In Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 3 “Breaker of Chains”, Daenerys and her army are challenged, taunted and insulted by a champion of Meereen at the gates of the city. In particular, one Valyrian sentence can be heard clearly:

Oa mysa iles me nýnyghi.

This part is not translated by Missandei. Various internet sources (with the usual limited credibility) claim that this sentence translates as

Your mother was a hamster.

which apparently is a reference to the taunting French guard in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975):

I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough whopper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Is this assertion true?

The ridiculing by the champion of Meereen is also much longer, but partly incomprehensible. Is there a translation of the whole speech? Are there even more references to Monty Python?

  • 1
    Nice find! But I was looking at the other Monty Python question only yesterday - it's a dupe, I'm afraid :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 19:27
  • 2
    Is it? This question asks about the meaning of one very specific line in the TV show (it's basically "does nýnyghi mean hamster?" since we know what mysa means). The other question is a general question about whether something exists in the books. It's 100% possible there were Monty Python references in GRRM's books but this specific line isn't one. Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:37
  • @user568458 I agree that this isnt exactly a duplicate (Reopen vote cast and everything) I doubt however that we will get an answer here as GRRM hasn't really developed Valyrian or other languages vocabulary other than few phrases. Does "nýnyghi" actually mean anything to GRRM? I have never spotted that word in the books. If it doesn't exist in his world, Its hard to argue that it actually means hamster and if one can't argue that, it's hard to call it a Monty Python reference
    – Aegon
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 9:44
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    @Aegon - why are you assuming it came from GRRM and the books? The TV shows aren't exactly faithful to the books. More likely one of the screenwriters threw it in there as a joke.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 19:52
  • @Aegon GRRM only created a few Valyrian when he wrote the books, and only when he needed them. He's a story-first, worldbuilding-second kind of author (I think in interviews he describes himself as "like a gardener" who plants ideas then nurses them as each sprouts as opposed to authors like Tolkein who he compares to "architects" who create a whole masterplan before laying the first brick. It was a linguist hired by HBO (David J. Peterson) who worked with GRRM to develop this into a coherent family of languages, for the TV show. Peterson 100% certaily has vocab not used in any book... Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Firstly, in the books so far, GRRM has only used a few words of Valyrian. When it got turned into a TV show, David Peterson used those few words to create the language for the show. Indeed, it turns out...

Yes, it's a reference

Not only is 'Oa mysa iles me nýnyghi.' Astapori Valyrian for 'Your mother is a hamster', but according to this interview with David Peterson, all the Meereenese rider's insults are a reference to that scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

He's [the Meereenese rider] actually saying a Low Valyrian translation of the French guy's insults in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail.' That was [series creator] Dan Weiss's idea and it was so hilarious that I had to do it.

Furthermore, there's an online dictionary and within that we find that, in the season 4, episode 3 Astapori Valyrian dialogue the insults translated in full:

  • Champion: Oa mysa iles me nýnyghi, si oa kiba tuziles espo tomistos! “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!”
  • Champion: Já si hojgá oa gundja, trezy eme mero dovodedha! “Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person!”
  • Champion: Kiman nya másina orvorta va oi sodjistos! “I wave my private parts at your aunties!”
  • Champion: Do eban av kimívagho dombo, o doru-borto pame espo gruzi evi havor espo begistos! “I don’t want to talk to you no more you empty-headed animal food trough wiper!”
  • Champion: Ghorgan ji pungo va o, nynta Dare espo Zaldrizes, o si une oi dovodedhi, Vesterozi azzzzzantys. “I blow my nose at you, so-called Dragon Queen, you and all your silly Westerosi kaniggets!”

As for other references to Monty Python

Well... Let's start with the word Hamster... According to this post on his blog, the word 'nýnyghi' "may have been inspired by the Knights who say Ni".

Are there even more references? I don't know of any more of the top of my head, but David Peterson does occasionally put references in here and there, so it's not impossible.


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