10 High Valyrian Phrases All Westerosi Tourists (and Game of Thrones Fans) Should Know

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Fans of Game of Thrones are probably more familiar with some Dothraki words and phrases than they are with High Valyrian words beyond dracarys. But those who are looking to brush up on the language ahead of Game of Thrones's final season just need to visit language website Duolingo, which features a High Valyrian course put together by Game of Thrones language guru David J. Peterson.

Ahead of the show's season 8 premiere on April 14, 2019, Peterson outlined a few High Valyrian phrases that anyone hoping to visit Westeros should master.

1. Skorverdon dekuroti Dōros hen kesīr ilza?

It probably isn’t a place you’d want to visit now that it has been breached by the Night King, Zombie Viserion, and the Army of the Dead, but if the Wall is still on your Westerosi bucket list, memorize the phrase “Skorverdon dekuroti Dōros hen kesīr ilza?” which means, “How much farther is the Wall?”

2. Skoriot dīnāzmot geron ilza?

Weddings are rarely joyous affairs in Westeros (just ask Robb Stark and King Joffrey), but if you’re planning to attend one regardless, this is the phrase for you: It means “which way to the wedding?”

3. Sparos Āegenkon Dēmalion dēmassis?

This question—which means “Who holds the Iron Throne?”—is probably best asked outside of King’s Landing, where Cersei will have you beheaded for daring to be so stupid.

4. Kesy Dornīhor averilla issa?

Or: “Is this Dornish wine?” As a visitor to Westeros, it’s important to know that there are two types of Dornish wine: sour and strongwine. They’re both reds, and probably both enjoyed by Cersei and Tyrion Lannister. (It should be noted: You don’t have to go to Westeros to drink Game of Thrones wine.)

5. Kaerīnvesse Dāroti Viliniot mazōreksi?

Some of us can’t travel without crafting a detailed itinerary. “Kaerīnvesse Dāroti Viliniot mazōreksi?”—“Does Kings Landing take reservations?”—is a phrase for all the planners out there.

6. Sōnarurlio gōviliria rēbagon rakegon kostan?

This translates to “Can I book a tour at the Crypt of Winterfell?” Because what trip to Westeros would be complete without paying your respects to Ned, Lyanna, and all the other dearly departed Starks?

7. Āegenkor Tistālior ATM ēza?

The answer to this question—which translates to, “Does the Iron Bank have an ATM?”—is only yes if you’re Cersei Lannister. Another High Valyrian phase you could consider memorizing is “Skorverdon kesy issa,” or “How much is this?”

8. Zaldrīzome arrikson kostan?

Or, “Can I take a picture with a dragon?” (Something tells us Drogon wouldn’t be open to selfies, though …)

9. Bosī Bāno Lōtinto bāngiot umbas?

This translates to “How long is the line for Hot Pie’s bakery?” The answer is probably: Pretty long. The guy makes the best bread in Westeros! (Fun fact: Ben Hawkey, the actor who plays Hot Pie, opened a pop-up bakery in London back in 2017 as part of a Game of Thronespromotion.)

10. Riña dōre brōzi ēza.

To be used if you’re Arya Stark, or just if someone asks for your name and don't feel like giving it: It translates to, “a girl has no name.”

You can learn more High Valyrian by visiting Duolingo.

5 Wild Facts About Mall Madness

Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

The mall, home of fashion brands, bookstores, and anchor locations like Sears, was a must-visit location for Americans in the 1980s and 1990s—and especially for teenagers. Teens also played Mall Madness, a board game from Milton Bradley introduced in 1988 that tried to capture the excitement of soft pretzels and high-interest credit card shopping in one convenient tabletop game. Navigating a two-story shopping mall, the player who successfully spends all of their disposable income to acquire six items from the shopping list and return to the parking lot wins.

If you’re nostalgic for this simulated spending spree, you're in luck: Hasbro will be bringing Mall Madness back in fall 2020. Until then, check out some facts about the game’s origins.

1. Mall Madness was the subject of a little controversy.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Milton Bradley put a focus on the tween demographic. Their Dream Phone tasked young players with finding the boy of their dreams; Mall Madness, which began as an analog game but quickly added an electronic voice component, served to portray tweens as frenzied shoppers. As a result, the game drew some criticism upon release for its objective—to spend as much money as possible—and for ostensibly portraying the tweens playing as “bargain-crazy, credit-happy fashion plates,” according to Adweek. Milton Bradley public relations manager Mark Morris argued that the game taught players “how to judiciously spend their money.”

