The Rise of Game of Thrones-Inspired Baby Names
Would you name your baby after a popular television or movie character? Baby name reports show an increase in Game of Thrones-inspired names.
Would you name your baby after a popular television series? Celebrity influence on baby names isn’t a new thing. A quick Google search for “celebrity baby names” will tell you that, but how often can a name’s rise in popularity be clearly attributed to one source?
I’m a fan of unique names. From video games to various fandoms, I find lots of inspiration for baby names. Some names have a stronger character association than others, which can affect how others receive the name as well as how baby will feel about it when they are older.
What’s fascinating to me, is seeing how popular shows such as Game of Thrones influences baby names. Several names on my list of 20 baby girl names inspired by fandoms were from Game of Thrones, including Arya, Daenerys and Khaleesi. The name Arya was around prior to the books the show is based on, however, the popularity of the name shot up since the first season debuted in 2011. While it’s hard to say for certain it’s because of the tough Stark girl, two other names have risen in popularity in the last couple of years. Daenerys and Khaleesi haven’t registered on the Social Security Administration name reports prior to 2010 (There must be at least five children born within the year registered with a name for it to be included).
There were 28 newborn girls named Khaleesi in 2011, and increased to 146 in 2012. Daenerys has been less popular with only 21 baby girls carrying the name on 2012. Khaleesi, a title meaning queen in the made up Dothraki language in George R. R. Martin’s books, outranked the name Betsy. I thought it was interesting that neither name was on the radar prior to 2010 since the first book came out in 1996. While there is a loyal fanbase for the books, the show boasted over 14 million viewers per episode throughout season three in 2013. That’s a whole lot more people finding naming inspiration within Westeros than ever before.
Made up or not, I still like the sound of Khaleesi and several other names. It’ll be interesting to see how many 2013 babies were named after Game of Thrones characters. Most boy names I included in my list of fandom-inspired baby boy names were not included in the Social Security Administration’s 2012 name report. I did find Mance was used five times and his last name, Rayder, was used eight in 2012. Mance was not listed in 2011, though there were nine Rayders.
Game of Thrones is not alone in influencing baby name trends, but I predict the names associated with the show will continue to rise in popularity before the series finale. After all, Khaleesi already outnumbers Hermione and Katniss and all of them gained popularity after the books were brought to life.
Does the popularity of a character’s name as a baby name influence your decision to use it?
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