The Best Quotes from ‘A Game of Thrones’

To celebrate ‘A Game of Thrones’ on its 25th publication anniversary, here are twenty five quotes from the book that show why George R.R. Martin’s book has fascinated readers for a quarter of a century.

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Twenty-five years ago, the first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series was published. A Game of Thrones forever changed the fantasy genre in literature, and fifteen years later would completely revolutionize television. While Martin had been writing stories his entire life, and already earned himself professional credentials writing for television, A Game of Thrones and the subsequent books in the series skyrocketed him to fame, leading fans and critics to dub him as the American Tolkien.



To celebrate A Game of Thrones on this special publication anniversary, here are twenty-five of the best quotes from the book to remind you of not only Martin’s literary craft, but also why the world of Westeros and its characters have fascinated readers for a quarter of a century.




“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” – Tyrion Lannister


“As Daenerys Targaryen rose to her feet, her black ‘hissed,’ pale smoke venting from its mouth and nostrils. The other two pulled away from her breasts and added their voices to the call, translucent wings unfolding and stirring the air, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons.”


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




“Fear cuts deeper than swords.” – Arya Stark


“Winter is coming.”


“Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.”




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


“Is it so far from madness to wisdom?” – Daenerys Targaryen


“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




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


“The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends…It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace…They never are.” – Jorah Mormont


“Let me give you some counsel, bastard…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




“A lord must learn that sometimes words can accomplish what swords cannot.” – Catelyn Stark


“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” – Tyrion Lannister


“I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one.” – Robert Baratheon




“Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle.” – Jon Snow


“Laughter is poison to fear.” – Catelyn Stark


“The man who fears losing has already lost.” – Arya Stark




“Every flight begins with a fall.” – Bran’s crow (from his dreams)


“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 (Littlefinger)


“She had put despair and fear aside, as if they were garments she did not choose to wear…but now she saw that she had donned them after all.” (on Catelyn Stark)




“Life is not a song, sweetling…You may learn that one day to your sorrow.” – Petyr Baelish


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


“Oh, my sweet summer child…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



“He was no dragon…Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – Daenerys Targaryen