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Old 06-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
Steveknj
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Game of Throne character accents....does it matter?

Since the show takes place in a fictional land and a fictional time, do the accents of the characters matter to you?

Do the accents HAVE to be British or could it work if the characters had various American accents?
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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Since the show takes place in a fictional land and a fictional time, do the accents of the characters matter to you?

Do the accents HAVE to be British or could it work if the characters had various American accents?
I think we, as American viewers, are conditioned to hearing British accents for medieval era shows. So yes, the accents matter. If they used American accents, it would lose some of its authenticity.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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I think we, as American viewers, are conditioned to hearing British accents for medieval era shows. So yes, the accents matter. If they used American accents, it would lose some of its authenticity.
On the other hand "Once Upon a Time" sticks with their American accents when they go back to "Fairy Tale" time, which is sort of medieval times.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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I never really noticed accents until it was mentioned in these threads. I think a strong, noticeable accent would take me out of the moment.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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Most of these medieval movies/stories takes place in Europe (except GoT of course), so the British accents always seemed appropriate.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #6
allan
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Very minor spoiler to the 6/9 ep of GoT, but it does relate to the language:

Spoiler:
When that girl was teaching Davros to read, he was struggling with the "G" in night. It seems Westrosian is just as illogical as English in spelling/pronunciation.

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Old 06-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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It's hard to think of a medieval set show with actors speaking in anything other than British accents. Didn't costener try it with Robin Hood with mixed results?

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Old 06-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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It's hard to think of a medieval set show with actors speaking in anything other than British accents. Didn't costener try it with Robin Hood with mixed results?
That was the opposite problem. Everybody spoke with British accents, including Costner...but he was so terrible at it, halfway through filming they told him to stop. And his American accent in that context stood out as much as his crappy English accent.

I think if EVERYBODY spoke with American accents, people would get used to it pretty quickly. If it were a mish-mash, that would really stand out.

English accents in medieval shows doesn't really raise my eyebrows, since there actually WAS an English language in the Middle Ages. But I laugh when they always have Romans speaking with English accents, centuries before Anglo-Saxon came along, much less English. And that gets to the core of the matter...it's not about what accent is appropriate; it's purely cultural. We have been trained to associate English accents with olde-timey stuff.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:45 AM   #9
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That was the opposite problem. Everybody spoke with British accents, including Costner...but he was so terrible at it, halfway through filming they told him to stop. And his American accent in that context stood out as much as his crappy English accent.

I think if EVERYBODY spoke with American accents, people would get used to it pretty quickly. If it were a mish-mash, that would really stand out.
That was my thinking. Although, in Once Upon a Time, you do have a mix, and I don't feel it stands out. Maybe the American accents work because the characters are living in Maine too. (they should have New England accents, but I digress.

That's actually kind of a weird thing about American TV. So many shows take place in New York, but rarely do the characters have New York accents. My favorite was NYPD Blue where Sipowicz clearly had a Chicago accent and was a NY cop.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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That was my thinking. Although, in Once Upon a Time, you do have a mix, and I don't feel it stands out.
They're also characters who come from a variety of lands, and in fact a variety of worlds...
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #11
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They're also characters who come from a variety of lands, and in fact a variety of worlds...
Very true. I'm just thinking that the story revolves around princesses, and queens and kings and so forth, so our natural thought would be English...but then it wouldn't work them living in Maine.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gossamer88 View Post
Most of these medieval movies/stories takes place in Europe (except GoT of course), so the British accents always seemed appropriate.
And GoT takes place in a fictional land that not so subtly resembles Britain, Europe, and the Middle East.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rob Helmerichs View Post
That was the opposite problem. Everybody spoke with British accents, including Costner...but he was so terrible at it, halfway through filming they told him to stop. And his American accent in that context stood out as much as his crappy English accent.

I think if EVERYBODY spoke with American accents, people would get used to it pretty quickly. If it were a mish-mash, that would really stand out.

English accents in medieval shows doesn't really raise my eyebrows, since there actually WAS an English language in the Middle Ages. But I laugh when they always have Romans speaking with English accents, centuries before Anglo-Saxon came along, much less English. And that gets to the core of the matter...it's not about what accent is appropriate; it's purely cultural. We have been trained to associate English accents with olde-timey stuff.
Hey Rob, remember "Yonda lies the castle of my Faddah."

To use I, Claudius as a good example of accent usage, having the high class Romans speaking in upper class British accents and the lower classes using co-responding accents makes sense. It made it clear who was where in the social order.

There was a miniseries in the 80's based on the Last Days of Pompeii, and while most of the Romans were Brits, there were some Americans using their own accents but for a purpose. I remember Ned Beatty played a guy from the provinces who made a lot of money and was trying to get into society. His accent had him pegged as a pushy outsider from the get-go.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:59 PM   #14
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Hey Rob, remember "Yonda lies the castle of my Faddah."

To use I, Claudius as a good example of accent usage, having the high class Romans speaking in upper class British accents and the lower classes using co-responding accents makes sense. It made it clear who was where in the social order.

There was a miniseries in the 80's based on the Last Days of Pompeii, and while most of the Romans were Brits, there were some Americans using their own accents but for a purpose. I remember Ned Beatty played a guy from the provinces who made a lot of money and was trying to get into society. His accent had him pegged as a pushy outsider from the get-go.
Well to be fair, I Claudius was a British production. That would have made it even MORE shocking to have that particular show with the characters having an American accent.

There's been plenty of shows/movies that took place in ancient times where the characters did not have British accents. Ben Her and The Ten Commandments come to mind. I do think this being in a time that resembles the Middle Ages, that an English accent seems normal based on what we have been conditioned to (forgetting that there were similar feudal systems throughout Europe and not all of them spoke English ).
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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Since the show takes place in a fictional land and a fictional time, do the accents of the characters matter to you?
Nope, not one bit.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:38 PM   #16
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On the other hand "Once Upon a Time" sticks with their American accents when they go back to "Fairy Tale" time, which is sort of medieval times.
To me, OUaT is a fantasy show, not medieval. Accents don't really play a role.

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And that gets to the core of the matter...it's not about what accent is appropriate; it's purely cultural. We have been trained to associate English accents with olde-timey stuff.
This. It's what we're conditioned to hear.
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