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ThePrincess

Pronunciation Key!

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

I pronounce it Rue-lor which to me kinda rhymes with Ho-dor. Which is kinda creepy now that I think about it. :shocked:

The one that got me was Lysa. I assumed the y to sound like i but on the show it's pronounced Liza. Where'd the z come from?

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I always thought of Daenerys was pronounced, die-nair (think air with an N in front)-ees(like the word bees, only the S has more an an S sound instead of a Z sound).

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I never really thought of Brienne as sounding similar to Bryan. The idea in my head was around the BREEN sound.

Daenerys for me is Dan-air-es.

I never really worry about the 'correct' pronunciation because thats the magic for me, every person reads and experiences the books differently.

Which works just great, until you try to read it out loud at all, ever, to anyone, or make a movie of it. And at that point, you need real pronunciations. Names are words, and even if the author has invented them, they deserve pronunciations. I generally take my cues from the spelling. I figure any pronunciation of Danaerys that emphasizes the middle syllable is close enough.

I'm very tempted to pronounce Jaime as "HI-mee," because I knew several Spanish guys in college who went by that name. But I don't, because there isn't a single other Spanish spelling of anything in the books. The Lannisters are obviously very British.

Brienne and Ygritte have French spellings, so I give them French proununciations even though there's no France in this story and the two are from hugely different geographical areas. I figure if he wanted it to be pronounced Bree-enny, he'd have written Bryony, or some such.

But recently I saw the actress cast as Ygritte pronounce it "Why-grit." :dunno: I'm hoping that's just her cute regional accent or something.

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With the Targaryens and with the names of people is Essos I assume that I am saying them slightly wrong since they are foreign names and I probably couldn't say them properly if I tried with my Mancunian accent.

Sometimes I say den-AIR-is and sometimes den-AIR-eez.

How do other people pronounce Xaro Xhoan Daxos? I tend to just say the Xs like Zs.

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Maybe it's because I'm Cornish, and we do this a lot, but some of the pronunciations in the series annoy me. For one, I despise the taking of 'y' to sound like 'ee' and will never support that, even if GRRM himself seems to. To me, 'y' is almost always 'eye' or a short 'i' sound when necessary - usually when modified by an e (for instance, the name Lynne).

It is never, ever, 'e' 'ee' or 'eeeee' or however many e's you want to add.

I mean, I pronounce a lot of things 'wrong' according to some people, and there are a lot of things in the show that are 'different' to how I say it but not necessarily wrong. There are some that I think ARE wrong but I can live with. There are two, however, that make me fly into a nerdrage. Those two are Targaryen and Daenerys.

(Note: The following is just my opinion. If at any point I sound elitist, or condescending, try reading the offending sentence, appending "For me," or "IMO," or suchlike to the beginning, or ", I think" to the end. If that doesn't make it better, feel free to call me out on it.)

Targaryen... I'd never even considered this could be botched, until I heard Sean Bean do so on GoT. I actually had to rewatch the first scene where that happened, because I raged over the top of it and nobody in the room could pay attention to it. Oops. This was especially annoying because SEAN BEAN PLAYED TREVELYAN IN THE JAMES BOND MOVIES. He got THAT very Cornish name correct (Treh-vel-yan, for those keeping score. Not Treh-velly-an.), so how did he manage to butcher the pseudo-Cornish (Note: Not claiming that GRRM himself derived it or the Targaryens from Cornish or Celtic roots, the forenames certainly aren't, but the name itself stinks of fish, tin mines and pasties) Tar-gar-yen. Gary doesn't live in that name, anywhere.

Daenerys. One example where I break my y/i rule (known as 'the Geordie rule' as of two seconds ago), Day-nair-iss (Day-nair-ice would be cumbersome). This is another one that stems from my belief that most variations in spelling should be reflected in pronunciation - there's an e after the a, so you should pronounce it. It's NOT Dan-air-iss. Or Danner-iss.

The nickname 'Dany' complicates matters, but it's not unheard of for a nickname to sound different to the section of the name it represents. Daeny sounds silly.

Her brother, Vis-air-iss. One of my favourite names in the whole series. If he wasn't such an brilliantly total **** I'd seriously consider naming my son Viserys. But that would be like naming him Hitler. And would sound retarded coupled with my surname. You need a surname like Targaryen in order to pull off a name like that.

Tyrion. I can perfectly well accept 'tirrion'. I've grown accustomed to it. But to me he'll always be Ty-reeon Lannister. Like Mike Tyson and those round rubber things you put on car wheels (tyres, America) and Tyneside. Tyr, the Norse God, as an accent over the y that my keyboard is unable to reproduce in an easy way, which is why he's pronounced Tear and not Tyre.

Anyone saying Tirion should also say Tiwin. Bet they don't.

Lysa Tully is lie-sa. Like Liza Minnelli (who has no real reason to be pronounced that way, but seems to be anyway).

Tyrell is Ty-rell. But again, tirrel doesn't annoy me.

Valyria/Valyrian is val-eye-ria/val-eye-rian. If it was meant to be 'val-irria' it'd be Valiria. That looks like a disease though, so probably just as well it's not.

Hallyne the Pyromancer is hal-in. Hal Lyne. Fairly straightforward there. Not sure how GRRM makes it a male name, but still...

Jaime is Jaim to me, but I can see how Jamie might work. Bit odd though, looks like a typo if you say it like that.

Brienne is Bree-en, with or without rolling the 'r' in the French fashion. This is another one where I don't really get how there's an alternative, especially as it's an existing French name. Ygritte is also a French name (even more popular than Brienne).

Cersei is ker-say. I can't remember hearing that said in the series, which probably means they got it right, or said it quickly/quietly. ¬_¬ Ref: Many Welsh/Irish names (Cerys/Carys, Ceinwynn, Cian, Ciara, etc). I've grown used to ser-say though. Anyone thinking it's ser-see, I refer you to the word 'sensei'. The Lannisters, to me, have always had a certain Irishness about them, I always read Tyrion especially to have an Irish accent. That's just me though, I'm fine with the fact that they don't.

Maester is may-shter (although the sh is mostly my accent. May-ster is how you'd say it if you spoke proper English. :P).

Aegon is age-on, with a very soft g, more like a j. As in aegis (and if you actually say "ay-gis" then... *shakes head in pity*).

I'm never, ever sure how to pronounce x's in words. My current way of doing it is how my Greek friend does, which is sort of like Kths. Almost like kiss, without the i. Kths-arrow Kths-oan (like in groan or moan) Dakths-os. I dreaded every Dany chapter in CoK for that reason. :D

Hodor... could not be more phonetic if it tried. That's the whole point of his name. Hod-or. How do you even...? The only possible point of contention is where you put the hyphen (ho-dor or hod-or, I prefer the latter because it sounds more stupid. Ho-dor sounds almost regal).

Speaking of phonetic, how are people ( :bang: SEAN BEAN AGAIN :bang: ) getting Arya to sound like anything other than Ar-ya. If it was Aria, it would be spelled... um... Aria? This annoys me particularly because she has one of my favourite names from the book (up there with Petyr, Barristan and Viserys).

Baratheon is another one my mind can't work out any alternatives to. Bah-rah-thee-on (or barrar-thee-on if you're posh). The 'thee' bit is hard to spell out in this method. I mean thee as in, like... fee, but with a th. th-ee Not 'thee' as in 'I beseech thee'. Barath-eeon.

Petyr has always been 'Pet-yer' to me. Any attempts to make it sound like 'Peter' make me wonder why the author didn't just call him Peter, or at least put the 'y' on the right side of the 't' for that to be remotely possible. Pe-tyre is also plausible (preferable, given my other pronunciations) but sounds silly. It's definitely 'pet', not 'peet', though.

Every time I hear Cat-lin, I cry a little inside (I think Sean Bean just can't talk, period. He IS from Sheffield, after all...). Kate-lin. It's a real, actual name. Why so wrong? It's shortened to Cat, yes, but there's no 'e' in Cat. There is in Catelyn.

