The people of George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire (adapted by HBO to become the TV series Game of Thrones) are very much like the people of our world. Martin’s characters are vivid and real, and their names are an extension of that, including interesting similarities and alternatives to several classic names.
There’s the simple and lovely Jeyne, pronounced just like Jane. Tywin and Tyrion are similar to Tyler, while Edmure and Eddard sound much like our Edmund and Edward. Marcella was my grandmother’s name, so Myrcella holds a particular fondness for me. There are a dozen other examples in the series… and some names you’ll never have heard before, that are equally lovely.
Game of Thrones is about a continent (Westeros) of feuding noble families, all vying to control the Iron Throne. At the beginning of the series, the Iron Throne is held by King Robert Baratheon, who requests the aid of his childhood friend Eddard Stark to help him keep the Iron Throne which he won by defeating House Targaryen. Below, the noble houses are listed with the main characters included as well as some characters with more interesting names. Note: some of the characters listed don’t appear (or become important) until later in the series, but they are simply too good to exclude.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Game of Thrones, the series’ first season came out on DVD March 6th, and the second season began on HBO on April 1st. For the real experience though, I’d recommend the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, whose first book is called A Game of Thrones.
House Baratheon (unless noted otherwise, all characters in each list carry the noble house’s name as their surname)
Joffrey – the crown prince and spoiled heir to the throne
Myrcella – the only princess
Stannis – Robert’s hard, unyielding brother
Renly – Robert’s handsome, favored brother
Eddard (Ned) – the series’ protagonist, a moral and just man to a fault
Robb – the oldest son, a young but brave warrior
Sansa – the eldest daughter, pretty and whimsical
Arya – the youngest daughter, clever and determined to never be a lady
Bran – the second son, dealt a difficult hand by fate
Benjen – Ned’s younger brother
Jeyne Poole – Sansa’s girlhood friend
Jaime – Cersei’s twin brother
Tyrion – Cersei’s younger brother, a clever and devious dwarf
Kevan – Tywin’s younger brother
Rhaegar – the deceased crown prince of deposed House Targaryen
Viserys – the last remaining male heir of House Targaryen
Daenerys (Dany) – the last princess of House Targaryen, she is the female protagonist
Balon – the lord of House Greyjoy
Theon– a ward of House Stark, he is Balon’s only living son
Loras – the Knight of Flowers, and youngest son
Margaery – Mace’s only daughter, lovely and smart
Brienne of Tarth – a brave female soldier who fights in armor like a knight
Jorah Mormont – a disgraced knight who aids Daenerys Targaryen
Melisandre of Asshai – a sorceress who aids Stannis Baratheon
Aislinn Nicole is a graduate of Washburn University and plans to return to school next fall. As a student of history and anthropology, Aislinn hopes to one day pursue either a career as an archaeologist or a historical writer. Her nom de plume, Aislinn Nicole, was born out of a love of Celtic history (Aislinn) and jealousy over a cousin’s awesome name (Nicole).