Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis

Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis

The popular interpretation of “Valar morghulis” is “all men must die” – that is, all men are mortal.

It is Valyrian (the Latin equivalent for planetos, the world in which Game of Thrones takes place) and it is a saying for the Faceless Men, a group of assassins of which at least one can change his face that Arya trained with for a time.

“Valar dohaeris” is an equivalent response, which translates as “all men must serve”.

People think they are cool expressions like “Semper Fidelis” for the US Marine Corps.

What I think almost everyone is missing is that “All men MUST die” is not the same as “All men die”.

The motto of the Faceless Men who serve the god of many faces is, thus, a mission rather than a mere Daoist, naturalist worldview.

The god of many faces is not just “death”, but the heartwood trees of the Children of the Forest/Singers of the Earth that have faces and are vampire-like, feeding off the living, Or, as the Faceless Men say, “only death can pay for life”.

Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis Meaning

It is High Valarian where ‘Valar morghulis’ means ‘All men must die’, where most people respond with ‘Valar dohaeris’ which translates to ‘All men must serve’.

It is a mystery as to why exactly this happens. In the series when Arya travels to Braavos to get instructed by Jaqen (who trains her in the ways to the God of Many Faces) and learns about these terms.

My best assumption is that ‘Valar Morghulis’ is used as a threat or a way to enact it as a death threat to create leverage in order to get what you want.

Most likely it is tied to the higher Nobility demanding something to be done, or else… In which the other party either disagrees and dies or agrees and responds with ‘Valar dohaeris’.

You can see Arya use this to get a ferryman to give her passage.

In the last season of Game of Thrones, you also see Melissandre talk to Grey Worm in the same manner, though it is unclear what the true message or intent of the message is.

Most likely the terms gain in popularity because it is an enigma.

Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis
Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis

Which episodes of Game of Thrones specifies the meaning of the phrases ‘Valar Morghulis’ and ‘Valar Dohaeris’?

The meaning of ‘Valar Morghulis’ is stated in Season 3 Episode 3 ‘Walk of Punishment’ (in a conversation between Daenerys and Missandei).

As far as I can tell, the meaning of ‘Valar Dohaeris’ has not been stated on the show.

However, both meanings have been given in the books and became common knowledge even among TV-only fans when the last episode of Season 2 and the first episode of Season 3 was named ‘Valar Morghulis’ and ‘Valar Dohaeris’ respectively.

As already mentioned, Valar Morghulis means “All men must die”, to which the response is Valar Dohaeris meaning, “All men must serve”.

As to why the phrases have become popular, it is probably because they sound cool. High Valyrian is an invented language.

Just like Klingon. It’s just hipster to speak in a tongue that is fictional.

Just like “Dracarys”, but in a deep philosophical context.

Why do you have to say ‘Valar Dohaeris’ after someone says ‘Valar Morghulis’?

It is a recognition sign to the person you are speaking that identifies you as a servant of the many-faced god, the god of death.

If Daenerys had answered Missandei correctly with “Valar dohaeris”, they would have recognized each other as servants of the many-faced god.

The Faceless Men have two major rules that they follow in the Valyrian language that reflects their origins in the Valyria Freehold.

The first is “Valar morghulis”, which translates to: “All men must die.”

Their goal is to serve the god of death by exterminating humanity, giving it “the gift” – of death, euthanasia for humanity’s suffering.

In order to achieve this goal, “Valar dohaeris”, which means “All men must serve.”

That is, all people should serve the god of death and carry out the mission of euthanizing humanity.

The correct response would be “You’re welcome”, but you don’t need to respond. It would be strange and people would avoid you, but it’s your choice.

Valar Morghulis is part of a saying in high valyrian that means “all men must die“.

The customs say that you should respond with “valar dohaeris”, which means “all men must serve”.

It’s a custom of the faceless men to say this when killing someone. Their whole job/purpose/mission is surrounded by these words.

Something like doing the job of the Many-Faced God (valar morghulis) and serving him (valar dohaeris).

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Valar morghulis and valar dohaeris are customary sayings in Essos.

They may have small relevance to certain events that take place in Essos or by the residents of Essos who are in Westeros (e.g. Jaqen H’ghar).

As far as I know, and I say it after following the books and TV series for quite a few years that I have not heard any such theory with some concrete pieces of evidence.

So I guess some of the events may be based on the twin sayings but to say that the entire plot is based is still far stretched.

The saying ‘Valar Morghulis’, meaning ‘All men must die’, is usually followed by the response ‘Valar Dohaeris’, meaning ‘All men must serve’.

This response is generally forgotten by fans who try to squeeze too much meaning out of ‘Valar Morghulis’, which isn’t about killing people, but about accepting death.

The two sayings as a pair signify a humble attitude towards life and death: that people should accept death as a natural part of life, and that they should do their duty while they live.

I’m not sure how this forms any sort of key idea for GoT.

Is “Valar Morghulis” a very sexist punchline?

No, because Valar in Valyrian means men, women, other genders, just about everyone.

Valyrian is a gender-neutral tongue, so there are no gender-specific words to separately connote men and women.

However, what’s dumb may never wise up, but rises again dumber and stupider.

This is why some people have turned it into a ‘feminist slogan’, especially because of the 2nd part of that greeting: Valar Dohaeris (All men must serve).

“Valar Morghulis” comes from the Old Valyrian language… Valyrian is a gender-neutral language, which is why when translated to English.

The word, men serve as a common noun for all humans. It includes women, transgenders as well.

What is your review of Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis?

Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis
Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis

Valar Morghulis (All men must die)!

Game of Thrones is an epic struggle for power. The known world is divided into 4 continents.

The continents of Westeros and Essos are where all action happens.

Westeros is often united under a single throne & is quite homogeneous.

Essos is much bigger and exotic, with a variety of different cultures.

The throne of Westeros (Iron throne) is the most prized one and different families fight to dominate the throne.

In the first 3 seasons, there are 3 parallel threads in which this contest happens.

The first one involves the southern side of Westeros where 5 kings battle to seek the throne after the death of King Robert.

In the extreme north of Westeros, an uncivilized horde constantly threaten to break open the Wall to raid the civilization before the arrival of Winter.

From the Essos, a new queen has risen and builds an army to reclaim her father’s throne at Westeros.

Among the 7 kingdoms & 9 districts of Westeros, 3 families are the most powerful and respected –

House of Stark (with whom we sympathize the most),
House of Baratheon (who are the prevailing regents)
The House of Lannister (the richest and most feared).

Many of the major characters come from these 3.

As each group of men (and women) seek to dominate over the same region, clashes and violence happen.

Both good and bad people fight madly in search of power.

Favorite and righteous characters die throughout the story betrayed by their own, while the evil men grow in complexity.

That is the most I want to stay. Anything more could ruin your viewing experience.

Do watch the DVDs. It is probably the most epic story ever.

Btw.. if you have the faintest of the hearts, be careful with the 9th episode in all the seasons.

Valar Dohaeris (all men must serve)!

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Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis

Jenny Cooper

I am a Health blogger from Toronto Canada

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