Book a ship! Game of Thrones is heading to Braavos.
When the bloody fantasy drama airs Sunday (9/8c, HBO), fans who were outraged at the Arya-less premiere will finally get to see where their favorite tiny terror ended up. Like Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) before her, Arya (Maisie Williams) has made her way across the Narrow Sea to the continent of Essos. She lands in Braavos, one of the richest and most powerful of the nine Free Cities.
But why Braavos? And why is that name so familiar? You may not pass yourself off as a native, but here's what you need to know if you find yourself in Braavos:
Greeting: Valar morghulis.
Response: Valar dohaeris.
In Essos, this is a typical exchange. Fans of the show already know that "Valar morghulis" means "All men must die" in Valyrian. In turn, "Valar dohaeris" means "All men must serve." Check out a supercut of Game of Thrones' most common sayings to hear some Valyrian spoken:
Learn more phrases in Valyrian here.
The Titan of Braavos
The city spans hundreds of tiny islands connected by bridges. The Titan is a giant statue that straddles the harbor entrance, guarding Braavos. Since the city is also home to the Iron Bank (see below), the Titan's image can also be seen on some of its coins.
Braavosi are renowned seafarers and swordfighters. Water dancing is the fluid and swift style of swordplay practiced in Braavos. Back in Season 1, Arya received secret "dancing lessons" from Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou), who was once the First Sword of Braavos. Check out Arya sparring with Syrio and then later practicing by herself:
Iron Bank of Braavos
This is the most powerful financial institution in the known world and can even boast clientele from whoever's in power in Westeros. And like those solvent Lannisters, one would be wise to pay off any loans because the Iron Bank is known for funding the enemies of rulers who fail to repay their debts. In Season 4, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Davos (Liam Cunningham) traveled to Braavos and spoke to bank rep Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gattis) to obtain a loan to fund their mercenary army. Let's relive that exchange:
The Faceless Men
This order of mysterious assassins from Braavos is the most feared in the world because they can change their appearance at will. In Season 2, Arya met the assassin Jaqen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), who told her to find him someday by telling any Braavosi "Valar morghulis" and handing them a special iron coin that he gives her. And then he changed his face like this:
Later, Arya practiced saying the phrase while holding the coin (note the Titan's face):
God of Death
This deity is worshiped predominantly in Braavos. Syrio Forel mentioned the god to Arya during their lessons:
House of Black and White
This temple in Braavos, marked by tall black and white doors at its front, is dedicated to the God of Death and also serves as the headquarters for the Faceless Men. Watch a sneak peek of Arya approaching the iconic doors:
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.