And thus season 4 comes to a close. There’s a lot to be said about the finale, but I’m only going to talk about one character: Tywin Lannister.

I know I’ve said it before, but Tywin Lannister is my favorite character from the book series, and was my favorite character from the show. The first scene we see with Tywin he’s cutting up a deer carcass. It’s a good scene, but the sense of Tywin I got from Charles Dance was different from what I got from the books, so I wasn’t immediately sold on him. Of course, as the season wore on, Charles Dance’s Tywin not only grew on me, but overpowered and replaced the Tywin Lannister I had in my head from the books. That Tywin—book Tywin—was more of a monster in my head—almost savage. Dance’s Tywin is the epitome of gentility. He is stern, he is cold, but he is always in control of every situation, and of his own emotions. He isn’t actively menacing the way I imagined him in the books.

But, of course, Dance’s Tywin is, I feel, the more accurate of the two. No matter how powerful or rich you are, you can’t get on as well as Tywin does if you’re an outright monster. And we do get the sense that if you remain on Tywin Lannister’s good side, he’s a fine guy to be around. A prime example of this are the few scenes with Arya and Tywin in season…two, I want to say? It may have been one. Even in a very kind of creepy way the scene with Tywin and Tommen, where Tywin is giving the new king a “lesson” on what it means to be king. It’s really easy to see how he could build a legion of followers who can see him treating others poorly and rationalize it by believing that they deserve to be treated poorly (if they didn’t, why would he do it? Tywin’s always so smart and sees things so clearly, after all!).

Now, before I go too far, make no mistake: I think Tywin Lannister, the character, is a bad person. If this were a real person, I would definitely not want to have any dealings with him, let alone have him as a father. But you don’t have to like a character as a person to like what they do for a particular story, and love the performance of the actor that portrays them.

And, honestly, I think the master stroke for Charles Dance was his very last scene. Tywin Lannister is always in control. No one ever catches Tywin with his pants down (though Cersei gets to him in this episode, doesn’t she?). And then Tyrion does—literally. This is a position that pretty much no human on Earth would be able to play off well—and yet Tywin does! He’s literally sitting on a toilet with his pants down, and somehow he still manages to be in control of that situation. He has all the right responses for Tyrion! The only thing that shifts the balance of power in that scene is the fact that Tyrion is armed and Tywin is not. Even here Tyrion can’t beat Tywin in a battle of wits or passions (something that Arya ends up doing with the Hound). Tywin doesn’t break. He doesn’t beg for his life. He doesn’t apologize. He doesn’t back down from his beliefs even in that position. Truly incredible, and a very well-executed scene from all concerned.

So something that I wondered—and perhaps other fans have wondered, as well—is if Tywin is so smart and so powerful and so rich and so cunning, how is it he still ends up on the wrong end of a crossbow on the privy? While there’s a lot to be said about his feelings regarding his dead wife and how his children continually fail him in his eyes, one thing keeps coming back to me. One of Tywin’s key failings is that he likes to teach lessons. If you’ve seen Arrested Development, perhaps you’ll remember the fellow with the one arm, and Michael’s lesson about not teaching lessons. That last lesson is one Tywin should have learned. It wasn’t enough for him to stick a false conviction on Tyrion: He wanted to teach Tyrion a lesson about falling for whores. Honestly, he didn’t need Shae’s testimony to convict Tyrion: it was just a cruel, public humiliation. Ultimately, this is what did him in. Without Shae, recall, Tyrion probably would have gone along with Jaime and Tywin’s plan and taken the black. And in fact even if all the events had transpired as they did up to Jaime’s rescue, consider: What would have happened if Tyrion had snuck into Tywin’s bedroom and found him alone? We’ll never know, but it’s worth mulling over.

Alas, Tywin is gone, and along with him Charles Dance. Truly, though, this was a masterful performance. I never met Charles Dance, but I will now look for him in other things just based on this performance. Sheer brilliance. And, of course, my hat is off to George R. R. Martin as well. He created the character who is just as electric in the books and paved the way for this outstanding role. Mr. Dance, you will be missed.

As for the rest, there’s too much to say, and I bet everyone else will say it, so I’ll leave it to them. I do want to praise the performance of the actor who played the shepherd, though—the one who lost the daughter. His lines were all in Meereenese Valyrian, but the emotion was raw. You didn’t need to understand what he was saying to feel it. A heartbreaking moment, and he acted it superbly.

And now we wait. Just a year, though. These things go by in the blink of an eye nowadays. Season five will be here before you know it!


  1. Hodor!

    Congratulations on your work this season!

    Old Tongue and/or Braavosi for S5?

    OK, so obviously you can’t tell us that, but any chance of a clue that you have been asked to do “something” new for the show?

  2. Any word (no pun intended) on the lyrics of the credits song from the Season 4 finale? I presume they are Valerian.

  3. I updated your page on the wiki from info in that California journal article: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/David_J._Peterson

    I wanted to make a list of all languages you know (real) or have created (fictional) but figured it was best to ask directly (I could google old ones, but they’re out of date, what with your quest to learn all languages…)

    1. I did a list of all the languages I created on my Tumblr. Look for that one.

      As for languages I’ve learned, here goes:

      • English (from birth)
      • Spanish (exposure from birth; four years in high school; regular occasional use ever since)
      • German (one year in high school)
      • Arabic (two semesters at UC Berkeley)
      • Russian (one semester at UC Berkeley)
      • Esperanto (one semester at UC Berkeley)
      • French (one semester at UC Berkeley)
      • Middle Egyptian (one semester at UC Berkeley)
      • American Sign Language (summer course at San Diego Mesa College)
      • Moro (field work; two semesters at UC San Diego)
      • Latin (incomplete self-study with one book)
      • Hawaiian (incomplete self-study with several different books)
      • Turkish (incomplete self-study with one book)
      • Attic Greek (complete self-study with one book)
      • Modern Greek (complete self-study with one book)
      • Hindi (complete self-study with one book)
      • Babylonian/Akkadian (complete self-study with one book)
      • Swahili (incomplete self-study with a variety of sources)
      • Hungarian (incomplete self-study with one book)

      Those are all the languages I’ve ever studied in any detail.

      1. Moro – is that from PNG? Pretty cool. The school where I teach gets a few students on scholarship from PNG, they usually speak English as a 3rd or 4th language, after various local languages and Tok Pisin. I couldn’t tell you off-hand which languages they spoke though.

        1. (Although wikipedia tells me there are other languages also called Moro, including in South America and Sudan… Now I’m doubting my memory that there’s actually a PNG language called Moro at all. I may be thinking of something completely different).

        1. I don’t think he would necessarily claim to *speak* all of those. Linguists (and I’m including amateurs like most of us here) study languages voraciously, but we don’t necessarily learn them all to the point where we’d be able to speak them.

          (I do find, though, that knowing even a little of a language goes a long way when you have to speak.)

        2. I remember David saying previously that he’s only really fully fluent in English and Spanish. But you can have a working knowledge of numerous others, despite not being fluent in them.

          What Mad Latinist said is true for a lot of us. I’ve studied well over a dozen languages including classes/university/school and also self-teaching etc, and I’m always picking new languages to play with, but I only really speak 3 or 4 of those “fluently”.

        3. This is why I stated in parentheses how I studied the language and for how long. You should assume that I can’t speak any of the languages I’ve only studied in a book. That’s now how I learn best (or at least not speaking and listening; reading is a different matter).

          That aside, languages are all just as bunch of words. Anyone can memorize that. Sports fans know this. Sports fans can go into detail about various teams in various seasons, various games, etc. All of that is just memorization of details. Language is no different.

  4. Question: we FINALLY have one of the dragons’ names confirmed on-screen, and in Valyrian no less…meaning that it appeared on-screen in subtitles so people would know how to spell it. This did not escape our notice. Was this your idea to finally get a name in the script? Cogman already explained long ago that the dragons’ names are the same in the TV show, they just couldn’t find a natural feeling scene to fit them all in (short of shooting 5 minutes on a naming/introducing scene)…that would fall back to the “as you know” trope: “as you know, these are my dragons’ names..” etc.

    So did the script you were handed say “the dragon was last seen over the Black Cliffs” and you discretely shifted this to “Drogon was last seen”…? Or did the script itself say that?

    There was much rejoicing. Too many people for too long have been calling the big one “Bitey”.

    1. Wow. I have to say, I found this to be genuinely surprising. Of course, I believe you, but if anyone had asked me, I would have said, “Of course the dragons’ names have appeared in the series.” This was honestly the first mention of any of the three dragons’ names?! That’s very surprising. You know, I guess it’s the case that everyone working on the show knows the books forwards and backwards, so everyone knows what the dragons’ names are. They probably don’t even think about.

      Of course, that does help to explain why I was asked to change the line with Drogon’s name. The English was always “And still no word of Drogon?” (so, to answer your question, yes, it was in the script, and was in there at the earliest stage). My automatic initial translation was:

      Se vasīr dorior udir Drogo bē?

      D&D came back and asked that Drogon’s name appear exactly as Drogon. I was wondering why (after all, everyone would know who Drogon was, thought I, erring), but I changed it nonetheless to what appeared in the episode:

      Se vasīr Drogon ūndetoks daor?

      Which is actually, “And as yet Drogon hasn’t been sighted?”

      I now understand how important it was that Drogon’s name appear as Drogon! How funny.

      1. Oh why yes, ser. To confirm that it isn’t just my own faulty memory, even Elio and Linda of Westeros.org (who co-wrote “A World of Ice and Fire” with GRRM) noticed this. In their video reviews, Linda in particular has been quite critical in any episode that the dragons appear that they don’t mention their names (if you regularly watch each installment of their video-reviews, truly, it is *every* episode that the dragons visibly appear in).

        And they did rejoice in their last video review, pointing out that this is “the first time a dragon name has been mentioned on screen”:

        Here’s a link to the specific time they mention this in their review: http://youtu.be/M4MUijuKf0c?t=1h14m10s

        1. The lack of names on the show is something Bryan Cogman was asked about in an interview about a year ago. Basically, the dragons DO have the same names as in the books. In the scripts, they are always referred to by name. It just never came up in dialog until this week.

