Game Of Thrones inspires kids' names

  • HBO

The later stages of pregnancy are obviously a time for kicking back on the sofa with a decent box set and a hefty supply of chocolate, while pondering possible baby names. And, having rejected Malteser or Toblerone as possible offspring choices, some British couples are using the Game Of Thrones cast list as inspiration.

The award-winning fantasy epic has become a cult among the cognoscenti of high production-value HBO drama, to the extent that they are thinking "hey, let's name our lovely little daughter after that scantily-clad, ruthless, bloodthirsty nomad queen".

Khaleesi has made it onto the register of new names for English baby girls born in 2011, presumably because fond parents couldn't spell the character's actual name Daenerys Targaryan. In the US, there are 146 babies saddled, sorry, blessed, with the name. By 2012 the hitherto-unused name made its first appearance in registers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Also gaining in popularity is Arya, the feisty girl from the series, with 60 little Aryas being born in England and Wales in 2011. Slightly less exotic names from the series, such as Catelyn, Theon and Jaime have enjoyed a boost in popularity. Channel 4 have even named their news presenter, Jon Snow, after a Game of Thrones character.

The cult following for the series is an example of the changing way we consume drama series. Although there is a small and dedicated broadcast audience for the show on Sky Atlantic, a growing number of viewers consume the series through box sets or in binge sessions from iTunes downloads or subscription streaming services like Netflix. Game of Thrones has managed to augment the cult audience that loves fantasy epics with a more mainstream adult drama audience dragged in by the sex, violence and political intrigue.

If the popularity continues, expect a whole generation of GOT-inspired kids, with playgrounds ringing to cries of "Hi Melisandre, alright Ygritte, seen Cersei and Viserys?"

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