by Graham Pierrepoint
Whether you are a fan or simply someone who doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, HBO’s celebrated fantasy serial Game of Thrones is back – debuting on the network on July 16th, the controversial series will return to pick up from the stunning and murderous aftermath of the Season 6 finale. In the last episode of the show’s most recent run, scores of people were wiped out – and scores more united, across the sea, in a move to conquer King’s Landing. More than simply dragons and gore, the show has enraptured viewers for its complex political playing field and the bizarre twists that have led even the most beloved of characters down a dark path or two. Deviating from characters and plotline laid out by creator and author George RR Martin’s novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, the show has one season left to air – making every episode from here on in absolutely count.
To celebrate the return of the series, free language teaching app Duolingo is offering fans the opportunity to learn ‘High Valyrian’ much in the same manner they would learn French or Italian. High Valyrian is a fictional language spoken throughout the series, largely used by fan favorite Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons. Think of the scheme rather like Star Trek fans being given the chance to learn Klingon – though chances are there are likely to be hundreds out there who already speak it fluently!
Duolingo has been around for some time and is ad-supported to provide users with free access to language tools and daily lessons available from their smartphones. The app recently started introducing more complex languages such as Japanese – and its move to provide High Valyrian is intriguing indeed. Will this mean that hardcore fans can now turn subtitles off during certain scenes? And just how in-depth does the fictional language go? The tongue is treated is an historic language in the series, and while the majority of the cast speak English, there are still important scenes where some characters may slip into High Valyrian – and it will be very interesting to see what Duolingo do with it.
Are there any other languages that could make their way to Duolingo? Will we be able to learn an alien tongue in time for the next Star Wars movie? Let’s wait and see!