2. The original Mall Madness may not be the same one you remember.

The electronic version of Mall Madness remains the most well-known version of the game, but Milton Bradley introduced a miniature version in 1988 that was portable and took the form of an audio cassette. With the game board folded in the case, it looks like a music tape. Opened, the tri-fold board resembles the original without the three-dimensional plastic mall pieces. It was one of six games the company promoted in the cassette packaging that year.

3. Mall Madness was not the only shopping game on the market.

At the same time Mall Madness was gaining in popularity, consumers could choose from two other shopping-themed board games: Let’s Go Shopping from the Pressman Toy Corporation and Meet Me At the Mall from Tyco. Let’s Go Shopping tasks girls with completing a fashion outfit, while Meet Me At the Mall rewards the player who amasses the most items before the mall closes.

4. There was a Hannah Montana version of Mall Madness.

In the midst of Hannah Montana madness in 2008, Hasbro—which acquired Milton Bradley—released a Miley Cyrus-themed version of the game. Players control fictional Disney Channel singing sensation Hannah Montana as she shops for items. There was also A Littlest Pet Shop version of the game, with the tokens reimagined as animals.

5. Mall Madness is a collector’s item.

Because, for the moment, Hasbro no longer produces Mall Madness, a jolt of nostalgia will cost you a few dollars. The game, which originally sold for $30, can fetch $70 or more on eBay and other secondhand sites.

Why Do People Toss Beads During Mardi Gras?

Kameleon007/iStock via Getty Images
Kameleon007/iStock via Getty Images

Each year, more than 1 million people descend on New Orleans for Mardi Gras, an organized parade of debauchery and alcohol-induced torpor that may be the closest thing modern civilization has to the excesses of ancient Rome. Saturating the scene on Bourbon Street are plastic beads, handed or tossed to partygoers as a kind of currency. Some bare their breasts or offer booze in exchange for the tokens; others catch them in the air and wear the layers around their necks. Roughly 25 million pounds of beads are in circulation annually, making them as much a part of the Fat Tuesday celebration as sugary cocktails and King Cake.

Traditions and rituals can be hard to pin down, but Mardi Gras historians believe the idea of distributing trinkets began in the 1870s or 1880s, several hundred years after French settlers introduced the celebration to Louisiana in the 1600s. Party organizers—known locally as krewes—handed out baubles and other shiny objects to revelers to help commemorate the occasion. Some of them threw chocolate-covered almonds. They were joined by more mischievous attendees, who threw dirt or flour on people in an effort to stir up a little bit of trouble.

Why beads? Tiny tokens that represent wealth, health, and other prosperity have been a part of human history for centuries. In Egypt, tokens were handed out in the hopes they would guarantee a happy afterlife; the abacus, or bead-based system of accounting, used trinkets to perform calculations; pagan pre-winter rituals had people throwing grains into fields hoping to appease gods that would nourish their crops.

Humans, argues archaeologist Laurie Wilkie, display "bead lust," or a penchant for shiny objects. It's one possible reason why Mardi Gras attracts so many people with their arms in the air, elated to receive a gift of cheap plastic.

Photo of a well-dressed bulldog celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Mario Tama, Getty Images

The early beads were made of glass before more efficient production methods overseas led to an influx of plastic beads in the 1960s. Unlike some of the more organic predecessors, these beads have come under criticism for being a source of health problems and pollution. Made from petroleum, they often harbor lead that seeps into the soil and rubs off on hands. (One estimate puts the lead deposit after a Mardi Gras celebration at 4000 pounds.) In 2017, New Orleans paid $7 million in clean-up costs to remove discarded beads from drain basins. In 2018, they installed gutter guards to prevent the necklaces from getting into the system in the first place. Meanwhile, scientists have been working to create an even more eco-friendly version of the beads—like a biodegradable version made from microalgae.

Environmental hazards aside, the beads of Mardi Gras have become as much a holiday staple as Christmas stockings or Thanksgiving turkeys. But the passion and desperate need for them is only temporary; in 2018, 46 tons of the beads were removed from just five blocks of the main parade route on Charles Street. And no bacchanal should leave that much bad juju behind.

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