A lot of people have been asking me over the years, “When will there be a book on Dothraki?” My response to this has always been, “Yeah! When will there be a book on Dothraki?!” Because I’ve long wanted for there to be a teach yourself guide on Dothraki—maybe something with exercises, grammar explanations, dialogues, vocabulary, etc., even some audio files to go with it. That would be awesome! But while I’m a language creator, it’s not like I’m a publisher. I can’t of a sudden decide that a teach yourself guide will exist, even if I wrote one. I’m just one guy: I need help!
Now, thanks to a partnership between Living Language and HBO Global Licensing, I got the help I need.
I’m happy to announce that Living Language is going to be publishing an official guide to Dothraki. Living Language Dothraki will come in three forms: a printed book; an online course; and an app for iOS devices. I’ve worked on every aspect of the course, and added some new vocabulary unique to the Living Language series. It’ll help get newcomers up to speed in the language, and will provide long time learners with an official resource to keep and refer to for years to come.
This book would not be a reality if there weren’t already a fanbase place—not just for Game of Thrones, but for the languages themselves. I especially want to thank the Dothraki fans that were there from the very beginning: Hrakkar, Dany, Crown of Gold, Lajaki, Najahho, Ingemar and Qvaak. If you’re wondering what I’ve been so busy with this year, this was a big part of it. San athchomari shafkea! I can’t wait for you to see it. October 7! Mark your calendars!
Preorder Link: http://livinglanguage.com/dothraki
How much will I miss, if I won’t get iOS device and thus can’t benefit from the app thingie?
The preview did not give any new words or grammar, though
I’m not 100% sure, but I think the app is a portal, and that the bulk of the content will be in the online course. I haven’t seen the app yet, though.
This is great news! Will there be one for Valyrian to follow? Please?
Athdavrazar, zhey David! I knew you were working on a book. I was not aware it was specifically on Dothraki! I will get these on pre-order.
I am also hoping they will also develop an app for Android users as well!
I am also working on another book. This was just another that popped up.
Not sure on Android, and have no idea what’s involved in getting that set up, or if I can affect it in any way. I’ll mention it, though!
If it’s possible, please nudge them to the fact that a lot of us nerdy fans tend towards hackable Android, rather than locked-in iOS
Well, I’m gonna track this one to the ends of the earth. Me nem nesa.
Athdavrazar, zhey David! I want an copy autographed by you and Khal Drogo!
Hmm… If I play my cards right, that just may be possible…
I’d so owe you ice cream!
Pre-ordered this as soon as I saw it! Can’t wait til October!
I would say thank you, David, but as you know the Dothraki lack the word.
This is awesome! I hope for a High Valyrian course one day though.:)
Also, it looks like Duolingo is expecting people who learn some Dothraki through sources such as these to want to spread the knowledge, as they just added Dothraki to the Incubator yesterday (under choose language)
I think we all owe you ice cream!
Superb. I had totally missed this. Count me in!!!
What would be the Dothraki term for “fish-man”? Jason Mamoa cast as Aquaman: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/67661
Update on Free Cities history:
I just obtained a copy of “The Rogue Prince” prequel to “The Princess and the Queen” and it gives a little more info about what was going on in the Free Cities circa 100-130 AL (170 years before the War of the Five Kings).
GRRM explained that he wrote the entire history of the Dance of the Dragons at 80,000 words, but that the anthology he had to put TPATQ in had a 30K word limit — explaining why so much material got cut out. “The Rogue Prince” is only 10K long but provides good setup…the point being that you can tell they were both originally part of one longer document, then cut up, because “The Rogue Prince” doesn’t actually spoil anything from TPATQ – I openly recommend that if you haven’t read TPATQ before, you might as well start with the Rogue Prince (as it was the *original* beginning of the story). Basically it covers the reign of King Viserys I, and the growing tensions between his daughter Rhaenyra from his first marriage and his second wife Alicent Hightower, and how the “Greens” and the “Blacks” formed.
At any rate, we haven’t really heard much of what was going on in the Free Cities after the Century of Blood ended (right before Aegon’s Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms).
