Game Of Thrones criticised for use of British accents

Posted on 5 June 2013
By Jade-Elizabeth Masters
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The producers of TV sensation Game Of Thrones have been lambasted by linguistic experts for their conflicting use of regional British accents.

HBO’s majestic epic has won a worldwide audience with its lavish production values, but the varied Northern brogues spoken on the show have fallen on deaf ears in the States.

Producers on the show, which is set in an ancient kingdom based on early Europe, have hired a growing army of famous and forgotten UK acting talent.

The show’s cast including Sean Bean, Rose Leslie and Alfie Allen all speak with a varied Northern twang, which has been labelled a hapless error.

One howling blunder sees six members of the same family, the Starks, all speaking with different accents.

Each episode enjoys a mammoth budget, similar to that of a Hollywood movie, but experts said they should have paid more attention to our diverse accents.

The show’s creators splashed out on constructing new languages called Dothraki and Valerian for the exotic Eastern kingdoms, but have let the Brit accents run wild.

Professor Anthony Grant, Edge Hill University Historical Linguistics and Language expert said the mistakes are caused because Americans don’t know any better.

He said: “The accents on Game of Thrones are a complete mish-mash and it is the one big mistake they’ve made.

“Some actors are better at accents than others and it really shows on the show.

“They should have had a dialect coach on set to ensure all the accents were consistent – but the actors must have been told to ‘sound as British as you can, just not American.’

“When these actors audition for a role, they must show their ability to perform with a range of accents.

“The American producers cannot hear the inconsistencies on the show’s British accents as they tend to be wowed by British accents, no matter where they come from.

“Most of them haven’t had much exposure to British brogues outside of the standard London or Home Counties accents.

“They can’t distinguish between people’s speech from Liverpool, Edinburgh and Sheffield – those accents will all sound the same to them.

“The producers thought we’ll get British actors and have lovely British accents, but they got a lot more than they bargained for.

“They have spent a lot of money on constructing the new Dothraki and High Valerian languages and no doubt the regional accents have come second to this.

“As long as it sounds exotic to them, the producers will be happy.

“It would be impossible for members of the same family, like the Starks, to have different accents unless one had been sent to live the other side of the country.

“It’s more like a representation of life today where people travel and have partners from elsewhere.”

Dr Dominic Watt, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Speech Science at York University added: “TV producers use regional accents as a shorthand for creating characters.

“Stereotypes born out of accents are a method of giving the audience a quick way to identify their backgrounds – but they’re out of place in this context.”

A HBO spokesman for Game of Thrones said the producers of the show ‘declined to comment.’