MGoT: Pronunciation Guide
By Winter Is Coming on in News.

Pronunciation has been something that has been discussed on here from time to time. We’ve been able to get some official pronunciations via interviews and the released promotional material. But now, from writer/script editor/lore master extraordinaire Bryan Cogman, comes the full official pronunciation guide posted over at the Making Game of Thrones blog. Hit the link or head past the break to see the full list.

Winter Is Coming: Taking a quick look over the list reveals only one major readjustment for me and I imagine for most of us. That is that ‘ser’ is not pronounced ‘SIR’ in the show but ‘SAIR.’ Not sure about that one, but the rest are close enough to what I had been pronouncing in my head all this time.

UPDATE: Bryan Cogman messaged me to clarify that many of these pronunciations may differ slightly from character to character based on the region they’re from, their background, etc. He mentioned “Ser” and “Qarth” as two examples. He also added that they have since changed the pronunciation of Lys to “leese” as “lise” sounded too much like, well, lice.

UPDATE: One other change from Bryan, the Pycell pronunciation is incorrect. It should be “Py-SELL” with the accent on the second syllable.

CHARACTER NAMES:
Aerys Targaryen – AIR-eez Tar-GAIR-ee-in
Alliser Thorne – AL-iss-er THORNE
Arya Stark – ARE-yuh STARK
Barristan Selmy – BAIR-iss-tin SELL-mee
Benjen Stark – BEN-jin STARK
Catelyn Stark – CAT-lin STARK (“cat” like the animal)
Cersei Lannister – SER-see LAN-iss-ter
Daenerys Targaryen – Duh-NAIR-iss Tar-GAIR-ee-in
Eddard Stark – ED-dard STARK
Gendry – GEN-dree (hard “g”)
Gregor Clegane – Gre-GOR Cli-GAIN
Hodor – HO-dor
Hoster Tully – HOSS-ter TULL-ee
Illyrio – Il-LEAR-ee-oh
Ilyn Payne – ILL-in PAIN
Irri – I-ree
Janos Slynt – JA-nos SLINT
Jeor Mormont – JEE-or MORE-mont
Joffrey Baratheon – JOFF-ree Buh-RATH-ee-un
Jon Arryn – JON AIR-in
Jorah Mormont – JOR-uh MORE-mont
Jory Cassel – JOR-ee Cuss-EL
Khal Drogo – KHAL DRO-go
Loras Tyrell – LOR-us TI-rul
Lysa Arryn – LIE-ssa AIR-in
Maester Luwin – MAY-ster LOO-win
Maester Pycelle – MAY-ster PY-sell
Myrcella Baratheon – Mer-SELL-uh Buh RATH-ee-un
Nymeria – Nigh-MEER-ee-uh
Petyr Baelish – PEE-ter BAY-lish
Pyp – PIP
Qotho – QUO-tho
Renly Baratheon – REN-lee Buh-RATH-ee-un
Rhaegar Targaryen RAY-gar Tar-GAIR-ee-in
Rickon Stark – RICK-on STARK
Rodrik Cassel – RAH-drick Cuss-EL
Samwell Tarly – SAM-well TAR-lee
Sandor Clegane – SAN-dore Cli-GAIN
Sansa Stark – SAHN-suh STARK
Septa Mordane – SEP-ta Mor-DAIN
Syrio Forel – SEER-ee-o For-EL
Theon Greyjoy – THEE-on GRAY-joy
Tommen Baratheon – TAH-min Buh-RATH-ee-un
Tyrion Lannister – TEER-ee-un LAN-iss-ter
Tywin Lannister – TIE-win LAN-iss-ter
Varys – VAIR-iss
Viserys Targaryen – Vi-SAIR-iss Tar-GAIR-ee-in
Walder Frey – WALL-der FRAY
Waymar Royce – WAY-mar ROYCE
Yoren – YOR-in

PLACES:
Asshai – Uh-SHY
Braavos – BRA-vos
Essos – ESS-os
Eyrie – EAR-ee
Harrenhal – HAIR-in-hall
Pentos – PEN-tos
Qarth – QUARTH
Sept of Baelor – SEPT OF BAY-lor
Vaes Dothrak – VIE-iss Doth-RACK
Westeros – WES-te-ros

MISCELLANEOUS:
Andals – AN-dals
arakh – Ah-rock
Dothraki – Doth-RACK-ee
khalasar – KHAL-uh-ssar
Khaleesi – Khal-EE-see
Lys – LICE
Ser – SAIR
Tyroshi – Ti-ROH-shee
Valyrian – Vuh-LEER-ee-un


243 Comments

  1. Fire And Blood
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Epic double post.

    Well, there’s a first time for everything.

  2. Kana
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    And thus launches Sairgate.

  3. ablaaa
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    hehe, Maisie pronounces her character’s name wrong then :P

  4. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I always read Irri as EE-ree. So that’s kind of weird to get used to. The rest of them are basically in line with my own reading. Except ‘ser’. That is just being unexpected for the sake of it, and not in a good way.

  5. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I want credit for coining “Sair-gate” in the previous thread. :)

    Seriously, I hate it! Say it aloud, it sounds awful (“SAIR Jaime, SAIR Gregor, etc.”). I’m really hoping they don’t stick with that during the show (especially since it goes against how GRRM pronounces is). Ser is just an archaic spelling of Sir (I looked it up once) and I’m pretty sure that’s what GRRM intended.

    The rest of the pronunciations are pretty close to what I’ve always said, though, so I’m happy about that. Some are even better than my own (I’ve always had trouble with Aerys, so I really like AIR-eez!).

  6. Fire And Blood
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    In our defense of the double post, this has actually been the first time that’s happened. In our multiple years.

  7. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and “i-ree” in reggae means “happy” or “everything’s alright”… as in “feeling iree, man.”

  8. KG
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t sound bad – it just gives an artificial Scots coloring to it.

    There are so many other things to get stressed over in life. Like “Theeon.” Really? Theeon?

  9. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Lex: Some are even better than my own (I’ve always had trouble with Aerys, so I really like AIR-eez!).

    Yeah. Those Valyrian names always throw me. I waffle. Glad to have something concrete to go with from now on that seems like it makes sense.

  10. Syleon
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I’m with you on that, but I’m telling myself that because they all have a wide range of UK and Irish accents(Greyjoys…right?) it might sound closer to the “Ser” we like. This will help me sleep at night, knowing I can justify issues such as pronunciation and a wide range of other things.

  11. Syleon
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Syleon,

    Damn! Should have used preview, I said “wide range” twice.

  12. H. Pace
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Irie rivals aloha for flexibility.

    I always thought ‘ser’ that way in my head. It didn’t seem to make much sense to change the spelling and not the pronunciation.

    I’ve agreed with most of these, unlike the Wheel of Time pronunciations, which largely seem illogical and a number of which I refuse to accept.

  13. Sam
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Normally I’m not one to bitch and moan, but are they fucking kidding with this “SAIR” bullshit? Seriously, guys?

  14. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    KG: There are so many other things to get stressed over in life. Like “Theeon.” Really? Theeon?

    Buh? That’s *not* the only possible way to say that name? You’ve piqued my curiosity.

  15. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Oh, good grief, I think I understand. Are you telling me they say the first syllable as in the word “thee”?

    Oh wow.

  16. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Saying “SAIR” aloud just sounds incredibly awkward to me. Feels awkward as well. I can’t imagine the actors constantly trying to remember to say SAIR instead of SIR, all through every episode and every season. Here’s hoping…

  17. sareeta
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    The only ones I pronounce differently are are Aerys (I always pronounced it ERIS), Irri (I thought of it as Eee-ree), and ser (sir). I’ll get used to them.

  18. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    “Cersei Lannister – SER-see LAN-iss-ter”

    I think you know what I’m going to have to ask about this particular one, with certain revelations we’ve had…

  19. Jay
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m not too bothered about ‘Sair’, to be honest. Sure, it isn’t how I read it, but pronouncing it as “Sir” would sound no different to the word sir and, as far as new viewers are concerned, they wouldn’t realise there was a difference at all. At least it allows for a bit of slant to the more common word.

    Also, I read Targaryen as “Tar-Gar-Yen”, not “Tar-GAIR-ee-in”, but even then, it’s only a minor difference, and that is the correct pronunciation anyway, so I’m not really complaining about any of these. (:

  20. Solivagant
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I’m shocked to see I pronounced almost all of those the same way they’ve gone with.

    Even Ser, which I’ve always thought was an awesome way to pronounce it.
    It would have thrown me off if they had gone to Sir, when I’ve been reading SAIR all along!

    The only one I wasn’t spot on with was irri, which I’ve always read as Ear-ë, but even I don’t know where I got that one from!

  21. Ro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    If you have listened to any of the audiobooks, most of these pronunciations jive perfectly. I’m assuming the audiobooks have been vetted by GRRM for pronunciation, so the truth is that most of you have been pronouncing it WRONG in your head for years. It has always been SAIR, not SIR.

