Valar Morghulis – Valar Morghulis signify in Game of Thrones

Valar Morghulis

Theon incites his men to action, Luwin offers advice, Brienne silences Jaime, Arya receives a gift, Dany goes to a strange place and Jon proves himself.

Show: Game of Thrones
Airdate: 3 June 2012
Previous episode: Blackwater
Next episode: Valar Dohaeris
Director: Alan Taylor
Featured music: Ramin Djawadi

“If the day comes when you would find me again, give that coin to any man from Braavos, and say these words to him — Valar Morghulis.”

Jaqen H’ghar leaves Arya with only an old iron coin, and two words to say to any man from Braavos she meets.

Arya repeats these words often times throughout the series, never quite knowing what they mean. Later we see Melisandre using the same words.

“Valar Dohaeris, All men must serve. Faceless Men most of all.” – Jaqen H’ghar

Now for the question of popularity, just try speaking these words yourself, ain’t there a catch in them?

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Valar Morghulis
Valar Morghulis

Valar Morghulis – Valar Morghulis signify in Game of Thrones

Quora Facts

They definitely sound cool. People use these words in different situations imitating the characters or suggesting something in a deep_philosophical_tone. Maybe?

What do the phrases “Valar Dohaeris” and “Valar Morghulis” signify in Game of Thrones? Why are they gaining such popularity?

Valar Morghulis is a Braavosi greeting said in the High Valyrian language, which literally translates to “All men must die” in the Common Tongue.

Valar Dohaeris is its accompanying greeting, which literally translates to “All men must serve”.

But if you would allow me to geek out, and I mean that in a bad way, there’s a deeper meaning to these two greetings, which double up as historical proverbs regarding the Braavosi and the House of Black and White, the headquarters of the mysterious religious cult of the Faceless Men, in the city of Braavos.

So, here’s the deal.

All Braavosi are descendants of slaves, folk who Dohaeris/served against their will while being held captive to an ancient slave-holding empire, the Valyrian Freehold.

The slaves escaped their masters one fine day, took a clumsy, arduous sea-voyage from their place of captivity, and accidentally found a hidden lagoon a thousand miles away, forming in it what became Braavos, the City Of A Hundred Isles.

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A Wiki of Ice and Fire
A Wiki of Ice and FireThe Valyrian Freehold’s democracy — power through dragons

Before their escape, however, most of them — the worst of the worst slaves — were sent to serve at the deepest parts of the fire pits in Valyria, one of the most dangerous places in their world, where volcanic lava spluttered on their poor persons, where fire-wyrms preyed on them daily, and where sudden flares crisped their skin.

Valar morghulis – A Wiki of Ice and Fire

But that wasn’t the worst of it.

What was, was that they weren’t even allowed to kill themselves.

Then, suddenly, before you could say “Fuck Oligarchy,” they were set free.

The man who set them free, or so they say, was one who gave them “the gift” i.e. Death, or more accurately, euthanasia.

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Valar Dohaeris

A Man

This man set off a social domino effect within the Valyrian Freehold, on the backs of these small acts of mercy towards the suicidal slaves — first giving them hope, then catalysing rebellion, and, finally, making multiple assassinations of the Valyrian Masters with other like-minded men.

Within a few months, they effectively ended the slavery in that area, after which the slaves escaped to the Braavos and the other Free Cities on that one fine day, as mentioned, above.

These men who took matters into their own hands and freed their counterparts came to be known as the Faceless Men (those guys who refer to themselves in the third person on the show), and the man in the picture, the first Faceless Man.

Obviously, these 2 proverbs originated from this time, when these pre-Braavosi people were liberated from their slavery by their Death-toting guardians, and were free to roam the earth and do as they pleased, with what remained of their lives.

The greetings could mean a variety of things in present-day Essos, if you take all this into consideration and put them under semiotic analysis:

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Valar Morghulis’ and the Histories of Game of Thrones Words

  1. “In life, all men must serve even if they don’t want to, and Death will free them.”
  2. “Fret not, Death isn’t as bad as it seems, because our life is fraught with serving the undeserving (tyrants).”
  3. “We like saying this dreary mystic shit to scare away those moronic Westerosi tourists, and their too-hopeful Faith of the Seven.”
  4. “Our great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents wanted to end themselves in those Valyrian volcanoes, but they didn’t, and they came here and now we’re all coolly chatting in Low-Valyrian, except for this greeting-part. Yay us!”
  5. “This is a Shibboleth, in case the dragons (and the Tags) come back one day, so we know we stand together, giving them the Gift together.”

In the real world (i.e. Earth, our home planet) these 2 proverbs are gaining traction because the HBO show has become a peculiar global trend, but I also think it has a stronger meaning when said among modern employees in modern workplaces, probably because slavery still exists, albeit under different forms and names.

I think you should go back to slave, I mean, work now.

Valar Dohaeris.

Thanks for the A2A, Revanth. 🙂

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

What most people think it means is that “Death is inevitable”. However, people fail to see a deeper underlying message.

When someone says Valar Morghulis, they are acknowledging the finality of death. And then the other person replies with Valar Dohaeris, implying that though death will come for all, every man/woman must serve their purpose in life before dying.

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.

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

What most people think it means is that “Death is inevitable”. However, people fail to see a deeper underlying message.

When someone says Valar Morghulis, they are acknowledging the finality of death. And then the other person replies with Valar Dohaeris, implying that though death will come for all, every man/woman must serve their purpose in life before dying.

359 Best Valar Morghulis images | Valar morghulis, Game of …

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.

Both the phrases are in a language called “High Valyrian”. Mostly spoken by people on the Essos Islands (next to Westeros).

“Valar Morghulis” – All men must die
“Valar Dohaeris” – All Men must serve.
The second phrase is usually spoken as a response to the first phrase.

The popularity has increased ever since Jaqen H’Ghar introduced it. And as the series moves towards the Essosi islands, the significance of the phrases increases.

In fact, people have now started to get these phrases inked on them.

Is it “despatched” or “dispatched”?

Valar Morghulis
Valar Morghulis

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.

What is the meaning of Valar Morghulis?

“Valar Morghulis” is a phrase in high Valyrain that translates to “All men must die.” . It is usually used to greet the other person. It expresses equality among all people. The appropriate reply to this phrase is “Valar Dohaeris” which translates to “All men must serve.” Hope this helped erase your doubt.

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5 valar morghulis reply

Why do even men say Valar Morghulis?

It doesn’t mean “All men should die” – like the sayer wishes for death. It means “All men must die” – death is inevitable.

The fact that we’re all going to die means a lot of things. First, it means we’re equal, which is in part why I think it’s used as a greeting. And we must find purpose – Valar Dohaeris

The phrase “All men must die” is also used in the song The dornishman’s wife, though not in Valyrian

“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”

Here it just means what our society would call YOLO. I’m not sure the Valyrian form is used in the same way (in a hedonistic sense) elsewhere.

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