TORONTO — Viewers anxiously awaiting the return of “Game of Thrones” can get an early start on the action with a lesson in High Valyrian.

Language-teaching app Duolingo and American linguist David J. Peterson drafted a virtual course that lets fans pick up the fictional vocabulary spoken on HBO’s show.

It’s most commonly used by Daenerys — the ruler known as the Mother of Dragons — on the series, but Valyrian has quickly become a dying language as many of the characters get killed off.

Petersen was instrumental in adapting the fictional language used sparsely by author George R.R. Martin in the fantasy novels “A Song of Ice and Fire,” on which the TV show is based.

He started building the language with those parts, in particular phrases like “Valar Morghulis,” or “All men must die,” and “Valar Dohaeris” or “All men must serve.”

Picking up languages from fictional TV series is a popular tradition, particularly for sci-fi and fantasy devotees.

Various iterations of the “Star Trek” series birthed several languages, most notably Klingon, while the “Lord of the Rings” books and films popularized Elvish languages created by author J.R.R. Tolkien.

“Game of Thrones” already has various online dictionaries that dissect various dialects on the series, while online language service Living Language offers a US$30 course in Dothraki, another language developed for the series.

“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO Canada on Sunday.

Learn High Valyrian on Duolingo:

Learn Dothraki on Living Language:


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David Friend, The Canadian Press