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Game of Thrones Is Back!
As you can tell by the title of this post, I count myself amongst the millions of avid Game of Thrones (“GoT”) fans. Before the eighth and final season premiered, my fiancé and I re-watched the entire prior seven seasons.
We rationalized this time spent on the couch as time well-spent by telling ourselves that we would get sooooo much more out of the final season if we refreshed our memories on as many details from seasons past as we could.
I was surprised by how many things I had forgotten, even major ones (I’m talking character deaths, who plotted against whom, etc.)! Watching all of those episodes again was definitely worth it and when the final season premiered last week, I was beyond excited and so ready for it.
There are some spoilers from seasons past in this post, so if you aren’t caught up on GoT, maybe skip this one. If you’ve never watched the show or read the books, I promise you’ll still get value out of this post, you just might glaze over some of the words like Dothraki, Westeros, Arya and Daenerys. Which brings me to…
One of the best parts about re-watching the entire series in such a compressed amount of time was getting to see the development of the characters. Perhaps nobody has changed as much over the course of the seasons as Daenerys Targaryen.
At first a timid, teenage bride, sold to a brutal Dothraki warlord who lived in a foreign land and spoke a foreign language, she has evolved into a warrior queen who enlists her dragon-children to burn her enemies alive. She is a force to be reckoned with, to say the least.
Putting aside whether Daenerys is inherently good or evil (the jury is still out on that one), I think she brings something to the table that we can all learn from. Daenerys takes great pride in all that she has done and she unapologetically boasts about her accomplishments.
Not only has she declared herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, she constantly reminds everyone in her path of her many more achievements and sides of herself when she introduces herself or is introduced by her loyal subjects. Her long list of names and titles alerts us all that she is an accomplished warrior queen and so much more.
Aside from Daenerys, we’ve seen other badass queens in GoT before. For example, Queen Margaery (RIP) used her charm and wits to position herself into power three times and Queen Cersei continues to use her charm, wits and pure evil to position herself into power.
But there is something different about Daenerys. Those other queens do not have as many sides to themselves as Daenerys does, which may or may not mean she’ll be the last one standing at the end of the game. For now, she’s the strongest contender and the most accomplished, so it’s Daenerys we’re going to use as our example for how to create our own badass GoT name.
This Isn’t That Kind of Name Generator Post
This post is not your typical “what is your GoT name?” post (although I love those, too). If you’re looking just for mindless fun, check out this post where you can generate your own GoT name based on the letters of your first and last name and your birth month.
I was happy to discover that I am Margaery of the House Martell, but not so thrilled to learn that being a November baby means that I am not a Queen, but rather a sellsword.
This post also isn’t about GoT names you could use as your actual name, or perhaps more commonly now, as a name for you baby. Apparently, naming your kid after a GoT character is more popular than ever.
Something that makes GoT such a special show is that you never really know if a character is good or bad, and most everyone on the show is a little bit of both, like most people in the world.
Which creates an issue when it comes to naming your baby after one of the characters! If you named your baby Arya or Daenerys, after the plucky tomboy and timid beauty, respectively, of Season One, are you still happy with that choice, since those women are now better known for being a trained assassin and a burner of men, respectively? Who knows what they’ll be by the end of this season!
So no, this post is not about which character you should name your kid after. (Although it definitely shouldn’t be Cersei – please don’t do that to a kid.) This post is about creating your own version of Daenerys Targaryen’s name and how you can use your creation to propel yourself forward in your own life.
Daenerys Targaryen – Those Two Names Only Tell Part of Her Story
Daenerys Targaryen, aka Daenerys, or Dany to her friends, is the name she is most often referred to in GoT, but those names only represent part of her story. Dany’s full name, which is often repeated, is:
“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.”
Let’s break-down her name and use it to create our own, badass, Game of Thrones-inspired, name. Under each of Dany’s names or titles, I’m going to give you a brief description of what the name means for her and then under the “Your Turn” section, I’ll suggest how you can come up with your own version.
At the end you’ll put them all together and have your own, complete Game of Thrones-inspired title to start introducing yourself with at your next cocktail party or work event (or maybe just to keep in your own head and not actually say out loud – your choice).
1. First Name
- Daenerys: This one’s pretty straightforward – Daenerys was the name given to her by her parents. It probably has a meaning, and if you are an avid GoT watcher (or, more likely, a book-reader) feel free to fill us in on the meaning behind her given name. For our purposes, all you need to know is that this is her first name.
- Your Turn: This one is pretty straightforward for you, too. Simply use your given first name, a nickname if you usually go by that, or another name altogether if you don’t think your name fits you and you’ve always wanted to go by something else. Most people won’t have to think about this one too much.
2. Second Name – A Natural Representation of Yourself
- Stormborn: On the night Dany was born, there was a massive storm. Hence, she was given the name Stormborn. I think it also signifies her strength. She was born during one of the most catastrophic storms in the history of Westeros and she not only survived but she stands today as one of the most powerful women in the Seven Kingdoms.
- Your Turn: What part of nature and all of its awesome power represents you the best? For this part of your name, brainstorm all of the aspects of the natural world that you are drawn to and narrow it down to the one that most represents your essence. Is there a season you love? A weather pattern (like a lightning storm or a hurricane) that you are drawn to? A natural wonder you would love to visit (like Iguazu Falls)? Whatever you feel most connected to, create your second name based off of it.
3. Family Name
- House Targaryen: Dany belongs to the Targaryen family, thus she is a member of their House.
- Your Turn: This is another pretty straightforward one for most people. Unless you have a strong desire to distance yourself from your family, use your family name here as your own House.
4. Birth Order
- First of Her Name: Like in our world, sometimes people in Westeros were named after older family members. Instead of “junior” or “the second,” they are called “second of his name,” “third of her name,” etc., based on how many family members before them had the same name. Since Dany is the first person to have the name Daenerys, she’s referred to as the “First of Her Name.”
- Your Turn: Another simple one. Are you named after another family member? How many? If you’re the only one in your family with your name, you’ll be the First of Her/His Name, too. If not, just add in the number you are and that’s your birth order title.
5. Special Quality, Talent or Characteristic
- Unburnt: Dany really came into herself by the end of the first season. After a somewhat rocky start with Khal Drogo, she mourned his death by walking through his funeral pyre and emerging, somehow, totally unscathed but for some black ashes left on her body and stuck in her disheveled, white hair. The Dothraki who witnessed this miracle dubbed her “the Unburnt” and she adopted this title into her name. She would showcase this same remarkable skill in later seasons, too.
- Your Turn: What is uniquely special about you? What are you most skilled at? Are you known for your way with words, your abilities in the kitchen, at crafting, at art, chemistry, languages, at making people laugh? Let your imagination run wild on this one, as it could be anything!
6. Title #1
- Queen of the Andals and the First Men: In the GoT world, this is the big one – the title that means Daenerys sees herself as the Queen of Westeros and the one true ruler who belongs on the Iron Throne. Of all her titles, this one is the most significant to those in Westeros.
- Your Turn: Are you a doctor? A lawyer? A PhD? Maybe that’s your first title. Or maybe you see yourself as the Queen of Your Household or the Manager of Your Family. In this spot in the titles list, fill in something that defines you and that is important to you. You’re going to need to come up with two titles, so brainstorm a few and pick your two favorites for this and the next section.
7. Title #2
- Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea: A “Khaleesi” is a Queen of the Dothraki. When Dany married Khal Drogo, the leader of the Dothraki, she became their queen. And when he died, she didn’t drop that title and shrink away to live amongst the widows of other Dothraki warlords. Not Dany. Instead, she retained this title to show that she was not just a Khal’s wife, but a Khaleesi and the Queen of all the Dothraki hordes.
- Your Turn: See section #6 above. Here is where you fill in the second title that you brainstormed above.
8. Accomplishment #1
- Breaker of Chains: Dany felt a moral obligation not just to conquer lands and build an army on her march towards the West, but also to free those she encountered along the way who were bound in slavery. As she marched through various cities of the east on her way to Westeros, she liberated the slaves from their shackles and became known as the “Breaker of Chains.”
- Your Turn: What is one thing you’ve accomplished that you are super proud of? Did you start a company (why not try, “Startup Founder”)? Adopt a rescue dog (if so, you could be “Rescuer of [insert dog’s name]”)? Here is the spot to fill in one of these accomplishments. Like the titles above, you’re going to need to come up with two accomplishments, so brainstorm a few and pick your two favorites for this and the next section.
