Valar Javaris

Rytsas!

We are officially half way through with the fourth season of Game of Thrones, and after last night’s episode, I know exactly what’s on everyone’s mind. Two words:

  1. comprised
  2. of

You kidding me?

Cersei and Tywin are sharing a pretty good scene—finally getting down to brass tacks with one another—and then Cersei drops this one on us (speaking of the Iron Bank of Braavos):

Cersei: But someone does work there; it is comprised of people.

And then:

Tywin: And a temple is comprised of stones.

When I heard this, I felt like Bender attending his own funeral. WHAT?! I mean, it’s one thing for Cersei to say something like this (she tries to act younger than she is), but for Tywin Lannister to say “comprised of”?! I…just…

Listen. You’ve got exactly two options, and they are these:

  1. is composed of
  2. comprises

That. Is. It. You cannot hope to create a timeless it’s-not-television-it’s-HBO classic and date yourselves thus. What’s next? Is Tyrion going to use “whom” in subject position when he’s trying to sound formal? Why even have the British accents? Where’s that guy that played Benvolio in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet? Why not have him play Jaime Lannister?!

(Oh, and a note, as I put my responsible linguist’s hat on: This is a fight that’s already been lost. At present, the best we can say is that you can still use “comprise” as an active verb. “Comprised of” is totally the norm now, and will continue on its path to becoming the only correct way to use “comprise”.)

But, yeah, with that out of the way, welcome to my first post in three months! I’ve been intensely busy, and have less to show for it than I should, but much more than I would if I’d been keeping up with everything I’d been keeping up with. One of those casualties has been this blog, which I never intended to abandon (and still don’t), but from which I’ve had to take a step back for a bit. It’s actually been quite encouraging to hear from a few people that they’ve missed the episode recaps I did the past couple of seasons. In fact, it’s because of one person on Tumblr specifically that I’m writing this post (because I promised I would).

There’ve been a lot of big talking points this season, which, honestly, has kind of surprised me. I mean, the Purple Wedding, sure, but there are some other things that really caught me off guard. I’ll try to hit them all.

But first and foremost, I want to talk about one dude: Jack Gleeson. I never got a chance to meet him (I’m sure we’ve been at the same thing at some point in time; I just never ran into him), but now that Joffrey is gone and Jack is done with the show, can we please give this guy a standing ovation? What a challenge. Joffrey is awful, of course, but he’s also vulnerable, and at times quite pathetic—and then sometimes he turns right around and plays Prince Charming to a T! There may have been another actor that could have done one or two of these traits very well, but Jack Gleeson embodied that little so-and-so named Joffrey so well that he became the face of the character—for the books as well as the show. He owned that role. And if he never acts again, which is what he’s claiming at the moment, his place in television history is cemented. He doesn’t need to do anything else. His skill is on screen for the ages, and he can do whatever he wants now for the rest of his life. He earned it.

Other minor notes: Love Prince Oberyn. Can’t wait till he gets revenge on the man that killed his father sister. Love every single gif that came out of the Purple Wedding. Pure genius. Lena Headey deserves an Emmy nomination (she was wonderful in yesterday’s episode), but probably won’t get one, because I know the Emmy dudes are real grammar sticklers. Would love to see a spinoff entitled something like Arya and Her Dog—or, maybe when she gets a little bit older, The Fox and the Hound? (You can boo now.) I know people felt bad for Hodor when he was being attacked, but I bet Hodor probably felt worse when he awoke from a trance and saw what he did to Vargo Hoat Locke. Love Pod, Love Bronn, Jaime and Cersei…

Oh yeah, that.

There’s already been a lot that’s been said about Jaime raping Cersei. I know book readers probably felt betrayed, since this is at least the second time this has happened (Dany and Drogo being the first), but my wife had an interesting point. At no point in time is the rape portrayed as consensual (duh, it’s a rape, I know, but bear with me). After seeing that scene, there can be no argument that Cersei starts to “enjoy” it, and so it’s not a “legitimate” rape (a shockingly common argument made by rape apologists). Public opinion, for some crazy reason, loves to side with the rapist when there’s any potential “gray area”. There was none in this scene. No matter what way you look at it, that scene, both in world and out, was negative, and the reaction was supposed to be negative—and it was. So, at the very least, we’ve come that far, I guess.

But here’s what really bothers me about it. After that scene is over with, it’s like it never happened. It’s not as if Cersei’s not trying to think about it, or anything: it’s like it literally never happened. The very next episode, we see Jaime right back on his upward-trending arc, giving armor and a sword to Brienne, and Cersei out to avenge her dead son. In the book, that scene was supposed to be disturbing because it happens next to Joffrey’s dead body, and is supposed to further characterize Jaime and Cersei’s bizarre relationship. In the show, the scene—or that act, rather—has absolutely no dramatic function. This is actually one of the problems I had with Battlestar Galactica. Often you’d have an episode where some really tense, really dramatic stuff happens, and then the next episode, it’s like none of that stuff happened: two people that are mortal enemies at the end of episode X are suddenly friends in episode X+1. This is something I expect to happen on a show with a dozen or more writers. But Game of Thrones is literally shrinking its writing staff as the show goes on. It’s now down to four, and I don’t expect it to grow. There’s no excuse for this. It’s weird.

