Understanding the Idiom: "I choose violence" - Meaning, Origins, and Usage

Idiom language: English
Etymology: Presumably inspired by a scene in the episode "No One" (2016) of the television series Game of Thrones, in which Cersei Lannister, facing clerical detention and ordered to restrain her bodyguard, calmly responds, "I choose violence."

The phrase “I choose violence” has gained popularity in recent years, particularly through its use in popular culture. It is often used as a response to a situation that requires a strong or aggressive action. This idiom can be interpreted in different ways depending on the context and individual perspective.

The Origin of the Idiom

While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of this idiom, it has been associated with various sources such as literature, movies, and TV shows. One notable reference is from George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire where one of the characters says “I choose violence” before engaging in combat.

The Meaning behind the Idiom

“I choose violence” can be interpreted as an expression of determination or willingness to take drastic measures when faced with a challenging situation. It may also imply a disregard for consequences or an acceptance of violent behavior as necessary for achieving one’s goals.

Origins and Historical Context of the Idiom “I choose violence”

The phrase “I choose violence” has become a popular idiom in recent years, often used to express one’s willingness to use force or aggression in a given situation. However, the origins of this expression are not entirely clear, and it is difficult to pinpoint its exact historical context.

One possible explanation for the origin of this idiom is its association with medieval warfare and chivalry. In battles between knights, it was common for each combatant to declare their intentions before engaging in combat. This declaration would often take the form of a statement such as “I choose violence,” indicating that they were prepared to fight with all their strength and skill.

Another possible source for this expression could be found in modern pop culture. The phrase has been used in various movies and TV shows over the years, often by characters who are portrayed as being tough or aggressive. It is possible that this usage has helped to popularize the expression among younger generations.

Regardless of its origins, it is clear that “I choose violence” has become an increasingly common way for people to express their readiness for confrontation or conflict. Whether used seriously or ironically, this idiom serves as a reminder that sometimes words alone are not enough to resolve disputes – sometimes we must be willing to back up our words with action if we want to achieve our goals.

Usage and Variations of the Idiom “I choose violence”

When it comes to expressing a desire for aggression or confrontation, the idiom “I choose violence” has become a popular choice. This phrase is often used in situations where someone wants to make it clear that they are not afraid to resort to physical force or verbal attacks.

While the basic meaning of this idiom remains consistent across different contexts, there are many variations in how people use it. Some may say “I’m feeling violent” instead of “I choose violence,” while others might add specific details about what kind of violence they prefer (such as “I choose psychological warfare”).

Additionally, some individuals may use this phrase ironically or humorously, rather than as a serious threat. In these cases, the tone and context can greatly affect how the idiom is interpreted.

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Cultural Insights for the Idiom “I choose violence”


Some possible synonyms for the phrase “I choose violence” include:

– I opt for aggression

– I select hostility

– I decide on conflict

– I pick confrontation

Each of these phrases conveys a similar idea to “I choose violence,” but with slightly different nuances. For example, “opting for aggression” might imply that someone is actively seeking out opportunities to be aggressive rather than simply responding to a situation.


On the other hand, some possible antonyms for “I choose violence” might include:

– I prefer peace

– I elect diplomacy

– I favor compromise

– I opt for calm

These phrases all convey a very different attitude from “I choose violence.” Instead of being confrontational or aggressive, they suggest a desire to find peaceful solutions to conflicts.

Cultural Insights:

The phrase “I choose violence” has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks in part to its use in popular media such as Game of Thrones. However, it’s worth noting that the idea of using violent means to achieve one’s goals is not unique to modern pop culture.

Throughout history and across cultures, there have been many examples of people resorting to violent tactics when they feel that more peaceful methods are ineffective. This can be seen in everything from political revolutions and civil wars to interpersonal conflicts between individuals.

Understanding the cultural context behind this idiom can help us better understand why someone might say something like “I choose violence.” It also highlights the importance of finding peaceful solutions to conflicts whenever possible.

Synonyms Antonyms
I opt for aggression I prefer peace
I select hostility I elect diplomacy
I decide on conflict I favor compromise
I pick confrontation I opt for calm

Practical Exercises for the Idiom “I choose violence”

In order to fully understand and utilize the idiom “I choose violence,” it is important to practice using it in various contexts. The following exercises will help you become more comfortable with this expression and its meaning.

Exercise 1: Role Play

Get together with a partner or small group and create scenarios where the idiom “I choose violence” could be used. Take turns playing different roles and using the expression appropriately. This exercise will help you become more confident in using the idiom in real-life situations.

Exercise 2: Writing Prompts

Create writing prompts that incorporate the phrase “I choose violence.” Write short stories, poems, or even journal entries using this expression. This exercise will help you explore different ways of using the idiom creatively.

Example Writing Prompt: “Write a story about a character who always chooses violence as their first option.”

By practicing these exercises, you will develop a better understanding of how to use the idiom “I choose violence” effectively. Remember to use context clues and tone when determining whether someone is being literal or figurative when they say this phrase.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using the Idiom “I choose violence”

When using idioms, it is important to understand their meaning and context. The idiom “I choose violence” has gained popularity in recent years, but its usage can be tricky. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using this idiom.

Avoid Using It Literally

The phrase “I choose violence” should not be taken literally. It does not mean that someone wants to physically harm another person or engage in violent behavior. Instead, it is a way of expressing determination or a willingness to take strong action.

Avoid Using It Inappropriate Contexts

The idiom “I choose violence” should only be used in appropriate contexts where it makes sense. For example, it may be used in situations where someone needs to stand up for themselves or take decisive action. However, it should not be used casually or in situations where violence is not an appropriate response.

  • Avoid Using It To Glorify Violence
  • Avoid Using It To Justify Aggressive Behavior
  • Avoid Using It To Encourage Others To Engage In Violence


  1. Sarah Hagelin & Gillian Silverman, The New Female Antihero: The Disruptive Women of Twenty-First-Century US Television, page 40
  2. Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, "The Rise and Fall of Cersei Lannister: Neomedievalist misogyny in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire", in Memory and Medievalism in George RR Martin and Game of Thrones: The Keeper of All Our Memories (eds. Anna Czarnowus & Carolyne Larrington), page 167
  3. Paul Bloom, "Choosing Violence", in On Anger (eds. Deborah Chasman, Joshua Cohen), unnumbered page
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