The Society 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

"Society has three stages: Savagery, Ascendance, Decadence. The great rise because of Savagery. They rule in Ascendance. They fall because of their own Decadence."

- Nero Au Augustus
Red Rising, ch. 16: The Institute, p. 121

"Life is the most effective school ever created. Once upon a time they made children bow their heads and read books. It would take ages to get anything across.” He taps his head. “But we have widgets and datapads now, and we Golds have the lower Colors to do our research. We need not study chemistry or physics. We have computers and others to do that. What we must study is humanity. In order to rule, ours must be the study of political, psychological, and behavioral science—how desperate human beings react to one another, how packs form, how armies function, how things fall apart and why. You could learn this nowhere else but here."

- Fitcher au Barca
Red Rising, ch. 29: Unity, p. 222

"You might have guessed that the first test, the Passage, was the measurement of necessity versus emotion. The second was tribal strife. Then there was a bit of justice. Now there will be more tests."

- Fitcher au Barca
Red Rising, ch. 29: Unity, p. 223

"This school is not life,” he recites to me. “It is not life. Here you are king. In life, there are no kings. There are many would-be-kings. But we Peerless lay them low. Many before you have won this game. And those many now excel beyond this school. So do not act as though when you graduate, you will be king, you will have loyal subjects—you will not. You will need me. You will need a foundation, a supporter to help you rise. There can be none better for you than I."

- Nero Au Augustus
Red Rising, ch. 44: Rise, p. 380

"That is how they train Pinks to live a life of slavery, Darrow. They raise us in the Gardens with implants in our bodies that fill our lives with pain. They call the device Cupid’s Kiss—the burn along the spine, the ache in the head. It never stops. Not even when you close your eyes. Not when you cry. It only stops when you obey. They take the Kiss away eventually. When we’re twelve. But … you can’t know what it’s like, the fear that it’ll come back, Darrow."

- Evey
Golden Son, ch. 9: The Darkness, p. 74

"The first day I served a Gold was the greatest pleasure I felt in all my life. I can’t explain it to you. It was like meeting God. Now I know that it wasn’t pleasure I felt. It was the absence of pain."

- Evey
Golden Son, ch. 9: The Darkness, p. 74

"I have seen the cracks in their Society, and I know what I must do. I know what the Golds most fear. And it has nothing to do with Reds rising. It has nothing to do with bombs or plots or revolution. What terrifies the Golds is simple, cruel, and as old as mankind itself. Civil war."

- Darrow O'Lykos
Golden Son, ch. 11: Red, p. 100

"The Governor of Rhea sat upon his Ice Throne in his famed Glass Palace and asked one of my servants, ‘Who are you to breathe fear into a man such as I? I who have descended from the family that carved heaven from a place where once there was nothing but a hell of ice and stone. Who are you to make me bow?’ Then he struck the Ash Lord here under the eye with his scepter. ‘Go home to Luna. Go home to the Core. The Outer Reach is for creatures of sterner spines.’ The Governor of Rhea did not bow. Now his moon is ash. His family is ash. He is ash. So run, Darrow au Andromedus. Run home to Mars, for my legions will follow you to the ends of this universe.”"

- Octavia au Lune
Golden Son, ch. 18: Bloodstains, p. 166

"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

"He grew up in a Society where love and trust are as scarce as grass in the Helion waste. But he’s always wanted both. He’s like a man planting seeds, watching them grow into trees, only for his neighbors to cut them down. It will be different this time. And if all goes well, I will give him back a grandson."

- Darrow O'Lykos
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

"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 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

"I do not truly fight because I want to be king or Emperor or whatever word you slap above my name in the history texts. The universe does not notice us, Darrow. There is no supreme being waiting to end existence when the last man breathes his final breath. Man will end. That is the fact accepted, but never discussed. And the universe will continue without care. I will not let that happen, because I believe in man. I would have us continue forever. I would shepherd us out of the Solar System into alien ones. Seek new life. We are barely in our infancy as a species. But I would make man the immutable fixture in the universe, not just some passing bacteria that flashes and fades with no one to remember. That is why I know there is a proper way to live. Why I believe your young ideas so dangerous."

- Nero Au Augustus
Golden Son, ch. 51: Golden Son, p. 430

"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

"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

"My boys, don’t believe what they tell you in school. Government is never the solution, but it is almost always the problem. I’m a capitalist. And I believe in effort and progress and the ingenuity of our species. The continuing evolution and advancement of our kind based on fair competition. Fact of the matter is, Gold does not want man to continue to evolve. Since the conquering, they have routinely stifled advancement to maintain their heaven. They’ve wrapped themselves in myth. Filled their grand oceans with monsters to hunt. Cultivated private Mirkwoods and Olympuses of their very own. They have suits of armor to make them flying gods. And they preserve that ridiculous fairy tale by keeping mankind frozen in time. Curbing invention, curiosity, social mobility. Change threatens that. Look where we are. In space. Above a planet we shaped. Yet we live in a Society modeled after the musings of Bronze Age pedophiles. Tossing around mythology like that bullshit wasn’t made up around a campfire by an Attican farmer depressed that his life was nasty, brutish, and short. The Golds claim to the Obsidians that they are gods. They are not. Gods create. If the Golds are anything, they are vampire kings. Parasites drinking from our jugular. I want a Society free of this fascist pyramid. I want to unchain the free market of wealth and ideas. Why should men toil in the mines when we can build robots to toil for us? Why should we ever have stopped in this Solar System? We deserve more than what we’ve been given. But first, Gold must fall and the Sovereign and the Jackal must die. And I believe you are the sign I’ve been waiting for, Mr. Andromedus."

- Regulus ag Sun
Morning Star, ch. 21: Quicksilver, p. 163

"Gold. Red. It doesn’t matter. Your spirit is black. Quinn was good. Lea was good. And you used them. You are ruin, Darrow. You drain your friends of life, and leave them spent and wasted in your wake, convincing yourself each death is worth it. Each death brings you closer to justice. But history is littered with men like you. This Society is not without fault, but the hierarchy…this world, it is the best man can afford."

- Roque au Fabii
Morning Star, ch. 42: The Poet, p. 337

"Set aside your little grievances. Today we are Gold. We can bicker when the Rising is ash. Most of you lived the darkness of the caves with me. You watched by my side as this…creature stole what was ours. They will take everything from us. Our homes. Our slaves. Our right to rule. Today we fight to keep what is ours. Today we fight against the dying of our Age."

- Adrius au Augustus
Morning Star, ch. 59: The Lion of Mars, p. 465

"who cares about civilian casualties? Does the sea ever run out of salt?"

- Octavia au Lune
Morning Star, ch. 60: Dragon's Maw, p. 469

"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

"One hundred and ten million died for Gold to rule. Then their bombers dropped solocene into the troposphere and neutered an entire race."

- Ephraim ti Horn
Iron Gold, ch. 6: Ephraim, p. 50

"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

"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