These Game of Thrones Names Are More Popular Than Ever
Now that Game of Thrones has ended, will its impact on baby names continue? That question becomes especially relevant as the final episodes marked a few significant character turns.
Daenerys Targaryen (AKA Mother of Dragons) for example took a turn that might may have made many of the parents who picked Khaleesi or Daenerys as a name for their daughter a bit, well, sad. And for parents who picked Bran? They're probably doing a happy dance. (This nickname for Brandon, the Starks' young son turned masterful prophet, was #47 on the most popular names list, but we have a feeling it'll be moving up...)
While many of the offbeat Game of Thrones names aren't exactly real-world ready (we're looking at you, Dickon, Tarly, and Hodor), there have indeed been several names from the show and novels that have risen in popularity. Consider some of these wearable baby name options that are more popular than ever — and we'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum!
While soundalike Aria has hit the top 20 baby names in the country, Arya Stark's spelling hasn't done too badly either—it's currently in the top 150 baby names for girls. Arya is a traditional Sanskrit name that means noble—perfect for a daughter of the Warden of the North, and a girl who fought bravely and fiercely for justice throughout the story.
The first female knight of Westeros scores a name that's related to the Irish baby name Brian, which means strong, virtuous, and handsome. With Brianna and Brianne on the rise for girls, this variant spelling is a winner.
The staying power of this name may have been damaged by the character's downright evil actions in the last episodes of the series. It's likely author George R.R. Martin turned to Greek mythology for inspiration, with Danae, the Greek goddess of music and poetry, combined with Rhys from the Welsh, meaning adored. Daenerys was given to around 200 girls last year, if you count some alternative spellings.
Jaime Lannister—AKA the Kingslayer—was given a name from the real world—the Spanish take on James, which means supplanter.
An exiled knight from Westeros who spent his final years in service to Daenerys, Jorah has an old Hebrew name that means early rain.
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The word for queen in Dothraki—and a title of Daenerys Targaryen's—has been one of the breakout names for girls. It's based on the royal honorific khan, given to Turkish and Mongolian rulers. While it's currently just outside the top 500 and on the rise, the character turn may put its future popularity in doubt.
Two characters in the series sported this name—Lyanna Stark, the late mother of Jon Snow—and Lyanna Mormont, the fierce teen leader of the House of Mormont. Soundalike Lianna is a French name that means to climb like a vine.
Sandor is real name of the Hound, the gruff, scarred warrior who helped protect the Stark girls at key moments. It's actually a Hungarian variant of Alexander, which means defending men.
The eldest Stark daughter bears this name, a Sanskrit word which means charm. It's a perfect choice for a young lady known for her beauty and elegance—and lately, for intelligence and perfect politicking.
Shae, a former prostitute who became Tyrion Lannister's lover, died halfway through the series, but the name lives on. Shae is a variant spelling of Shea, an Irish name that means brave one.
One of the biggest chart-climbers and breakout Game of Thrones names this year was Yara, the swashbuckling new Lord of the Iron Islands, and big sister of Theon Greyjoy. Yara means butterfly in Arabic, and it's associated with a Brazilian goddess.