  22. Dom
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, SAIR doesn’t bother me much. At first I thought “What? They’ll be saying Syr like in syrup??” but after a glance at the list, they seem to pronounce Viserys as Vi-SAIR-iss – that meaning Ser will be pronounced just like the Italian word Ser, if I got it right, just like I always thought they would, being Italian myself.

    Surprisingly, it looks like everything will be pronounced just like I always have – even Arya and Maester.

  23. Axe
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Ro,

    Though we finally know Dotrice got Petyr wrong.

  24. Tar Kidho
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I started reading the series in Dutch, so needless to say many pronunciations are a bit different than what I used to hear in my thoughts… But since following this forum a lot of names have changed already in my mind, and frankly I don’t care too much about these pronunciations.

    One thing though: writing the names phonetically like that is not sufficient for many non-English speakers. In fact, even English speaking people with different accents would pronounce the names differently based solely on that. So if HBO wanted to get rid of any doubt, they should have added sound recordings pulled from the show.

  25. Dom
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Correction – the only difference between my pronounciations and the show’s is Petyr: I always said Pet-EER, it looks like it will be like Peter :(

  26. KG
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    Thayon. Much more pleasing to the ear.

  27. DH87
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I’m not getting your drift, but I’ve been absent from the boards.
    I always assumed Cersei was the obvious aural play on Circe (Ser-see), ancient goddess from the Odyssey able to turn men into beasts. :)

  28. Ro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Axe,

    There are a couple like that where Dotrice’s is different. I believe Gendry was Jendry, Irri was Ir-ri, Sansa might have been SAN-sa not SAHN-sa, and of course Petyr. But otherwise, everything matches perfectly I believe.

  29. Matt
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I liked Dotrice’s Petyr way more than “Peter.”

  30. Ro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    By the way, Dotrice pronounced Petyr as PIT-ire, for those wondering.

  31. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    The other thing that I found interesting is the different sound of “Sansa” (SAHN-suh) vs “Sandor” (SAN-dor).

    Not that it bothers me, but I always them both consistently the same way, pronounced as Sandor officially will be. But god knows there are plenty of such examples of inconsistency in common English names expressions…

    And what’s with the (now plural) interviews of actors speaking and saying their characters name at odds with apparent canon? First we had Bean saying “Ed-DARD” and then Maisie with “Aria.” Kind of funny.

  32. Ro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Ro,

    Woops, actually it was more like pa-TYRE.

  33. Jeffrey
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Not all words are 100% clear with this way of presenting the pronunciation (never seen a dictionary ;))

    Oh, am I the only one who likes the” french version” of Clegane a lot more than the more “offcial” (as of now) American.

  34. Ro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Matt,

    I agree Matt. That is the only one I really would have preferred Dotrice’s. Not a big deal though.

  35. Dom
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Ro: Ro,
    Woops, actually it was more like pa-TYRE.    

    That reminds me of our Italian dub of “Heidi, Girl of the Alps”, in which Peter was called PA-tar, much to my dismay.

  36. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    As for the “sair” I’m not so sure they will actually pronounce it as hard as ‘air’ with an s before it. If you say “sair” in a more relaxed way it will sound pretty much like the way you pronounce ‘sir’ as I see it. I will need to hear it spoken by actors before I really have an opinion.

    As for Petyr I’ve always pronounced it as it looks, i.e. like ‘Peter’ with a y. I think it sounds very awkward with a long second syllable.

  37. NorthWolf
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I think the Ser/SAIR thing is more playing into dialects than straight up pronunciation. What I mean is, I have seen stories/movies where our English “sir” is pronounced that way, as well as “sor”, depending on where in Britain the speaker was from. Perhaps, as a show that insisted on non-american actors (other than Dinklage), they’re just following through with the dialect they chose as the base for the people of Westeros. I have a feeling that when we hear people saying “Ser”on screen that it won’t be so glaring to us as seeing the all caps of SAIR, on the screen.

  38. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I’m guessing the joke is that SER-see should be SAIR-see?

    Anyway, GRRM always pronounces it SER-say.

  39. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Oh, I was referring to the news that “ser” would be said as “sair.” So for them to say “Cersei” is “SER-see,” if I had read that before I’d heard that “ser” is not pronounced identical to “sir” I would interpret that pronunciation guide to mean it would be said as “SIR-see.” But now, I guess it means it will be “SAIR-see”

  40. Ninepenny
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Ro: If you have listened to any of the audiobooks, most of these pronunciations jive perfectly.I’m assuming the audiobooks have been vetted by GRRM for pronunciation, so the truth is that most of you have been pronouncing it WRONG in your head for years.It has always been SAIR, not SIR.    

    I’ve heard at least three different people do audiobooks for ASoIaF and they often pronounced names differently to each other so they could never all have been right.

  41. ezeqiel
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Most of these seem fairly logical in my head or only a slight tweek to what I had envisaged myself, but there’s some I really can’t get…

    Cassel = cuss-EL (it’ll always be CASS as in “crass” or “brass” to me, the only cus’in I’ll be doin is at this pronunciation!)

    Tyrell = TI-rul (nope, can’t hack this one either… tir-ELL is in my head, kinda like Pirelli tyres)

    Tommen = TAH-min (what is wrong with just plain ol’ TOM-min???)

  42. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Very glad it’s Peter, not Pi-TIRE.

    Doesn’t quite make up for SAIR, though. :) Did Dotrice really say SAIR?

  43. Brude
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    As I posted over at Westeros.org:

    My only surprise is that Varys, Daenerys and Viserys have a different pronunciation than Aerys:

    VAIR-iss
    Duh-NAIR-iss
    Vi-SAIR-iss

    vs.

    AIR-eez

    It might have made more sense to me if Varys’ name was pronounced somewhat differently, perhaps that’s the difference between the original High Valyrian vs. the bastardized versions that exist in the Free Cities now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  44. Brude
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Ro: If you have listened to any of the audiobooks, most of these pronunciations jive perfectly.I’m assuming the audiobooks have been vetted by GRRM for pronunciation, so the truth is that most of you have been pronouncing it WRONG in your head for years.It has always been SAIR, not SIR.    

    Actually, GRRM did not vet the audio books for pronunciation and was as surprised as many about how Dotrice and the others pronounced some names.

  45. Paweł Ausir Dembowski
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I’d prefer if they posted IPA transcription as well, this is a bit too vague to me at times.

  46. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Incidentally, I recently listened to a podcast and was surprised to hear GRRM say Do-thra-KYE, not KEE.

  47. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Sorry, GRRM said Do-THROK-eye. I think most of us say Do-THRAK-ee.

  48. Mike
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Most of these pronunciations seem in line with the audiobooks. The only time I disliked a pronunciation in those was for Brienne. Didn’t they always pronounce Ser this way in the audiobooks and readings anyway?

  49. GaR
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    So Maisie is pronouncing “Arya” wrong? I always imagined it the way she says it.

    I suppose though, that Emilia mispronounces Daenerys…

  50. GaR
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    So does “Theon” have a hard TH or soft? I always assumed soft.

  51. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    My own waffling on “Theon” was never over the first syllable, which I always thought was a hard TH. But I was never sure if it was supposed to be THEE-on or THEE-un.

  52. rastronomicals
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Aerys as Air-eze seems . . . how shall I say it . . . stupid.

    If it’s Dan-AIR-iss, then it should be AIR-iss and Ja-HAIR-iss and vi-SAIR-iss, etc.

    I’m with ezeqiel on Tyrell, as well, and always thought that Q’s without u’s are hard like a k. Can’t believe it’s not KARTH or maybe KHARTH and KOTHO or KHOTHO and KOHOR or KHOHOR

  53. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, don’t like the way they are pronouncing ser at all, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I guess it makes sense to not be Sir so that it is different, but having it that way sounds…..odd, it doesnt roll off the tongue at all.

    Aerys to me has always been ‘air-ris’ so again, having it like the god doesnt fit, but meh, I am sure there will be more changes made I shall double take at then move on and not care about.

  54. Katrina Brooks
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Most of these are what I was pronouncing already, save for a few small differences.

    But the one that will annoy me the most is Clegane.

    Cli-GAIN. Really? That makes no sense.

    I always pronounced it CLAY-gahn-ay. Like how the French would pronounce a word like that, but with an acute accent over the final ‘e’. It’s going to take a lot for me to get used to that

  55. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    What’s all this SAIR nonsense you’re all crying over? I pronounce Sir, Ser and Sair exactly the same! All as in “Sir” the honorific title. In fact, if I was going to write Sir/Ser phonetically, I would write it SAIR as they have done so here. How else would you?!

  56. Winter Is Coming
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Sorry about the double-post, folks. I merged the two comment threads and deleted FaB’s post to keep the discussion contained to one post. Also updated my post with some clarifications from Bryan Cogman.

    Ok, back to debating pronunciations!

  57. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Katrina Brooks: Most of these are what I was pronouncing already, save for a few small differences.But the one that will annoy me the most is Clegane.Cli-GAIN.Really?That makes no sense.I always pronounced it CLAY-gahn-ay.Like how the French would pronounce a word like that, but with an acute accent over the final ‘e’.It’s going to take a lot for me to get used to that    

    I can’t tell if you’re joking… because your pronunciation of Clegane seems incredibly bizarre to me!

