A big part of creating a convincing fantasy world is having it seem just different enough from our own to still be recognizable. Many of the names and locations George R.R. Martin came up with for “A Song of Ice and Fire” — the book series that inspired HBO’s “Game of Thrones” — have origins in our world’s history but have a slight twist to be unique to the world of ice and fire.

Because of that, some of the pronunciations of the series’ many, many characters and locations are hard to intuit. Pronouncing the words right becomes even more difficult once you realize that the way Martin says them sometimes differs from the pronunciations on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” — not to mention the people who can’t stop saying “Jeffrey” and “Caitlin” instead of “Joffrey” and “Catelyn” (hi, mom!).
So which pronunciations do you choose: Martin’s or HBO’s? Here’s a breakdown* of the 10 words that Martin and “Game of Thrones” say differently.

Catelyn: HBO says “CAT-lin,” GRRM says “CAT-uh-lin”
Cersei: HBO says “SER-see,” GRRM says “SER-say”
Dothraki: HBO says “doth-RAK-ee,” GRRM says “doth-ra-KAI”
Eyrie: HBO says “EER-ee,” GRRM says “EYE-ree”
Sansa: HBO says “SAN-suh,” GRRM says “SAWN-suh”
Ser: HBO says “SAIR,” GRRM says “SIR”
Tommen: HBO says “TAH-muhn,” GRRM says “TOHM-en”
Valyria: HBO says “vuh-LEER-ee-uh,” GRRM says “va-LAIR-ee-uh”
Varys: HBO says “VAIR-iss,” GRRM says “VAR-us”
Westeros: HBO says “WES-te-rohs,” GRRM says “WES-tuhr-ohs”
Posted by:Terri Schwartz