David J. Peterson, Game of Thrones' resident linguistic expert, has demonstrated some well-known every day phrases in the fictional language of High Valyrian. In Thrones lore, High Valyrian originated on the continent of Essos centuries prior to the main timeline of the books and TV series. By the time of the War of the Five Kings, High Valyrian has long been out of common use and became more widely known as the language of scholars, similar to how real-world Latin might be considered in the modern day. Characters seen speaking High Valyrian in Game of Thrones include Daenerys Targaryen, Varys, Melisandre and Tyrion.
When characters begin to converse in High Valyrian, the vast majority of Game of Thrones viewers likely just switch to reading the subtitles and pay little attention to the words actually being spoken. However, an incredible amount of work and detail goes into creating the show's fictional languages, largely thanks to the efforts of David J. Peterson. An expert in language creation, Peterson has constructed all of Game of Thrones' fictional dialects and has also worked on Thor: The Dark World and TV series The 100, striving to bring a sense of realism to the fantasy universes being depicted.
Peterson has now revealed how to utter some key words in High Valyrian, as well as some of geek culture's most important phrases. Speaking with i09, Peterson breaks down the High Valyrian for "F**k off," providing fans with a subtle and poetic way to insult an annoying colleague or rude shop assistant without them knowing. Peterson also translates "Release the Snyder cut," "Live long and prosper," "May the force be with you," "To infinity and beyond" and "We come from the future."
GoT language inventor David J. Peterson teaches us to say "Release the Snyder Cut" and "Fuck Off" in High Valyrian. pic.twitter.com/A8di1GZEhy— io9 (@io9) April 22, 2019
Most of the phrases Peterson translates in the video are fairly self-explanatory but for those unfamiliar with the fabled "Snyder cut," this refers to an as-yet-unreleased director's cut of the DCEU's Justice League. Forced to step away from the final stages of production, Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon who, alongside Warner Bros., reportedly made sweeping alterations to Snyder's original movie. Given the lukewarm reception Justice League received upon release, many fans are intrigued to see how Snyder's original version compares.
While Peterson's work may go largely unappreciated by the majority of viewers, the hardcore Thrones faithful take great pleasure in digging into the linguistic nuances of languages such as High Valyrian and the detailed creation of these dialects goes a long way towards making the fantasy world of Game of Thrones as believable, compelling and absorbing as it is.
Game of Thrones season 8 continues April 28th on HBO.