          Regards Elio and Linda – this kind of thing is exactly why I have no interest whatsoever in their opinions about the show. Elio’s episode reviews on westeros.org aren’t really reviews – they’re just him listing the things that are different between the book and show – and seriously, we could all do that for ourselves. No apparent interest in what actually makes for good television.

          Linda has even gone on record as saying she’d prefer if the show kept 100% to the books and got cancelled after a season.

          But I apologise for the digression, we’re not here to talk about Elio and Linda…

          1. Oh wait, I see you mentioned Mr Cogman’s comments on the matter earlier. I apologise for not reading all the preceding comments!

      2. Just working on the vocab page, and I notice that we seem to have contradictory data on whether the /u/ in undan and undegon is long or short. Could you let us know which is correct?

  5. I think what we’ll have to remember about the Old Tongue is that it’s a broad term for what is said to be seven different languages in the series. So if DJP does decide to create the Old Tongue, he has ALOT of work to do.

    Now, having said this, I still think he can do it. Because he’s a fricking genius. And I hope he does it, but I have a feeling Braavosi will take precedence in season 5. Good luck David.

    1. Six languages, I think. He said his followers speak seven languages – which would have to include the Common Tongue of the Andals.

    2. Also, I don’t think David handles this but the casting people, but I think the show vaguely implies that an “Old Tongue accent” or “First Men accent” sounds like a Northern England accent. Both the Northerners and the wildlings speak with Northern England accents, and they’re both direct descendants of the First Men (whereas the Andals dominated the First Men everywhere else).

    3. I actually interpreted that line from Mance as meaning that the Old Tongue was only one of a number of languages spoken north of the wall.

      So besides the Old Tongue, you might have the Giants’ dialect, Thennish, Cave People-ese etc.

      To be honest, I think it’s more likely to hear Braavosi this season than any of the Old Tongue.

      1. The Thenns and giants speak Old Tongue. David’s explanation was that “Old Tongue” is a family of related languages. So it isn’t “the Old Tongue” and five unrelated languages. It’s “the Old Tongue family”.

        1. But since the Thenns consider themselves the last of the First Men, their dialect is probably closer to the giants’ than other clans.

          1. Why would you assume that the giants retain “Old Tongue” closest to how the First Men spoke it? If anything, I’d expect more mispronunciation/accent from them.

            1. I’m assuming that the giants were in Westeros before the First Men. So whatever language the First Men spoke when they came from Essos, I’m thinking it was somehow influenced/mixed in over time with the giants… Perhaps I’m wrong. I really have no idea, I’m just guessing. I’m not a student of language like you guys are.

        2. Sure, that was David’s analysis. But I think we need to bear a few things in mind.

          1. “My army speaks 7 languages” could just have been a throwaway line by Mance, included by the writer of that episode (whether that was D&D or Cogman) that might not have been intended to have greater ramifications.

          2. We shouldn’t assume anything based on the books. In show canon, I don’t remember hearing the Old Tongue referred to at all. I definitely don’t recall anyone confirming what the Thenns speak.

          Regarding the Giants’ language, this is something I had a play around with just for fun. One thing to note is that a) they’re said to speak the Old Tongue “of a fashion” and b) their names are all strings of single-syllables. For fun, I had a play around with the idea that the Giants spoke an isolating/analytic tonal language, similar to Vietnamese or the Chinese languages in structure, but using the roots of Old Tongue words for the lexical content. I had a plan where I’d create a Giants language and a Human language, which were fairly different structurally, but lexically quite similar. I never got all that far with it though.

          1. Peterson already gave us an explanation:


            That Old Tongue is really a family of related, divergent dialects. You can’t just wave aside Mance’s line – particularly because Peterson agreed that it strained linguistic credibility for the widely dispersed wildlings to all have one standard language.

            You’re making this too complicated; I suppose the giants simply speak a child-level version of Old Tongue. Though of course book-giants and TV-giants are very different (book-giants are basically Bigfoot, running into other complications of different head structure so we get slightly different sounds (they have flat teeth, etc.)

  6. I hope we do hear the Old Tongue sometime during this show. I have plans for an Old Tongue tattoo. :)

  7. I noticed this episode was the first time they use the complete title of Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men. Just wondering how that is in high valyrian.

  8. Major worldbuilding question which came up in the Season 4 finale, regarding the branches of Low Valyrian. I doubt this would ever come into the TV show, and is obscure fan theorization…but this is the business we have *chosen* for ourselves!

    Anyway, you’re said before that there are basically three sub-groups of Low Valyrian: northern, southern, and eastern (aka Ghiscari). In the Free Cities, the dividing line between “north” and “south” runs on the latitude between Pentos and Myr — thus “southern” includes Volantis, Tyrosh, Lys, and Myr (all fairly similar due to domination by Volantis, then the Triarchy of the others united against Volantis, etc). The northern group, even further way from Valyria and probably more divergent, is Braavos, Pentos, Lorath, Norvos, and Qohor.

    Meanwhile, the “Ghiscari” group is one “language” with three dialects: Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen. Meereenese is the most divergent due to distance from Valyria and large slave population. Astapori is closer to High Valyrian. Yunkai’i is so close to Astapori you said it wasn’t worth giving separate examples.

    The Season 4 finale actually introduced first mention of Mantarys – when Pycelle says that the manticore venom is “usually Mantari in origin”.

