It looks like it could be the name of one of the nereids or oceanids in Greek mythology but it is not.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nereid (there is a box on the right hand side of the page with links to lists of all the named nymphs. I haven't gone through all the links; who knows what you may find.)
Maybe if you dig deeper.
Yes, it does look like Deianeira!
I think the name comes from the Roman currency denarius (pronounced: di-nair-i-əs) which was a silver coin. It explains the silver hair and her "silver" horse.
Meaning of Daenerys
Actually, Martin didn't just "make it up" in the sense that it has no meaning.
Originally Posted by pansy
The origins of "Dae" and "Nerys" is: Dae = Korean for "Beloved" and Nerys= Welsh for "Lady". Making the name's meaning, "Beloved Lady". Very fitting for the character.
My husband and I are naming our first daughter who is due in just 6 more weeks Daenerys. :) We love the name, it's meaning, the sound, the nickname possibilities, and also, the character itself in the book. We hope our daughter will grow up to be a strong, loving, kind, brave and wise lady as Daenerys Stormborn has become. :)
He made it up. It fits in really well with the rest of her family. Here is a link to the targaryan family tree. A lot of interesting names!
He got Sansa and Joffrey from Sancha of Aragon and Jofre Borgia. :)
Originally Posted by nono
He said it was unintentional. Daenerys is such a pretty name, I wish I have courage to use it.
Originally Posted by renrose
Pretty huge coincidence if it was unintentional :O
Originally Posted by theclocktowerofjoy
LOVE the name, but yes, George made it up. He has a habit of taking already established names and changing the spelling to make it unique. Edward --> Eddard, Marcella-->Myrcella. Geoffrey--> Joffrey.
Pretty sure it means Dae ( Korean meaning beloved ) and nerys (Welch meaning lady) ....Best I could guess is it means; "beloved lady"
Daenerys means; " beloved lady