Ei Mahrazhi’th Drivoe
Posted by David J. Peterson
And so Game of Thrones is ready for another 8 month or so break. I’m sad to see it go, but looking forward to getting to work on season 3 (no further details yet). Today’s season finale had quite a bit of meat on its bones, though, so let’s get right to it!
Incidentally, before going into it any more, I realize that these posts have been “spoilery” in that they’re reviews of episodes that have aired, and are written under the assumption that an episode that has aired has been watched by whoever might be reading it. I know that this is not always the case. As such, is there anyone reading who’s a WordPress user who could recommend some sort of spoiler-friendly plugin that functions, essentially, like the LiveJournal cut tag? All it would do is require the reader to click a link to get to content that contains spoilers (and I’d prefer that to a blackout tag like you see commonly on fora). It won’t work for this post (though if it’s pretty good, I may go back and edit previous posts), but I’d like to use it for when we eventually get to season 3, and thereafter.
Anyway, now that that’s dispensed with, we’ve gotten our first look at some actual High Valyrian in the show! It’s nothing that wasn’t in the books, but I think many were curious how the phrase would end up being pronounced. In IPA (transcribing broadly), what we had was /ˈva.lar mor.ˈgu.lis/ for the phrase written Valar morghulis. I know there are those who would’ve preferred that the gh be pronounced as a voiced velar fricative, but for me, that doesn’t matter much at all (after all, this is High Valyrian as pronounced by someone from Braavos. A change like *ɣ > g isn’t impossible): what mattered to me was the intonation. And, as it happens, the stress pattern is exactly what I was hoping for—and no English long “a” to boot! (Which, by the way, is how it’s pronounced in the audio book—something like “veil-are”, done in English fauxnetics.) All in all, I was quite pleased.
As for the episode itself, how adorable was it that Dany’s dragons had itty-bitty little chains holding them down?! I mean, sad, but adorable!
And though they’re still little bitty things, they’re already breathing fire! Bitey has served our khaleesi well! (Though Pyat Pree’s kind of stupid. Really, brah? You can produce mirror images of yourself but can’t anticipate—let alone put out—a fire? Fail.)
Before getting to the Dothraki, a couple quick comments about Tyrion’s scenes. Something I’ve been wondering about since the beginning is what they would do about Tyrion’s scar. In the books, the scar is supposed to be right across the nose and make Tyrion look pretty ugly. But Peter Dinklage, of course, has been blowing up ever since the show’s premiere. How could they give him a scar that was faithful to the books without making Peter Dinklage (the actor) look so hideously ugly that the audience wouldn’t be repulsed by him? Would they short change it and give him a tiny scar on the cheek that no one would even notice in real life? Would they actually cut off part of his nose? Neither, it turns out. The scar is there—and right across the face and nose—but, at the same time, I thought he still looked pretty cool! Obviously the wound’s still fresh in the finale, but come season 3, it’ll heal up and make him kind of look like a badass! Well done, sirs.
Also well done to Conleth Hill on Varys. I was reflecting on this after the finale ended. I was, honestly, kind of cool to his interpretation in season 1. Admittedly, I was largely biased by Roy Dotrice’s portrayal in the audiobooks. His Varys just drips slime—like you’d be afraid to touch him, lest his grease would just rub off on you. Hill’s Varys is quite different: less self-assured—almost meek. And yet, especially in his last scene with Tyrion and Shae, I bethought myself. Varys in the show is so…credible. You almost do feel sorry for him at times, and even like him. And after all, just how could he obtain the influence he has—and stay alive—if he wasn’t such a believable liar? He has to be likable, or someone somewhere would just put a knife in him, consequences be damned. So kudos, Mr. Hill (and writers)! I’ve come around.
Now for the Dothraki. There was quite a bit of Dothraki dialogue in this episode, but none of the missing dialogue from episode 8: looks like those scenes were cut entirely. (Not a big loss, storywise: just setting up other scenes.) As for what was kept in, I was quite pleased with the first line, given below:
- Vaes leisi, zhey khaleesi. Me nem nesa.
