A Game of Thrones, chapter 1-10

Some words from "A Game of Thrones", the first part of G.R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire". The page numbers are from the 2011 Bantam Books paperback edition.


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  1. wet nurse

    a woman hired to suckle a child of someone else
    wet nurse said the same thing, Will", Royce replied. (p. 1)
  2. unman

    cause to lose one's nerve
    "Are you
    unmanned by the dark, Gared?" (p. 2)
  3. ranging

    wandering freely
    He was a veteran of a hundred rangings by now, and the endless dark wilderness that the southron called the haunted forest had no more terrors for him. (p. 2)
    Used as a noun, in the plural.
  4. hackle

    long slender feather on the necks of e.g. turkeys and pheasants
    There was an edge to this darkness that made his
    hackles rise. (p. 2)
  5. hell-bent

    recklessly determined
    Will wanted nothing so much as to ride
    hell-bent for the safety of the Wall, but that was not a feeling to share with your commander. (p. 2)
    Spelled without hyphen in the book.
  6. sable

    marten of northern Asian forests having dark brown fur
    His cloak was his crowning glory;
    sable, thick and black and soft as sin. (p. 3)
  7. lean-to

    rough shelter whose roof has only one slope
    They put up a
    lean-to against the rock. (p. 3)
  8. ironwood

    exceptionally tough or hard wood of any of a number of ironwood trees
    "There's one woman up an
    ironwood, half-hid in the branches. A far-eyes." (p. 4)
  9. grizzled

    having gray or partially gray hair
    The young knight turned back to his
    grizzled man-at-arms. (p. 4)
  10. drape

    the manner in which fabric hangs or falls
    He adjusted the
    drape of his long sable cloak. (p. 4)
  11. mulled wine

    wine heated with sugar and spices and often citrus fruit
    "...but the real enemy is the cold. It steals up on you quieter than Will, and at first you shiver and your teeth chatter and you stamp your feet and dream of
    mulled wine and nice hot fires." (p. 4)
  12. sink

    a depression in the ground communicating with a subterranean passage (especially in limestone) and formed by solution or by collapse of a cavern roof
    A light snow had fallen the night before, and there were stones and roots and hidden
    sinks lying just under its crust, waiting for the careless and the unwary. (p. 5)
    Dictionary.com: "a low-lying, poorly drained area where waters collect and sink into the ground or evaporate".
  13. bob

    a former monetary unit in Great Britain
    It was a short ugly thing, its grip discolored by sweat, its edge nicked from hard use, but Will would not have given an iron
    bob for the lordling's life if Gared pulled it from its scabbard.
  14. dirk

    a relatively long dagger with a straight blade
    He whispered a prayer to the nameless gods of the wood, and slipped his
    dirk free of its sheath. (p. 8)
  15. gaunt

    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    Tall, it was, and
    gaunt and hard as old bones, with flesh pale as milk. (p. 8)
  16. flurry

    a rapid active commotion
    flurry of blows, and he fell back again. (p. 9)
  17. keen

    a funeral lament sung with loud wailing
    Again and again the swords met, until Will wanted to cover his ears against the strange anguished
    keening of their clash. (p. 10)
  18. transfix

    pierce with a sharp stake or point
    A shard from his sword
    transfixed the blind white pupil of his left eye. (p. 11)
  19. prickle

    cause a stinging or tingling sensation
    Robb thought ha was a wildling, his sword sworn to Mance rayder, the King-beyond-the-Wall. It made Bran's skin
    prickle to think of it. (p. 13)
  20. sire

    have offspring
    And their women lay with the Others in the Long Night to
    sire terrible half-human children. (p. 13)
  21. scrawny

    being very thin
    But the man they found bound hand and foot to the holdfast wall awaiting the king's justice was old and
    scrawny, not much taller than Robb. (p. 13)
  22. cast

    the visual appearance of something or someone
    He had a grim
    cast to his grey eyes this day, and he seemed not at all the man who would sit before the fire in the evening and talk softly of the age of heroes and the children of the forest. (p. 14)
  23. don

    put on clothes
    He had taken off Father's face, Bran thought, and
    donned the face of Lord Stark of Winterfell. (p. 14)
  24. old hand

    an experienced person who has been through many battles
    "You did well," Jon told him solemnly. Jon was fourteen, an
    old hand at justice. (p. 15)
  25. headsman

    an executioner who beheads the condemned person
    "The question was not why the man had to die, but why I must do it." Bran had no answer for that. "King Robert has a
    headsman," he said, uncertainly. (p. 16)
  26. root out

