • Can a whore truly love anyone, I wonder?
    • Tyrion (II)–Tyrion
  • If it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend kings have the power?
    • Tyrion (II)—Lord Varys
  • "Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less."
    "So power is a mummer's trick?"
    "A shadow on the wall," Varys murmured, "yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."
    • Tyrion (II)—Lord Varys and Tyrion
  • “Tell me, Bronn. If I told you to kill a babe . . . an infant girl, say, still at her mother’s breast . . . would you do it? Without question?”
    “Without question? No.” The sellsword rubbed thumb and forefinger together. “I'd ask how much.”
    • Tyrion (II)—Tyrion and Bronn
  • The morning air was dark with the smoke of burning gods.
    • Davos (I)
  • When a pirate grows rich enough, they make him a prince.
    • Davos (I)
  • This world is twisted beyond hope, when lowborn smugglers must vouch for the honor of kings
    • Davos (I)
  • So many kings, my tongue grows weary of the word.
    • Davos (I)—Salladhor Saan
  • What good is this, I ask you? He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.
    • Davos (I)—Salladhor Saan
  • “I do not know this Lord of Light,” Davos admitted, “but I knew the gods we burned this morning. The Smith has kept my ships safe, while the Mother has given me seven strong sons.”
    “Your wife has given you seven strong sons. Do you pray to her? It was wood we burned this morning.”
    • Davos (I)—Davos and Stannis
  • I stopped believing in gods the day I saw the Windproud break up across the bay. Any gods so monstrous as to drown my mother and father would never have my worship, I vowed. In King’s Landing, the High Septon would prattle at me of how all justice and goodness flowed from the Seven, but all I ever saw of either was made by men.
    • Davos (I)—King Stannis Baratheon
  • A frightened man is a beaten man
    • Davos (I)—King Stannis Baratheon
  • When you have seen your kings shit over the rail and turn green in a storm, it was hard to bend the knee and pretend they were gods.
    • Theon (I)
  • A crown was worth a little mud and horseshit on his breeches, he supposed.
    • Theon (I)
  • The Iron Islands lived in the past; the present was too hard and bitter to be borne.
    • Theon (I)
  • A man agrees with god as a raindrop with the storm.
    • Theon (I)—Aeron Greyjoy
  • Boys believe nothing can hurt them, his doubt whispered. Grown men know better.
    • Theon (I)—Theon Greyjoy
  • Bad enough when the dead come walking. Now the Old Bear wants them talking as well! ... The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints—the ground’s too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does he get more worms than I do...
    • Jon (II)—Dolorous Edd
  • If it's softer than ground and has a roof over it, I call it a bed.
    • Jon (II))–Dolorous Edd
  • She got dirt in her mouth but she didn't care, the taste was fine, the taste was mud and water and worms and life.
    • Arya (IV)
  • When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say.
    • Tyrion (III)—Tyrion
  • The smallfolk are always eager to believe the worst of their lords.
    • Tyrion (III)—Tyrion
  • "The smiths are in your audience chamber, waiting your pleasure", he said as they crossed the ward.
    "Waiting my pleasure. I like the ring of that, Bronn. You almost sound like a proper courtier. Next you'll be kneeling."
    "Fuck you, dwarf."
    "That's Shae's task."
    • Tyrion (III)–Bronn and Tyrion
  • Let us not get into the habit of names. Names are dangerous.
    • Tyrion (III)–Tyrion
  • If I could pray with my cock I'd be a lot more religious.
    • Tyrion (III)–Tyrion
  • It is one thing to deceive a king, and quite another to hide from the cricket in the rushes and the little bird in the chimney.
    • Tyrion (III)–Varys
  • If there is food I eat it, in case there is none on the morrow.
    • Tyrion (IV)–Tyrion
  • A man like Petyr Baelish, who had a gift for rubbing two golden dragons together to make a third, was invaluable to his Hand.
    • Tyrion (IV)
  • The longer he lived, the more Tyrion realized that nothing was simple and little was true.
    • Tyrion (IV)
  • Is a secret still a secret if everyone knows it?