Ilyrio = Ill-eye-rio. I don't get annoyed too much by 'ill-irio' though. I do get annoyed by him having lost a tonne of weight between the book and the TV series, though. In the series I spent ages thinking he was Jorah Mormont and wondering why he was dressed like a tit, as he looked exactly like I imagined Jorah would (and a good deal like Jorah actually does). ¬_¬ If you're wondering; Jor-ah. Short 'o', as in 'John'. Not as in 'row'. Jorah, to rhyme with horror (unless you're American and have one of those accents where horror rhymes with 'whore' and mirror rhymes with 'peer' :P).

Margaery is mar-jay-ree idealistically, but more 'mar-juh-ree' when actually said out loud. With a soft j sound like the French word 'je'. As in Marjorie. Not Margaret.

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Maybe it's because I'm Cornish, and we do this a lot, but some of the pronunciations in the series annoy me. For one, I despise the taking of 'y' to sound like 'ee' and will never support that, even if GRRM himself seems to. To me, 'y' is almost always 'eye' or a short 'i' sound when necessary - usually when modified by an e (for instance, the name Lynne).

It is never, ever, 'e' 'ee' or 'eeeee' or however many e's you want to add.

I mean, I pronounce a lot of things 'wrong' according to some people, and there are a lot of things in the show that are 'different' to how I say it but not necessarily wrong. There are some that I think ARE wrong but I can live with. There are two, however, that make me fly into a nerdrage. Those two are Targaryen and Daenerys.

(Note: The following is just my opinion. If at any point I sound elitist, or condescending, try reading the offending sentence, appending "For me," or "IMO," or suchlike to the beginning, or ", I think" to the end. If that doesn't make it better, feel free to call me out on it.)

Targaryen... I'd never even considered this could be botched, until I heard Sean Bean do so on GoT. I actually had to rewatch the first scene where that happened, because I raged over the top of it and nobody in the room could pay attention to it. Oops. This was especially annoying because SEAN BEAN PLAYED TREVELYAN IN THE JAMES BOND MOVIES. He got THAT very Cornish name correct (Treh-vel-yan, for those keeping score. Not Treh-velly-an.), so how did he manage to butcher the pseudo-Cornish (Note: Not claiming that GRRM himself derived it or the Targaryens from Cornish or Celtic roots, the forenames certainly aren't, but the name itself stinks of fish, tin mines and pasties) Tar-gar-yen. Gary doesn't live in that name, anywhere.

Daenerys. One example where I break my y/i rule (known as 'the Geordie rule' as of two seconds ago), Day-nair-iss (Day-nair-ice would be cumbersome). This is another one that stems from my belief that most variations in spelling should be reflected in pronunciation - there's an e after the a, so you should pronounce it. It's NOT Dan-air-iss. Or Danner-iss.

The nickname 'Dany' complicates matters, but it's not unheard of for a nickname to sound different to the section of the name it represents. Daeny sounds silly.

Her brother, Vis-air-iss. One of my favourite names in the whole series. If he wasn't such an brilliantly total **** I'd seriously consider naming my son Viserys. But that would be like naming him Hitler. And would sound retarded coupled with my surname. You need a surname like Targaryen in order to pull off a name like that.

Tyrion. I can perfectly well accept 'tirrion'. I've grown accustomed to it. But to me he'll always be Ty-reeon Lannister. Like Mike Tyson and those round rubber things you put on car wheels (tyres, America) and Tyneside. Tyr, the Norse God, as an accent over the y that my keyboard is unable to reproduce in an easy way, which is why he's pronounced Tear and not Tyre.

Anyone saying Tirion should also say Tiwin. Bet they don't.

Lysa Tully is lie-sa. Like Liza Minnelli (who has no real reason to be pronounced that way, but seems to be anyway).

Tyrell is Ty-rell. But again, tirrel doesn't annoy me.

Valyria/Valyrian is val-eye-ria/val-eye-rian. If it was meant to be 'val-irria' it'd be Valiria. That looks like a disease though, so probably just as well it's not.

