All-Seeing Aye

House Targaryen Naming Conventions

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Below are lists of all known male and female names used in House Targaryen.  Criteria for inclusion are as follows: a trueborn male-line member of House Targaryen, thereby excluding children of female Targaryens such as Viserys Plumm, bastards such as Aegor Rivers and Brynden Rivers, and alleged bastards such as Trystane Truefyre and Gaemon Palehair.  House Blackfyre members are included in parentheses because of unique claims to multi-candidate dynastic status and similar long-term naming conventions as compared to House Targaryen.  Jon Snow, despite being the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, is not included because of uncertainty over whether he is a bastard (also because unlike every other Targaryen on this list, he was not named by a Targaryen but rather by his uncle Eddard Stark).  Targaryens from before the War of Conquest are included.  Named stillborn children such as Shaena Targaryen are included.

Male names:

Aegon: 11 (not including 1 Aegon Blackfyre)

Daeron: 6

Viserys: 4

Jaehaerys: 4

Aerys: 3

Aemon: 3 (not including 1 Aemon Blackfyre)

Baelon: 3

Baelor: 2

Gaemon: 2

Maegor: 2

Aerion: 2

Aenar: 1

Aelyx: 1

Maegon: 1

Daemion: 1

Aenys: 1 (not including 1 Aenys Blackfyre)

Aeryn: 1

Valerion: 1

Vaegon: 1

Daemon: 1 (not including at least 4 Daemon Blackfyres)

Aemond: 1

Maelor: 1

Valarr: 1

Matarys: 1

Rhaegel: 1

Aelor: 1

Maekar: 1

Duncan: 1

Rhaegar: 1

(Maelys Blackfyre): 1

(Haegon Blackfyre): 1

 

Female names:

Rhaenys: 3

Rhaena: 3

Elaena: 2

Visenya: 2

Vaella: 2

Daella: 2

Daenerys: 2

Daenys: 1

Aerea: 1

Rhalla: 1

Alysanne: 1

Alyssa: 1

Maegelle: 1

Viserra: 1

Saera: 1

Gael: 1

Rhaenyra: 1

Helaena: 1

Jaehaera: 1

Daena: 1

Naerys: 1

Aelora: 1

Daenora: 1

Rhae: 1

Shaera: 1

Rhaelle: 1

Rhaella: 1

Shaena: 1

(Calla Blackfyre)

 

Some thoughts:

-Since at this time we only know the names of Targaryens going back to Aenar the Exile, it’s possible that some of the names were used with more historical frequency compared to what's shown here.

-Of the names of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne’s thirteen children, nine of them (Alyssa, Aeryn, Vaegon, Maegelle, Valerion, Viserra, Gaemon, Saera, and Gael) are never seen in the family from that point on (except for Gaemon Palehair, who was an alleged but disproven bastard claimant during the Moon of the Three Kings).  Pretty interesting, both for how many ‘new’ names they used for their children and also for how most of them have not been used subsequently.

-Names I consider ‘adopted’/non-Targaryen/non-Valyrian are Alysanne, Alyssa, Duncan, possibly Maegelle, and possibly Gael (in terms of other families/individuals using them and looking at the base word/root structure; we know, for instance, that Duncan Targaryen was named specifically for Ser Duncan the Tall, Alyssa Targaryen was probably named after her grandmother Alyssa Velaryon, and Alysanne, Maegelle, and Gael don’t seem Valyrian in origin).

-The clustering of certain names is really interesting.  For instance, Aegon appears consistently across the entirety of the dynasty, almost certainly because of the familial pride in the name of the Conqueror.  In contrast, consider names like Maegor and Aenys, names for two of the worst Targaryen kings.  The only other Maegor after the Cruel is the son of Aerion Brightflame, who probably named his son as such because he’s a contrarian with delusions of power (the name itself was ‘ominous’ enough to scare off support at the Great Council of 233 AC).  The name Aenys isn’t even used again in House Targaryen proper, only in the form of Aenys Blackfyre, fifth son of Daemon I Blackfyre.  Speaking of Daemon, after Daemon Targaryen, husband of Rhaenyra, the name seems to have been taboo after Daena, in honor of her grandfather, gave her bastard the name.  Certainly Daemon seems to have become the ‘default’/go-to royal name for House Blackfyre in a similar way to how Aegon became the ideal name for a king in House Targaryen.  It’s hard to imagine any Targaryen naming a son Daemon after the Blackfyre Rebellions.

