The greatest quotes from Game of Thrones

Tyrion Lannister delivers some of Game of Throne's most memorable quotes.
HBO

Tyrion Lannister delivers some of Game of Throne's most memorable quotes.

The fantasy series Game of Thrones is rich with incredible moments both big and small.

When it comes to the writing, author George R.R. Martin and showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have achieved a unique mix of profound quotes, witty humour, sarcastic one-liners, and just plain badass moments.

After re-watching the series from start to finish, we rounded up 26 of our favourite lines which appear on the show.

We skipped past obvious house sayings like "Winter is coming" and "a Lannister always pays his debts" to focus on important scenes and stand-out lines with high impact on character development.

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"Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you." — Tyrion Lannister

Season 1, Episode 1: "Winter is Coming"

Tyrion and Jon's first meeting stand out as one of the most iconic moments in the series. In the pilot episode, Tyrion is first introduced as a brothel-loving dwarf, with no interest in the rest of the world. But this line gave an immediate depth of character to Tyrion, and showed viewers his wisdom and wit.

This gem comes when Jon defensively asks what the hell Tyrion knows about being a bastard. "All dwarves are bastards in their father's eyes," he replies.

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"The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." — Ned Stark

via GIPHY

Season 1, Episode 1: "Winter is Coming"

This quote is everything a stranger needs to know about Ned Stark and his world view.

Ned was one of the greatest characters on the series, with a hardened sense of honour, duty, and righteousness. In the pilot episode, his character is immediately established with this lesson taught to his son Bran. He is driving home the point that no leader should give an order or make a decision he wouldn't carry out himself. This connects a person to their choices — if you sentence someone to die, you better be sure enough it's the right choice to kill that man yourself. Plus, carrying out the deed yourself shows respect to the individual you're punishing. 

"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." — Cersei Lannister

Season 1, Episode 7: "You Win or You Die"

This conversation takes place right before King Robert dies. Cersei is sending a clear message to Ned Stark with this line.

Ned has discovered that Cersei's children are all the bastard products of incest, and he decided to give her the chance to leave the city before telling Robert. She marks this as a grave mistake, one the viewers will also come to see as the moment Ned's plan went horribly wrong — he is executed just two episodes later. Plus, Cersei's lesson to Ned Stark is the only time the show's title has been said out loud on the series.

"There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'" — Syrio Forel

via GIPHY

Season 1, Episode 6: "A Golden Crown"

Syrio Forel is the First Sword of Braavos, making him a badass swordsmen and the first Braavosi Arya meets in the series. During his time teaching her how to use a sword, Syrio imparts one crucial lesson upon her: the god of Death is the only one who matters. Arya's descent into the underbelly of Westeros will reinforce this lesson as she goes on to murder multiple men. In season five, she actually goes to Braavos to live among the Faceless Men in the House of Black and White — the temple of the Many Faced God, the god of Death. 

"I'm not questioning your honour, Lord Janos. I'm denying its existence." — Tyrion Lannister

Season 2, Episode 2: "The Night Lands"

During his time as Hand of the King, Tyrion expertly wheedled dishonest people out of King's Landing. One of his first orders of business was kicking Janos Slynt out of the city, and forcing him to join the Night's Watch. Slynt was the captain of the City Watch, and betrayed Ned Stark when Ned asked for their help in removing Joffrey from the Iron Throne. Tyrion's zinger line to him was a satisfying end to Janos' time as a leader.

"Power resides where men believe it resides. It's a trick, a shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow." — Lord Varys

 

Season 2, Episode 3: "What is Dead May Never Die"

As Tyrion make's his moves in the capital, Lord Varys becomes his confidant and slippery associate. Varys sees the power Tyrion possesses. Not through physical brutality, but through his knack for manipulation and wit. Varys's line also calls into question the power of the respective "kings" in Westeros at the time: Joffrey, Stannis, Renly, Robb, and Balon. Gods, kings, soldiers — who truly controls the events unfolding in Westeros? 

"Anyone can be killed." — Arya Stark

Season 2, Episode 5: "The Ghost of Harrenhal"

Arya was captured and brought to Harrenhal, where she served at Tywin Lannister's cup-bearer. During one of their conversations, he asks her to tell him everything the northerners say about Robb Stark, the King in the North. Arya tells Tywin that people say Robb can't be killed. When the Lannister lord asks her if she believes them, she says "No. Anyone can be killed." The stone cold delivery of this line and Arya's stare into Tywin's eyes make the quote sound like a chilling threat.

"Gods help you Theon Greyjoy, now you are truly lost." — Rodrik Cassel

Season 2, Episode 6: "The Old Gods and the New"

Rodrik is a minor character, but his last words before Theon beheaded him were cutting and spot-on. This happens almost right after Theon decides to take Winterfell for his own – a decision which eventually leads to his capture by the Boltons and horrific torture. Many people try to talk him out of this, including his sister Yara and Maester Luwin, but Rodrik is the one who directly tells it like it is. Theon is lost, and no one can help him now.

