You might be noticing a bit of a sevens trend with my lists. (I certainly am.) It was actually completely random, but seven is a pretty number so I’m sticking with it from now on. What? Top ten, you say? Pfft, I’m a rebel. *coughs*
Anyway, this list is less of fictional names you might be mispronouncing and more of a collection of all the names that I ‘mispronounce’. Of course, there’s not really a proper way to say any of them, but there is a particular way the author would like them to be said, and I’ve chosen that one as the basis for correct pronunciation. There’s quite a bit of high fantasy on this list, as you might expect, but some other genres make an appearance too. I even stuck a movie in there, because as you remember from the previous paragraph I’m a total rebel! 😉
1. Gahltha from The Obernwtyn Chronicles
The Obernewtyn Chronicles are a great high fantasy series (as yet unresolved, because she’s BEEN WRITING THE LAST BOOK FOR LIKE 5 YEARS AND NOW IT TURNS OUT THEY’RE NOT PUBLISHING IT IN THE UK) but not many people seem to have read it. It’s got its fair share of new words – it took me some time to even be able to pronounce the title – but the unruly horse Gahltha has always outwitted me. Despite numerous searches on the fansite that’s older than I am, I can’t seem to find any help.
2. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games
Before the movies came out, I put the emphasis on the first syllable of Peeta’s surname, not the second. I also say his name with more of a ‘t’, but I think that’s just my accent.
3. Totoro from the movie My Neighbour Totoro
In the English dubbed version of this film, the furry creature is called Tow-tuh-ro, to rhyme with total. However, having grown up around people who almost certainly watched it in Japanese, I pronounce it much more like they do. It’s more like toh-toh-roh for me, with an r that’s bordering on an l. If you’d like to listen, then you can click here for the theme song in Japanese.
4. Edil-Amarandh from the Pellinor series
Yet another sadly obscure high fantasy series. I’m not kidding, it’s very ‘realistic’ – it has all these appendices and footnotes which tell you that it’s a translation from Naraudh Lar-Chanë, a piece of ancient Annaren literature and I thought that it was real for about 2 years. It turns out that all these references are sadly fictitious (well, I think), but just proves the power of the worldbuilding!
Anyway. There’s some quite complex language in here, despite the pronunciation guide at the beginning, and the name of the world where the books are set rather baffled me. I ended up forgetting the ‘h’ at the end and pronouncing it phonetically.
5. Kaede from Huntress by Malinda Lo
(My only standalone book on the list. Hmm.) I’d naturally say the name Kaede with three separate syllables, but in this book it’s supposed to be Kay-dee. Luckily, the pronunciation guide was right at the beginning and I managed to keep calling Kaede as such.
6. Eyllwe from Throne of Glass
I gave up on this country and just called it yule-wye because I was too lazy. It’s officially eel-way. I’ve also had conflict over the character’s names – Seh-lee-nah, Seh-lay-nuh, Keh-lee-nuh, Kay-all, Kay-oll, Charl (yes, really). It’s been the subject of many a discussion, and my friend and I still pronounce Chaol slightly differently.
7. Eragon from The Inheritance Cycle
There’s a ton of complicated words in this series, and I can’t even pronounce the titular character’s name. I always thought it was Eh-ra-guhn (to rhyme with good) but apparently not. The pronunciation guide and maybe-even-as-awful-as-Percy-Jackson movie inform me that it’s actually Ehr-uh-gahn.