The Colors Quotes


"The Gray soldiers prowl the cities ensuring order, ensuring obedience to the hierarchy. The Whites arbitrate their justice and push their philosophy. Pinks pleasure and serve in highColor homes. Silvers count and manipulate currency and logistics. Yellows study the medicines and sciences. Greens develop technology. Blues navigate the stars. Coppers run the bureaucracy. Every Color has a purpose. Every Color props up the Golds."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Red Rising, ch. 10: The Carver, p. 72

"A Bronze is a faded Gold. Of the same class, but looked down on for inferior appearance, lineage, and capabilities."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Red Rising, ch. 10: The Carver, p. 81

"Ares. Ares. Ares. It doesn’t matter what Ares wants, you baboon. Never mind the science. His physical and mental dexterity is probably daft as a damn bowl cleaner’s. And his tangibles won’t match. He’s not their species! He’s a Ruster!"

- Mickey
Red Rising, ch. 11: Mad, p. 81

"The Society was created to instill order. Men were made to sacrifice so that humanity endured. They were given Colors, lives limited and ordered so that we could destroy the timeless cycle of our race—prosperity to greed to war. Gold was meant to shepherd the other Colors, not devour them. Now we are trapped again in that cycle, the very thing we endeavored to avoid. So the Society? The beautiful sum of all human enterprise? It’s been dead and rotting for hundreds of years, and those who fight over it are but vultures and maggots."

- Lorn au Arcos
Golden Son, ch. 28: The Stormsons, p. 253

"You will fall to ruin because you believe that exceptions to the rule make new rules. That an evil man can shed the trappings of wickedness just because you want him to. Men do not change. That is why I killed the Rath boy. Learn the lesson now, so you don’t have to learn it with a knife in your back later. The Colors exist for a reason. Reputations exist for a reason."

- Lorn au Arcos
Golden Son, ch. 34: Blood Brothers, p. 294

"Slaves do not have the bravery of free men. That is why Golds lie to lowReds and make them think they are brave. That is why they lie to Obsidians and make them think it is an honor to serve gods. Easier than the truth. Yet it takes only one truth to bring a kingdom of lies crashing down."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 34: Blood Brothers, p. 298

"I like to think I’m an endangered species."

- Sevro au Barca
Golden Son, ch. 46: Brotherhood, p. 393

"They came to our home when I was away with Sevro. Found my wife, took her in for questioning. Their doctors saw her fallopian tubes had been modified so that she would be compatible to sire a Gold child. Then they disposed of her. Says so right in the records: ‘disposed.’ Gassed her with achlys-9, put her in an oven, pumped her ash into the sea. They didn’t even give her a name, just a number. Not because she was a thief or a murderer or had violated any man’s or woman’s rights, but because she was a Red who dared love a Gold. My selfish love killed her. It wasn’t like your wife, Darrow. I didn’t watch mine die. I didn’t see Golds come into my world and ruin it. Instead I felt the coldness of the system swallow the only thing I lived for. A Copper pressing buttons, filling out a spreadsheet. A Brown twisting a knob to release gas. They killed my wife. But they won’t ever think so. She’s not a memory in their mind. She’s a statistic. It’s as if she never existed. Some ghost I loved but no one else ever saw. That’s what Society does—spread the blame so there is no villain, so it’s futile to even begin to find a villain, to find justice. It’s just machinery. Processes. And it rumbles on, inexorable till a whole generation rises that will throw themselves on the gears."

- Fitcher au Barca
Golden Son, ch. 46: Brotherhood, p. 393

"I always knew a Gold couldn’t lead this rebellion. It has to be from the bottom up, boyo. Red is about family. More than any other Color, it is about love amid all the horror of our world. If Red rises, they have a chance to bind the worlds together. MidColors won’t. Pinks, Browns, can’t. Obsidians have failed before. And if they succeeded alone, they’d break the worlds instead of freeing them."

- Fitcher au Barca
Golden Son, ch. 46: Brotherhood, p. 394

"I know that Blues can command fleets. I know Obsidians can use technology, lead men. That the quickest Orange could, if given a proper chance, be a fine pilot. Reds could be soldiers, or musicians, or accountants. Some few—very few—Silvers could write novels, I wager. But I know what it would cost us. Order is paramount to our survival. Humanity came out of hell, Darrow. Gold did not rise out of chance. We rose out of necessity. Out of chaos, born from a species that devoured its planet instead of investing in the future. Pleasure over all, damn the consequences. The brightest minds enslaved to an economy that demanded toys instead of space exploration or technologies that could revolutionize our race. They created robots, neutering the work ethic of mankind, creating generations of entitled locusts. Countries hoarded their resources, suspicious of one another. There grew to be twenty different factions with nuclear weapons. Twenty—each ruled by greed or zealotry. So when we conquered mankind, it wasn’t for greed. It wasn’t for glory. It was to save our race. It was to still the chaos, to create order, to sharpen mankind to one purpose—ensuring our future. The Colors are the spine of that aim. Allow the hierarchies to shift and the order begins to crumble. Mankind will not aspire to be great. Men will aspire to be great."

- Nero Au Augustus
Golden Son, ch. 51: Golden Son, p. 429

"He is a noble man doing what he thinks best for humanity. Damn him. We never asked to bow. Who is he to say Reds and Browns toiling to death is for the greater good? Who is he to say Pink children being harvested for rape, Obsidians and Grays for battle, is a necessity? How can he sit there and say that he alone knows what is best for me, for my family? It is not his right. Just as it was not his right to come into my world and take Eo. And if he thinks might makes it his right, then it’s my bloodydamn right to cut off his head right now. Instead I stand and cross the distance between us. Kneeling, I take his hand and kiss his bloodydamn ring. “As you will it, my liege.”"