(Note: I won’t delete the above, since it already appeared, but this was worded much too strongly, and there’s a key piece that’s missing. We’re only five episodes in—and four seasons. The dramatic function of the rape scene is to produce a clear and obvious rift between Jaime and Cersei. This rift may play out later this season; it may play out later this series. It has the potential to be a defining moment between these two characters. The show has done an outstanding job at planting seeds that bear fruit several episodes or even several seasons later. We have to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and see what happens as the story unfolds. -DP)

All right, on to language stuff.

Now for a positive surprise. I didn’t get to watch the episode “Breaker of Chains” live because I was on a trip to Colorado (shout out to the CU Linguistics Department! Thank you guys so much for having me; it was awesome!). I ended up watching it right before “Oathkeeper”. Consequently, I was puzzled why I was getting so much Twitter love after the episode aired.

It’s not as if I didn’t know what was in that episode—I mean, I translated all that—I just didn’t think it would be particularly memorable. With the scene from episode four of season three, I knew beforehand that that was going to be good. I’d read the books; I knew the scene; and the script was great. I didn’t get that sense from this one, though. I mean, it was cool, and all (it’s Game of Thrones), but I had no idea how awesome that scene was going to be. And man, the ending—with the slave holding the collar, the master right behind him? That was badass! That scene played way better than what I was imagining in my head, and Emilia Clarke’s really got the rhythm of High Valyrian down. It’s wonderful to hear.

Still from Game of Thrones episode 403.

Click to enlarge.

Here’s her full speech. You’ll have to forgive me, because I know for a fact I’m going to miss some of these long vowels. There’s a lot of text, and, as I’ve said before, Final Draft (the program I use for the scripts) doesn’t allow macrons, so I have to reinsert them where I remember them. Eventually I’ll get it all right.

  • Daenerys Jelmāzmo iksan. Kostilus jevi āeksia yno bē pirtra jemot vestretis, iā daoruni jemot vestretis. Daoriot jemas. Doriar udra pōnto syt eman. Mērī jemī ivestran.
  • I am Daenerys Stormborn. Your masters may have told you lies about me, or they may have told you nothing. It does not matter. I have nothing to say to them. I speak only to you.

I’ve always wondered how they could hear her—or how anyone could hear anyone in our world in the days before amplification—but maybe everyone in Meereen has HBO GO. Continuing, Dany says:

  • Ēlī Astaprot istan. Astaprot dohaertrossa sīr yno inkot iōrzi, dāeri. Hembar Yunkaihot istan. Yunkaihī dohaertrossa sīr yno inkot iōrzi, dāeri. Sesīr Mirinot mastan.
  • First, I went to Astapor. Those who were slaves in Astapor now stand behind me, free. Next I went to Yunkai. Those who were slaves in Yunkai now stand behind me, free. Now I have come to Meereen.

Okay. Dude. Like, you have no idea how much I was laughing at the fact that I literally got to use a pluralized nominalization of a past habitual participle. This has happened several times in Game of Thrones, actually, where I created some word or some grammatical form and thought, “This is cool, but it’ll never see the light of day.” Then all of a sudden I get to use the Dothraki words for “duck”, “rabbit” and “cooking pot”—and now this. The fact that High Valyrian even has a past habitual form still makes me chuckle (this is a form of the verb that is approximately equivalent to “used to” in English). I remember when I first looked at these sentences and had to translate them, I kind of rolled my eyes, and was like, “Oh, brother, I’m going to have to do a big old relative clause…” Then I paused, looked again…and my eyes got wide. It’s kind of like going for a royal flush as a joke in Texas Hold ‘Em and then the last card is the jack of hearts you’ve been waiting for. I laugh right now as I’m thinking about it.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me back up. Dohaeragon is a verb that means “to serve” (everyone should recognize it from the expression Valar dohaeris). Dohaeran means “I’m serving (right now)”. Dohaerin means “I serve (generally)”. Dohaertin means “I used to serve”. Each of these can be turned into participles. For example, dohaerare is the adjective “serving”, and you might use it to say dohaerare vala, “the serving man”, or “the man who is serving us at the moment” (e.g. a waiter). You can turn the participle itself into a noun to shorten things up, though, and say dohaeraros, which could mean something like “waiter”, so long as it’s understood that it’s temporary. You can do the same with other participles, as well. For example, the High Valyrian word for “slave” is dohaeriros, or “someone who serves habitually”. Dany uses the word buzdar, a Ghiscari word for “slave”, so the slaves in Astapor will understand what she’s saying (they may not know the High Valyrian term).

In this case, though, Dany turns the past habitual into a participle and nominalizes it. So dohaertre becomes dohaertros, which, when pluralized, is dohaertrossa, which means, “those who used to serve habitually”—and, if you put Astaprot in front of it (the locative version), you get Astaprot dohaertrossa, which literally means “those who were slaves in Astapor”.