    …And this brings up a very gray area: that hazily defined space east of the Free Cities but west of Slaver’s Bay, in the old “Lands of the Long Summer” which were the original hinterland of the Valyrian Freehold in the early days of their expansion (up from further south in the peninsula).

    They don’t seem to be heavily populated, apparently devastated after the Doom.

    Still, we know of three cities in this region: Mantarys, in the interior – on the “Demon Road” — and on the east coast, Tolos. Elyria is on an island near Tolos.

    So where does the line between the “southern” group and the “eastern” group end? Are the Lands of the Long summer their own, “odd duck”, separate phylum?

    After some research I think Tolos and Elyria actually are considered to be part of “Slaver’s Bay” – they’re on the bay, just the west end, but would be in regular trade contact with Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor to the east. Moreover, what little we know of those two cities is that Hizdahr zo Laraq has “trade contacts and kin” in them. So based on that I think they’d be eastern-group.

    Would they be closer to Meereenese or Astapori? Well they’d actually be much closer to Valyria than even Astapor. They don’t seem to be as large as the three cities on the east side of the bay, so they wouldn’t have large slave populations bringing and influx of creolizations. So I think it stands to reason that they’d be closer to Astapori/Yunkai’i, more “conservative” relative to High Valyrian This despite the fact that Hizdahr has some kin there; so? The Tullys have “kin” all over Westeros due to marriage alliances; he might also have “kin” in Astapor through dynastic marriages, despite having a different dialect of the “Ghiscari Low Valyrian” language.

    That at least covers Tolos and Elyria.

    But we know little about Mantarys. It’s a reviled city avoided by travelers, held to be the abode of monsters, assassins, and poisoners. The overland route from Volantis to Mantarys to Meereen is avoided by most travelers, and called the Demon Road.

    So what the hell is going on with Mantarys? Are they an isolate?

    1. Okay, this might have seemed kind of abstract, so I went ahead and made a conjectural map for the wiki page: http://gameofthrones.wikia.com/wiki/Low_Valyrian

      We know from the San Diego Comic-Fest 2013 powerpoint the division between southern group and northern group (Myr is south of the dividing line, Pentos is north of the line — basically the latitude of Dagger Lake).

      In this conjectural map, I put Tolos and Elyria in the eastern group, given their ties to Meereen, geographic location on “Slaver’s Bay”, just the west coast and not the east coast.

      I’m worried about how to place the Lands of the Long Summer, Valyrian Peninsula, given that it got devastated in the Doom, and the only major city is Mantarys – stated to be really *isolated* because everyone loathes it.

      So in this map I assumed that Mantarys isn’t eastern group….but I worried that the Mantarys/Lands of the Long Summer region/ is it’s own, fourth sub-family of Low Valyrian, just as distinct from eastern group as southern Free Cities group.

  9. The Season 4 finale included a line of Valyrian dialogue which raises a very important question. Like other obsessive fans we’re fixated on minor details here and there, but in this case there is no hyperbole. It is one of the most important questions I’ve ever asked. While you have declined to do so in the past, this is one of this “important enough to e-mail to Bryan Cogman” questions. Well, enough dramatic buildup.

    The Season 4 finale introduced Daenerys, in Valyrian, as “Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men.” The TV series has never actually used this phrasing before.

    This has been an issue since the very beginning, episode 1 of Season 1, and onwards. When Ned Stark is declaring his sentence of death before he beheads the Night’s Watch deserter, he says “in the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men”…omitting mention of the Rhoynar.

    Now at the time, everyone (including me) assumed that they cut out “the Rhoynar” because Dorne hadn’t been introduced yet (in fact, was barely mentioned before Season 4). They didn’t want to deluge viewers with new information, it was difficult enough introducing the Andals and the First Men to a new audience.

    …I kind of assumed that they’d shift to using “King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men” in Season 4, once Oberyn and his entourage showed up. Though this would be introducing a retcon.

    …but then earlier in Season 4, they didn’t. Even during Tommen’s coronation scene in episode 5, “First of His Name”, when Oberyn is prominently standing in front of the throne among the gathered high nobles, no mention is made of being king “of the Rhoynar”…this struck me as very odd.

    So I thought on it for a while, and over on the Game of Thrones Wiki I was rushing to finish items on the To Do List before the Season 4 finale. So the *morning* before the finale aired, a matter of hours before the episode aired, I sat down to work this out:


    And you see what I wrote up there, what I assumed, was that this was simply a difference between the books and the TV series. It sort of fit fairly well: after all, the Martells were granted extra privileges because they united with the realm through marriage-alliance, right?

    Dorne’s rulers are still called “Prince” instead of “Lord” or “Lord Paramount”. This is a special acknowledgment they retained.

    So I thought, maybe in the TV series, this respectful nomenclature/special status extended even further, and the Targaryens simply never called themselves “King of the Rhoynar” — the Martells were still their “Princes”. Thus the TV-Targaryens were “King of the Andals and the First Men” though also “Lord of the Seven Kingdoms” referring to all Seven Kingdoms.