    • Tyrion (IV)–Tyrion
  • The talk at the walls had all been of troubles in the city of late. People were crowding in, running from the war, and many had no way to live save robbing and killing each other.
    • Sansa (II)
  • There was something wild about a godswood; even here, in the heart of the castle in the heart of the city, you could feel the old gods watching with a thousand eyes.
    • Sansa (II))
  • "Why do you let people call you a dog? You won't let anyone call you a knight."
    "I like dogs better than knights ... A hound will die for you, but never lie to you."
    • Sansa (II)—Sansa and Sandor Clegane
  • Paint stripes on a toad, he does not become a tiger.
    • Sansa (II)—Sandor Clegane
  • If it could burn the Lannisters had burned it; if it could die, they'd killed it.
    • Arya (V)
  • Part of her wanted to be a swan. The other part wanted to eat one. She had broken her fast on some acorn paste and a handful of bugs. Bugs weren't so bad when you got used to them. Worms were worse, but not so bad as the pain in your belly from days without food.
    • Arya (V)
  • Knights and lordlings, they take each other captive and pay ransoms, but they don't care if the likes of you yield or not.
    • Arya (V)–Gendry
  • That was the way of war. The smallfolk were slaughtered, while the highborn were held for ransom.
    • Tyrion (V)
  • He watched them as from a distance, as if he still sat in the window of his bedchamber looking down on the yard below, seeing everything yet a part of nothing.
    • Bran (III)
  • Dawn came cruel, a dagger of light.
    • Catelyn (II)
  • One day she would allow herself to be less than strong. But it could not be today.
    • Catelyn (II)
  • When there are no battles to fight, men start to think of hearth and harvest.
    • Catelyn (II)–Robb Stark
  • Pity filled Catelyn's heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?
    • Catelyn (II)
  • King is only a word, but fealty, loyalty, service ... those I must have.
    • Catelyn (II)–Renly Baratheon
  • Have you noticed that the rain stopped the instant I had a roof above me? It will start again now that I'm back out. Gods and dogs alike delight to piss on me.
    • Jon (III)–Dolorous Edd
  • That's my cursed luck. I kill the poor.
    • Theon (II)–Theon
  • "... [W]hen you've known me longer, you'll learn that I mean everything I say."
    "Even the lies?"
    "Especially the lies."
    • Tyrion (VI)—Tyrion and Littlefinger
  • She thought she had known what it meant to be afraid, but she learned better in the storehouse beside the Gods Eye.
    • Arya (VI)
  • Arya watched them die and said nothing. What good did it do you to be brave? ... There were no brave people on that march, only scared and hungry ones.
    • Arya (VI)
  • Every night Arya would say their names. "Ser Gregor," she'd whisper to her stone pillow. "Dunsen, Polliver, Chiswyck, Raff the Sweetling, The Tickler and The Hound. Ser Amory, Ser Ilyn, Ser Meryn, King Joffrey, Queen Cersei." Back in Winterfell, Arya had prayed with her mother in the setp and with her father in the godswood, but there were no gods on the road to Herrenhal, and the names were the only prayer she cared to remember.
    • Arya (VI)
  • The middle wall, forty feet high, was grey granite alive with scenes of war: the clash of sword and shield and spear, arrows in flight, heroes at battle and babes being butchered, pyres of the dead. The innermost wall was fifty feet of black marble, with carvings that made Dany blush until she told herself that she was being a fool. She was no maid; if she could look on the grey wall’s scenes of slaughter, why should she avert her eyes from the sight of men and women giving pleasure to one another?
    • Daenerys (II)
  • I was a boy, and what boy does not wish to find secret powers hidden in himself?
    • Bran (IV)–Maester Luwin
  • “Sleep is good,” he said. “And books are better.”
    • Tyrion (VII)—Tyrion
  • It is real, all of it, he thought, the wars, the intrigues, the great bloody game, and me in the center of it ... me, the dwarf, the monster, the one they scorned and laughed at, but now I hold it all, the city, the girl. This was what I was made for, and gods forgive me, but I love it.
    • Tyrion (VII)—Tyrion
  • As for those she served with, she did not even want to even know their names. That only made it hurt worse when they died.