-Continuing with clustering of names: Baelon seems to have petered off despite having some comparative early popularity.  It’s also interesting how the generations after Daeron II seem to have brought in/created names never used before, like Valarr, Matarys, Rhaegel, and Maekar.

-There seems to be more variation in choosing/creating names for female Targaryens.  For instance, compare Shaena vs. Shaera, Rhaelle vs. Rhaella, etc., names that share similar bases with slight variations.  This is one reason why the most popular female names, Rhaenys and Rhaena, only have 3 members while the most popular male name, Aegon, has 11 members.  At the same time, it's clear that these bases can go across gender (such as the case of the name Rhaegar: 'Rhae' is both a root and a female name in its own right, while an -ar ending is typically used for male names like Maekar and Valarr).

-Interesting fact: aside from Daemon I Blackfyre naming his third son Daemon as well, there are no examples in House Targaryen or House Blackfyre of a child having the same name as a parent.

-There are several definite parallel gendered names; the most direct are Aelor/Aelora and Jaehaerys/Jaehaera, both pairs used for sets of twins.

 

If I missed any names or miscounted any (going by the wiki), let me know.  Interested to hear further thoughts or comments on House Targaryen naming conventions.

Edited by All-Seeing Aye

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How about Serra and Varys?   They would be Blackfyre names, (because I'm still unsure what a Brightflame is), but the supposition is there.  

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10 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

How about Serra and Varys?   They would be Blackfyre names, (because I'm still unsure what a Brightflame is), but the supposition is there.  

Aerion Targaryen (son of Maekar) was called "Aerion Brightflame". It's unclear if his legitimate son Maegor left issue, or if he left any bastards (IIRC George suggested he had in Lys). The Brightflame and Brightfyre theories are that Faegon is descended from Aerion, either legitimately (which means he really is Aegon Targaryen, just not the one people think he is), or more likely illegitimately.

It seems reasonable enough that Aerion's bastard descendants might be called by his epithet, and if a descendent of Blackfyre formed a union with a Brightflame, a "ship name" you might use to represent that would be Brightfyre.

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You put so much work into this really nice representation of your research.   Back to the original question, do you think that either Serra or Varys fit the Targ naming conventions?  I've read plenty about Varys being possible but nothing about Serra.   What do you think? 

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14 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Below are lists of all known male and female names used in House Targaryen.  Criteria for inclusion are as follows: a trueborn male-line member of House Targaryen, thereby excluding children of female Targaryens such as Viserys Plumm, bastards such as Aegor Rivers and Brynden Rivers, and alleged bastards such as Trystane Truefyre and Gaemon Palehair.

Not sure what your justifications for those criteria are. Targaryen descendants are likely picking Valyrian/Targaryen names for their children because of the the context they were raised in. It matters not whether the child is illegitimate or the child of woman. At least not while the name used is obviously a Targaryen or Valyrian name.

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House Blackfyre members are included in parentheses because of unique claims to multi-candidate dynastic status and similar long-term naming conventions as compared to House Targaryen.

 

Considering that the Blackfyres are essentially nothing but a male Targaryen cadet branch not using the Targaryen we can essentially treat them as Targaryens.

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-Since at this time we only know the names of Targaryens going back to Aenar the Exile, it’s possible that some of the names were used with more historical frequency than as is shown here.

 

Indeed. It is not unlikely that Valarr, Matarys, Rhaegel, Aelor, Maekar, and Rhaegar are names of prominent Targaryen dragonlords of the past. They don't have to be new names at all.