BAM!

All of that in two words! Man alive, this is what makes the job fun!

Yeah, so what was I doing when I got side-tracked? Oh, Dany’s speech. Still a lot left, actually. Here’s the next bit:

  • Jevys qrinuntys ikson daor. Jevys qrinuntys jemo paktot issa. Jevys qrinuntys jevor riñar laodissis ossēnīs. Jevys qrinuntys jemo syt mērī belma se boteri se udrāzmī ēzi. Udrāzmī jemot maghon daor. Iderennon maghan. Se jevo qrinuntoti pōjor gūrotriri maghan. Naejot!
  • I am not your enemy. Your enemy is beside you. Your enemy steals and murders your children. Your enemy has nothing for you but chains and suffering and commands. I do not bring you commands. I bring you a choice. And I bring your enemies what they deserve. Forward!

(Note: Above, ēzi should be ēza, but I misconjugated. I was thinking of the subject as “the masters” not “your enemy”.)

And finally, when she tells them to fire the catapult, this is what she says:

  • Nābēmātās!
  • Fire!

That is, “unfasten” or “unleash” (she’s talking about catapults, after all). An incredibly awkward word, with four long vowels in a row. If all the vowels are long, how can you even tell?

Anyway, there’s been other Valyrian, but I don’t have time to go into all of it (this post is getting a bit long). I was pleasantly surprised by Michiel Huisman’s performance in 401 (another Dutch actor!). His Low Valyrian was great. Jacob Anderson, though… Well, but who could ever top the master?

In 404, we got to hear some of Meereenese Valyrian (MV), which we’ll get to hear more of in the second half of the season. I know that Mad Latinist has been conjecturing that it’s not as close to Astapori Valyrian (AV) as I let on, but, I mean, it is literally the same language—I promise you this. I don’t have a separate document; just a section in the AV grammar entitled “Meereenese Shift”. It’s just AV with sound changes. There are a lot more Ghiscari-derived words in the MV dialogue, but they now exist in AV, too. They were new words. They weren’t created specifically for MV, but were created because there was a need for them in the MV dialogue. I thought of them as just new Low Valyrian words.

Here’s a nice comparison of all three Valyrians (this is an actual line of MV):

  • MV: Shka ma khurf. P’ashkesh she kraj waov.
  • AV: Ska me gurp. P’aeske si kotovi uvuve.
  • HV: Mittys iksā. Āeksia tolī kostōbi issi.
  • English: You’re a fool. The masters are too strong.

You can see each thing I mentioned at work here. Gurp is a Ghiscari word for “fool” that surfaced for the first time in MV, but is now in AV as well. Schwas are unmarked, but if it’s written a and occurs at the end of a word and is unstressed, it’s a schwa in MV. The word kraj has a reflex in krazi in AV, where it means “large”. MV is more Ghiscari in this way, since kraz- is a Ghiscari root. Otherwise it’s all sound changes. Radical sound changes, to be sure, but sound changes nonetheless. To give you an example how of just how radical the sound changes are, here’s the word “Unsullied” in all three Valyrians:

  • MV: Thowoá
  • AV: Dovoghedhy
  • HV: Dovaogēdy
  • English: Unsullied

Dave and Dan wanted MV to sound different enough that Dany wouldn’t be able to understand it, so I did that. Still, though, if you speak AV fluently, I contend that you can figure out MV without too much trouble. It’s just a thick accent with a lot more Ghiscari vocabulary.

All right, at almost 2500 words, I’m going to bring this to a close. I likely will not have an episode-by-episode recap for the last five episodes, but I will post again before the season’s over (or the day after it’s over). Fun stuff coming!

P.S.: If you’re wondering about the title, let me tell you: Silicon Valley is definitely worth watching. Absolutely loving it. Veep is killing it, too. Add John Oliver, and we’ve got some great Sundays ahead of us.

Posted on May 5, 2014, in Episode Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Hi, David. Good to see you back.
    Once again, you’ve done a phenomenal job on this show. I really loved the distinctions between HV, AV, MV and even Razdal mo Ehraz’s brief insulting rant in YV. I think the Ghiscari – Valyrian dialects sound just different enough & at the same time similar enough to sound like different dialects of the same language.

    Two questions:

    1. Are we going to hear the Old Tongue of the First Men from the wildlings anytime soon? Because the one man who we know speaks only the Old Tongue in this universe will be dead by season’s end.

    2. Do you have any template for Braavosi Valyrian yet?

    Once again, you’re a genius and keep doing what your doing.

    Perzys Anogar.

  2. Joao S. Lopes

    1) All Old Tongue’s words that appeared in books looked intentionally similar to Norse words.
    2) Meereemese surnames with lots of Z are not Valyrian, aren´t they? It seems that they kept Ghiscari anthroponyms.
    3) It’s obvious that we must assume that “Common Language” is English, but how we can explain Westerosi anthroponyms? Paxter, Petyr, Eddard, Arryn, Tyrell, Martell, Yronwood, Podrick are not “English” names. Northern names must come from First Men’s language (or from some sister-language, or from Andals), but the books provided some clues. For example, Karlon Stark, with Karlon’s genitive being Karls (Karls Holt > *Karsholt > Karholt).

