Game of Thrones Throws A Delightful Monty Python Reference Into Some Valyrian Dialogue
I'm Ghiscari. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent, you silly queen?
Ever wanted to learn how to say “Your mother is a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries” in Low Valyrian? Well, then we hope you were paying very close attention to the Meereneese champion from the end of Game of Thrones Episode 3, “Breaker of Chains.” According to show linguist David Peterson, that’s what he was saying.
Peterson, who’s created at least 5,000 words for the show in in Dothraki, High Valyrian, and several low Valyrian dialects, told the full story during an interview with the Making of Game of Thrones website:
There’s a scene where the Meereenese rider is challenging Daenerys’ champion. He’s shouting and Nathalie Emmanuel [Missandei] is translating – but she’s not translating what he’s saying. He’s actually saying a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy’s insults in ‘Monte Python and the Holy Grail.’ That was [series creator] Dan Weiss’s idea and it was so hilarious that I had to do it.
Here’s the scene, we think (Missandei doesn’t really translate in the final cut, unfortunately):
Apparently some fans were keen-eared enough to pick up on the word “Mhysa,” which means “mother,” and asked Peterson about it after the episode aired. “I was getting tweets like, “Is he saying a ‘your momma’ joke?'” he said. “Close… But no, he’s actually starting out with, ‘Your mother is a hamster.'”
Which, actually? The presence of these adorable rodents in the world of Game of Thrones isn’t all that weird when you consider that your standard hamster is indigenous to the Middle East and Central Asia, most notably Syria and Russia. So of course they’d show up in Meereen, of all places. Not only have Peterson and Dan Weiss made us laugh with their hilarious Easter Eggs, then, but they’ve also inadvertently given us a deeper glimpse into the zoological diversity of the Essosi continent. In fact, how much you want to bet one of the noble Ghiscari houses has a hamster on their sigil? C’mon, there’s gotta be at least one guy. Or… well, there did. Ahem.
Longtime A Song of Ice and Fire fans are no strangers to Monty Python and the Holy Grail references, by the way. There’s also a pretty explicit one in a chapter of A Dance With Dragons, put there by George R.R. Martin himself:
In case you can’t read the text, Beans is saying of the Unsullied: “That dragon queen’s got the real item, the kind that don’t break and run when you fart in their general direction.” Seems French Knight dialogue seems to follow our dear Khaleesi around, doesn’t it? At least no one’s ever going to threaten to make castanets out of anyone’s testicles in her presence, we suspect, because most of her army doesn’t have those. Womp womp.
(via Gawker, image via HBO)