10 of the Best Game of Thrones Quotes

Season 8 is coming — prepare yourself with these wise words from the denizens of Westeros.

game of thrones quotes
  • Photo Credit: HBO

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin has a way with words. He usually uses that that skill to take our favorite characters and chop their heads off or light them on fire, but still: the man has a way with words. So between his talents and those of the writers behind the HBO adaptation of the series, Game of Thrones, it’s no surprise that the embattled citizens of Westeros occasionally speak with a bit of flourish, or swap witty insults, or say something face-meltingly awesome while hacking each other apart with swords. Here are 10 of the best Game of Thrones quotes (according to us, of course)!

This post contains spoilers for all of Game of Thrones

“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”

— Ramsay Bolton

Game of Thrones quotes Ramsay Bolton
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Season 3, Episode 6

Well, he has a point. Very few plot lines have been given happy endings so far in Game of Thrones, and quite a few have ended in a pretty rough way. But there’s always hope that the series as a whole will turn out okay for our favorite characters. Right? Please?

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“Anyone can be killed.”

— Arya Stark

Game of Thrones quotes Arya Stark
  • Photo Credit: HBO

Season 2, Episode 5

Arya Stark, who at this point is by far the coolest character in the show (I’m right about this, don’t email me), could be speaking here about any of our favorite characters. In Game of Thrones, it sometimes seems like you’re more likely to die and come back to life than you are to avoid dying at all.

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“The Lannisters send their regards.”

— Roose Bolton

Game of Thrones quotes Roose Bolton
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Season 3, Episode 9

Oh, man, what a brutal line. This is from the infamous Red Wedding, which dominated our list of the most heartbreaking Game of Thrones deaths. This short sentence encapsulates everything that’s so infuriating and fascinating about Game of Thrones—the bad guys are winning, the good guys are losing, and there’s an overwhelming sense of betrayal and unfairness.

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“For the watch!” — All the men who shank Jon Snow

Game of Thrones quotes Jon Snow death For the Watch
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Season 5, Episode 10

Speaking of betrayal and unfairness, here’s another quote along the same lines. Once again, we’re watching slack-jawed as Game of Thrones offs one of their most important characters—and once again, not content to do it in silence, the bad guys are rubbing salt in the wound. Just for good measure, the audience had to hear this one over and over and over again. Absolutely brutal.

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

— Ygritte

Game of Thrones quotes Ygritte
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Season 4, Episode 9

This quote pops up a few times in the mouth of Ygritte, Jon Snow’s wildling lover. It’s an insult turned tender inside joke. But, of course, this is Game of Thrones—so we’re citing the ninth episode of season four, when Ygritte says it as she dies in Jon’s arms. Sorry.

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“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.”

— Tyrion Lannister

Game of Thrones quotes Tyrion Lannister
  • Photo Credit: HBO

Season 2, Episode 9

In between all of these massively important and upsetting lines, Game of Thrones has some good old-fashioned one-liners. And nobody is better at them than Tyrion, who offered this gem in season six. A little comic relief in Game of Thrones? I’ll drink to that.

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“The gods have no mercy. That’s why they’re gods.”

— Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones quotes Cersei Lannister
  • Photo Credit: HBO

Season 2, Episode 9

This explains a lot, to be honest.

“It’s the family name that lives on. It’s all that lives on.”

— Tywin Lannister

Game of Thrones quotes Tywin Lannister
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Season 1, Episode 7

The patriarch of the Lannister family is obsessed with his family’s legacy, but this quote applies as well to the rest of the families in Westeros as it does to the Lannisters. The family names are practically characters themselves in Game of Thrones, and no individual members of the family can expect to last too long while playing the game of thrones. This quote is particularly interesting in the context of the Starks—how much of a Stark is Jon Snow, really? And can he help a name live on if he doesn’t bear it?

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“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.”

— Eddard Stark

Game of Thrones quotes Eddard Stark
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Season 1, Episode 1

It’s been awhile since the series parted ways with poor Ned Stark, but he’s still a huge part of the story. His demise kicked this whole thing off, and his influence on his children is still obvious. For proof, look no further than Jon Snow’s role in the hangings of the Night’s Watch traitors. It seems that merciless honor runs in the Stark family.

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

— Cersei Lannister

Game of Thrones quotes Cersei Lannister
  • Photo Credit: HBO

Season 1, Episode 7

The first season of Game of Thrones sets up the entire rest of the series, so perhaps it’s no surprise that some of the quotes that best sum up the Game of Thrones vibe come from season one. And you won’t find a better one-sentence encapsulation of the entire series than this one from Cersei Lannister. At its heart, Game of Thrones is about a political contest with the highest stakes possible: You win or you die.

All stills from "Game of Thrones" via HBO

Published on 29 Mar 2019