"We've had vicious kings and we've had idiot kings, but I don't know if we've ever been cursed with a vicious idiot boy king." — Tyrion Lannister

Season 2, Episode 6: "The Old Gods and the New"

Joffrey Lannister may go down in "Game of Thrones" history as one of the most hated characters (though Ramsay Bolton give him a run for his money). In the series, Tyrion is one of the only people who consistently speaks his mind and puts Joffrey in his place. This outburst after a mob attacks Joffrey and the royal family was one of the more satisfying times Tyrion let loose.

"All men must die, but we are not men." — Daenerys Targaryen

Season 3, Episode 3: "The Walk of Punishment"

Daenerys's rejection of the saying "Valar Morghulis" ("All men must die") comes at a time in the series when she is building a strong momentum of power. She has her dragons, and left Qarth in ruins during season two. Now, she is about to acquire the army of Unsullied in Astapor, and nothing can prevent her from getting what she wants. Not even the promise of inevitable death. 

"There's a beast in every man, and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand." — Jorah Mormont

Season 3, Episode 3: "The Walk of Punishment"

Jorah serves as an advisor to Daenerys for most of the series, and sometimes his one-liners are pure gold. While speaking with her about the Unsullied and the nature of war, Jorah warns her of the inevitable violence involved. The show doesn't shy away from violence and betrayals, and Jorah's commentary on the nature of humans and destruction is sadly accurate.

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned, the Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious c--ts? Where's the god of t--s and wine?" — Tyrion Lannister

Season 2, Episode 8: "The Prince of Winterfell"

Oh, Tyrion. Among his many iconic lines about power, wisdom, and the realities of the world, this might be one of his better humorous quotes. Indeed, Tyrion seems to worship the fake "god of t--s and wine" more than any other. His love for sex and Dornish wine is apparent throughout the series. Tyrion also seems aware of the seeming contradictions between the different religions of Westeros and has no problem poking fun at them.

"Oh no please, seduce away. It's been so long. Though I rather think it's all for naught. What happens when the non-existent bumps against the decrepit? A question for the philosophers." — Olenna Tyrell

Season 3, Episode 4: "And Now His Watch Has Ended"

Olenna Tyrell has rightfully earned the nickname "Queen of Thorns." When Lord Varys (a eunuch) makes an obvious attempt at flattering her, she fires back with this killer line. Referring to her nether regions as "decrepit" while pointing out that Varys's reproductive organ is "non-existent" was among the more humorous moments of season three.

"He would see this country burn if he could be King of the Ashes." — Lord Varys

Season 3, Episode 4: "And Now His Watch Has Ended"

Later in the same conversation between Varys and Olenna, the subject of Littlefinger comes up. We've known for some time that Varys and Littlefinger are both wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, influencing major events in King's Landing and beyond. While their rivalry seemed tongue-in-cheek, this line reveals Varys's true concern for Littlefinger's growing power. 

"Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again — the fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love ... illusions. Only the ladder is real, the climb is all there is." — Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish

Episode 6: "The Climb"

Turns out, Varys had good cause for concern. For most of the first two seasons, Littlefinger's motivations and ambitions are veiled in secrecy. Viewers know he's up to something, but he thought process isn't made clear until this pivotal moment. Littlefinger's speech in "The Climb" reveals his penchant for chaos and violence, even if it means destruction for the realm. His power resides in his ability to create chaos and come out on top.

"Dracarys." — Daenerys Targaryen

via GIPHY

Season 3, Episode 4: "And Now His Watch Has Ended"

This is the epic moment when Daenerys unveils her secret plan to acquire the Unsullied and kill the slave masters of Astapor. The man she had been dealing with didn't realise she spoke Valyrian, and so had been referring to her as a "b---h" and "whore" right in front of her. She kills him by ordering Drogon to breathe fire with the word she taught her dragons: "Dracarys." Here is her full speech:

I am Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, of the blood of Old Valyria. Valyrian is my mother tongue. Unsullied! Slay the masters, slay the soldiers, slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no child. Strike the chains off every slave you see!

"By what right does the wolf judge the lion?" — Jaime Lannister

Season 3, Episode 5: "Kissed by Fire"

Jaime's character arc is among the most nuanced in the series. In this season three scene, he sits with Brienne in a hot bath and tells her the story of how he earned the nickname "Kingslayer." Until now, the story was a reason for viewers to judge Jaime harshly for oathbreaking. But his side of things makes you see that he had little choice but to kill the king he was sworn to protect. His final line of the speech — "By what right does the wolf judge the lion?" — drives home the point that Ned Stark and his honour may not be the only moral way of living.

