Words Are Wind

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.

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4 responses to “Words Are Wind

  • 92sarahlouise

    Hi there 🙂 I too am a massive fan of the ‘Song of Ice and Fire series’, and although I agree with you that words certainly are not wind, did you consider that it is his characters rather than himself who says the phrase ‘words are wind’? Personally I interpreted it as a version of ‘actions speak louder than words’, which is obviously shown within the books as few of the characters ever tell the truth, or reveal fully their true intentions, and it is rather by their actions that the other characters come to know them. Alternatively my Dad interpreted it as a version of ‘sticks and stones’ and believes it has no more significance but to create a ‘fuller’ world by including proverbs and so creating a fantasy culture and history. Very interesting post though, I like how you write with real conviction, and the last reference at the end made me smile – very clever!

    • Summer Grant

      Heya, I always love talking with fans of the series! I did consider that and actually meant to mention it (but it slipped my mind oops) but I also thought that deep down at some level his characters are a part of him (which can be really disturbing if you take into account people like Biter and and Ramsay) so he might at some level relate to the words too. That was just the way I interpeted it upon first seeing the phrase.
      However, I like your version as well it makes sense considering the amount of treachery and deceit that goes on in the story! I love the depth that Martin has gone into with the books and that it includes his own sort of proverbs, but this is one I can’t find any liking for, just call me stubborn 😛
      Thank you for reading it, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Gordon Lee Sutcliffe

    I think the blogger is misinterpreting this phrase somewhat. It does not mean that ALL words are wind, it’s the speaker’s way of pointing out he’s not going to believe something is so just because you say it is so.
    I think the author understands the power of words perfectly, look at how the rumour of Joffrey’s parentage spread and became common knowledge even without evidence to back it up. But duplicity is a big theme in the books and this phrase is just a way of expressing ‘you can say what you like but don’t think I’m so stupid as to accept your words at face value’. Surely this lesson is learnt throughout the books. How many times do a person’s eloquent words turn out to be a deception? It may be hard for people to relate in some parts of the world but try living in South America or Africa for a while and you’ll come to see this book has a sharp understanding of the pathological lying, corruption, and plotting involved in power games. Just an example, listen to leaders like Hugo Chavez, his words were very powerful, the Venezuelans drank it up, but to those of us who know better, his words were wind!

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