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-Of the names of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne’s thirteen children, nine of them (Alyssa, Aeryn, Vaegon, Maegelle, Valerion, Viserra, Gaemon, Saera, and Gael) are never seen in the family from that point on (except for Gaemon Palehair, who was an alleged but disproven bastard claimant during the Moon of the Three Kings).  Pretty interesting, both for how many ‘new’ names they used for their children and also for how most of them have not been used subsequently.

Well, many of those children died, and others died without issue. Thus there was little reason to honor these people by naming your own children after them.

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-Names I consider ‘adopted’/non-Targaryen/non-Valyrian are Alysanne, Alyssa, Duncan, possibly Maegelle, and possibly Gael (in terms of other families/individuals using them and looking at the base word/root structure; we know, for instance, that Duncan Targaryen was named specifically for Ser Duncan the Tall, Alyssa Targaryen was probably named after her grandmother Alyssa Velaryon, and Alysanne, Maegelle, and Gael don’t seem Valyrian in origin).

'Alyssa' was used by the Velaryons, and thus it could also have been a name which was used back in Valyria. That's not confirmed, of course, but if this was the case then there could have been other Alyssa Targaryens in the past.

Maegelle and Gael both are clearly Valyrian names and could thus have been used by the Targaryens or the Velaryons in the past. Maegelle could even be seen as a female version of either Maegor or Maegon.

Alysanne seems like a variation of Alyssa to me. Aenys I seems to have been named after his parents, Aegon and Rhaenys, Maegor possibly after Maegon Targaryen, the Lord of Dragonstone. Aenys' children are clearly named after Rhaenys (Rhaena), the Conqueror (Aegon), and Visenya (Viserys). Jaehaerys I could have been named after some Velaryon ancestor considering that Jacaerys is a very common Velaryon name. But Alysanne seems to be named after her mother Alyssa if you ask me. Vaella is completely unclear.

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-The clustering of certain names is really interesting.  For instance, Aegon appears consistently across the entirety of the dynasty, almost certainly because of the familial pride in the name of the Conqueror. 

 

That isn't just a theory, it is confirmed. At least for Aegon II, Aegon III, and Aegon V. Even Rhaegar's son Prince Aegon is named after the Conqueror and not one of the other Aegons.

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In contrast, consider names like Maegor and Aenys, names for two of the worst Targaryen kings.  The only other Maegor after the Cruel is the son of Aerion Brightflame, who probably named his son as such because he’s a contrarian with delusions of power (the name itself was ‘ominous’ enough to scare off support at the Great Council of 233 AC).  The name Aenys isn’t even used again in House Targaryen proper, only in the form of Aenys Blackfyre, fifth son of Daemon I Blackfyre.

I find it odd that Jaehaerys I didn't name one of his sons after his father. There should have been at least one other Aenys. The names Maegor and Visenya clearly fell out of favor due the civil war among House Targaryen.

Viserys I isn't named after Visenya but, most likely, after Jaehaerys I's elder brother Viserys. Princess Viserra would also be named after him. And come to think of it, Viserys I could also be named after Viserra.

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Speaking of Daemon, after Daemon Targaryen, husband of Rhaenyra, the name seems to have been taboo after Daena, in honor of her grandfather, gave her bastard the name.  Certainly Daemon seems to have become the ‘default’/go-to royal name for House Blackfyre in a similar way to how Aegon became the ideal name for a king in House Targaryen.  It’s hard to imagine any Targaryen naming a son Daemon after the Blackfyre Rebellions.

Daemon was originally not a traditional Targaryen name, it seems. There were two Daemon Velaryons in the first century, after all, and Daemon Targaryen more likely than not was named after one of them.

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-Continuing with clustering of names: Baelon seems to have petered off despite having some comparative early popularity.  It’s also interesting how the generations after Daeron II seem to have brought in/created names never used before, like Valarr, Matarys, Rhaegel, and Maekar.

Baelon survived in the version of Baelor. Baelor the Blessed more likely than not was named after Prince Baelon, his great-grandfather (or after his half-aunt, Baela, who was herself named after Baelon the Brave).

