"GoT" Goes Full "Monty": Linguist David J. Peterson Explains it Allthem's fighting words
David J. Peterson tells us how he snuck in a "Monty Python" quote into "Game of Thrones."
By now, you've probably read about that infamous "Monty Python" scene in Season 4, Episode 3 of "Game of Thrones." For those who haven't, let's just say that a Meereenese warrior had a few choice words to share with Daenerys Targaryen before she took his city by storm.
(Warning: Video contains mature content.)
Although you might be wondering what a 1975 British comedy has in common with the hit HBO fantasy series, consider the similarities: armored knights embarking on an epic quest, formidable foes, bloodthirsty monsters...see? We rest our case.
We were lucky enough to chat with "GoT" head linguist David J. Peterson about the "Monty Python" Easter egg and how he translated the canonical lines into Low Valayrian. If you remember our #StormofWords features, you already know that David’s the go-to guy for all things Valyrian and Dothraki.
Read on to find out more about the scene and if we can expect any other movie references in the future.
WhoSay: What exactly did the Champion of Meereen say in Low Valyrian?
David J. Peterson: I did an entire write-up on my blog, but here’s the English translation of everything he said:
"I fart in your general direction, son of a window-dresser! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries! Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person! I wave my private parts at your aunties! I don’t want to talk to you no more you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I blow my nose at you, so-called Dragon Queen, you and all your silly Westerosi kaniggets!"
We edited it a little bit at the end, and I did my best to approximate “kaniggets” in Valyrian.
WhoSay: How do you say "I fart in your general direction" in Low Valyrian?
David: Byjan vavi demble eva o
That’s literally “I fart towards the area of you,” and sounds as awkward in Valyrian as it does in English.
WhoSay: Can we expect any other Easter eggs in the near future (or are there any others that we may have already missed)?
David: These things always come up organically, so while I can’t say what may be coming down the pipeline, I bet there will be more. D. B. Weiss has the soul of a prankster. In fact, I bet there’s a ton of stuff in there that none of us know about. For myself, there’s always a word or two that pops up that has a tie to a friend or family member—or to random stuff, like the High Valyrian word for “chain,” belmon, being coined in honor of Simon Belmont, hero of the Castlevania series.
WhoSay: Who would you rather be alone in a room with: Dany's dragons or the Rabbit of Caerbannog?
David: See, I speak a little Valyrian, and I’ve read the books, so I think I might have a better shot with the dragons. But that rabbit… Have you seen that rabbit? That’s no ordinary rabbit. It’s a killer! Not unless I had some sort of handheld explosive would I venture near that ferocious little beastie!
WhoSay: Are there other movie quotes that you think would fit well with Dany's storyline?
David: Daenerys definitely needs some action hero one-liners, à la Schwartzenegger or 007. Like, it’s cool that she’s “Dracarys” in 304, but after that slaver complains that the dragon won’t come, she could have said, “What’s the matter? Finding my dragon a little too hot to handle?” That’s the kind of cheesy one-liner an action hero like the Mother of Dragons needs to hit number one at the box office!
I doubt we’ll see any more "Monty Python" in "Game of Thrones," but if there’s any one thing I’d recommend, I say they should take a cue from Iron Maiden and play “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” during the credits of the very last episode. Many, many, many, many years from now.
Thanks, David! Don't forget to take a look at the "Monty Python" scene that started it all below: