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Pronunciation guide

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This is the official HBO pronunciation guide developed by the TV series's production staff and given to the actors during the filming of Game of Thrones. The guide was later released on the official HBO website for the series.[1]

Note that this article is not a comprehensive guide to name pronunciation on the TV series, but is an archive of the specific pronunciation guide that the production team developed and circulated to the actors in Season 1. As such, it covers most but not all of the names used in Season 1, particularly major characters and locations. Moreover, it doesn't include characters introduced after Season 1.

Writer Bryan Cogman clarified that some pronunciations would differ due to the accents and languages of the speaker. "Ser" in particular will vary.

Character names

Places

Miscellaneous

Notes

As the guide notes, "Arya" is pronounced "ARE - yuh". George R.R. Martin himself has pointed out that a surprisingly large number of people pronounce it incorrectly: it consists of two syllables, not three (like how the "aria" of an opera is pronounced). Martin explained: "I say it 'Are-ya', two syllables not three. Not 'are-ee-uh', not like an operatic thing, but 'Are-ya', very sharp. I wanted something that was like a knife, that was a sharp and hard sound, to be a contrast to the flowery 'Sansa'."[2]

Also, in Season 3 and Season 4 the pronunciation of "Tyrell" has become notoriously inconsistent: actors have been pronouncing it different ways even within the same scenes, alternating between "TI-rul" and "Tie-rell". "Tyrell" is a real life name, however, and in real life there is actually no consistent pronunciation of the name "Tyrell" either.

According to the pronunciation guide, "Qarth" is pronounced "QUARTH". However, in "Garden of Bones" when Daenerys first pronounces it as "Kwarth" she is corrected by the Spice King that it is actually "KARTH". The original pronunciation guide may have been in error. Either way, "Karth" is the pronunciation that is actually used on-screen.

The pronunciation guide states that "khaleesi" is pronounced "khal-EE-see", and this is how characters consistently pronounce it on-screen. However, professional linguist David J. Peterson, who developed the Dothraki language for the TV series, has frequently remarked that according to the pronunciation rules of Dothraki, the "real" pronunciation should be "KHAH-lay-see", with the emphasis on the first syllable, not the second syllable.[3][4]

See also

  • A Wiki of Ice and Fire favicon Pronunciation guide on A Wiki of Ice and Fire (spoilers from the books) - a more extensive listing, including other important names, and including cited references to how George R.R. Martin or the audio books pronounce them (which occasionally contradict).

References

  1. Cogman, Bryan (February 11, 2011). Pronunciation guide. Making Game of Thrones.com.
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]

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