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The 50 Most Game of Thrones-y Names on Game of Thrones

The first of their weird names. Photo: HBO

Like all of you, I have been watching Game of Thrones for a very long time, since I was born. I even recapped the show for a season, and will be doing so again here at Vulture for its final round. However, if you held a scythe to my neck and asked me to explain one single thing about this show’s plot, I would be decapitated in seconds. This is for several reasons: (1) The show is inscrutable from a narrative perspective; (2) everyone is a scraggly white man who looks the exact same as every other scraggly white man standing around him, with one or two exceptions; (3) everyone’s name is totally insane.

From a psychic raven’s three-eyed perspective, it might seem like the Game of Thrones writers (or, since most of these names come from the books, George R.R. Martin himself) induce a stroke, and then, whatever comes out of their mouths in the aftermath, they turn into a character name. But the best names on Game of Thrones do, in fact, have a few common threads. They usually include one random additional letter, if not more. Vowels and consonants appear either too sparingly, or in confusing abundance. The names attempt but rarely achieve whimsy, instead landing somewhere between nonsensical dullness and chaos. They usually sound sort of Scottish or Irish or Welsh or Russian, or at least like somebody is gargling mouthwash while saying them. Some look like actual, normal names, but spelled by a person who has just tumbled down a hill. And they are truly impossible to recall without at least ten hints.

To celebrate the show’s last six episodes, I’ve decided to rank the 50 most Game of Thrones names on Game of Thrones by just how Game of Thrones–y they are. At first I thought, Hey, I’ll rank all of the characters’ names; that sounds fun, but then I realized that I love myself. Please note: I will not be talking about the characters themselves because I have no idea who they are; I will only be discussing the names as they fit into my previously described criteria. In the name of Lommy Greenhands, let us begin.

50. Quent
Name it almost is: Quint
Sounds kind of: Irish
Level of whimsy: Going to the bank

49. Quaithe

A person named Quaithe. Photo: HBO

Impossible amount of: Vowels
Sounds kind of: Scottish
Level of whimsy: Instantly rejected Lord of the Rings character

48. Qotho
Impossible amount of: Round letters
Sounds kind of: Shakespearean-English
Level of whimsy: Staying up five minutes past your bedtime to watch the end of 60 Minutes

47. Mance Rayder

Mance Rayder. Photo: HBO

Sounds kind of: Irish
Words it almost is: Man, Rider, Raider, Radar
Level of whimsy: Turning off your Apple Watch

46. Qhorin Halfhand
Words it almost is: Quorum, Half, Hand
Sounds kind of: Like my Scottish husband who took half of my last name because he is a feminist
Level of whimsy: Letting your dog eat a single pea from the table

45. Steelshanks Walton
What’s going on here? A classic Game of Thrones trick is to turn a made-up last name into a first name, and then make the last name another last name, scrambling our brains on very low heat until one day, during a hiatus, we regain our equilibrium and realize that we have been watching this show for nearly one decade of our one precious mortal life.
Words it almost is: Steel, Shank, Wall
Level of whimsy: Thinking about getting a meatball at Ikea

44. Hizdahr zo Loraq
What’s going on here? At first glance, this name is extremely Game of Thrones–y, but the combination of the lowercase “zo,” “Loraq,” and the prefix “Hiz” suggest a more Seussian sensibility than the show generally promotes.
Impossible amount of: Consonants
Level of whimsy: BMX biking without a helmet

43. Leaf

Leaf. Photo: HBO

Word it is: Leaf
Why? There is no excuse for this. However, it fits into my theory of “inducing a stroke and turning the first word you think of into a name.”
Level of whimsy: Signing up for a spin class, then skipping it

42. Aeron Greyjoy
Name it almost is: There are nearly 30 ways to spell Aaron in our existing English language. None of them is spelled this way.
Sounds kind of: Irish
Level of whimsy: Falling into a well and staying there for a minute, smiling

41. Old Nan
What’s going on here? Somebody thought of the phrase “old man” but changed it a little.
Why? As previously explained, they tumbled down a hill.
Level of whimsy: Falling into a well and staying there for ten minutes