Edited by Lord Varys

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You didn't mention Rhaego, but that seems to be mix of Rhaegar and Drogo, not some previously existing name.

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I'm coming to doubt the popular argument that Visenya is the feminine form of Viserys, though they're obviously related. Viserra clearly seems to be a closer analogue for Viserys. I think that Visenya became completely unpopular after Maegor, and that's why we haven't seen a closer male counterpart to the name, like Visenion, Visenyon, or Visenaerys.

For those who wonder what Rhaegar may have planned to name Jon once Visenya was out, I can see Visenion and Visenyon as workable options.

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31 minutes ago, velo-knight said:

I'm coming to doubt the popular argument that Visenya is the feminine form of Viserys, though they're obviously related. Viserra clearly seems to be a closer analogue for Viserys. I think that Visenya became completely unpopular after Maegor, and that's why we haven't seen a closer male counterpart to the name, like Visenion, Visenyon, or Visenaerys.

It seems to be the other way around. Viserys was created as a male version of the name 'Visenya'. There are no Targaryens named Viserys back on Dragonstone, making it possible that Viserys a new name created on honor Visenya in Aenys' third child.

Viserra was later not named Visenya because Jaehaerys I wanted to honor the memory of his late brother and not the evil grandaunt who might have had a hand in the death of his own father.

31 minutes ago, velo-knight said:

For those who wonder what Rhaegar may have planned to name Jon once Visenya was out, I can see Visenion and Visenyon as workable options.

I doubt Rhaegar had any intention to name his children after the Conqueror and his sister-wives. Rhaenys was a very common Targaryen name, as was Aegon. If Rhaegar suggested a name for his child by Lyanna naming him after Maester Aemon or his grandfather Jaehaerys II makes much more sense.

But Jon could actually also have been named Rhaegar if Lyanna picked a name after Rhaegar's own death.

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4 hours ago, Curled Finger said:

You put so much work into this really nice representation of your research.   Back to the original question, do you think that either Serra or Varys fit the Targ naming conventions?  I've read plenty about Varys being possible but nothing about Serra.   What do you think? 

Thanks!  In terms of Serra and Varys, I have several thoughts.  I am a firm believer that 'Aegon Targaryen' is actually (unknowingly, on his part) the son of Serra and Illyrio Mopatis, and that Serra is is probably a female-line descendant of House Blackfyre.  However, I'm not sure that her name is evidence for that.  For one thing, the name is not exclusively used in Lys (Serra Frey, for example).  It all really depends on whether the female Blackfyre line is meant to have been essentially forgotten or over time, in which case naming would be less important as signifying anything.  That said, the name Serra certainly does seem similar to Targaryen names like Viserra and Saera, and it has the double-consonant +a ending seen in the only female Blackfyre whose name we know at this time (Calla Blackfyre).  Certainly if any bastard descendants of Aerion are involved naming would be more affected (though I'm not sure if the Brightflame connection will be brought up).  In terms of Varys, according to Pycelle he was born in Lys as well.  Varys seems like a generic -rys name of Valyrian origin, and personally I could see things going either way (either a secret Blackfyre/Brighflame/Brightfyre supporter or just a ruthless utilitarian shaping his perfect prince, who just happens to be the heir to an exiled legitimized bloodline).

2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Not sure what your justifications for those criteria are. Targaryen descendants are likely picking Valyrian/Targaryen names for their children because of the the context they were raised in. It matters not whether the child is illegitimate or the child of woman. At least not while the name used is obviously a Targaryen or Valyrian name.

Well, many of those children died, and others died without issue. Thus there was little reason to honor these people by naming your own children after them.

That isn't just a theory, it is confirmed. At least for Aegon II, Aegon III, and Aegon V. Even Rhaegar's son Prince Aegon is named after the Conqueror and not one of the other Aegons.

