Everyone who watched Game of Thrones knows at least one word in High Valyrian – dracarys. That was enough, though. With every (known) Targaryen gone from Westeros, there wasn’t a lot of need to use the famed house’s native tongue. Not until Daenerys Stormborn returned to claim the Iron Throne. But that won’t be the case with the upcoming prequel, House of the Dragon. Set 150 years before the original series, the show will see Daenerys’ ancestor’s at the height of their power. (Right before they nearly destroyed themselves.) And with so many High Valyrian speakers playing major roles on the spinoff, Duolingo has partnered with HBO Max to teach you how to speak House Targaryen’s original language with more words and phrases than ever before.
Duolingo and HBO Max want fans fully prepared for House of the Dragons‘ August 21 premiere. The language learning platform is launching an improved High Valyrian course. That’s the fictional language of Old Valyria first heard on Game of Thrones. This updated course includes more than 150 new words, as well as 700+ new sentences. Viewers will hear some of those “key phrases” on the prequel series.
The course will also help them out when they use HBO Max’s new augmented reality DracARys app. The app will let learners “hatch a personalized, virtual dragon egg.” they’ll then get to ‘raise’ their dragon” in AR. Only, just like Daenerys’s children, the virtual dragons will only respond to commands in High Valyrian.
To expand the fictional language, Duolingo worked with High Valyrian’s creator, David Peterson. “I am thrilled for new and old fans of the Game of Thrones series to experience the High Valyrian language,” said Peterson in a press release. “It’s been a pleasure to revisit the world of Westeros for House of the Dragon’ and work with the team at Duolingo to breathe new life into this course.”
The companies have already put up “cryptic” ads in Valyrian in big city’s around the country. (We swear, if they say, “Buy More Ovaltine” in High Valyrian…we’ll tip our hat for an amazing joke.) And Duolingo’s mascot, Duo the Owl, will be at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con promoting the program.
If you hear Duo say “dracarys” you should probably run. You don’t want to find out the hard way if someone is practicing their High Valyrian or actually calling for dragonfire.