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Suelain Moy and Otter Lee
Suelain Moy and Otter Lee

Game Of Thrones Baby Names, Because Baby Is Coming

The perfect blend of fantasy and familiar, start baby’s adventure with one of these Game of Thrones baby names.

Here’s our guide to the best Game of Thrones baby names. The wildly popular HBO series, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice books, has been a powerful inspiration for parents searching for the perfect baby name. If the 1,890 baby girls named Arya in 2016 are any indication, you will be hearing these Game of Thrones girl and boy names in playgrounds and classrooms for years to come. Martin loves to give traditional names a twist or add the flourish of an unexpected Y for his Game of Thrones names. Whether you’re looking for an unusual baby name coined in the realm of fantasy or one that’s rooted in the familiar, you might want to start here, in the Seven Kingdoms.

ARYA
Place of Origin: Winterfell
We think the meaning of Arya should be “brave girl,” though there are as many ways to spell Arya as there are visages in the Hall of Faces. From Ariyah to Aria, the name can mean “noble” in Sanskrit, “lioness” in Hebrew, or the operatic “air” in Italian. The feisty Arya Stark is the tomboyish second daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark. She finds court life stifling and is more at home with a sword than a needle. While others aspire to be a lady, she longs to train in combat and survival skills, which come in handy for her life as an avenger and assassin on the road.

KHALEESI
Place of Origin: The Dothraki Sea
In 2016, 370 baby girls were given the Game of Thrones name Khaleesi–more than double the number of girls who received the name in 2012. In Dothraki, Khaleesi means “queen” and is the title and name given to Daenerys Stormborn when she marries Khal Drogo, the leader of a wild tribe of warriors on horseback. As queen, Khaleesi wields respect and power and fights to be recognized as a leader, or khal, in her own right, freeing slaves in the lands she conquers. But remember, Dothraki is a fictional language created by Martin.

DAENERYS
Place of Origin: Dragonstone
Sure, the spelling may be a bit off-putting—how do you pronounce all those vowels? (It’s Duh-NAIR-iss.) Still, Old Valyrian Game of Thrones names can be thrillingly otherworldly. Daenerys Targaryen is known by many titles: Khaleesi, Mhysa, Mother of Dragons and Dany. As an exiled royal, she transforms from chattel (given as a bride in exchange for soldiers) into a liberator who declares “I will take what is mine in fire and blood” on her way to the throne.

EDDARD/NED
Place of Origin: Winterfell
By swapping out the W in Edward for a second D, Martin introduces us to the character of Eddard “Ned” Stark, King of the North. Ned Stark is a dedicated and conscientious father of five and the moral compass of Game of Thrones, with the mantle of duty weighing heavily on him. He can be reluctant about using his full power, but still must answer the call when he is summoned to be the Hand of the King.

CATELYN
Place of Origin: Riverrun
Lady Catelyn Stark is the wife of Ned Stark, King of the North and Hand of the King. As the mother of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon, she is fiercely protective of her brood and suspicious of the court at King’s Landing, fearing it is not a safe place for her family. The name Catelyn is a variation of Caitlin, the Irish form of Catherine, meaning “pure.” While there are a multitude of ways to say and spell this name, from Caitlin to Kaitlyn to Katelin, the Game of Thrones name is pronounced “CAT-lin.” Variations enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1980s and ’90s.

SANSA
Place of Origin: Winterfell
The meaning of the Game of Thrones baby name Sansa in Sanskrit is “praise, charm.” At the start of the story, Sansa dreams of being a lady at court. She tries to be charming and pleasing to the eye, focusing on her needlepoint. But then Sansa experiences enough loss, betrayal and intrigue to make Eleanor of Aquitaine blush. Her diplomatic skills and military strategy are hard won—and put to the test. From her betrothal to a mad boy-king to surviving various marriages, the once obedient Sansa demonstrates a steely reserve in battle that shows she’s got what it takes to win—or rule if needed.

ROBB/ROBERT
Place of Origin: Winterfell
Robb is a diminutive of Robert, now seen by parents as a proper given name in its own right, like Thom or Will. This Game of Thrones name has been used for two kings with tragic fates but good intentions: Robb Stark, the young King of the North, and Robert Baratheon, the older king undone by his Queen Cersei. Whether you embrace the idealism of the eldest Stark boy, Robb, or the hunt-happy Robert, Robert is a royal-turned-familiar name that means “bright fame.”

BRANDON
Place of Origin: Winterfell
The second son of Ned and Catelyn Stark plays a major role in both the HBO series and the books. Bran Stark is a warg, a person who can enter the consciousness of an animal and control it, and a seer, who has visions of the future and the past. On its own, the name Bran belongs to a Celtic god, but it is also an ancient Welsh name meaning “raven.” One of the simpler Game of Thrones names, Brandon, is a tribute to his uncle as well as an ancient builder and Stark king.

RICKON
Place of origin: Winterfell
This Game of Thrones name is a play on Richard, or Rick, with a fashionable –on ending. The youngest Stark child is full of wide-eyed wonder when the story begins. But when Winterfell is captured by Theon Greyjoy, Rickon must escape, forcing him to spend much of his life in hiding, avoiding detection with the help of a few loyal servants. The name Richard is formed by the element ric which represents “power or rule” and belongs to three British kings, including Richard the Lionheart.

CERSEI
Place of Origin: Casterly Rock
Cersei is the willful, passionate and conniving Queen of Westeros. The name’s sibilant C and S make it elegant while the “er” sound fills it with decisive, almost wicked power. Cersei will do whatever it takes to protect her children and her family’s claim to the throne—a true lioness. Her best-known line? “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.” This Game of Thrones name is pronounced identically to “Circe,” a beguiling sorceress and daughter of the sun god from Greek mythology, who turned men who lusted after her into domesticated animals like swine.

TYRION
Place of Origin: Casterly Rock
The younger brother of Cersei and Jaime may be small in stature, but his wit and intelligence put him front and center as a power player in King’s Landing and make him an indispensable Hand to the King. A dwarf whose birth killed his mother, he is despised by his stern father, Tywin Lannister. Tyrion’s oversize appetites for drink and women are legendary, but his shrewdness and quick thinking save King’s Landing during the Battle of Blackwater. Tyrion possesses the popular element Ty, found in boy’s names like Tyler and Tyrone.

JAIME
Place of Origin: Casterly Rock
The Spanish form of James, Jaime means “twin,” appropriately used as the Game of Thrones name for this dashing and handsome twin brother of Queen Cersei. Jaime Lannister is the very picture of what people expect a knight to be, but once a golden knight in the Kingsguard, there are now many cracks in his armor. His tarnished reputation brings him shame as the unofficial title of Kingslayer, for his betrayal and assassination of the mad king, Aerys II Targaryen. He also is rumored to be the secret lover of his twin sister, the queen, and the true father of her three children.

JOFFREY
Place of Origin: King's Landing
As the oldest child of Queen Cersei and heir to the throne, Joffrey is a sadistic young king who is capable of great cruelty. His very blondeness raises the question of his paternity because King Robert had dark hair, and his volatility is attributed to the incestuous union of his real parents, Queen Cersei and her twin brother, Sir Jaime Lannister. Joffrey is a variation of Geoffrey, a German name introduced to England after the Norman conquest that was popular during the Middle Ages.

MYRCELLA
Place of Origin: King’s Landing
In Princess Myrcella, we have the girls’ name Marcella spelled with a Y. Despite the reference to the Roman god of war, Mars, in her name, Myrcella is sweet and good-natured. The daughter of Queen Cersei is born in the seat of royal power and is expected to form a political alliance through marriage when she is of age. Tyrion sends Myrcella to Dorne to form an alliance with House Martell by marrying Prince Trystane Martell. Her departure from court is a source of deep anger and sadness for her mother.

TOMMEN
Place of Origin: King’s Landing
Cersei Lannister’s second son, Tommen Baratheon, is sweet, gentle and obliging. The boy king Tommen is nothing like his older brother, the cruel Joffrey. It’s the double M that helps to make this Game of Thrones baby name so appealing. By pairing the name Tom with the trendy –en suffix, popular in boys’ names from Aiden to Jayden, we have a malleable young king—innocent, sheltered and impressionable.

