Could HBO's next big show inspire some great new baby names? Let's just say we're liking the odds of Lyra!

By Lisa Milbrand
May 24, 2019
His Dark Materials Lyra
Credit: Courtesy of HBO

Now that HBO has said goodbye to Game of Thrones, they're quickly launching another fantasy series. But could His Dark Materials, based on Philip Pullman's epic books, be as big a hit on the baby name front as the Westerosi tale?

The series features a pair of kids, Lyra and Will, exploring through a series of parallel universes, with animal familiars called daemons, witches, and other mystical characters. (You can check out the trailer on YouTube here.) And we've picked a few promising names that might just make it onto your baby name radar.


The heroine of His Dark Materials, a young girl named Lyra Belacqua, sports a baby name that's just broken into the top 1,000 in the past four years. It's a Greek name that means lyre.


Lyra's uncle (or mystery relation!) sports this Biblical name, which means God is my help—it's usually spelled Azriel, and is the angel of death.


Lyra's guardian at Jordan College is Dr. Malcolm Polstead. His Scottish name means follower of St. Columba, and the name is currently on a huge upswing in popularity.


The ginger-cat daemon paired with Malcolm sports this name, which means divine strength.


Farder Coram van Texel is connected with the witches in the series. His name is likely inspired by the Irish classic Cormac, which means chariot driver.


A polar bear with armor—and future king—Iorek, pronounced Yorr-ick, is likely inspired by the classic Eric. (This will be the long-shot name, like Khaleesi, if it hits it big.) Eric means eternal ruler, and currently sits in the top 200, while Iorek hasn't been used much, yet.


Lin-Manuel Miranda will be playing this part, a Texan hot-air-balloon pilot who helps Lyra on her adventures. Lee's more commonly used as a middle name, and means meadow.


Malcolm's rabbity daemon sports this name, which means star.


Lyra's mother Marisa Coulter has a stylish Italian name that means from the sea. The spelling Marissa is more common here in the U.S.


Lyra's BFF at the beginning of the series is Roger Parslow, who worked as a kitchen boy at Jordan College, where Lyra was living. Roger is a German name that means renowned warrior.


Serafina Pekkala is queen of the witches of Lake Enara. Her name was inspired by the Seraphim, the highest order of angels in the Bible.


Lyra's fellow traveler through the series, Will Parry, sports one of the most popular names of all time—William. William's already in the top three baby names, and means protector.