  58. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. SAIR sounds nothing like Sir. One rhymes with hair, one rhymes with her.

  59. Katrina Brooks
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Lex: I can’t tell if you’re joking… because your pronunciation of Clegane seems incredibly bizarre to me!  Quote  Reply

    I’m not joking. I’m really confused about this Cli-gain business. I don’t even remember when I started pronouncing Clegane like that, but it stuck.

  60. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Katrina Brooks,

    Interesting.

    Would never ever have pronounced that as French. Clee-Gain. Short and ugly sounding.

    Arya as Are-yuh isnt right to me. Always raid that as Ah-ria, as well as some -ons becoming -uns.

    Sair and Are-ya are the big changes for me.

  61. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    oh, and Maester as Mayster, always read that as myster

  62. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Lex: Nick, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. SAIR sounds nothing like Sir. One rhymes with hair, one rhymes with her.  Quote  Reply

    Ah! Must be an American thing. The British say Hair and Her exactly the same, as they do with Hare and Herr. This obviously been a British show when it comes to the actors, that will be reason why. I assure you all “Sair” will sound just like Sir in the show

  63. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Ah! Must be an American thing. The British say Hair and Her exactly the same, as they do with Hare and Herr. This obviously been a British show when it comes to the actors, that will be reason why. I assure you all “Sair” will sound just like Sir in the show

  64. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Cogman comes through! Nice update, glad to hear that some of these may vary from character to character. I think SAIR is too awkward, and most of the actors will naturally say SIR.

    Also, I’ve always said LEESE instead of LICE, so I’m happy about that too.

  65. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    and finally: arakh – Ah-rock, to me it was always arach, like the spider

  66. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    I still don’t agree, the British definitely do not pronounce “her” and “hair” the same. At least, not all British. Maybe Scottish…

  67. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    For example, if a Brit was talking about a woman, and they said “I really like her hair,” you’re telling me both words sound identical? No way.

  68. Nostro
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    A real shame for me that Petyr will sound like Peter, I always imagined it as pa-TYRE. It always sounded so great, ‘Peter’ is really very dull and for me doesn’t fit the character at all.

    Also for Barristan Selmy: BAIR-iss-tin seems odd to me: in my head it always sounded like BA-riss-ton.

    VAIR-iss for Varys also sounds extremely strange to me, in my head I always thought it was VAR-eze. And yes I did pronounce Arys, Daenerys and Viserys with th ‘iss’ – for some reason I always thought the ‘eze’ sounded better for Varys.

    Always imagined Gendry as Jendry (soft G) too.

    And TI-rul? That’s odd. Tyrell always sounded like TYE-rell to me.

    I have to agree with rastronomicals on the Q’s. KARTH and KOTHO sound much better than QUARTH and QUOTHO.

    Apart from the above, which really threw me, the rest appear fine.

  69. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    It’s not like I’m making the assumption, I AM British :-) and do indeed say them the same, and when I say “her hair” it sounds like I’m repeating the same word twice. It MAY be a regional thing, I’m from Yorkshire, as is Sean Bean, and appears to be using his natural accent in the show.

  70. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    I believe you, it just seems very odd… I’ve never heard that pronunciation before, and I’ve listened to many British people speaking. I guess it’s a Yorkshire thing…

  71. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Yeah, that’s an up north thing, down here where it’s civilised, it sounds like 2 different words. ;)

    Still, if they have them all talking like it’s Emmerdale, I’ll cope.

  72. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Just curious, do you also pronounce the following words the same way?

    Fur/fair, sure/share, purr/pear, etc?

  73. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    No because the former words have u’s in them. I would pronounce Fur as Furr and Fair as Ferr.

    I’ve just realised there is a difference between the American way of saying Sir to the British way. We would say it “Ser” whilst Americans say it “Sur”, no? In which case it may sound weird to American viewers in the show.

  74. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    In North America, “sir” rhymes with her, sure, purr, fur, etc.

  75. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Purr and fur rhyme in Britain, but not with her. I’d say her and sir rhyme with lair

  76. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I hate to be ridiculously complain-y, but some of these strike me as incredibly unnatural (as though for the sake of being unnatural). The inserted diphthongs seem especially odd, and the emphasis on the last syllable of many of the names make it sound as if they’re trying to be fancy and not really succeeding well. Cassel and Clegane in particular are really bothering me.
    I dunno, I dunno, I dunno. Many of these are going to take some getting used to, and even once I’m used to them I can see them grating on my nerves.
    ;p

  77. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Or to anyone not from the North, as I would also say sur, not ser, so it will be interesting to see if they go for a North East UK accent for some of the words, that would fit with Sean Bean, even if no one else.

  78. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra,

    Ca-SELL (or Cuh-SELL) is an actual real last name, and that’s how it’s pronounced. Nothing unnatural about that one.

  79. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Bloody Southron wimps with their daft pronunciations :-)

    Tenner says once the show is a hit some British tv columnists will be pointing out the “goody” Starks are from the North and the “evil” Lannisters are from the South. It’s sure to further the debate between North and South!

  80. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    I don’t think your pronunciation is the same across Britain, just in the north. The Beatles Liverpudlian scouse accent would also probably make “her” sound like “hair”… but I don’t think that’s the case with the Queen’s English (or Royal Pronunciation or whatever it’s called). I’m pretty sure Londoners would say Sir the same way as North Americans.

  81. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Anyway, just to be clear, I quite like the northern accents and I’m glad Sean Bean may be keeping his own natural one.

  82. purplejilly
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Well at least I got Hodor right! I dunno about these weird pronunciations. It’s good enough to just spell a name differently, you don’t need all these weird pronunciations. But I guess for the TV show you might. In the book when reading I pronounced: Ser as Sir, and Maester as Master. Baratheon as Barra – Thee- on, Tommen as Tom-men, Cersei as Sir-see, Viserys as Vis-er-us. I thought Asshai was pronounced Ass-High for sure.. If Sandor is San-door, then why isn’t Sansa San-suh? We have short-a inconsistencies here, folks, along with the whole Ty -problem.
    It’s going to be hard to hear them pronounced incorrectly week after week, though (LOL)

    Technically, what is the language that these people are speaking? Is this the ‘commen tongue’?

  83. purplejilly
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Allthough in one of the trailers, doesnt GRRM pronounce Cersei as Sir SAY? Cause I remember hearing it like that wincing..

  84. Legion
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting, some of the names, when said with an American accent, sounds better to me than when I pronounce with my own relatively posh South English. I think some may have been done to help out the American or other EFL cast, and some are simply just a more Northern UK way of speaking as a quick look at the cast certainly shows a bit of a northern lean.

    Meh, I will grimace at a few every time, others will likely end up replacing the way I say it.

  85. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Inconsistencies are realistic, we have them in real life too.

    Yes, GRRM says SIR-say… but I like SIR-see better myself.

    Oh, I also thought PY-sell was strange. I always put the emphasis on the last syllable, Py-SELL.

  86. Nick
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    No complaining then, since Sean saying “Sair” will be the northern way. Hopefully they’ll have the southrons say it “sur”

  87. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    As for the SAN-sa/SAHN-sa thing, it’s just like in real life with SAN-dra/SAHN-dra. Both versions are fairly common.

  88. GaR
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I always pronounced “Lys” as LISS. just seemed easiest.

    The comparisons above with all the American / British / British pronunciations of words are kind of impossible to decipher. Individual syllables are read differently by different people.

    HER and HUR would be prnounced the same (by me), and SURE and SHORE are almost completely indistinguishable (PURE and SURE are again, totally different). HER and HAIR are totally different.

    This is all with a Kiwi accent though, so my input is as worthles as everybody else’s :P

    For the record, I always pronounced “Ser” as SIR, but SAIR doesn’t bother me. Of course, this thread has made me realised that a lot of these names are going to sound different even to how I read the pronunciation breakdowns.

  89. purplejilly
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Ro: By the way, Dotrice pronounced Petyr as PIT-ire, for those wondering.  Quote  Reply

    that seems to make sense, because then you are pronouncing the ‘tyr’ the same way, whether it’s in Pe-tyr, or Tyr-ion

  90. Ax0r
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    As Nick has said, the pronounciation “SAIR” is merely a phoenetic representation of the accent that the characters are using.

    I had a dialect coach for a role in a play in which I was a character from Liverpool (England) – I’m from Australia, so it had a little getting used to.
    But I can assure you that I referred to elderly male characters as “Sair”

  91. Lex
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    But it’s TEER-ion, not TYE-rion.

  92. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I have to wonder if that isn’t an affectation itself though. I have a friend from the States (not saying it’s necessarily an American thing, but just in case someone could shed some light on it) whose last name is Cattel (pronounced cuh-TELL, in much the same way as Cassel is on this list). Her name comes from “cattle” but was probably changed to sound like what was perceived to be something fancier. This isn’t me poking fun at her– it’s actually something she finds terribly amusing.
    I think the affectation of a lot (though by no means all) of these pronunciations is what I was trying to get at. The long “a” at the beginning of Sansa feels equally as strange to me, and a little put-on. It reminds me of what a lot of people do when trying to put on British accents of various kinds (they assume that all they should all be long). It just makes it sound very artificial and fake to me (but that is me, and I imagine there are some people who would say the same of my pronunciations, especially with discrepancies between first languages, etc).

  93. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    I say “Liss” too! XD I never would have thought of “Lice.”

  94. KG
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    You want some crazy accent twisting, listen to George Harrison sing or speak. Yikes.

  95. aaron
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    so they left off the pronunciation of maester aemon’s name? judging by how some of the other names are pronounced i’m guessing they’ll have it as AY-min? i guess it makes sense, although it’s not how i always heard it in my mind. although, a lot of the names aren’t exactly as i’ve heard them. granted i don’t have a brittish accent, so i’m sure once i hear them spoken on the show it will make a lot more sense than reading a pronunciation guide does.

  96. Brude
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    KG: You want some crazy accent twisting, listen to George Harrison sing or speak. Yikes.    

    He, just like the rest of the Beatles had/have very pronounced Liverpool accents.

  97. reedgirl
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    “Sair” sounds strange. I guess if I say it kinda like “Sir” with Scottish burr to it, it’s a little less weird. As in:

    Och. Aye! There’s a burr in me saddle, Sairrr! Haggis, kin, heather, sporran and kirk…

    (Fun!)

  98. Amarantha
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    It all sounds very North American to me. Like if I read them out loud, I sound as though I’m putting on an American accent.

  99. Megoth
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    When do we get to see, “Valor Morghulis”?

  100. Jordan Healey
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Leese..

    The most obvious pronounciation is ‘Liz’

    Or maybe that’s just because I am Australian

  101. Winter Is Coming
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Added one other update from Bryan to the post. The Pycell pronunciation is incorrect. It should be “Py-SELL” with the accent on the second syllable.

  102. Ducky
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Why is Jaime not in this list?

  103. Zack
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Looking through the guide one more time, the only surname that seems awkward to me is TI-rul for Tyrell, rather than Tie-RELL. Not saying that all of the other names match my mind’s narrator entirely, but they’re all relatively close. TI-rul is just weird. That’s a name that needs to be stressed at the end IMO. I could have gotten used to Tih-RELL too. This’ll be the only one (so far announced) that’ll be difficult to come around on.

    Katrina Brooks: I always pronounced it CLAY-gahn-ay.

    Wouldn’t there need to be an accent over the E’s for that to be the pronunciation? Always thought that’s what accents did in French…but then, I don’t speak it, so I’m not 100% sure…but the way they’re doing it for the show makes sense IMO.

    I’m also glad Lys is Leese instead of Lice or Liz or something.

  104. aaron
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Ducky: Why is Jaime not in this list?    

    because everyone knows it’s pronounced ‘ji-may luhn-der-spore’ 8)

  105. The Dragon Demands
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been saying “Tar-gare-ian” for a long time.

  106. The Dragon Demands
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands,

    Typo: I’ve been saying “Tar-gar-yen” for all this time, and its hard to adjust to “Tar-GAIR-ian”

  107. The Dragon Demands
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “Valyrian – Vuh-LEER-ee-un”

    I’ve been saying “Val-ear-ian” all this time.

  108. Ax0r
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands, “Valyrian – Vuh-LEER-ee-un”

    I’ve been saying “Val-ear-ian” all this time.

    Isn’t that the same thing?

    And re: Clegane, – I’d always pronounced it Cleh-GAHN. Cle-GAIN sounds off

  109. Tal
    Posted February 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Ducky,

    Was wondering that myself. Perhaps they’re considering changing it to JAM-ee for more toast-related pun opportunities, but want to see how sair goes down first, lol.

  110. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Actually, on the whole Lys thing, I just realized that I think LEESE, but when I see Lyseni I think “LICE-EEN-EYE”

    Winter Is Coming: Added one other update from Bryan to the post. The Pycell pronunciation is incorrect. It should be “Py-SELL” with the accent on the second syllable.    

    Awesome!

  111. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Glad to hear it’s Py-SELL. I guess Cogman reads this blog?

  112. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I think I’m thinking of the chemical, Lysine.

  113. Jardin17
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Only one that threw me off a bit was Tyrell (TI-rul??)… I was positive it would by more Ty-RELL.

  114. Anne Vaillancourt
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    Hum I don’t know I’ve always pronounced: Peh-TEER BAY-lish
    Tyrell: TIE-rell and Cassel KAH-ssell (not as in Russell but as you would pronounce the letter “L”.. anyway not that it matters that much haha

  115. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    I thought I’d have to point out that the dothraki words are not in line with how the dothraki language is pronounced so if anything this should probably be seen as how they are pronounced with a common tongue accent. Either that or the info released about the dothraki language is wrong or has been changed which I find unlikely.

    Below is how the words are thought to be pronounced in the dothraki language from what we know so far.

    First of all the Kh is pronounced like ch in loch or Bach. Written below as ch

    Khal Drogo – CHAL DRO-go
    Vaes Dothrak – vah-ESS Doth-RACK
    arakh – Ah-RACH
    Dothraki – DOTH-rack-ee
    khalasar – chal-ah-SSAR
    Khaleesi – CHAL-e-e-see

  116. Taksi
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    At first I was quite alarmed by SAIR, but I think it’s because I was saying it with a hard American “r” on the end. When I say it with a softer British “r” it sounds much better.

    But what’s up with EAR-ee for the Eyrie? Pronounced like the word “eerie” instead of, well, “eyrie?” That doesn’t make sense.

  117. MetalgoddessAMB
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Are Yuh kidding me??????

  118. Kathrina Martinsen
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Can’t believe no-one else (or did I miss it?) commented on gre-GOR! Really? Gre-GOR? To me, he was always just GRE-gur, like the actual name. Strange …

  119. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Kathrina Martinsen,

    I agree, I’m not a big fan of Gre-GOR. I do say Cle-GANE, but if both his first and last name have the emphasis on the second syllable, it sounds kind of funny. Gre-GOR Cle-GANE…

  120. sjwenings
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Kathrina Martinsen,

    Agreed. That one just seems weird.

  121. KG
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Brude,

    Yes, but his is audibly heavier; you can’t really hear the accents of the other three while singing. Georgie-poo you can.

  122. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    They have gone from saying ‘sir’ to the older ‘sire’ just to keep it original in a way ‘ser’ was meant to do for a reader.
    Problem solved.

  123. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Every pronunciation in that list is just like mine….in other words perfect.
    GRE-gur? May I point out it actually says ‘Gregor’

  124. Kevin
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    I have to say, this topic is not quenching my thirst for Thrones action. I need some Thrones action.

  125. Kathrina Martinsen
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Czarnian: Every pronunciation in that list is just like mine….in other words perfect.
    GRE-gur? May I point out it actually says ‘Gregor’    

    I only capped the first part of the name to emphasize that that’s where the stress should be, imho. The ‘u’ is to show that the second syllable is unstressed. If I knew where the phonetic sign for the ‘schwa’ was on my keyboard, that would’ve been my number 1 choice. However, according to the guide, HBO are going to stress the second syllable.

  126. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Kathrina Martinsen,

    As I said the list above is perfect.

    I dont know, perhaps it is because I am swedish? We have always been insecure about our own culture and language so we have always borrowed from other cultures. Perhaps I am more open to readning the names, not just in english but in a mix of swedish, english, german, french and spanish?

  127. Tar Kidho
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    Kevin: I have to say, this topic is not quenching my thirst for Thrones action. I need some Thrones action.    

    I couldn’t agree more! But there might be hope. At some point in the past few days someone (Tywin’s Bastard?) said that it is good to get involved in fora like this one ahead of a series/film that is based on books, to lessen the shock about the small and big changes that are made. Also, there was an increasing cry for news from HBO (I concur, I was one of them crying people). It could be just a coincidence, but putting up Arya’s picture closely followed by this list of pronunciations seems like a quick way to keep the fanbase happy. If my guess is correct, this means that HBO pays attention to this forum, so we should maybe increase our efforts to demand more news!! :-) (time for another trailer or an Artisans clip, HBO! Anything where we hear people speaking we haven’t heard before…)

  128. Kathrina Martinsen
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Czarnian,

    Well, I’m Danish :-) I agree with most, but not all the pronunciations listed, but it’s a matter of habit, I guess.

  129. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Kathrina Martinsen,

    Yeah I suppose. Perhaps has to do with similar names one has run into and such.
    Seems to be many Scandinavians here

  130. Felagund
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    To me the pronounciation of Y is a bit unconsequential…

    It sounds as “ee” (or its consonantal form “y”), however it is ‘aye’ in Tywin, Tyrell and Nymeria.
    How come???

    (I always pronounced the name of Tyrion like ‘TIE-ree-on’ but that’,s just me :))

    Not to mention that Sandor and Janos (actually written Sándor and János, equivalents of Alexander and John) are well used Hungarian names (pronounced like ‘Shaandore’ and ‘Yaanosh’.)

    Just your daily funfact :)

  131. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Thinking of the many many threads that have slipped into this topic in the past.