    • Arya (VII)
  • Gods do not forget ...
    • Catelyn (III)
  • “Kings have no friends,” Stannis said bluntly, “only subjects and enemies.”
    • Catelyn (III)
A wooden throne resting on four carved lions. A compartment under the seat holds a large rock. On the right a sword leans up against the chair, on the left a great slab.
Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies.
  • If you step in a nest of snakes, does it matter which one bites you first?
    • Catelyn (III)—Stannis
  • "I am not without mercy," thundered he who was notoriously without mercy.
    • Catelyn (III)–Stannis
  • "Look across the fields, brother? Do you see all those banners?"
    "Do you think a few bolts of cloth will make you king?"
    • Catelyn (III)—Renly and Stannis
  • "I am not without mercy", thundered he who was notoriously without mercy.
    • Catelyn (III)–Stannis
  • "What sort of knight beats helpless maids?"
    "The one who serves his king ..."
    • Sansa (III)–Tyrion and Ser Boros Blount
  • Sorcery is the sauce fools spoon over failure to hide the flavor of their own incompetence.
    • Sansa (III)—Tyrion
  • “Maester Luwin says there’s nothing in dreams that a man need fear.”
    “There is,” said Jojen.
    “What?”
    “The past. The future. The truth.”
    • Bran (V)
  • ... for a moment the forest seemed a deep green sea, storm-tossed and heaving, eternal and unknowable.
    • Jon (IV)
  • "You'd best get a bird ready. Mormont will want to send back word."
    "I wish I could send them all. They hate being caged."
    "You would too, if you could fly."
    • Jon (IV)–Jon and Samwell
  • "You think I'm wrong to keep the rangers close?"
    "It's not for me to say, my lord."
    "It is if you're asked."
    • Jon (IV)–Lord Mormont and Jon
  • Why would the gods send a warning if we can't heed it and change what's to come?
    • Bran (V)–Meera Reed
  • Have you ever considered that too many answers are the same as no answer at all? ... When a king dies, fancies sprout like mushrooms in the dark.
    • Tyrion (VIII)–Tyrion
  • The living should smile, for the dead cannot.
    • Theon (III)–Dagmer Cleftjaw
  • Some men are born to be killed.
    • Theon (III)–Dagmer
  • Tomorrow's trials concerned her more than yesterday's triumphs.
    • Catelyn (V)
  • The gods don't care about men, no more than kings care about peasants.
    • Catelyn (V)—Brienne of Tarth
  • One skull looks much like another ...
    • Catelyn (V)
  • I have become the most splendid beggar in the world, but a beggar all the same.
    • Danaerys (III)–Danaerys
  • He distrusts everyone, she reflected, and perhaps for good reason.
    • Daenerys (III)—Daenerys
  • Well, let her enjoy her plots. She was much sweeter when she thought she was outwitting him.
    • Tyrion (IX)
  • Bronn had a score of sellswords scattered throughout the crowd with orders to stop any trouble before it started. Perhaps Cersei had similarly disposed her Kettleblacks. Somehow Tyrion did not think it would help much. If the fire was too hot, you could hardly keep the pudding from scorching by tossing a handful of raisins in the pot.
    • Tyrion (IX)
  • He thought he could smell smoke, though perhaps it was just the scent of his nerves fraying.
    • Tyrion (IX)
  • The list of the slain was topped by the High Septon, ripped apart as he squealed to his gods for mercy. Starving men take a hard view of priests too fat to walk, Tyrion reflected.
    • Tyrion (IX)
  • My most trusted advisors are a eunuch and a sellsword, and my lady's a whore. What does that say about me?
    • Tyrion (IX)–Tyrion
  • When I was smuggling, I learned that some men believe everything, and some nothing.
    • Davos (II)–Davos
  • Whether they believe the story or not, they delight to tell it.
    • Davos (II)–Davos
  • "One day I may make you a lord, smuggler. If only to irk Celtigar and Florent. You will not thank me, though. It will mean you must suffer through these councils, and feign interest in the braying of mules."
    "Why do you have them, if they serve no purpose?"
    "The mules love the sound of their own braying, why else?"
