By Misha Dwivedi:
Remember the time when guys named Raj, Rahul and Prem were crawling out of the woodwork? The quintessential chocolate boys with those swoon-worthy looks, adorably messed up hair and mischievous school boy attitude? Names hold such power that the Khans stuck to their popular screen names in many of their films precisely due to their recall value, and in turn inspired hundreds of parents to name their children after those popular screen names. That was the Bollywood effect. A similar trend has been observed in the US and UK which is leading to an increasing number of Game of Thrones inspired names.
“All hail Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.” Very soon, you might just hear these ornamental titles (which you’ve only been reading in the GOT series so far) echoing in play schools, high schools and offices! Parents affected by the GOT craze in America and UK are picking names for their babies based on their favourite GOT character which will stick with them for life. With the Indian inclination to ape the west, this new trend might soon catch up in our country, given the mass popularity of the series in question.
The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, commonly known as the Game of Thrones series, has undeniably achieved mind-boggling popularity in the global literary community. There are, in fact, fans who are familiar with all the royal families of the seven kingdoms and their sigils, and heirs to date, a difficult task to accomplish (Google the total number of Houses in GOT and you’ll know why).
While many youngsters who are enamoured by the book’s central characters dream of being called poetic names such as Daenerys or Catelyn or even Arya, there are those who can actually boast of having these names legally! Last year, 244 Aryas were born in the UK and 146 American girls were named Khaleesi. (For girls’ names in the UK, Daenerys Targaryen’s regal name Khaleesi was way more popular than her real one.) Brienne made its debut in 2014, with four babies named after the Maid of Tarth. The name Arya also rose in popularity, with 1,135 baby Aryas born in the U.S. in 2013. Fan favorite Tyrion Lanniser’s first name also shot up from 11 American baby Tyrions in 2010 to 43 in 2013. Besides these crowd favourites, Jon, Jamie, Shae, Catelyn and Theon also popped up among the latest baby names (the last probably chosen by parents who are not too far along into the series). Meera, a popular Indian name (Meera Reed in the novel), also made it to the list.
With fans trying to identify with their favourite characters in unique ways, it is amazing to watch George Martin’s make-believe universe spilling into the realm of reality. As an avid Game of Thrones reader, who has not seen even a single episode of the TV show, I can safely say that you can’t blame these awe-struck parents for going a wee bit overboard. The intriguing storyline, amazing attention to detail and grow-on-you characters make the book a bunch of colourful chaos that you will have fun sorting.
P.S.-I would love to boast about a friend of mine called Khaleesi, wouldn’t you?