A Game of Thrones
by George R. R. Martin
Memory and the Past Quotes in A Game of Thrones
How we cite our quotes: (Absolute Chapter, Character Name, Chapter.Paragraph)
Yet somehow the monster seemed to know she was there. She could feel its empty eyes watching her through the gloom, and there was something in that dim, cavernous room that did not love her. (33 Arya 3.27)
When you first read this passage, Arya's fears might just seem like the result of an overactive imagination: lost in a cellar, she thinks a skull is still alive. But once you finish the book and see that dragons really do return, you might change your tune. Is this an example of foreshadowing? (Also, don't forget that Tyrion has a similar experience with the dragon skulls in the royal castle [14 Tyrion 2.22]).
"Your crimes will be washed away, your debts forgiven. So too you must wash away your former loyalties, put aside your grudges, forget old wrongs and old loves alike. Here you begin anew." (49 Jon 6.9)
Jeor Mormont explains that the people who join the Night's Watch have to pretty much start from scratch. Interesting: they have to remember the long history of the world (check out the next quotation), but they're forced to forget their own individual histories.
"We ought to have remembered. The Long Night has come before. Oh, eight thousand years is a good while, to be sure... yet if the Night's Watch does not remember, who will?" (61 Jon 8.33)
The Night's Watch is the first line of defense against the Others, who are almost a mythological threat these days. For that reason, it's super important that these guys have a grasp of the history. That way they avoid the mistakes of the past… right?