6

In the first book, A Game of Thrones, Cersei drops said book's name (also the popular name of the series).

"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

AGOT - Eddard XII

Are there similar title drops in the other books; A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons?

A Dance with Dragons is awfully close to the 'Dance of the Dragons', the Targaryen civil war, so perhaps that's its namesake, just "harmonized" with the other titles.

  • 1
    This is kind of trivial... – Adele C Apr 24 '13 at 2:51
  • 1
    The clash of kings title is clearly a reference to what is in universe called the war of the 4 kings (Joffrey, Renly, Stannis and Robb) – Kalissar Apr 24 '13 at 9:49
  • I don't think the titles have any special meaning, beyond a very vague description of the current plot. – TLP Apr 24 '13 at 13:31
  • @TLP I think they are actually pretty apt descriptions of the plot: - A Game of Thrones = the political manoeuvring and plotting performed by chief characters in the books. – The Giant of Lannister Apr 28 '13 at 19:44
  • @TLP I think they are pretty apt descriptions of the plot: - A Game of Thrones = the political manoeuvring and plotting performed by chief characters in the books (and series as a whole). - A Clash of Kings = refers to the War of Five Kings - A Storm of Swords = sums up the state of things on the wall and in both the north and south. - A feast for crows = aptly depicts the state of the seven kingdoms and the downfall of Cersei Lannister - A Dance with Dragons = clearly a reference to "A Dance of Dragons", but also references Dany and young Griff/Aegon as there are now two dragons. – The Giant of Lannister Apr 28 '13 at 19:53
9

There are plenty of such events where a character mentions or thinks to him/herself the title of the book in which the chapter is written. Following is the complete list as per chapter names:


A Game of thrones

  1. Daenerys III

    "The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends," Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They never are."

  2. Eddard XII

    "Oh, but it was, my lord," Cersei insisted. "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

  3. Eddard XIII

    When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die, Cersei Lannister had told him in the godswood.

  4. Eddard XV

    Cersei Lannister's face seemed to float before him in the darkness. Her hair was full of sunlight, but there was mockery in her smile. "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die," she whispered.

    and

    The High Septon once told me that as we sin, so do we suffer. If that's true, Lord Eddard, tell me … why is it always the innocents who suffer most, when you high lords play your game of thrones?

  5. Catelyn XI

    "My lord father would urge caution," aged Ser Stevron said, with the weaselly smile of a Frey. "Wait, let these two kings play their game of thrones. When they are done fighting, we can bend our knees to the victor, or oppose him, as we choose. With Renly arming, likely Lord Tywin would welcome a truce … and the safe return of his son. Noble lords, allow me to go to him at Harrenhal and arrange good terms and ransoms …"


A Clash of Kings

No title-drops as far as I could recall or search.


A Storm of Swords

Well......Kind of 🤷

  1. Bran III:

The lightning flashed again, and this time the thunder came at six. "Hodor!" Hodor yelled again. "HODOR! HODOR!" He snatched up his sword, as if to fight the storm.


A Feast for Crows

  1. Jaime I

    On the morning after the battle, the crows had feasted on victors and vanquished alike, as once they had feasted on Rhaegar Targaryen after the Trident.

  2. Brienne III

    Brienne stood beneath the gallows, the precious parchment in her hand. The crowd had dispersed, and the crows had returned to resume their feast.

  3. Jaime II

    The crows will feast upon us all if you go on this way, sweet sister. "Cersei, listen to yourself. You are seeing dwarfs in every shadow and making foes of friends. Uncle Kevan is not your enemy. I am not your enemy."

  4. The Drowned Man

    "Crow's Eye, you call me. Well, who has a keener eye than the crow? After every battle the crows come in their hundreds and their thousands to feast upon the fallen. A crow can espy death from afar. And I say that all of Westeros is dying. Those who follow me will feast until the end of their days.

  5. Cersei VI

    Some of the skulls had scraps of flesh still clinging to them. A crow sat atop one such, enjoying a dry, leathery feast. Flies were everywhere.

  6. Cersei VII

    "Carrion crows make their feasts upon the carcasses of the dead and dying," said Grand Maester Pycelle. "They do not descend upon hale and healthy animals. Lord Euron will gorge himself on gold and plunder, aye, but as soon as we move against him he will back to Pyke, as Lord Dagon was wont to do in his day."

  7. Jaime V

    Nowhere. The Bloody Mummers stripped his corpse and left his flesh to feast the carrion crows. "Beside a stream," he lied. "When this war is done, I will find the place and send him home." Bones were bones; these days, nothing was easier to come by.


A Dance with Dragons

  1. Tyrion III

    Haldon was unimpressed. "Even Duck knows that tale. Can you tell me the name of the knight who tried the same ploy with Vhagar during the Dance of the Dragons?"

    and

    "I fear that you're mistaken. In The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling, Maester Munkun writes—"

  2. Daenerys II

    Viserys had told her all the tales when she was little. He loved to talk of dragons. She knew how Harrenhal had fallen. She knew about the Field of Fire and the Dance of the Dragons.

