In the HBO TV series, his name is pronounced like the English “Peter”, i.e. “PEE ter”. I am listening to the audio book of book 1, narrated by Roy Dotrice, and he pronounces it as “p TIRE”. Has George R. R. Martin ever commented on the canonical pronunciation of the name?
George certainly has commented on the canonical pronunciation of names in the series in so far as he's said there basically isn't one, and its up to the reader to decide for themselves:
In my youth I had a strong NJ accent, only reader in family, knew a lot of words that I had never heard spoken aloud. When I went away to college I found I was pronouncing a lot of these words wrong. I came to not care much about pronunciation. Pronounce the names of my characters however you like.
Having said that, he obviously does have his own preferred pronunciation that he uses personally, and his pronunciation for Petry does indeed seem to be as per the english name Peter.
As regards the audio books, it seems they did go with George's pronunciation for some of the names, but others they apparently went with their own (not always correct) interpretation:
He did laugh about the audio books (read by Roy Dotrice from Beauty and the Beast), that they questioned him on the hard ones and got them right, but then went and got all the easy ones wrong (like Peh-TEER instad of PEE-ter.)
Having said that, even within the audio books alone, Roy isn't always consistent and will often go back and forth on the pronunciation of certain names.
According to A wiki of Ice and Fire, there are multiple pronunciations:
- G.R.R.M. and HBO series: ['pi:təɹ] > pee-tər, like Peter
- Roy Dotrice audiobooks: [pɪ'taɪəɹ] > pih-ty-ər, like tyre
- John Lee audiobooks: [pə'tɪɹ] > pə-tir