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ThePrincess

Pronunciation Key!

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Not sure if it will count as canon but GRRM has seen the filming and approves thus far.
George Martin told that we may pronounce the names in any way we want; so there is not really canonical pronunciations.

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Jaime has always been Jaym for me. I'm a bit bummed that it should be Jamie, Jamie sound like a kids name to me. Jayme is a bit more unsusual.

I completely agree! He'll never be Jay-Me for me, it sounds exactly like a kid's name and so not like him. In my mother's tongue there's only one way in which you can pronounce a written word, so the I've always said the names the way they were translated, for example:

Jaime : Jaym

Daenerys : De-ne-ris ("e" read as in "best")

Targaryen : Tar-gar-i-en ("i" read as in "sin")

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All my own personal pronunciations

Targaryen: TAR-JAR-yEN

Tyrion: TEER-ION

Cateyln: actually I just pronounce it "caitlin"

Jamie: JAY-ME (i grew up with a friend jamie so idk why anyone would mispronounce that)

Rhaegar: RAY-GAR

Aerys: Aries (sort of associating the 'mad king' with the concept of the zodia aries)

Cersei: SAIR-SEE

Dany: DAY-NAIR-EES (thing soph-o-CLEES)

Although with I tend to read DANY TARGARYEN as DAGNY TAGGART. That could just be the Rand fanboy in me though xD.

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I would LOVE to see a pronunciation key (i.e. pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn kee) of the popular and important character names and places... maybe in the form or likeness of a glossary / index? From talking with friends who have read the series to listening to the tapes, it seems like everyone has a different way of pronunciating certain names. I think it'd be great to have GRMM's official "say" on the matter via a pronunciation key and what better place than "The World of Ice and Fire" !! :)

I agree! I listened to the audiobooks, and not even the narrator's could agree on how to pronounce a few of the names. Maybe the hbo show will have the official say.

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I agree! I listened to the audiobooks, and not even the narrator's could agree on how to pronounce a few of the names. Maybe the hbo show will have the official say.

I feel HBO won't have the "final" say no matter what. Although if the series does well they will ultimately define how they are pronounced. It would be nice if they have the courtesy to ask GRRM. They may since he seems to have been incredibly invovled in the process, but Hollywood often decides what they think audiences will accept. I understand and agree with why GRRM won't put out an official key. However just to be contrary, I wish he'd put out an "unofficial - this is how I say it" key with a disclaimer to keep one's own pronuciation if they wish. I like to scan thru So Spake Martin for stuff others send in about how he says names at readings and signings.

I read that he says SEER-say for Cersei, I've been saying Ser-see for years, I'd like to change but I think that will be hard for me! ^_^

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I think the show will certainly set the pronunciation rules for new readers. For the rest of us we'll just have to wait and see. And while it is true that Martin isn't keen on making pronunciation rules he is still forced to make them at book readings.

I'm Slovenian so I pronounce most names my way except for the "regular" names (Jaime - Jamie; Catelyn - Kate Lyn; Jon, Robb,...)

Other names I usually "Slovenize".

The "C" in Cersei becomes "Cz" making her Czer-say (I really don't know how to write it but if you ever saw NYPD Blue is like the end of "Sipowicz". The first "e" is like the first "e" in "never")

The "A" in Davos is like the "a" in Mark instead of the "a" in Dave. Same goes for the "a" in Sansa, Arya, Sandor,...

Gregor is a common Slovenian name so I'm pretty sure I'm pronouncing that correctly. At least in the form of "Gregor" as an original name and not a derivate from "Gregory".

The name that most varies is I think Tyrion.

In the videos I saw they usually say Tee-rion while I say Ty-rion ("Ty" like in "Tyson" or "Tyler")

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I keep not being able to decide about Tywin myself.

Is it Tie-Win?

Or Tee-Win?

I usually go with Tie-Win.

The same as Tyrion.

But while Tyrion could pass a tee-rion, tee-win just doesn't seem right for a warrior. Sounds more like an asian teen pop star.

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I'm new to the forums, and a relatively new reader of ASOIAF, but this is how I pronounce some of the names I've noticed popping up a lot in this thread along with some others that I thought of:

Daenerys - Day-en-air-iss ('iss' as in 'hiss', and the first two syllables are blurred together)

Viserys - Vi-sear-iss

Rhaegar - Ray-gar

Aerys - Air-iss

Aemon - Ehm-on (you know, like that stereotypical Canadian sound)

Aegon - Ee-gee-on (said quickly)

Tywin - Tye-win

Cersei - Ser-say

Jaime - Jamie (like the English name)

Tyrion - Tear-ee-on

Catelyn - Kate-lin

Targaryen - Tar-gar-yen

Clegane - Clay-gahn-eh (as if there was an acute accent on the final 'e', don't ask why)

And the one I really get confused about is Lysa, believe it or not. Every time I open the books, I switch back in forth between Lee-sah and Lie-sah.

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How do people pronounce names like "Varys," "Arys," etc.? I pronounce them "VAIR-iss" and "AIR-iss," respectively, but I was wondering how many folks prefer "VAHR-iss" and "AHR-iss." It occurred to me at some point that it might well be the latter, because I'm assuming that "Aerys" is pronounced like a cross between "AIR-iss" and "EAR-iss," and GRRM may not have intended for the "aer-" and "ar-" sounds to be so close.