    • Davos (II)–Stannis and Davos
  • "If she saw two futures, well ... both cannot be true."
    King Stannis pointed a finger. "There you err, Onion Knight. Some lights cast more than one shadow."
    • Davos (II)–Davos and Stannis
  • There are no shadows in the dark. Shadows are the servants of light, the children of fire. The brightest flame casts the darkest shadows.
    • Davos (II)–Melisandre
  • Send two hundred wolves against ten thousand sheep, ser, and see what happens.
    • Jon (V)–Thoren Smallwood
  • The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome.
    • Jon (V)
  • Why else do we don these black cloaks, but to die in defense of the realm?
    • Jon (V)–Qhorin Halfhand
  • "My nephew is tenderhearted."
    "Are you certain he's a Lannister?"
    "I'm certain of nothing but winter and battle."
    • Tyrion (X)–Tyrion and Bronn
  • Every man who's tasted my cooking has told me what a good whore I am.
    • Tyrion (X)–Shae
  • I believe in steel swords, gold coins and men's wits.
    • Tyrion (X)–Tyrion
  • How can I do my duty if I do not know where it lies?
    • Catelyn (VI)–Catelyn
  • Children are a battle of a different sort ... A battle without banners or warhorns, but no less fierce ... As hard as birth can be, what comes after is even harder.
    • Catelyn (VI)–Catelyn
  • Darkness was a chancy ally at best.
    • Catelyn (VI)
  • For men the answer was always the same, and never farther away than the nearest sword. For a woman, a mother, the answer was stonier and harder.
    • Catelyn (VI)
  • Cruel lands breed cruel peoples.
    • Bran (VI)–Maester Luwin
  • Do you always smell so bad, or did you just finish fucking a pig?
    • Bran (VI)–Theon
  • Listen with your ears, not your mouth.
    • Arya (IX)–Arya
  • But now there were only a hundred men left to guard a thousand doors, and no one seemed to know who should be where, nor care much.
    • Arya (IX)
  • They'll kill for that knighthood, but don't think they'll ever die for it.
    • Tyrion (XI)–Bronn
  • One man on a wall was worth ten beneath it.
    • Tyrion (XI)
  • The rite seemed to require that everyone stand, so Tyrion saw nothing but a row of courtly arses.
    • Tyrion (XI)
  • Lord Bolton, he used to say a naked man has few secrets, but a flayed man's got none.
    • Theon (IV)–Reek
  • It is better to be seen as cruel than foolish.
    • Theon (IV)–Theon
  • Mercy, thought Theon as Luwin dropped back. There's a bloody trap. Too much and they call you weak, too little and you're monstrous ... His father thought only in terms of conquest, but what good was it to take a kingdom if you could not hold it? Force and fear could only carry you so far.
    • Theon (IV)
  • The mountain is your mother ... Cling to her, press her face up against your teats, and she won't drop you.
    • Jon (VI)–Stonesnake
  • I hear all sorts of things as a fool that I never heard when I was a knight.
    • Sansa (IV)—Ser Dontos
  • Loyal sellswords are rare as virgin whores.
    • Sansa (IV)—Cersei Lannister
  • “What will you do when he crosses?”
    “Fight. Kill. Die, maybe.”
    “Aren’t you afraid? The gods might send you down to some terrible hell for all the evil you've done.”
    “What evil?” He laughed. “What gods?”
    “The gods who made us all.”
    “All?” he mocked. “Tell me, little bird, what kind of god makes a monster like the Imp, or a halfwit like Lady Tanda’s daughter? If there are gods, they made sheep so wolves could eat mutton, and they made the weak for the strong to play with.”
    “True knights protect the weak.”
    He snorted. “There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can’t protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don’t ever believe any different.”
    Sansa backed away from him. “You're awful.”
    “I'm honest. It’s the world that’s awful.”
    • Sansa (IV)—Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane
  • Sansa, permit me to share a bit of womanly wisdom with you on this very special day. Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.
    • Sansa (IV)—Cersei Lannister
  • “You know me for a man of honor—”
    “I know you for a man of ambition,” Ser Courtnay broke in. “A man who changes kings and gods the way I change my boots.”
