The story of ‘A Storm of Swords’ dives deep into the mind of its characters as the War of the Five Kings ravages Westeros. The intense bloodshed from the warring made George R. R. Martin draw comparisons to the real world by using quotes.
We are the shield that guards the realms of men. You do not throw way your shield for no good purpose.
The quote above explains the concept of value. In ‘A Storm of Swords,’ the Night’s Watch was seen as a discarded faction with no relevance. However, the statement above from Ottyn Wythers explains that the Night’s Watch is a crucial part of Westeros. It explains that the Watch is the shield that protects Westeros from the terrors of what lies beyond the wall, and making the Watch die out will become the worst thing to happen to the seven kingdoms.
In a sword fight, a man’s surest defense is the swift stroke that slays his foe, not cringing behind a shield.
The statement above got made by Thoren Smallwood in response to Ottyn. He argues that though a shield may be the best weapon for defense, the only way to prevent an enemy’s further advances will be to strike them out. Thoren’s statement explained that the Night’s Watch was only relevant if there were enough soldiers to destroy enemy advances rather than defend against them.
The horn that wakes the sleepers! The shield that guards the realms of men.
The statement above is a chant the brothers of the Night’s Watch make when going to battle. They chant this statement to reaffirm the value of their cause. The chant serves as a morale boost as it makes them understand they are dying for a course that supersedes the puny politics of the seven kingdoms of Westeros.
If walls could keep us small, peasants would all be tiny and kings as large as giants.
The quote above is a statement Jorah Mormont makes explaining that value does not come from birth. He explains that value only increases when a person works to become the best they can be.
It is time for father to lay down his sword and shield. It is time for him to rest. Yet he fights on grimly, will not yield. It is for your sake, I think. He needs your forgiveness.
The quote above is a letter Catelyn sends to her sister, Lysa. In the letter, she explains that their father, Hoster Tully, struggles to stay alive so that maybe his daughter could forgive him for what he did to her. Catelyn explains to her sister that though her father may have wronged her, she still deserved to at least look him in the eye before he passed away.
No Winners, Just Losers and Greater Losers
I thought I won the bloody battle. Is this what triumph tastes like?
The statement above gets made by Tyrion after the Battle of Blackwater. From the battle, he loses a part of his face and suffers injuries. However, he realizes that all his efforts to make a change have been in vain. Tyrion faces the harsh truth that no one cared about positive change.
Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.
After Tyrion wakes up from his lengthened blackout, he meets his father, Tywin. When he sees Tywin sending letters, he realizes that many battles involve more diplomacy than bloodshed and that politics can win wars.
Onion Rock, they’ll call it; it will be my tombstone and legacy.
After the defeat of Stannis’s troops at Blackwater, Davos gets washed up on an isolated island. He reminisces about the events that led to the battle, and despair creeps into his head. With no sight of hope, Davos gives up, realizing that he will die alone as a man who could not make an impact.
How can I live when they are dead? So many brave knights and mighty lords have died, better men than me, and highborn. Crawl inside you cave Davos. Crawl inside and shrink up small and the ship will go away, and no one will trouble you ever again.
When Davos stays on a lone island, he almost loses all hope. Then, a ship appears. However, the intensity of his despair makes him consider not wanting help. He begins imagining how peaceful his death will be if he dies alone.
Hide smuggler. Hide, and be quiet, and die.
The quote above is a thought Davos gets when help is almost at bay. The voices in his head filled him with so much despair that all he wanted to do was escape the world.
Trust and Loyalty
It seems to me that a queen who trusts no one is as foolish as a queen who trusts everyone.
The quote above gets made by Daenerys when Jorah talks to her about suspecting Arstan. She tells Jorah that trust is a risk everyone makes, and the only way to move further to achieve one’s goal is to choose loyal people to trust.
A fat man always sits comfortably, I am thinking, for he takes his pillow with him wherever he goes.
