I Used ‘Game Of Thrones' Names At Starbucks & Here's What Happened
Daenerys, Joffrey, Eddard, Sansa, the names on Game Of Thrones almost sound like common names — Danielle, Jeffrey, Edward, Sonia — just with a Westeros flair. And, due to the show’s popularity, many babies are now being named after Game Of Thrones characters. In England and Wales in 2014, the Office For National Statistics reported that there were six babies named Sansa, four named Brienne, nine named Daenerys, 53 named Khaleesi, and 244 babies named Arya. But, how believable are these hard-to-spell names for an adult woman in 2016? I decided to put these names to the test, at a place where names go to be put to the test: Starbucks.
My real name, Caroline, seems common enough — considering its fame with people like Princess Caroline and Caroline Kennedy. But, somehow, it often gets mangled on a Starbucks cup with unwarranted pseudonyms like “Carolyn,” “Carol,” or even “Karen.” So my editor and I thought it could be funny to see what happens when Game Of Thrones names were given at Starbucks. It just so happens that I live in Seattle, the birthplace of the coffee empire, so it seemed fitting that I would spend a morning hoofing it around the city and ordering coffee … with the catch that I was doing so not as Caroline, but as a member of House Stark or Lannister or Targaryen. So, here's what happens when you use a name from Game Of Thrones at Starbucks.
I decided to kick off the experiment at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room — the source, if you will. According to its website, the Starbucks Roastery, located just nine blocks from Seattle’s first Starbucks location, “is where Starbucks Reserve coffees worldwide will be roasted and packaged. Less than one percent of all Starbucks beans will qualify for this distinction, and some are so scarce they might never be available again.”
So, the coffee there is pretty fancy. Possibly too fancy considering that my tall light roast coffee was $6, but I digress. When the moment of truth came, after standing in line at the tourist destination, the barista asked my name and I answered, “Sansa.” She had no reaction. The Roastery is a destination for people from all over the world and she probably hears dozens, maybe more, unique names a day. The system was also computerized, so there was not a name emblazoned on the side of my cup. Instead a woman holding a small square of paper, called out for Sansa in a friendly, but business-like way. So, I guess the first reaction was no reaction.
2. A Girl Has No Name
I ordered a tall blonde roast, and the barista poured it in front of me, without asking my name. Womp womp. I then tried to force the situation in what was probably perceived as awkward flirting and said I was sad my name wasn’t on the cup. But, frankly, he just wasn’t that into me. Oh well, it seemed that if there was a shorter line I may need to order something more complicated to put my task into action.
The line was short, so I ordered an iced latte to ensure that my name would be asked. When I answered the barista’s question with “Daenerys” she said, with excitement, “like Game Of Thrones!” I smiled and nodded. The guy making my drink also laughed. Of course, Daenerys was misspelled, but that’s part of the fun of going to Starbucks. The misspelling was endearing and a success!
5. & 6. Khaleesi And Arya
I decided to order two coffees and ask for a name on each. The line moved quickly and once again it was just me, with no one behind me in line, and my cups were about to go nameless. I interjected, “Can you put names on them?” The guy seemed confused. So, I told him I was doing an experiment and I had two names for him, and I wanted to see how he would spell them. I was friendly, and he obliged. He misspelled Khaleesi as Calisia, but he did spell Arya correctly. On my way out, I told him they were names from Game Of Thrones, and he asked how he fared. I told him one out of two wasn’t bad. So, while I had to ask him to do it, he didn’t know Arya and Khaleesi’s significance until after the execution.
I ordered a tall blonde roast and used the name “Cersei.” The barista asked if he spelled it correctly, showing me the cup with “Circe” scribbled on it, which is how the name appears in The Odyssey, so not too shabby. When I said that wasn’t correct, it became a friendly challenge, so he tried again on a coffee sleeve, writing “Cercé.” I told him I was just using a Game Of Thrones name, and we laughed about it and talked about the addictive nature of the show. Once again, the exchange was fun and friendly.
While some people were on to my Game Of Thrones game, it was fun to use a fake name at Starbucks and it would sometimes start a conversation with the friendly people behind the counter. So, next time you're at Starbucks, why not try being Khaleesi for a day?
Images: Caroline Gerdes/Bustle (5)