    (GRRM’s book publisher recently got this mistaken in a Q&A: the Targaryens always called themselves “Lord of the Seven Kingdoms” and “King of the Rhoynar” — it was a claimed title though not defacto (like at times when English kings called themselves “Lord of Wales” or “Lord of Scotland” or “Lord of France”, despite not actually controlling it at the time. Every Targaryen king since Aegon I was King “of the Rhoynar” in the books – the Riverlands was never “promoted” to be considered the “seventh” one in “Lord of the Seven Kingdoms”).

    But okay, maybe this is just a difference between books and TV series: they couldn’t introduce the Rhoynar in Season 1 (or later) because the Dornish don’t prominently appear prominently until Season 4. Then when Season 4 actually aired, maybe someone thought it would be odd to basically introduce a retcon and suddenly call Tommen “King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men” when at his coronation, when Oberyn is standing in front of him.

    Well and good: special nomenclature has been used with the Martells by calling them “Princes”, so maybe out of respect (and to recognize that they’re sort of “semi-autonomous”) the Targaryens in the TV continuity simply never called themselves that (or at least, stopped calling themselves that after the marriage-alliance during the time of Daeron II: maybe Maegor the Cruel, TV version, considered himself king “of the Rhoynar” in principle, but once Daeron II became king *in fact* he didn’t want to rub it in the faces of the newly won Dornish lords, so he politely stopped calling himself “king of the Rhoynar”.

    So I invested a large amount of time coming up with this, I thought fairly solid, explanation – the TV continuity is simply different.


    >……then a matter of hours later, the finale aired, and Daenerys is suddenly called “Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men.”

    Which is it? The TV show is now contradicting itself.

    I could understand and even support that this later into the series, they don’t want to introduce a retcon and start mentioning “the Rhoynar” in the title when they didn’t before.

    Or, if they are going to simply retcon that “they were always King of the Rhoynar, even Robert was, we just selectively never called him that”….fine, we are beholden to the retcon made by the producers (Jean Grey didn’t really die, it was a Phoenix egg clone).

    But you see my problem now: we’re getting *contradictory* statements so we can’t tell whether to use the retconned longer title including the Rhoynar, or the shorter TV continuity title they were previously using.

    This issue pops up on the wiki page for EVERY king or claimant king. It has even come up in dialogue.

    In the past, Mr. Peterson has said that he gets the script from Benioff and Weiss but then translates it.

    How did the line in the finale come about? Did Benioff and Weiss mysteriously hand you a script that said “Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men”? Despite the fact that five episodes ago in “First of His Name”, which they also wrote, Tommon is called simply “King of the Andals and the First Men” during his coronation? When Oberyn is standing right there?

    Or was this that you snuck in this line of dialogue, because you were going by the books, and didn’t realize that earlier episodes have never used “of the Rhoynar” before? In which case we should disregard mention of the “over the Rhoynar” bit as a dialogue error?

    This is important enough that you might want to e-mail Cogman or whoever to figure out what the heck is going on.

    1. Elio and Linda, who run Westeros.org and who co-wrote with GRRM the World of Ice and Fire sourcebook, also noted this in their video review:


      It’s not just me or my own faulty memory. Elia and Linda also pointed out that this is the only time the full title including “of the Rhoynar” has been used, and that it is absent in all previous mentions of the title.

      The show is very inconsistent with the “King on the Iron Throne’s title” by the way. It’s medieval usage: for a long time they were “Kings of the Franks” or “Kings of the English”, but not “King of England” or “King of France”. It was peoples and cohorts, not imaginary boundaries on a map.

      The proper titles of the ruler who sits the throne are “King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men” and “Lord of the Seven Kingdoms”.

      They’ve often used “King of the Seven Kingdoms” on the TV show, which isn’t too bad, though it kind of rolls off the tongue awkwardly (King of Seven different Kingdoms? – they lack the book’s ability to make long asides, i.e. Tyrion noting “back when the Seven Kingdoms *actually were* Seven independent Kingdoms).

      But there are times when they just plain fall back on using “King of Westeros”. When Davos writes the letter to the Iron Bank, he calls Stannis the rightful King of Westeros.

      But when they encounter Mance Rayder beyond the Wall, Davos a bit more accurately calls him “King of the Seven Kingdoms”…so Mance can point out that north of the Wall, “we’re not *in* the Seven Kingdoms”.

      Beyond the Wall is the only place where they make a distinction between “Westeros” the continent and “The Seven Kingdoms”, the unified realm south of the Wall.

      Just once in Season 5, on my wishlist, I kind of hope they’ll have a stray line where one of Stannis’s Baratheon soldiers is with them patrolling north of the Wall, and says “wow, I can’t wait to get back to Westeros”….and for some wildling scout with them to angrily retort “We ARE in Westeros, but not the Seven Kingdoms” etc.

    2. My guess is it was just something they overlooked in continuity.

      There are plenty of easy retcons though – the High Valyrian version and the Common Tongue version may traditionally not be word-for-word translations of each other (this has real-world counterparts where regal titles, anthems, mottoes etc etc in a country with multiple languages may not always have been translated literally across official languages).

      Or maybe Dany just remembered it wrong.

      Or she remembered it right but learnt it from her brother who had a more expansive/traditionalist view of who his subjects were.

      Or it’s just a continuity error that won’t be mentioned again.

