Tongues of Ice and Fire: Creating the Languages in ‘Game of Thrones’


Fans of Game of Thrones now know the character of Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) has truly arrived. Sure, the erstwhile heir to the Iron Throne has already eaten a horse’s heart raw, wandered barren wastelands and escaped a gaggle of amphibian-faced warlocks. But at the end of the fourth episode of season three, Daenerys utters words for the first time in her mother tongue of High Valyrian — and, in so doing, takes command of an army, orders a shock-and-awe dragon strike and emerges the Stormborn Queen she was meant to be. Never, as my TV-critic colleague Jim Poniewozik wrote, has she “been more compellingly terrifying.”

A big reason for that (at least, judging from fan reactions on Twitter) is the awesome authority this language seems to give her. It’s new, of course, to viewers, but not in the universe of Game of Thrones:…

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Mission First. People Always.

This is a quote I learned when I was watching the Lifetime TV show Army Wives. However, I did grow up with a father in uniform. And this is one of my all-time favorite quotes. When I told a friend about it, he didn’t get it. But then I explained.

To me it’s like, people are what matter, people are what’s important. Not all people – but like, the people that matter to you. Your friends, family, who you love… They’re the most important thing in your life. And I’ll always choose them over doing something. Not like, use them to avoid doing something I wanna do but like, if/when they need me, I’ll choose them over sleep and I’ll ditch a lecture and I’ll drop what I’d been looking forward to doing on my day off to be with them because they’re more imporant than things. Mission first. People always.

I would gladly stay up all night for someone who needed me to be there for them. I would do anything in my power to help. It’s like that song by The Fray: And I would have stayed up with you all night, had I known how to save a life. I would stay up regardless of whether I am capable of helping. I would stay up no matter what the situation was. No matter who it was – I would do that for anyone who came to me for help.

I have another friend. Actually, he’s more than just a friend. He’s special. And I can always tell when something isn’t right, even though we’ve never met. I get a feeling, and I can also see it in how he writes – that’s how well I know him. Tonight is one of these nights, when something isn’t exactly right. I got the feeling when I asked me a question. He confirmed with how he replied when I asked why he asked after answering his question.

I wish he was closer. I wish I could just get in a car and drive to be with him – I can’t drive but how hard could it be? I’d get there. I’d kick down the door if I had to (or at least break the window so I could unlock it from the inside). I’d hold him. Talk to him. Listen to him. Not say a word. Whatever he needs, that’s what I’d do. Make him feel less lonely. Show him that everything will be okay. Be there for him. Tell him that this is the part that sucks but it will get better and that I’ll be here through it all. I’ll always be here. He’s never alone.

It’s terrifying to love someone and worry about them when you’re too far away to do a damn thing about it. But I’ll stay up all night tonight if that’s what he needs. I’ll talk on whatever social media or skype or whatever he wants. I’ll do whatever he wants. I’ll be a wreck tomorrow and my parents will ask why on earth I didn’t sleep and I’ll tell them that someone needed me and I’ll tell them “Mission first – people always”.

I’ve been listening to All Time Low while writing this, and the song Missing You came on and it reminded me of him. The lyrics are perfect, so I will end this entry with them:

I heard that you’ve been self-medicating
In the quiet of your room
Your sweet suburban tomb
And if you need a friend
I’ll help you stitch up your wounds

I’ve heard that you’ve been having some trouble
Finding your place in the world
I know how much that hurts
But if you need a friend
Then please, just say the word

You’ve come this far
You’re all cleaned up
You made a mess again
There’s no more trying
It’s time to sort yourself out

Hold on tight
This ride is a wild one
Make no mistake, the day will come
When you can’t cover up what you’ve done
Now don’t lose your fight, kid
It only takes a little push to pull on through
With so much left to do
You’ll be missing out
And we’ll be missing you

Grit your teeth
Pull your hair
Paint the walls black and scream
“Fuck the world!
It’s my life and I’m gonna take it back”
And never for a second blame yourself

– Julie

Movie Love in Real Life?

I wonder what it’s like, to kiss the love of your life for the first time…

Every kiss before the right kiss doesn’t count anyway. I’ve kissed a lot of women. The first time I kissed my wife… Well, I mean she wasn’t my wife then; she was just this girl in a bar. And when we kissed, it was like – I got to tell you – it was like I never kissed any other woman before. It was like the first kiss, the right kiss. ~ Derek Sheppherd, “Grey’s Anatomy”

A lot of people kiss a lot of people throughout their life. And at some point they decide that they don’t want to kiss any other person than this one person, that they want to spend their life with that person. But did they know that, the first time they kissed? Or did they find out after they got to know this person, after many dates, many kisses, many nights spent together… I wonder.

A lot of people don’t even get to be alone in the same room as their spouse until they’re married. In many cultures, that is the norm. Some people don’t get to choose the person they have to spend the rest of their life with. Some of these couples end up loving each other. Some become friends but nothing more. Some never get anywhere. Do they know where they will end up when they kiss for the first time?

Books and movies are one thing. Derek knew when he first kissed Meredith in “Grey’s Anatomy”. Lucy in “My Name Is Memory” knew it was Daniel even though she couldn’t remember her past lives but he could. She knew it before they kissed. Nicholas Sparks is perhaps the best known contrmporary author of true love and romance novels. These people they meet, they kiss, something happens and they’re forced apart, they fight, they end up back together, they’re meant to be.

But what about real life? Is it possible to meet someone and just know that they’re the one? To kiss someone and know that they’re the love of your life? I haven’t experienced it, otherwise I would probably be with the person right now… But I’m not. But like I said, I do wonder what it’s like, to kiss the love of your life for the first time…


Few things are better than reconnecting with people that were once important to you. This week I’ve reconnected with two such people.

The first one is a friend of mine from Brazil. We were friends when we were exchange students in America in 2009-2010. We were sisters, she and I, and another girl, from Poland. The girl from Poland and I have met twice, first in 2011 when I visited her in the summer, and then again last summer, 2014, when I was in the US visiting my family and they decided to surprise me by bringing her over. My Brazilian sister felt left out and she didn’t reply to our messages when we were there, and she didn’t talk to us for a long time… And then two days ago she sent us a long message on our group chat, talking about how she had felt left out but that this isn’t what she wants from our friendship, and that she was sorry. And now we’re talking and getting to know each other again, catching up on the past year… It’s been wonderful!

The second is a bit more of a complicated situation. I’ve been reconnecting with a guy I got to know last fall and have been talking to all winter and spring until the end of April when things took a u-turn and I’ve been really sad for a month. Monday last week he sent me a message and we’ve been talking and it’s almost as if the last month didn’t happen. Everything is wonderful again.

Reconnecting is a great thing. I wish I’d been the one to initiate.

– Julie


I just really didn’t like the “nothing found” entry on my blog’s front page so I just wanted to take a minute to write something…

So why not take the time to welcome you all to my blog! I’ve literally no idea how to use WordPress, I’ve never been on this website before, so I hope you’ll all be patient with me as I figure this out and please leave me tips and tricks on how to make my blog more interesting, what topics I could write about, stuff like that.

I just had a mini workout sesh and am off to take a shower before I do something productive today…

I hope you have a great day!

– Julie