'Game of Thrones' star Richard Dormer clears up confusion over how Beric Dondarrion's magic sword works

Helen Sloan/HBORichard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion on ‘Game of Thrones.’
  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for the “Game of Thrones.”
  • Beric Dondarrion’s fire-sword was first ignited on the show using a blood ritual.
  • Now Richard Dormer (who plays Beric) tells INSIDER a nonverbal Valyrian spell can set the sword on fire, too.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

Magic has always been one of the more mysterious forces on “Game of Thrones,” especially when it comes to religious rituals. Take Beric Dondarrion, for example. We first saw Beric set his sword aflame on season three, right before he fought Sandor Clegane in a trial by combat.

On that episode, Beric cut his hand and the blood seemed to light the sword. But now Beric’s blade seems to catch fire of its own accord. What gives?

“He says two words in Valyrian which means ‘god’s light,'” actor Richard Dormer (who plays Beric) told INSIDER at the red carpet premiere for season eight. “And that makes it poof.”

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Dormer also said Beric can merely think about the spell (and not say it out loud) to get the sword to catch on fire.

“When he’s in the trial [on season three], he uses blood to light it, but he doesn’t need blood and he doesn’t need to do any of that,” Dormer said. “He just goes [gestures as if holding a sword] and thinks about the Lord of Light.”

Dormer pronounced the two Valyrian words for us, which sounded to us like “assundeh-oh.” To try and verify exactly what these words were, INSIDER emailed David J. Peterson, the man who created the Valyrian language for “Game of Thrones.”

Beric game of thronesHBOBeric Dondarrion, aka the Lightning Lord, on ‘Game of Thrones.’

Peterson clarified what Dormer was explaining, and told us the two words are probably “lord’s light” (as in, the Lord of Light) and not “god’s light.” In Valyrian, that phrase is “āeksiō ōños.”

Perhaps we’ll hear him say the spell out loud at some point on this season, but so far it looks like audiences are simply meant to accept that his magical fire-sword doesn’t require any extra rituals in order for him to use it.

On the eighth season premiere of “Game of Thrones,” we saw Beric use this wordless magic to ignite his sword while exploring the abandoned hallways of Last Hearth. In the scene his sword lit in the split-second it took him to turn a corner.

Read more:
Everything you need to know about Beric, Tormund, and Edd’s spooky Last Hearth scene on the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 premiere

Last hearth tormund game of thrones Helen Sloan   HBOHelen Sloan/HBOBeric, Tormund, and Edd arrive at Castle Last Hearth on the ‘Game of Thrones’ season eight premiere.

That sword might be seen in battle once again, since Beric is now headed to Winterfell to help in the war against the Army of the Dead.

“Hopefully they just think he’s an even more bad— dude than they thought,” Dormer told INSIDER when asked how he thinks fans will think about him once “Game of Thrones” is finished.

We have to wait for more “Game of Thrones” episodes to air before seeing Beric in “bad—” mode again, but in the meantime at least we know more about that mysterious fire-sword.

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