    If those who update the HBO fansite reads these threads they surely know just which buttons to press to keep us occupied a while.

    We are such easy targets :-)

  132. KG
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Felagund: To me the pronounciation of Y is a bit unconsequential…It sounds as “ee” (or its consonantal form “y”), however it is ‘aye’ in Tywin, Tyrell and Nymeria.How come???(I always pronounced the name of Tyrion like ‘TIE-ree-on’ but that’,s just me )Not to mention that Sandor and Janos (actually written Sándor and János, equivalents of Alexander and John) are well used Hungarian names (pronounced like ‘Shaandore’ and ‘Yaanosh’.)Just your daily funfact   Quote  Reply

    Probably because they have different linguistic roots in Westeros. You know, “Tywin” is Riverlandish in origin and “Arya” is from the Iron Islands or some crap like that.

    Who cares?

  133. Felagund
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Then tell me the difference between (the both “riverlandish”) Tyrion and Tywin ;)

    (I admit “Tee-win” would sound really stupid… :D)

    I’m sorry I was raised on Tolkien, I am touchy about linguistics :)

  134. lune
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    I STILL don’t know how they pronounce Jon!!!! They forgot the only name i had serious dubts about! o_o

    is it ee-ON or John?

    Help me!

  135. Felagund
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    lune,

    Without doubt it is like ‘John’.
    There is no evidence for ‘J’ to be pronounced as ‘ee’

    (If would’ve been written as ‘Yon’, then it’d be a question :D)

  136. Tyrion's Scar
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    ezeqiel: Most of these seem fairly logical in my head or only a slight tweek to what I had envisaged myself, but there’s some I really can’t get…Cassel = cuss-EL (it’ll always be CASS as in “crass” or “brass” to me, the only cus’in I’ll be doin is at this pronunciation!)Tyrell = TI-rul (nope, can’t hack this one either… tir-ELL is in my head, kinda like Pirelli tyres)Tommen = TAH-min (what is wrong with just plain ol’ TOM-min???)    

    These along with Gendry having a hard G are abominations.

  137. Jordan Healey
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Tommen = Tah-min ?

    hahah oh dear.

    Someone get the phonetic police onto some of these pronounciations

  138. lune
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Felagund,

    Not all the names have english pronunciation. If it has to sound north european that it could be Ion, as well.
    I don’t remember hearing George pronouncing that name (he probably did a number of times) so i still have my dubt.

    Here I always herd people saying Ion, in US they say John, but is no evidence at all!

  139. Blackfish Blues
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    This is exciting! Like others have said, I would like the guide to be written in the International Phonetic Alphabet, because certain ways of indicating pronounciation are not univocal in the list.

    In general I pronounce the names like in this guide, or at least I don’t pronounce them with enough nuance to make a difference (my mother tongue is Italian). However some of them made me pause.

    Arya Stark – ARE-yuh STARK
    In what way is it different from the way Maisie says it?

    Gregor Clegane – Gre-GOR Cli-GAIN
    Gre-GOR?????
    And am I correct in assuming the “i” in “Cli-GAIN” is a short “i”, like “Cluh-GAIN”?

    Irri – I-ree
    “I” like “eye”, or is it a short “i”?

    Jeor Mormont – JEE-or MORE-mont
    Always said Mor-MONT, because it sounded French to me, but I don’t think it will make much difference when spoken aloud. Like the Ed-DARD-gate; I did not find it strange, because to me it was obvious that he was pronouncing every syllable for emphasis.

    Jory Cassel – JOR-ee Cuss-EL
    Nice! One of the names I pronounced the French way. I even said Jor-EE, but it’s no big deal.

    Loras Tyrell – LOR-us TI-rul
    I don’t understand TI-rul. Is it a short “i” (like the car Tyrrell, which however has 2 Rs), or is it “tie”? I always pronounced it TIE-rell.

    Qotho – QUO-tho
    Surprise. Same for all the other Q names on the list and elsewhere. Does this mean that Jaqen is pronounced JAY-qwen?

    Harrenhal – HAIR-in-hall
    Just funny. In Harrenhal’s hall many hairy situations happened. :D

    Lys – LICE
    Huh? Lys with a short “i” is so much more exotic. There’s also some rule about the pronounciation of monosyllables which I can’t remember. But I guess pronounciation is like genetics in Westeros. :D

    Ser – SAIR
    Heh. No problem for us Italians, but I understand the confusion. However they needed to distinguish it somehow from the more common “sir”.

    Jaime. Indeed, where is he? I say “JAY-mee”, but it’s a legitimate, modern Spanish name, and as such should be pronounced HI-meh, which is much more arrogant and powerful for our Kingslayer.

  140. A. Visitor
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one to have noticed the inherent problems with this? Since we don’t agree on a common accent, we can’t agree on how to pronounce the phonetic descriptions: “TAH-min”, for example, is how the (Southern, fairly RP) English would hear a “strong” American accent pronounce “Tommen” phonetically, but it probably isn’t how those Americans would hear the English say it (that’s probably “TOM-mun”, but I can’t testify to that).

    Anyway, it’ll keep us amused with frantic and futile speculation until we actually hear them said on screen… :)

  141. A. Visitor
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    A. Visitor

    Apparently not :) Blackfish Blues beat me to it.

  142. Blackfish Blues
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    A. Visitor,
    lol, and Tar Kidho and Paweł Ausir Dembowski beat me to it in their turn.

    This is a tasty hors-d’oeuvre, let’s hope we’ll soon get a detailed guide with IPA transcription and sounds.

  143. KG
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Watch the 15 min preview – Mr. Martin clearly says “CAT-uh-lin” Stark, which isn’t what the “official’ pronounciation is.

    So … it’s all gonna come out in the wash, folks. Everyone take a VAA-lee-um ;D

  144. HT Reddy
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Nick:
    Ah! Must be an American thing. The British say Hair and Her exactly the same, as they do with Hare and Herr.

    No we don’t. Where are you from?

  145. HT Reddy
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    A. Visitor: Am I the only one to have noticed the inherent problems with this? Since we don’t agree on a common accent, we can’t agree on how to pronounce the phonetic descriptions: “TAH-min”, for example, is how the (Southern, fairly RP) English would hear a “strong” American accent pronounce “Tommen” phonetically, but it probably isn’t how those Americans would hear the English say it (that’s probably “TOM-mun”, but I can’t testify to that).Anyway, it’ll keep us amused with frantic and futile speculation until we actually hear them said on screen…     

    Yeah Tah-min and Rah-drik sound horrendous to me, cos they just seem so american – what’s wrong with TOM-mən and RODrick. Also, I don’t mind either Cəss-EL or CASS-əl, but how did the u sneak into Cuss-EL?

    The other thing I pronounce noticeably differently. I’ve always gone for Cleg-AN, but that was ever going to be a long-shot so I’m not bothered by it. But seriously, TAH-min?

  146. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Lex: Actually, on the whole Lys thing, I just realized that I think LEESE, but when I see Lyseni I think “LICE-EEN-EYE”

    That’s not unusual in real life either. There are often cases when the place name sounds different from the nationality. I believe it has to do with the lengthening of the word and the addition of new syllables, which will affect the pronunciation of vowels. I did the same thing as you: “Liss” for the place name, but “Lye-seen-ee” for the nationality.

    Amarantha: It all sounds very North American to me.Like if I read them out loud, I sound as though I’m putting on an American accent.    

    I agree to some extent (which makes sense, given that GRRM is American). Even more than that though, when I say most of them the way they’re written on this list, it sounds like what an American might think a posh British accent sounds like, when in actual fact, the stress and vowel pronunciation is way off. Some of it, as has been pointed out, could be meant to represent a northern English accent of some variety, but there’s not a lot o consistency and it feels very…messy.

    Kathrina Martinsen: Can’t believe no-one else (or did I miss it?) commented on gre-GOR! Really? Gre-GOR? To me, he was always just GRE-gur, like the actual name. Strange …    

    No, you’re not the only one. I think it sounds pretty ridiculous too. My pronunciation doesn’t seem to match anyone on here though anyway. I say (in a poor attempt making it comprehensible): GREG-ore CLEG-ain. It’s a very hard, strong, almost vulgar sounding name in my head.

    Jordan Healey,

    Blackfish Blues: A. Visitor,
    lol, and Tar Kidho and Paweł Ausir Dembowski beat me to it in their turn.
    This is a tasty hors-d’oeuvre, let’s hope we’ll soon get a detailed guide with IPA transcription and sounds.    

    I fourth this! I’m still not sure what some of them sound like from the guide.

  147. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    My comment is stuck in moderation land. D:

  148. Bard of Awen
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I knew this would be an interesting thread of comments to follow. So just to throw my two stags in there:

    - These pronunciations are very close to how I pronounce things while reading, so obviously, I’m reasonably satisfied. A couple of differences seem rather strange to me, but overall, where I find myself at odds with the production, I often like their take on it is my own. Targaryen and Barratheon for example.

    - Sair-gate: They probably shouldn’t have even published this one. I’m with the camp that firmly believes this will be more subtle than people realize. I have a feeling, had they said nothing, most of the people on this forum would not have even noticed. What you want to wager that we hear this in the next preview?

    - Ar-ya, Ah-ri-a. Again, I think most people will find the distinction here is subtle when actors are actually speaking. It will be largely like pronouncing the word “fire” was one syllable versus two. To most ears, this will sound like a matter of brevity–a sort of clipped quality–rather than a different pronunciation.

    - The Evolution of the Westerosi common tongue. Like English, the language of the seven kingdoms is going to be something of a bastard child. It doesn’t really surprise me that the first syllables of Sansa and Sandor sound a little different, or that certain phonemes, even in names that are ostensibly from the same linguistic background, have developed subtle differences over decades or centuries of amalgamation with other dialects (this is assuming that those phonetic distinctions were not prevalent in the original tongue. Perhaps in High Valyrian, there are mutators at work that we don’t understand, such that the endings of Aerys and Danaerys sound different. It could be syllabic, gender related, hereditary, etc.)

    In short, linguistic consistency within living languages is rubbish. Embrace mispronunciation and general inconsistency! Huzzah!

  149. Critical Geek
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    So I recently purchased all 5 seasons of the Wire, and just finished a semi marathon viewing. I now have to agree with everyone who said Game of Thrones isn’t Sopranos in Middle Earth, it’s a swords and sorcery “the Wire”.

    That is to say, go see the Wire, it’s every bit as good as they say it is.

  150. Czarnian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Critical Geek,

    Didnt you just love McNulty?

  151. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues: Qotho – QUO-tho
    Surprise. Same for all the other Q names on the list and elsewhere. Does this mean that Jaqen is pronounced JAY-qwen?

    That’s one I’m curious about as well. I know the solo Q is supposed to be a hard K sound (despite this weird way they seem to be going about it), and had merely been expecting revelations as to whether it would be said as Jakken (as in apple), Jah-ken, or Jay-ken. Personally, I went with the first option.

  152. Nick
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    HT Reddy:
    No we don’t. Where are you from?    

    East Yorkshire

  153. Rinoa De la Pica
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues: Jaime. Indeed, where is he? I say “JAY-mee”, but it’s a legitimate, modern Spanish name, and as such should be pronounced HI-meh, which is much more arrogant and powerful for our Kingslayer.

    Agree. As a Spanish speaker, I’ve always read Jaime as in HIGH-Meh. I love how it sounds this way while in English “Jamie” sounds a bit childish for me. Like a pet name. Not offence intended, it’s just a personal impression :)

  154. Petyr
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    They should have just went with Canadian accents, it would give everyone less to worry aboot.

  155. Steven Scott
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Looks like I pronounce every single one the correct way.

  156. HT Reddy
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Nick: East Yorkshire  Quote  Reply

    Okay, I guess it’s a north-east/rest of the world issue then. I can imagine my friend from Castleford might pronounce hair and her the same, but I wouldn’t, so it’s not a ‘British’ thing either way.

  157. Gabe K.
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    HODOR HODOR HODOR!

  158. obsidian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I had a dog that I adored. I named him Tyrone. When I was feeling all soft and mushy and indulgent toward him ,he got something like the Irish pronunciation, Teer – OWN …when he was being willful, or feisty, or somehow unmanageable , it became more like the American pronunciation, Tie-RONE.. :)..So I guess I can be flexible.

    I’ve always thought of Tyrion as Teer-ee-on , of Janos, Sandor and Gregor with the Hungarian / eastern European pronunciations , YAN-osh , SHAN</em-dor, GREG-or ; of Lys as Leese or Leez and the Lyseni as liss-ENNY..I think we’ll all get used to the HBO versions fairly quickly, but will their voice change our inner voices when reading ? ..Not so sure.

  159. obsidian
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Um.. that’s SHAN-dor ( !x#*!) .. I also prefer the Spanish Jaime , but I guess I’ll take what they give me.

  160. purplejilly
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho: I couldn’t agree more! But there might be hope. At some point in the past few days someone (Tywin’s Bastard?) said that it is good to get involved in fora like this one ahead of a series/film that is based on books, to lessen the shock about the small and big changes that are made. Also, there was an increasing cry for news from HBO (I concur, I was one of them crying people). It could be just a coincidence, but putting up Arya’s picture closely followed by this list of pronunciations seems like a quick way to keep the fanbase happy. If my guess is correct, this means that HBO pays attention to this forum, so we should maybe increase our efforts to demand more news!! (time for another trailer or an Artisans clip, HBO! Anything where we hear people speaking we haven’t heard before…)  Quote  Reply

    That was me! I used my Battlestar Galactica reboot shock as an example.

  161. Juan
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    … Im spanish so the names has very different sound in my head. In Spanish theres only one possible pronuntiation, just like the names were writen, so its easier. Arya sounds A-ri-a, Cersei sounds Cer-se-i, etc…

  162. Steph
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    My two cents: I always assumed that GRRM wrote “ser” as opposed to “sir” on purpose to be a little different and unique, as he has done with several names in the series (Joffrey for Jeffrey, Tommen for Thomas, Eddard for Edward, etc etc etc). Therefore, I always pronounced it “sayr” in my head, not “sir.” I’m actually quite pleased that they’ve gone with that pronunciation for the show. This isn’t the Medieval era, this is Westeros, despite the parallels.

  163. Steph
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Also, I will never be okay with “jay-mee.” Never. He will always be “jaym” to me, and that’s one thing that even HBO cannot budge in my mind.

  164. Dynasty9
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I have read these books multiple times, and am not sure why but I always sounded Pycelle as Per-sell-le. Do not know where the “R” came from.

  165. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    We’ve both brought it up then as I’ve made that point as well a while ago. :)

  166. Blackfish Blues
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra,
    Gregor is pronounced GREGOR. It is known. :D

    obsidian,
    I like Shandor! Rory McCann does look like a young Sean Connery. :D It would also end the San-San meme…

  167. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Dynasty9: I have read these books multiple times, and am not sure why but I always sounded Pycelle as Per-sell-le. Do not know where the “R” came from.    

    You’re probably associating it with Myrcella.

  168. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues,

    Ahahaha. Yes.

  169. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to Season 2, so we can get official pronunciations of Brienne, Davos, Craster, etc.

    I hope they go with Bree-ENN, and not GRRM’s Bree-ENN-ee. As for Davos, I can never quite decide if I prefer DA-os, or DAY-vos.

  170. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    This is a good thread, btw.

  171. Spartan
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Rinoa De la Pica: Agree. As a Spanish speaker, I’ve always read Jaime as in HIGH-Meh. I love how it sounds this way while in English “Jamie” sounds a bit childish for me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaime
    It sound pretty much as Hih-meh. But the ‘J’ sound in spanish is very dry. Anyway, i agree with the idea of change how it sounds depending on the speaker’s accent.

  172. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Ditto on Brienne. I know that it’s not GRRM’s pronunciation, but “Bree-EN-ee” sounds terrible. :/
    I’m not sure how else one could pronounce Craster (CRASS-tuhr). I guess you could say it with a long “a.”

  173. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I prefer DA-vos. In general I prefer names without using “multi-sound vowels” if that makes sense (I don’t know any phonetic terms in English). In this case an ‘a’ like in the word dark, instead of an ‘a’ that’s pronounced “ay” (which are two sounds).

  174. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I used to say CRAY-ster, but now I think it’s probably CRASS-ter.

  175. KG
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Just to muddy the waters further, let me give you a real-life example of the Name Game.

    I have a fairly torturous Polish last name. While we all agree on the generalities of the letters, I pronounce it one way, my brother and mother pronounce it a second way, and my father pronounces it a third way.

    The differences aren’t as striking as “I say potato, you say kumquat” but the differences are there.

  176. Owen Christy
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I think Rhaegar is the only one that I’m not happy with. In my head it was always RYE-gar, not RAY-gar.

  177. Zed
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I just bumped at Maisie Williams dance vid on You Tube.

    Couldn’t really tell if it was Maisie, but the act was great.

  178. purplejilly
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Tywin’s Bastard: purplejilly, We’ve both brought it up then as I’ve made that point as well a while ago.   Quote  Reply

    Great minds think alike!! :P

  179. Phoenix_torn
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    I understand that. My last name isn’t all that hard to pronounce. It rhymes with bagel, however I’ve been told I say bagel wrong. Everyone has weird vowel things that make these name arguments entertaining.

  180. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Zed: I just bumped at Maisie Williams dance vid on You Tube.Couldn’t really tell if it was Maisie, but the act was great.    

    LOL, cute! It definitely looks like her, and I remember reading that she’s also a dancer.

  181. purplejilly
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Zed,

    If it is her, looks like Arya can bust a move when necessary, as well as stickin’ em with the pointy end!

  182. Tar Kidho
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Zed,

    From the silhouette it could definitely be her, but nobody should be THAT multitalented!

  183. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho,

    It certainly DOES look like her. Plus, if you notice, the up-loader of that video is based in the united kingdom and has “liked” the artisans video of Maisie talking about her sword training with Miltos. Man, that was some pretty great dancing too!