    3. I disagree about the level of importance of this question, but I can assure you that I translated that line as it was given to me. I absolutely did not add—nor would I have added—”of the Rhoynar” of my own accord. Even if I had decided to “sneak” something in, assuming no one would recognize it in a non-English language, it wouldn’t have shown up in the subtitles. Those come from the script, and if I were to try to change the English lines in a script, everyone would notice.

      1. Just wanted to make sure it was the script and not you, thank you.

        I will pursue alternate channels to confirm this with the writers. “Every rich man’s house has a servant’s entrance”…

      2. Yeah, it’s a slight oddity at best. Seems like royal titularies are consistently inconsistent on the show. For instance, while 410 adds the Rhoynar to Dany’s titulary, it also removes “First of Her Name.” I think the characters just have a menu of titles they choose from when they give their stylings.

  10. Cavete idus Iulii.

    (Dies incursi in Bastilliam)

    Si illi non vivent in novo mundo meo, illi morientur in suo mundo vetere.

      1. …(wait, you mean whether my Latin is unrefined or whether you are “rustic” and unrefined? Self-deprecating. Don’t follow. Either way I use Medieval Latin which is a “bit tent”, not an ideal of purity)

        1. I meant would it be “rustic” to offer suggestions. But of course pretty much any points I might have could be justified as Medievalisms (then again, there’s precious little that could not be!)

  11. New concept art popped up this week: from the guy who designed the three coins used in “Second Sons”: one Meereenese, one Volantene, one Braavosi.


    I can’t tell because they were out of focus when Mero held them, but they *appear* to be the same as the final version of the coins (though we can’t confirm). We only ever had a closeup of the prop used for Braavosi coins, and only the FRONT side.

    The watermarked background image that the three coins are against appears to just be a re-use of Talisa’s letter from Season 3.

    I bring this up because this is our first clear look at the *reverse* side of a Braavosi coin, and it has writing on it…writing apparently in the same “font” as used in Talisa’s letter. Or at least similar.

    So can anyone make sense of the writing on the back of the Braavosi coin?

    1. We never saw the reverse side of the coin before, and that tends to be important: take away one kadem, to honor the Hebrew god whose ark this is…

    2. The transcription I came up with is: (brackets are letters I wasn’t confident in)

      (rs) opessik(o)
      (something before)uso zynos(i)
      (y)ghāpī īlō(n)

      Unfortunately this looks like it’s just text copied-and-pasted from Talisa’s letter (namely the lines “ñoghossi ōressiks”, “rūso zȳhosy”, “Ȳghāpī īlōn rāelza”)

        1. Well, given that it didn’t appear legibly on-screen, it isn’t “officially” canon for what the reverse-side of Braavosi coins look like (…or, they could just have different minting-runs with variant backs)….maybe we’ll get a more detailed one in a later season.

          Something along the lines of Braavosi Low Valyrian (or perhaps High Valyrian) for “The Iron Bank will have its due”….yeah, that seems appropriate.

          I had to go to a job interview that came up so I had to put off the Bastille Day festivities, unfortunately.

            1. That’s way beyond the ability of us mere mortals. Hopefully David himself can spare the time for an answer. (And if not, try resubmitting the question to his tumblr.)

          1. Ooh, and is tistālior perchance the collective of *tistālion, meaning something like “storeroom,” from tista “dry” (or more likely a cognate verb) + -lion “place of”?

  12. I believe Braavosi is supposed to have an Italian vibe, so here’s my prediction:

    L’Eggencro Cistaglio imila lu già guorciri.
    [led’dʒɛŋkro tʃis’taλλo i’mi:la lu dʒa gwor’tʃi:ri]

    The definite article (lo, li, lu) is evolved from the relative adjective lua, which already has a very similar role in HV (lua vala “that man I just talked about”). The singular verb endings -an, -ā, -za/as simplify to -o, -à, -a (where -an > -o via nasalization).

    1. Since David is very likely working on BV right now, I hope the rules about “creative ideas” don’t apply here. But hopefully if he’s worried about that, he’ll say something.

      Good job of course.Pretty much my only comment is why go with the super-Italian ‹gl› when DJP already uses ‹lj› for that sound?

      As for lua becoming the definite article, it’s kind of surprising that never happens in the Romance languages, given how often qui/quae/quod is used almost as a demonstrative. But I guess that’s more a Classical Latin phenomenon than a vulgar Latin one.

      Now, can we figure this out in Astapori Valyrian?

      Aeghinko Titale imazlivas jao grutrir

      *Aeghinko (like aeske) maybe should be eghinko (like derve). I’m not clear on what conditions that change. Maybe it’s open vs. closed, but after s drops?

      imazivas or should that be ezalivas??

      grutrir cf. krimvo

  13. Hello!
    I’m a Game of Thrones addict guy from Europe. I love High Valyrian language, it’s unbelievable and I’m happy to be able to read it, hear it and learn it. Thank you David J. Peterson, great job, you’re brilliant!
    I know, you all have more important things here to discuss, but I need someone’s help. I have translated a few sentences in High Valyrian, but I’m not sure they are right. On dothraki.org some declension tables are unfinished, and I also know nothing about word order. Could you help me?

    Here’s a sentence:
    Nuha Áeksios, kostilus, ryptés yne, kostás aóhoso sagon.

