Also see: Languages

In A Song of Ice and Fire, author George R.R. Martin uses some archaic vocabulary to add to the "medieval" flavor of the series. Many words are old and forgotten, resurrected by Martin from English of the 15th Century or other periods. Other words have been invented by the author.

Furthermore, his fictional cultures (especially in Westeros) have their own proverbs. Some are influenced heavily by religions, while others remain specific to a certain culture or region.


  • Amethyst - a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem.
  • Bailey - the defensive wall surrounding an outer court of a castle.
  • Baluster - any of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing.
  • Barbican - a defensive outpost of any sort.
  • Barrow - An ancient burial mound.
  • Battlement - a parapet or cresting, originally defensive but later usually decorative, consisting of a regular alternation of merlons and crenels; crenelation.
  • Bedding Ceremony - A wedding custom of putting a newlywed couple together in bed, before numerous witnesses, thereby completing the marriage. Often associated with music, bawdy songs and jokes. In Westeros tradition, both newly married husband and wife are each separately carried away, by guests of the opposite sex. Both groups fully disrobing them, before finally arriving to place the fully naked couple together in the marital bed. Guests often then, wait outside and shout suggestions through the closed door.
  • Blithe - 1. lightheartedly happy; 2. carefree and unconcerned
  • Caparison - a decorative covering for a horse or for the tack or harness of a horse; trappings.
  • Chasten - of a reproof or misfortune have a restraining or moderating effect on
  • Coffer - a box or chest, esp. one for valuables.
  • Coif - a hood-shaped cap, usually of white cloth and with extended sides, worn beneath a veil, as by nuns.
  • Crannog - a small, artificial, fortified island constructed in bogs in ancient Scotland and Ireland. See: Crannogmen.
  • Craven - lacking the least bit of courage : contemptibly fainthearted
  • Crenel - any of the open spaces between the merlons of a battlement.
  • Crofter - a person who rents and works a small farm, esp. in Scotland or northern England. Example:
  • Cursory - going rapidly over something, without noticing details; hasty; superficial:
  • Damask - hand-wrought steel, made in various Asian countries, from parts of a bloom of heterogeneous composition, repeatedly folded over and welded and finally etched to reveal the resulting grain: used esp. for sword blades.
  • Deft - dexterous; nimble; skillful; clever:
  • Demurred - Objecting, esp. on the grounds of scruples
  • Doublet - a close-fitting outer garment, with or without sleeves and sometimes having a short skirt, worn by men in the Renaissance.
  • Doughty - steadfastly courageous and resolute; valiant.
  • Eyrie - the nest of a bird of prey, as an eagle or a hawk.
  • Filigreed - delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, esp. lacy jewelers' work of scrolls and arabesques.
  • Garderobe - a medieval toilet.
  • Gibbet - a gallows with a projecting arm at the top, from which the bodies of criminals were formerly hung in chains and left suspended after execution.
  • Gorget - a piece of armor for the throat.
  • Hauberk - a long defensive shirt, usually of mail, extending to the knees; byrnie.
  • Hummock - an elevated tract of land rising above the general level of a marshy region.
  • Insipid - without distinctive, interesting, or stimulating qualities; vapid:
  • Jape - A joke; jest; quip.
  • Lithe - bending readily; pliant; limber; supple; flexible:
  • Mayhaps - maybe and/or perhaps.
  • Mummer - 1. a performer in a pantomime; broadly : actor 2. one who goes merrymaking in disguise during festivals 3. A clown
  • Nonce - The present, or immediate, occasion or purpose usually used in the phrase for the nonce
  • Plinth - a slablike member beneath the base of a column or pier or a square base of a pedestal
  • Pommel - a knob, as on the hilt of a sword.
  • Portcullis - esp. in medieval castles a strong grating, as of iron, made to slide along vertical grooves at the sides of a gateway of a fortified place and let down to prevent passage.
  • Puissant - powerful; mighty; potent.
  • Rondel - a metal disk that protects the armpit.
  • Seemly - fitting or becoming with respect to propriety or good taste; decent; decorous:
  • Ser - Sir.
  • Smallclothes - Underwear or undergarments.
  • Southron - meaning southern.
  • Statuary - Statues regarded collectively
  • Squire - in the Middle Ages a young man of noble birth who as an aspirant to knighthood served a knight.
  • Tracery - Ornamental work of interlaced and branching lines, especially the lacy openwork in a Gothic window.
  • Trencher - A thick slice of bread used in place of a plate.
  • Whit - A particle; bit; jot used esp. in negative phrases:
  • Milk of the Poppy - an opium-based drug. It affects memory, lucidity, is fatal if dosed incorrectly and is highly addictive. Used for pain and agony.
  • Dream Wine - a wine mixed with drugs that induces deeper sleep. Used for deprivation, depression, or difficulty sleeping.

Words Invented by MartinEdit

  • Khaleesi - A Dothraki Queen.
  • Turncloak - Meaning turncoat, traitor, betrayer, etc.
  • Bannerman - Vassals to a liege lord.
  • Holdfast - An adapted revision, of the word - Fasthold. Meaning a fortress, castle, or other type of fortified structure; that in part, asserts the owners just title and to maintain as a fact, ones ownership of the outlying land, buildings and other properties, therein.


  • "Blood of my blood" - Relatives through marriage, blood, or trust.
  • "Dark wings, dark words"' - Although most messages brought by dark-winged ravens are standard and innocuous, many are linked to ominous tidings, giving rise to this phrase.
  • "Gods be good" - A phrase that is used to express hope that the gods will bring favourable outcomes, or disbelief at the very opposite.
  • "I swear by the old gods and the new" - Swearing to the Old Gods and the Faith of the Seven
  • "It is known" - A phrased used by the Dothraki concerning a piece of common knowledge or folklore.
  • "Like nipples on a breastplate" - Useless
  • "Make water" - To urinate
  • "Mummer's farce" - A way to describe something as stupid, silly, and/or false.
  • "Seven hells" - An exclamation of shock.
  • "Sun-and-stars" - Soulmate
  • "Valar Morghulis"' - translates to all men must die in High Valyrian. It is a customary saying in Essos, and is traditionally answered with "Valar Dohaeris," meaning all men must serve.
  • "Words are wind" - Meaning "actions speak louder than words."
  • "You know nothing, Jon Snow"

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