A Cheat Sheet Of Game Of Thrones Words & Terminology For Season 8

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Let’s be honest, the vocabulary of Game Of Thrones can be kind of confusing. While there’s clearly a lot of meaning behind everything everyone’s saying, it would be nice if the show provided a guide to make things a bit easier, right? Especially since the HBO series hasn’t been on the air for nearly two years and it’s possible you might have forgotten some of Game of Thrones words and key terms. But, don’t worry, we’re here for you.
We’ve come up with a list of some of the more important words and phrases from Game Of Thrones, some of which were created specifically for the show. The entire Dothraki language? Yeah, you can talk to linguist David J. Peterson about that. This is more of study guide to help prepare you for the eighth and final season of Game Of Thrones.
These are the 28 words — from A to, well, W — that have become a key part of Game Of Thrones after the last seven seasons and will likely come up again in this final one. So keep this handy guide close whenever you get confused because let’s be honest, that might be often.
Arya’s Kill List: those Arya Stark has sworn to kill for what they did to her family and those she loves. She has already taken down Walder Frey and Meryn Trant, but this list, which she often repeats like a prayer, still includes Cersei Lannister, The Mountain, and Beric Dondarrion.
Azor Ahai: the Prince (or Princess) That Was Promised since, as Melisandre revealed in Season 7, the “prince” doesn’t have to be a man. The legendary warrior who forged a special sword from Valyrian steel named Lightbringer to kill the White Walkers, sacrificing himself in the process. It’s believed he will return again to do the same. According to the Red Priestess, the second coming will be contingent on five factors: He or she must be born of smoke and salt, must wake dragons out of stone, must be born under a bleeding red star, must make a sacrifice, and darkness must fall upon the earth. There are many possible Azor Ahais, but Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the frontrunners.
Bran The Builder: The original builder of The Wall, which was built after the Long Night to keep the White Walkers out of Westeros. Some think this mythical Bran, could be the same one we already know. In short: Bran ruins everything.
Children of the Forest: supernatural creatures that are not actually children, but earned the nickname from the First Men. Their history as the likely first inhabitants of Westeros has been all but wiped out, but according to Bran’s vision last season, they’re the original creators of the White Walkers as a form of protection against the First Men. Whoops, looks like that didn’t work out as they planned.
Faceless Men: feared assassins from Braavos who have the ability to take on different appearances often using some very creepy face masks. They’re very good at what they do, so beware. Arya is one of them and has used this ability to take down Walder Frey and all his men who killed her brother and mother, and is almost sure to use it again.
The First Men: the original human inhabitants of Westeros who fought against the Children of the Forest and then with them to defeat the White Walkers during the Battle for the Dawn.
Free Folk: people who live north of The Wall and are descendants of the First Men. Unlike those of the Seven Kingdoms, they aren’t ruled by monarchs but choose their leaders.
Greyscale: an often fatal but always infectious disease that causes the skin to turn stone-like. It did, however, not kill Jorah Mormont, who was given a painful remedy thanks to Samwell Tarly, or Stannis Baratheon’s daughter Shireen, who was instead killed in a much more horrible fashion.
Hand of the King: the top advisor to the person sitting on the Iron Throne who has the power to make decisions for the King or Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Iron Throne: as the name reveals, it is literally an iron throne moulded from hundreds of swords surrendered in battles won by Aegon the Conqueror. The one who sits atop this throne is also the one in charge of the Seven Kingdoms or the realm.
Khaleesi: the Dothraki word for the wife of the khal, or leader of the tribe. It’s one of the many official names for Daenerys Targaryen, who was married to Khal Drogo (R.I.P.), and it’s often mispronounced even by the Game Of Thrones cast. It’s KHAH-lay-see, according to linguist David J. Peterson, who created the Dothraki language.
Kingslayer: Jaime Lannister’s nickname after he killed Daenerys’ father, Aerys “Mad King” Targaryen.
Lightning Lord: Real name Beric Dondarrion, this servant of the Lord Of Light was considered to be an urban legend. After Ned Stark tasked him with executing Ser Gregor Clegane, better known as The Mountain, stories of his death spread throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Yes, he did die, but he’s been resurrected more than a few times thanks to the Lord of Light. He is still alive because he’s been tasked with taking down the Night King, the Lord of Light’s worst opponent. Let’s assume that flaming sword of his is gonna come in handy.
