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17 Insightful Quotes From 'Game of Thrones'

In 1991, George R. R. Martin began writing A Game of Thrones, the first volume in his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. Martin originally planned the series as a trilogy, but the whole thing expanded and, so far, five out of a planned seven volumes have been published. The books have sold around 100 million copies, with fans anxiously awaiting volume six.

Then came the TV series, Game of Thrones, which ran from April 2011 to May 2019. It became an international phenomenon, launching Martin and his fictional world into the mainstream. The majority of critics praised it, fans became obsessed, and pretty much everyone agreed that the final season was a big disappointment. Despite the ending, it remains one of the most popular and critically acclaimed television shows of all time.

Game of Thrones has a lot going for it. It’s a true epic with plenty of action, intrigue, and a healthy dose of dragons, giants and yes, even zombies. But a large part of its charm comes from the dialogue. Before writing A Game of Thrones, Martin worked as a screenwriter on shows such as The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast. Writing scripts helped Martin with the dialogue in his novels, which in turn helped David Benioff and D. B. Weiss — creators of the TV show — with their snappy back-and-forth in the HBO series.

Some memorable quotes have become part of the cultural psyche: “The night is dark and full of terrors;” “Winter is coming;” “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” Other lines were funny and at times crude, and gave fans plenty to laugh about. And, as the following quotes show, there was also a deeper side to the dialogue in Game of Thrones, whether spoken by heroes, villains or — as was often the case — characters who lay somewhere in between.

The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted.
— Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds)

The storms come and go, the big fish eat the little fish and I keep on paddling.
— Lord Varys (Conleth Hill)

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.
— Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen)

There's a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand.
— Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)

We march to victory, or we march to defeat. But we go forward. Only forward.
— Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane)

Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell: they're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top, and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. [….] I'm not going to stop the wheel, I'm going to break the wheel.
— Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)

Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.
—Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

I don't plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover, and I might be a girl, but I am every bit as much a Northerner as you.
— Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey)

Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick. A shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.
— Lord Varys (Conleth Hill)

You’re mine and I’m yours. If we die we die. But first we’ll live.
— Ygritte (Rose Leslie)

A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep.
— Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance)

A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.
— Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

All my life men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I've been knocking men like you into the dust.
— Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)

That's what I do: I drink and I know things.
— Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.
— Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)

Night gathers, and now my watch begins.
— The Night's Watch

I asked him, ‘how can a man be brave if he’s afraid’? ‘That is the only time a man can be brave’, he told me.
— Robb Stark (Richard Madden), about his father Ned (Sean Bean)

Photo credit: Don Arnold/ Contributor/ Getty Images

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About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
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