40. Kraznys mo Nakloz
Sounds kind of: Russian?
Impossible amount of: Consonants
Level of whimsy: Shooting oneself into the sun

39. Dim Dalba
What’s going on here? A nonsense word is being modified by a qualifier that starts with the same letter.
Why? Alliterative names seem a little whimsical sometimes.
Level of whimsy: Naming a bug

38. Cley Cerwyn
What’s going on here? See above.
Words it almost is: Clay, Sir, Win
Level of whimsy: Making a carrot your pet

37. Lem Lemoncloak
Words it almost is: Lemon, a lot of times
What’s going on here? This is more of a Harry Potter name than a Game of Thrones name.
Level of whimsy: Trying to become David Blaine even though there’s already a David Blaine

36. Lommy Greenhands

Lommy Greenhands himself. Photo: HBO

This one’s just weird for no discernible reason: Yeah
Why? Again, this is more of a Harry Potter Cinematic Universe name that accidentally fell off a truck and got picked up by Game of Thrones.
Level of whimsy: Falling off a truck

35. Gerold Hightower
Name it almost is: Gerald
What’s going on here? Now I am at the part of the list where all of the names are just normal names tweaked slightly to remind us we are in a universe much like our own … but very, very different …
Level of whimsy: Eating your groceries while you shop

34. Alys Karstark
Name it almost is: Alice
Impossible amount of: Consonants, the letter A
Level of whimsy: Writing “Hi” on the window of a car when it gets foggy

33. Smalljon Umber
Name it almost is: Jon
Why isn’t it just Jon? Please …
Level of whimsy: Rolling down your car window halfway even though it’s cold out

32. Greatjon Umber
Name it almost is: Jon
If Smalljon is Smalljon, and Greatjon is his dad, who is just Jon? I feel like you’re not paying attention.
Level of whimsy: Sticking your tongue out at an inanimate object

31. Robett Glover
Name it almost is: Robert
Words it almost is: Rob, It, Glove
Level of whimsy: Peeing onto a tree

30. Bronn of the Blackwater

Bronn. Photo: HBO

Sounds kind of: Like a last name being used as a first name, followed by a dramatic-sounding natural phenomenon
Is “of the blackwater” the last name? More of a designation
Level of whimsy: Eating expired cheese

29. Yoren
Sounds kind of: Israeli? Irish?
What’s going on here? This is another character that has no last name because it’s too hard to think of this many last names.
Level of whimsy: Drawing a little face on a potato

28. Dongo the Doomed
Why? I agree.
Sounds kind of: Australian
Level of whimsy: Tightrope-walking over a pile of scorpions

27. Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg
Name it almost is: Margaret Tuna Dog
What’s going on here? Five writers fell off a cliff and survived, then said these things.
Level of whimsy: Hoarding birds

26. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun
Words it almost is: One, Wig, One, Dare, One
These are giants, you know that, right? Yes, that explains it.
Level of whimsy: Hoarding cows

25. Melara Hetherspoon
Name it almost is: Reese Witherspoon
This name sounds kind of normal, actually? It might be the most normal, but I looked up “Melara” and its definition is “unexplained,” which means it’s basically nonsense but seems familiar, which makes it about the exact halfway point of a Game of Thrones–y name.
Level of whimsy: Sitting still in the exact same spot for an entire day

24. Rickard Stark
Name it almost is: Richard, Rick
There are too many Starks, right? Yes
Level of whimsy: Writing your name on a bathroom stall in very small letters in pencil

23. Euron Greyjoy

Name it almost is: Aaron, again
Word it almost is: Urine
Level of whimsy: Taking out the garbage just as the truck gets there

22. Dickon Tarly

Dickon Tarly. Photo: HBO

What’s going on here? They’re having a laugh.
Why? They’re very tired.
Level of whimsy: Drawing a tiny penis on your school desk in pencil

21. Harald Karstark
Name it almost is: Harold
Did they really just change one letter? Yes
Level of whimsy: Falling asleep watching Jeopardy!

