Well, I did one helluvah ASOIAF re-read and collected some nuggets of wisdom along the way. I did not include lines that is funny, because I know we have our different perspectives on what’s funny or what’s not. But I know we can all agree that GRRM is one wise man.


“A good act does not wash out the bad, nor a bad act the good. Each should have its own reward.” – Stannis Baratheon 


“Love is the bane of honor, the death of duty.” – Maester Aemon


“What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms … or the memory of a brother’s smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.” – Maester Aemon


“A man who won’t listen can’t hear.” – Osha, the wildling


“…My lord father once told me that hard places breed hard men, and hard men rule the world.” – Theon Greyjoy


“The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that.” – Lord Mormont, to John Snow


“Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man’s nature.” – Lyanna Stark


“You know nothing, Jon Snow.” – Ygritte


“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” – Loras Tyrell, about Renly Baratheon


“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – Jojen Reed


“I thought I had to to win the throne to save the kingdom. Davos had the right of it, I have to save the kingdom to win the throne.” – Stannis Baratheon to Jon Snow 


“When you cut 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 Lannister


“A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister


“The night is dark and full of terrors.” – Melisandre


“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone.” ~ Tyrion Lannister


“There are no men like me. There’s only me.” – Jaime Lannister


‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ Bran asked. ‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.”


“You have to know your name.” – Reek/Theon


“What do you know of fear? Fear is for the winter, my little lord, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep and the ice wind comes howling out of the north. Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods”  – Old Nan, to Bran Stark


“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” – Arya Stark


“…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. Else wise no man will ever bend the knee to you.” – Tywin Lannister


“Winter is coming.”– Stark words


“Dark wings, dark words.” – Maester Luwin


“One voice may speak you false, but in many there is always truth to be found” – Daenerys


“Only death can pay for life.”– Mirri Maz Duur


“Some secrets are safer kept hidden. So secrets are too dangerous to share, even with those you love and trust.” – Ned Stark


“The lies we tell for love, he thought.” – Ned Stark


“The things I do for love.” – Jaime Lannister


“Love’s not always wise I’ve learned. But we follow our hearts…wherever they take us.” – Robb Stark


“I think he means for you to have a crown, my lord.” Lord Mormont said.
“The realm has three kings already, and that’s two too many for my liking.” Jon Snow


“Words are winds.” – often repated.


“I think it passing odd that I am loved by one for a kindness I never did, and reviled by so many for my finest act.” – Tyrion Lannister


“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?”  Tyrion Lannister


“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 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.”  – Night’s Watch Vow


“My old grandmother always used to say, summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.” 


“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perchance happen again.” Ser Rodrick Harlaw to Asha Greyjoy


“Valar morghulis.” All men must die. – Jaqen H’gar

“Valar dohaeris.” All men must serve.


“What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger.” – Ironborn creed


“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.” – Ned Stark


“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.” – Tyrion Lannister


“I beg to differ. Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities.” – Tyrion Lannister


“He was always clever, even as a boy, but it is one thing to be clever and another to be wise.” – Catelyn Stark, about Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish


“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.” -King Robert Baratheon


“Wizards die the same as other men, once you cut their heads off.” – Desmond


“A true man does what he will, not what he must.” – Cersei Lannister


“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”—Cersei Lannister


“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.” – Petyr Baelish, to Eddark “Ned” Stark


“Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them.” – Tyrion Lannister


“Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.” -Lord Varys


“Boys believe nothing can hurt them, his doubt whispered. Grown men know better.”- Theon Greyjoy


“I’m honest. It’s the world that’s awful.” – Sandor Clegane


“Love is poison. A sweet poison, yes, but it will kill you all the same.”—Cersei Lannister, to Sansa Stark


“Tears, 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?” – Cersei Lannister, to Sansa Stark


“You should have learned by now, none of us get the things we want.” — Cersei Lannister, to Sansa Stark


“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.” – Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns


“In the world as I have seen it, no man grows rich by kindness.” -Jorah Mormont


“War makes thieves of many honest folk.” – Tom O’Sevens, of the Brotherhood without Banners

“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 Stark


“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.” – Tywin Lannister


“Explain to me why it is more noble to kill ten thousand men in battle than a dozen at dinner.”—Tywin Lannister to Tyrion


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. – GRRM


“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.” – Jon Snow


“Knowledge is a weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to battle.” – Maester Aemon


“War makes monsters of us all.” —Thoros of Myr


“The world is one great web, and a man dare not touch a single strand lest all the others tremble.” – Illyrio Mopatis


“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.” – Jojen Reed


“The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it.” – Lord Brynden Tully


“Men are men, vows are words, and words are wind. You should put guards around the woman.”
“And who will guard the guards?”—Iron Emmett and Jon Snow


“The girl had hoped for fog, but the gods ignored her prayers as gods so often did.” – The Ugly Little Girl (Arya Stark)


“Men are mad and gods are madder.” – Daenerys Targaryen


 “I’ve been called many things, my lord, but giant is seldom one of them.” – Tyrion Lannister

“And I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples and bastards and broken things.” – Tyrion Lannister

“Kill me and the truth dies with me.”  – Tyrion Lannister

“No man is free. Only children and fools think elsewise.” – Tywin Lannister


“A man who fights for coin is loyal only to his purse.” – Kevan Lannister


“Courage and folly are cousins.” – Tyrion Lannister


“He who hurries through life hurries to his grave.” – Salladhor Saan


“How can I lose something I have never owned?” – Stannis Baratheon   


“Kings have no friends, only subjects and enemies,” – Stannis Baratheon 


“Sorcery is the sauce fools spoon over failure to hide the flavor of their own incompetence.” – Tyrion Lannister


“People often claim to hunger for truth, but seldom like the taste when it’s served up.”  – Jaime Lannister


“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” – Ned Stark


“Clever men hatch ambitious schemes.” – Jorah Mormont


“Never give a wench a sword when she’s bleeding.” – Jaime Lannister


“There is a tool for every task, and a task for every tool.” – Tywin Lannister


“When it comes to battle, discipline beats valor every time.” – Jon Snow


“A man can own a woman or a man can own a knife…but no man can own both. And men can’t own the land no more’n they can own the sea or the sky. – Ygritte


 “A strong king acts boldly, he doesn’t just talk.” – Joffrey Baratheon


“We do not choose our destinies. Yet we must . . . we must do our duty, no? Great or small, we must do our duty.”  – Stannis Baratheon


“A man is never so vulnerable in battle as when he flees.” – Ned Stark, to Jon Snow


“A man who fears battle wins no victories.” – Ser Barristan Selmy


“When cowards hide behind great walls, it is they who are defeated, Khaleesi.” Ko Jhogo


“You told me that life was not a song. That I would learn that one day, to my sorrow.” – Sansa Stark


“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.” – Petyr Baelish


“And I know that a king protects his people, or he is no king at all.” –  Davos Seaworth


“The day I fear a dwarf’s wrath is the day I drown myself in a cask of red.” – Oberyn Martell


“It all goes back and back, Tyrion thought, to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance on in our steads.” – GRRM


Sometimes the short road is not the safest, Jon Snow. The Horned Lord once said that sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.” – Dalla, Mance Rayder’s wife


‘They all steal,’ I recall him saying. ‘Better a thief we know than one we don’t, the next man might be worse.’ – Stannis Baratheon, on what Robert Baratheon said about Janos Slynt


“We are born to suffer, that our sufferings might make us strong.”- Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy


“Silence is a prince’s friend. Words are like arrows, Arianne. Once loosed, you cannot call them back.”  – Doran Martell                   


“The Drowned God plays savage japes upon us all, but men are crueler still.” – Asha Greyjoy


 “My father is many things, but no one has ever said he was a fool. The Bastard of Godsgrace had my maidenhead when we were both fourteen. Do you know what my father did when he learned of it? Nothing. My father is very good at doing nothing. He calls it thinking.” – Arianne Martell.  


