Game of Thrones leaving mark on next generation of British names

Khaleesi and Arya are quickly becoming popular baby names both in the UK and across the pond

Would you call your little one after a character from gory Game of Thrones?


The violent, graphic and sexually explicit TV show does seem an unlikely place to find your baby’s name, but apparently quite a few of you are turning to the Sky Atlantic show for inspiration.

Lots of new parents are ignoring traditional monikers, and even unusual celebrity-inspired names, in favour of naming their sprogs after characters in HBO’s hit drama Game of Thrones. And fictional names from an imagined language at that.

Nine British babies were given Daenerys Targaryan’s Dothraki title Khaleesi in 2011, the year in which Game of Thrones first aired in the UK, acccording to numbers supplied to by the Office for National Statistics.  Indeed, there are currently a further 146 babies in the US who have taken the same fictional name.

Khaleesi, which had never appeared on the register for England and Wales before 2011, appeared for the first time on both Scotland and Northern Ireland’s registers for 2012, too.

The name, which means queen in the language of the fictional horse lords, was made up by the Game of Thrones books’ author George R.R. Martin and is given to Emilia Clarke’s character after her arranged marriage to the Dothraki king.

And it’s not just queen Khaleesi who is inspiring parents. Ayra, the name of Eddard Stark’s plucky youngest daughter, is leaping up the rankings too. In England and Wales, there were 60 newborn Aryas in 2011, an massive 233% increase from 2010.

Catelyn, the name of Arya’s mother, has also had a small increase in popularity since Game of Thrones aired in the UK, as have boys names Jon, Theon and Jaime.


Game of Thrones has proved increasingly popular with viewers since it first aired in 2011 and it’s fair to say the series, which recently won the Bafta Radio Times Audience Award, is certainly leaving its stamp on the next generation too.