The Heatley Cliff

Why You Should Let George R. R. Martin Name Your Kids

People like to throw the word epic around these days- but that’s exactly what Game Of Thrones is…epic.  As an author, I am astounded at Martin’s ability to world build. There are just so many places in the Seven Kingdoms (and beyond) and so many people. As an author and mother, I am amazed at his talent for not just naming them all, but naming them all so well. Like Dickens, Rowling and Austen, Martin’s names fit his characters so beautifully and perfectly that I find myself wondering how long he puts into the process. Do the names just come to him? Does he spend days finding just the right one? When I’m naming my characters, I use a baby name book and an ongoing list of interesting last names that I stumble across (usually on the internet.) which is hardly as impressive.

But Martin, for the most part, seems to actually make up his characters’ names. Not always obviously, (Robert, Joffrey, John, Jaime- although Jaime is the one misstep I think he made in this process). If he doesn’t make them up entirely, then he puts a little twist on them (Robb, Catelyn). I can’t tell you how hard this is. Even my own children, well, I think I did okay. But, as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I may very well have taken all of my kids names straight from the pages of his books. The only thing that stopped me is that GOT wasn’t on air when I had my children, and also, I’m fairly sure my family would have thought I had taken my nerd-dom a little too far. Actually though, it’s not even that much of a fan thing. I just think the names are super cool. Below is a list I compiled of what I think are his best ones. Let Martin name one of your kids! Just don’t let him plan the wedding…

  • Daenerys
  • Melisandre
  • Asha
  • Ellaria
  • Theon
  • Jory
  • Mace
  • Sansa (this one is particularly awesome)
  • Margaery (my grandmother’s name was Marjorie- I never considered it for my own daughters, but I like the way this version is spelled. However, I don’t like the nickname Marge because of the Simpsons thing- still..)
  • Arya
  • Mathos (an interesting alternative to Mathew)
  • Brienne
  • Meryn (super cool)
  • Tommen
  • Myranda
  • Ramsay (he is a psycho on the show but he still has a great name)
  • Catelyn
  • Talisa
  • Elia
  • Meera
  • Marei
  • Arys
  • Imry
  • Bowen
  • Genna
  • Anya
  • Eddison
  • Bannon
  • Axel
  • Lhara
  • Alys
  • Jasper (big fan)
  • Eleana
  • Mychal
  • Joss
  • Serra
  • Aelinor (my other grandmother’s name. It was Eleanor which she hated and made me swear not to name my girls after her- but with this spelling I might have had the loophole I needed.)
  • Wex
  • Lucan
  • Baratheon (I had to include this last name because it is the best last name ever and I wish it was mine)
  • Jojen (This is my favorite of all the GOT names. It’s cool as anything. Works for a boy or a girl. LOVE it)

Do you have a favorite GOT name?

image via

  • Christian Noel


  • Chelsea Keesler

    There are some pretty awesome names on the list, but you still have to be conscious of nicknames! Prime example: Eddard – awesome. Ned? Underwhelming.

  • Martina Paluszczak


  • Candice Marie Quintanilla

    My two favorite boy names are Tyrion and Theon. I even tried talking my husband into naming our son one of these about a year ago when I was pregnant! ha! Sadly, he said no and we named him Daelin, which isn’t a GOT name, but it’s still pretty cool I think! And my favorite girl names are Daenerys and Cersi!

  • Paulina Angelica

    Yep, there’re some nice names there, some would work in real life, others not so much. I agree with you about the last name Baratheon, it does sound very nice., Jojen too. As for Sansa, well, it sounds too much like the Spanish word sonsa which is the equivalent to a silly and clumsy person =P

  • Nerys Davies

    A lot of the names have Celtic origins. My name (Nerys) is Welsh. It always seems to pop up in fantasy type stories.
    GOT just has a Dae added to it.
    I’ve always liked my name. GOT made it a whole lot more popular.

  • Kelly Schnorrbusch

    I totally dig the name Daario, which isn’t on this list. For girls, Ellaria is quite pretty. I wouldn’t be able to name a daughter Cersi, with the crazy connotation and killer cheekbones and all.

    What? No love for Hodor? Hodor.

  • C Leticia Huerta Prieto

    In fact, Jaime is a real name!. It comes from Santiago, as well as James, Jacques, Jacob, Yago, Tiago… 😉

  • Hanna Amanda Lehto

    Theon Greyjoy. Sounds like some Irish lord or whatever. Love the name, the character…not so much.

  • Jasper Mutsaerts

    I feel flattered! Though my name is an existing name in both Dutch and English. There’re Jaspers in both Family Guy and The Simpsons.

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