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Inspirational Reads

Friday Morning Latin Lesson, Vol. XCIX

April 15, 2011

Sunday evening, something that I've actually been looking forward to is being released on HBO. I'm talking about the premier of the Game of Thrones television series. It's based on George R.R. Martin's book by the same name. And, in case you haven't read the books...well, villain, allow me to give you a short preview. It's harsh. It's dark. It's gritty. And don't get too attached to any characters.

There's also a lot of sex. A lot! And there's also a lot of bloodshed. In the first fifteen minutes, as one review put it, we're "treated" to two beheadings. It's pretty violent.

Essentially, the story is set in a mythical land and a bunch of nobles are vying for who has the power to rule over said land (it's called Westeros, or the Seven Kingdoms). It does have a nice medieval theme to it (knights, swords, horse shit). We'll be following the twists and intricacies as the major noble families all try to curry favor with the throne, or just attempt to gain the throne altogether.

Plus, it has Sean Bean as Ned Stark. You know, the dude who played Boromir. And Peter Dinklage plays one very awesome and very convincing Tyrion Lannister (though I can't tell if he has two differently colored eyes or not).

While I've often given Martin shit over the years for taking five years to write books (says the guy who started a book in college and STILL hasn't published it), his work is fucking brilliant. I love it. He's been a huge influence on my writing, moreso, perhaps, even than Tolkien. One thing that Martin's books has taught me is that no one is purely good or purely evil. Everyone does something for a reason, and that's usually to improve their lot in life. There are no white knights. There is no dark lord who does things for the pure power of evil. Instead, there are cruel people with power, good people with power, and, in the end, all they want is to make sure they wake up tomorrow morning. How they attain that goal and the motivation behind it is where people begin to be "good" or "evil".

For instance, in Game of Thrones (or, more properly, the entire series, A Song of Ice and Fire), two of my favorite characters are probably best classified as antagonists. And, one of the protagonists, I hate. I hate her more and more with each page I read. And I'm not talking about Sansa.

Anyway, since we're talking about a medieval-themed world, there are, of course, nobles and commons and peasants and all that. Each house--great or small--and all the free knights have their own heraldic crests and sigils. And with most of them, they have mottoes that describe their house: short phrases that either inspire trepidation in their enemies, or abide by the honor of their traditions.

One branch of my family, the Gordons in Scotland, had a couple of mottoes, as well. One was in Scottish: Bydand, which means "Remaining, Abiding". The other was in Latin: Animo non Astutia, meaning "By Courage, not Craft".

Since I'm an incredible dork, and because I actually could do this without much difficulty, I translated some of the mottoes of the noble families of Westeros into Latin. All the heraldry shields were "borrowed" from, which is a huge compendium of everything dealing with George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.

Hibernum venit.

Pronounced: "Hee-bare-noom way-neet."

Frosty translation in the hovertext

Familia, Officium, Honor

Pronounced: "Fah-mee-lee-ah, Oh-fee-kee-oom, Hoh-nohr."

Fishy translation in the hovertext

Furia nostrae est

Pronounced: "Foo-ree-ah noh-stry est"

Regal translation in the hovertext

Fremo, me audi

Pronounced: "Fray-mo, may oh-dee"

Golden translation in the hovertext

Some of the translations are straight forward. Others, like the Lannisters' motto, is a little difficult because I had to figure out which "roar" to use. Plus, word order can be kind of tricky when going from English to Latin.

Any way, have a good weekend, all. And remember that the first episode of Game of Thrones comes on Sunday night at 9 o'clock pm on HBO. Or, if you're like me, you'll watch it on Monday night on Hulu. Man, I can't WAIT for Monday.


I think I need to go vomit after having said that...


Ed said...

Can't wait to see this.

Anonymous said...

The best description I heard about Game of Thrones (and I'm paraphrasing), was that this is what Lord of the Rings would have been like if the characters got horny. Now there's a way to get an audience.

Gwen said...

OOOOH! Sounds terrific. And, since I don't have HBO, thanks for the tip about Hulu.

Wynn said...

Yay friday morning latin! Hope you have an awesome weekend even though you long for next week to start! ;)

SkylersDad said...

I have missed the Friday morning Latin posts! This looks quite interesting, who doesn't love a good beheading?

corticoWhat said...

Sacrilege! Tolkien is God.

But I'll watch in sin.

DEZMOND said...

what I love most about this premiere is that after THE WALKING DEAD, GAME OF THRONES will be the second show in history to be broadcast around the world in two days.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Who's the protagonist you hate? It's Catelyn, isn't it?

I love his characters too, particularly his female characters. Such a complex, broad range of good/evil, intelligent/vapid, fierce/weak.

MJenks said...

@ Ed: I've heard it's good. True to form. I just haven't seen an episode yet.

@ Joshua: Whoever came up with that idea either has never seen (or read) the Lord of the Rings (or any Tolkien) or they haven't read Martin. Oh, it has armor and swords in it! It must be like Lord of the Rings! I'll just write that! Wrong. Martin's world is far more real, more gritty, and without any of that "these are the good guys, root for them" crap. It's harsh, it's dark, and it's not a morality tale. So, the analogy fails on several levels.

Not an attack against you; just my response to the critic who penned it in the first place.

@ Wynn: Thanks. Good to be back! Sort of.

@ SkyDad: It is good. And, I think the guys losing their heads probably don't like it much.

CorticoWhat: I wasn't knocking Tolkien. Tolkien and Martin are two very, VERY different voices in the field. Without Tolkien, Martin (and me) probably never finds a market. So, everything does boil back to John Ronald Reuel.

@ Dezmond: That's not as exciting as the fact that this finally got made. Though, I still wish Jennifer Ehle had been cast as Catelyn.

@ Steamy: Yes. At first, I loved her. On my subsequent readings, I'm glad I know what happens to her. But, I curse Beric Dondarrion.