a riddle.

30 Jan

Three great men: a king, a priest, and a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword kill the other two. Who lives, who dies? Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall, and a very small man can cast a very large shadow.

~Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

"May I leave you with a bit of a riddle, Lord Tyrion?" He did not wait for an answer. "In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it,' says the king, 'for I am your lawful ruler.' 'Do it,' says the priest, 'for I ciommand you in the names of the gods.' ' Do it,' says the rich man, 'and all this gold shall be yours.' So tell me—who lives and who dies?"
[...]
"The king, the priest, the rich man—who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It's a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword."

“And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.”

“That piece of steel is the power of life and death.”

“Just so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?”

“Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords?”

“The these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they? Whence came their swords? Why do they obey?” Varys smiled. “Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law.”
[…]
Tyrion cocked his head sideways. “Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?”

Varys smiled. “Here then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”

“So power is a mummer’s trick?”

“A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And oftimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”

 

~~~~~~~~~

I really want to read and watch A Game of Thrones and the rest of the series by George Martin. omg it looks soo good.

 

 

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