- “A house of ghosts, khaleesi. It is known.”
Why pleased, you might ask? Not only is Leigh Bardugo’s word in there, but, believe it or not, this is the first time “It is known” is used in the show in Dothraki (all other instances were in English). Huzzah! Glad it made it in before there were no Dothraki left to speak it! Next is another line from Kovarro:
- Finne loshaki?
- “Where are the guards?”
The word loshak derives from the verb loshat, which means “to carry” when the thing doing the carrying is a cart, sack or contraption. It’s also the version of “to carry” used to refer to carrying a child in the womb, and also means “to contain” in a figurative sense (e.g. to say that there’s gold inside a chest, you’d say the chest carries gold). Loshak, then, plays on the sense of containment. Valuables are put into a chest to protect them and ensure that they remain safe if they’re moved from one place to another. Similarly, the guards outside a tower are there to protect the contents of the tower—thus, loshaki.
Next, Jorah responds to Kovarro:
- Vo loshaki. Moveki addrivi k’athmovezari, vo ki tawakofi.
- “No guards. The warlocks kill with sorcery, not steel.”
Sounds like Jorah actually says addrivat, which is an error a non-native speaker would make from time to time. To this Dany responds:
- Azhi morea kis tat.
- “Let them try.”
Kis is a particle like ray or eth and it means “to try to”. Literally, this would be “Give to them to try to do (so).”
Afterwards, Dany heads into the tower, and the next Dothraki we here is from none other than Jason Momoa. Khal Drogo may be dead, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come back for a scene as a result of a warlock’s spell! He greets Dany with his familiar greeting (jalan atthirari anni), and then Dany says much of the following:
- Jini athmovezar qoyi ven athmovezar fini fich yera anhoon—fini fich yera anhoon hatif…
- “This is dark magic, like the magic that took you from me. Took you from before I could even…”
After this, things changed a bit from what I sent, so here’s everything I’ve got:
- Ishish anha drivak vosma anha ray nesok mae vos. Ishish anha ma yeroon she Rhaeshi Ajjalani.
- “Maybe I am dead and I just don’t know it yet. Maybe I am with you in the Night Lands.”
- Ma ishish anha zajje emralat Rhaeshis Ajjalani oma yeroon. Ishish anha ast Vezhofaan memé jifo hilee ma anha jad jinnaan haji ayolat yera.
- “Or maybe I refused to enter the Night Lands without you. Maybe I told the Great Stallion to go fuck himself and came back here to wait for you.”
- Jini vena tikh meyer jif ti.
- “That sounds like something that you would do.”
- Ma ishish me atthirarido. Atthirarido che yeri che anni… Anha vo nesok. Jini qafe ha mahrazhea ville ma qorasoa reddi.
- “Or maybe it is a dream. Your dream, my dream… I do not know. These are questions for wise men with skinny arms.”
- Yer jalan atthirari anni. Haz nesak anha disse, ma anha zigerok nesat vos alikh. Ma hash jini atthirarido, hash anha vaddrivak mahrazhes fin kis vallatha anna.
- “You are the Moon of my Life. That is all I know, and all I need to know. And if this is a dream, I will kill the man who tries to wake me.”
Then in the last scene (which, by the way, I thought was pretty wicked. That’s what Doreah gets for tipping them off about the dragons!), Jorah has a line which would require its own blog post to explain, so I’m going to have to save it for another time. The line is:
- Mas ovray movekkhi moskay.
- “The remaining valuables are for loading.”
And that’s a season! Things are really starting to pick up steam. It’s been outstanding to get to work on a production as vast and fantastic as this one. Now that the season is over with, there’ll be more Dothraki-specific posts in the coming months, so stop by if you’d like to learn a little bit about the language of the dear departed Irri, Rakharo and Drogo (and Mago and Qotho, too). Here’s to 2013!