    • Davos (III)—Alester Florent and Courtnay Penrose
  • You chatter like magpies, and with less sense.
    • Davos (III)—Stannis
  • A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.
    • Davos (III)—Stannis
  • “Your sons, they...they’re with the gods now.”
    “Are they?” Catelyn said sharply. “What god would let this happen?”
    • Catelyn (VII)—Brienne and Catelyn
  • There are no men like me. There’s only me.
    • Catelyn (VII)—Jaime Lannister
  • Tyrion says that people often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.
    • Catelyn (VII)—Jaime
  • So many vows . . . they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws. It's too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.
    • Catelyn (VII)—Jaime
  • “Tears,” she said scornfully as the woman was led from the hall. “The woman’s weapon, my lady mother used to call them. The man’s weapon is a sword. And that tells us all you need to know, doesn’t it?”
    • Sansa (VI)—Cersei, to Sansa
  • You should have learned by now, none of us get the things we want.
    • Sansa (VIII)—Cersei, to Sansa

A Storm of Swords (2000)[edit]

"You know nothing, Jon Snow."
  • I’ve never been quite sure what the point of a eunuch is, if truth be told. It seems to me they’re only men with the useful bits cut off.
    • Sansa (I)—Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns
  • All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than the ones with crowns.
    • Sansa (I)—Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns
  • One voice may speak you false, but in many there is always truth to be found.
    • Daenerys (I)
  • In the world as I have seen it, no man grows rich by kindness.
    • Daenerys (I)—Jorah Mormont
  • War makes thieves of many honest folk.
    • Arya (II)—Tom O’Sevens
  • You know nothing, Jon Snow.
    • Jon (II)—Ygritte (repeated often in the rest of the book)
  • The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.
    • Tyrion (III)—Tywin Lannister
  • Sometimes Old Nan would tell the same story she’d told before, but we never minded, if it was a good story. Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time.
    • Bran (II)—Bran
  • “He likes the stories where the knights fight monsters.”
    “Sometimes the knights are the monsters, Bran.”
    • Bran (II)—Bran Stark and Meera Reed
  • Is it treason to say the truth? A bitter truth, but no less true for that.
    • Davos (III)—Alester Florent
  • “There will be pain.”
    “I’ll scream.”
    “A great deal of pain.”
    “I’ll scream very loudly.”
    • Jaime (IV)—Qyburn and Jaime
  • Defeat is a disease, and victory is the cure.
    • Davos (IV)—Axell Florent
  • The sun will not cease to shine if we miss a prayer or two.
    • Arya (VII)—Thoros of Myr
  • Men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky.
    • Jon (V)—Ygritte
  • All men must die, Jon Snow. But first we’ll live.
    • Jon (V)—Ygritte
  • The oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both.
    • Arya (VIII)—The ghost of High Heart
  • “Her name is Brienne,” Jaime said. “Brienne, the maid of Tarth. You are still maiden, I hope?”
    Her broad homely face turned red. “Yes.”
    ”Oh, good,” Jaime said. “I only rescue maidens.”
    • Jaime (VI)
  • The old gods paid no more heed to prayer than the new ones, it would seem. Perhaps he should take comfort in that.
    • Tyrion (VI)
  • “Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say ‘I am the king’ is no true king at all.”
    • Tyrion (VI)—Tywin Lannister
  • Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner.
    • Tyrion (VI)—Tywin Lannister to Tyrion
  • Small men curse what they cannot understand.
    • Davos (V)—Melisandre
  • Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next. Sometimes the best way to baffle them is to make moves that have no purpose, or even seem to work against you. Remember that, Sansa, when you come to play the game.”
    “What...what game?”
    “The only game. The game of thrones.”
    • Sansa (V)—Lord Littlefinger and Sansa Stark
  • A bag of dragons buys a man’s silence for a while, but a well-placed quarrel buys it forever.
    • Sansa (V)—Lord Littlefinger
  • Ser Meryn got a stubborn look on his face. “Are you telling us not to obey the king?”
    “The king is eight. Our first duty is to protect him, which includes protecting him from himself. Use that ugly thing you keep inside your helm. If Tommen wants you to saddle his horse, obey him. If he tells you to kill his horse, come to me.”
    • Jaime (VIII)—Meryn Trant and Jaime Lannister
  • Nothing discourages unwanted questions as much as a flow of pious bleating.
    • Sansa (VI)—Lord Littlefinger
  • Everyone wants something, Alayne. And when you know what a man wants you know who he is, and how to move him.
    • Sansa (VI)—Lord Littlefinger
  • It was almost worth dying to know all the trouble he’d made.
    • Tyrion (X)
  • "You're going to fight that?"
    "I'm going to kill that."
    • Tyrion (X)—Ellaria Sand and Oberyn Martell
  • “Have they told you who I am?”...
    “Some dead man.”
    • Tyrion (X)—Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane
  • She was Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, khaleesi and queen, Mother of Dragons, slayer of warlocks, breaker of chains, and there was no one in the world that she could trust.
    • Daenerys (VI)
  • Sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.
    • Jon (X)
  • Lord Seaworth is a man of humble birth, but he reminded me of my duty, when all I could think of was my rights. I had the cart before the horse, Davos said. I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.
    • Jon (XI)—Stannis Baratheon
  • “Another name? Oh, certainly. And when the Faceless Men come to kill me, I’ll say, ‘No, you have the wrong man, I’m a different dwarf with a hideous facial scar.’”
    Both Lannisters laughed at the absurdity of it all.
    • Tyrion (XI)—Tyrion to Jaime
  • “Who better to command the black cloaks than a man who once commanded the gold cloaks, sire?”
    “Any of you, I would think. Even the cook.”
    • Samwell (V)—Bowen Marsh and Stannis Baratheon

A Feast for Crows (2005)[edit]

  • “What’s the use of a candle that casts no light?”
    “It is a lesson,” Armen said, the last lesson we must learn before we don our maester’s chains. The glass candle is meant to represent truth and learning, rare and beautiful and fragile things. It is made in the shape of a candle to remind us that a maester must cast light wherever he serves, and it is sharp to remind us that knowledge can be dangerous. Wise men may grow arrogant in their wisdom, but a maester must always remain humble. The glass candle reminds us of that as well. Even after he has said his vow and donned his chain and gone forth to serve, a maester will think back on the darkness of his vigil and remember how nothing that he did could make the candle burn...for even with knowledge, some things are not possible.”
    • Prologue
  • Before he had lost his sight, the maester had loved books as much as Samwell Tarly did. He understood the way that you could sometimes fall right into them, as if each page was a hole into another world.
    • Samwell (I)
  • The more you give a king the more he wants. We are walking on a bridge of ice with an abyss on either side. Pleasing one king is difficult enough. Pleasing two is hardly possible.
    • Samwell (I)—Jon Snow to Sam
  • Knowledge is a weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to battle.
    • Samwell (I)—Maester Aemon to Jon Snow
  • On the morning after the battle, the crows had feasted on victors and vanquished alike, as once they had feasted on Rhaegar Targaryen after the Trident. How much can a crown be worth, when a crow can dine upon a king?
    • Jaime (I)
  • Almost a prayer...but was it the god he was invoking, the Father Above whose towering gilded likeness glimmered in the candlelight across the sept? Or was he praying to the corpse that lay before him? Does it matter? They never listened, either one.
    • Jaime (I)
  • Men of honor will do things for their children that they would never consider doing for themselves.
    • Sansa (I)—Petyr Baelish to Sansa Stark
  • Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.
    • The Kraken’s Daughter (I)—Lord Rodrik to Asha Greyjoy
  • I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood.
    • The Kraken’s Daughter (I)—Lord Rodrik to Asha Greyjoy
  • Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.
    • The Iron Captain (I)—Victarion Greyjoy
  • Only the sound of the waves pounding remained, a roar no man could still.
    • The Drowned Man (I)
  • You’ll find truth in your looking glass, not on the tongues of men.
    • Brienne (IV)—Septa Roelle to Brienne
  • In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you've planned for them. Mark that well, Alayne. It's a lesson that Cersei Lannister still has yet to learn.
    • Alayne (I)—Petyr Baelish
I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war though. That it was.
  • “The war of the Ninepenny Kings?” asked Hyle Hunt.
    “So they called it, though I never saw a king, nor earned a penny. It was a war though. That it was.”
    • Brienne (V)—Hyle Hunt and Meribald
  • He blamed Jon Snow and wondered when Jon’s heart had turned to stone. Once he asked Maester Aemon that very question, when Gilly was down at the canal fetching water for them. “When you raised him up to be the lord commander,” the old man answered.
    • Samwell (III)
  • The waves may break upon the mountain, yet still they come, wave upon wave, and in the end only pebbles remain where once the mountain stood. And soon even the pebbles are swept away, to be ground beneath the sea for all eternity.
    • The Reaver (I)—Aeron Damphair to Victarion Greyjoy
  • All you Westerosi make a shame of loving. There is no shame in loving. If your septons say there is, your seven gods must be demons. In the isles we know better. Our gods gave us legs to run with, noses to smell with, hands to touch and feel. What mad cruel god would give a man eyes and tell him he must forever keep them shut, and never look at allt he beauty in the world? Only a monster god, a demon of the darkness.
    • Samwell (IV)—Kojja Mo to Samwell Tarly
  • You will return to Lord Gyles and inform him that he does not have my leave to die.
    • Cersei (VIII)—Cersei to Maester Pycelle
  • On the gallows tree, all men are brothers.
    • Brienne (VII)
  • What little peace and order the five kings left us will not long survive the three queens, I fear.
    • Alayne (II)—Lord Littlefinger
War makes monsters of us all.
  • War makes monsters of us all.
    • Brienne (VIII)—Thoros of Myr
  • Gorghon of Old Ghis once wrote that a prophecy is like a treacherous woman. She takes your member in her mouth, and you moan with the pleasure of it and think, how sweet, how fine, how good this is...and then her teeth snap shut and your moans turn to screams. That is the nature of prophecy, said Gorghan. Prophecy will bite your prick off every time.
    • Samwell (V)—Maester Marwyn
  • "You must be blind as well as maimed, Ser. Lift your eyes, and you will see the direwolf still flies above our walls."
    • Jaime (VI)—Brynden Tully to Jaime Lannister

A Dance with Dragons (2011)[edit]

  • It did not seem fair to drown the cabin boy and the captain and all the rest for something he had done, but when had the gods ever been fair?
    • Tyrion (I)
  • The world is one great web, and a man dare not touch a single strand lest all the others tremble.
    • Tyrion (I)—Illyrio
  • Burning dead children had ceased to trouble Jon Snow; live ones were another matter.
    • Jon (I)
  • No man is free. Only children and fools think elsewise.
    • Tyrion (III)—Tywin Lannister to Tyrion
  • The fisherman drowned, but his daughter got Stark to the Sisters before the boat went down. They say he left her with a bag of silver and a bastard in her belly. Jon Snow, she named him, after Arryn.
    • Davos (I)—Godric Borrell
  • Not to say that the wildlings mean us harm. Aye, we hacked their gods apart and made them burn the pieces, but we gave them onion soup. What’s a god compared to a nice bowl of onion soup?
    • Jon (III)—Edd Tollett
  • No. Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal.
    • Daenerys (I)—Quaithe
  • “Give me priests who are fat and corrupt and cynical,” he told Haldon, “the sort who like to sit on soft satin cushions, nibble sweetmeats, and diddle little boys. It’s the ones who believe in gods who make the trouble.”
    • Tyrion (VI)—Tyrion
  • The gods are blind. And men see only what they wish.
    • Tyrion (VII)—Tyrion
  • They chanted in the tongue of Old Volantis, but Tyrion had heard the prayers enough to grasp the essence. Light our fire and protect us from the dark, blah blah, light our way and keep us toasty warm, the night is dark and full of terrors, save us from the scary things, and blah blah blah some more.
    • Tyrion (VIII)
  • We live closer to the green in our bogs and crannogs, and we remember Earth and water, soil and stone, oaks and elms and willows, they were here before us all and will still remain when we are gone.
    • Bran (III)—Jojen Reed
  • “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” said Jojen. “The man who never reads lives only one.”
    • Bran (III)
  • A man must know how to look before he can hope to see.
    • Bran (III)—Lord Brynden
  • The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it.
    • Bran (III)—Lord Brynden
  • Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.
    • Bran (III)—Lord Brynden
  • “Men are men, vows are words, and words are wind. You should put guards around the women.”
    “And who will guard the guards?”
    • Jon (VII)—Iron Emmett and Jon Snow
  • Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror. Now he was a man grown and the Wall was his, yet all he had were doubts. He could not even seem to conquer those.
    • Jon (VII)
  • “This is going to end badly.”
    “You say that of everything.”
    “Aye, m’lord. Usually I’m right.”
    • Jon (VIII)—Eddison Tollett and Jon Snow
  • “You have to be careful around big people. Be jolly and playful with them, keep them smiling, make them laugh, that’s what my father always said. Didn’t your father ever tell you how to act with big people?”
    “My father called them smallfolk,” said Tyrion, “and he was not what you’d call a jolly man.”
    • Tyrion (IX)—Penny and Tyrion
  • “Prophecy is like a half-trained mule,” he complained to Jorah Mormont. “It looks as though it might be useful, but the moment you trust in it, it kicks you in the head.”
    • Tyrion (IX)—Tyrion
  • “Aye, men are dying. More will die before we see Winterfell. What of it? This is war. Men die in war. That is as it should be. As it has always been.”
    Ser Corliss Penny gave the clan chief an incredulous look. “Do you want to die, Wull?”
    That seemed to amuse the northman. “I want to live forever in a land where summer lasts a thousand years. I want a castle in the clouds where I can look down over the world. I want to be six-and-twenty again. When I was six-and-twenty I could fight all day and fuck all night. What men want does not matter.”
    • The King’s Prize (I)—Chief Hugo Wull and Ser Corliss Penny
  • A fair bargain leaves both sides unhappy, I’ve heard it said.
    • Jon (XI)—Jon Snow
  • Some had been heroes, some weaklings, knaves, or cravens. Most were only men—quicker and stronger than most, more skilled with sword and shield, but still prey to pride, ambition, lust, love, anger, jealousy, greed for gold, hunger for power, and all the other failings that afflicted lesser mortals. The best of them overcame their flaws, did their duty, and died with their swords in their hands. The worst...
    The worst were those who played the game of thrones.
    • The Queensguard (I)
If there are gods to listen, they are monstrous gods who torment us for their sport. Who else would make a world like this, so full of bondage, blood, and pain?
  • The most insidious thing about bondage was how easy it was to grow accustomed to it.
    • Tyrion (XI)
  • At night Tyrion would oft hear her praying. A waste of words. If there are gods to listen, they are monstrous gods who torment us for their sport. Who else would make a world like this, so full of bondage, blood, and pain?
    • Tyrion (XI)
  • “You are not wrong.” Jon said. “I do not know. And if the gods are good, I never will.”
    “The gods are seldom good, Jon Snow.”
    • Jon (XII)—Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane
  • She wants fire, and Dorne sent her mud.
    You could make a poultice out of mud to cool a fever. You could plant seeds in mud and grow a crop to feed your children. Mud would nourish you, where fire would only consume you, but fools and children and young girls would choose fire every time.
    • The Discarded Knight (I)
  • The Drowned God did not answer. He seldom did. That was the trouble with gods.
    • The Sacrifice (I)
  • The girl had hoped for fog, but the gods ignored her prayers as gods so often did.
    • The Ugly Little Girl (I)
  • You kill men for the wrongs they have done, not the wrongs that they may do someday.
    • The Kingbreaker (I)—Ser Barristan Selmy to Skahaz Mo Kandaq
  • The eunuch had looked death in the face, so near he might have kissed her on the lips.
    • The Queen’s Hand (I)
  • “Men are mad and gods are madder,” she told the grass, and the grass murmured its agreement.
    • Daenerys (X)—Daenerys

External links[edit]

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