Did You Name Your Baby After Your Pop Culture Hero?

Everyone wants a baby with some meaning to them—whether it’s picking a name from within the family, a name that has a cool definition, or even a name they’ve loved since they were naming their baby dolls. But for some people, a good baby name is one chosen from a favorite movie, TV show, book—or even the name of a favorite actress or author.

That explains the meteoric rise of the baby name Luke after George Lucas’s Star Wars hit movie theaters in the late 1970s. And of course, Twilight probably helped Jacob and Isabella rise to the top of the baby naming charts. But what about some more offbeat names that are more clearly associated with certain pop culture creations—names like Katniss or Cinna from the Hunger Games, or Sansa or Tyrion from Game of Thrones? Would you consider choosing something that so clearly delineates you as a fan of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars—even if your son or daughter may not quite share your passion when they get bigger?

Here are a few names that I’m thinking might catch on (but haven’t quite yet) from some of the most popular pop culture phenomena in the past decade—would you consider any of these for your child?

Arwen Lord of the Rings fans might consider this name, which was used for the Elf princess who forsakes her Elven heritage after falling in love with the human Aragorn. (When he’s played by Viggo Mortensen, who wouldn’t?) Arwen is a Welsh name that means “noble lady.”

Arya The bold and brash younger daughter of the Stark family from Game of Thrones sports a Sanskrit name that means noble. I’m thinking it’s going to become immensely popular over the next few years, as the name has jumped nearly 200 spots on the top U.S. baby names list in the last year alone.

Daryl Sure, it’s a common enough name among the middle-aged set right now, but this name fell off the top 1000 baby names list earlier this century. Expect badass zombie survivor Daryl Dixon from the Walking Dead to bring this name back from…well…the dead. (I think Dixon itself may also be a contender for an offbeat surname name!)

Hermione Now that Harry Potter ensured that everyone knows how to pronounce it, expect this classic Greek name, which means “messenger,” to start climbing the charts.

Katniss I’ll be surprised if this offbeat nature name, chosen for the heroine of the ultrapopular Hunger Games, doesn’t make the top 1000 baby names within the next year or two.

Remus Greco-Roman names for boys have become red hot, which may help Remus—the mythological, raised-by-wolves co-founder of Rome, and the heroic werewolf-wizard from Harry Potter—fall into favor.

Sookie Sookie’s billed as a nickname for Susan—and as the fairy-blooded waitress in the steamy supernatural soap opera True Blood, she’s giving this offbeat nickname moniker a fresh new life.

Theon A nice alternative to the typical Theodore, Theon is a Greek name that means “godly,” and comes from the Game of Thrones, where it’s used for the rebellious former ward of the Stark family, who decides to rejoin his birth family and battle the Starks for control of the country.

Thorin Found in Lord of the Rings, this leader of the dwarves is a variant on Thor, the Norse god of Thunder.

Image: Harry Potter cover by catwalker / Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Aimee

    On February 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Named our first Leia. Didn’t realize we were actually naming her “As in Princess Leia”

  2. by Jill

    On February 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    My daughter’s name is Rio. Yes, I am a huge fan of Duran Duran and I’ve wanted that name since I was 14. 26 years and three boys later, I finally got my girl. Now negotiating the name of my 5th child who’s coming any minute now.

  3. by Tracy Hallenbeck

    On February 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    My three daughter are all name after Star Trek and they do fine with names, Journey-Lynn 23 is on a journey with the enterprise, Luxana Lin 19 is Lwaxana Troi was a Betazoid Federation ambassador and mother of Deanna Troi. She was one of the more colorful Federation diplomats, having led a life of both flamboyance and tragedy.So there was no copyright infringement we change the spelling,and Kira Lyn 7 Kira Nerys was a colonel in the Bajoran Militia, following years in the Bajoran Resistance during the Cardassian Occupation and a Starfleet commander for a brief period in 2375. She served as Bajoran liaison officer on Starfleet station Deep Space 9 and later assumed command of the station. Kira was integral in the survival of the Cardassian Rebellion against the Dominion.
    The girl are strong and love their names.