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It's my understanding that the phrase "Winter is Coming" is the motto of the Stark house, when the story first reaches the wall it's implied that the winter is not a periodic season like it is in our world.

Does the winter refer to a particularly severe season or does a winter only occur every few years?

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3 Answers 3

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Winter in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire works very differently than a real-world winter.

The "season's" are broken up into a binary system, Summer and Winter. It is implied that in the times of Winter snow creeps up as high as castle walls and the cold is unbearable. These Winters can last decades sort of like an Ice Age.

These words are the motto of House Stark, presumably because of their close proximity to the Wall and the Lands of Always Winter.

Currently, the shows events are taking place during a ~10yr Summer that started shortly before Brandon was born.

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While you are correct, the term is also used to mean "Bad things are going to happen". Winter, at least in their world, is a harsh and dangerous for all. If you actually pay attention to the context in which this statement is made, 90% of the time it's used to mean "bad things/times are coming". Just my $0.02 –  DustinDavis Jun 11 '13 at 15:59
The thing that I find most interesting about the Stark words is that they can still be considered a covert boast despite people in universe not noticing it. Winter is coming and we are ready for it –  3Doubloons Jun 11 '13 at 17:27

From what I've gathered of what I've seen of the first season so far, their world has a "summer" and "winter" periods. The summer being long periods of good light and warmer weather and the winder being long perios of no light and colder weather.

It's implied that the current "summer" has lasted about nine years, maybe more. It's hinted that the next winter will be a long, cold, and dark winter and that it'll bring a lot of bad things with it.

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In this series their seasons take years long not as normal to us so they mean that years of winter are coming and they are afraid of the horrible things that happen during it and especially the white walkers when happened exactly.

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