Elder Scrolls video games have been coming out since the mid-1990s — initially on MS-DOS, then on Windows and Xbox/Playstation, and now online as an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). The games are set in open worlds and involve free-form gameplay.
The complete Elder Scrolls series is made up of more than two dozen games, but so far there have been only five primary releases:
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994)
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (1996)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) – featuring Dovahkiin
These elaborate games involve a multitude of characters. I’ve done my best to figure out which ones were the most memorable/important, and then to cross-check their names with baby names in the SSA data. Here’s what I’ve come across so far. I’ll start with the debuts…
- The name Jagar debuted in the data in 1994. The game Arena featured the character Jagar Tharn (pictured above), who was the main antagonist.
- The name Kanen also debuted in 1994. The game Arena featured the character Kanen the Wise.
- The name Karliah debuted in 2012. The game Skyrim featured the character Karliah.
- The name Serana debuted in 2014. The Skyrim add-on Dawnguard (2012) featured the character Serana (pictured at right), who was a vampire.
- The name Tamriel debuted in 2015. (And it’s a one-hit wonder so far.) Though it sounds Biblical with that -iel ending, Tamriel is actually the continent upon which all Elder Scroll games are set.
- The name Alduin debuted in 2016. (It’s also a one-hit wonder so far.) The game Skyrim featured the dragon character Alduin, who was the main antagonist.
- The name Lynly also debuted in 2016. The game Skyrim featured the character Lynly Star-Sung, who was a barmaid.
- The name Alisanne debuted in 2017. The character Alisanne Dupre (a “Listener”) was mentioned in Skyrim, but was featured in the online game The Elder Scrolls: Legends (2017).
And now a couple of rises…
- The name Aela saw increased usage after the release of Skyrim, which featured the character Aela the Huntress, who was a werewolf.
- The name Jordis also saw increased usage after Skyrim came out. This could have been inspired by the character Jordis the Sword-Maiden…or, more likely, by the appearance of singer Jordis Unga on the second season of The Voice.
For all the Elder Scrolls players out there: What other characters might have had an influence on names? Which character names should I check?