19 Underrated 'Game Of Thrones' Baby Name Ideas
It’s no secret that Game Of Thrones-inspired baby names have been on the rise over the past few years — but there’s plenty more inspiration to be had than just Arya Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. In fact, loads of underrated Game Of Thrones baby name ideas can be found throughout both George R. R. Martin’s original book series and the HBO television adaptation. From characters fans love to monikers that are just downright cool, options abound; given how extensive the fictional world of the Seven Kingdoms and their history and geography are, you’ll never lack for source material when it comes to choosing unique names for any little ones you might be welcoming into your family soon.
To be fair, it’s not hard to see why Arya and Khaleesi have been among the fastest-rising names in terms of popularity in recent years. As several parents recently noted in a piece on the trend published in the New York Times, these characters not only know who they are and what they want; they also have a sense a sense of the power they wield. Both names have subsequently made it onto the Social Security Administration’s list of the top 1,000 baby names in the United States for the past several years: Arya first appeared in the data set for 2012, while Khaleesi followed a few years later in 2014.
But these two characters, despite their popularity, are far from the only characters worthy of serving as namesakes for the next generation of fighters, leaders, healers, scholars, and more. Why not give one of these 19 picks a try? You don’t have to live in Westeros, Essos, or anywhere else in the Seven Kingdoms to carry one of these unique names.
It’s been a couple of seasons since Catelyn Stark (née Tully) has been at the forefront of our minds, but let’s not forget what an incredible character she is. The name Catelyn is flexible for kids in today’s day and age, too: You could keep the Game Of Thrones pronunciation; you could make it sound more like “Caitlin,” which is an actual name of Irish origin that means “pure”; you could shorten it to “Cat” or “Cate”; the possibilities are… well, maybe not endless, but vast.
The spelling is a bit different than the way Aemon Targaryen, aka Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch, spelled it, but Eamon makes for a fine and unique baby name. An Irish variant of Edmund, it means “wealthy protector.”
Reed in and of itself would make a terrific baby name; heck, it might even work as a gender-neutral option. Not only that, but it’s been rising in popularity in recent years, according to data from both the Social Security Administration and BabyCenter: It’s currently ranked 509 in terms of popularity.
A kid named Jaqen H’ghar might, uh, have a hard time on the playground growing up. Jack, though? That’s more than acceptable — and no one else ever needs to know that it was inspired by the leader of the House of Black and White (unless you and your kid want them to). Once a nickname for names like “John” and “James,” Jack has, as BabyCenter notes, since “become a name in its own right,” as well. If you wanted to get really creative, you could even go with Jaq, although be prepared for your child’s teachers never, ever knowing how to pronounce your kid’s name on the first day of school.
Both of the Lyannas we’ve seen in Game Of Thrones have been super badass (and yes, we have seen Lyanna Stark, thanks to Bran’s visions): Lyanna Stark for defying societal rules and marrying for love, and Lyanna Mormont for being… well, Lyanna Mormont. The French version of Liana, which means “to climb like a vine,” it’s a unique take on a more common name — and hey, if the spelling is a little too old-fashioned for you, you can always go with Liana or Leanna.
As far as I know, Brynden is an invented name; it does, however, make for a different variation on Brandon or Brendan. Also, Brynden Tully, aka the Blackfish, remains one of my favorite characters in Game Of Thrones and A Song Of Ice And Fire. I am still salty that he got killed off in the show, but at least he’s still alive and kicking in the books.
Not unlike Reed, Tully is also a fine name all on its own. It also isn’t invented; heck, I knew a Tully when I was a kid. Like many Game Of Thrones names, this one is an Irish name; it means “peaceful.” I would also argue that Tully works quite well as a gender-neutral option.
A somewhat controversial character due to the fact that she doesn’t exist in the books, Talisa Stark (née Maegyr) was nonetheless an important addition to the show — and, honestly, she’s pretty badass. As Bustle’s Charlotte Ahlin once wrote of the character, “a lady doctor with her own opinions” ended up being far more of an interesting match for Robb Stark in the television show’s world than Jeyne Westerling probably would have been. According to Name Meaning, Talisa means “consecrated to God”; however, Nameberry deems it an invented name, so it seems there’s some debate over its origins.
Although Ellaria Sand accused Trystane Martell, son of Doran Martell and Prince of Dorne, of being “weak like [his father],” it’s worth remembering that showing compassion and mercy — which Trystane does for Bronn during the latter and Jaime Lannister’s ill-advised trip to Dorne in Season 5 — isn’t the same as being “weak.” If the spelling doesn’t do it for you, you could go with the more standard Tristan or Trystan. Both are of Celtic origin; Tristan was also the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend.
There are worse people to look up to than Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns. A variant of the Russian and Ukrainian name Olena and the Nordic name Oleanna, it can have a different meaning depending on which version you take as its inspiration; Olena, itself a version of Helen, means “bright, shining light,” while Oleanna means “ancient Anna.”
Admittedly, Ellaria Sand’s impulse to kill everyone following the death of Oberyn Martell wasn’t exactly the best; she does, however, love deeply and fiercely, and despite the way Westerosi society tends to treat people born out of wedlock — particularly if one of their parents isn’t noble — that’s never stopped her. She always knows exactly who she is, what she wants, and how to get it — and she acts accordingly. Although Nameberry considers the name to be invented, Names.org notes it to be Arabic, with the meaning “beautiful.”
Whether you prefer her book moniker or her HBO name, Asha/Yara Greyjoy isn’t one to trifle with. Neither name is an invented one; Asha is of Sanskrit origin and means “hope” or “life,” while Yara, which is Arabic, means “small butterfly.” (I mean, sure, Yara Greyjoy isn’t really butterfly-like — but she’s still badass, and it’s still a rad name.)
When it comes to the Clegane brothers, maybe don’t go with Gregor as your kid’s namesake, because he’s, y’know, kind of a zombie at this point. But as prickly and vicious as he is, Sandor Clegane, aka the Hound, has proven to be something of a hidden hero as Game Of Thrones has gone on. The meaning of the name is fitting, too; Hungarian in origin, it translates to “defender of man.”
I can’t help but feel that two of the three Baratheon children (or, uh, secretly 100% Lannister children) got kind of screwed over; neither Myrcella nor Tommen deserved what happened to them. Indeed, it’s easy to see how Myrcella might have grown up into an admirable adult — she was kind and compassionate to a fault. An invented name, Myrcella might be a variation of Marcella, a name of Italian/Latin origin meaning “warlike.”
Not unlike Jaqen H’ghar, you probably don’t straight-up want to name your kid after Qhorin Halfhand of the Night’s Watch; it, uh, might result in a not-insignificant amount of playground teasing. (Kids can be so mean sometimes.) Corin, however, makes for a terrific alternative. Its etymology is a little hazy, but it’s believed to be a French form of Quirinus, a Roman name related to the Latin word for “spear.” On its own, it works as a gender-neutral name; you could also switch it up and go with Corinne.
I will never understand why Brienne isn’t right up there with Arya and Khaleesi as one of the most popular Game Of Thrones-inspired baby names. Not sold on Brienne as it is? Try Brianna, Bryony, Bryant, or Brynn. Brienne is an invented name, so it doesn’t have a meaning in and of itself; its closest analog is probably Brianna, though, which means “strong, virtuous, and honorable.” Sounds like Brienne of Tarth to me!