House Of The Dragon Has A Perfect Replacement For One Of Game Of Thrones’ Best Ever Quotes


House of the Dragon season 2 opens with a quote that mirrors one of the most memorable lines from Game of Thrones. The prequel series takes place roughly between 170-200 years before the events of the original HBO fantasy drama, and House of the Dragon has made a distinct effort to establish fluid continuity despite the time gap. For example, the Aegon’s Dream prophecy is original to the TV series and creates a direct connection between the shows. One of House of the Dragon Season 2’s new characters was Lord Cregan Stark, establishing even more connection.

Cregan Stark is Ned Stark’s great-great-great-great grandfather on the House Stark family tree, and the season 2 opening scene provided audiences with a burst of nostalgia. This was the first time the prequel visited the North, and the series used the House Stark musical motif from Game of Thrones to remind audiences of the comfort of Winterfell. Cregan also takes Jacaerys Velaryon atop the Wall and tells him that soldiers need to remain in the North in preparation for what exists beyond, another hint at the eventual arrival of the White Walkers.

Cregan Stark’s “Duty” Quote Perfectly Mirrors Maester Aemon’s Quote From Game Of Thrones

Maester Aemond Delivers A Similar Quote In GoT Season 1, Episode 9, “Baelor”

One of the best Game of Thrones quotes comes from Aemon, the old maester of Castle Black and the Night’s Watch. After Jon attempts to leave the Night’s Watch following Ned Stark’s death, he explains to him that “Love is the death of duty,” encouraging him to do the right thing like his father would. Cregan’s opening voiceover line in House of the Dragon is notably similar, with the Stark lord mirroring Aemon’s sentiment as he explains how members of House Stark are sent to the Wall to serve in the Watch. Read the full quotes below:

“Love is the death of duty… What is honor compared to a woman’s love? And what is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms? Or a brother’s smile?… We’re all human. Oh, we all do our duty when there’s no cost to it. Honor comes easy then. Yet sooner or later in every man’s life there comes a day when it’s not easy. A day when he must choose.” – Maester Aemond

“Duty is sacrifice. It eclipses all things, even blood. All men of honor must pay its price.” – Cregan Stark

The two quotes are practically in conversation with each other and are essential to the House Stark philosophy. The northern noble family is defined by its code of honor and values, and the Game of Thrones universe often sees terrible events occur when duty is sacrificed for love. For example, the catalyst for Robert’s Rebellion is Rhaegar Targaryen abandoning his wife for Lyanna Stark out of love. It’s also notable that both quotes involve a Targaryen in the North, as Maester Aemon himself was a Targaryen.


Maester Aemon’s Duty Quote Was One Of Game Of Thrones’ Most Important

Jon Snow’s Arc Is Defined By This Quote Throughout All 8 Seasons

Aside from being an unbelievable quote with real-world applicability, Maester Aemon’s quote has a lasting impact on the show. Like most young characters in Game of Thrones, Jon is impressionable in his early years, and the wisdom that’s passed down to him remains with him through the end, defining his character. Jon Snow loves Daenerys Targaryen, but he ultimately must kill her because he understands that it’s the right and dutiful thing to do. He makes that personal sacrifice, shattering his heart to fulfill his duty.

Much of Jon’s narrative can be defined by Aemon’s words, as he similarly suffers in his romance with Ygritte
Jon even mentions the quote in his scene with Tyrion Lannister, signifying how much it’s stuck with him since season 1. Much of Jon’s narrative can be defined by Aemon’s words, as he similarly suffers in his romance with Ygritte. He loves her profoundly and even has a love for the wildlings and their way of life, but he knows he must prioritize the Night’s Watch and protecting the realm from the White Walkers rather than running off with her and embracing a life of freedom.

Cregan Stark’s “Duty” Quote Mirrors A Scene From House Of The Dragon Season 1

Alicent Hightower Has A Similar Quote During Her Fight With Rhaenyra

Cregan Stark’s “Duty” quote isn’t the first mention of these ideas in House of the Dragon. Season 1 saw Alicent yelling, “Where is duty? Where is sacrifice!?” at Rhaenyra during her outburst scene in episode 7. In the scene, Alicent is outraged by what she’s had to do with her life, marrying the older Viserys at her father’s command and bearing three children for the king. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra had birthed three children widely perceived as bastards in her romantic fling with Ser Harwin Strong.

In the sense of Cregan Stark and Aemon Targaryen, the words carry more meaning. While House of the Dragon paints Alicent in a more sympathetic light than in the book, there are still aspects of hypocrisy to nearly every character in the show, including her. It’s interesting to continuously bring up these ideals throughout the Game of Thrones universe, demonstrating how different characters perceive their own actions. No one in House of the Dragon is purely evil, and many continue to act upon what they see as their “duty.”