    destroy completely, as if down to the roots
    "Come, let us see what mischief my sons have
    rooted out now." (p. 17)
    Here it means "dig out" or "find".
  27. corruption

    decay of matter (as by rot or oxidation)
    Ice had formed in its shaggy grey fur, and the faint smell of
    corruption clung to it like a woman's perfume. (p. 17)
  28. tine

    a prong on a fork, pitchfork, or antler
    A foot of shattered antler,
    tines snapped off, all wet with blood. (p. 18)
  29. squirm

    move in a twisting or contorted motion
    The little thing
    squirmed against him, as if it heard and understood. "No!" Bran cried out fiercely. "It's mine." (p. 19)
  30. censer

    a container for burning incense
    Worship was a septon with a
    censer, the smell of incense, a seven-sided crystal alive with light, voices raised in song. (p. 23)
  31. touchstone

    a basis for comparison
    Every noble house had its words. Family mottoes,
    touchstones, prayers of sorts, they boasted of honor and glory, promised loyalty and truth, swore faith and courage. (p. 24)
  32. swatch

    a sample piece of cloth
    He had a
    swatch of old leather in one hand. He ran it lightly up the greatsword as he spoke, polishing the metal to a dark glow. (p. 24)
  33. retainer

    a person working in the service of another
    "I should think a hundred knights, at the least, with all their
    retainers, and half again as many freeriders." (p. 27)
  34. manse

    a large and imposing house
    For a moment she wished she could be out there with them, barefoot and breathless and dressed in tatters, with no past and no future and no feast to attend at Khal Drogo's
    manse. (p. 28)
  35. quickening

    the stage of pregnancy at which the mother first feels the movements of the fetus
    Viserys had been a boy of eight when they fled King's Landing to escape the advancing armies of the Usurper, but Daenerys had been only a
    quickening in their mother's womb. (p. 30)
  36. sink

    fall or descend to a lower place or level
    In the alleys and wine
    sinks of Pentos, they called her brother "the beggar king." (p. 31)
    Dictionary.com: "a place of vice or corruption".
  37. torque

    a twisting force
    Last of all came the collar, a heavy golden torc emblazoned with ancient Valyrian glyphs. (p. 33)
    Dictionary.com: "a collar, necklace, or similar ornament consisting of a twisted narrow band, usually of precious metal, worn especially by the ancient Gauls and Britons". In this sense, it can also be spelled "torc", as is the case in the book.
  38. glyph

    glyptic art in the form of a symbolic figure carved or incised in relief
    Last of all came the collar, a heavy golden torc emblazoned with ancient Valyrian
    glyphs. (p. 33)
  39. jiggle

    move to and fro
    Beneath loose garments of flame-colored silk, rolls of fat
    jiggled as he walked. (p. 33)
  40. palanquin

    a closed litter carried on the shoulders of four bearers
    The streets of Pentos were pitch-dark when they set out in Illyrio's elaborately carved
    palanquin. (p. 34)
  41. lurch

    move haltingly and unsteadily
    "Insolent eunuch," Viserys muttered as the palanquin
    lurched up toward the manse. (p. 35)
  42. mustachio

    a large bushy moustache
    Many were Dothraki horselords, big men with redbrown skin, their drooping
    mustachios bound in metal rings, their black hair oiled and braided and hung with bells. (p. 36)
  43. bravo

    a murderer (especially one who kills a prominent political figure) who kills by a surprise attack and often is hired to do the deed
    Yet among them moved
    bravos and sellswords from Pentos and Myr and Tyrosh, a red priest even fatter than Illyrio, hairy men from the Port of Ibben, and lords from the Summer Isles with skin as black as ebony. (p. 36)
  44. chattel

    personal as opposed to real property
    "Some trifling affront. He sold some poachers to a Tyroshi slaver instead of giving them to the Night's Watch. Absurd law. A man should be able to do as he likes with his own
    chattel." (p. 36-37)
  45. waddle

    walking with short steps tilting from one foot to the other
    Her brother took her by the arm as Illyrio
    waddled over to the khal, his fingers squeezing so hard that they hurt. (p. 37)
  46. pride

    a group of lions
    The visitors poured through the castle gates in a river of gold and silver and polished steel, three hundred strong, a
    pride of bannermen and knights, of sworn swords and freeriders. (p. 39)
    Thefreedictionary.com: "a flamboyant or impressive group".
  47. coarse

    rough to the touch
    A beard as
    coarse and black as iron wire covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of the royal jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes. (p. 40)
  48. jowl