  3. Wow, great to see a post here! I have a Latin lesson to give, but after that I will give this post its gūrotriri.

    Khushela.

  4. Thanks for the transcripts! Very useful indeed… interesting to see Papaya’s theory on qrinuntys confirmed, though I maintain Dany doesn’t pronounce the -r-… so is Justin’s theory that it’s derived from ūñagon correct, too? And apparently daoruni is correct after all! ;o)

    On dohaertrossa: Given that Dany says dohedrossa, I had hypothesized that it’s an AV import of the HV substantive. Apparently that was just actor error…?

    If all the vowels are long, how can you even tell?

    From a certain sense of sustainedness in each vowel…? Dunno, maybe I’m imagining things, but I feel like it’s possible to preserve that quality even in fast speech.

    I mean, it is literally the same language—I promise you this.

    Hard to believe, though! :P

    Dave and Dan wanted MV to sound different enough that Dany wouldn’t be able to understand it, so I did that.

    That would explain it.

    Still, though, if you speak AV fluently, I contend that you can figure out MV without too much trouble. It’s just a thick accent with a lot more Ghiscari vocabulary.

    Not sure about that. I’d sooner believe the Meereenese could figure out AV, though, since it’s less lossy, and they might be peripherally familiar with the more elaborate HV forms. Isn’t that similar with Portuguese and Spanish (which seem analogous to MV and AV in many ways)? Or is it just that Portuguese can understand Spanish more easily than vice versa because Spanish has more political clout…?

    What’s up with ashkesh vs aeshkesh? Is the former somehow the plural, or are all instances supposed to be ashkesh?

    Thowoá: Wow, such short! Very loss! Couldn’t believe this was the end form of the whole HV word, but I guess it makes sense like Spanish abogada [ao'a] does (in certain dialects, AFAIK).

    BTW, are the MV nasals (as in *untash) canon, or is that variation in delivery among the actors?

    • What’s up with ashkesh vs aeshkesh? Is the former somehow the plural, or are all instances supposed to be ashkesh?

      Where did you see aeshkesh?

      BTW, are the MV nasals (as in *untash) canon, or is that variation in delivery among the actors?

      I feel like you’re referring to something here I’m not aware of. Which nasals?

      • He’s referring, in both cases, to my transcripts. I head ashkesh only once, aeshkesh the rest of the time. But that’s probably meaningless.

        As for the nasals, since we didn’t have a phonemic inventory of MV we sometimes debated over what exactly we should be including in our transcription, and one actor in particular seemed to introduce a lot of nasal vowels.

        • I didn’t intend for there to be nasal vowels. So far Sondiv is the only language I’ve done with actual nasal vowels. Some speakers will be more “nasal” than others, though; it just happens.

          • The line “She defeated the Masters’ champion!” begins with something like ['œ~taʃ] — what’s that supposed to sound like, then? ['untaʃ] maybe? Is that the same verb as in qrin-unt-ys, as Justin suspected?

            Oh, and does [koʃ] “champion” have anything to do with the Dothraki ko?

            • Oh, now I see the line you’re talking about. It’s this:

              Yel mizozliwash. Erntash ye kosh shp’ashkesh.

              “She will protect us. She defeated the masters’ champion.”

              And, no, it’s not related to Dothraki ko.

  5. As for the violence: I certainly feel cheated by HBO for all the gratuitious violence beyond the book, and especially that of sexual nature. I was glad they handled “The Dothraki and the Sheeple” off-screen in the first season, but then they made up for that with Dany’s unnecessarily uncomfortable early marriage and the likes. I found the recent scene at Craster’s particularly sickening — enough to make me stop watching if it weren’t for the great worldbuilding, characters, and conlanging… And the Red Wedding — seriously? They thought THAT was not violent enough in the books? Who are they trying to impress, anyway? Is there anyone in the world who likes the series better with the extra violence added? And why does HBO cater to them…? Grargh!

    I must say, though, I perceived the Jaime/Cersei scene as less coercive or violent than it apparently was; probably I had the book scene in mind and viewed it through that lens. Cersei is certainly capable of saying no very decisively and unmistakably, and that wasn’t it. But of course, a “no” should count as a “no” under any circumstances, and under these circumstances in particular.

    ObConlang: The wiki suggests that the past habitual participle should be dohaertizarza — is that wrong? Should it be dohaertre instead, then…?

    • It might be that -izarza is the ending for the past habitual passive participle, at -re is for the PH active participle? It fits with -iarza being the passive pariciple for the aorist.

  6. Speaking of the word fire as used in last night’s episode…. To me it feels like an anachronism when scriptwriters use the word this way in medieval-themed fantasy films or TV shows, including Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. (I’m thinking of the archers in the battle of Helm’s Deep from Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers as another example.) I am assuming that the word fire as a military command would have arisen in the English language only after the advent of weaponized gun powder and artillery in western Europe – i.e. the Age of Sail and the Early Modern period, after ca. 1500 and the Medieval era. So when I hear the command “Fire! in Westeros, Middle Earth, or other places without gun powder technology, it feels jarring and inauthentic. Please correct me if my historical understanding of this word is incorrect. I wish scriptwriters would use a word like release instead. Am I alone in this? I’m very curious to know your thoughts on this.

    Thanks!

    • Indeed, it is from firearms, and didn’t exist before then. In the case of the Valyrian, I think it’s fine, since the subtitle will be readily understood by modern audiences, but the actual word makes more sense. When it’s used in the Common tongue, though, I think it’s just unconscious. It’s too ingrained in English. Of all the possible inaccuracies, though, it’s not too bad. It’s a short little thing.

    • Yeah, in fact, in most European languages, the command is the noun “fire,” presumably because in early firearms you had to literally put fire to the gunpowder. The English “Fire!” was, I assume, originally a noun too, but now it’s universally taken to be an imperative. And as this demonstrates, it’s not even associated with fires anymore, as siege engines can be “fired.”

  7. Great to see a post here! Very interesting to see the “real stuff” after speculating together for a few weeks.

    Observations/questions:
    Kostilus jevi āeksia yno be pirtra jemot vestretis

    So kostilus can mean both “please” and “maybe”? Interesting. If the people of Mereen were anglophones, she could come across as kind of rude: “PLEASE, you masters may have told you lies about me…” I suppose we can assume *piragon “to lie”? Strange that none of us saw yno bē in the sentence, now it seems apparent.

    Se jevo qrinuntoti pōjor gūrotriri maghan.
    Seems like my original, quick hearing “gurutaori” was not too far off the mark! So we now know gūrogon “to deserve”. Interesting choice of the past perfect, which does give the sense that the masters did deserve this at some point in time, but no longer do. Would not *gūrorion be slightly more fitting?

    Oh, and does mittys somehow come from the verb *mikagon? It sort of looks like a past participle.

    • It’s less “they use ‘please’ to mean ‘maybe’” than “they use ‘maybe’ to mean ‘please’”, if that makes sense.

    • Addressed some of your other points in my last comment, but one more thing:

      Oh, and does mittys somehow come from the verb *mikagon? It sort of looks like a past participle.

      I’ve wondered that for a good while too: it’s a new HV word, but we already had AV mitty.

  8. Maybe gūrogon is more like “earn”, so gūrotriri “that which has been earned”?

  9. The Dragon Demands

    Yay! You’re back!

    Oh don’t get me started on Battlestar Galactica…that is, the later two seasons, 3 and 4.

    It’s almost like how…it’s been said that “Hearts of Darkness”, the making-of documentary for “Apocalypse Now”, is in some ways more fascinating than the movie itself.

    BSG is one of those projects that needs a real juicy tell-all book to shame the head writer for how badly he let things fly out of control.

    Basically…Ron Moore just plain didn’t plan the series out beyond two seasons. So when season 3 started, after they got off the planet…they just plain ran out of ideas. So they fumbled around through all of these wacky character decisions, and worse, flip-flopped back and forth.

    What was funny is that recently TheMarySue.com reviewed the whole series start to finish, a week at a time, and they finished about two months ago. They were *aghast* at how bizarrely and suddenly the show became a walking caricature of its former self starting in Season 3. Case in point, they said, in the union episode in Season 3, Roslin is needlessly yelling at everyone and acting like a villain – completely out of character — and is then having a nice bonding happy reconciliation with everyone in the closing scene of the episode. Except that we didn’t actually see them reconcile. Basically, the writers wanted the characters to go from point A to point C, and forgot to show point B along the way.

    If you listen to all the commentary and stuff (as wiki-minded fans who try to find out all info do)…you realize that Ron just…he admitted that he didn’t watch aired episodes anymore. He was under too much of a time burden. So in the commentary, he reveals that the reasons characters are doing things, or why he keeps using characters who are apparently little more than dead weight, is ***for things they did in scenes that were edited out of the final cut, or worse, which were scripted but never filmed….and most bizarrely, god help me, there are points when he belatedly realizes in the commentary that “oh yeah…wait, that was just an idea we tossed around in the writers’ room, I never even formally scripted it.”

    At any rate we’re trying to smooth over the Jaime/Cersei scene as just badly edited footage of twisted yet consensual sex (sort of like the books), because otherwise…if their intention was for him to actually be raping her, there was absolutely no followup.

    I can’t believe how Benioff stuck his foot in his mouth over that one: If someone. Asks you. If a character was raping another character. You say. Yes or No. NEVER. “MAYBE”.

    And surprise surprise, Entertainment Weekly reveals that Benioff and Weiss don’t read online criticism anymore….they characterize it as “reading messageboard posts by DragonQueen42″….no, what about when EntertainMentWeekly, RollingStone.com, or AintItCoolNews is reviewing your product? We’re not talking “fan feedback” we’re talking “official reviews!”

    Sigh. Well you haven’t been here for five episodes so I guess you missed the hating on the Jaime/Cersei scene.

