The Ultimate Guide To Game Of Thrones Names

The Westerosi names you can use IRL... and the ones you can't

by Joe Satran

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains some spoilers for Game of Thrones through the end of season 7. Read at your own risk!

HBO’s Game of Thrones is so popular that it verges on national myth. Everyone, it seems, knows the bare outlines of the series. And for millions of viewers, it’s a more familiar story than the Bible. Few other fictional worlds this side of Harry Potter have had its cultural impact.

A lot of the show’s appeal derives from its fully thought-out, immersive world. Every facet of the universe was designed with care by George R.R. Martin, the writer of the book series on which HBO based its show. And baby names are no exception. Martin devised a whole new world of baby names for his books — one loosely based on, but by no means contiguous with, our own. The character names in the A Song of Ice and Fire series are as distinctive as those of any fictional world since Lord of the Rings.

Most of Martin‘s characters’ names are based on specific names in the real world, but they usually have a slight tweak — anything from one letter changed or added to a new suffix. The final season of the show won’t air until mid-2019, but to help you through the lull, we’ve decided to do a full analysis of 51 prominent names from the world of Game of Thrones. Click through below to find out which Game of Thrones names are usable in the real world — and which ones definitely aren’t.


The Character: Alliser Thorne, the ill-tempered Master-at-Arms of the Night's Watch, who opposes Jon Snow at every turn, even after the Stark scion becomes Lord Commander.

The Name: A typically Martinian twist on a classic -- in this case, the Scottish Alistair. Thorne is one of the few Night's Watchmen who insist on being called by the honorific "Ser," which is emphasized by the unusual "-ser" ending of this name.

Is it usable? Nah. The close proximity to Alison and Alice make it sound distinctly feminine, but the terrible in-world namesake is pretty much the embodiment of toxic masculinity and aristocratic privilege.

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11 Responses to “The Ultimate Guide To Game Of Thrones Names”

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alchemicallypurplefairy Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 12:26 am

Love all the spoilers lol

Leorising Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 7:12 am

Ellaria, Jorah, Loras and Sansa (as a nn) are ones I would actually consider using. My absolute favorite is Loras. I think in a world where Lucas, Elias, Silas etc are so popular, Loras fits in but stands out. Really love it as a nn for Lorenzo or Laurence.

IslandMoon Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 7:40 am

The Palace of Alcázar, where Sunspear, the capital of Dorne is filmed has some relation to the name Oberon. I always wondered if that affected George R. R. Martin’s choice of name fer Oberyn, of if its just a coincidence.

I think the Ramsay commentry was a bit off. While it may be uncommon in the US, its certainly not unusual in the UK, and has plenty of other references outside Ramsay Bolton.

thesilenceinbetween Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 10:24 am

I think that Sansa is supposed to be derived from Sancha/Sança. It was a pretty common name in the medieval period, especially in Iberia. Most Starks have very in-world Northern names, but the Iberian connection with Sancha connects to Sansa’s desire at the beginning of the series to be a proper Southron lady.

Selkit Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 10:37 am

I’ve always had a soft spot for Ygritte/Egret, but yeah, I would probably use the bird spelling rather than the GoT spelling. Ellaria is very pretty, but the character’s fate in the show is so dismal that I’d think twice about giving a child that name. Actually, the same could be said for most Game of Thrones characters…

ecpt Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 12:27 pm

I think Lannister makes a great boy’s name (at least as a GP!)

alfexa Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Some really usable names here.

It is worth noting that Tirion, pronounced just as Tyrion, is a Welsh girls name that I had on my list for years but was eventually vetoed by my husband as ‘everyone would think it was a Games of Thrones reference’.

julia5500 Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 7:52 pm

Love this!

I love Bran as a nickname for Brandon. Couldn’t imagine naming my kid just “Bran”, as it reminds me of Bran the character, but also the pieces of grain. I think Bran is much more usable as a nickname like so, as it is in the show.

I love the sound of Theon, if only the character was a more desirable connotation.

I would love to see Arya/Aria drop down the charts before I have kids, certainly one of my favorites!

WinterIsComing Says:

August 10th, 2018 at 11:18 pm

My favorite is Nymeria, the warrior queen and wolf! Martin just made it up though, so I don’t think I’m game enough to use it.

Raveonclaw Says:

August 12th, 2018 at 9:01 am

I’m sorry, but it has to be said. Saying Tyrion’s height is a “complicating factor” is just rude and not in good taste.

Nemama Says:

August 12th, 2018 at 9:21 am

I had to quit halfway through. It drives me absolutely bonkers when sites only present info in slide show format.

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