Winter is coming and the loyal fan base of Game of Thrones is already mourning the much-anticipated final season. For the ultimate GoT fans, or people endlessly searching for the perfect baby name, I broke down five gender-neutral names from the epic book turned hit TV series.
I’m just going to say it up front: If you’re looking to name your child after a character that is pure of spirit, kind to all, and an all-around upstanding role model…Game of Thrones is probably the wrong fantasy series to consider. If, on the other hand, you want to pay tribute to the amazing, complicated, fascinating world George R. R. Martin has created with his A Song of Ice and Fire series and Game of Thrones, the HBO series it inspired, check out these gender-neutral names that are sure to set your little one up for an adventurous life.
Yes, it’s technically short for Brandon (which comes from an Old English phrase meaning “broom-covered hill”), but it also makes a strong, punchy unisex name (rhymes with Nan, Fran, Stan). Also, this is about as innocent and pure as GoT characters get: Adventurous young Bran climbs the wrong castle wall leading him to a window-view of a powerfully guarded secret that ends up changing his life forever. He’s pushed out said window for his troubles, but that trauma launches him on a supernatural path toward viewing the past firsthand, prophecy, and other mystical gifts, such as the Three-Eyed Raven.
As gender-neutral names go, this one is a classic. It’s a nickname for James, which means “one who trips up another and takes his place.” As heroes go, golden knight Jaime Lannister is…seriously flawed. On the one hand, he pushed seven-year-old Bran out a castle window to hide equally troublesome activities. On the other, as the series progresses he has redeeming moments (rescuing Brienne of Tarth, for example), and his loyalty (for better or worse) to his twin sister, Cersei, is almost limitless…until the cliff-hanger we were last left with.
A biblical boy’s name that means “early rain,” this name could also be pretty for a girl, as it sounds like Norah, Dora, and Laura. Jorah Mormont is a knight in exile who works devotedly for (and falls in love with) Daenerys Targaryen until she banishes him for having previously spied on her. In later seasons, they reunite and he joins her service once again and goes on to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges for the Mother of Dragons.
Tarly just has a friendly ring to it, no? It’s also reminiscent of both Charlie and Karlie. Frankly, there are worse characters to name your child after than loyal and book-wise Samwell Tarly, friend to Jon Snow, reluctant member of the Night’s Watch, killer of White Walkers, and curer of the deadly disease greyscale. Though his father considers him useless, he’s actually a smart bookworm who avoids violence and stands by those he loves.
Another classic gender-neutral name, Robin, a nickname for Robert, means “shining with fame.” In fact, Game of Thrones’s little “Sweetrobin” is actually named Robert. Although there is some dispute about who the actual father of Robin is, he is likely named after either Robert Arryn or King Robert I Baratheon. Yes, the little Lord of the Eyrie is a bit creepy in his quest to see bad guys “fly” out the Moon Door—but c’mon, what little kid doesn’t laugh when an adult gets hurt? Tripping on Legos, flying out a Moon Door…okay yeah, maybe it’s a little different.
Setting their character flaws aside, these gender-neutral names are solid options for any Game of Thrones fan with a little one on the way. If one popular rumor is true surrounding the much-anticipated final season, Jon Snow and the Mother of Dragons may even need to consider the list…
If you just can’t get enough of Game of Thrones, check out these books between episodes of the latest season.
photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO