Pratchett's character "DEATH": How do you imagine HIS VOICE?

For me it’s like THX turned up to 11. No matter where He is, if He’s in your presence His voice permeates your auditory senses from every imaginable direction.

Either that or a Darth Vader that likes curry and kittens.

That’s pretty much how I imagine it, James Earl Jones in surround sound.

I imagine a big booming “important” voice… But one that is given to forgetting that it’s supposed to be big and booming so is susceptible to fits of stammering like a schoolboy.

Christopher Lee was the voice for Death in the animated version of Pratchett’s “Soul Music,” and ever since seeing that I can’t read a book with Death in it and not picture Lee’s voice. But before that Pratchett’s descriptions always seemed to work fine for me… “a voice that sounded like the slamming of leaden coffin lids” is quite evocative enough for me to be able to hear something appropriately dark in my mind’s ear.

James Earl Jones’s voice’s echo in a deep dark cave.

I don’t imagine it as booming, I imagine it as rather quiet and gentle, actually.

But I do imagine it as something that you MUST PAY ATTENTION TO. I imagine that when he’s speaking, no matter what else is going on, that voice is the only thing in your universe at that moment.

Death has an English accent. He sounds like Jeremy Irons.

Not necessarily loud, but it cannot be ignored. It takes precedence over all other sounds.

It comes from no particular place. In fact, I doubt that Death’s mouth moves when he speaks. But if you see him, even if you just hear him, there’s very little doubt about where the voice is coming from.

Christopher Lee and James Earl Jones are both good canidates.

I think he sounds like Skeletor.

I like Irons, or a demonic Derek Jacoby.

Slight hijack, but I like Rupert Grint (Ron from HARRY POTTER) for Mort.

I always hear him as the late Leo McKern. But Christopher Lee’s the next best choice…

yup it’s Christopher Lee in my head.

or possible Brian Blessed, but boomier.

I dunno, but he ought to make James Earl Jones sound like Tiny Tim by comparison.

I think he sounds like Frank the Rabbit in Donnie Darko…but with an English accent.

I just need to say that I read “Pratchett’s Death” and my heart stopped. Don’t DO that.

And I hear John Cleese’s voice in my head, for that ever so slightly bewildered factor.


James Earl Jones, yes, deep cave, yes, but there’s also a quality about it where every word has a pause before it. The words themselves seem to arrive singly, without that interfering with the parsing of the sentence itself, and with infinite portent as opposed to the obviously strung together nature of a message like: “The. Time. Is. Three. Twenty. Seven”. All of Death’s words are infinitely significant, for somebody.

He’s often uncertain but never wrong, in the reverse of the way that’s usually portrayed.

Yep, I was right, I can’t explain it.

I always imagined that deep, rumbly old-school BBC voice mixed in with some gravel. Not so much booming and subtle.

Sorry dude, totally unintentional. I will always remember hearing about the passing of Douglas Adams and how I felt. Apologies again.

I really like the thought of a Cleese-like voice for Death. I’ll have to re-read a few books and try this out…

I had the same reaction as JSexton…

(sigh of relief)

I somehow picture Death talking relatively softly but oh so clear.

I’ve edited the topic title to reflect that this is talking about a character, not about Pratchett himself.