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In the episode The Climb (S03E06), Loras Tyrell is talking to Sansa Stark about their pending wedding, and he says:

I've dreamed of a large wedding since I was quite young. The guests, the food, the tournaments. ... And the bride, of course! The most beautiful bride in the world, with a beautiful gown, of gold and green brocade, and French sleeves.

Is there an in-universe explanation for the use of the adjective "French"? Does the nation of France exist in this universe?

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    For the record, it's not in the book. – Kevin Nov 15 '13 at 4:47
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    Bob makes a good point in his answer below. I have no idea what an authoritative 'script' site might be, but this one and also this one both list 'fringed' not 'french' as the word spoken. – Stan Nov 15 '13 at 21:55
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Lol at all these weird answers trying to blame the writers or coming up with elaborate explanations.

To put it simply, you misheard the scene. He says "Fringed Sleeves" not French Sleeves.

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14

A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a fictional world. Obviously they don't speak English there, and if they were written in the language of the place nobody on Earth would understand it. Therefore the books are 'translated'. When a concept or an object is mentioned, the name in English will have to be be used.

If two characters are describing the kind of sleeves shown here then the correct English term for them is French Sleeves. Obviously it wasn't the term use by the actual characters.The only alternative is to have the character say

"The most beautiful bride in the world, with a beautiful gown, of gold and green brocade, and sleeves emerging from a puff or roll at the top and rapidly becoming close-fitting down to the cuff"

which doesn't sound quite as good.

Tolkien did much the same thing.

EDIT: Obviously Bob has the correct answer here. I'll leave this answer as general reference for similar issues.

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  • 4
    No, that doesn't sound as nice, but they could just as easily have said "Targarayn sleeves" or "Quathian sleeves" or whatever fictional style, and the viewer would have no idea what the sleeves looked like, but would know they were special :) – Flimzy Nov 15 '13 at 1:18
  • Out of universe, it's an author's choice as to which one to use. Plenty of authors take both routes. – DJClayworth Nov 15 '13 at 1:20
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    @Flimzy - by using "French" Martin is avoiding calling a rabbit a smeerp - "French sleeves" might not mean something to you or I, but it means something to more people than "Qarthian sleeves" would. – HorusKol Nov 15 '13 at 4:02
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    @HorusKol et. al. There's nothing about French sleeves (or anything else French, for that matter) in the books, it was purely for the benefit of the TV audience. – Kevin Nov 15 '13 at 5:01
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    This is all a "language issue". What you call "French sleeves" in english is called "Japanese sleeves" in spanish. Thus, if you readed the book transcription on westerosi surely you've readed "Quartian sleeves" or wichever word for sleeves is used in westerosi... – Bardo Nov 15 '13 at 13:42

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