"It doesn't matter what we want. Once we get it, we only want something else." – Lord Baelish
Shae: "Why should I make up a story when I know the truth?" Sansa Stark: "Because the truth is always either terrible or boring."
"Even the bravest men fear death." – Jorah Mormont
"I try to know as many people as I can. You never know which one you'll need." – Tyrion Lannister
"You're very kind. Some day it will get you killed." – Sandor
"People work together when it suits them. They're loyal when it suits them. They love each other when it suits them. And they kill each other when it suits them." – Orell
- Humans are self-interested. Even altruistic acts are rooted in selfishness.
"They told me I had no choice. I always have a choice." – Daario
"Influence grows like a weed. I tended mine patiently." – Varys
"Who doesn't like to see their friends fail now and then." – Varys
- Humans are naturally envious.
Gilly: "How do you know all that?" Sam: "I read about it in a very old book."
"The people are hungry for more than just food. They crave distractions. And if we don’t provide them, they’ll create their own. And their distractions are likely to end with us being torn to pieces." – Olenna Tyrell
- "Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt." – Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century CE.
"The contents of a man's letters are more valuable than the contents of his purse." – Varys
Tywin: "You really think a crown gives you power?" Tyrion: "No, I think armies give you power."
"Explain to me why it is more noble to kill 10,000 men in battle than a dozen at dinner." – Tywin
Trial by combat. Imagine if innocence or guilt in a modern court trial was proven by if the defendant could win a fight to the death against the best fighter in the courtroom. This was the morality of the Romans: strong = morally good. They had a very different morals than we do today.
"We mothers do what we can to keep our sons from the grave. But they do seem to yearn for it. We shower them with good sense, and it slides right off like rain off a wing." – Olenna Tyrell
- Context: "The grave" = war
"[If] you waste time trying to get people to love you, you'll end up the most popular dead man in town." – Bronn
"They all laughed at me, all those high Lords, they all thought they were better than me. Ned Stark, Hoster Tully." – Walder Frey
- This resentment made Frey go on to kill Ned's widowed wife (who Frey had known since she was a little girl) and her son.
"A good man does everything in his power to better his family's position. Regardless of his own selfish desires." – Tywin
"No act done in service of the lord of light can ever be a sin."
"You're not doing this for your god, you're doing it for gold." – Arya Stark
Baelish: "A story we agree to tell each other over and over until we forget that it's a lie." Varys: "But what do we have left once we abandon the lie? Chaos. A gaping pit waiting to swallow us all." Baelish: "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."
"There's nothing worse than a late-blooming philosopher." – Tyrion
"I have a gift for you as well: Your life." – Daenerys
"The gods gave men two gifts to entertain ourselves before we die: The thrill of fucking a woman who wants to be fucked and the thrill of killing a man who wants to kill you." – Daario
"Is your father cruel like mine?"
"You'll die soon enough. But it won't be murder, it will be justice."
"Love, that's what the Starks of Winterfeld call it eh? I call it a pretty face." – Walder Frey
"It's not easy being drunk all the time. Everyone would do it if it were easy." – Tyrion
"An unhappy wife is a wine merchant's best friend." – Cersei