For the purposes of this analysis I was primarily interested in House Targaryen proper, and that does not usually include descendants in the female line (with the apparent exceptions of the royal Velaryons around the time of the Great Council of 101 and the Dance, and Rhaego).  Otherwise, the analysis would have had to be broadened to include House Martell (via Daenerys), House Baratheon (via Rhaelle), etc.  I'm interested in the internal use of names within the dynasty exclusively, with House Blackfyre included because it made long-term dynastic claims and consistently mimicked Targaryen naming conventions.

The naming of bastards is a mixed bag; we also only have names from an unrepresentative sample, the bastards of Aegon IV (no info on the names of Aegon II's bastards or any of the rumored bastards of Viserys I, Aerys II, etc.)  Aegor definitely seems to be Valryian, while Brynden and Mya definitely are not (Gwenys could be).  Bellanora seems to be Braavosi, Narha I'm not sure of (Summer Islander derivative?), and Balerion is, interestingly enough, named after the Black Dread, who himself was named after the god worshipped in Valyria.  Alysanne, as you mention, may be derived from Alyssa and may be Valyrian, but Lily, Willow, and Rosey are 'common' Westerosi names.  Shiera is Valyrian.  If you buy the 'two drops of dragon's blood' story then Viserys Plumm is the only example of Aegon's known bastards having a name used elsewhere in House Targaryen.

Furthermore, whether a name is Targaryen or Valyrian in origin is less the point than how names are used within the family.  We have figures like Aegon Frey, Rhaegar Frey, Aemon Costayne, etc. where Targaryen names are adopted for use in other houses, which is interesting.

For the children of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, my point is less about honor and more noting the fact that there's a reservoir of names that just disappear from the family afterwards.  Instead, future members make new names or draw from older names.  And dying without issue is definitely not a disqualifying feature from using a name again; look at Daeron I and Baelor I, Aemon the Dragonknight as the namesake of Maester Aemon, Aerys II being named after one of the weakest kings, etc.

Yes, I know it's confirmed.  My point is that the name appears consistently across most generations in all capacities, including both all of the would-be heirs who died young or before their time (Aenys's son Aegon, Jaehaerys I's son Aegon, etc.) as well as younger sons who died young (Viserys I's son Aegon, Aerys II's son Aegon, etc.).  This is in contrast to the clustering I mentioned, such as (as you mentioned) early names like Baelon that either evolved or weren't used again.

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This is a very interesting post. I'd also like to agree that it's interesting that other houses have adopted the Targaryen names for their own children. A way of honoring the "beloved" royal family so to speak. Even more interesting that it seems like most of the honoring of the names are from House Frey. 

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1 hour ago, Emie said:

This is a very interesting post. I'd also like to agree that it's interesting that other houses have adopted the Targaryen names for their own children.

I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened more, to be honest. There's this perpetual apartness, above-ness to the Targaryens.

1 hour ago, Emie said:

 

A way of honoring the "beloved" royal family so to speak. Even more interesting that it seems like most of the honoring of the names are from House Frey. 

Eh, Walder Frey is an asskisser with an enormous family that can't all be named after him. I did find Wyman Manderly's reaction to Rhaegar Frey really interesting, though: he calls him a "smirking worm who wears a dragon's name" (ADWD, Davos IV - courtesy of A Search of Ice and Fire). Even years after the Targaryens were deposed (with the help of the Manderlys, presumably) there's still this air of inviolability around the dragonkings. My pet theory is that - despite Viserys being deluded to think there were still toasts to his health in Westeros - the Targaryen dynasty commanded a lot more respect than we readers see, that the replacement of (essentially) god-kings with a high king from amongst the Lords Paramount has caused a serious destabilization in Westeros.

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There doesn't seem to be consistency with male/female naming conventions.  Why are Jaehaerys/Jaecerys/Lucerys boys' names, yet Daenerys is a girl's name?

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7 minutes ago, maudisdottir said:

There doesn't seem to be consistency with male/female naming conventions.  Why are Jaehaerys/Jaecerys/Lucerys boys' names, yet Daenerys is a girl's name?

Perhaps some or all of those names are actually androgynous or semi-androgynous. If Dany is the PTWP that might tie into Maester Aemon's "the dragon has no sex" comment.