    It wasn’t even that bad…in the sense that we can plausibly deny and say “this was a consensual, but we stupidly forgot to have Cersei saying “Yes! Yes!” like in the books”…we can retcon that fairly easily.

    The problem it really presents is that B&W don’t seem to understand that women watch this show and are offended by that. Or, really…that our friend “Adam Friedberg” has determined that all nudity on the show is to titillate the fanboys, we never actually see gay men having sex or male nudity — things that True Blood did on the same channel in the same timeslot.

    At any rate I’ll try to update Game of Thrones Wiki along these lines when I get a chance. I just finished my MA degree and have to go through graduation stuff. It’s so weird: after years of learning Latin, I went back to French for another test, and I hadn’t touched French since High School….and I see now what you’re saying about HV to GV shifts. *French is basically Latin*, it just went through some slight shifts here and there (i.e. they dropped the “b” sound from Imperfect tense, but otherwise they’re basically the same).

    Up until now I’ve been treating Astapori/Yunkai’i/Meereenese as just different accents of “Ghiscari Low Valyrian”? In your example above, “You’re a fool, the masters are too strong”, what would be the Yunkai variant of that?

    • I don’t know anything about Battlestar Galactica behind the scenes, so I can’t comment on that. Re: Jaime/Cersei, in case this wasn’t clear, I actually think turning the scene from semi-consensual (which it is in the books) to fully non-consensual (which is how I view the scene) was a positive change—not because violence against women is a good thing, of course, but because the scene was completely unambiguous in its negativity. Ultimately I think that sends a clearer message about what was happening in that scene than if it morphed from non-consensual to consensual, as it does in the books.

      Also (and this is why I wish now I hadn’t actually commented on this), this scene may be a set up for a scene that we haven’t seen yet in the latter half of the season—or the latter half of the show, for that matter. Functionally, it produces a very serious rift between Jaime and Cersei that wouldn’t have been there (necessarily) if the scene had played out as it did in the books. Now it’s just a matter of what happens with that.

      Oh, and for Yunkish, the way it’s working is that it’s nearly identical to Astapori—maybe as close as Southern California English to East Coast English. So not different enough to write home about (though if you’re me, perhaps different enough to write an MA thesis on).

      • So not different enough to write home about (though if you’re me, perhaps different enough to write an MA thesis on).

        Or if you’re a bunch of Valyrian fans, perhaps enough to ask for an elaboration anyway…? ;o)

    • Congratulations, by the way. Tibi gratulamur! (No idea how to say that in Valyrian ;) )

  10. Joao S. Lopes

    Is Targaryen’s language High Valyrian, or some dialectal Dragonstone Valyrian?

  11. Well thanks for looking at my analysis of the dialog. I know you don’t have time to read it thoroughly; indeed I’m surprised you look at my blog even cursorily. But if anyone else wants to look at that, by the way, that’s http://jdm314.livejournal.com/200639.html. Anyway, I’ll return to the subject of AV vs MV later. As always with your posts there is so much to discuss and so much to ask, but I’m pressed for time right now, so I’ll limit it to HV for the time being. Oh, with one exception:

    Is Tyrion going to use “whom” in subject position when he’s trying to sound formal?’

    Maybe not Tyrion, but Jaime did just that last week, and Tyrion didn’t correct him https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bKBAEtsN0Sc#t=140
    (yes I know he had more important things to worry about, but when has Tyrion ever kept his mouth shut?)

    Anyway, HV. I agree with the others: it’s amazing some of the things we managed not to get, like yno be pirtra, for example! So I take it “I lied” is pirtan, is “to lie” just piragon? And is gūrogon “to earn, merit, deserve”? (Sometimes you tell me I should just assume this sort of thing, but it’s one thing to assume something for my blog, another thing entirely to assume for the wiki: I want to guess as little as possible there.) Oh, and yes, Joel W, your reading of gūrotriri turned out to be the closest of all, good job.

    Okay. Dude. Like, you have no idea how much I was laughing at the fact that I literally got to use a pluralized nominalization of a past habitual participle.

    Oh, man! You warned us about this! (IRC, July 8 2013: “Btw, there’s some hilariously opaque stuff in the S4 translations. / Stuff I thought I would never, ever be able to use… / …and which proved quite useful. / Like a nominalization off of a past habitual passive participle.) If I had remembered you said that, maybe I would have figured out dohaertrossa. But likely not, since the only past habitual participle we had (again, from IRC, Oct 16 2013) was “Dohaeragon ~ dohaertizarz-a” (same verb even!) But I take it Joel is correct that dohaertizarza is the past-habitual active, and dohaertre is the past-habitual passive?

    So pleased we were right about qrinuntys though! And maghagon! On the other hand, I’m so glad we were wrong about ˣnemēbātās: nābēmātās makes SO much more sense! Does bēmagon mean “tie” then, like letagon?

    That will do for now I think. I have work to do and so do you. But I hope you won’t mind answering a few questions.

    • OH, also: jevor riñar…. why isn’t that jeve riñari (since riña is lunar)?

