This Forum has been archived

Visit the new Forums
Forums: Index > Watercooler > Typos and spelling differences TV vs books

We need to discuss what to do when there are spelling differences between the books, TV series, and/or supplementary TV materials. I.e. Samyrian vs Shamyriana, Bhorash vs Bhonash. We can usually tell when something is a simple typo if its a commonly used name; i.e. if "Cersei" was spelled "Sersei" exactly once in the TV series or a supplementary material (the HBO viewer's guide), we'd disregard that as a typo. If a common, major character from the books is frequently and consistently spelled an alternate way in the TV series, that should probably be taken as that the name truly is different in the TV continuity, i.e. if they were to consistently spell it as "Edmeer Tully" instead of "Edmure" Tully. The problem is with obscure names that only get mentioned once or twice. In general, I think that we should count things that appear on-screen far more than supplementary materials like the HBO viewers' guide, because we don't know how much oversight those things have - certainly less than the show. Some of these things like Bhonash or Samyrian were mentioned exactly once in the initial print run of the books -- maybe the original books had a typo, and George R.R. Martin has corrected this for the TV series: J.R.R. Tolkien ran into this kind of problem all the time, with typos in the proper nouns of his initial print run of Lord of the Rings (the original mispelled it as "Kirith Ungol", even though its spelled with a (hard) C as "Cirith Ungol", and this had to be fixed). However, I'm more inclined to think that -- particularly with the HBO viewer's guide -- we should take the books over the HBO viewers' guide and assume these are just typos until proven otherwise.

The categorization scheme I'm suggesting is:

1 - A name that frequently appears in the books ("Catelyn", "Aegon", etc.) is misspelled the one time it appears in the TV series, on-screen: we may have a discussion about it, but should generally lean towards the books.

2 - However, if it appears multiple times in the TV series consistently using the new spelling, we should probably conclude that the official TV series continuity spelling is indeed alternate.

3 - A name that frequently appears in the books is misspelled exactly once in supplementary materials like the HBO viewer's guide, etc. We should assume this is a simple typo, not that the name is different in the TV continuity.

4 - A name that appears very infrequently in the books is given a new spelling in the TV show; it may have appeared only once or twice in the books so we're not really sure if it the original may itself have been a typo (like "Kirith Ungol"). We will have to have a discussion about whether to accept the new name or not.

5 - A name that appears very infrequently, only once or twice, in the books appears only once in supplementary materials like the HBO viewers' guide: i.e. Samyrian vs Shamyrian. We should assume this is a typo.

-->If nothing else, we should compile a list of these alternate spellings so at some point in the future, we can pass them along to a major fansite like who can in turn pass it along to HBO or George R.R. Martin (I'm talking on a scale of years) to ask to confirm the proper spellings. --The Dragon Demands 19:56, April 19, 2012 (UTC)

I tend to disagree. We treat the books and the TV series as two separate entities here. If something is spelled differently in supplementary materials or on screen for the TV series then we should follow the TV series version unless it is confirmed as erroneous. Compiling a list sounds sensible but assuming that mistakes are being made whenever spelling differs seems unfair to the production to me.--Opark 77 20:54, April 19, 2012 (UTC)
I think this matter is serious enough that it needs to be put to a formal vote involving all the admins, etc. We also run into on the Greywater Watch page, because the map misspells it as "GreyTower Watch". We shouldn't blindly assume that supplementary materials like an online viewer's guide are immune from making simple typos, particularly if they only appear once and are not consistently applied. For that matter, even the TV show itself is capable of making typos on maps. The burden of proof is on proving if the change was intentional and not an accident. This is a massive production involving hundreds of decisions and little things like spelling often slip through the cracks. I doubt that say, George R.R. Martin is taking time away from writing the next book to personally double-check every piece of prop parchment for spelling errors. --The Dragon Demands 21:43, April 19, 2012 (UTC)
Voting is fine. I vote we treat different namings and spellings in supplementary material and on screen as being the adaptations version unless a verifiable source says that it is erroneous. I disagree regarding where the burden of proof should lie here. I agree that it is unlikely George R.R. Martin is spellchecking this stuff but I don't think that means we should default to assuming incompetence is the cause of spelling differences.--Opark 77 22:01, April 19, 2012 (UTC)

It's worth noting here that most of these spelling mistakes take place on the maps, and GRRM's maps are notably cramped, much-amended and at times difficult to decipher. HBO's mistakes simply come from misreading GRRM's map: 'Bhonash' is simply the result of reading the 'r' as an 'n'. In textual terms, this is supported by Jorah Mormont's mention of 'Qohor' in Season 1, Episode 3, confirming that 'Forest of Zohor' (as it appears to be spelt on the HBO map) is simply not correct. How to deal with it is something I would like to see more discussion on. I feel that leaving the river as 'Cockleswhent' as the TV map has it (versus 'Cockleswent' in the books) is fine as it's pronounced the same. 'Bhorash'/'Bhonash' is more important as the sound of the word is changed. 'Samyrian' I would actually leave, as it's possible the Dany misheard the word and it's even possible it's not the same place at all.--Werthead 18:43, April 22, 2012 (UTC)