David Peterson

Language Creator
David Peterson
David J. Peterson is a language creator and author. He’s best known for creating the Dothraki and Valyrian language for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but he’s also created languages for Netflix’s The Witcher, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Legendary’s Dune, and many other shows and films.


Game of Thrones: A Linguistic Retrospective

Monday, April 19th, 3pm-4:30pm PT / 6pm-7:30pm ET

It’s been ten years since the first episode of “Game of Thrones” aired on HBO and changed the landscape of language creation forever. In this retrospective, series language creator David J. Peterson will detail what went into creating the languages of an era-defining show and explore what’s next.

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David J. Peterson is a language creator and author. He has worked as a language creator on numerous television shows and films, including HBO's “Game of Thrones,” Syfy's “Defiance,” Netflix's “The Witcher,” the CW's “The 100,” Netflix's “Shadow and Bone,” Freeform's “Motherland: Fort Salem,” Marvel's “Doctor Strange,” and Disney's “Raya and the Last Dragon.” In 2014 he published “Living Language Dothraki,” the best-selling guide to the Dothraki language from HBO's “Game of Thrones.” In the fall of 2015, David published his nonfiction work The Art of Language Invention” with Penguin Books.


David has a background in academic linguistics, having earned a bachelor's degree in English and Linguistics from UC Berkeley in 2003, and a master's degree in Linguistics from UC San Diego in 2005 (recipient of the 2016 Emerging Leader Award). He's also been creating languages since 2000. He served as a cofounder and original board member of the Language Creation Society, and served as its president from 2011 to 2014.