As we wait for “The Winds Of Winter“, here are some inspirational quotes from a series that can be the opposite of inspirational….
“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.”
-A Feast For Crows, Chapter 23.
Petyr Baelish said this to Sansa Stark, who is under the guise of ‘Alayne’. Littlefinger may be the most untrustworthy snake around, but his words here ring true. This quote motivates you to have your own will, to make your own decisions, to impact on the world around you. To know that your abusers (remember: Cersei abused Sansa quite badly in the books) may have some control over you, but not be able to control who you really are. Nothing short of remarkable, in my opinion.
“All dead,” Quentyn agreed. “For what? To bring me here, so I might wed the dragon queen. A grand adventure, Cletus called it. Demon roads and stormy seas, and at the end of it the most beautiful woman in the world. A tale to tell our grandchildren. But Cletus will never father a child, unless he left a bastard in the belly of that tavern wench he liked. Will will never have his wedding. Their deaths should have some meaning.”
Gerris pointed to where a corpse slumped against a brick wall, attended by a cloud of glistening green flies. “Did his death have meaning?”
Quentyn looked at the body with distaste. “He died of the flux. Stay well away from him.” The pale mare was inside the city walls. Small wonder that the streets seemed so empty. “The Unsullied will send a corpse cart for him.”
“No doubt. But that was not my question. Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths. I loved Will and Cletus too, but this will not bring them back to us. This is a mistake, Quent. You cannot trust in sellswords.”
-A Dance With Dragons, Quentyn III.
And here we have George R.R. Martin at his most sophisticated when it comes to writing, outlining a statement in a beautiful fashion full of poise. Because here he inspires us to not just have a quality of a life, but to focus on others. To treat people’s lives with dignity and respect. As Gerris tells Quentyn- whose quest is on the lines of failure, to be wise and sensible when it comes to sellswords. As tragically as Quentyn’s story ends, GRRM calling us on to examine him proves that some stories are worth telling, which in itself is also inspirational.
The roots of the trees grow deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me… I’m not dead either.
-A Clash Of Kings, Chapter 69
Poor Bran Stark. He has gone through alot, struggled with his disability, suicide ideation, his family going away, and has just said farewell to Rickon, his beloved brother as well as Osha. He witnessed his home being burnt by the Boltons. And he’s not even a teenager. Here Bran admits in this heartbreaking passage, that yes, he is broken. But he is not dead. And like Winterfell, he will live on and continue to go through adversity. That even though Winterfell was burnt, enough of it remained to live through Bran. If the Starks signify hope throughout the series, this is internalizes through Bran Stark. The Boltons may hold Winterfell, but ultimately- they will fizzle out and fail. Because everyone has complexities, or ‘roots’ and you may knock down a tree, but not the roots itself. It’s about living on when its hard, remembering others even when it’s difficult.