George R. R. Martin vs. Spelling

As promised, here’s my newest (and belated) cartoon!

Westeros Spelling Test copy

This has bothered me ever since first watching Game of Thrones (and then even more so when reading it).  George R.R. Martin cannot spell.

I’m kidding, of course.

GRRM actually does a great job of making his character names (mostly) pronounceable by tweaking already familiar names, such as the ones above.  There are even some names from mythology, though not common names themselves, would be recognizable, most notably Cersei (pronounced like Circe from the Odyssey) and Oberyn (very similar to Oberon from A Midsummer Night’s Dream).  This hypothetical spelling test could have gone on ad infinitum, not just because of the number of weirdly spelled names but because of the sheer number of characters in the books, a lot of whom did not even make it into the TV show.

Naming fantasy characters is hard.  You don’t just want to name them things like “Mary” or “Tom” because they’re too familiar.  But some authors go a little too far in trying to gussy up their fantasy names, thus making them unpronounceable.  X’th’meg’d might look like an awesome name for a goblin warrior or an alien species, but your readers won’t know how to pronounce it, let alone spell it.  If they’re anything like me, they’ll probably just start calling them “X” in your head.

Take a character from the Harry Potter series, for starters: Hermione.  Yes, it’s a real name, both in mythology and in real life.  [[It’s actually a much more common name in Britain than here in the States, where it’s almost unknown (as is Neville).  Check the credits for any British movie or TV show if you don’t believe me.  Not sure, but I think there’s even a Hermione in the crew of one of the Harry Potter movies…]] Anyway, J.K. Rowling said she receiving so many letters and questions about how to pronounce Hermione’s name that she actually put the pronunciation of it in Goblet of Fire.  (For those without an encyclopedic knowledge of Harry Potter, it’s in Chapter 23: The Yule Ball.  She teaches Viktor Krum how to say it right. In Viktor’s defense, I also pronounced it Hermy-own until that point.  Same with Hagrid (Hay-grid = wrong) and Dobby (Doh-bee = also wrong).

I’m not saying GRRM’s system is flawless.  Because the names are often too similar to the real thing, people can often mishear them.  This can lead to friends ignoring other friends’ incorrect pronunciation so they don’t make those friends feel stupid or ignorant, or they can point it out and be a a total spelling jerk.  Sigh.


Related Posts:
Jaime Lannister is a Dynamite Dancer
Totally Awesome Things I Didn’t Make – Game of Thrones Edition


Obligatory Copyright Notice: All characters and books belong to George R.R. Martin and his publisher.  The artwork is mine.  Please don’t steal it without citing it!


Totally Awesome Things I Didn’t Make – Game of Thrones Edition

Just to let everyone know… I’ve got a crazy few weekends coming up (plus some other stuff that I really should be working on instead of spending hours in Photoshop), so there’s not going to be any of my own content for a couple weeks.  There will definitely still be a post every weekend as usual, but it will be the work of others, not me.  So, without further ado (well, there’s a little ado)…

Here’s another edition of Totally Awesome Things I Didn’t Make.  As the title suggests, I didn’t make any of these awesome things, and I’ve tried to credit where I can.  Also, since Game of Thrones is a touchy issue where it comes to spoilers, here’s a ginormous…



Do not read on if


you have any wish


of not being spoiled


in any way!!!


Now that that’s out of the way… Here we go!


Charts Only People Who Live In Westeros Will Understand:
Check out more of them in the link below!

Credit: (and for more charts) Buzzfeed (Citations given under images.  There’s way too many and I’m lazy.)


All of My Friends Are Dead:

Credit: Unknown.  Reposted from George Takei‘s Facebook page.


George R.R. Martin probably doesn’t get invited to weddings anymore, either.

Credit: Unknown.  Posted on I Heart Chaos


If you aren’t reading this comic, you totally should be.  There’s a rather epic subset of comics with an anthropomorphized brain, heart, gallbladder and other organs that’s just fantastic.

Credit: The Awkward Yeti


Daenerys at Starbucks:

Credit: Notkatniss on Tumblr.


Guess Who:
I really want to print this out and make one for myself.  (I actually still have Guess Who from when I was a kid).  Also, it’d be fun to have this on display while watching and just tick down people who end up dying.



Why Hodor Can’t Play Scrabble:

Credit: Unknown.  Reposted from George Takei‘s Facebook page.


House Stark:

Credit: Glockgal on Tumblr.


Other awesome stuff that I can’t repost but you should totally check out:

A glorious, amazing, fabulous auto-tuned Game of Thrones song.  Credit: Melodysheep. Reposted from Sploid.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Blooper Reel.  Credit: HBO.  Reposted on Tastefully Offensive.

The Science of Game of Thrones.  Credit: Joe Hanson and It’s Okay to Be Smart.

Jaime Lannister is a Dynamite Dancer

Jaime Lannister cartoon

I think of this every time I hear this song.  I’m reading the books (A Song of Ice and Fire) and I’m officially caught up with the Game of Thrones TV show.  Woot! I’m officially spoiler-proof! Take that, HBO!

On another note, this is my first piece of art with my new toy! I bought a drawing tablet for my computer.  Not sure if it’s actually faster than drawing with a mouse, but it has the illusion of being better, so I’m calling it a win.  Strangely enough, I had gotten so used to using a mouse that I was actually extremely good with it, so maybe it’s really a step back.  Whatever.  I’m keeping it.


Other Comics:
The Home Despot
Worf’s Hair
Dalek Beauty School