The Common Tongue, sometimes called the Common Speech of Westeros, is a language commonly spoken in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. There are regional accents, but these do not result in a lack of comprehensibility.
While some free folk who live beyond the Wall understand the Common Tongue, many clans instead speak local languages. The Thenns, for instance, speak the Old Tongue and can only speak a few words of the Common Tongue.
The Common Tongue is the language spoken by the people of the Seven Kingdoms.
A difference in speech can be observed between the highborn and lowborn of the Seven Kingdoms. These differences can be found in the sound of their speech, but also in the use of specific phrases and words. An example is the use of "my lord" by nobles, but "m'lord" by peasants. According to Lord Roose Bolton, peasants pronounce "m'lord" as if they have mud in their mouths. Although the degree of which it is used differs greatly between the common born, the lowborn patois can be seen in multiple further instances:
- Example 1: "She ast me to, m'lord," Mycah said. "She ast me to."..."It's not no sword, it's only a stick."
- Example 2: "She don't know me," he said, "but I knows her, oh, yes...I says, come."
Regional accents can lead someone to determine where a person has been born. This is not limited to the regions of Westeros (i.e., the north, riverlands, westerlands, Reach, Vale, Crownlands, Iron Islands, and Dorne), but also specific cities. Tyrion Lannister, for example, notes that he has a westerlands accent. Thus when flees to the Free Cities, he tries to evade suspicion by saying he is a noble's bastard son and grew up in Lannisport in the westerlands - citing that the local accents of Lannisport, Oldtown, and King's Landing are distinct enough that he doesn't think he could convincingly adopt one of the other two accents.
The largest difference within the Seven Kingdoms can be found in Dorne, where the Common Tongue is marked by the influences of the language of the Rhoynar. This influence can be found all over Dorne, but most strongly among the salty Dornishmen, who have the most Rhoynish blood. The Dornish speak with a Dornish drawl, stretching, rolling, or lilting some words. Some describe the Dornish speech as charming.
- thoughts of Tyrion Lannister
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 38, The Watcher.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 15, Jon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 1, Jaime I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
- The Sworn Sword.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 2, The Captain Of Guards.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15, Sansa I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 50, Arya IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 57, Tyrion XI.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 66, Tyrion XII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 14, Tyrion IV.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 1, Tyrion I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne: Queer Customs of the South.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Dorne.
- A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 20, Brienne IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.