Hallyne the Pyromancer is hal-in. Hal Lyne. Fairly straightforward there. Not sure how GRRM makes it a male name, but still...

Jaime is Jaim to me, but I can see how Jamie might work. Bit odd though, looks like a typo if you say it like that.

Brienne is Bree-en, with or without rolling the 'r' in the French fashion. This is another one where I don't really get how there's an alternative, especially as it's an existing French name. Ygritte is also a French name (even more popular than Brienne).

Cersei is ker-say. I can't remember hearing that said in the series, which probably means they got it right, or said it quickly/quietly. ¬_¬ Ref: Many Welsh/Irish names (Cerys/Carys, Ceinwynn, Cian, Ciara, etc). I've grown used to ser-say though. Anyone thinking it's ser-see, I refer you to the word 'sensei'. The Lannisters, to me, have always had a certain Irishness about them, I always read Tyrion especially to have an Irish accent. That's just me though, I'm fine with the fact that they don't.

Maester is may-shter (although the sh is mostly my accent. May-ster is how you'd say it if you spoke proper English. :P).

Aegon is age-on, with a very soft g, more like a j. As in aegis (and if you actually say "ay-gis" then... *shakes head in pity*).

I'm never, ever sure how to pronounce x's in words. My current way of doing it is how my Greek friend does, which is sort of like Kths. Almost like kiss, without the i. Kths-arrow Kths-oan (like in groan or moan) Dakths-os. I dreaded every Dany chapter in CoK for that reason. :D

Hodor... could not be more phonetic if it tried. That's the whole point of his name. Hod-or. How do you even...? The only possible point of contention is where you put the hyphen (ho-dor or hod-or, I prefer the latter because it sounds more stupid. Ho-dor sounds almost regal).

Speaking of phonetic, how are people ( :bang: SEAN BEAN AGAIN :bang: ) getting Arya to sound like anything other than Ar-ya. If it was Aria, it would be spelled... um... Aria? This annoys me particularly because she has one of my favourite names from the book (up there with Petyr, Barristan and Viserys).

Baratheon is another one my mind can't work out any alternatives to. Bah-rah-thee-on (or barrar-thee-on if you're posh). The 'thee' bit is hard to spell out in this method. I mean thee as in, like... fee, but with a th. th-ee Not 'thee' as in 'I beseech thee'. Barath-eeon.

Petyr has always been 'Pet-yer' to me. Any attempts to make it sound like 'Peter' make me wonder why the author didn't just call him Peter, or at least put the 'y' on the right side of the 't' for that to be remotely possible. Pe-tyre is also plausible (preferable, given my other pronunciations) but sounds silly. It's definitely 'pet', not 'peet', though.

Every time I hear Cat-lin, I cry a little inside (I think Sean Bean just can't talk, period. He IS from Sheffield, after all...). Kate-lin. It's a real, actual name. Why so wrong? It's shortened to Cat, yes, but there's no 'e' in Cat. There is in Catelyn.

Ilyrio = Ill-eye-rio. I don't get annoyed too much by 'ill-irio' though. I do get annoyed by him having lost a tonne of weight between the book and the TV series, though. In the series I spent ages thinking he was Jorah Mormont and wondering why he was dressed like a tit, as he looked exactly like I imagined Jorah would (and a good deal like Jorah actually does). ¬_¬ If you're wondering; Jor-ah. Short 'o', as in 'John'. Not as in 'row'. Jorah, to rhyme with horror (unless you're American and have one of those accents where horror rhymes with 'whore' and mirror rhymes with 'peer' :P).

Margaery is mar-jay-ree idealistically, but more 'mar-juh-ree' when actually said out loud. With a soft j sound like the French word 'je'. As in Marjorie. Not Margaret.

I'm an American (though I've studied several other languages, so please don't castigate me for that :D ) and I'm wondering about your distinction between Treh-vel-yan and Treh-velly-an. I'm honestly trying to figure out how those pronunciations differ, especially when speaking fast. Is it that a different syllable is accented - TrehVELyan (TarGARyen) vs. TREHvellyan (TARgaryen)? Or is it something else, like an aspiration that's hard to depict in text?