“My mother taught me long ago that only madmen fight wars they cannot win.” – Prince Doran Martell


“Jon would never. Lord Snow did. Sometimes there is no happy choice, Sam, only one less grievous than the others.” – Maester Aemon


“No mother should outlive her children, and no captain should outlive his ship.” – Cersei Lannister


“Fire consumes but the cold preserves.” – Maester Aemon


“Still, beauty can sometimes mask deadly danger.” – Cersei Lannister to Margaery Tyrell


“There is no wine so sweet as wine taken from a foe.” – Victarion Greyjoy


“No man ever truly knows what he can do unless he dares to leap.” – Euron Greyjoy


“Old or young, a true knight is sworn to protect those who are weaker than himself, or die in the attempt. ” – Brienne Tarth


“Why does a man with one pot of gold need another? Men are greedy.” – Genna Lannister – Frey to Jaime Lannister


 “Well, I would never presume to tell you how to fight a war. I know my place . . . unlike your sister.”  – Genna Lannister – Frey to Jaime Lannister


“Can our morrows be foretold?” he repeated slowly. “Mayhaps. There are certain spells in the old books . . . but Your Grace might ask instead, ‘Should our morrows be foretold?’ And to that I should answer, ‘No.’ Some doors are best left closed.” – Maester Pycelle


“You do not lack for gall, Kingslayer. Bargaining with oathbreakers is like building on quicksand, though.” – Brynden “Blackfish” Tully to Jaime Lannister


“There is no creature on earth half so terrifying as a truly just man.” – Varys, Master of Whisperers, the Spider, about Stannis Baratheon


“Ser Pounce must learn to defend his rights. In this world the weak are always the victims of the strong.” – Cersei Lannister to her son Tommen Baratheon


“It pleased the Young Dragon to make all our armies larger when he wrote that book of his, so as to make his conquest that much more glorious, and it has pleased us to water the seed he planted and let our foes think us more powerful than we are, but a princess ought to know the truth. Valor is a poor substitute for numbers.” – Prince Doran


“We princes make our careful plans and the gods smash them all awry.” Prince Doran


“Young girls were always happiest with older men. Innocence and experience make for a perfect marriage” – Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, as Alayne Stone remembered.


“All sins may be forgiven, but crimes must still be punished.” – The High Sparrow


 “Men may eat the flesh of beasts and beasts the flesh of men, but the man who eats the flesh of man is an abomination.” – Haggon to Varamyr Sixskins


 “But the world is one great web, and a man dare not touch a single strand lest all the others tremble.” -Illyrio Mopatis


“It is not the foes who curse you to your face that you must fear, but those who smile when you are looking and sharpen their knives when you turn your back.” – Melissandre to Jon Snow


“My old septon used to say that books are dead men talking. Dead men should keep quiet, is what I say.” – “Dolorous Edd” Tollett


“Egg had an innocence to him, a sweetness we all loved. Kill the boy within you, I told him the day I took ship for the Wall. It takes a man to rule. An Aegon, not an Egg. Kill the boy and let the man be born.” – Maester Aemon’s advice to Jon Snow


“A wall is only as strong as the men who stand behind it.” – Eddard Stark to Jon Snow


“Dead men don’t claim vengeance.” – Jaime Lannister


“The North remembers.” – Wyman Manderly


If there are gods, they made sheep so wolves could eat mutton, and they made the weak for the strong to play with.”- Sandor Clegane to Sansa Stark


“For the night is dark, and full of terror.” Said the Brotherhood without Banners

“This cave is dark too, but I’m the terror here.” – Sandor Clegane to Beric Dondarrion


“Fighting is better than this waiting. You don’t feel so helpless when you fight. You have a sword and a horse, sometimes an axe. When you’re armored, it’s hard for anyone to hurt you.” Brienne Tarth


