I'm looking for a quote in the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, but I can't remember which book or chapter. I also can't remember which character said it nor the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of:

It's better be an alive man with bent knees than a dead man with stiff legs, because when you're alive you can still get up later.

I'm translating from the French version and from memory, so the quote is probably very different, but the meaning should be the same.


1 Answer 1


This must be the words of Balon Greyjoy as recalled by his daughter Asha:

"No man has ever died from bending his knee," her father had once told her. "He who kneels may rise again, blade in hand. He who will not kneel stays dead, stiff legs and all." Balon Greyjoy had proved the truth of his own words when his first rebellion failed; the kraken bent the knee to stag and direwolf, only to rise again when Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark were dead.

(Found by using A Search of Ice and Fire for "stiff legs".)

  • 1
    That's it, thank you! I would have had to reread the whole series to find it. Lucky I got a small part of the quote right. For the record, in French it's: « Nul n'est jamais mort d'avoir ployé le genou, lui avait un jour dit son père. Celui qui s'agenouille peut se relever, la lame à la main. Celui qui refuse de mettre un genou en terre restera mort, avec ses jambes inflexibles. »
    – Ren
    Dec 27, 2023 at 6:06

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