    • Maybe not Tyrion, but Jaime did just that last week, and Tyrion didn’t correct him https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=bKBAEtsN0Sc#t=140
      (yes I know he had more important things to worry about, but when has Tyrion ever kept his mouth shut?)

      Ooooh, no, no. You’ve actually found something interesting here (or, rather, more interesting than you let on). This is what Jaime says:

      She’s offering a knighthood to whomever finds Sansa Stark.

      Notice that there are two case assigners here: (1) to (which assigns objective case); and (2) finds (which assigns nominative case). The “whomever” is literally caught in the middle! That is fascinating! I’m not so sure it should be “whoever”. There has to have been a dissertation written on this. If not, it’s a dissertation waiting to happen.

      So I take it “I lied” is pirtan, is “to lie” just piragon?

      No. There is no such verb.

      And is gūrogon “to earn, merit, deserve”?

      With a reflexive subject, yes.

      Oh, man! You warned us about this! (IRC, July 8 2013: “Btw, there’s some hilariously opaque stuff in the S4 translations. / Stuff I thought I would never, ever be able to use… / …and which proved quite useful. / Like a nominalization off of a past habitual passive participle.) If I had remembered you said that, maybe I would have figured out dohaertrossa. But likely not, since the only past habitual participle we had (again, from IRC, Oct 16 2013) was “Dohaeragon ~ dohaertizarz-a” (same verb even!) But I take it Joel is correct that dohaertizarza is the past-habitual active, and dohaertre is the past-habitual passive?

      You have this backwards, don’t you?

      And sorry, I contributed to that. When I said “past habitual passive participle” I of course meant “past habitual active participle”. Usually when you’re talking about participles you’re talking about passive ones. But that wouldn’t make sense here. That’d refer to someone who used to be served, not someone who used to serve. Also there’s an extra z floating around here. The active is dohaertre and the passive is dohaertiarza.

      • Ooooh, no, no. You’ve actually found something interesting here (or, rather, more interesting than you let on). This is what Jaime says:

        She’s offering a knighthood to whomever finds Sansa Stark.

        Notice that there are two case assigners here: (1) to (which assigns objective case); and (2) finds (which assigns nominative case). The “whomever” is literally caught in the middle! That is fascinating! I’m not so sure it should be “whoever”. There has to have been a dissertation written on this. If not, it’s a dissertation waiting to happen.

        What? How is this different from any other use of “whom” in the subject position? Yes, true, one could say “Whom is here?” or “May I ask whom is calling?” But in fact the vast majority of such confusions occur in exactly this context: where you have a relative pronoun which is the subject of a subordinate clause, referring back to the object (or other non-subject) of the main clause. Doubly so when it’s “who(m)ever” rather than just “who(m),” for some reason.

        In Latin, and in traditional formal English, the case of the relative pronoun is supposed to be assigned by the subordinate clause, as opposed to High Valyrian and sometimes Greek, where it’s assigned by the main clause.

        The reason “to” isn’t assigning an oblique here is that… well “whoever” can be replaced here by “the one who,” right? “The one” is absorbing the oblique case assignment, but “who” should stay nominative. Therefore “whoever.”

        No. There is no such verb.

        Hmm, perhaps there once was?

        You have this backwards, don’t you?

        Chronologically, yes, but I didn’t mean for the order to be important.

        Also there’s an extra z floating around here. The active is dohaertre and the passive is dohaertiarza.

        Ooh, thanks for pointing that out. That z DID look fishy.

  12. You’ll have to forgive me, because I know for a fact I’m going to miss some of these long vowels. There’s a lot of text, and, as I’ve said before, Final Draft (the program I use for the scripts) doesn’t allow macrons, so I have to reinsert them where I remember them. Eventually I’ll get it all right.

    Let’s help him with this. Here are the missed macra that I’ve noticed:

    Kostilus jevi āeksia yno pirtra jemot vestretis…

    Yunkaihī dohaertrossa sīr yno inkot iōrzi, daeri.

    Jevy qrinuntys jevor riñar laodissis ossēnis, or even ossēnīs, if that’s meant to be conjunctive lengthening (I need to figure out where to describe that on the wiki. Syntax I guess, when I finally write that page.)

    Jevy qrinuntys jemo syt mērī belma se boteri se udrāzmī ēzi. (Why ēzi if not qrinuntyssy? Eh, I guess it’s just constructio ad sensum.)

    Udrāzmī jemot maghon daor.

    Also, why jevy qrinuntys and not jevys? And what’s the citation form of boteri? Botes maybe?

    • Spot on on all of these—including the conjunctive lengthening on ossēnīs! Thank you!

      Regarding the two mistakes, I hypercorrected with the fronted adjectives. Fronted adjectives lose some sounds off the end, but the s isn’t supposed to be lost in the solar singular nominative. My bad there! I count this as a plausible in world mistake, though (i.e. a speaker might hypercorrect in just this way), but Dany probably wouldn’t have in this situation, I don’t think.