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10 hours ago, velo-knight said:

Aerion Targaryen (son of Maekar) was called "Aerion Brightflame". It's unclear if his legitimate son Maegor left issue, or if he left any bastards (IIRC George suggested he had in Lys). The Brightflame and Brightfyre theories are that Faegon is descended from Aerion, either legitimately (which means he really is Aegon Targaryen, just not the one people think he is), or more likely illegitimately.

It seems reasonable enough that Aerion's bastard descendants might be called by his epithet, and if a descendent of Blackfyre formed a union with a Brightflame, a "ship name" you might use to represent that would be Brightfyre.

Ah, that's excellent information.   From so many names.   Thanks Man! 

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4 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Thanks!  In terms of Serra and Varys, I have several thoughts.  I am a firm believer that 'Aegon Targaryen' is actually (unknowingly, on his part) the son of Serra and Illyrio Mopatis, and that Serra is is probably a female-line descendant of House Blackfyre.  However, I'm not sure that her name is evidence for that.  For one thing, the name is not exclusively used in Lys (Serra Frey, for example).  It all really depends on whether the female Blackfyre line is meant to have been essentially forgotten or over time, in which case naming would be less important as signifying anything.  That said, the name Serra certainly does seem similar to Targaryen names like Viserra and Saera, and it has the double-consonant +a ending seen in the only female Blackfyre whose name we know at this time (Calla Blackfyre).  Certainly if any bastard descendants of Aerion are involved naming would be more affected (though I'm not sure if the Brightflame connection will be brought up).  In terms of Varys, according to Pycelle he was born in Lys as well.  Varys seems like a generic -rys name of Valyrian origin, and personally I could see things going either way (either a secret Blackfyre/Brighflame/Brightfyre supporter or just a ruthless utilitarian shaping his perfect prince, who just happens to be the heir to an exiled legitimized bloodline).

For the purposes of this analysis I was primarily interested in House Targaryen proper, and that does not usually include descendants in the female line (with the apparent exceptions of the royal Velaryons around the time of the Great Council of 101 and the Dance, and Rhaego).  Otherwise, the analysis would have had to be broadened to include House Martell (via Daenerys), House Baratheon (via Rhaelle), etc.  I'm interested in the internal use of names within the dynasty exclusively, with House Blackfyre included because it made long-term dynastic claims and consistently mimicked Targaryen naming conventions.

The naming of bastards is a mixed bag; we also only have names from an unrepresentative sample, the bastards of Aegon IV (no info on the names of Aegon II's bastards or any of the rumored bastards of Viserys I, Aerys II, etc.)  Aegor definitely seems to be Valryian, while Brynden and Mya definitely are not (Gwenys could be).  Bellanora seems to be Braavosi, Narha I'm not sure of (Summer Islander derivative?), and Balerion is, interestingly enough, named after the Black Dread, who himself was named after the god worshipped in Valyria.  Alysanne, as you mention, may be derived from Alyssa and may be Valyrian, but Lily, Willow, and Rosey are 'common' Westerosi names.  Shiera is Valyrian.  If you buy the 'two drops of dragon's blood' story then Viserys Plumm is the only example of Aegon's known bastards having a name used elsewhere in House Targaryen.

How utterly informative.   This is great information and a fascinating discussion.   Thank you for addressing my silly question and sillier lack of intel regarding Brightflame, et al.   I meant to ask about Sheira possibly being related to the name Serra.   In the real world names such as Sophia, Sonia and Sandra (in all their many spellings and derivatives) stem from the name Cassandra.   At least that's what I've read anyway.  Thanks so much.   

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23 minutes ago, Curled Finger said:

How utterly informative.   This is great information and a fascinating discussion.   Thank you for addressing my silly question and sillier lack of intel regarding Brightflame, et al.   I meant to ask about Sheira possibly being related to the name Serra.   In the real world names such as Sophia, Sonia and Sandra (in all their many spellings and derivatives) stem from the name Cassandra.   At least that's what I've read anyway.  Thanks so much.   