Viserys I succeeded to the throne in 103 AL, after his grandfather Jaehaerys I died. Viserys’s father Baelon had predeceased his own father in 101 AL. Viserys’s younger brother Daemon got into disagreements with him about the order of succession (naming his young daughter Rhaenyra ahead of his brother), and in 106 AL Viserys remarried, so Daemon decided to seek his fortunes abroad…
The southern Free Cities had long been dominated by Volantis in the Century of Blood: the Volantenes had captured and help Lys and Myr for two generations, but when they attacked Tyrosh the other Free Cities began to fear that Volantis would succeed in conquering them all so they united against it. Tyrosh and Pentos entered into an alliance, with logistical support from Braavos, and Norvos and Qohor used fire ships to break Volantis’s hold on the Rhoyne.
Afterwards things settled into more or less normal politics (there were still wars, but not the mad free for all of the Century of Blood). As David explained Volantis’s long domination of the southern Free Cities is why the “southern” group of Low Valyrian (Volantene, Lysene, Myrish, and Tyrosh) are all fairly similar.
Well, the feud between Lys and Myr is well known, but along with Tyrosh they were often known as the Troublesome Daughters of Valyria. Constantly fighting over the Stepstones and Disputed Lands.
Yet in the 90’s AL there was a renewed push by Volantis to take the Disputed Lands from their east, so all three set aside their differences to unite and push them back. Afterwards they formally established an “eternal alliance” known as the Triarchy – sort of a confusing name given that Volantis is itself ruled by a Triarchy (the Triarchy of Volantis). In Westeros, it became known as the “Kingdom of the Three Daughters” – thought the grand-alliance actually had no king, but was ruled by a council of 33 magisters. David earlier said that this would be rendered as “Hāro Taloti Dārion” in Valyrian.
With their combined strength, after driving Volantis out of the Disputed Lands to the east, they turned their attention west, and under Myrish admiral Craghas Drahar managed to conquer all of the Stepstones (which had never been unified before).
The Stepstones are the biggest pirate dens of the western world; physically these dozen islands have no great resources to speak of, but their ideal location makes them a choke point for any trade going into or out of the Narrow Sea, and also ideal pirate bases to attack any shipping from Blackwater Bay to Volantis.
At first, the Seven Kingdoms welcomed this turn of events: order had replaced chaos and the Triarchy had put an end to the Pirates of the Stepstones, killing hundreds. Within a few short years, however, their admirals got greedy, exacting increasingly heavier tolls from passing ships, until they were actually losing more wealth to tolls than they had in pirate raids. This brought the Triarchy into conflict with House Velaryon, which at the time commanded the mightiest fleet on the east coast of Westeros.
Side note: The Lysene captains took not only tolls but women, girls, and “comely young boys” to be sold back in pleasure-houses at Lys. They even carried off Lady Johanna Swann, 15 year old niece of the lord of Stonehelm – but her infamously miserly uncle refused to pay any ransom, so she was sold to a pleasure-house…and in time, rose through the ranks to become the courtesan known as the Black Swann, the ruler of Lys in all but name (internally; external politics were handled by the Triarchy council) (It’s also noted that the Black Swann’s story could easily sustain its own full chapter).
Anyway, the Kingdom of the Three daughters forms in 96 AL, and by 106 AL Daemon Targaryen left court and joined with Lord Corlys Velaryon in a campaign against the Triarchy in the Stepstones.
Supplementing the Velaryon forces, Daemon put out a call for landless adventurers and second sons. The fighting went very well in the first two years: Daemon had his red dragon Caraxes, which he used to devastating effect, and his dragon soon became very experienced and battle-hardened. In 108 AL he decapitated Craghas Drahar in single combat, and controlled all but two of the Stepstones, with the Velaryon fleet controlling their waters.
In 109 AL, Corlys actually crowned Daemon as king, forming a short-lived “Kingdom of the Stepstones.” He styled himself “King of the Narrow Sea”, and his capital was on Bloodstone, the largest of the islands.
Viserys I, meanwhile, didn’t particularly mind that his brother and Coryls were carving out their own tiny kingdom: the Triarchy had become a problem for shipping, and Daemon playing at war kept him away from court politics (where he had caused controversy), so he supported their activities with regular infusions of gold – though the conquests in the Stepstones weren’t considered part of the realm subject to the Iron Throne.