9. Accomplishment #2
- Mother of Dragons: Of all the things Dany is proud of, her proudest accomplishment is being mother to her “children,” her three dragons. She “birthed” these dragons when she carried the eggs through the flames of Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre and emerged with three little hatchlings. Now full-grown dragons, she remains a devoted mother who will do anything for her children.
- Your Turn: See section #8 above. Here is where you fill in your second accomplishment that you brainstormed above.
Bonus: Your House Sigil
Every family in Westeros has a sigil, which is a symbol that represents the family and ties together all generations. The Targaryen house is represented, of course, by the dragon.
What would your house sigil be if you could choose anything in the world to represent not just you, but your family and generations to come?
In GoT the house sigils are mostly animals (or, you know, a flayed man if you’re in House Bolton), but yours could be anything. An animal, a plant or flower, a city, a natural wonder, a weather symbol (like a lightning bolt), a special food your family loves and so on.
My Own Game of Thrones Inspired Name
As a little inspiration for what you can create, I’m going to share my own GoT inspired name. It’s ever-evolving, but here goes my take #1:
“Marissa From the Sea, of the House *****, First of Her Name, the Burned Out and Recovered Lawyer, Queen of Longaniza, Writer of the Upper West Side, Flywheel Enthusiast and Excited Aunt-to-Be.”
And here’s the explanation, in case you are curious or are looking for inspiration, of my names and titles:
“Marissa” because that’s my name; “From the Sea” because that’s what my name means in Latin and I have always felt a strong connection to the ocean; “House of ****” because that’s my last name (but I’m not sharing it here); “the Burned Out and Recovered Lawyer” because, like Dany, I went through the flames and emerged not quite unburnt from my time in Biglaw, but I made it out; “Queen of Longaniza,” (Longaniza is a type of Colombian sausage) because “Longaniza” rhymes with “Marissa” in Spanish and that’s what my Grandpa used to call me when I was little; “Writer of the Upper West Side” because that’s my new-found profession; “Flywheel Enthusiast” because I’m a huge fan of their classes and spend a lot of time there and last, but not least, “Excited Aunt-to-Be” because I’m beyond excited to be an aunt very soon!
My house sigil is the killer whale. It’s powerful, super intelligent, awe-inspiring, family-oriented, beautiful, sleek and the greatest predator of the ocean. How could you not be inspired by all of that?
How You Can Use Your Game of Thrones Name to Channel Your Own Greatness
Now that you’ve created your own GoT name, write it down on a notecard, memorialize it on a post-it note that you stick to your closet door, or add it to your iPhone Notes. Basically, record it however you want and read it over until you remember it and it rolls off your tongue as quickly as it does for Daenerys.
Obviously you don’t have to start introducing yourself by this name whenever you meet a new person. But it’s a fun way to think about all of the things that are important to you and that make you, “you.” If you can’t come up with a title you’re happy with, it could be a good time to start looking for new hobbies, activities, jobs or friends so that you can create a title you are excited about.
This exercise is also a way to reflect on your accomplishments. Not only should you known them, but you should want to share them with others, too! Like Dany, you shouldn’t be afraid to remind people that you are pretty freaking awesome, too.
And for all of the burned out lawyers out there, even if your job is a part of your title and you aren’t super happy with that job at the moment, this is a good exercise to do to remember that you are many, many more things than just your job.
One Last Note: What Does This Have to Do With This Blog, Anyway?
I first thought about Daenerys in connection with this blog when I re-watched the episode where she walked through those funeral flames and emerged with the baby dragons. Daenerys was at such a low point in her life when she walked through those flames. She had been walking for what seemed like forever with hardly any food or water and her crew of companions had dwindled to just a handful.
She was dirty and her clothes were torn but there was still a tiny bit of fire left in her. It looked as though she wouldn’t be able to go one day further and I recognized it – Daenerys was at the verge of a total burnout. But instead of giving up, she changed the course of her life, walked through those flames as her skeptics looked on, and emerged as “the Unburnt” and “the Mother of Dragons.”
I, too, had reached the edge of burnout in my Biglaw career. Obviously it was not as dramatic as this GoT scene, but I was definitely at the point where I needed to make a decision and either continue on the same path, which wasn’t leading toward anything exciting other than partnership (maybe) at a law firm, or take the chance, walk through the flames, quit my job and discover something new. I took the second option and am very happy that I did. Now, where are my baby dragons?