After thinking about it some more, there actually seems to be some ambiguity about the name Shiera. On the one hand, her mother Serenei is from Lys and would therefore know the Lysene dialect of Valyrian.  We know from one of GRRM's SSMs that her name means 'star of the sea'.  On the other hand, in ACOK Dany learns that the Dothraki are calling the red comet 'shierak qiya', which means 'bleeding star' in Dothraki.  So it seems that Shiera etymologically refers to 'star'.  I don't think (someone correct me if I'm incorrect) that Dothraki and Valyrian are meant to be directly related, so either it's a loan word or a simple language oversight on GRRM's part.  I certainly don't think Aegon and Serenei would want their daughter named in the Dothraki language.

With Shiera there's a further complication in that there's a Shiera Blackwood who lived before the Conquest.  Either there was more long-distance linguistic interaction than we thought, the name arose separately in multiple regions, or it's just an oversight on GRRM's part

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12 minutes ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

After thinking about it some more, there actually seems to be some ambiguity about the name Shiera. On the one hand, her mother Serenei is from Lys and would therefore know the Lysene dialect of Valyrian.  We know from one of GRRM's SSMs that her name means 'star of the sea'.  On the other hand, in ACOK Dany learns that the Dothraki are calling the red comet 'shierak qiya', which means 'bleeding star' in Dothraki.  So it seems that Shiera etymologically refers to 'star'.  I don't think (someone correct me if I'm incorrect) that Dothraki and Valyrian are meant to be directly related, so either it's a loan word or a simple language oversight on GRRM's part.  I certainly don't think Aegon and Serenei would want their daughter named in the Dothraki language.

With Shiera there's a further complication in that there's a Shiera Blackwood who lived before the Conquest.  Either there was more long-distance linguistic interaction than we thought, the name arose separately in multiple regions, or it's just an oversight on GRRM's part

It's quite possible that different Valyrian colonies created their own "flavor" of names due to their diverging dialects/languages; it happens in real life.  John, Johann, and Sean are all different forms of the same Biblical name.  That is, Shiera could be the Lyseni version of Shaera, just as Sean is the Irish form of John, just as Jacaerys is the Velaryon form of Jaehaerys, etc. 

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Eh, Walder Frey is an asskisser with an enormous family that can't all be named after him.

Haha! Yeah that's true. Good point velo-knight. I also agree that possibly most Valyrian names are gender neutral. 

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20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Thanks!  In terms of Serra and Varys, I have several thoughts.  I am a firm believer that 'Aegon Targaryen' is actually (unknowingly, on his part) the son of Serra and Illyrio Mopatis, and that Serra is is probably a female-line descendant of House Blackfyre.  However, I'm not sure that her name is evidence for that.  For one thing, the name is not exclusively used in Lys (Serra Frey, for example).  It all really depends on whether the female Blackfyre line is meant to have been essentially forgotten or over time, in which case naming would be less important as signifying anything.  That said, the name Serra certainly does seem similar to Targaryen names like Viserra and Saera, and it has the double-consonant +a ending seen in the only female Blackfyre whose name we know at this time (Calla Blackfyre).  Certainly if any bastard descendants of Aerion are involved naming would be more affected (though I'm not sure if the Brightflame connection will be brought up).  In terms of Varys, according to Pycelle he was born in Lys as well.  Varys seems like a generic -rys name of Valyrian origin, and personally I could see things going either way (either a secret Blackfyre/Brighflame/Brightfyre supporter or just a ruthless utilitarian shaping his perfect prince, who just happens to be the heir to an exiled legitimized bloodline).

We don't have to go with Serra being a Targaryen/Blackfyre descendant. It is enough if Illyrio has Blackfyre ancestors. Serra could just have been a whore with Valyrian looks they used to create a Valyrian-looking child.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

For the purposes of this analysis I was primarily interested in House Targaryen proper, and that does not usually include descendants in the female line (with the apparent exceptions of the royal Velaryons around the time of the Great Council of 101 and the Dance, and Rhaego).  Otherwise, the analysis would have had to be broadened to include House Martell (via Daenerys), House Baratheon (via Rhaelle), etc.  I'm interested in the internal use of names within the dynasty exclusively, with House Blackfyre included because it made long-term dynastic claims and consistently mimicked Targaryen naming conventions.