    a looseness of the flesh of the lower cheek and jaw
    A beard as coarse and black as iron wire covered his jaw to hide his double chin and the sag of the royal
    jowls, but nothing could hide his stomach or the dark circles under his eyes. (p. 40)
  49. draft horse

    horse adapted for drawing heavy loads
    The wheelhouse in which they had ridden, a huge double-decked carriage of oiled oak and gilded metal pulled by forty heavy
    draft horses, was too wide to pass through the castle gate. (p. 40)
  50. style

    designate by an identifying term
    In the centuries before the Dragonlords came over the sea, they had sworn allegiance to no man,
    styling themselves the Kings in the North. (p. 42-43)
  51. stave in

    break in the staves (of)
    The waters of the Trident ran red around the hooves of their destriers as they circled and clashed, again and again, until at last a crushing blow from Robert's hammer stove in the dragon and the chest beneath it. (p. 44)
  52. scrabble

    grope, scratch, or feel searchingly
    When Ned had finally come on the scene, Rhaegar lay dead in the stream, while men of both armies
    scrabbled in the swirling waters for rubies knocked free of his armor. (p. 44)
  53. pit viper

    New World vipers with hollow fangs and a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head
    Ned would sooner entrust a child to a
    pit viper than to Lord Tywin, but he left his doubts unspoken. (p. 45)
  54. wench

    frequent prostitutes
    "I am planning to make you run the kingdom and fight the wars while I eat and drink and
    wench myself into an early grave." (p. 47)
  55. choice

    appealing to refined taste
    "I bedded a fishmaid once who told me the lowborn have a
    choicer way to put it. The king eats, they say, and the Hand takes the shit." (p. 47)
  56. flagon

    a large metal or pottery vessel with a handle and spout
    There were times - not many, but a few - when Jon Snow was glad he was a bastard. As he filled his wine cup once more from a passing
    flagon, it struck him that this might be one of them. (p. 49)
  57. clangor

    a loud resonant repeating noise
    A singer was playing the high harp and reciting a ballad, but down at this end of the hall his voice could scarcely be heard above the roar of the fire, the
    clangor of pewter plates and cups, and the low mutter of a hundred drunken conversations. (p. 49)
  58. pewter

    any of various alloys of tin with small amounts of other metals (especially lead)
    A singer was playing the high harp and reciting a ballad, but down at this end of the hall his voice could scarcely be heard above the roar of the fire, the clangor of
    pewter plates and cups, and the low mutter of a hundred drunken conversations. (p. 49)
  59. raucous

    unpleasantly loud and harsh
    And he was finding that he had a man's thirst, to the
    raucous delight of the youths around him, who urged him on every time he drained a glass. (p. 50)
  60. insipid

    lacking interest or significance or impact
    Jon noticed the shy looks she gave Robb as they passed between the tables and the timid way she smiled at him. He decided she was
    insipid. (p. 50)
  61. choker

    necklace that fits tightly around a woman's neck
    A thick tangle of blond curls dripped down past his golden
    choker and high velvet collar. (p. 51)
  62. stunted

    inferior in size or quality
    He was a dwarf, half his brother's height, struggling to keep pace on
    stunted legs. (p. 51)
  63. cur

    an inferior dog or one of mixed breed
    His brothers and sisters had not been permitted to bring their wolves to the banquet, but there were more
    curs than Jon could count at this end of the hall, and no one had said a word about his pup. (p. 52)
  64. ruffle

    fluff up
    Jon grinned and reached under the table to
    ruffle the shaggy white fur. (p.52)
  65. snag

    obtain by acting quickly or smartly
    snagged a roasted onion, dripping brown with gravy, from a nearby trencher and bit into it. (p. 52)
  66. trencher

    a wooden board or platter on which food is served or carved
    He snagged a roasted onion, dripping brown with gravy, from a nearby
    trencher and bit into it. (p. 52)
  67. drear

    causing dejection
    Jon had seen an abandoned holdfast once, a
    drear place where nothing moved but the wind and the stones kept silent about whatever people had lived there. (p. 55)
  68. pad

    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    The wolf pup
    padded closer and nuzzled at Jon's face, but he kept a wary eye on Tyrion Lannister, and when the dwarf reached out to pet him, he drew back and bared his fangs in a silent snarl. (p. 56)
    Dictionary.com: "to walk so that one's footsteps make a dull, muffled sound".
  69. motley

    a multicolored woolen fabric woven of mixed threads
    "Dwarfs don't have to be tactful. Generations of capering fools in
    motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head." (p. 56)
  70. saunter

