I have a lot of favourite quotes, some come from Harry potter (what a surprise), some from people in general and while the Song of Ice and Fire series has given me more to add to that list I have to say I despise the quote written above.
For some reason George R.R. Martin is obsessed with it as if it has some deep meaning that he alone has discovered. Which is very annoying, because it’s superficial. It suggests that he doesn’t understand the power of words which is incredibly stupid because he’s an author.
The quote suggests that words mean nothing, that they’re as substantial as the wind and have no bigger impact on our lives than a breeze whisking by.
This I absolutely refuse to believe. Words are something and words do mean things and the only thing that defines whether or not they are worth anything is how people choose to use them. If words were wind then what would be the point in books? Or the point in speeches and songs and blogs? What would even be the point in speaking or listening?
Words are wind suggests that everyone lies and gives false promises. It’s kind of pessimistic if you ask me. If you think that, it’s as if you already expect people to always lie, as if you don’t and can’t trust anyone.
Plus it also undermines his work as an author. If words are wind then what’s to say all his dialogue or scene setting or character building can be trusted. I mean, I know they’re fantasy but as a reader you still put a certain amount of trust and faith into the man.
Words are the strongest thing around. They paint pictures and create worlds, make people and shatter ideas. They’re persuasive and funny and dangerous and thrilling and informative and evocative. Words are everywhere because they mean so much because they are substantial and meaningful. A day cannot go by without them because they are one of the most important things we have.
So, George R.R. Martin, words are not wind.
It is known.