MELISANDRE
Place of Origin: Asshai
Add Melissa and Sandra, and you get some venomous honey in this Game of Thrones name. Combining Melissa, meaning “honeybee,” and Sandra, a diminutive of Alessandra, you see “a defender of mankind” who is alluring and deadly. More likely, though, Melisandre is a variation of Melisande—Millicent is the French version—meaning “animal strength.” On Game of Thrones, the Red Witch inspires fear, dread and awe. She is sensual and capable of brute force on her mission to serve the God of Light and save mankind.

MARGAERY
Place of Origin: Highgarden
Margery is a medieval pet form of Margaret, similar to Marjorie, which means “pearl.” By adding an extra ancestral A, we arrive at the formidable Margaery Tyrell, scion of an ambitious and political family. Asked if she wanted to be a queen, the girl who famously said “I want to be the queen” sees marriage as a means to power. (That may very well be why she marries three times.) A loving sister to Sir Loras and a beloved granddaughter of Lady Olenna, she takes a modern approach to the monarchy, though her queen-at-all-costs attitude ends up costing her dearly.

LORAS
Place of Origin: Highgarden
Heir to Highgarden and a scion of House Tyrell, Lord Loras Tyrell is a courtly champion who delights in winning countless tourneys. He is called the Knight of Flowers and is said to be even more beautiful than his sister, Margaery. Adored by women and young girls everywhere, he only has eyes for King Renly Baratheon. This Game of Thrones baby name rhymes with the similar flower name Cloris and is an androgynous and elegant boys’ name. It also evokes Laurence, which means “crowned in laurel”—fitting for Loras as crowns of laurels were often given to victors of sports and athletic games.

OLENNA
Place of Origin: Highgarden
The matriarch of House Tyrell is Olenna Redwyne, who is called the Queen of Thorns. Where her granddaughter Margaery can diplomatically go with the flow and blend in with the ruling political climate, Olenna is prickly, astute and delightfully acerbic. She is a protective and watchful grandmother. This Game of Thrones name evokes the oleander shrub or tree prized for its beautiful blooms, but be careful—oleander is also toxic.

MACE
Place of Origin: Highgarden
Mace Tyrell is the blustery patriarch of the ambitious House Tyrell. The TV series portrays him as a good-natured idiot who finds military success because he surrounds himself with more powerful and intelligent people. In the books, he is pompous but quite qualified. This Game of Thrones name can mean both a medieval club weapon or a spice procured from dried nutmeg. It’s funny how a single M can turn an ace into something entirely different (though still useful).

OBERYN
Place of Origin: Dorne
For this Game of Thrones name, George R.R. Martin replaces the second O of Oberon with a Y. Oberyn Martell is a passionate and sensitive prince with a taste for world travels. Educated at the Citadel, where he learned about poisons, he is known as the Red Viper of Dorne. Part diplomat, part heroic avenger, his easy manner belies an intense desire for revenge on behalf of his murdered sister, Elia. Regal and proud, Oberyn has a festive yet serious quality, much like King Oberon in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is the father of eight daughters born out of wedlock, called the Sand Snakes.

ELLARIA
Place of Origin: Dorne
The simple addition of the feminine ending –ria to the traditional name Ella makes Ellaria sound even more elegant and sophisticated. Ellaria Sand is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell. She delights in life’s sensual pleasures and takes pride in her natural-born status. Though she is not of noble birth, she is passionate, tender and righteous. She is devoted to her prince, begging him, “Don’t leave me alone in this world.” In the show, she develops a dark and twisted side, but in the books she abhors all bloodshed.

