Valar Morghulis

Used throughout the Free Cities of Essos, Valar Morghulis became one of the most popular phrases in the known world.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

Valar Morghulis is a High Valyrian phrase used throughout Essos. It means ‘All Men Must Die,’ and usually got a response, Valar Dohaeris: ‘All Men Must Serve.’ When Arya Stark met Jaqen H’ghar, an alleged criminal, she learned he belonged to the famed order of the Faceless Men. He hands her a coin and tells her to show any man from Braavos and say Valar Morghulis.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Clash of Kings

After Yoren takes Arya out of King’s Landing, she meets Jaqen and two other men, Biter and Rorge, who got chained in a carriage. Queen Cersei Lannister sends soldiers after Yoren, and when they ask for Gendry, he refuses and chases the soldiers away. Later, Ser Armory Lorch leads a unit against the brother of the Night’s Watch. During the Carnage, Jaqen begs Arya to free him. 

Arya, Hot Pie, and Gendry get captured by Ser Gregor Clegane, who takes them to Harrenhal. While in the castle, Arya meets Jaqen, who tells her to name three people she wants dead. After calling two people, Arya sees some northern men arrive as prisoners at the castle. She asks Jaqen to help her, and after Harrenhal gets overtaken by the North Men, Jaqen departs. Before he leaves, he gives Arya a coin and tells her to meet any man going to Braavos and show him the artifact. He also tells her to say Valar Morghulis.

A Storm of Swords

After leaving Sandor Clegane to die slowly, Arya meets a Braavosi captain, Ternesio Terys, and shows him the coin Jaqen gave her. On saying Valar Morghulis, the captain of the Titan’s Daughter, replies with Valar Dohaeris and takes Arya to a separate cabin. While on the ship, many men beg Arya to remember their names so she does not kill them.

A Feast for Crows

Arya leaves Westeros, and on reaching Braavos, she arrives at the House of Black and White, the Temple of the Many-Faced God, and the headquarters of the Faceless Men. She says the phrase Jaqen told her, and the doors open.

Relevance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, Valar Morghulis is the last episode of season 2. After waking up from a coma after the Battle of the Blackwater, Tyrion Lannister sees Grand Maester Pycelle, who tells him his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, is now the Hand of the King. King Joffrey Baratheon rewards those who partook in the Battle, giving Lord Petyr Baelish Harrenhal.

The King cancels his betrothal to Sansa Stark of Winterfell and promises to marry Margaery Tyrell. Lord Varys convinces Ros to work for him and abandon Lord Baelish. Shae tells Tyrion to leave King’s Landing with her, but he refuses. 

On Dragonstone, Melisandre tells Lord Stannis Baratheon that his defeat is temporary. She then creates a creature to kill Lord Renly Baratheon. In the westerlands, King Robb Stark talks to his mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, about marrying Talisa. However, Catelyn tells Robb to remember the promise to Lord Walder Frey. She also explains Lord Frey is a dangerous man, but her pleas fall on deaf ears as Robb marries the woman he loves. Meanwhile, Brienne of Tarth and Ser Jaime Lannister come across some Stark soldiers but kill them when they recognize Jaime. 

At Winterfell, Theon Greyjoy gets besieged by Bolton soldiers. Maester Luwin advises him to surrender and join the Night’s Watch, which will rid him of his past crimes. The maester tells Theon about how Lord Stark took him in and trained him like a real father, but he refuses, calling the maester a wise bald man. When he tries to rally his men to fight the Boltons, Dagmer Cleftjaw knocks him out and stabs Luwin with a spear. Bran, Rickon, Hodor, and Osha emerge from hiding and escape from the castle. 

On getting to the House of the Undying, Daenerys Targaryen gets separated from Ser Jorah Mormont and Kovarro. Dany gets many visions of the throne room in King’s Landing, Khal Drogo, and her son Rhaego. She gets chained by Pyat Pree’s magic but escapes the house with her dragons. 

In the North, Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand get captured by the Lord of Bones. Ygritte, Jon, and Qhorin get taken to meet Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. However, before reaching Mance, Qhorin incites a fight between himself and Jon and gets killed. Meanwhile, at the Fist of the First Men, Sam, Dolorous Edd, and Grenn hear three horn blasts signifying the arrival of White Walkers.

Valar Morghulis: The Phrase of Death

Valar Morghulis is a phrase feared throughout Essos because the Faceless Men used it to show that death is not a punishment but a gift. It became a song for those who suffered and strived to live in a brutal world as it explained that no matter who a person is, they are slaves to a force greater than anything or anyone, death.


What happened to Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones Valar Morghulis?

After he successfully captured Winterfell, Theon crowned himself Prince of the castle. However, Ser Rodrik returns and demands he opens the gates. Angry, Theon curses at the men and swears to kill them by the old gods, the Drowned God, and the new gods. However, when he arranges for his men to fight, he gets knocked out by Dagmer.

What is the significance of Valar Morghulis in the world of Westeros and Essos?

Valar Morghulis is a phrase used to show the fickle nature of life. It explains that no matter what anyone does, they will someday die. The Faceless Men used it to state their philosophy about death being a gift.

What happens to Jaqen after telling Arya Valar Morghulis?

After Arya frees the North men at Harrenhal, Jaqen gives her a coin and tells her to show any man going to Braavos. He tells her to say Valar Morghulis and seek out the temple of the Many-Faced God. Jaqen then changes appearances before Arya.

What language is Valar Morghulis?

Valar Morghulis is a High Valyrian phrase that means ‘All Men Must Die.’ It got used in the Free Cities of Essos, especially Braavos.

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