Game of Thrones Is Changing How Children Are Named
Neatorama presents a guest post from Anna Johansson
So, here's a small confession: if I'm lucky enough to have twins, I will name them Fred and George. I'm sure that members of The Hunger Games army of fans will name their daughters Katniss and their sons Peeta or Haymitch.
It's a strange phenomenon, when super fans immortalize their favorite fictional characters by naming their children after them. The recent popular TV show and book series Game of Thrones is no different, and their names are a bit more exotic than Fred or George.
This is a girl's name that's gaining popularity because of the show.
It's pronounced "Arh-ee-aa", which has inspired some new parents
to spell it "Aria" to avoid confusing people.
In case you live under a rock and don't know the premise of the show, essentially it's a medieval-style tale in which seven noble families are vying for control of their mythical land (think "The Tudors" meets "Lord of the Rings.")
Arya is part of the Stark family. Cute and endearing, she is an archetypal
female character who is tomboyish and rejects the idea of marrying for
political reasons and not love. She sword fights and is close to her father,
who takes her with him when he goes to serve the king.
She's smart and quick-witted, although sometimes not quite as smart as she thinks she is. But she's definitely a better role model for our daughters than Barbie or Disney Princesses.
The fact that this name is also gaining popularity for new American babies has been cause for a little controversy. True fans will argue that "Khaleesi" is actually a title, not a name.
The character, played by Emilia Clarke, is actually named Daenerys Targaryen. Now, the name "Daenerys" might be a little much for a young girl in kindergarten trying to figure out how to spell her name. I'm not sure whether "Khaleesi" is any better, but, who knows?
Anyway, Khaleesi Daenerys is the last in the Targaryen line, and she lives in exile. She spends the series working to reclaim "her" throne, while adhering to a strict moral and ethical code. She's a warrior and, like Arya, sets a pretty good example for our daughters.
This name is gaining popularity for boys, although I'm not sure why. Theon is a character who lives with the Stark family (Arya's parents), and although technically he's more of a "ward" or captive, he is treated well and loved by the father of the family.
That said, he also seems to think he is smarter than he really is; he often acts childish and petulant, and spends much of his time with his attention focused on the ladies. But hey, Theon is a cool name. It's like a better version of Leon.
No, this isn't a version of "Tyrone." This character is played by Peter Dinklage. Tyrion is a dwarf (as is the actor, Peter Dinklage) and he's endured taunting and teasing even though he is of noble birth.
A slightly better role model than Theon, Tyrion is smart, kind, and seeks to prove himself as an advisor to his family. He can be a little spoiled and lazy because of his wealth, but he is truly compassionate and seeks to help those who have been cast out as he has.
Fun fact: Peter Dinklage is a vegetarian, so if you are a vegetarian, a Game of Thrones fan, and have a son who needs a name ... I'm just sayin', you could do much worse than Tyrion.
Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and contemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.