But Daemon’s success was short-lived. The Triarchy redoubled its efforts and shifted into full-scale war footing. The next year, 110 AL, they sent a new fleet against him under the Tyroshi captain Racallio Ryndoon – said to be the most curious and flamboyant rogues in history. Let that sink in: Racallio was flamboyant even by *Tyroshi standards*…
Worse, independent Dorne was starting to get wary and allied with the Triarchy, adds its forces to theirs. Dorne might not have enjoyed the rising power of the Triarchy in their back yard, but they were always afraid of the large Targaryen realm gaining yet another foothold against them: Daemon Targaryen’s conquests in the Stepstones frightened them enough to join a war to kick him out (they didn’t go to war against the Iron Throne in the Red Mountains, though; technically the Kingdom of the Stepstones was carved out by a bunch of adventurers and not formally part of the realm).
The fighting continued. In 111 AL, he returned to King’s Landing and handed his brother his crown as a sign of fealty, though Viserys I passed back the crown. This helped mend their relationship. Daemon returned to the Stepstones six months later and resumed the conflict.
In 115 AL, Daemon’s wife Rhea Royce died – it had been a loveless political marriage and he’d wanted to escape it; they had been estranged for years so she remained in the Vale. He was denied inheritance of any of her lands and flew back, but on his way stopped at Driftmark. Newly single, he married Corlys’s beautiful daughter Laena Velaryon – and now the rider of Vhagar, mightiest living dragon after Balerion died of old age in 94 AL. Having married Laena and increased his ties to House Velaryon, Daemon simply abandoned his feeble kingdom in the Stepstones. Five other men from among his sellsword followers briefly held the title of “King of the Narrow Sea” in rapid succession, until the brief-lived kingdom was wiped out entirely by the Triarchy. So Daemon’s entire adventure in the Stepstones had lasted only seven years, of which he’d been “king” for about five.
But Daemon now turned his attention elsewhere. Daemon and his new bride flew their dragons to Pentos, and received a great welcome, The Prince of Pentos feared the growing power of the Kingdom of the Three Daughters to the south, and wanted a powerful ally (whether or not Daemon actually fought for Pentos, with his dragon Caraxes, in its later wars against the Triarchy is unclear, though I think he did). They also flew to Volantis, which also welcomed them as enemies of the Triarchy.
An interesting point is that they visited Norvos and Qohor, but their welcome was less rapturous, because Norvos and Qohor were beyond the sphere of influence of the Kingdom of the Three Daughters and weren’t really worried about them. So this indicates that while the Triarchy was formidable enough to threaten its immediate neighbors Volantis and Pentos, it wasn’t so powerful that it threatened all of the Free Cities (as Volantis had attempted to rebuild the Freehold and unite all of the Free Cities under them during the Century of Blood). Braavos is mentioned in passing but also didn’t seem particularly troubled (one of Laena’s suitors had been an exiled Braavosi prince, and the Triarchy hated the Velaryons, so he apparently wasn’t worried about angering the Triarchy). Lorath, as usual, gets no mention.
So while the Kingdom of the Three Daughters formed around 96 AL, it only lasted about three decades. It joined the Greens to fight against Rhaenyra and Daemon’s Blacks during the Dance of the Dragons, engaging in the massive Battle of the Gullet, one of the largest naval battles in history. But two thirds of their fleet was sunk in the battle, breaking their power. By 130 AL, late in the war, it is mentioned that the Triarchy was tearing itself to pieces – apparently with the main united fleet destroyed, local politicians in each of the three cities began to fight for an end to the alliance, and they weren’t strong enough to put down the revolts.
Hmm, but if “Kingdom of the Tree Daughters” is strictly, or at least primarily Westerosi, I ahve to wonder how to say “Triarchy” in (any) Valyrian. It may wind up just being a phrase like “Rule of three,” but even if that’s so we don’t yet have the verb “to rule.”
“Triarchy” or “Triarch” should be on the to-do list, given that Volantis is fairly prominent and is ruled by Triarchs.
I made up a wiki-page for the book, and added a subsection linking to it in the main “Dothraki language” article.
I’m definitely going to buy it!
Question: Will you make a book to learn High Valyrian? I really want to learn it!
Anha zhilak yera David Peterson , dont ever stop improving this langauge if english got 250k words , we want this piece of beauty to have more <3 thanks david for this beauty that you gave the world .