“Not every man is what he seems, and a prince especially has good cause to be wary … but go too far down that road, and the mistrust can poison you, make you sour and fearful…You would do best to walk a middle course. Let men earn your trust with leal service … but when they do, be generous and openhearted.” – Jon “Griff” Connington, to “Aegon Targaryen”


“Risk is part of war. Every battle is a gamble, Snow. The man who does nothing also takes a risk.” – Ser Richard Horpe, to Jon Snow


“One day all men must die, but it serves no good to dwell on death. I prefer to take each day as it comes.” Hizdahr zo Loraq


“Words are wind, even words like love and peace. I put more trust in deeds.” – Daenerys Targaryen


“Fear is what keeps a man alive in this world of treachery and deceit”. – Roose Bolton


 “The gods are blind. And men see only what they wish.” Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister exchange


“When I look back I’m lost.” – Daenerys Targaryen


A queen belongs not to herself but to her people – GRRM, on Daenerys Targaryen


“Your Wall is a queer place, but there is power here, if you will use it. Power in you, and in this beast. You resist it, and that is your mistake. Embrace it. Use it.” Melisandre, to Jon Snow


Night falls, he thought, and now my war begins. – Jon Snow


We all do our duty, when there is no cost to it. How easy it seems then, to walk the path of honor. Yet soon or late in every man’s life comes a day when it is not easy, a day when he must choose… “It hurts, boy,” he said softly. “Oh, yes. Choosing . . . it has always hurt. And always will. I know.” – Jon Snow


Every choice had its risks, every choice its consequences. He would play the game to its conclusion. – Jon Snow


 ”In return he gave her peace. Do not cast it away, ser, I beg you. Peace is the pearl beyond price.” – The Galazza Galare, the Green Grace, to Ser Barristan Selmy


“Time is different for a tree than for a man. Sun and soil and water, these are the things a weirwood understands, not days and years and centuries. For men, time is a river. We are trapped in its flow, hurtling from past to present, always in the same direction.” – Brynden Rivers, the Three Eyed Raven, to Bran Stark


“I know. I have my own ghosts, Bran. A brother that I loved, a brother that I hated, a woman I desired. Through the trees, I see them still, but no word of mine has ever reached them. The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change it.” – Brynden Rivers, the Three Eyed Raven, to Bran Stark


“The girl deserves better than a pig, he thought. An honest kiss, a little kindness, everyone deserves that much, however big or small.” – Tyrion Lannister, on the dwarf performer Penny


“If you should die, must El and Obella seek vengeance for you, then Dorea and Loree for them? Is that how it goes, round and round forever? I ask again, where does it end?” – Ellaria Sand, to the older Sand Snakes


“In the end a gentle heart may be worth more than pride or valor. ” – Doran Martell


“As the children splashed in the pools, Daenerys watched from amongst the orange trees, and a realization came to her. She could not tell the highborn from the low. Naked, they were only children. All innocent, all vulnerable, all deserving of long life, love, protection. ‘There is your realm,’ she told her son and heir, ‘remember them, in everything you do.’ ” – Doran Martell


“It is an easy thing for a prince to call the spears, but in the end the children pay the price. For their sake, the wise prince will wage no war without good cause, nor any war he cannot hope to win.” – Doran Martell


“Keep walking. If I look back I am lost.” – Daenerys Targaryen


“Tommen has been taught that kingship is his right. Aegon knows that kingship is his duty, that a king must put his people first, and live and rule for them.” – Varys, to Kevan Lannister


 “There is only one god. His name is Death. And there is only one thing to say to Death. Not today.” Syrio Forel to Arya Stark (TV Series only)




  1. patricksponaugle · February 13, 2014

    Hey, this is an amazing collection of quotes from the books.

    I am in your debt, and will use this page as a resource. Very very nice!

    • aerislair · February 13, 2014

      Thank you very much, feel free to use as resource 🙂

  2. Pingback: WORDS ARE WIND BUT WORDS ARE ALSO WISDOM | Thoughts in Flow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s