Happy twenty-first birthday (aka publication anniversary) to A Storm of Swords, the third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series! A Storm of Swords was first published in the United Kingdom on today’s date in 2000.
In case you didn’t know, this book is the second longest out of the five (published) A Song of Ice and Fire novels (A Dance with Dragons is longer). It’s so massive that the UK paperback edition was actually published in two parts; Steel and Snow was released in June 2001, while Blood and Gold came out in August 2001!
To celebrate this incredible work of fantasy literature, here are fifteen epic quotes/internal thoughts from some of the main characters in A Storm of Swords/A Song of Ice and Fire!
“Woman?…Is that meant to insult me? I would return the slap, if I took you for a man.”
“It all goes back and back…to our mothers and fathers and theirs before them. We are puppets dancing on the strings of those who came before us, and one day our own children will take up our strings and dance in our steads.”
“We look up at the same stars, and see such different things.”
“I’m not a lady…I’m a wolf.”
“Brave…I am a Stark, yes, I can be brave.”
“All the tales agreed that the green men had strange magic powers. Maybe they could help him walk again, even turn him into a knight. They turned the little crannogman into a knight, even if it was only for a day…A day would be enough.”
“I have won every battle, yet somehow I’m losing the war.”
“Wars need not be fought until the last drop of blood…You would not be the first king to bend the knee, nor even the first Stark.”
“It was that white cloak that soiled me, not the other way around.”
“Joffrey, when your enemies defy you, you must serve them steel and fire. When they go to their knees, however, you must help them back to their feet. Elsewise no man will ever bend the knee to you. And any man who must say ‘I am the king’ is no true king at all.”
LADY OLENNA TYRELL
“All men are fools, if truth be told, but the ones in motley are more amusing than the ones with crowns.”
“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. The scent of blood is all it takes to wake him.”
“These little wars are no more than a scuffle of children before what is to come. The one whose name may not be spoken is marshaling his power, Davos Seaworth, a power fell and evil and strong beyond measure. Soon comes the cold, and the night that never ends. Unless true men find the courage to fight it. Men whose hearts are fire.”
“I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.”
“And I know that a king protects his people, or he is no king at all.”