  3. The Windblown

    Not that them Yunkish bastards will be wanting us inside their Yellow City, sniffing round their daughters," predicted Baqq, the squint-eyed Myrish crossbowman whose name meant Beans. "We'll get provisions in Yunkai, maybe fresh horses, then it will be on to Meereen to dance with the dragon queen. So hop quick, Frog, and put a nice edge on your master's sword. Might be he'll need it soon."

  4. The Queen's hand

    He should have stayed in Dorne. He should have stayed a frog. Not all men are meant to dance with dragons.


The Winds of Winter

No title-drops as far as I could recall or search.


The World of Ice and Fire

  1. The Glorious Reign

    The world has known ice in the Long Night, and it has known fire in the Doom. From the Frozen Shore to Asshai-by-the-Shadow, this world of ice and fire has revealed a rich and glorious history—although there is much yet to be discovered


The Rogue Prince

This prequel is a short story and has no chapter names.

Prince Daemon was both. In his day there was not a man so admired, so beloved, and so reviled in all Westeros. He was made of light and darkness in equal parts. To some he was a hero, to others the blackest of villains. No true understanding of that most tragic bloodletting known as the Dance of the Dragons is possible without a consideration of the crucial role played before and during the conflict by this rogue prince.
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The greatest of his rivals was our rogue prince: Daemon Targaryen, the king’s ambitious, impetuous younger brother.
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“Dark Sister was made for nobler tasks than slaughtering sheep,” he is reported to have told the Lord of the Tides. “She has a thirst for blood.” But it was not rebellion that the rogue prince had in mind; he saw another path to power.
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By the second moon of the year, His Grace had lost all appetite and was ruling the realm from his bed … when he felt strong enough to rule at all. On Dragonstone, meanwhile, Princess Rhaenyra was once again great with child. She too took to her bed, with her husband the rogue prince ever at her side.


The Princess and the Queen

This Prequel has no chapter names. While the titles "Princess" and "Queen" are used extensively, following is the closest thing to the title.

The account of how of the Second Aegon fell and was succeeded by the Third is a tale for another time, however. The war for the throne would go on, but the rivalry that began at a court ball when a princess dressed in black and a queen in green has come to its red end, and with that concludes this portion of our history.


The Hedge Knight

This prequel is a novella and has no chapter names.

The sun was westering as he fed the horses. There were three; his swaybacked stot, the old man's palfrey, and Thunder, his warhorse, who was ridden only in tourney and battle. The big brown stallion was not as swift or strong as he had once been, but he still had his bright eye and fierce spirit, and he was more valuable than everything else Dunk owned. If I sold Thunder and old Chestnut, and the saddles and bridles too, I'd come away with enough silver to. . . Dunk frowned. The only life he knew was the life of a hedge knight, riding from keep to keep, taking service with this lord and that lord, fighting in their battles and eating in their halls until the war was done, then moving on. There were tourneys from time to time as well, though less often, and he knew that some hedge knights turned robber during lean winters, though the old man never had.
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I could find another hedge knight in need of a squire to tend his animals and clean his mail, he thought, or might be I could go to some city, to Jannisport or King's Landing, and join the City Watch. Or else . . .
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He had piled the old man's things under an oak. The cloth purse contained three silver stags, nineteen copper pennies, and a chipped garnet; as with most hedge knights,
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Dunk was relieved. A pity I couldn't . . . but he has a good life here at the inn, a better one than he'd have squiring for a hedge knight. Taking him would be no kindness.
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A hedge knight must hold tight to his pride. Without it, he was no more than a sellsword. I must earn my place in that company.
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He had traveled with the old man long enough to learn that merchants were notoriously mistrustful of hedge knights, some of whom were little better than robbers.
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"Ser," Dunk corrected. "I am only a hedge knight." He wondered if the old man was looking down on him. I will teach him the arts of battle, the same as you taught me, ser. He seems a likely lad, might be one day he'll make a knight.
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Ser Steffon looked at him scornfully. "The hedge knight has matters." He glanced about and found another likely opponent loitering nearby. "Ser Grance, well met. Come try me. I know every feeble trick my cousin Raymun has mastered, and it seems that Ser Duncan needs to return to the hedges. Come, come.
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That will not happen to me, Dunk vowed. I will show them that I can be more than a hedge knight.
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"How can you possibly remember some insignificant hedge knight who chanced to unhorse Damon Lannister sixteen years ago?" said the prince with the silver beard, frowning.
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"Why would you deign to joust with a hedge knight?"
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What could a hedge knight dare say to such a person? "Y-you gave him back his horse and armor and took no ransom, I remember," he stammered.
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"I did not come here to take counsel from a hedge knight," Prince Maekar declared to his brother.
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A hedge knight cannot challenge a prince. Valarr is second in line to the Iron Throne. He is Baelor Breakspear's son, and his blood is the blood of Aegon the Conqueror and the Young Dragon and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, and I am some boy the old man found behind a pot shop in Flea Bottom.
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It would be a good day for hedge knights, for men in plain mail on unbarded horses.
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"A hedge knight is the truest kind of knight, Dunk," the old man had told him, a long long time ago.
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unk chewed, swallowed, and tore off some more bread. "Why did you do it? Was it some jape, to make a fool of the stupid hedge knight?".
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"One need not intend harm to do it. Aegon should have come to me when he saw what his brother was doing to those puppeteers. Instead he ran to you. That was no kindness. What you did, ser . . . well, I might have done the same in your place, but I am a prince of the realm, not a hedge knight. It is never wise to strike a king's grandson in anger, no matter the cause."
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"Why?" Prince Maekar demanded, leaning forward toward his son. "Are you afraid to face this hedge knight alone, and let the gods decide the truth of your accusations?"
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Why would six strangers risk their own lives to defend a hedge knight against two royal princelings? "Your Graces, my lords," he said, "what if no one will take my part?"
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I've failed them. I am no champion. I'm not even a hedge knight. I am nothing.
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It was laughing. "Are you dead yet, hedge knight?" it asked. "Cry for quarter and admit your guilt, and perhaps I'll only claim a hand and a foot. Oh, and those teeth, but what are a few teeth? A man like you can live years on pease porridge."
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Maekar chewed on that a time, mouth clenched beneath the silvery-pale beard that made his face seem so square. "It's not bloody likely," he said harshly. "The realm has as many hedge knights as hedges, and all of them have feet."
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"Me?" Dunk's mouth opened and closed and opened again. "Egg . . . Aegon, I mean, he is a good lad, but, Your Grace, I know you honor me, but . . . I am only a hedge knight."


