Open Your Eyes

She followed him over to the wall, where he settled onto a bench. “Syrio Forel was first sword to the Sealord of Braavos, and are you knowing how that came to pass?”

“You were the finest swordsman in the city.”

“Just so, but why? Other men were stronger, faster, younger, why was Syrio Forel the best? I will tell you now.” He touched the tip of his little finger lightly to his eyelid. “The seeing, the true seeing, that is the heart of it.

“Hear me. The ships of Braavos sail as far as the winds blow, to lands strange and wonderful, and when they return their captains fetch queer animals to the Sealord’s menagerie. Such animals as you have never seen, striped horses, great spotted things with necks as long as stilts, hairy mouse-pigs as big as cows, stinging manticores, tigers that carry their cubs in a pouch, terrible walking lizards with scythes for claws. Syrio Forel has seen these things.

“On the day I am speaking of, the first sword was newly dead, and the Sealord sent for me. Many bravos had come to him, and as many had been sent away, none could say why. When I came into his presence, he was seated, and in his lap was a fat yellow cat. He told me that one of his captains had brought the beast to him, from an island beyond the sunrise. ‘Have you ever seen her like?’ he asked of me.

“And to him I said, ‘Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,’ and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword.”

Arya screwed up her face. “I don’t understand.”

Syrio clicked his teeth together. “The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said ‘her,’ and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?”

Arya thought about it. “You saw what was there.”

“Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. The heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth.”


Sense things for yourself. Don't let others define reality for you.

Folksonomies: empiricism seeing

/sports/fencing (0.516542)
/pets/cats (0.507297)
/technology and computing/consumer electronics/audio equipment/headphones (0.413110)

Syrio Forel (0.961317 (neutral:0.000000)), Sealord (0.863888 (negative:-0.214939)), terrible walking lizards (0.685899 (negative:-0.474041)), curious small ears (0.679366 (neutral:0.000000)), fat yellow cat (0.630922 (neutral:0.000000)), finest swordsman (0.485015 (neutral:0.000000)), stinging manticores (0.431077 (negative:-0.505221)), little finger (0.430941 (negative:-0.321822)), winds blow (0.426490 (neutral:0.000000)), hairy mouse-pigs (0.423990 (negative:-0.443805)), true seeing (0.420867 (positive:0.498978)), fabulous beast (0.416984 (positive:0.274008)), queer animals (0.405949 (neutral:0.000000)), Braavos sail (0.401051 (neutral:0.000000)), kitten fights (0.394006 (negative:-0.643648)), ordinary cat (0.388573 (negative:-0.361204)), eyes (0.376800 (positive:0.415121)), things (0.312123 (positive:0.332254)), Arya (0.266557 (negative:-0.636074)), captains (0.251740 (negative:-0.232713)), heart (0.220600 (positive:0.381212))

Sealord:Company (0.908042 (negative:-0.107470)), Syrio Forel:Person (0.780168 (negative:-0.315779)), Braavos:City (0.395239 (neutral:0.000000)), Arya:Person (0.336151 (negative:-0.636074)), cubs:Organization (0.256352 (negative:-0.217437))

Hearing (0.936647): dbpedia | freebase
Sword (0.885507): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Cat (0.882690): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Ear (0.771528): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Screwed Up (0.689321): dbpedia | freebase
2004 albums (0.663644): dbpedia

 A Game of Thrones
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Martin, George R.R. (2003-01-01), A Game of Thrones, Random House LLC, Retrieved on 2014-02-20
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: fiction