Well, the question there is who chooses the names. As the Freys with Targaryen names (and princes with very non-Valyrian names like Joffrey or Duncan) attest pretty much everyone can have a Targaryen or a non-Targaryen name. The Targaryens were usually named by their father or grandfather; many of the bastards seem to have been named by their mothers.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

The naming of bastards is a mixed bag; we also only have names from an unrepresentative sample, the bastards of Aegon IV (no info on the names of Aegon II's bastards or any of the rumored bastards of Viserys I, Aerys II, etc.)  Aegor definitely seems to be Valryian, while Brynden and Mya definitely are not (Gwenys could be).  Bellanora seems to be Braavosi, Narha I'm not sure of (Summer Islander derivative?), and Balerion is, interestingly enough, named after the Black Dread, who himself was named after the god worshipped in Valyria. 

Aegor seems to have been named by Aegon IV, but Melissa seems to have named all of her children, as did Merry Meg. Bellegere also seems to have named all her children by Aegon, Balerion included.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Alysanne, as you mention, may be derived from Alyssa and may be Valyrian, but Lily, Willow, and Rosey are 'common' Westerosi names.  Shiera is Valyrian.  If you buy the 'two drops of dragon's blood' story then Viserys Plumm is the only example of Aegon's known bastards having a name used elsewhere in House Targaryen.

Viserys Plumm would have been named by his mother, Princess Elaena. Her husband Ossifer Plumm did live to see the birth of the child, after all.

Usually Targaryens marrying into other families usually don't give their children traditional Targaryen names unless they can. For instance, Rhaelle Targaryen's son and grandson all have non-Valyrian names.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Furthermore, whether a name is Targaryen or Valyrian in origin is less the point than how names are used within the family.  We have figures like Aegon Frey, Rhaegar Frey, Aemon Costayne, etc. where Targaryen names are adopted for use in other houses, which is interesting.

That's not strange at all.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

For the children of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, my point is less about honor and more noting the fact that there's a reservoir of names that just disappear from the family afterwards.  Instead, future members make new names or draw from older names.  And dying without issue is definitely not a disqualifying feature from using a name again; look at Daeron I and Baelor I, Aemon the Dragonknight as the namesake of Maester Aemon, Aerys II being named after one of the weakest kings, etc.

Daeron I and Baelor I were both kings. Valerion, Gaemon, Aeryn, or Vaegon Targaryen weren't kings.

You also have to keep in mind after whom Aerys II was named. Aerys I was Egg's uncle, and Aerys II was his first grandson. Egg named his three sons after his best friend, the greatest Targaryen king, and either his elder brother or his grandfather. Naming his eldest grandson after his royal uncle isn't far-fetched. Especially if he got along with him pretty well later in his reign. Aerys I may have looked like a weak king but this doesn't mean that Egg didn't learn a lot from her or greatly draw on the knowledge and wisdom the man collected during his reign.

20 hours ago, All-Seeing Aye said:

Yes, I know it's confirmed.  My point is that the name appears consistently across most generations in all capacities, including both all of the would-be heirs who died young or before their time (Aenys's son Aegon, Jaehaerys I's son Aegon, etc.) as well as younger sons who died young (Viserys I's son Aegon, Aerys II's son Aegon, etc.).  This is in contrast to the clustering I mentioned, such as (as you mentioned) early names like Baelon that either evolved or weren't used again.

That certainly is true. But then, Aegon is the name of the founder of the royal dynasty of Westeros. Giving that name to your eldest son and heir looks like the best thing to do. If Baelon the Brave had been king his name might have gotten more popular. But with him dying a prince he would have been forgotten much more quickly than if he would have been on some list of kings.

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