20. Wyman Manderly
Words it almost is: Why, Man, Man
What’s going on here? We’re back to the “two last names” thing, with a fun little Rebecca reference.
Level of whimsy: Burning down your employer’s mansion

19. Razdal mo Eraz
Words it almost is: Give ‘em the old razzle-dazzle, razdal mo eraz.
Sounds kind of: Like somebody fell asleep on the keyboard
Level of whimsy: Skipping across an icy lake

18. Polliver
Name it almost is: Oliver
No last name again? Nope
Level of whimsy: Biting a tag off with your teeth

17. Petyr Baelish

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Photo: HBO

This one’s just spelled weird but seems otherwise normal? Yeah, an extremely Game of Thrones move
Sounds kind of: Irish or Russian
Level of whimsy: Pressing snooze once

16. Mhaegen
Oy: I know.
Name it almost is:Megan
Level of whimsy: Spelling Megan like “Mhaegen”

15. Amory Lorch
Sounds kind of: Scottish
I like this one? Same
Level of whimsy: This one has the perfect amount of whimsy — building a castle out of sticks in a magical forest.

14. Lord of Bones
Sounds kind of: Ominous
Is this his whole name? I think so.
Level of whimsy: Calling yourself “Lord of Bones”

13. Dagmer Cleftjaw

Dagmer Cleftjaw. Photo: HBO

Sounds kind of: cute!!
Is he single? I just looked and he’s actually not cute.
Level of whimsy: Daring to love yourself

12. Jacks
??? I know
So it’s just Jack with an S on the end: Yeah
Level of whimsy: Adding an S to your name for no reason

11. Cersei Lannister
Sounds kind of: Like a sugary breakfast cereal
What about the other Lannisters? Tywin and Tyrion are kind of at the same level as Cersei, and then Jamie is when George R.R. Martin just fully gave up.
Level of whimsy: Drinking wine while you blow up a castle

10. Eddard Stark

Eddard Stark. Photo: HBO/Photograph: HBO

Name it almost is: Edward
Why didn’t they just go with Edward? I honestly don’t know, but it’s so annoying.
Level of whimsy: Buying a pillow with a pun about golfers on it

9. Benjen Stark
Name it almost is: Benjamin
Sounds kind of: Reform Jewish?
Level of whimsy: Swallowing a bug for no reason

8. Walder Frey

Walder Frey. Photo: HBO

Name it almost is: Walter
Sounds kind of: German?
Level of whimsy: Cleaning the stove

7. Rhaegar Targaryen
Word it almost is: Radar
There are too many Targaryens: Yes
Level of whimsy: Buying a snow-cone machine

6. Balon Greyjoy
Words it almost is: Bail, On, Grey, Joy
Who is this again? Please … I’m very busy
Level of whimsy: Going to bed without doing the dishes

5. Stannis Baratheon
Sounds kind of: Pretentious
Why not just call him Stan? Stanley, even? You can’t, I guess.
Level of whimsy: Adding an “is” to the end of your name for no reason

4. Sansa Stark
Is Sansa a real name? Yes, it’s Sanskrit.
So why is this so far down here? Because it’s extremely Game of Thrones to give somebody a Sanskrit name that is also alliterative.
Level of whimsy: Faking a months-long feud with your sister to gain political clout

3. Samwell Tarly

Samwell Tarley. Photo: HBO

Name it almost is: Samuel, Sam
Wow, I see what you’re saying: Thanks
Level of whimsy: Googling yourself

2. Joffrey Baratheon
Name it almost is: Jeffrey
Why are all the main characters at the bottom? That seems unfair: Because they have the most Game of Thrones–ass names. I didn’t make the rules! [Ed. note: She literally did.]
Level of whimsy: Dying at your own wedding

1. Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea,Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. Photo: HBO

Why is this No. 1? Daenerys is not only not a name, but it’s also fully impossible to spell without looking up because it has more vowels than should be legal. It sounds vaguely Irish, but it is derived from both Hebrew and Greek. Much like this show, it is unnecessarily complicated and overstuffed.
Level of whimsy: Giving birth to dragons and raising them inside a cave

The 50 Most Game of Thrones-y Names on Game of Thrones