I was born in the wee hours of an icy cold mid-December morning. I am a child of the winter with a birthday nudged right up against the bright lights and festive charm of the holiday season and I own a killer pair of long-johns, but even I get sick of the long dark nights, the frozen fingertips, the runny nose, the chapped lips, and the slippery walks to to work that crop of every single winter. It's inevitable — after the gifts have all been unwrapped and the fresh white snow turns to dirty brown slush, winter becomes a whole lot of work.
If you're a traditionalist — and I'll admit it, I am — copious amounts of chocolate paired with the occasional hot shower and a thick pair of socks can make one heck of a difference in the short term, but what about the long term? How are you going to make it through the many months of cold days and long nights that lie ahead before the last flake melts and the robins return to usher in the spring? You need inspiration, you need motivation, you need a few choice quotations from A Song of Ice and Fire to get you through the winter (after all, the characters definitely know about winter), and I happen to have just what you need right here.
1. "Old stories are like old friends...You have to visit them from time to time."
— Brandon Stark, A Storm of Swords
2. "Knowledge is a weapon, Jon. Arm yourself well before you ride forth to battle."
— Maester Aemon, A Feast for Crows
3. "I am the sword in the darkness. 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, the shield that guards the realms of men."
— From the Vow of the Nights Watch
4. "The past remains the past. We can learn from it, but we cannot change."
— Lord Brynden, A Dance with Dragons
5. "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, the man who never reads lives one."
— Jojen Reed, A Dance With Dragons
6. "Defeat is a disease, and victory is the cure."
— Axell Florent, A Storm of Swords
7. "Laughter is poison to fear."
— Catelyn Stark, A Game of Thrones
8. "There is no shame in fear... what matters is how we face it."
— Jon Snow, A Clash Of Kings
9. "Power resides where men believe it resides."
— Lord Varys, A Clash of Kings
10. "Sleep is good... And books are better."
— Tyrion Lanister, A Clash of Kings
11. "To touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow."
—Quaithe, A Storm of Swords
Image: HBO; Giphy (11)