NYMERIA
Place of origin: Rhoynar, an ancient Eastern Kingdom destroyed by dragons
In Westeros lore, this Game of Thrones name originally belonged to a legendary queen and battle tactician who commanded a fleet of 10,000 ships and conquered Dorne. Despite sounding like the docile Miriam, Nymeria’s many vowels and few consonants make it sound like a war cry. The Game of Thrones name appears twice in the story’s timeline: once for Arya Stark’s direwolf, a fierce and loyal fighter, and a second time for Nymeria Sand (nickname Nym), one of Oberyn Martell’s daughters and a cunning assassin.

LYSA
Place of Origin: Riverrun
The name Lysa may look like Lisa, but it’s actually pronounced Liza, a variation of Elizabeth. Lysa Arryn is the younger sister of Catelyn Stark and the Lady of the Vale. Paranoid and bitter about being married to a much older man, Jon Arryn, Lysa shrills to make her presence known and excessively dotes on her son, the weak and peculiar boy, Robin Arryn. She calls him Sweetrobin. “Isn’t he beautiful?” she says wonderingly to Catelyn. “And strong too—look at him, the Lord of all the Vale.”

RENLY
Place of Origin: The Stormlands
Whimsical and musical, Renly’s name reminds us of the wren, a songbird. This is a Game of Thrones name that exudes charm with the –ly suffix adding a hint of playfulness rarely seen in male names. King Renly Baratheon’s charisma and handsomeness make him a viable contender in the War of the Five Kings, even though he’s the youngest of the three Baratheon brothers. Renly’s love of flowers, peaches and young men make him a progressive monarch in the harsh world of Westeros. And his role as an outsider and an outlier give him a different perspective.

YGRITTE
Place of Origin: North of the Wall
Ygritte sounds phonetically identical to the egret, a snowy white bird. The Y at the front of this Game of Thrones name gives it a more tribal and wind-tossed look. Ygritte is a wilding spearwife who is both brash and battle ready. Her lucky red hair is seen as a sign that she is kissed by fire. Indomitable with a bow and arrow, Ygritte takes Jon Snow prisoner, but the two eventually fall in love. She teases him often by saying, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” In a world where noble women are shielded from combat, Ygritte revels in her status as a free woman with grit and courage.

BRIENNE
Place of Origin: Island of Tarth (The Stormlands)
Brianna is seen as a female counterpart to the name Brian. Replace the feminine As with gender neutral Es and you have Brienne of Tarth, an unusually tall female warrior who seeks to fight as a female knight. Honorable, almost to a fault, she believes in chivalry and loyalty above everything. As she says, “All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.” Despite her advanced size and strength, Brienne is a gentle giant with a tender heart who secretly hopes to be wooed by a handsome lord.

SHAE
Place of Origin: Essos (Show), Westeros (Book)
In the real world, shea is a nutritious and oily African plant that can be used to produce a luscious, moisturizing butter. But in the book and show, this Game of Thrones name belongs to a doe-eyed camp follower and sex worker who wins the affections of Tyrion Lannister. Whether she truly loves Tyrion beyond the gold he offers her is a difference between the show and the book. In the HBO version, Shae is feisty and affectionate with little regard for safety and no understanding of etiquette. She breaks both conventional norms and hearts. But in the book, she is simply after the gold.

ASHA/YARA
Place of Origin: Pike
The ironborn older sister of Theon Greyjoy is known as Asha in the books but was renamed Yara for TV to avoid confusion with another character, but both Game of Thrones names rely heavily on the letter A. Here is a young woman with enough courage and mettle to rule as king in the grim and harsh kingdom by the sea. An experienced sailor and an outstanding warrior, Yara and her people resemble Vikings for their attacks on other islands and ships.

GENDRY
Place of origin: Fleabottom in King’s Landing
One of King Robert Baratheon’s many “bastards,” Gendry grows up in Fleabottom, where the lowest rung of society resides. He learns a trade and becomes a master blacksmith. He is said to resemble a young King Robert Baratheon. Later, he becomes a target and survives an assassination attempt by the Lannisters, who see all of King Robert’s offspring as a threat to Joffrey’s claim to the throne. Gendry is also pursued by the Red Witch for his royal blood. We predict this Game of Thrones baby name will zoom up the popularity charts for its genteel sound and its uplifting –ee ending.

PHOTO: Nick Wall / HBO