“There is no word for ‘book’ in Dothraki. The reason is culturally dependent. It’s mentioned specifically in [Game of Thrones] that the Dothraki have no written form for their language… If you coin a word and say, ‘This is the Dothraki word for book,’ it implies that the Dothraki have some sort of printing process and regular interaction with books. It implies they have some form of writing, that they have invented paper, that there’s scholarship, and that there’s publishing. It brings along all this cultural baggage… so you have to keep all of that in mind when coining words for a language.”
— David Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language from Game of Thrones and guest on this week’s Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show
This episode is certified spoiler free, and can be enjoyed even if you’re completely unfamiliar with the Game of Thrones franchise.
It is also one of my favorite Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Shows yet. David is my ideal guest - a really intelligent person who took their nerdy passion to unprecedented depths and is now harnessing it to create something amazing. Even if you never conciously registered that the Dothraki speak a working language, it’s that attention to detail that adds up to make Game of Thrones one of the most immersive shows on TV.
If you enjoy this episode, I would love it if you told your friends about it with a reblog, leaving a review on iTunes, or shouting in their ear as loud as you possibly can.
As always, The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show comes out Tuesdays and is available on YouTube, iTunes, and JeffRubinJeffRubinShow.com.