"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention." — Ramsay Bolton

Season 3, Episode 6: "The Climb"

Ramsay teaching Theon a lesson about happy endings is one of many instances in the show when viewers felt they were being spoken to by the show writers. "Game of Thrones" is notorious for working against normal fantasy tropes, including those of a happy ending and victorious "good guys." Just a few episodes after this line is spoken by Ramsay, his father Roose Bolton betrays Robb Stark and murders him at the Red Wedding. Fans can't say they weren't warned.

"Hush, Hodor. No more Hodor-ing!" — Bran Stark

via GIPHY

Seaon 3, Episode 9: "Rains of Castamere"

Bran Stark's large companion Hodor is best known for only saying one word: "Hodor." In this episode, Hodor was panicking at the sound of a thunderstorm, and kept yelling "Hodor, Hodor!" In order to silence him, Bran asked Hodor to stop "Hodor-ing" before finally warging into in body. For a show known for its depressing moments, these humorous lines are a welcome relief.

"Any man who must say 'I am the king' is no true king." — Tywin Lannister

via GIPHY

Season 3, Episode 10: "Mhysa"

Aside from Tywin is another character who has no issue putting Joffrey in his place. This line was a sharp lesson to the boy-king: Simply screaming your title at your enemies is not going to make them believe you have power. Tywin's cool, calm demeanour is striking in the face of Joffrey's unhinged immaturity.

"If any more words come pouring out your c--t mouth, I'm going to have to eat every f---ing chicken in this room." — Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane

Season 4, Episode 1: "Two Swords"

The Hound tells it like it is — always. In this scene, the Hound and Arya have been travelling without food for days, and all they want is a hot meal and some peace. But when they run into a band of Lannister soldiers, the Hound is forced to kill every man in the room before he can actually eat his precious chicken. The scene concludes with Arya and the Hound riding horses into the sunset, eating chicken. 

"I did not kill Joffrey but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores. I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it. I will not give my life for Joffrey's murder and I know I'll get no justice here. So I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat." — Tyrion Lannister

Season 4, Episode 6: "The Laws of Gods and Men"

Tyrion's speech at his trial is too good to pull a single line from it, so we've included the entire tirade in our round up. The trial for Joffrey's murder was brutally unfair to watch unfold, especially as a viewer who knew Tyrion had no part in the king's death. Finally hearing Tyrion defend himself, and lash out at all the betrayers and liars in the room was a gleeful fist-pumping moment. Tyrion's anger is palpable, and no one can fault him for cracking at last.

"Nothing isn't better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing." — Arya Stark

Season 4, Episode 7: "Mockingbird"

As Arya finds herself surrounded by death and destruction, she begins taking a rather nihilist view of the world. Her family is dead, and everywhere she turns only betrayal and dishonour is found. So when she meets a strange man who is slowly dying, Arya's words to him are not meant to be comfort. She is cluing him in on the reality of death, and the nothingness that lies ahead for everyone.

"All rulers are either butchers or meat." — Daario Naharis

Season 5, Episode 7: "The Gift"

Daario advises Daenerys to round up all the leaders of Meereen and slaughter them without warning. When she protests, arguing that she is a queen and not a butcher, Daario refutes the notion. In his world, rulers must kill or be killed. Daenerys has struggled with confronting her desire to be both a champion for freedom and one who rules a city without violence. Perhaps moving forward, she'll trust Daario's advice and start getting more cut throat.

"A ruler who kills those devoted to her is not a ruler who inspires devotion." — Tyrion Lannister

Season 5, Episode 8: "Hardhome"

More infinite wisdom from Tyrion. This line came during Tyrion and Daenerys's first meeting, when she asks him to advise her on what to do with Jorah. Tyrion partially owes his life to Jorah, since he saved him from the Stone Men. But Tyrion needs to win favour with Daenerys if he wishes to continue living. With this advice (banish Jorah instead of killing or forgiving him) Tyrion placates both Daenerys and Jorah with one fell swoop. Not to mention, this is a great piece of advice for any ruler. 

"The long night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them, the free folk can't stop them, the Night's Watch can't stop them and all the southern kings can't stop them. Only together, all of us, and even then it might not be enough but at least we'll give the f---ers a fight." — Jon Snow

Season 5, Episode 8: "Hardhome"

Jon Snow's rallying speech in this episode was a pivotal moment for his character. We've watched as Jon grew from a slightly whiny and overly-confident boy into a man — the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. He, above everyone, understands the importance of looking at the bigger picture, and risks his life going to the wildlings for a peace deal. We don't know yet what lies in store for Jon next season (though our bets are on him coming back as a leader), but we do know that season five held some of Jon's biggest moments to date.

 - BusinessInsider.com.au

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