    Thank you for your help forward! (sorry for my English, greetings from Hungary!

    1. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. If it’s “My master, please, listen to me, it can be (through) your way,” you were pretty close.

      Ñuhus Āeksios, kostilus, yne ryptēs, aōhoso sagon kostas.

    2. Or maybe even,

      ”Ñuhus Āeksios, kostilus, ynot ryptēs, aōhoso sagon kostas.”

      Not sure how the verb ”’ryptegon”’ is used, though. If this is for a tattoo, ask David Peterson himself, so you can get it right from the one that knows for sure.

      1. That’s the right way to say that, if that’s what Drakarys addict was trying to say. Was it? Something like, “My master, please, listen to me, it can be with yours”? With your what? It’s very mysterious! As for word order, put the verb at the end, and you’ll probably be fine.

  14. Thank you for your reply. Yes, it’s a part of the Matthew quote, this would be a prayer. Thank you for your help. Here’s another, it’s not a prayers, it is said when I’m before a test in school: Zaldrizes qringaomagon kostus daor.
    I use here the subjunctive of aorist, to express “never”.

  15. Thank you for your help. Mad Latinist is right, my saying has a part of this Matthew qoute. Thank you for all your reply, I wouldn’t have imagined that David J. Peterson will write to my question, the constructor of High Valyrian and others, of Game of Thrones.

  16. I have some other translation, if it’s not annoying, I would show them. I would like to know if they are wrong an why.

    Daenerys drakari vestras, perzys zobrio zaldrizoti zaltas belmurti.

    Daenerys dovaogēdoti eptas āeksia ossenagon.

    Zaldrīzes qringaomagon kostus daor.
    Bony éza eleks rybagon, rybás kese.
    Tepás zijot lopor se havon, yn ódrikagon kostót daor.

  17. Daenerys drakari vestras, perzys zobrio zaldrizoti zaltas belmurti.1. It is questionable whether drakari should be in the accusative (as the object of vestras) or in the nominative (as a direct quotation). In Latin you could arguably do either (though it might depend on which word for “say” you pick), but my instinct is that DJP would prefer the nominative here (perhaps with quotation marks to clarify.)

    2. zōbrio zaldrīzoti is this supposed to mean “of the black/dark dragons”? I would have thought zōbrio zaldrīzo (Drogo brōsto!), but I’m not sure what your intent is here. Also, it may be better (but not mandatory) to put this phrase before perzys rather than after it.

    3. zaltas should be the last word of the sentence.

    Daenerys dovaogēdoti eptas āeksia ossenagon.

    Yes, I think that will do.

    Zaldrīzes qringaomagon kostus daor.

    That should work. Though you might prefer zaldrīzer?

    Bony éza eleks rybagon, rybás kese.

    Hmm, I would think something more like:
    Elekossa rȳbagon ēza lȳs rȳbagon, or perhaps that will be more clear if we go with Elekossa rȳbagon ēza lua bonys rȳbagon? Honestly this would be a good one for David to answer if he has time.

    Tepás zijot lopor se havon, yn ódrikagon kostót daor.

    Meaning “Give him salt and bread, but you cannot hurt (him)?” If so we have a problem in that tepās is singular, but kostōt is pural. Presumably if the addressee is the same both times, you should go with one or the other. For this post, I’ll do plural. Also, if I have the translation right, that “but” is fishy, since we would expect “and” here. Oh well, here’s an attempt: lopor havōn zijot tepās, yn ōdrikagon kostōt daor

    Hope this helps.

    1. 1. “Hmm, I would think something more like:
      Elekossa rȳbagon ēza lȳs rȳbagon, or perhaps that will be more clear if we go with Elekossa rȳbagon ēza lua bonys rȳbagon? Honestly this would be a good one for David to answer if he has time.”
      Maybe: Elekossa ēza lȳs rȳbagon, if you try to say “He who has ears, let him hear”…

      2. “Meaning “Give him salt and bread, but you cannot hurt (him)?” If so we have a problem in that tepās is singular, but kostōt is pural. Presumably if the addressee is the same both times, you should go with one or the other. For this post, I’ll do plural. Also, if I have the translation right, that “but” is fishy, since we would expect “and” here. Oh well, here’s an attempt: lopor havōn zijot tepās, yn ōdrikagon kostōt daor”
      I think you messed up with number…
      Maybe: Lopor havōn zijot tepātās, yn ōdrikagon kōstot daor (plural you), or Lopor havōn zijot tepās, yn ōdrikagon kostō daor (singular you).
      I hope this helps!

    1. This is my best guess. ‘Ears to hear’ is a tricky phrase, and I’m not sure if this would be treated as a permissive command in Valyrian.

      Elekossi rȳbagon ēzi luoti, pōntot rȳbagon.

  18. Hello,
    I was helping a friend try to write a saying in Valyrian for a tattoo of a maester’s chain, a huge fan of the books. The dothraki.org page is not working, any assistance provided would be greatly appreciated.

    The saying is “All men bind ourselves with chains of our own creation, through (our every) deed and decision”.

    I have many of the words, and ideas on correct conjugation, but I am missing conjunctions like “with”, not sure how to make chains plural from belmon singular.

    1. Let me have a try! The grammar is a bit tricky (but also interesting) here, both in your original sentence and the Valyrian. My instinct is not to use ‘we’, but ‘they’ in the English sentence to point back to ‘all men’. I suppose one includes oneself in the group of ‘all men’, but grammatically I think it should be third and not first person.

      Now for the Valyrian. Collectives take the singular conjugation for verbs, but should we use ‘pōntāla’ or ‘zirȳla’? And do we use the plural or the singular accusative declension? Thus we have four options: ‘pōntāle’,’pōntālī’, ‘zirȳle’ and ‘zirȳlī’. I prefer ‘pōntāle’, since ‘all men’ is a plural semantically, but grammatically it should (perhaps?) be treated as a singular. (I know — this is the equivalent of saying ‘themself’ in English… but I like it!)

      There is no attested word for ‘creation’, but I guess ‘mazvettir’ could fit? And would a construction like ‘of their (own) creation’ make sense in High Valyrian? I went for a relative clause (“chains that they have created”) instead.

      I also went a bit speculative with ‘dīnagon’ as ‘to bind’, but only DJP can tell us if that (or any of this) is correct. Anyway, my suggestion:

      Valar pōntāle mazvettas luos belmossi dīnis, pōjos tolvȳs gaomoso iderennosō.

      1. You’re getting really good at this! For your pronoun quandary, agreement trumps all, so it’s third person singular all the way—and, since valar is lunar, it’s zirȳla.

        Mazverdagon is indeed the word for “to create”, so you got the right one there.

        Dīnagon can’t be used for “to bind” because it’s only used with placement for something that naturally goes on or about something else—like a cap on a bottle or a sword in a hilt, but not a sword on a table, for example. I use letagon, which means “to tie” or “to tie up”—in effect, “to bind”. I suppose you could do ozletagon if you wished.

        Anyway, though, great translation!

        1. Thanks for the kind words! It is really a fun language. This is also interesting information about the pronoun agreement and ‘dīnagon’.

    2. Hmmm…

      Valar mazvēttas luos belmossi zirȳle tolvȳs gaomoso iderennosō letis.

      You could move the phrase tolvȳs gaomoso iderennosō out, but I thought it sounded better in. I toyed with the idea of using hen instead of a second instrumental phrase, but I thought zirȳle broke it up nicely. Some possessors have been left out because they’re unnecessary. Otherwise, that should do it!

      1. Thank You Joel and David. It is much appreciated. I was using a few different words, like for “Bind” I was using bemagon to restrain. But I like that, it sounds great.

        A few words I am unfamiliar with like ziryle and masvettas. But the rest is close to what I had.

        1. Ah that is why I did not recognize Masvettas… But Joel what is ziryle mean, I am unfamiliar with this word.

  19. Lannister mērī sparos zyha gēlÿnī addemmare sosy daor.

    What do you say? I’m sure this is incorrect, could you check it?

    1. I’m not sure what meaning you’re aiming for. “A Lannister only who? his debts paying isn’t.” As far as I can tell, sparos is only used in an interrogative manner (not for relative sentences), which I’m guessing is not what you want?

        1. OK, that’s tricky, since we don’t know how to say “the only one” in HV. How about: Nāmērī Lannisteri zyha gēlȳnī addemmisi.

          (A collective for Lannister would be preferable, but I don’t think we have those attested for the foreign declension.)

          1. I guess something like Lannisteri addemmisi zȳha gēlȳni lī mēri sosy daor would be closer to the English phrasing. It would be interesting to know whether you can actually do this with a relative pronoun and an adjective in HV. Should the adjective maybe go before the relative clause, instead of after? Or just before the relative pronoun?

            1. Woops, the more proper phrasing would of course be Lannisteri zȳha gēlȳni addemmisi lī mēri sosy daor.

            2. I just thought of something else: one could also substantivize mēre, which would give us Lannisteri zȳha gēlȳni addemmisi lȳz mērossa sosy daor.

  20. Anybody done this, from ADWD:

    “Yes, yes , now, now, do do, take me, take me, FLY!”

    Which I hope will be spoken, in High Valyrian?

    1. “Kessa, kessa, sīr, sīr, gaomās, gaomās, yne gūrōs, yne gūrōs, SŌVĒS!”

      That’s my shot at it anyway. Though if I remember correctly, the line wasn’t spoken, but thought, in the book.

      1. The difficulty might be in translating “yes”.

        HV doesn’t really have “yes”, instead substituting either “it is” or the relevant verb (a la Latin, Chinese, Irish etc.)

        So you’d need to pick what is the correct verb to fill “yes, yes etc”

  21. I’ve been trying to figure out what the line that comes right after the line about Drogon in this episode. It’s subtitled as ‘Meet me at the catacombs’. My very shaky estimate would be Dovoleriot yne ñemazabās.

    I can’t really figure out if it’s supposed to be a plural imperative (e.g. -ātās ) or a -ēbagon verb in singular imperative (e.g. -ēbās), or something else entirely. I do hear a ‘b’ at the end there though.

    By best guess is that we have a -ion noun (~*dovolerion) in the singular locative, which doesn’t fit with the plural in the subtitle. It could be related to dōron ‘stone’ with some variant of the -ion suffix at the end.

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