The Sworn Sword

This prequel is a novella and has no chapter names.

Whoever heard of a sweaty dragon? He would gladly have pulled his own tunic off, but it would not be fitting. A hedge knight could ride bare naked if he chose; he had no one to shame but himself. It was different when your sword was sworn.
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"A sworn sword owes his lord the truth."
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"No, m'lord," said Dunk. "They will not serve." A sworn sword owes his liege service and obedience, but this is madness.
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Dunk had to remind himself of why Ser Eustace had sent him here. "My sword is sworn to my lord of Osgrey, m'lady," he said, "and that's the way it is."


The Mystery Knight

This prequel is a novella and has no chapter names.

"I can make sweet song with either lance or resined bow, as it happens. Every wedding needs a singer, and every tourney needs a mystery knight. May I join you? .
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Then Pimm must fall! So must they all! The mystery knight prevails against all challengers, and wonder dances in his wake." A guardsman took the Fiddler by the arm. "Ser Duncan, it seems that we must part," he called as they helped him down the steps.
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"Sixteen years ago." Dunk's mellow winey haze was gone. He felt angry, and near sober. "Lord Butterwell's steward is the master of the games, a man named Cosgrove. Find him and enter my name for the lists. No, wait… hold back my name." With so many lords on hand, one of them might recall Ser Duncan the Tall from Ashford Meadow. "Enter me as the Gallows Knight." The smallfolk loved it when a Mystery Knight appeared at a tourney.
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"Wait here," Dunk told Egg. The boy had hold of Thunder's lead. The big brown destrier was laden with Dunk's arms and armor, even to his new old shield. The Gallows Knight. What a dismal mystery knight I proved to be.
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Lord Butterbutt would have me believe that Prince Maekar sent you here, to sniff out this rebellion in the guise of a mystery knight. Is that the truth of it?"

  • 1
    I would have expected hedge knight to be the winner, lol! – Skooba Apr 28 '17 at 13:57
  • @Skooba Lol no doubt. I was almost tempted to skip the D&E series altogether due to the sheer size of the quotes. – Aegon May 4 '17 at 7:06
5

A Game of Thrones

This expression appears multiple times, so in addition to the one you mentioned, there's :

But the old wolf's dead and young one's gone south to play the game of thrones, and all that's left us is the ghosts.

This is taken from A Storm of Swords.

A Feast for Crows

Jaime says to Cersei :

The crows will feast upon us all if you go on this way, sweet sister.

This is taken from A Feast for Crows.

A Dance with Dragons

Later, while Sansa was off listening to a troupe of singers perform the complex round of interwoven ballads called the "Dance of the Dragons," Ned inspected the bruise himself.

This is taken from Game of Thrones.

I can't tell you the pages these quotes are taken from, since we got them from the kindle version.

All credit goes to my wife, who is the SoIaF expert in our family.

0

Game of thrones is mentioned many times throughout the series. Petyr says it alot and Varys a couple of times. I think Xaro Xhoan Daxos says it to Dany in book 5.

In Clash of Kings my favorite title drop is the one in the House of the Undying when 'Rhaegar' says, "He has a song. He is the prince that was promised, and his is the song of ice and fire." The entire series is named in that line!

In Dance with Dragons in one of the final chapter (a Barristan chapter iirc) a character says, "Not all men were meant to dance with dragons" or something close to that.

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