The quote above explains the concept of loyalty and greed. It explains that most people will stay loyal to only themselves and will choose the safest and most comfortable option.
It is every man’s duty to remain loyal to his rightful king, even if the lord he serves proves false.
The statement above got made by Stannis when Davos talks to him about the Battle of Blackwater. Pained by the fact that some of his men bent the knee, Stannis states that every person should remain loyal even when faced with death. Davos later refutes this ideology by explaining that loyalty only exists when death is not in play.
She has broken him, as a man breaks a horse. She would ride him to power if she could, and for that she gave my sons to the fire. I will cut the living heart from her breast and see how it burns.
When Davos returns to Dragonstone, he learns that Stannis has become a shadow of the man he was. He realizes that he longer attends to anyone but Melisandre. Davos gets infuriated by the Red Priestess. He swears to exert revenge on her believing she is responsible for Stannis’s defeat and the death of his sons.
Love’s not always wise, I’ve learned. It can lead us to great folly, but we follow out hearts … wherever it takes us.
When Robb returns to Riverrun and learns of his mother’s actions, he decides to let it slide as he believes she only did what she did out of affection. Robb makes the statement above, telling his mother that though her actions were wrong, she thought she was right because she decided to follow her heart.
There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs.
When Daenerys travels to Astapor, she realizes that the Unsullied are mindless. She decides that she does not want anything to do with them. However, Jorah tells her about the history of Robert Baratheon’s rebellion. He tells her how dreadful it was when King’s Landing got sacked. Jorah explains that even though the Unsullied are mindless, all humans are animals in times of conflict.
Duality of Reality
If ice can burn, said Jojen in his solemn voice, then love, and hate can mate. Mountain or marsh, it makes no matter. The land is one.
When Bran thinks about how awkward it could be to hate and love someone, Jojen explains the duality of reality to him. He explains that two opposites can create a magnificent expression. He explains that emotions can get expressed together without getting separated.
Where you find roads, you find travelers’ he said in that way he had, ‘and travelers have eyes to see, and mouths to spread tales of a crippled boy, his giant, and the wolf that walks beside them.
When Bran asks why they cannot take the King’s Road to their destination, Jojen tells him that the road is open for anyone to notice. He goes further to explain that words of mouth are arrows that fly far and wide and that it could make them get discovered.
A man grows lonely in the dark, and hungers for the sound of a human voice.
The quote above explains the feeling of loneliness. It states that no matter how isolated one wants to be, interaction is a fundamental part of humanity, and it is inescapable.
All men must die.
‘Valar Morghulis.’ The quote above is a statement that explains that no matter how great or useless, rich or poor, and beautiful or ugly, every living human who walks the face of the Earth must surely meet an end.
What are some great quotes from A Storm of Swords?
“For the oak recalls the acorn, the acorn dreams the oak, the stump lives in them both. And they remember when the First Men came with fire in their fists.”
“I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers. I am the shield that guards the realms of men.”
Why did Davos blame Melisandre for Stannis’s defeat?
Because Davos had seen the power Melisandre possessed, he believed that she was pained when Stannis decided not to take her along for the Battle at Blackwater. Davos’s fear of Melisandre made him think she was up to no good and was responsible for Stannis’s defeat.
Did Jon regret joining the Night’s Watch again?
After he left the Night’s Watch and became one of the wildlings, Jon got familiar with the ways of freedom. Soon, he and Ygritte fall in love. They become fond of each other. However, when Jon got ordered to kill a man, he left the wildlings because it was the only safe option. After he returns to the Watch, the wildlings try attacking Castle Black, but Jon’s help leads to their defeat. The defeat of the wildlings was intensely sad for Jon as he lost Ygritte.
Why did Tyrion claim to have killed Joffrey?
After he gets imprisoned, Tyrion realizes that being good is a waste of time. When Jaime frees him, he learns of how his father hurt his innocent wife by calling her a whore, Tyrion’s anger skyrockets, and he admits to killing Joffrey, showing that he hated his nephew.