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David J. Peterson Creating Valyrian Language


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#1 Westeros

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 02:25 PM

David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones, has now indirectly revealed that he’s working on creating the Valyrian language for the production thanks to an interview with PRI’s The World. At the 2:05 mark, the interviewer in the piece reads some of the names of languages that Peterson is working on as displayed on his computer, and Valyrian is among them (another one mentioned, Skroth, is the name for the “language” that Peterson invented for the Others as briefly heard in the opening of the first episode).
Thanks to the success and popularity of Game of Thrones, as well as the Na’vi language in James Cameron’s Avatar, a number of TV and film productions are hiring language creators and linguists like Peterson to invent languages. Besides working on the Game of Thrones languages, Peterson’s also working on alien languages for Syfy’s new cross-media series, Dominion.

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#2 Bayard

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:19 PM

Nice, but shouldn't he be creating ghiskari?

#3 Pliskin

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

Nice, but shouldn't he be creating ghiskari?

No, the Ghiscari now speak a bastardized version of High Valyrian (as do the other free cities).

ETA : But if by "ghiscari", you meant this dialect, yes, I suppose David Peterson will work out a way of creating dialects for each necessary city (Braavos in the future) from his High Valyrian.

Edited by Pliskin, 15 August 2012 - 06:28 PM.


#4 akajea

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:01 PM

Cool. I wonder what it sound like. Latin? Since Valyria was like Ancient Rome.

#5 Bayard

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:57 PM

No, the Ghiscari now speak a bastardized version of High Valyrian (as do the other free cities).

ETA : But if by "ghiscari", you meant this dialect, yes, I suppose David Peterson will work out a way of creating dialects for each necessary city (Braavos in the future) from his High Valyrian.


Well, yes, almost all the cities speak some form of Valyrian, but if you know one dialect it doesn't mean you understand the others. Tyrion explained it during his voyage. And the dialect spoken in the Slaver's Bay is very far from the ones spoken around the Narrow Sea. Anyway, I am very happy they are keeping the Astapor scene with the slavers /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />.

I think he will not make it sound like Latin, he will make it to sound like those crazy names they use in Mereen and Yunkai.

#6 Crown

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 03:27 AM

Can't wait to hear this!

#7 Arkash

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:07 AM

Valar Morghulis.

#8 Viserys's Queen

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:22 AM

I'll probably be able to learn it since I am almost fluent in Latin yay!

#9 Abaddon

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:27 AM

Super exciting! I was hoping that we weren't just going to see Dothraki... really important for S1 but not so important beyond... and not see Valyrian, which has a lot more breadth in the world of Essos.

As far as Ghiscari... I suppose we might see some accents on top of Valyrian... Giscari is characterized as very rough so probably more of an accent than a dialect is what I expect we'll see. I do admit it sounds like a fascinating project to create not only a language but then create derivative languages based on that, so I suppose there's an outside chance we'll see different dialects, simply because Peterson might consider it a fun challenge. Sounds like a lot of work to me though /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#10 GoodGuyA

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:56 AM

That's great! I hope they'll utilize the language as in the books, for a bit of comedic affect. Use it to try and strengthen Dany's understanding of the world as it grows. That will also help us clue in on what the Targaryens are, and their relation to this side of the world. Loved the Dothraki, so I'm excited!

#11 NomadicDirewolf

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:24 AM

valar morghulis is in valyrian i think, so he'll have that as a base to start on, this is great news, looks like we'll have the whole thing leading up to 'dracarys' done properly

#12 usul

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

great news ! wonder what's gonna be :!

#13 the maid of woodlynne

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:30 PM

Really looking forward to hearing this on screen. Excellent news! /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

#14 Duir

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 04:44 PM

/agree.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':agree:' />


This is going to be very interesting

#15 ServantOnIce

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 05:13 PM

I like it!!!!

#16 Jahaera of Valyria

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:23 AM

So happy, they are doing this! I hope it's gonna be a little like Latin or Ancient Greek! That's how I imagined it.

#17 boojam

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:57 AM

That's great! I hope they'll utilize the language as in the books, for a bit of comedic affect. Use it to try and strengthen Dany's understanding of the world as it grows. That will also help us clue in on what the Targaryens are, and their relation to this side of the world. Loved the Dothraki, so I'm excited!


There is rather long scene in SoS where Kraznys mo Nakloz is explaining how the Unsullied are trained. As I remember he is speaking in High Valyrian, Dany faking she does not understand , Missandei is translating. George's description of the 'training' of the Unsullied is horrific.
Kraznys , for some reason, thinks Dany is Westerosi , keep's calling her a Westeros whore or slut, stuff like that, it's an interesting dramatic moment since Dany understands everything he says , the slurs being comic, I can't remember if Misseandei 'cleans' up his language.
I have wonder if the whole sequence will survive on the show because the slave masters only speak Valyrian.
It will be interesting how much Dany Valyrian uses, since that may have been her first language, she should be even more fluent than Missandei.




#18 Abaddon

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

Great, great thought boojam, I had forgotten about that scene but the moment you started describing it I remembered it vividly. It would work amazingly well on television, I hope they keep it.

Poor Emilia, first she has to learn Dothraki, now she has to learn Valyrian. Although, I guess she doesn't actually speak it in that scene, so maybe she won't have too many Valyrian lines.

Edited by Abaddon, 23 August 2012 - 02:32 PM.


#19 Jahaera of Valyria

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:32 PM

High Valyrian and its dialects are a great way to characterize different peoples. So depending on how the language sounds they can use it to convey a general sense of what the Astapori etc. are like. By adapting the Dany scene they also show details of her character in regard to the Ghiscari. Looking forward to it.

Edited by Jahaera of Valyria, 23 August 2012 - 04:34 PM.


#20 Baitac

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:02 PM

Can't wait to hear it. I even just like the word Valyria! /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />