Middle Earth Is no Place for Americans

I like where Warner Bros. is going with Lord of the Rings: War In the North. It's got the polish of the movie games with a new story that should give it some breathing room. But that narration...

There are places American voices in a fictional setting are appropriate. On starships, for example. But there's an unspoken rule that if it's a fantasy setting—even just narration, in this case—and it's in English, you get British people to handle it. Otherwise it sounds off. Like a car commercial, or something that should have a Marvel superhero in it.

Ah well! This is Warner's first Lord of the Rings game for grown-ups since they got hold of the license off EA, so it'll be interesting to see how the game shapes up when it's out in the first week of November on the Xbox 360, the PS3 and the PC.


You can contact Luke Plunkett, the author of this post, at plunkett@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

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I was actually thinking that I'd like to see someone be brave enough to do a historical/fantasy show with american voices the other day while I was watching The Borgias. As a british person myself it can grate a bit when everyone from Rome to Rivendell sounds all shakespearian.

Besides, Lord of the Rings had Samwise, who didn't always pull his "oirish" accent off, occasionally sounding very American, and he didn't break the mood. I don't think some of the disney films with vaguely historical settings (Aladdin, Mulan, etc) suffered for their american voicework. I think as long as you're not set in England you should give it a go.

At the end of the day, its just a genre trope that people have fallen into, and they need people to question it more if they want to maybe expand the genre IMO.