The release of the most anticipated Game of Thrones spinoff is just around the corner. Set around 200 years before the events of the flagship series, House of the Dragon will depict the story of the fall of House Taygaryan and the chronicles that lead up to the Targaryan Civil War, also known as the Dance of the Dragons.
With less than a couple of days remaining for its release, HBO is participating in a number of promotional activities to turn up the buzz around the topic. One such venture is HBO’s recent partnership with Duolingo, the world’s leading language learning platform. Only today, Duolingo announced its official partnership with HBO Max for the HBO Original show House of the Dragon.
The Game of Thrones prequel will drop on HBO Max on August 21, 2022. And in order to help fans of the epic fantasy show to get ready for the grandiosity, Duolingo is launching an updated High Valyrian course, the fictional language that is spoken in the show. Previously, the app has worked rigorously with linguist David Peterson, who developed Dothraki and High Valyrian based on George R.R. Martin’s books for the show. And now, with his assistance, Duolingo has made several additions, including over 150 new words and more than 700 new sentences.
To quote Peterson,
“I am thrilled for new and old fans of the “Game of Thrones” series to experience the High Valyrian language. It’s been a pleasure to revisit the world of Westeros for “House of the Dragon” and work with the team at Duolingo to breathe new life into this course.”
However, the course change isn’t all. To commemorate the epic premiere of the most anticipated prequel to Game of Thrones, Duolingo has upped the stakes of fun and excitement by adding a new competitive idea into the mix. Duolingo is giving one High Valyrian learner the ultimate GoT collectible: a life-size, Valyrian Steel sword. Keep scrolling to see the sword known as Streak Keeper.
Basically, Duolingo partnered with HBO Max to launch a contest that will challenge all Game of Thrones fans to learn the language of dragons. According to the contest, the top learner who completes the High Valyrian course with the most XP (Duolingo’s experience points) will win a Valyrian Steel sword. The winner will be sent a real steel sword designed by Duolingo (ARV $25,000), the first Valyrian steel sword to be forged since the Doom of Valyria.
The challenge will begin on 8.21.2022 at 12:00am PT and end 10.23.2022 at 11:59pm PT. the participants of the challenge must be over the age of 18, and living in the United States. In addition, they must have completed the High Valyrian course on Duolingo for a chance to win.
For those interested and ready to take up the Valyrian Steel Challenge, below is the link to sign up directly with Duolingo
Moving forward to the other marketing strategies, HBO Max has been working with Duoling on an integrated campaign that teases new phrases on cryptic billboards in major cities across the country. This also features an extremely amazing space in Times Square in New York. on the other hand, the Duolingo mascot, Duo the Owl, will make his own ascent of the Iron Throne.
Duolingo’s adorable mascot will make a cameo at HBO Max’s immersive fan experience, “House of the Dragon: The Dragon’s Den”, at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2022. Duo the Owl’s responsibility will be to remind the audience to complete their lessons. The experience is bound to be immersive with life-size push notifications and signs with dragon commands in High Valyrian will be used in the campaign.
To further expand this partnership, Duolingo has announced gift bags for Game of Thrones fans. The bags will come with “Wing of the King” pins to commemorate the updated course for HBO’s “House of the Dragon”.
“At Duolingo, we know content drives interest in language. Our data shows a direct correlation between user growth and what’s happening in the cultural zeitgeist, from K-Pop to Eurovision, and various international shows and movies,” said George Audi, head of business development.
“We leaned into this by partnering with HBO Max to build excitement for one of the most anticipated shows of the year. This unique partnership around learning High Valyrian will enable fans across the globe to see how fun learning a new language can be while connecting closer with the world of Westeros.”
So fantasy fans, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the course and grab the chance to win a Valyrian Steel sword. Meanwhile, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, is only a couple of days away from its huge premiere.