House of the Dragon is the latest adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones novels. The show takes place 200 years before the events of HBO’s Game of Thrones and focuses on the story of House Targaryen and their reign over Westeros before everyone was taken out. In the new adaptation, we see even more characters using Valyrian, the language we see most used by Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) in Game of Thrones.
In House of the Dragon, we see the Valyrian language being used way more often than it was ever used in its predecessor. Prince Daemon (who is played by Matt Smith) and Princess Rheanyra (whose younger self is played by Milly Alcock and whose older self is played by Emma D’Arcy) are two characters who speak it the most often.
Let’s take a look at how the Valyrian language was created for the two shows.
The language finds its origins back in George R.R. Martin’s novels, specifically on the continent of Essos where the Valyrian Freehold was located. It is here that we are introduced to the concept of a language that hasn’t yet been fully fleshed out: High Valyrian.
The Valyrians conquered and spread, forcing all they ruled over to speak their language. Then tragedy struck in the form of the Doom of Valyria (during which the volcanoes of the 14 fires erupted) and Old Valyria was destroyed. As a result, High Valyrian was a lost language among the common people, though it continues to live on through songs and scrolls and through the prayers spoken by many characters in both Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. It was also the language the dragon riders used to communicate with their dragons.
There was still a version of Valyrian that survived and was spoken by people in areas like Slavers Bay. It was adapted from the original language and called low Valyrian.
When Game of Thrones was first developed into a TV series they hired professionals to fully flesh out the language that had been introduced by Martin. One of those hired professionals was David J. Peterson, the same person that helped develop Elvish for Lord of the Rings and the language used by Wookie’s in Star Wars.
Peterson took the fragments of Valyrian that were used in the novels and from that created what we know as High Valyrian, as well as the derivatives of the language Astapori and Meereenese Valyrian. He came back to further develop High Valyrian further and has said that he has worked on it more for the first season of House of the Dragon than he ever did for any season of Game of Thrones. This is probably because there are a lot more characters that can actually speak Valyrian in House of the Dragon.
We are looking forward to seeing the intricately developed language get used more in the upcoming episodes of House of the Dragon.
Tell us, do you want to learn to speak High Valyrian?