“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”
“Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. He used to mess my hair and call me "little sister," she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes.”
“I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood.”
“History is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again.”
“The man is as useless as nipples on a breastplate.”
“Most have been forgotten. Most deserve to be forgotten. The heroes will always be remembered. The best. The best and the worst. And a few who were a bit of both.”
“We all dream of things we cannot have.”
“I don't want to have a dozen sons," she had told him, appalled. "I want to have adventures" ~Asha Greyjoy”
“How could I not love him, after that? That is not to say that I approved of all he did, or much enjoyed the company of the man that he became... but every little girl needs a big brother to protect her. Tywin was big even when he was little.” She gave a sigh. “Who will protect us now?”
Jaime kissed her cheek. “He left a son.”
“Aye, he did. That is what I fear the most, in truth.”
That was a queer remark. “Why should you fear?”
“Jaime,” she said, tugging on his ear, “sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna’s breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg, and there’s some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak... but Tyrion is Tywin’s son, not you. I said so once to your father’s face, and he would not speak to me for half a year. Men are such thundering great fools. Even the sort who come along once in a thousand years.”
“Aemon’s blind white eyes came open. “Egg?” he said, as the rain streamed down his cheeks. “Egg, I dreamed that I was old.”
“It's just a stupid sword," she said, aloud this time...
... but it wasn't.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile.”
“Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old.”
“Do you want to die old and craven in your bed?- How else? Though not till I'm done reading.”
“Kind? How boring that would be. I aspire to be wicked.”
“She narrowed her eyes. “What is our heart’s desire?”
“Vengeance.” His voice was soft, as if he were afraid that someone might be listening. “Justice.” Prince Doran pressed the onyx dragon into her palm with his swollen, gouty fingers, and whispered, “Fire and blood.”
“War seems like a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know. Then they get a taste of battle.
For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they’ve been gutted by an axe.
They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now, They take the wound, and when that’s still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.
If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron half helm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the small folk whose land they’re fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chickens, and from there it’s just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don’t know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they’re fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad in all steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world.
And the man breaks.”
“Words are wind, Brienne told herself. They cannot hurt you. Let them wash over you.”
“The women are the strong ones, truly.”
“For herself, she wanted sleet and ice, howling winds, thunder to shake the very stones of the Red Keep. She wanted a storm to match her rage.”
“Some men think because they're afraid to do.”
“We were king’s men, knights, and heroes . . . but some knights are dark and full of terror, my lady. War makes monsters of us all.”
“Are you saying you are monsters?”
“I am saying we are human. You are not the only one with wounds, Lady Brienne”
“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.”
“I have a hole where my heart should be, she thought, and nowhere else to go.”
“Better to mock the game than to play and lose.”
“Words are like arrows, Arianne. Once loosed, you cannot call them back.”
“Sometimes there is no happy choice, Sam, only one less grievous than the others.”
“When you smell our candles burning, what does it make you think of, my child?"
Winterfell, she might have said. I smell snow and smoke and pine needles. I smell the stables. I smell Hodor laughing, and Jon and Robb battling in the yard, and Sansa singing about some stupid lady fair. I smell the crypts where the stone kings sit. I smell hot bread baking. I smell the godswood. I smell my wolf. I smell her fur, almost as if she were still beside me.
"I don't smell anything," she said.”
“You lie,” he said. “All men lie when they are afraid. Some tell many lies, some but a few. Some have only one great lie they tell so often that they almost come to believe it … though some small part of them will always know that it is still a lie, and that will show upon their faces.”
“But, with unintelligible nostalgia for a life she had never lived, knew that all would have been subtly and profoundly different had her husband greatly loved her.”
“Terre en vacance d'oeuvres d'art. Je méprise ceux qui ne savent reconnaître la beauté que transcrite déjà et toute interprétée. Le peuple arabe a ceci d'admirable que, son art, il le vit, il le chante et le dissipe au jour le jour; il ne le fixe point et ne l'embaume en aucune oeuvre. C'est la cause et l'effet de l'absence de grands artistes. J'ai toujours cru les grands artistes ceux qui osent donner droit de beauté à des choses si naturelles qu'elles font dire après à qui les voit : 'Comment n'avais-je pas compris jusqu'alors que cela était aussi beau?...”
"Oh, uh… sorry, François. I had to go to the bathroom."
Crud. Vampires didn't have to potty. "To get my… lotion. I have dry hands.”
“Note: When reading dry political theory, such as the texts you will find on the following pages, it may be useful to apply the Exclamation Point Test from time to time, to determine if the material you are reading is actually relevant to your life. To apply this test, simply go through the text replacing all the punctuation marks at the ends of the sentences with exclamation points. If the results sound absurd when read aloud, then you know you're wasting your time.”
“It was not, Zelda wrote, prosperity or the softness of life, or any instability that marred the war generation; it was a great emotional disappointment resulting from the fact that life moved in poetic gestures when they were younger and had since settled back into buffoonery.”
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