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 51: Golden Son, p. 432

"You are a son of Red. I a son of Gold. That world where we are brothers is lost.” But he comes close, bending, reaching with delicate hands to angle the ivory box in my lap toward my face. “And in this world, the power of Gold will never wane."

- Roque au Fabii
Golden Son, ch. 51: Golden Son, p. 442

"We all enter a certain social contract by living in this Society of ours. My people oppress your tiny kind. We live off the spoils of your labor. Pretending you don’t exist. And you fight back. Usually very poorly. Personally, I think that’s your right. It’s not good or evil. But it’s fair. I’d applaud a mouse that managed to kill an eagle, wouldn’t you? Good for it. It’s absurd and hypocritical for Golds to complain now simply because the Reds finally started fighting well."

- Victra au Julii
Morning Star, ch. 12: The Julii, p. 88

"We…we are the Society. We are Gold, Silver, Copper, Blue, White, Orange, Green, Violet, Yellow, Gray, Brown, Pink, Obsidian, and Red. The bonds that bind us together are stronger than the forces that pull us apart. For seven hundred years, Gold has shepherded humanity, brought light where there was dark, plenty where there was famine. Today we bring peace where there is war. But to have peace, we must destroy outright this murderer who has brought war to each and every one of our homes."

- Octavia au Lune
Morning Star, ch. 61: The Red, p. 482

"She’s like most Limies—petulant and selfish, with a processor in place of a heart."

- Ephraim ti Horn
Iron Gold, ch. 6: Ephraim, p. 47

"Those you protect will not see you. They will not understand you. But you are the Gray wall between civilization and chaos. And they stand safe in the shadow you cast. Do not expect praise or love. Their ignorance is proof of the success of your sacrifice. For we who serve the state, duty must be its own reward."

- Magnus au Grimmus
Iron Gold, ch. 7: Ephraim, p. 56

"The term Ascomanni is derived from the Germanic for “Ash Men.” The first Vikings sailed down European rivers in boats of ash wood. And ash is what they left behind. Once, the Ascomanni were just deepspace legends, dark whispers passed by traders and smugglers to new recruits in the shadowy hollows of asteroid cantinas or docking-bay watering holes. In the deep of space, so they’d say, there lurked Obsidian tribes who escaped the Society’s culling of the rest of their race following the Dark Revolt hundreds of years ago. Hunted by my family’s extermination squads and Olympic Knights, they fled into the darkness. For years they plagued the far colonies of Neptune and Pluto, remaining little more than myth to the Core. But now, with the Obsidian diaspora from the poles of Earth and Mars, that myth has become reality. Bands of Obsidians, alienated by the new strange world, freed from military slavery to Gold masters—or exhausted from the Reaper’s war—embrace the legend of their ancestors. They’ve not so much left the Ice as they’ve brought the Ice to the stars."

- Lysander au Lune
Iron Gold, ch. 8: Lysander, p. 71

"Grays: short in life, long in memory."

- Ephraim ti Horn
Iron Gold, ch. 14: Ephraim, p. 119

"Just as Obsidians are bred to be killing machines, Pinks are made to be fucking machines. Both can be very persuasive. There’s levels to them too. Obsidian have their Stained. Pinks have their Roses. Just as rare, about as expensive."

- Ephraim ti Horn
Iron Gold, ch. 18: Ephraim, p. 156

"One could argue for the necessary industry of Reds or the cultlike military religion instilled in Grays, or the efficiency and neutered emotions in Coppers, but this…Pinks were not needed to make my grandmother’s world function. They were built for lechery, subjected to centuries of systematic breeding, abuse, psychological and sexual domination. Chemically neutered and twisted inside so that their suicide rate is eleven times higher than that of any other Color."

- Lysander au Lune
Iron Gold, ch. 32: Lysander, p. 306

"Do you know what inspires this loyalty to the Compact from all Colors? Honor. Honor in work. Honor in morality. Honor in principle and family. Our rules are harsh, but we obey them from Gold to Red. Romulus eliminated the rigged quotas in mines and the latifundia, has begun to phase out the Obsidian gods, and makes each man understand he is part of the same body. He has replaced subjugation with participation. Given a reason to sacrifice for the betterment of all. And it starts with us at this table, the head of the body."

- Dido au Raa
Iron Gold, ch. 36: Lysander, p. 358

"Gold was seldom generous in victory. The genocide that followed the Battle of Peitho consisted not just of mass culling, but social and cultural reengineering. A domestication of a wild breed into a more…sustainable and predictable stock. Technophobia was introduced as well as other paradigm alterations. Allfather became Allmother. Mongol sociological structure became Norse. Patriarchy became matriarchy, an inversion of the division protocol they used on Reds."

- Pax au Augustus
Dark Age, ch. 37: Ephraim: Heart of Venus, p. 312

"You are a clever Homo bellicus, Mr. Horn, as I am an efficient Homo logicus. But do not compare yourself with the best of the Homo aureate. My dominus’s designs are painted on a horizon we will only see in time. My science is logic, his is illogic—humanity."

- Xenophon
Dark Age, ch. 75: Ephraim: Grarnir, p. 634