This is what Valar Morghulis means: All men must die / All men must die
The expression “Valar Morghulis” comes from the Fantasy world from George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” and in the artificial language Valyrian means “All people must die”. In the fictional universe, the phr ase is associated with the followers of the many-faced God.
In the book as well as in the series, we learn the greeting through Arya Starks
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Origin of Valar Morghulis
George R.R. Martin Like many authors in the fantasy genre, he invented his own language for the story. “Valar Morghulis” comes from the “GoT” language with the same status that Latin has in the western world: High Valyrian. These common language in Essos is no longer spoken by the general public, but some idioms are still widespread, comparable to Latin sayings such as “Carpe Diem”.
In the HBO Series “Game of Thrones”, David J. Peterson worked out the Valyrian snippets from the books, with “Valar Morghulis” and “Valar Dohaeris” forming the basis of the language. Both phrases also gave titles to one episode of the series.
“Valar Morghulis” should acknowledge the transience of life and make it clear that everything will come to an end and that this inevitability does not have to be feared. Also in rl there are many expressions with a similar feeling, for example “Memento Mori”, Latin for “memory of death”. Vanitas was an essential part of culture, especially in the late Middle Ages and Baroque, but the topic is still relevant today, as can be seen in “GoT”.
Ambiguity of Valar Moghulis
The world of “Game of Thrones” is in the original English, so that “Valar Morghulis” originally means “All men must die”. While “all must die” can be translated quite clearly as “all must die”, “men” can mean both “people” and “men”. This ambiguity is made clear by a statement from Daenerys subsequently “The Way of Chastisement” clear.
In this she explains Missandei, recently freed from slaverythat a bumpy road awaits her should she join Daenerys. When the interpreter says “Valar Morghulis”, Daenerys replies in English: “We are not men.” In this case, we are not men.
Valar Morghulis and Valar Dohaeris
While “Valar Morghulis” can be heard much more often on “GoT”, the phrase “Valar Dohaeris” can also be heard often. This stands for “All people must serve” and is often the answer to the former saying.