  184. ablaaa
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues:.Arya Stark – ARE-yuh STARK
    In what way is it different from the way Maisie says it?

    Maisie says “A-ree-ah”.

  185. OldGran
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I see they are pronouncing Braavos as Bra-vos. I always wondered if it was Bra-Avos because of the two a’s.

  186. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    OldGran: I see they are pronouncing Braavos as Bra-vos. I always wondered if it was Bra-Avos because of the two a’s.    

    Let me guess how you say “Aardvark,” then…

    ;)

  187. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Gah, hit submit too soon. Wanted to emphasize that when I see a double A like that, it seems clear that it serves to “draw out” or lengthen the time you spend saying it for another beat.

  188. Adam Roberts
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    all these retarded and over complicated and alien pronunciations only serves to to make the world less real and more alien/fantasy like, and to further distance itself from the world we read about in the books. Rodrik Cassel – RAH-drick Cuss-EL. if thats how you want us to pronounce it then spell it rahdrick cussel in the bloody book ffs. why use the English language for the whole of the books then deviate from it for no reason for a few words, it makes no sense.

  189. Lex
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Adam Roberts,

    I don’t think you’re reading the phonetics correctly. I think RAH-drik means it sounds exactly how it looks. Rodrick.

  190. VTfan
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Adam RAH-burts,

    Have I said enough?

  191. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Completely agree. It’s so funny to me how many responses have been seemingly aghast at pronunciations that I always thought to be utterly universal. Theon…Rhymes with Deion. Rodrick…Adam, were you pronouncing it ROE-drick in your mind? I don’t see any other way to go with that one besides what they have chosen to go with. Out of all the difficult pronunciations, I figured that was a “gimme”. And Cassel. Like the actual last name, Cassel. Like the former basketball player Sam Cassel. Were you thinking it was more like the word “castle”?

    Tahmin TOE-min, tomato tomAHto.

    The only one that seemed obvious to me that took me by surprise was Tyrell. TI-rul?? How does that work? I’m reading it phonetically and I still don’t get it!

    Do they mean like Tee-rull? or… TEAR-ul?

    I’ve always assumed Tie-RELL

  192. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Also, I was pleased by Gendry. I had always used a “soft g.” It never even occurred to me to do it differently, but I greatly prefer HBO’s way of saying it. I’m going to switch to that version from now on.

  193. Zack
    Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Cutter Allen Kilgore,

    Indeed. Rodrick, Podrick, etc…seemed pretty straightforward. It isn’t “Dennis Rohd-man.” Similarly, people who think that the phonetics of “Tah-min” are significantly different from “Tom-men” (with the e as a schwa) make me scratch my head. When spoken aloud in normal conversation, they’d be identical.

    And I never liked “Gendry” with a soft g. So glad they went with my own pronunciation. I wonder if the association was from the word ‘gentry’…

  194. Sly
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    …I always thought it was, er, “sair.” Latin “e” and all.

    Also, trippy pronunciation guide. What’s wrong with the actual dictionary pronunciation guide? Or, heck, IPA?

  195. Hear Me Roar
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Finally, some time to comment, after a busy second half of the week and Saturday.

    Ingemar Svensson,

    I would say there “non-consistent” Dothraki pronunciations are how Common Tongue/English speakers would pronounce them. They will surely be pronounced the Dothraki way when the speaker is Dothraki, I would imagine. That’s very common and natural in our world as well.

    Glad about the updates by Cogman on Lys and Pycelle, those were the ones that felt rather jarring for me. I’ll get used to Gendry :)

  196. Flóra Ballabás
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    This Sair thing isn’t weird for me. I always pronounced it that way, and even in Dragon Age (an RPG game) they pronounced it like this, and it was said that they took it from George’s books.

  197. Flóra Ballabás
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Actualy, the only two thing that bothers me are the Tyrell and Sandor thing. I always pronounced Ty-RELL, and this new way is… less noble.

    Sandor is strange, because it is actualy a name from my country, Hungary. It is written here as Sándor, (as Janos is János), so that is how I imagined it. But I can live with that change, I guess! :)

  198. Becky Wilson
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I don’t get this Sair-gate thing either.

    But really? Even with this guide, we’re all still going to read these in our head different, considering the plethora of nationalities represented on this board alone. Language is an awesome beast.

    But for the record ‘ser’ was never pronounced ‘sir’ in my head. Much more Sair. But, really closer to Sehr.

  199. Nikoleo
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I got most of it right :)

  200. Blackfish Blues
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    ablaaa:
    Maisie says “A-ree-ah”.

    Thanks! I think I understand, it’s a matter of pronouncing it as 2 syllables or 3. But in my mind I can’t hear much difference with ARE-yuh. Here we have the word “aria”, meaning air, and the 2-syllables pronounciation is more common, although the difference is just a tiny lengthening of the “i” to make 3 syllables. The accent is always on the first A, however.

    I agree with those who said that these differences will be less noticeable when heard in normal dialogues.

    Is anybody else surprised that Hoster Tully made the list? He will probably be mentioned with reference to the Lysa-Petyr affair, I guess.

    Still no updates on Jaime? Maybe we’ll never hear his first name in the series. ;)

  201. Bard of Awen
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues: Still no updates on Jaime? Maybe we’ll never hear his first name in the series.     

    No reasonable compromise between various factions of fans was able to be made, and so Jaime’s name has been officially changed to “J-Dawgg.” Scenes containing his name will be redubbed using the finest vocal stand-ins they can find (who are willing to work for soup and sandwiches).

  202. Bard of Awen
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    My turn to mess up a post. Huzzah!

  203. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Lex,

    That one got me at first as well. It’s another problem with the way they’re written out in the lists. At first I thought they meant it to have a kind of nasal, southern drawl, which would have seemed ridiculous in context, but I think you’re right. I think it’s just that they’re trying to get across that it’s now “Roh-drick” (as in “to row”).

    Zack,

    For me, the difference is between a schwa and a long o as in, “toe,” “row,” and “go.” I’ve always pronounced it with a long o.

    On the subject of the Tyrells, I’m not sure with their confusing guide what exactly they are going with, but I’ve always said it “Tih-ruhl.” It sounds far more realistic and much less modern than “Tie-RELL,” which sounds like a made-up name to me. This is from someone with an English background though, so I definitely have that bias. Obviously things that would sound natural to me might sound unnatural to a native French speaker (as an example).
    While reading the books, I tended to think of many of the names with English pronounciation, with the exception of Dornish, the Targaryens, some of the obviously different southern names, and anything across the narrow sea.

    And I’m sorry, but real, modern pronounciation or no, “cuh-SELL” just sounds hilariously bad to me, and extremely pretentious (especially being that the character in question is from the north and from a comparatively modest background). And yeah, actually, I do say it kind of like “castle.” ;p

  204. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Bard of Awen,

    I approve of J-Dawg. XD

    But in all honesty, even though I’ve always said it like Jaimie , I kind of like the hispanic pronounciation that I’ve heard people mention. Either one would be fine with me. It would fit in more with Cersei in some ways.

  205. Blackfish Blues
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Bard of Awen,
    actually Jaime’s mom called him “Coo”, and somehow that stuck. :D

    Steve Hugh Westenra,
    curious, I like the French pronounciation for Cassel but not Tyrell (TIE-rell for me). How about the Martells? For me it could not be any other way but Mar-TELL. Maybe I’m influenced by the cognac, as usual. :D

  206. HT Reddy
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Zack: Cutter Allen Kilgore,
    Indeed. Rodrick, Podrick, etc…seemed pretty straightforward. It isn’t “Dennis Rohd-man.” Similarly, people who think that the phonetics of “Tah-min” are significantly different from “Tom-men” (with the e as a schwa) make me scratch my head. When spoken aloud in normal conversation, they’d be identical.

    Maybe this is an American/British thing? TAH-min sounds nothing like TOM-men in a British accent. If I say TAH-min I feel like I’m putting on an American accent – So yeh, to use the other example someone used, RAH-berts is not how I’d say Roberts. At all.

  207. Ingemar Svensson
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    Ya, that’s how I see it as well.

    Though my slight problem is that they are pronounced in english based on spelling and the westerosi people who speak dothraki names etc probably never saw the names written but only heard them spoken and that would probably give diffrent common tongue pronounciations than the ones given.

    I guess we just have to take it for what it is.

  208. Yjama
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I really prefer SAIR, to be honest. That’s the way I’ve always said it, and it sounds much more “knightly” to me.
    Honestly, it’s just a matter of getting used to it. I could’ve gotten used to SIR, but I guess I won’t have to.

  209. Nick
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I assume this list pretty much confirms that Roose Bolton, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Jeyne Poole and Podrick Payne are going to be absent from the first season then? But then again, Kevan Lannister is not listed and we know he has been cast.

  210. the goat
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Does Pod appear in AGoT?

  211. Nick
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, when he joins Tywin at the camps, Pod is appointed his squire.