    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    And with that he turned and
    sauntered back into the feast, whistling a tune. When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king. (p. 57)
  71. loin

    either side of the backbone between the hipbone and the ribs in humans as well as quadrupeds
    loins still ached from the urgency of his lovemaking. (p. 59)
    Dictionary.com: "the genital and pubic area; genitalia".
  72. bluster

    act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner
    "He loves me. If I refuse him, he will roar and curse and
    bluster, and in a week we will laugh about it together. I know the man!" (p. 59)
    Dictionary.com: "utter loud, empty menaces or protests".
  73. kindling

    material for starting a fire
    She slid the paper in among the
    kindling and placed the heavier logs on top of it. (p. 62)
  74. chafe

    tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
    Luwin plucked at the chain collar where it had
    chafed the soft skin of his throat. (p. 63)
  75. brook

    put up with something or somebody unpleasant
    "Yes," Ned said in words that would
    brook no argument. (p. 63)
  76. marshal

    make ready for action or use
    It had taken her a fortnight to
    marshal her courage, but finally, in bed one night, Catelyn had asked her husband the truth of it, asked him to his face. (p. 65)
  77. auburn

    (of hair) colored a moderate reddish-brown
    Sansa had gotten their mother's fine high cheekbones and the thick
    auburn hair of the Tullys. (p. 70)
  78. flushed

    reddened as if with blood from emotion or exertion
    They arrived,
    flushed and breathless, to find Jon seated on the sill, one leg drawn up languidly to his chin. (p. 71)
  79. stalk

    the act of following prey stealthily
    stalked closer on wary feet. (p. 71)
  80. master-at-arms

    the senior petty officer
    They were huffing and puffing and hitting at each other with padded wooden swords under the watchful eye of old Ser Rodrik Cassel, the
    master-at-arms, a great stout keg of a man with magnificent white cheek whiskers. (p. 72)
  81. coat of arms

    the official symbols of a family, state, etc.
    "A wolf with a fish in its mouth?" It made her laugh. "That would look silly. Besides, if a girl can't fight, why should she have a
    coat of arms?" (p. 73)
  82. bout

    a contest or fight
    "Prince Joffrey, Robb, will you go another round?" Robb, already sweaty from a previous
    bout, moved forward eagerly. "Gladly." (p. 73)
  83. swat

    hit with quick blow
    "Robb may be a child," Joffrey said. "I am a prince. And I grow tired of
    swatting at Starks with a play sword." (p. 73)
  84. jowly

    having sagging folds of flesh beneath the chin or lower jaw
    Ser Boros was a bald man with a
    jowly face, and Ser Meryn had droopy eyes and a beard the color of rust. (p. 77)
  85. droopy

    hanging down (as from exhaustion or weakness)
    Ser Boros was a bald man with a jowly face, and Ser Meryn had
    droopy eyes and a beard the color of rust. (p. 77)
  86. rookery

    a breeding ground for gregarious birds (such as rooks)
    There was a covered bridge that went from the fourth floor of the bell tower across to the second floor of the
    rookery. (p. 79)
    In ASOIAF, of course, the rookery is where the Maester keeps his ravens.
  87. ratter

    any of several breeds of terrier developed to catch rats
    Sometimes his father sent
    ratters into the base of the tower, to clean out the nests they always found among the jumble of fallen stones and charred and rotten beams. (p. 81)
    Dictionary.com: "a person, animal, or thing that catches rats, as a terrier or a cat".
  88. shinny

    climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    The best way was to start from the godswood,
    shinny up the tall sentinel, and cross over the armory and the guards hall, leaping roof to roof, barefoot so the guards wouldn't hear you overhead. (p. 81)
    Dictionary.com: "to climb by holding fast with the hands or arms and legs and drawing oneself up".
  89. fret

    worry unnecessarily or excessively
    fret too much. Lysa Arryn is a frightened cow." (p. 83)
  90. gouge

    an impression in a surface, as made by a blow
    He stood Bran up on the sill. "How old are you, boy?" "Seven," Bran said, shaking with relief. His fingers had dug deep
    gouges in the man's forearm. He let go sheepishly. The man looked over at the woman. "The things I do for love," he said with loathing. He gave Bran a shove. (p. 85)
  91. mummer

    an actor who communicates entirely by gesture and facial expression
    The prince laughed, as he always laughed when his bodyguard did this
    mummer's farce. Tyrion was used to it. "Down here." (p. 87)
  92. petulant

    easily irritated or annoyed
    Joffrey looked as
    petulant as only a boy prince can look. (p. 88)
Created on September 20, 2012
(updated October 10, 2012)