12 Magical Baby Names From Fantasy

by Charlotte Ahlin

There's nothing like a beautiful, literary baby name to make your child appear well-read. Names from literature tend to be on the classic, traditional side, though. If you're tired of the endless parade of Emmas and Olivias, you might want to consider the fantasy genre for a more unique, somewhat magical baby name.

Fantasy novels get more than their fair share of hate. But fantasy is responsible for some of the most inventive fictional worlds, epic sagas, and unique names. From princes to dragons to goblin warriors, fantasy is filled with strange and beautiful characters with vaguely medieval-sounding names. Who doesn't want their kid to sound like an elf queen?

I mean, don't get me wrong, fantasy names can be very hit or miss. On the one hand you have your trendy darlings like Katniss and Khaleesi (I'm a little concerned that people don't understand that Khaleesi is her title and not her name, but I'll let it slide). But on the other hand, you've got names like Gollum, Treebeard, or Glorfindel. And let's not forget Renesmee from the Twilight books. Yikes.

So, to save you the trouble of paging through every fantasy novel out there, here are a few fantasy names that sound pleasant even in the real world:

1. Arwen

"Bilbo" and "Frodo" from The Lord of the Rings might not be overly appealing as baby names. But Arwen is a beautiful name for a beautiful elf. It means "noble maiden," and Arwen certainly lives up to that moniker. Plus, she gets to mostly hang out while everyone else is running around trying to get rid of rings.

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2. Alanna

The name "Alanna" isn't strictly from Tamora Pierce's Alanna, of course. The name itself means "precious" or "beauty." But the character Alanna is a fierce female knight in a world where lady knights are strictly forbidden. She'd be an admirable namesake for any tough little girl (or boy—she's pretty chill about gender roles).

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3. Brienne

Speaking of lady knights, there's Brienne of Tarth from a Song of Ice and Fire (and I know she's not technically a knight, but you get it). Brienne is loyal to a fault and a ferociously strong warrior. And her name is unique without sound too fantastical.

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4. Thor

Thor the Thunder God appears all across the fantasy genre. He's in comics, mythology, Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. He's usually portrayed as a bit of a lunk, but with his heart in the right place. His name has a sense of strength and ancient nobility, but it's not too out there or hard to pronounce.

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5. Sabriel

You know how it is when your father gets trapped in the world of the dead: you have to go on a terrifying quest to restore balance to your weird, magical universe. Sabriel is your classic teenaged necromancer, with a good head on her shoulders. She also has a beautiful, singular name, fit for any mystical kid.

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6. Peregrin

Yes, Pippin from the Lord of the Rings is actually named Peregrin. Pippin might not be everyone's number one choice for a namesake, but he is a good (if goofy) character who fights the forces of evil. And Peregrin is certainly an interesting name, with a lot of nickname options.

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7. Lessa

Daenerys isn't the only dragon-riding girl in the whole of the fantasy genre. Before there was the Khaleesi there was Lissa, a dragon rider of Pern from Anne MacCaffrey's Dragonflight. Lissa is a simple, adorable fantasy name, without quite as much baggage as Daenerys.

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8. Yvaine

Yvaine is the bad-tempered fallen star from Neil Gaiman's Stardust. In the world of Stardust, Yvaine is a star with the appearance of a beautiful young woman. But the name actually started out as the male name Yvain, one of the Arthurian Knights of the Round Table.

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9. Roland

Roland means "famous land." But in Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Roland is real name of the titular gunslinger from book one. It's definitely not a kid-friendly book, but Roland makes for a very cute name, with ties to the haunting lead of Stephen King's famous fantasy epic.

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10. Arya

Sweet little Arya. She might be the most traumatized kid in all of the fantasy genre. But she's also one of the best characters from a Song of Ice and Fire, and one of the toughest Starks still around. She's a warrior more out of necessity than anything else, but she's still a fierce kid with a fitting name.

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11. Caspian

Prince Caspian doesn't appear until the fourth Narnia book (going in order of Narnia history), but he's an integral part of the Narnia mythos. C.S. Lewis probably named his Narnian prince after the Caspian sea, but it makes for a perfect, swashbuckling name for an adventurous young royal.

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12. Shadow

Shadow is definitely not a name that every baby can pull off. But Shadow Moon from American Gods is one of the most compelling fantasy protagonists. So if your baby looks tough and mysterious enough to be the main character in a modern mythology epic, why not go for it?

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Images: Paramount Pictures, Giphy (13)