No Dothraki this week—in fact, everyone around our khaleesi seems to be dropping like flies. And no dragons! Things are looking grim.
Speaking of today’s episode, it was awful quiet around the internet today. Or was that just me watching the episode late on account of Mother’s Day? Anyway, I thought this episode was outstanding—perhaps the best of the series. There were some changes, but I liked all the changes that were made. A controversial highlight for me was Jaime killing Alton. What a scene! First we get all this backstory and rapport, and then he busts out on Alton like a trained serial killer. I liked this, because, quite frankly, Jaime was too likable. We’re supposed to dislike him up to this point (at least a bit). Even pushing Brann out the window the dude was likable! This was a good twist.
Oh, but a note on realism: How’s he going to surprise somebody in a cage that’s visible from the outside?! How are we supposed to believe he hid from that guard who came in in plain sight? Did he forget he was there? Those Northmen…
Since we’ve got nothing else going on today, I thought I’d go over how names work in Dothraki. There’s not much to it, as I wanted to remain maximally faithful to the books. We’ve got a handful of male Dothraki names and, unless I’m missing one, two female names (Irri and Jhiqui) that come directly from the books. Of those names, the male names end in -o and the female names end in -i. I took these as male and female name suffixes, respectively, with names becoming animate nouns. But what do they suffix to?
This is where I got to have some fun. The name suffixes are kind of like the agentive -k suffix, only with a bit of a broader interpretation. Using the male suffix as an example, -o will mean something like “He who is x“, “He who does x“, “He who is characterized by x” or “He who is similar in some way to x“, where x is a root.
One thing I picked up directly from the book, though, is the preference for names stressed on the second syllable. By naturally reading the names, most that are three syllables long are stressed on the second syllable, and one way this is achieved is by doubling the last consonant (part of what inspired the stress system of Dothraki), as in “Cohollo”. As a result, even though a doubled consonant ordinarily makes a difference in meaning, in names a doubled consonant is often used purely to get the stress on the second syllable of a name with more than two syllables. The practice is so common, though, that doubled consonants are used even in disyllabic names just because, at this point, it makes the name sound like a good name.
So let’s look at some names we know and how they’re formed:
- Drogo < drogat “to drive” (i.e. “he who drives”, or “driver of beasts”)
- Irri < irra “trout” (i.e. “she who is like a trout”)
- Kovarro < kovarat “to stand” (i.e. “he who stands”)
- Qotho < qothat “to be loyal” (i.e. “he who is loyal”)
- Jommo < joma “salmon” (i.e. “he who is like a salmon”)
- Zollo < zolat “to be exceptionally small” (i.e. “he who is exceptionally small”)
That’s about the long and short of it. Dothraki don’t shy away from names that refer to one’s physical appearance or temperament, and also take names from animals or objects whose characteristics a parent desires their child to emulate. Here are some potential Dothraki names:
- Hliziffo < hlizif “bear” (i.e. “he who is like a bear”)
- Halahhi < halah “flower” (i.e. “she who is like a flower”)
- Qanno < qana “black stork” (i.e. “he who is like a black stork”)
- Tehinni < tehin “breed of horse” (i.e. “she who has reddish/brown hair like a tehin“)
- Vrelo < vrelat “to leap” (i.e. “he who leaps well”)
- Zali < zalat “to hope” (i.e. “she who hopes”)
- Chako < chakat “to be silent” (i.e. “he who is silent”)
- Emi < emat “to smile” (i.e. “she who smiles”)
Those with doubled consonants above can be made into singletons, and those that are singletons can be doubled. Anyway, that’s about the run of it. You can use the strategies above to create your own Dothraki name, if you wish, or (even better) Dothraki names for your cats, accompanied by pictures of them looking ferocious! To get some more roots, take a look at the vocabulary list over at Dothraki.org.
Next week, Episode 8! Boy, this season’s going to be over in the blink of an eye…