Eh? What was that Ned Stark said?

Every character in Game of Thrones speaks with a different regional British English accent. There’s a reason.

The makers of the hit TV series knew exactly what they were doing when they chose British English over smooth General American for their adaptation of the US novel: British accents help the audience distinguish good from evil and friend from foe.

The Lannisters of Kingʼs Landing lead privileged lives, rather like the inhabitants of England’s home counties, which are gathered around London. You can hear that: their “southern posh / received pronunciation / Queen’s English” (call it what you will) underscores their sense of self-entitlement and their noble origins.

This is in complete contrast to good-natured Samwell Tarly, who speaks with a cockney accent and so is cast as something of a rough diamond. Ned Stark and Jon Snow, the Northerners from Night’s Watch, speak with Geordie accents from the north-east of England. Understanding these men dressed in their furs as they plan their moves against the evil Southerners at the great wooden table is a real challenge for the untrained ear.

The actors’ accents did not stop audiences from watching the series in the original English version, although many of them enabled the subtitling to follow what Ned and Jon were saying.

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The Dark Hedges, one of the Northern Irish settings for «Game of Thrones»