Character Names from Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO in a few days. The TV series is based on the epic fantasy books of George R. R. Martin.

(No, he’s didn’t steal those middle initials from fellow epic fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien; his full name is George Raymond Richard Martin.)

I’m mentioning the show here because the story features some exotic character names:

Arya
Bran
Catelyn
Cersei
Daenerys
Eddard
Joffrey
Jorah
Khal Drogo*
Petyr
Sansa
Sandor
Theon
Tyrion
Viserys

If it does well, who knows…we may start hearing about babies named Cersei and Daenerys.

Have you ever read the books? If so, what did you think?

*Apparently Khal Drogo’s name translates to “King Drogo” — Khal is the title, Drogo is the name. Thanks, commenters!


19 thoughts on “Character Names from Game of Thrones

  1. It’s happened already, according to this article about George R. R. Martin in the April 11 New Yorker:

    “Martin was unflaggingly attentive to his supplicants, including the couple who asked him to pose for a photograph with their infant daughter, who was named Daenerys, for one of his heroines.”

    Just Write It!” by Laura Miller

  2. I really enjoy the names he has chosen back in 2001 a friend of mine named her daughter Daenerys as well, at the time I had never heard of the books,but love a lot of them,I think Sansa is adorable!
    It’s Sandor, not Sendor

  3. I have nothing against naming kids after fictional characters, in fact it’s quite cool. But somebody on Yahoo Answers wanted to name their kid Khaleesi… isn’t that the same thing as naming your daughter Princess? :/

    I would call a kid Brandon though, after all the Brandons in the Stark family. Or Arya.

  4. Didn’t Khaleesi mean queen? lol! It’s still pretty sounding.. in Feb when my daughter comes I’m naming her Luna Daenerys :) I’d have Daenerys as her first name.. but I think she’d have a hard time spelling and saying it for awhile yet.. and the nickname Dany.. loll.. but yes, he does make up beautiful names :)

  5. I feel I should correct a couple of small mistakes in the above article.

    Firstly, Catelyn is not a name created by Martin but an already existing name of Celtic origin (although it’s more commonly spelled Caitlin or Caitlyn) and although Bran is an invented abbreviation, in the series it is a short version of the name Brandon.

    Also although their is a character called Khal Drogo, the “Khal” part is a title and means King, his real name is Drogo (his wife is referred to as Khaleesi as stated in an above post)

    Many of the other names are lovely but I’d really worry for any parent who chooses to call their child either Cersei or Joffrey considering the actions and personalities of those characters in the series.

  6. Thanks all, I’ve amended the post to fix the Khal/Drogo thing.

    @Mogul – I think most people know that the name Catelyn (and variants) existed long before the show came along. :)

    I don’t know why, though, I included Catelyn in the post as an example of an “exotic” character name. Because, you’re right, it isn’t. My bad.

    I do stand by Bran, though, as (by itself) it’s quite rare — just 5 babies named Bran in the U.S. last year.

  7. I think I’d call my daughter Nymeria. Nymeria is the name of the direwolf bonded to Arya Stark, and I think it’s such a beautiful name…Arya named her after the legendary Queen of the Rhoynar. I love the name Daenerys too, and I think Khaleesi is a pretty name for a girl. 8)

    Arya and Asha are both nice names as well.

  8. The top names of 2011 recently came out.

    Looks like these three names may have been influenced by Game of Thrones:

    Arya
    2011: 386 baby girls
    2010: 273 baby girls

    Khaleesi
    2011: 27 baby girls (debut!)
    2010: not listed

    Tyrion
    2011: 18 baby boys
    2010: 11 baby boys

    I didn’t spot any of the others, though.

  9. Check out George R. R. Martin’s website, http://www.georgerrmartin.com. He has photos people have sent him over the years of their children who have been named after his characters.

    I’ve been a fan of his books since around 2000, when the 3rd book in the series came out and found his site maybe a couple of years later. By then he already had several baby pictures of fan’s kids posted, so there are probably already some kids out there who are 7, 8 even 10 years old with names from his books.

  10. Many of the names seem “real” enough, or have normal-enough counterparts. I really like Eddard and Catelyn, they’re different but not too weird. Nobody blinks at Ed, Eddie, or Ned; at Cate, Cat, or Lynnie…

  11. Arya has always been a very popular name is Nepal. I think it has something to do with Aryan heritage. I know several girls named Arya…

  12. The name “Sándor” is a hungarian version for “Alexander”. We say, that his name day brings the warmth of the spring after the winter days… XD(it’s 18th March in our land).
    I hope, the name Daenerys will be a beloved name in other countrys…the name rules are strict in our land. If this name will be popular, we can give it to our babys…but only as “Denerisz”. :-S

  13. From an article about Game of Thrones baby names being used in the UK:

    Many real-life babies in Staffordshire and Derbyshire now have names corresponding to their parent’s favourite character from the show that airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and has millions of fans worldwide.

    Among the unlikely names starting to crop up in both areas, according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics, were Khaleesi, Daenerys, Catelyn, and Arya. Tyrion and Theon.

    Khaleesi – a royal title that was made-up for Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys by author George RR Martin whose books the show is based on – is now the name of 146 babies in the UK.

    The name Arya, the name of a tomboy character played by Maisie Williams, more than doubled to 131 in 2012 from 57 a year.

    Source: Games of Thrones influences baby name list

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