  212. Nick
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    “he” being Tyrion of course

  213. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues,

    I say Martell with the emphasis on the last syllable as well (Mar-TELL). I think for me, it works because they’re a very different house from a different culture, versus Tyrell (TIH-ruhl in my head) and Cassel (CASS-uhl), which I think of as being more homogeneous with their respective areas (the “uh” sound I’m referring to being a schwa). Martell, I guess, is inherently more exotic to me, thus warranting the end-stress.

  214. the goat
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    Ahh, that’s right. Thanks, I only have audiobook of AGoT right now, its a pain to browse through. I imagine they’ll just move his first appearance to the beginning of Season 2 when Tyrion arrives in KL.

  215. Andrija Andrew P
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    GoT ON HBO ADRIA!
    I know this is off-topic but I just read that HBO Adria will be releasing GoT to us in Europe almost at the same time as they will be in America! Great news and really happy to have that confirmed, if it was already posted somewhere I apologise cause I didn’t see it till just now..

  216. mummer
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Nick,
    Dondarrion has been cast.

  217. Tar Kidho
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    OT: in an acceptance speech at the Baftas, one of the producers of The King’s Speech said that if there were an award for best casting, Nina Gold should definitely recieve it. Nice to hear! And I must say I was not surprized to hear this, Maisie Williams and some others in mind.

  218. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    mummer,

    He has? Who did they cast? I haven’t heard about this.

  219. Mormegil
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Cutter Allen Kilgore: mummer, He has? Who did they cast? I haven’t heard about this.  Quote  Reply

    Irish actor David Scott.

    WiC Post about it.

  220. Mormegil
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Edit
    He’s Australian, just works in Ireland.

  221. ali
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    some weird ones for me….

    Ilyn = eye-lin
    Tyrell = tie-rell
    Baratheon = buh-ray-thee-on
    and for the places, I always made it a long ‘o’, as in Ess-oh(s) and Pen-toh(s)

  222. Flea Bottom Flea
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Why is Aerys pronounced with a z on the end, while Viserys, and Varys are pronounced with an “s?” And why is Lys pronounced with a long e? Baffled.

  223. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Flea Bottom Flea,

    A very good question, which probably doesn’t have an actual answer. ;p

    I’ve always said it with an ess, as I find that saying like Ares just sounds, I don’t know, dull? Unimaginative? It seems like an odd association to make. I guess we do have Cersei as well, who’s always reminded me of Circe.

  224. purplejilly
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    ali,

    Seems like Ilyn sounds much better as ill – en – as in you know something Ill this way comes when he is around. Eye – lyn sounds more like an island – not as scary as “ill’, IMHO..

  225. ChryseeDotCom
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    My first read through the series was on audiobook. I had very little idea of how most of the names were even spelled. So this guide is pretty similar to the audiobooks and nothing is a big surprise to me. Maybe a few things, but not worth complaining over. Of course if I had read the text first I probably would have pronunciations that were way off. Lots of times I read a book and decide how a name or place sounds in my head and then later realize “my” pronunciation is missing (or inserting) letters that aren’t even there! But because of the audiobooks, nothing here is much of a surprise.

  226. purplejilly
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    You know what would be fun, and a very cool thing to help make us happy or increase the loudness of our wailing, and the renting of our garments? If someone at HBO put together a few little pronunciation clips, for example, go through the film and take three or four instances of someone saying “Ser” – and take just the clips, and splice them together. So you get a little three or four second clip of different people saying Ser X, Ser Y, Ser Z. And then make a few more little clips, like of people saying “Sansa” and string those together. It doesn’t even have to be footage that’s in the show, if they are worried about spoiling too much – even better, it could be outtake footage, or stuff that was cut or bloopers or something – just little bits to let us hear exactly how they say it. That would be so much fun for us fans to see/hear. Comeon, HBO, humor us! Please Sers?? Sairs? Sars?

  227. Nakmal
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    HT Reddy:
    Maybe this is an American/British thing? TAH-min sounds nothing like TOM-men in a British accent.If I say TAH-min I feel like I’m putting on an American accent – So yeh, to use the other example someone used, RAH-berts is not how I’d say Roberts. At all.    

    As an American, I can see what you’re saying that it could be different, but at the same time those two phonetic spellings are the same in my mind. I pronounce Tommen like Thomas with an en instead of an as, like TOM-in. I see TAH and think of that same sound. I can see how TAH-min could seem like the way I pronounced Tamzin Merchant’s name, but it wouldn’t be the first way I thought of it. If it ends up being TAH-min with that sort of sounded I will be genuinely weirded out as I thought that TOM-in was pretty easily pronounced and the other way just sounds odd.

  228. Bard of Awen
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I’m imagining an elaborate flash See ‘n Say with pictures of all the characters and various sound clips of their names.

    The Eddard Stark says, “I, Eddard of the House Stark, do sentence you to die.”

  229. A. Visitor
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Nakmal:
    As an American, I can see what you’re saying that it could be different, but at the same time those two phonetic spellings are the same in my mind. I pronounce Tommen like Thomas with an en instead of an as, like TOM-in. I see TAH and think of that same sound. I can see how TAH-min could seem like the way I pronounced Tamzin Merchant’s name, but it wouldn’t be the first way I thought of it. If it ends up being TAH-min with that sort of sounded I will be genuinely weirded out as I thought that TOM-in was pretty easily pronounced and the other way just sounds odd.    

    Yeah, this is pretty much the crux of the problem. In British English, “TAH” has a long “ahhhh” sound, but the “Ta” of “Tamzin” is short. In British English again, “Thomas” has a short “oh” – and I’m not sure that this sound even exists in American accents, where it tends to become “ah”. So TOH vs. TAH means very little to the American reader, but there’s a world of difference in standard English.

  230. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Something like this would be very helpful (or even just a quickly put together video of some of the people involved (cast, crew, whatever…) pronouncing the names so that we can understand what their system actually means. ;p

  231. Emma
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    KG: It doesn’t sound bad – it just gives an artificial Scots coloring to it.There are so many other things to get stressed over in life. Like “Theeon.” Really? Theeon?  Quote  Reply

    Hmm. I’ve always pronounced it “THEE-on.” I don’t know what other way it COULD be pronounced, actually.
    That’s one of the only ones I’ve been pronouncing right all this time.

  232. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Emma,

    I’m not sure if it’s clear whether or not the “th” is voiced or not, and it’s possible to say it with an “ee” sound, or with an “ay” sound. You could also pronounce the final syllable either unstressed with a schwa, or stressed (along with the first syllable), as an “o,” as in the word, “on.”

    Until I read this thread, it had never occurred to me that one would think to pronounce it differently to how I say it, but apparently people do. I’ve always thought of it like the real name “Theo.” So to me it is unvoiced, with an “ee” sound and even stress throughout the name, so that it also has the “on” sound.

  233. HT Reddy
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    A. Visitor: Yeah, this is pretty much the crux of the problem. In British English, “TAH” has a long “ahhhh” sound, but the “Ta” of “Tamzin” is short. In British English again, “Thomas” has a short “oh” – and I’m not sure that this sound even exists in American accents, where it tends to become “ah”. So TOH vs. TAH means very little to the American reader, but there’s a world of difference in standard English.  Quote  Reply

    indeed. So if Mark Addy calls Tommen TAH-min, it will sound incredibly strange, to American viewers as well as British

  234. purplejilly
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Bard of Awen,

    HAHAHAHAHA That would be PERFECT!! :)

  235. purplejilly
    Posted February 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to add in that I have always hated the name Benjen Stark. It feels like his name is one of those mashup names for celebrity couples that the tabloids make up, like Brangelina, Bennifer, etc. I guess because I read it after Brangelina was already in existence. Those of you who read it in older days might not have thought that.

    Now I guess I should make mash-up names for the people I am going to want to ‘ship in the series. It may be different than those in the book, too, depending on screen chemistry!
    Let’s see, per the book I am planning
    Daner-Jo or Jonerys
    Gendrya
    Or
    Sandrya (Sandor and Arya)
    And how about
    Jaeene or Brieme (lol, awful mashup name!)

  236. Laura
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Isnt the whole sair thing just because most of the characters have manchaster accents so when they say sir it sounds like sair. I still think you say ser as sir.

  237. Troublesome Birdsong
    Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    GRRM pronounces The Eyrie as ‘Eye – ree’ in this video.

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MrBill and Chad Harris, Winter Is Coming. Winter Is Coming said: New post: MGoT: Pronunciations http://bit.ly/hPz1FN #GameofThrones [...]

  2. [...] latest entry on the Making Game of Thrones page on the HBO site has a nice (and rather comprehensive) list of pronunciations, including [...]

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ingrid, Chad Harris and Sophia , Winter Is Coming. Winter Is Coming said: New post: MGoT update: Pronunciation Guide http://bit.ly/gd0sOU #GameofThrones [...]

  4. [...] de pronunciación de términos relativos a la saga de “Canción de Hielo y Fuego” aparecido en http://winter-is-coming.net. NOMBRES DE PERSONAJES: Aerys Targaryen – AIR-eez Tar-GAIR-ee-in Alliser Thorne – AL-iss-er [...]

  5. [...] Ours is the Fury: Fun fact: I will always pronounce “maester” as “my-ster.” Every time. No matter what Cogman says. [...]


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