      The second mistake was also a mistake that got carried over for precisely the reason you stated. I was thinking of “enemy” as plural, since it referred to the masters. It is singular, though, so it should be ēza. This is another plausible in world mistake, but again, given how official the statement is, I’m not sure if Dany would’ve done it. It would be more likely, though, because she is using the singular “enemy” to refer to the masters, and these things get confused in the mind (as they did in mine, evidently!).

      • But constructio ad sensum occurs even in Latin, a language which is usually obsessive-compulsive about things like that, so really it’s not that big a deal.

    • has macron, too!

  13. @
    “Yeah, in fact, in most European languages, the command is the noun “fire,” presumably because in early firearms you had to literally put fire to the gunpowder. The English “Fire!” was, I assume, originally a noun too, but now it’s universally taken to be an imperative. And as this demonstrates, it’s not even associated with fires anymore, as siege engines can be “fired.””

    Yes I thought when Nābēmātās! was translated as

    Fire!

    I thought that was awakward.

    In German the command to fire torpedoes is

    “Torpedo los” or in film I have just heard Los!

    So I like “unfasten” or “unleash” better.

    Question the Roman army has siege engines, have an idea what the Latin command was to ‘fire’ them?

    • I had a thing on Roman army commands, but I can’t find it any more. They’re often not what you would guess. But in n any case, I doubt we know that particular one. I would not at all be surprised, though, if there command were mittite!, which is regularly the verb for launching an arrow.

      If you’re just talking about firing a catapulta/ballista/tormentum/whatever in prose, as opposed to shouting commands on the battlefield, you would use something like agere, incitare or the like. Maybe even solvere, as with nābēmagon and loss.

      (It also wouldn’t surprise me if in Medieval England the command for archers was “Loose!” but I dont now if that’s true.)

      • Charles Dance is just an amazing actor.
        He has an actor’s elocution you could hang a hat on!
        He has always been good, but he’s in a class where he should be as well known as Laurence Olivier, Anthony Hopkins, …, lord the list is a mile long, without adding actresses!
        (The land of Shakespeare. O! plenty of equivalent American actors these days.)
        Anyway… since Tywin was Hand when Aerys II Targaryen was king one supposes everyone at the Targaryen courts were required to learn High Valyrian (seems George hints at the Westeros high born , usually , knowing HV?)(In fact in the books I thought both Selmy and Mormont both spoke HV, but never do on the show.)
        Love to hear Dance speaking High Valyrian!

      • When I first saw the scene I thought the same, an anachronism. The only way it would make sense to me would be the existence of dragons in that realm.

        • Yes, “fire” makes a good deal of sense as a command for dragons (and of course that’s basically what dracarys means, right?).

          Oh note, btw, that since I posted my last comment, above, the show has explicitly shown archers being commanded “LOOSE!”

  14. OK, those of you who contribute to or read the wiki, I’d love to get your opinions on how we should handle the Slaver’s Bay dialects: http://wiki.dothraki.org/Dothraki:Community_portal#The_problem_posed_by_Meereenese_Valyrian

    • @Everyone: Well, the wiki is down for the rest of the day, so if you have an opinion, please post it tomorrow. Or contact me another way.

      @DJP: I really want to find that Valar Javaris promo online. It totally had me fooled at first: I was sure it was a GoT promo for which you had provided a new HV vocabulary item.

      The word kraj has a reflex in krazi in AV, where it means “large”. MV is more Ghiscari in this way, since kraz- is a Ghiscari root.

      Clarification: does that mean that MV kraj is closer to the original Ghiscari meaning than AV krazi is?

      In Breaker of Chains, Grey Worm says something like Do drokozlivan oa qez, subtitled “I will not disappoint you.” I took the last part to mean “your majesty,” but both Zhalio and Najahho agreed I was mishearing it and it was actually more like grezy. So was it actually oa krazi, or something like that?

      Phonological history question: why does HV kostōba produce AV kotova, but *nākostōba produces AV nagostova? That is, why does the /s/ drop in the former but not the latter? It can’t be that that sound change only occurs in initial syllables, because ivetragho, qimbrota and so on. Is there some condition I’m missing? Or is this maybe a learned borrowing?

  15. Wow! Great to see you back posting again! It looks like I will be working on the wiki again ;)

  16. A note about the “comprised of” bit of dialogue. While, yes, it is incorrect, Tywin repeating Cersei’s words make the speech more natural, as well as artful. No matter how intelligent, everybody does this, even if the word is used incorrectly. Especially with snappy dialogue, it makes it even more natural. Not to mention that repeating “comprised of” puts him in a more dominant position. Emphasizing Cersei’s words makes Cersei sound weaker, and weakening people with only words is a strength of Tywin.

    • Yes. He should have done “finger quotes.”

    • lol Yeah, the finger quotes would’ve made it!

      But also, just in case this wasn’t clear, my “outrage” over “comprised of” was totally a joke. It’s just a turn of phrase that’s gradually becoming grammatical. I don’t think the “comprised of” was an intentional error on Cersei’s part, but it doesn’t need to be for Tywin’s repetition to work just as you pointed out. That dude knows what he’s doing. As I’ve noted before, both in the show and the books, Tywin is my favorite character.

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