“What is dead may never die. But kill those bastards anyway,” Yara told her little brother as he left to defend Bran in the Battle of Winterfell. She was referring to the white walkers which were the only know dead that didn’t remain dead. Those words meant so much to the Ironborn that they started a rebellion against the crown and burned all the septs in the Iron Islands when the High Septon tried to change them.
However, if you look at those words in the light of the events in Game of Thrones, you realize they didn’t make any sense. Everyone could die, Iron Born or not, and even the dead died when stabbed with Valyrian steel or dragon glass. So why were the Iron Born so eager to die for a god that didn’t even care about them? The Iron Born aren’t the only ones whose words didn’t make sense though.
What Is Dead May Never Die
Euron Greyjoy said those words to his brother Balon just before he killed him. Euron then claimed to be the Drowned God come to life which was false because he himself didn’t even die in the sea. The Ironborn died just like any other Westerosi as did their enemies. So who exactly were these dead that could never die?
According to their faith, if their enemies drowned, they were vanquished by the Drowned God and so they were really dead. However, if an Ironborn died at sea, they went to feast with their god although the Ironborn including Balon didn’t seem so eager to meet this god. The truth is, what was dead was just dead.
A Lannister Always Pays Their Debts
In the words of Tyrion Lannister, the greatest debt the Lannisters owed were their lives and they owed it to the Targaryens since Aegon the conqueror spared Loren Lannister’s life. Not all Lannisters paid their debts though. In fact, the Lannisters were the first to betray the Targaryen Dynasty after the Battle of The Trident. Tywin rode to King’s Landing and sacked it killing all the Targaryens.
Tywin Lannister killed Ellia Martell and her children and sought to kill all of the Mad King’s children including Daenerys. While they had gold, that saying meant something because they could settle their creditors, but not after their mines run dry. If all the crimes committed by House Lannister in Game of Thrones were to be paid in full, even the death of all Lannisters couldn’t pay for it.
A Lion Doesn’t Concern Himself With The Affairs Of The Sheep
Those are the words that Tywin told Jaime when he claimed fear of public opinion as the reason for not killing Eddard Stark. Jaime was the most honourable Lannister although no one noticed as they were not willing to overlook his reputation as the Kingslayer. However, no one cared more about public opinion, whom Tywin called sheep than the Lannisters.
House Lannister literally survived on false pretence by using other people to do their dirty work. When Tywin killed Robb Stark, he used the Boltons and the Freys so that there would be no backlash on ‘The Lion.’ When he wanted to murder his son, Tywin used a sham trial to protect his image. Tywin lived on the opinion of the sheep all his life.
The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors
It was one of the most feared phrases in Westeros repeated by almost everyone referring to the threat of the Night King and the white walkers. Many think it referred to the long winter thousands of years back when the dead descended on Westeros but, did it? Maester Ebrose said the common folk were afraid of the winter and always feared that the next one would be their last.
However, when the winter came, no one except Jon Snow and the other Northerners seemed to be afraid of the Night King. In fact, the threat of the Night King didn’t cause as much fear in Westeros as those words did. So what exactly was this dark night and when will it come?
What Do We Say To The God Of Death?
Well, “not today,” is the answer to that famous question, but who really gets the chance to say it when death comes. Syrio Forel was the first man to pose that question to Arya Stark while teaching her the water dance and before the Kingsguard killed him.
Melisandre later said them to Arya during the Battle of Winterfell, which seems to have prompted Arya to kill the Night King. But if the Night King was the God of Death, why was the Many-Faced God called the true God of Death? So who really was this God of death?
The Lone Wolf Dies, But The Pack Survives
“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” Sansa repeated her father’s words to Arya. It was one of the most nostalgic moments between the sisters after they suffered at the hands of their many enemies.
However, the starks didn’t survive as a pack. In fact, lone wolves did better than the packs if you compare Jon Snow, Arya, and Sansa who survived as lone wolves to Ned, Robb, Catelyn, and Talisa who died while the pack still held. Maybe Ned’s words should have been reversed after all.
Everything Is Beautiful Beneath The Sea But If You Stay Too Long, You Will Drown
The Three-Eyed Raven is one of the hardest concepts to understand in Game of Thrones because they didn’t seem to do anything except see things. While the Three-Eyed Raven trained Bran, he warned him against staying in the visions for too long.
It was understandable when he warned him not to get too close to the Night King, but when he prevented him from looking at the events of the past, it didn’t make any sense. How was Bran supposed to know everything if he couldn’t stay and see what was happening? What exactly could drown Bran anyways, all he did was sit while the ravens did the running.
Love Is The Death Of Duty
Yes, these are the words that determined the end of Game of Thrones, but not in their raw form as they were said by Maester Aemon to Jon Snow. Tyrion Lannister twisted it to “duty is the death of love,” before Jon Snow made sense of it.
From the way Maester Aemon explained it, one would assume that love had caused him to fail at his duty, which wasn’t exactly true because he had chosen the Night’s Watch over becoming the King of The Seven Kingdoms. So, how exactly was love the death of duty?
This was Valyrian for “all men must serve,” a popular greeting in Game of Thrones, although not very popular in Westeros. It was the response to Valar Morghulis (all men must die) which in itself didn’t make much sense as a greeting, because it didn’t exactly wish good fortune on whoever it was told to.
So, who exactly are all men serving, and why must all men serve? When Arya told it to the captain of the ship, he happily offered service to her but it wasn’t the same case with other people to whom the same words were said. So, why would a whole greeting be made of words that don’t actually wish people well?
The Prince That Was Promised
Melisandre is the only person in Game of Thrones that could answer the question of whom the promised prince was, but she died before doing it. She had lied to Stannis Baratheon throughout the War of The Five Kings that he was that prince and that the Lord of Light was on his side.
When Stannis failed, she fled to Castle Black and raised Jon Snow from the dead claiming that he must be the prince now that Stannis wasn’t. She then claimed that it was her job to bring together Jon and Daenerys, meaning Ice and Fire, except she was wrong because the Ice killed the Fire. Maybe there was never a prince that was promised!