Game of Thrones: More people learning High Valyrian than speak te reo Māori, Welsh

There are more people learning High Valyrian, a language made up for Game of Thrones, than there are te reo Māori speakers.

According to some estimates, more than 1 billion people around the world will somehow watch the first episode of the fantasy show's eighth season, which premiered in New Zealand on Monday afternoon.

While many of those viewers will be familiar with the High Valyrian phrase "valar morghulis" - which means "all men must die" - some super fans want to be able to fluently communicate in the mythical language.

Language-learning app Duolingo says around 830,000 people have signed up to learn High Valyrian - substantially more than the nearly 150,000 people in New Zealand who speak te reo Māori, according to the 2013 census.

A higher number of 257,500 or 55 percent of Māori adults were found to have 'some ability' to speak te reo Māori - that is, more than a few words or phrases - but that's still not as many as are learning the language of the old Valyrian Freehold.

Incidentally, "valar morghulis" is "me mate katoa nga tangata" in te reo Māori, according to Google Translate.

The number of people learning High Valyrian is also greater than the number of people who can speak Welsh, estimated to be nearly 600,000.

The Duolingo course in High Valyrian was designed by David Peterson, the linguist who created the language for the TV show. He also created its other fictional languages, such as Dothraki.

Star Trek fans can also learn the language of the Klingons on the app, but that course reportedly has litte more than 400,000 students.