Though I’ll admit I’m hot for Jon Snow and it’s true my hubby has a thing for Khaleesi, let’s be clear: these Game of Thrones crushes would never prompt us to name a baby in their honour.
Yet some new parents are turning to pop culture and especially fantasy shows when it comes to baby-naming inspiration. The latest trove of names ready to grace birth certificates comes from popular characters in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. Arya is tops thus far, with Khaleesi and Bran following behind.
I wrote awhile back why it’s a bad idea to name your child after a television show character. Series come and go, and what was hot and original in 2005 (the name Sawyer, from Lost, comes to mind) doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way in 2015. Even the Hunger Games monikers that today embody kick-assedness (Katniss, Peeta) will just be weird in a decade. Imagine being the kid with the strange name that everyone makes fun of (“Hey Catnip!”), then imagine trying to explain your name choice to your daughter (“Katniss was an arrow-weilding tribute in a movie where kids kill each other as live entertainment…”).
On that note, here are some future awkward conversations you can avoid by not naming your kid after a hero or villain from Westeros.
Tyrion: Mom, why did you really name me Tyrion? I’ve been Googling it, so don’t feed me that line about how it sounds cool.
Mom: (Sigh.) You’re old enough now for the truth. I named you after a cunning dwarf character in a show called Game of Thrones that everyone used to binge on. He kills his father and his whore, and then flees for Bravos with a eunuch. It’s really not as weird as it sounds.
Sansa: No one ever knows how to spell or pronounce my name. It sounds made up!
Mom: We should have named you Arya.
Cersei: How come my twin brother has a normal name and I have a weird one? No one ever makes fun of Jaime.
Mom: You’re named after a fictional queen, honey. And your brother Jaime is named after the queen’s lover. I mean brother.
Bran: I’m sick of people calling me Raisin Bran or Bran Flakes. Why’d you name me after a laxative?
Mom: For your information, I named you after a disabled boy who’s also a warg and can enter the minds of animals.
Ygritte: Everyone always makes fun of my name and says it’s a kind of water bird.
Mom: Don’t listen to them, sweetie. I named you after my favourite wildling.
Ned: Mine is the worst name ever! It’s old-fashioned and rhymes with dead, head and shred!
Mom: Get over it — it’s not like we named you after Ned Flanders! Be proud: Ned Stark was a good man and he died a hero.
So think twice before turning to fantasy shows for name ideas when you’re expecting. There’s a good reason you don’t know any Darths, Frodos or Uhuras.
I had a student once name T’pring – an obscure Star Trek TOS character. Makes Arya seem almost reasonable…
Bran would be cool even without GoT. It means raven, and could also be associated with Bendigeidfran (Bran the Blessed) from Welsh mythology.