No doubt he was smiling. He smiled a lot, as if the world were a secret joke that only he was clever enough to understand.
There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can't protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don't ever believe any different...
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“The wolf king heeds your counsel, does he?” The notion seemed to amuse Lord Balon.
“He heeds me, yes. I have hunted with him, trained with him, shared meat and mead with him, warred at his side. I have earned his trust. He looks on me as an older brother, he—”
”No.” His father jabbed a finger at his face. ”Not here, not in Pyke, not in my hearing, you will not name him brother, this son of the man who put your true brothers to the sword. Or have you forgotten Rodrik and Maron, who were your own blood?” (x)
Jon flexed the fingers of his sword hand. The Night’s Watch takes no part. He closed his fist and opened it again. What you propose is nothing less than treason. He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. … He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon’s breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady’s coat and singing to herself. … He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird’s nest.
“Everything scares you. Look at me. Look at me.”
The blood masked the worst of his scars, but his eyes were white and wide and terrifying. The burnt corner of his mouth twitched and twitched again. Sansa could smell him; a stink of sweat and sour wine and stale vomit, and over it all the reek of blood, blood, blood.
“I could keep you safe,” he rasped. “They’re all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I’d kill them.”
He yanked her closer, and for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her. He was too strong to fight. She closed her eyes, wanting it to be over, but nothing happened.
“Still can’t bear to look, can you?” she heard him say. He gave her arm a hard wrench, pulling her around and shoving her down onto the bed. “I’ll have that song. Florian and Jonquil, you said.”
His dagger was out, poised at her throat. “Sing, little bird. Sing for your little life.”
“A Clash of Kings”
Do you wonder why the men of the Night’s Watch take their wives and father no children? So they will not love. Love is the death of duty… but what is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms? We all do our duty when there’s no cost to it, honor comes easy then. But sooner or later, in every mans life, there comes a day when it is not easy. A day when he must choose.
Game of Thrones 1.09, Baelor
There are no heroes, and she remembered what Lord Petyr had said to her, here in this very hall. “Life is not a song, sweetling,” he’d told her. “You may learn that one day to your sorrow.” In life, the monsters win.
Look with your eyes, he had said. She saw: the knight in his pale armor head to foot, legs, throat, and hands sheathed in metal, eyes hidden behind his high white helm, and in his hand cruel steel. Against that: Syrio, in a leather vest, with a wooden sword in his hand. “Syrio, run,” she screamed.
“The first sword of Braavos does not run,” he sang as Ser Meryn slashed at him.
Ned regarded him coldly. “Robert is not dead yet. The gods may spare him. If not, I shall convene the council to hear his final words and consider the matter of the succession, but I will not dishonor his last hours on earth by shedding blood in his halls and dragging frightened children from their beds.”
Lord Renly took a step back, taut as a bowstring. “Every moment you delay gives Cersei another moment to prepare. By the time Robert dies, it may be too late… for both of us.”
“Then we should pray that Robert does not die.”
“Small chance of that,” said Renly.
“Sometimes the gods are merciful.”
“The Lannisters are not.” Lord Renly turned away and went back across the moat, to the tower where his brother lay dying.