Kathryn Lamoreux is a college composition instructor. She loves to read and has always been fascinated by the fabulous diversity of names.
The Game of Thrones series is packed with a diverse array of fascinating male characters. While handsome warriors like Jaime Lannister and Jon Snow abound, other key players include clever politicians like Tyrion Lannister and even seers gifted with supernatural powers like Bran Stark. Both the Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones TV show are full of powerful, unique, and interesting male characters whose names could help inspire the perfect moniker for your future son.
SPOILER WARNING: The discussion of characters below may include some spoilers for books through five of A Song of Ice and Fire and seasons one through six of Game of Thrones. If you are not up to date on the books or show, you may want to turn back now.
The Meaning and Information about the Male Names in Game of Thrones
Benjen (Stark) - Variation on the Hebrew Benjamin, meaning "son of the right hand"
The name of Ned Stark's younger brother, the First Ranger of the Night's Watch, Benjen could be a unique nickname for the popular Benjamin, or even a given name that can be shortened to Ben.
Bran (Stark) - Nickname for the English Brandon, meaning "broom-covered hill"
Another unique nickname, Bran could either stand on its own or as a shortened form of the more common Brandon. As the name of generations of Starks, from the legendary Bran the Builder to Ned Stark's own clairvoyant son, there is perhaps no more fitting name for a budding Game of Thrones fan. Adding to the coolness factor, Bran was also the name of the Celtic god of the underworld, whose symbol was the raven. No doubt this was part of George R.R. Martin's inspiration for the name of the young man who must become the three-eyed raven himself.
Brynden (Tully) - Variation on the Irish Brendan, meaning "prince"
An interesting spin on the perennially popular Brandon and Brendan, Brynden is the name of Catelyn Stark's uncle, Brynden "The Blackfish" Tully. This Celtic-sounding name is just different enough to distinguish itself from similar names without sounding odd. Borne by a headstrong, formidable warrior who is determined to go his own way but also willing to sacrifice everything to protect his ancestral home, this name is a strong and unique choice for a young boy.
Doran (Martell) - Irish, meaning "stranger, exile"
Although not quite as popular with fans as his flamboyant brother Oberyn, Prince Doran Martell, ruler of Dorne, certainly has the more wearable name. A careful diplomat, Prince Doran cuts a figure quite different from many of the impulsive warriors on this list. Therefore, he may be a fitting source for an uncommon boys' name that exudes a gentle sort of strength.
Jaime (Lannister) - A variation on the English James, meaning "supplanter"
This casually stylish variation on James sounds a lot like the dashing, roguish knight who bears the name in George R.R. Martin's books and show. Pronounced "Jay-Mee," rather than "Hi-May," which is the traditional pronunciation for this Spanish spelling, the name may create some initial confusion during roll call at school. However, that can easily be resolved by choosing the more common spelling, Jamie, or even the traditional James.
Jon (Snow) - A variation on the Hebrew John, meaning "God is gracious"
A more modern, streamlined version of the classic John, Jon is the name of two major characters in the Song of Ice and Fire books: Jon Snow and Jon Arryn. Both were strong men who lived lives of honor and integrity and were loved by Ned Stark. Accordingly, Jon is a strong and straight-laced name, perhaps not as popular as it once was, but still a classic fit for a leading man. Use it on its own or as a nickname for the longer Jonathan, a separate Hebrew name meaning "gift of Jehovah."
Jorah (Mormont) - Hebrew, meaning "early rain"
Believe it or not, this unusual Game of Thrones moniker is actually a biblical name. It is borne by a minor figure in the book of Ezra, and if you're looking for a unique alternative to the recently popular Jonah or Jordan, it might be a good option. You can almost guarantee that none of your son's classmates will share the name, but it also has a solid biblical history, rather than being invented for a fantasy series. As a nickname, try the diminutive Jory, another Game of Thrones name borne by the trusted captain of Ned Stark's household guard, Jory Cassel.
Loras (Tyrell) - Nickname for the Spanish Dolores, meaning "pain"
Although this is an uncommon first name for boys, actually occurring most frequently as a rare nickname for the girls' name Dolores instead, it sounds a lot like the conventional, but perhaps dated Lawrence. Loras is also the name of a small liberal arts college in Iowa, so it might have a bit of an intellectual association as well. If you're looking for a unique, youthful name, try the one borne by Game of Thrones' formidable and chivalrous Knight of the Flowers, Loras Tyrell.
