There are many different places that new parents go to find inspiration when it comes to naming their new arrivals. Family names are, of course, a staple, and books of baby names are often a popular choice, but, all you new or aspiring parents; have you ever considered looking to your favourite grisly fantasy drama for help?
If so, you are not alone – according to the Office for National Statistics, a growing number of UK-based parents have been appropriating the names of their favourite Game of Thrones characters for their new babies.
The show’s beloved and beleaguered Stark family lead the field in girls’ names last year, with Arya inspiring the monikers of 244 babies, while her older sister Sansa adds a further six. Hot on their heels, however, is Daenerys Targaryen, whom 62 babies were named after in 2014 (though it seems that parents favour one of Dany’s many titles, as 53 of her grand total are named Khaleesi – the Dothraki word for ‘queen’). A new entry on the list for 2014 is Brienne, whose honourable derring-do on the show has earned her 4 baby namings.
While beloved princesses, queens, and knights rightfully dominate the girls’ names, some more dubious choices have been made when it comes to the boys. 18 babies in 2014 were named after the backstabbing Theon Greyjoy, and 17 after the womanising alcoholic dwarf, Tyrion Lannister. And while the mild-mannered teenager Bran has 4 babies named after him, so does new entry Sandor Clegane, (also known as the murderous, thuggish Hound, although luckily his nickname has inspired no naming).
And it’s not just Game of Thrones that has had an impact. Following 2013’s Frozen, the name Elsa has almost doubled in usage to 537 in 2014, with Kristoff and Olaf also seeing increases to 3 and 52 respectively – though thankfully there is no such spike in babies being named after the dastardly Hans.
Meanwhile, the Downton Abbey household has prompted a renaissance in classic names, thanks to Rose (990 babies), Violet (754 babies), Edith (456 babies) and Cora (206 babies). And it turns out America’s (other) first family, the Kardashians, have also influenced the trends, with noticeable spikes in the names Khloe, Kendall and Kourtney since the first episode of their reality series aired in 2007.
So, have you been inspired? Could we soon hear the pitter patter of little Khaleesi feet? Or perhaps you’d prefer to introduce a new GoT name to the world? There’s plenty to choose from if you don’t mind counterintuitive spellings and murderous intent – how about calling your new new arrival Xaro or Walder, or for a girl, Nymeria or Obara?
Just think, in a decade or so young Tyrions and Aryas will be old enough to serve your coffee and deliver your papers – something to look forward to as far as I’m concerned.