Also, is it really ker-say? Aack! I always thought "Ciara" and some of those other names were with a soft "c." :blush:

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Ciara, in Irish, is pronounced exactly the same as the Anglicised variant, Cara. Also consider 'Craig' (that's Welsh, but is in the same language family). I'm not sure whether Cersei (the name, not the woman) is intended to be of Celtic descent (hery, there's another word with a hard 'c' ;) ). As far as I know, Cersei isn't an actual name in the real world, the only instances of it I can find refer to Lannister.

There are certainly other names that begin with a soft 'c', although off the top of my head I can't actually think of any that don't begin 'Ch', to be honest. Plus, I kinda like it... If anyone's name should sound like 'curse' it should be her, evil bitch. :P

I guess the distinction between Treh-vel-yan and Tre-velly-an is how you say the 'y'. To me, the 'y' should be a 'yuh' sound, rather than a 'ee' sound. So Treh-vel-yan rather than Treh-velly-an (or Treh-vel-ian).

One thing this whole debate most brings up though is how little all this actually matters. :P People in Westeros will obviously have different dialects and accents depending on where they come from, so it's hard to be 'wrong', really. Sean Bean still manages it though. :D

Consider, for example, the name Aodhnait. Clearly there is a correct way to say that (sounds like 'I ned'). But you'd never know it from looking at the word, unless you were Irish or spoke Irish Gaelic. For an English person, "ay-od-nait" wouldn't be 'wrong'. But it is wrong, because the name is Gaelic and therefore should follow the Gaelic rules. Same with Caoimhe and Niamh (keeva and neem, respectively). On the other end of the scale there are names like Lee, Simon and Gary which can only really be spoken one way if you follow all the relevant conventions. But if you're French, Simon is 'seemon', because your language rules dictate that the 'i' is pronounced differently.

So it's all relative to where you come from, really. We don't know the rules of pronunciation in the Valyrian or Common tongues, so we can argue all we like but nobody can ever be right except GRRM. :P

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Daenerys (Dan - Err - Yes)

Jaime (Jay - Me)

Maester (My - Stir)

Aegon (Ay - Yuh - Gone)

Tyrion (Teer - ee - on)

Hodor (Hoe - Dur)

Cersei (Sir - See)

Brienne (Bree - en)

Is this your interpretation, or did you get this from somewhere? Because on the tv show and in the audiobook, Maester is pronounced May-stir. And don't even get me started on your Aegon.

Anyone ever listened to the audiobooks? I just started book 1 and find it interesting how many differences there are between pronunciations on the show and in the audiobook (and what was previously in my head!). For example, on the audiobook, Dany's name is pronounced DAY-ner-us. Weird.

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Is this your interpretation, or did you get this from somewhere? Because on the tv show and in the audiobook, Maester is pronounced May-stir. And don't even get me started on your Aegon.

Anyone ever listened to the audiobooks? I just started book 1 and find it interesting how many differences there are between pronunciations on the show and in the audiobook (and what was previously in my head!). For example, on the audiobook, Dany's name is pronounced DAY-ner-us. Weird.

That was simply how I pronounced them in my head. And correction, my Aegon is more like Ay - Uh - Gone, if that makes any difference. I think the weirdest difference in pronunciation I've seen is Jaime being pronounced like Jame. Also, Dothraki apparently isn't pronounced Doth (Sounds like Both) Rack - ee. It's prounced Doth - Rack - Eye. This is from George himself.

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What a fun thread!

I thought there would only be a few discrepancies but it seems like almost everyone has a different way of pronouncing these names.

I am on board with GRRM saying we can pronounce the names any way we want...sorry cryptic weirwood and the rest of you who think you've got it right!!! The show is not canon over the words of GRRM.

Remember people from different places pronounce things differently. Also there are certain letters that do/do not exist in certain languages (someone mentioned Slovenian Cs, there is also Cz X Z Y J and in some languages no distinction between letters that in other languages have major distinction...so there is no right or wrong way people!) Even within Westeros and Essos there are different languages.)

so...here is my list! I'll just do the weirder ones since this is getting long.

