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David J Peterson had created a language for White Walkers, but it wasn’t used in Game of Thrones




A good fantasy must be able to distinguish itself from reality, and one of the main ways to do this is through the use of language. Dothraki and High Valyrian are two languages that were created specifically for the television series Game of Thrones. They were established on linguist David J. Peterson‘s sparing use of the languages in the books. He is also working on the scripts for House of the Dragon, which will have a lot of High Valyrian content. However, there were more languages he created for the show that haven’t made it to the screens, yet.

David J. Peterson created a language for White Walkers

Peterson is a master conlanger, and he had created languages for probably every dialect mentioned in George R. R. Martin’s books. In an old podcast with Watchers on the Wall he talked about creating a language for the White Walkers called Skroth. The language used in the books was supposed to be based on the sounds made by White Walkers; however, on the show, it was eventually replaced by the sound of ice-cracking. He said, “Basically, they just say, ‘Try to wow me.’ And then when my stuff doesn’t make it into the show, I figure, ‘Well, I failed.’”

How David J. Peterson creates languages like Dothraki and High Valyrian

Peterson once also explained how he comes up with languages like Dothraki or High Valyrian, “Sometimes it’s your own invention and sometimes it’s just trying to match certain aesthetics, an aesthetic that’s there. For example, with the Dothraki, George R.R. Martin mentioned several times in the books that “anything of importance is done under an open sky.” That comes from one of the early chapters where they have the wedding of Daenerys and Khal Drogo.”


“I think it’s the first time it’s mentioned. So there are all of these things that they do that strike one as a little bizarre if you come from a society like we do. In Martin’s world they really shun buildings and interior spaces, favoring doing things outdoors.”

“And so, I thought, well, this is an opportunity to kind of play with what George R.R. Martin had set up. If you want to say you’re doing something in secret in Dothraki, you say you’re doing it under a roof, literally, and then it just means doing it in secret.”

Owing to the massive popularity of Peterson’s work, you can now learn High Valyrian on Duolingo, curated by Peterson himself.

Are there White Walkers in House of the ​Dragon?

Although there is no mention of White Walkers so far, there are rumors that we might get a glimpse of the wights in House of the Dragon Season 2, as a callback to Game of Thrones. Jacaerys Velaryon will be visiting Winterfell in the second season, and it is likely that we might get a subtle nod to the undead ice menace. The language created by Peterson for the White Walkers might find a use there.

Read Next: White Walkers’ origins get new lore from Aegon the Conqueror’s prophecy in House of the Dragon premiere?

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Sayantan is a keen follower of everything pop culture; from films, shows, anime to video games and latest memes. He started writing professionally for Wiki of Thrones during the 2021 lockdown, and has been developing his writing and editing skills ever since. Sayantan has since worked for several reputed firms, such as Collider and FandomWire, gathering experience and nods from some of the best in the industry. With a growing repertoire amassing renowned websites, Sayantan is your go to guy for all things Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. When he is not hunting for headlines and theories, you can find him engrossed in fantasy shows, conspiracy theories and video games.

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