Game of Thrones

HBO's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' TV Show


Dothraki and Valyrian

Learning Conversational Dothraki the HBO Way

Well, it’s about time! HBO has just made us aware of the fact that October will see the release of Living Language Dothraki, a conversational language-teaching course with a workbook and an audio CD. Amazing, and long overdue.

Now, where’s the Valyrian book?

The full press release can be found below, including details on additional resources that can be purchased along with the entry-level course:

David J. Peterson Creating Valyrian Language

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, Defiance.

CORRECTION: Defiance, not Dominion, is the series Peterson is creating languages for.

CNN Profiles Dothraki Language Creator

At 2PM Eastern today, CNN’s The Next List will be airing a 30-minute episode focused entirely on the work of David J. Peterson (Dedalvs on Twitter), creator of the Dothraki language on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Leading up to it, CNN has posted up some clips featuring remarks from executive producers David Benioff & Dan Weiss, as well as star Emilia Clarke, regarding the importance of the language to the show. Here’s one of them:

It’s worth noting that the Next List blog also contains guest posts from Peterson, touching on the topics of creating languages and the history of invented languages in Hollywood. Well worth reading!

Ask Dothraki Language Creator Your Questions

David J. Peterson, the constructed language expert who was hired by the production of Game of Thrones, will be on Reddit today taking part in the Ask Me Anything series they have there. Great chance to learn more about his work on the show, his views on conlang in general, and anything else you can think of!

NY Times on Dothraki

A great article by Amy Chozick about how the Dothraki language—created by David J. Peterson—and other created languages are helping make fictional worlds seem more real. Some excellent details from Peterson and others. Favorite part? Peterson recorded translations of various phrases, which provides us the Dothraki pronunciation of Brooklyn and their version of, “Fughedaboutit!”

New Dothraki Words

David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones, has been adding words to the Dothraki lexicon and this time around he decided to immortalize those who attended his Worldcon presentation (which you can download the notes and materials for!) by turning their names into Dothraki words. Some interesting details appear along the way (including the fact that Peterson has a notion of what ‘old Dothraki’ sounds like and how sounds shifted to ‘modern Dothraki’!)

Via Twitter, Peterson’s has also noted that he’ll be making an appearance at the IRC chat on Sunday at the “usual times” (afraid I’m not quite sure what time that is) where he will make “announcement, of sorts”. Mysterious!

New Dothraki Language Interview

David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones, answered a few questions for Linda and I concerning his work on the project—including information on one of the languages he created for the show that not so many fans are aware about!

You can find the interview over at Suvudu, Random House’s portal for SF/F and more!

TV Guide Covers Dothraki

There’s a great Dothraki piece from TV Guide, with a lot of cool details… including a few long awaited phrases. Me nem nesa!

Making Game of Thrones: More Dothraki

David J. Peterson continues the Dothraki lessons over at Game of Thrones, providing some insight into the Dothraki culture while he’s doing it. An additional PDF download is included at the end, providing an excellent beginner’s overview of the vocabulary and grammar covered so far. We look forward to it being expanded over time! Until then, the unofficial Dothraki fansite is a good repository of what’s known so far.

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Lessons

Over at the Making Game of Thrones site, David J. Peterson—creator of the Dothraki language for the production—has a lengthy post titled, “Dothraki 101”, which provides just what you’d think: an introductory lesson in the grammar and vocabulary of Dothraki.

David promises to provide more lessons in future posts. The Language Creation Society’s official Dothraki website can be found at their website, while we’d also recommend taking a look at, an unofficial fan site created to catalog all the details released (and published) so far concerning the Dothraki language.

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Raiding

Another post from Bryan Cogman has gone live at Making Game of Thrones, and this time we’re at Manikata in Malta where the Lhazreen village scenes were filmed a number of weeks ago.

In the post, Cogman discusses a scene being filmed there, where the Dothraki are looting. Most notably, the scene is “almost entirely” spoken in Dothraki, a language created for the show based on what George R.R. Martin has written. The scene features Drogo admonishing an insubordinate warrior in no uncertain terms. Bryan signs off with the following lengthy example of Dothraki: “Eyél várthasoe she ilekaán ríkhoya arrekaán vékha vósi yeroón vósma tolórro!” We’re guessing the last word is the same as in Vaes Tolorro, where Tolorro means bones.

Dothraki Creator Interviewed

Via the Language Creation Society, we learn that David J. Peterson has been interviewed by a Esperanto-enthusiast magazine, Usona Esperanto. The interview discusses how Petersen came to conlang and provides some new details (and words) of Dothraki.

An extended interview with extra material can be found at the site of Jim Henry, the interviewer.

Muscular Dothraki Warriors Wanted

Extras NI has put out a fresh, urgent call for extras to be Dothraki Warriors. The specific brief is for “dark, swarthy skinned, muscly men that are at least 5 ft 10 to 6 ft 6 in height”. Contact information is provided in the above link.

It’s been noted to us that second unit filming in Malta was already supposed to have begun, and principal filming was set to start in October. Could the urgency of this call for extras be a suggestion that there’s a problem with obtaining sufficient extras at the Malta end?  It’s interesting to wonder whether any of these extras will find themselves offered a trip to Malta for the several weeks of shooting there.

New Dothraki Language Interview

Wired’s Geekdad blog has posted an in-depth interview with David J. Peterson regarding his development of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Quite a lot of excellent details, including Peterson comparing the sound of Dothraki to ” Arabic plus Spanish divided by two … squared,” giving the latest count of the dictionary (2,356 words, conservatively), and a new phrase to practice. It’s another fascinating look into the development process.

Learn Dothraki

The Dothraki language created by David J. Peterson, a member of the Language Creation Society, now has a dedicated fan site. Learn Dothraki (who can be found on Twitter) is the brain child of Richard Littauer and Sebastian Wolff, the latter of which is the orignal founder of the very popular Learn Na’vi website for fans of the Na’vi language in the movie Avatar.

Littauer has already contacted Peterson to discuss some points of the Dothraki language, and is sharing what he learns via a fan wiki and the very first (unofficial) dictionary (PDF file). To add to the usefulness for learning the language, Littauer’s gone a step further and actually begun to create Youtube videos to discuss the finer points of the language. The inaugural video is embedded below: