Friday, October 16, 2015

Quote Challenge: Week 2

This is a traitorous post. I am sorry, but it is just going to have to be traitorous. Low-down, no-good, very bad post. But I hope to never go halfway, and so as I do Part Two of this Quote Tag I shall be well and traitorous and not only halfway traitorous by being totally in acknowledgement of my traitorousness, which is the worst kind of treason, I should think.

But first, the rules:

  • Post your 3 favorite quotes, one each for three consecutive days (or, y’know, for three weeks).
  • With each post nominate three bloggers for the challenge (but I don’t want to be a bother…).
  • Recognize the blogger who nominated you. (Thanks, Mariella!)

Here is why I am a traitor: my quote for today is from a book I didn’t finish.

via Game of Thrones Wiki
“Yet our way is the older way. The blood of the First Men still flows in the veins of the Starks, and we hold to the belief that the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” 

–Ned Stark, George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, page 14

Okay, okay, so I got bored reading Game of Thrones. Meh. There are a lot of good books I snub, and Game of Thrones is good—the character development is indeed enticing, emotional value, blah blah blah. But it had none of the tropes I adore and all the strengths I am tired of. And that is fine—I do not have to like a book for it to stop being good.

That being said, I love this quote. I hate that you have to pick your “three favorite quotes” because it isn’t like I keep a running score, but at the very least this is one of my favorite sentiments. I mean, it totally plays into the plot later at a point I won’t spoil for you but has a lot to do with how Joffrey is a mommy’s-boy-toilet-licker… but it also has a lot to do with life.

Like, morality. Consequence. Gravity.

If you think that the means justify the ends but you aren’t willing to carry out those means personally then you have no business making such suggestions. Either you hold to your beliefs in word and deed or you don’t get to have the words or the deeds at all.

I am by no means perfect, and there have been times—in matters of execution, of condemnation, of justice—when I have thought that what is necessary is not moral, and yet I’m willing to argue for the necessary for the moral. But if I were standing there, could I myself commit to that necessary thing when I would feel guilty doing it?

I have such a strong appreciation for this quote, and yet I’m somehow at a loss as to how to elaborate. Especially to those who disagree with me, I might sound extreme or deluded or crazy but even as I reread the quote I just know that this is how things ought to be. It’s something between the commitment to justice and the strength of something human—that there is justice and there is righteousness and there are things that make the world turn, make sense even though the blood is flowing and no one wants to hear the reason why.

Argh. I don’t have the words. But I have this amazing quote. So may the force be with you and God and donuts and anything else you believe in.

If you want to do this or if you like being tagged for things and want me to tag you, then let me know. I can’t think of anyone who I haven’t tagged recently and I don’t like tagging people because then I feel like I am an intruder. Ah, well. Have a good Friday, folks.

Do you like this quote? Share one of your favorites with me!


  1. *whispers* I adore this series so much I'M IN PHYSICAL PAIN ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME. (Okay that did not end in a whisper but, pfft, this is me we're talking about. I NEED ALL CAPS.) I also adore that quote! I love how it is a HUGE deal throughout the whole series, to the point where Ned's children remember it and it defines their leadership.

    1. Maybe you whisper-shouted? But yeah! It's a big deal. It's how I would want my kids to do stuff.

  2. I have not yet set eyes on reading Game of Thrones. Loads of people think it's great, so it's nice to hear for someone who isn't so fond of it :) And that's an awesome quote :)

    1. TBH I kinda got overwhelmed (like, he introduces 15 characters within 3 pages) but still, I loved this quote. :)

  3. I can see why you didn't like GoT -- I personally was meh about the first book (WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!?) but I bought the entire series on a friend's recommendation, so I finished it and there were dragons so I kept reading and then my heart was broken. And yes, that quote is quite fabulous, isn't it? Although my fav part of the series is how you are informed about characterisation like Ned being honourable and you have these quotes and it seems like he is the paragon of honour, but then at the same time there are other things when that fails him. So.

    1. Yeah, if I had bought a whole series I would get my money's worth! But yeah, I think GRRM really has skills in creating ambiguity so our idea of what's honorable is present, but often fails, and then you have to sympathize with typically "bad" figures, but then come to see a greater truth about morality and honor and whatnot. It's interesting to think about.

  4. I remember how this quote hit me between the eyes when I read GoT. Like, it has to be my favorite quote from that book, and I agree with it so much. And, I agree with your interpretation too.

    1. :D Yes! It is just the best, amiright?

  5. I haven't read this book, but I really like the quote and your interpretation of it. I wasn't sure I agreed at first, but as I reread the quote and I read your post, I can see how someone would feel that way. I'm not positive that I'm a hundred percent on this, but it's definitely an interesting sentiment with a fair amount of truth: I do agree that if you can't perform the action then you probably shouldn't be making suggestions about it; but at the same time, the fact that you feel guilty about doing it, doesn't necessarily mean that it shouldn't be done (obviously, depending upon the situation). And maybe, again depending on the situation, you're the /only/ one who can make the decision and perform the action, and therefore you have to.

    ...I'm not sure how much sense that made. But yeah. I like this quote and the idea behind it, even if I'm not sure I 100% agree. :)


    1. Hm, I'm not sure I completely agree with your interpretation, either. I don't think it's a matter of guilt, but rather if you can't keep to your moral convictions (i.e. you believe that murderers should get the death penalty, but you wouldn't be able to enforce that personally) then you shouldn't hold pretenses about holding those convictions at all.

      But anyway, I do like it still. :)


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