Ned (Stark) - Nickname for the English Edward, meaning "wealthy guardian"
While I can't recommend naming a child Eddard, Ned is a charming nickname for the classic Edward, nice and simple and a bit less dated than "Ed." It also honors perhaps the most honorable character in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Ned Stark. Although Robb and Talisa Stark never lived to name their child after Robb's heroic father, you could certainly have that chance.
Olly - Nickname for the Latin Oliver, meaning "olive tree"
This could make a charming nickname for the smart and on-trend Oliver. It is also a bit of a stealth choice, less obviously inspired by Game of Thrones than many of the other selections listed here.
Quentyn (Martell) - Alternate spelling for the Latin Quentin, meaning "fifth"
If Q-names like Quentyn weren't off-beat enough, George R.R. Martin's version throws in a "y" for good measure. In addition to being the name of Doran Martell's eldest son in the Song of Ice and Fire books, Quentin (this time spelled with an "i") is the name shared by edgy director Quentin Tarantino and St. Quentin, the Catholic protector against coughs and sneezes.
Randyll (Tarly) - Variation on the English Randall, meaning "shield-wolf"
Although Sam may have begged Gilly not to name her baby after his cruel father, she was quite right in commenting that Randyll is a nice name. And it has a lot more going for it than the evil man who bears it. After all, the meaning translates to "shield-wolf," which is basically a Stark sigil. What more could you ask for from a Game of Thrones inspired name?
Robb (Stark) - Nickname for the English Robert, meaning "bright fame"
With its double B ending, the young wolf's name is a slightly edgier, modern take on the traditional Robert. And, unlike the baby boomer-y Bob, this is a nickname that could be worn quite well by a little boy or a teenager.
Robert (Baratheon) - English, meaning "bright fame"
It doesn't get more classic than the kingly Robert, the name of both Game of Thrones' King Robert Baratheon and the Scottish King Robert the Bruce. While the full name might not quite be stylish anymore, it is still quite commonly given to baby boys, particularly as a family legacy. Furthermore, it makes a great full name to put on the birth certificate of a child who will go by a shorter, more modern form, like the previous entry, Robb.
Samwell (Tarly) - Variation on the Hebrew Samuel, meaning "told by God"
The name borne by the lovable unlikely hero Samwell Tarly, Samwell is a gentle-sounding twist on the traditional Samuel, in the same vein as J.R.R. Tolkein's invention, Samwise. Something about names like Samwell Tarly and Samwise Gamgee just make them sound like faithful companions. Perhaps it could make a nice name for a boy who will grow up to be a loyal, loving friend.
Theon (Greyjoy) - Greek, meaning "godly"
Adding a bit of gravity to the more common Theo, Theon is the name borne by not only Game of Thrones' Theon Greyjoy, but also the ancient mathematician and astronomer Theon of Alexandria. In addition to his own accomplishments, Theon was father of the first female mathematician, Hypatia. His is an ancient and distinguished name that's uncommon enough to sound fresh.
Trystane (Martell) - Variation on the Celtic Tristan, meaning "noise or sorrowful"
An attractive choice, even in its original spelling, Tristan has epic fantasy connections. It was the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table, a legendary Celtic dragon-slayer caught up in a tragic love affair with his patron's wife, Queen Isolde. For an unusual spin, spell it Trystane, as the youngest son of Prince Doran Martell does.
Tyrion (Lannister) - Original name created for A Song of Ice and Fire
Since this name is a totally original invention of George R.R. Martin, created for his most popular character, it is bound to connect your child pretty explicitly to Game of Thrones. However, it is unusual, if uniqueness is a factor in your choice. Additionally, it has a nice sound to it and evokes thoughts of a very clever, compassionate character widely beloved by readers and viewers. Some less obviously Game of Thrones-related nicknames could be "Ty" (first initials also shared by Tywin and Tytos) or even "Rion" (pronounced "Ryan").
Jaden on April 29, 2019:
Kathryn Lamoreux (author) on September 19, 2017:
I personally prefer Shaggydog Dondarrion, Dan. But, to each his own. ;)