I will offer some explanation.

Accent is on the capitalized syllable.

Robert: RAH-bert Okay

Jaime: HI-may (like you were greeting the merry month of.) like the Spanish pronunciation. I've been trying to adjust to "Jay-mee" since I saw the show, but its not going over so well.

Sandor: SHAWN-door This is spelled the same as a Hungarian name, so I thought it was pronounced like this until I became more familiar with his brother Gregor GREG-er. There are Hungarian Sandors but no Gregors...that would be pronounced...Oh God...like... yergyor?? The letter is somewhere between G and Y. Now that I've seen more of Gregor, I think his brother's name is more simply pronounced "Sander" so they almost rhyme.

Danaerys: Dah-NAIR-iss Ends in a hiss, not an IZ.

Arya: AR-ee-ah or ar-EYE-uh, depending on who's talking. She goes with the first way, Syrio with the second. (That sounds like "serious" except ending with an o instead of an uss.)

Sansa: SAN-sah goes well with Sander :)

Tyrion: TIRE ION! Just kidding. TEAR-ee-on

Cersei: SER-see I don't see why you would make a hard C when there is an "e" after it and pronounce this "kersey" like some of you are saying.

Targaryen: TAR-gair-ee-YEN but I think you could say this one, in particular, in any way, because it is from a dead language.

Brienne: BRIE (like the cheese) en. French.

Jaqu'en H'gar: Jack-EN HIH-ghar. I "jump" from the syllables as though those apostrophes were the Japanese letter "tsu"

R'hllor: 'Ruler" haha. Or roll that R in the back of your throat like you're speaking Farsi and then say "Lore" as in "ancient lore."

Pronunciation isn't very important. My own parents pronounce my name differently from everyone else around me. In fact I like imagining the characters as having different ways to say names because the world of ASOIAF is so big.

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Danaerys = Den-AIR-iss

I think I stuck with the AY pronunciation of AE throughout...

Aegon = A-gone

Maester = MAY-stir

Aemon = A-mon

Jaqen H'gar = like French JACQUE-in Ha-GAR

Otherwise my initial take from the book wasn't all that much different from the series, except that my pronunciation of Eddard is markedly more American sounding.

ED-erd, rather than Ed-ARD.

Okay, I have said them too much and now they sound awkward.

<edit> Oh and Pyter is just like peter. PIE-tar and pi-TAR both make me gag.

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Seeing as I watched the series first, I took a lot of their pronunciations. I have a typical London accent so:

Danaerys - Dan-AIR-res

Targaryen - Tar-GAIR-ryen

Catelyn - Kate-lyn

Petyr - Pee-ter (so, like Peter)

Aemon - A-mon

Aegon - A-gone

Tyrion - Ti-REE-on

Brienne - BREE-en

Jaime - Jay-me

Cersei - Ser-Say

Sandor - SAN-door

Gregor - GREG-or

Sansa - SAN-sa

Arya - ARE-re-a

Viserys - VIS-air-res

Dothraki - Doth-RAK-ee

Valyria - VAL-eer-ria Edit: actually, this might be more Va-LEER-ia? Hard to write out haha

Jaqen H'ghar - Hard one, probably JACK-wen Hur-gar

Maester - May-stir

That's all I can think of, this list could get long :P I also pronounce Ygritte, Yer-grit, but I saw an interview with the actress who pronounced it Eye-grit. The latter is probably right but I can't get that to stick in my head.

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I pronounce some words differently to how GRRM and the TV show pronounce them, but I've got so used to them I don't think I could change!

I pronounce:

Daenerys as Die-NAIR-rees

Jaime as Jaym

Aemon as Ee-mun

Catelyn as Kate-lynn

Targaryen as Tar-GARY-yen

Maester as My-stir

Rhllor as RUH-lore

Petyr as Pet-EAR

Viserys as Vy-sair-REES

Aegon as EYE-gon

Dothraki as Doth-RAH-key

Ygritte as Ee-grit

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