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This quote is from "A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two" By George R.R. Martin.

This is the full quote:

"They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust. For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power."

Is this separating a full sentence into two? What kind of usage is this?

Was it supposed to be like this:

"They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust for dragons that are fire made flesh, and fire is power."




Additionaly:

Is there an inversion here? If yes, what kind of inversion technique is this?

Also, "fire made flesh" is a phrase made with past participle deverbal adjective. Hence, Can we say:

Dragons are fire made flesh.

or/and

Dragons have fire made flesh.

Then, we go back to the beginning again, why is "for" there? Was it supposed to be part of the previous sentence?

Are these structures only used by authors? Do you have any other examples like this?

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    None of it that I can see. The sentence is as it is intended to be. Read because for for at the beginning of the second sentence. Let's know if you need further help. – Kris Feb 14 '14 at 5:25
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    There's nothing odd with the structures. As for the literary aspect, it may be out of scope for this site. – Kris Feb 14 '14 at 5:27
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    @Kris has made an excellent suggestion here. Substituting because in place of for should clarify the sentence for you. With regard to the second part of your question: He is saying that dragons are fire that has been made into flesh. G.R.R.M. is using style to invoke a "feeling" in his work. – David M Feb 14 '14 at 5:45
  • The second sentence is inverted; Fire is power and dragons are fire made flesh and that is a not unheard of poetic technique. Dragons are power made flesh. – Elliott Frisch Feb 14 '14 at 14:11
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    Replacing 'Dragons are fire' with 'Dragons have fire' is a very considerable weakening. The first is a grand metaphoric equivalence. The second is like saying he has a Bic lighter in his pocket. – Oldcat Feb 15 '14 at 1:16
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For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.

I think he means something close to

Because dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.

  • Good answer; I agree. This would be a better answer though with a link to the definition of for as a conjunction, and some discussion of the key points that the OP is confused about. (I've posted the additional information as an answer of my own, as I don't want to edit your post too radically.) – Bradd Szonye Feb 15 '14 at 1:39
  • Feel free to edit as much as you want! :-) – Ben Feb 16 '14 at 18:46
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It’s a good question with regards to the relationship between punctuation and meaning.

First of all, the form

they shall lust for dragons

is not the intended meaning. To lust after dragons, maybe, but I think it’s more that the ‘fire’ that makes dragons will be kindled within the observers, as lust.

Secondly, if I had been copyediting the manuscript, I would have changed the full stop to a colon, and made ‘For’ into ‘for’, treating the last part as a syntactical-deductive.

“They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust: for dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

Finally, your suggestion that ‘dragons ... made flesh’ implying that dragons actively created flesh from fire again goes against the intended meaning, which is ‘dragons’ flesh is made from (or out of) fire’.

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In pseudo logic terms:

Dragons are Fire made into flesh. Dragons have been born again into this world. Since Fire is power, Dragons are also power. Those that come day and night to see Dragons, will lust for that power. And also, "Fire" is a metaphor for "Lust". therefore Dragons are neat-o.

  • I think your interpretation is reasonable, as the passage does essentially say that people will lust for power. However, I think this answer overlooks the key insight that the OP needs: “for” means “because” here, and the people are not “lusting for dragons.” – Bradd Szonye Feb 15 '14 at 1:36
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In this context, for is a conjunction meaning “because”:

They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust. [Because] dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.

It's not saying that people “shall lust for dragons.” Rather, it's saying that people “shall lust, because dragons are fire.” The author could have combined the two sentences with a comma or colon, but he chose to separate the conjunction with a full stop for stylistic reasons, probably emphasis.

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This is NOT an example of one sentence split in two. Rather, it's an example of an implied subject in a separate sentence, which is not uncommon in English. Especially in prose. When you insert the subject, it becomes clear why it can be omitted.

"They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again into the world, and when they see they shall lust. [They shall lust,] For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power."

It's also an in-character quotation, and so can avoid standard grammar if such is how the character is likely to speak. Especially if it's a line in a fantasy novel, that serves as an allusion to the prototype of the genre.

Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

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