Anyway, here is my take on some other names and words I can think of off the top of my head:

Jaime -- "JAY-me"

Daenerys -- Duh-NAIR-iss, although I sometimes pronounce it "DAN-er-iss" if I'm expecting to see "Dany"

Maester -- I used to pronounce the "Mae" part "My," before I read the Hedge Knight and found out that the "ae-" sound was probably closer to "ay" and "ee." "MY-ster" still sounds better to me, but I accept that I'm wrong. I find that if I imagine someone with a Scottish accent pronouncing it "MAY-ster," it sounds much more awesome.

Cersei -- Kind of a cross between "SIR-say" and "SIR-see"

Aemon, Aegon, Maegor -- The Hedge Knight makes it pretty clear that it's "AY-mon" and "AY-gon," but I still think of Aegon and Maegor as "I-gon" and "MY-gor" just because that was how I imagined them at first. Aemon was always "AY-mon" for some reason.

Brienne -- "Bree-EN"

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Three pages and no one has told me how to say Sansa!

Sans-A!

When I read her chapters, I just replace Sansa in my mind with "(the) silly little girl". It hasn't been out of context once so far.

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Jaime... well, "word of god" says it's /d$eimi/, but my first impulse was to pronounce it the spanish way and make him /(x)aime/ (not entirely sure how to pronounce a spanish j, though. Somewhere between /h/ and /x/, I suppose)

I do so. I'm spanish and 'Jaime' is a spanish name (James). To pronounce j, well... Do you those words that, when writing pronunciation, they write as 'kh'? You should pronounce an 'h' while placing the tongue as if you were saying 'k' (kinda like if you were choking).

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In Italy we say simply DA-EN-ERIS, but i think that in english day - NAIR - iss is right.

And "Brienne" we say BREE-EN.

This is a interesting conversation in my opinion ;)

yeah, I'm spanish and I also see it in my mind like da-en-air-ees or bree-en (this name I see as french actually).

but I have doubts about "cersei" since I discovered celeborn's "c" is pronounced the gaelic way, like a "k". is this the

case too? or is it more like a soft "c"?

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I'd be interested in seeing pronunciation guides for all the Targaryens, myself.

I pronounce Targaryen just like it's spelled: "TAR-gar-yen," but I have friends who pronounce it "tar-GARRY-en"

and I've always pronouced Daenerys as "Day-NAIR-iss" and Dany as "Day-nee." ( I figure, if it was "danny" it would have 2 Ns.) But Khal Drogo at one point addresses her as Dan Eris, so I'm not sure.

I'm also not sure about Aemon, Aegon, etc. I always say "AY-mon" and "AY-gon," but that doesn't make sense if Aegon is called Egg. Should they all be "Emmon" and "Eggon"? (And if that is the case, would that make Daenerys "Den-air-iss"?)

And how about Tyrion? I say "TEER-ion", but I have a co-worker who says "TY-rion"

I think I may be the only American who thinks of Catelyn as "CAT-e-linn" instead of "CATE-linn" ;)

Oh, so many questions! I have yet to listen to the audiobooks - partly 'cause I have heard mixed reviews of the readers, and partly because I was spolied by Jim Dale and the Harry Potter books. :P I guess we'll find out who's pronounced which way when the series comes out.

I guessed the targaryen "ae-" names where pronounced like the greek words "aeneid" or "aeneas", which in latin-based languages we spell "eneida" or "eneas". but I could be wrong. the names in ASOIAF seem to come from very different

etymologies, so I can't figure out a rule that covers all.

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I do so. I'm spanish and 'Jaime' is a spanish name (James). To pronounce j, well... Do you those words that, when writing pronunciation, they write as 'kh'? You should pronounce an 'h' while placing the tongue as if you were saying 'k' (kinda like if you were choking).

LOL

cool way of explaining the spanish /j/. I couldn't have done it better.

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Never mind those. How are you expected to pronounce R'hllor?

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I'm glad to see so many different ways of saying the same name. It makes me feel better about stumbling over some of them the first time I read the more confusing names. While I wouldn't mind having a pronunciation guide put together by someone, I'm afraid that once it has been made I'll find out I've been pronouncing Robb and Bran wrong all this time.

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George has insisted that there is no "official" way to say the names, except for a few that sound wrong to him (like "Petyr", which is just Peter). He's puzzled how to pronounce some himself, he said, but here's how he does pronounce some of them, from a NYC reading he did:

Petyr = Peter

Cersei = Ser-say

Jaime = Jamie (I think that was obvious but just in case)

Sansa = Sahn-sa

Tyrion = Tear-ion

Brienne = Bri-en-nE (pronounced long e at the end there)

Arya = Ar-ya (Ex, Are ya?)

Daenerys = Dane-err-is

In all of these names the stressed syllable is the first.

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Never mind those. How are you expected to pronounce R'hllor?

Arya tries to repeat it as Rollor in one of her chapters, when she hears this name/word for the first time.

About Day-near-is, I can't really see the connection between that pronounciation and her nickname Dany. Makes me think it's more likely pronounced as Den-yr-is.

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