9 Beautiful 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Quotes That Didn't Make It Into 'Game Of Thrones'
Over the past five years, Game of Thrones has infiltrated every inch of pop culture — even people who have never seen the show will nod knowledgeably if you suddenly proclaim winter is coming. So many of the show's lines have become catchphrases: "Valar Morghulis," "You know nothing, Jon Snow," and "Hodor!" are just a few fan favorites, and they're all great quotes — however, as a fan of the book series and the show, I feel duty bound to point out some of George R.R. Martin's most beautiful A Song of Ice and Fire quotes that never made it into Game of Thrones.
Some cuts were made because the show cannot take viewers inside the character's heads the way the books do and internal dialogue sounds weird out-loud. Other quotes would not fit in the realm of the show because of story and character changes. There are even a few gorgeous lines that were likely too flowery for the gritty world of the HBO drama. I am also willing to concede that the scriptwriters probably want to add their own spin to the story instead of being glorified transcribers as well, so all-in-all, it makes sense.
Trust me when I say I'm not nitpicking, but still — I do think these lines are worth sharing with all Game of Thrones fans, book readers or not. They offer new insight into characters and storylines, and, in some cases, they are just breathtaking pieces of literary awesomeness. It turns out, Martin has quite the way with words. Check out the nine quotes below and join me in mourning the fact the actors never got the chance to say them.
1. "Winter will never come for the likes of us. Should we die in battle, they will surely sing of us, and it’s always summer in the songs. In the songs all knights are gallant, all maids are beautiful, and the sun is always shining." — Brienne, A Clash of Kings
I am totally biased on this one, because Brienne is my favorite literary character ever, and this is one of my all-time favorite book quotes. This is the first thing Brienne ever says to Lady Catelyn, and it tells you everything you need to know about her. In the world of the books, Brienne is noble and naïve to the ways of war, and her early innocence always gives me a lot of feelings.
2. "Only Renly could vex me with a piece of fruit. He brought his doom on himself with his treason, but I did love him, Davos. I know that now. I swear, I will go to my grave thinking of my brother’s peach." — Stannis, A Clash of Kings
I know, I know, Stannis is public enemy number one after the Shireen incident — but in the land of the books, he's way less power hungry and far more stringent about duty and following the rules. He expresses true regret over Renly, and that's why the peach has become legend.
3. "Bastard. Do it. I can't stay brave forever." — Ygritte, A Clash of Kings
Is it any wonder Jon fell in love with Ygritte? In the books, this is what she tells him when he hesitates to swing his blade, and it gives me shivers ever time.
4. "In this light she could almost be a beauty," he thought. "In this light she could almost be a knight." — Jaime, A Storm of Swords
I start squealing like I'm at a Backstreet Boys concert when I think about this particular book moment. The reason Jaime goes back for Brienne at Harrenhal in the books is because he has a dream about her being the only thing standing between him and death. During this dream, this is how he sees Brienne — and thus, a 'ship was born.
5. "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. — Arya, A Feast for Crows
Just like in the show, the one possession Arya cannot give up is Needle. In the book, it is explained much more explicitly why she cannot bear to part with it — specifically, because it is a tangible connection to her true self and her family. It's also one of many, many moments where Martin highlights the closeness between Jon and Arya.
6. "There are ghosts in Winterfell, and I am one of them." — Theon, A Dance With Dragons
It just got super dusty in here. I'm definitely not sobbing or anything.
7. She would die as she had lived, with an ax in her hand and a laugh upon her lips. — Asha/Yara, A Dance With Dragons
Asha, Yara, whatever you want to call her — she is a total badass.
8. I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them. — Cersei, A Dance With Dragons
You don't have to like Cersei to appreciate her strength. When she is standing naked waiting for her walk of atonement to begin, these are the defiant words running through her head.
9. "Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy and let the man be born." — Maester Aemon, A Dance With Dragons
Maester Aemon gave Jon a valuable and poignant piece of advice that Jon just couldn't follow. Given what happens later, I can't help but wonder if the line was prophetic.
The A Song of Ice and Fire series is full of gems like these. If you start aching for more Game of Thrones too bad, remember you can now enjoy the books without being spoiled. Why not dive in and enjoy Martin's take on the story as well as HBO's while you wait for spring?
Images: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO; Giphy (9)