name game

Game of Thrones Mnemonics for Those Who Can’t Remember the Character Names

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Forget the giants and smoke demons and dragons (actually, never forget the dragons) — the main way you know Game of Thrones isn’t set in our world is by the characters’ names: There are no Daeneryses, Cerseis, and Theons in your kids’ schools! (Well, not yet, anyway.) After two full seasons (and five books), these exotic names might seem like Danielle, Sally, and Phil to seasoned fans, but what of the struggling newbie? Sure, there are some normalish names like Robb and Catelyn that are easy to wrap your head around, but for every Jaime there are what seem to be 50 Melisandres. And then there are the similar names: Which one is Bran, and which is Brienne, and which is Bronn? So in our usual desire to help the world, we created mnemonics to help those still struggling to keep track of the show’s more uniquely named characters (we felt you can remember ones like Jon Snow on your own — his name is Jon, he’s in a snowy place). No more looking like an idiot when you confuse Talisa with Khaleesi.

Joffrey Lannister: For Joffrey think boff-free, as in Joffrey is such a terrible, asshole-ish, bratty young king that no one wants to boff him for free.

Cersei Lannister: Cersei like sirs-say. As the queen and most powerful female in Westeros, she commands many sirs to “Do as I say.”

Tywin Lannister: The Lannisters’ patriarch Tywin wins wars and totally would wear a tie if GoT were set in the present day.

Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion is played by Peter Dinklage. Never forget this.

Shae: Call her the “Shae Hey Kid” like the “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays. Shae loving Tryion is like Mays in the outfield — she knows a catch when she sees one.

Bronn: A great warrior for hire, Bronn is paid not for his brains but his brawn.

BrienneBrienne rhymes with mean men, as in Brienne is a female knight but she can kick the ass of all mean men.

Bran Stark: Bran wishes he had brand-new legs, because his don’t work.

Arya Stark: Arya, sorry ya had to see your dad get beheaded and that you’re on the run.

Sansa Stark: The red-haired, fair-skinned Sansa can’t get a tan-sa even though she lives in sunny King’s Landing.

Talisa Stark: Talisa kiss-a Robb Stark because they’re married.

Theon Greyjoy: Theon was a peon in Winterfell, so his dad guilts him into trying to take it over instead of joining their army.

Lord Varys: Varys has no berries — like testicles, because he’s a eunuch.

Lord Baelish: Baelish is like delish, which is short for delicious. Baelish finds whore-money delish but status even more Baelish-ous.

Melisandre: Melisandre rhymes with hellish ganja, which make sense since she’s always preaching cryptic evil things and puffing smoke demons out of her vagina.

Stannis Baratheon: Stannis defeats man-kiss (his gay brother) by having him killed by Melisandre’s smoke demon.

Gendry: Think send he, because as Gendry’s father, King Robert Baratheon, had to send he away for being a bastard.

Daenerys Targaryen: Daenerys rhymes with duh-bear-is. Like duh-bear-is no match for Daenerys’s dragons. (She’s often referred to as Khaleesi, so just think call-me-see, as in call me when you see a dragon.)

Jorah Mormont: Daenerys’s adviser/guard Jorah is kind of a bore-a compared to her dragons.

Mance Rayder: As king, Mance Rayder is the Darth Vader of Beyond the Wall.

Our Handy Game of Thrones Weird-Name Mnemonics