Lightbringer: A sword of fire that is considered to be the greatest sword in the world. Tied to the Azor Ahai prophecy, the sword’s believed to have forged the steel sword with his wife Nessa’s heart. The real Lightbringer is believed to glow and be warm to the touch, just like Nessa. Oh, and it also kills White Walkers.
The Long Night: Eight thousand years before Westeros was united under Aegon the Targaryen, during the Age of Heroes, there was a winter that lasted a generation and all hell broke loose. During this long winter, White Walkers terrorised the Children of the Forest and the First Men. It was only after they formed a truce and realised White Walkers could be killed by dragonglass that the White Walkers were defeated and taken to the North. This led to the building of The Wall, which has protected Westeros up until now.
Maester: "An order of scholars, healers, and learned men" who are the in-house experts for their respective Houses in medicine, education, and raven-sending.
The Night King: The icy silent villain and leader of the White Walker army whose motive is still unclear. Don’t worry, his target will be revealed this season. What we do know is he has an ice dragon and a lot of wights so everyone should be afraid, very afraid. The identity of the Night King is also unknown, but who knows, maybe it’s Bran, which, as you may have noticed, might just be the answer to every Game Of Thrones question you have.
Night’s Watch: the men who dedicate their lives to protecting the Seven Kingdoms against threats beyond the Wall. They are unable to marry, have a family, or own land, devoting themselves only to the sworn brothers of the Watch.
Others: the other name for the White Walkers.
Rains of Castamere: a song that was written for Tywin Lannister’s takedown of the House Reyne of Castamere that when heard, should be a clear sign to get out of there quick. Why? Because the Lannisters always pay their debts. And yes, this one did play at the Red Wedding.
Red Wedding: a massacre that took place at the wedding of the Tullys and the Freys (and attended by multiple important Starks), which was originally seen as a truce, but quickly turned deadly resulting in the tragic deaths of Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark, and his pregnant wife Talisa.
The Three-Eyed Raven: a supernatural messenger whose brain has access to the entire history of Westeros. Bran currently holds the title, but he’s not worthy of the job quite yet. He needs to do a lot more sitting in a cave. Though, food for thought: Bran could have always been the Three-Eyed Raven.
The Unsullied: skilled eunuch slave soldiers from Astapor, known as the Red City, which sits on Slaver’s Bay, who are celibate. Well, most are.
Valar Morghulis: pronounced va-lar mor-goo-lis, it’s the Valyrian saying for “all men must die.” It’s part of the saying for Braavos, a free city which also believes or “all men must serve.” It’s also the phrase the Faceless Man Jaqen H'ghar teaches Arya to repeat to any Braavosi if she’s looking to find him again.
Valyrian Steel: the metal, possibly forged with dragons but definitely forged with magic, was originally invented in Valyria. It’s said to be lighter, stronger, and sharper than other steel. Oh, and it can be used to kill White Walkers. The problem is only the most skilful of blacksmiths can forge the steel.
The Wall: a wall of ice and magic that was built by Bran The Builder to separate the Walker territory from the rest of Westeros. It’s now come down and the Walkers are just walking right into Westeros so, yeah, things are really bad.
Warg: a person with the ability to enter an animal or a human’s mind and control its movement. Bran Stark has this ability.
White Walkers: "creatures of ice and cold who, more than eight thousand years ago, came from the uttermost north,” George R.R. Martin writes, that were once considered the myths of children’s stories until they showed up in droves ready to wreak havoc during the Long Night. They were created by the Children of the Forest as a form of protection from their enemies, but they ended up being unable to control them. Since these ice-cold walkers have the ability to reanimate the dead, they’ve built themselves a powerful army that has now breached the Wall.
Wights: a reanimated corpse of a recently deceased human or animal that has been brought back to life by a White Walker. Multiple wights are referred to as the army of the dead or just the dead.
The Wildlings: a derogatory term for the Free Folk, those that live beyond the Wall, which refers to something that is "wild; not cultivated or domesticated."

More from TV

R29 Original Series