GAME OF ALLOPHONES: A Cal alum turns an obscure hobby creating fantasy languages into real success.

by Shelby Pope for CaliforniaSummer 2014, Vol 125 No. 2

For two months [David Peterson] worked on his entry for 14-16 hours a day, occasionally pulling all-nighters. His entry ran to 300 pages. “I believe I gave them so much material that they would have felt bad not to select mine.” 

Weiss, the showrunner, insists pity had nothing to do with it. “It was clear from his presentation that he had really thought through Dothraki, and taken a truly anthropological approach to the language—taking into account the history, geography, and culture of the language, and making sure the language adequately reflected their reality. And probably influenced their reality in some ways—or co-evolved with it, at least. David was extremely smart and extremely methodical, and we knew his Dothraki was the one very early on.”

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