Vocabulary Lesson from A Game of Thrones

When I’m reading books on my Kindle, I’ve taken to highlighting words that I don’t know at all or don’t know well enough to come up with an exact definition from memory, with the hope that I will review them later and perhaps find a way to insert them into my own writing.  Admittedly, most of the unfamiliar vocabulary in A Game of Thrones is somewhat archaic, so I probably won’t be using many of them—for the nonce.

Will went in front, his shaggy little garron picking the way carefully through the undergrowth.

The nine-towered manse of Khal Drogo sat beside the waters of the bay,

Their palanquin was stopped at the gate,

the dead sat on their stone thrones against the walls, backs against the sepulchres that contained their mortal remains.

He decided she was insipid.

He snagged a roasted onion, dripping brown with gravy, from a nearby trencher and bit into it.

The last part was the scramble up the blackened stones to the eyrie,

“I don’t want Brandon to die,” Tommen said timorously.

Balerion, the Black Dread, could have swallowed an aurochs whole,

they might have left me out to die, or sold me to some slaver’s grotesquerie.

It took to the air, flapping its wings in his face, slowing him, blinding him. He faltered in the air as its pinions beat against his cheeks.

A hundred quays lined the waterfront,

“Good lady,” Varys said with great solicitude.

Tyrion found himself walking past it, toward the vast pale palisade of the Wall.

they ate in his solar,

“You will rue this insolent behavior, young lady,

the fields ahead of them were always green and verdant.

“You mean the Others,” Bran said querulously.

Ned wished he were here now, to winkle the truth out of this damnable book.

irascible Lord Frey, who had outlived seven wives and filled his twin castles with children,

He opened the postern door and led her into the castle,

Both men couched their lances.

The lad was being fostered by Lord Renly’s castellan at Storm’s End.

A most puissant warrior is our Robert,

The khal will not bestir himself until his son is born.

Should the gods in their caprice grant Daenerys Targaryen a son, the realm must bleed.

that was no more than the spoor of an animal on the forest floor.

His Grace is most wroth with you.

the pass shrank to a narrow defile

Small wonder the lords of the Vale were restive.

Lithe young maidens danced on marble plinths,

He sniffed at the wide, floppy sleeve of his tunic, where it was his custom to keep a sachet.

Vaes Dothrak sprawled languorously, baking in the warm sun,

a tremulous smile crept across his face.

Catelyn Stark watched the light spread, her hands resting on the delicate carved stone of the balustrade outside her window.

When Lysa espied Catelyn, she welcomed her with a sisterly embrace

“Ser Vardis is a doughty fighter.

Large circular rondels, enameled cream-and-blue in the moon-and-falcon sigil of House Arryn, protected the vulnerable juncture of arm and breast.

Chett had a wen on his neck the size of a pigeon’s egg,

A north wind had begun to blow by the time the sun went down. Jon could hear it skirling against the Wall

rings and brooches and torcs

“Well enough, for the nonce.

I’ll lead your van.”

“Remember, hew to the river.

They lived in the depths of the wood, in caves and crannogs and secret tree towns.

“Your savages might relish a bit of rapine.

Martin, George R.R. (2003). A Game of Thrones. Bantam. Kindle Edition.