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Dissecting Names

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52 minutes ago, Pikachu101 said:

Jon's surname is Snow because George based him on Snow White; dark hair, pale skin, father's wife hates them, animal companion, secret royal, friends with a group of misfits etc. Makes perfect sense! ;)

Add to that he is also a dwarf friend and will die but be resurrected by a princess.

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1 hour ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Add to that he is also a dwarf friend and will die but be resurrected by a princess.

Gosh, imagine if part of his resurrection process involves a kiss. We know it is a thing in ASOIAF, after all. :D

3 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

Well stanger is the god of death as we all know. She may yet brind death to someone(Shireen?) But Val and perhaps Dalla may actually be a strangers to the wildlings themselves.

4

Well, that would fit nicely into your Val = Valonqar theory, aha. Heck, maybe she's the YMBQ to-boot.

On 25/11/2017 at 11:35 AM, Pikachu101 said:

Why do you guys think George spelt names so unusually? Also I don't think Targ names can be dissected because it looks like he made them up :dunno:

Probably to make them seem exotic and unusual? With the Targ names, again, I find writing them how they sound can sometimes help.

So, Aerys could be an inventive way of spelling "Ares" - as in the Greek God of War - which in itself I believe means something along the lines of "destruction".

Daenerys has Nerys in it, which is Welsh for "Noblewoman" and possibly the "Dae" part is an inventive way of spelling "Dei" (divine). Another less pleasant interpretation is that it is a reimagining of the name Deianira, who is Greek myth accidentally killed her husband, Heracles. The "Deia" aspect at least means "destroyer" or something along those lines.

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10 hours ago, Faera said:

Gosh, imagine if part of his resurrection process involves a kiss. We know it is a thing in ASOIAF, after all. :D

Well, that would fit nicely into your Val = Valonqar theory, aha. Heck, maybe she's the YMBQ to-boot.

 

I can see Val becoming a queen, whether Night's Queen for King Jon of the Night's Watch or the Queen of the North / Queen of Winter.

But Jon still needs a princess' kiss to be resurrected and while everyone names Val a princess, unless there's something we don't know about her that makes a princess, she is no true princess so no kisses by Val for resurrection. We have another princess at the Wall though...

 

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Probably to make them seem exotic and unusual? With the Targ names, again, I find writing them how they sound can sometimes help.

So, Aerys could be an inventive way of spelling "Ares" - as in the Greek God of War - which in itself I believe means something along the lines of "destruction".

Daenerys has Nerys in it, which is Welsh for "Noblewoman" and possibly the "Dae" part is an inventive way of spelling "Dei" (divine). Another less pleasant interpretation is that it is a reimagining of the name Deianira, who is Greek myth accidentally killed her husband, Heracles. The "Deia" aspect at least means "destroyer" or something along those lines.

 I can see this being the origin of her name, "accidentally" killing Drogo and the possibility of her husband also suffering some "accident" soon in the story.

If Rhaella + Arthur Dayne = Danaerys isn't true and Danaerys' name isn't an anagram of Ser Dayne, of course :P

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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17 hours ago, Faera said:

Aerys could be an inventive way of spelling "Ares" - as in the Greek God of War

Good observation, Aerys also sounds like Eris the goddess of discord and strife

 

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22 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

But Jon still needs a princess' kiss to be resurrected and while everyone names Val a princess, unless there's something we don't know about her that makes a princess, she is no true princess so no kisses by Val for resurrection. We have another princess at the Wall though...

1

Speaking of whom, Shireen is a real name even spelt as is. I actually went to school with a Shireen. From my understanding, it simply means "sweet", which suits her in an ironic way as she is a very sad and pitiful child yet quite endearing.

22 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

 I can see this being the origin of her name, "accidentally" killing Drogo and the possibility of her husband also suffering some "accident" soon in the story.

 

Incidentally, the Deianira story ends with Heracles's massive funeral pyre in which his mortal flesh is finally burned away and he ascends to Olympus, finally a god (I think). So, there is a little connection there too.

22 hours ago, Corvo the Crow said:

If Rhaella + Arthur Dayne = Danaerys isn't true and Danaerys' name isn't an anagram of Ser Dayne, of course :P

Just thinking about that as a possibility makes me cringe. Like saying that Daenerys is Ashara's daughter because her name has "Daene" in it and that could be connected to "Dayne".

Of the Targaryen names, I'd say the hardest ones for me to level out in my head are the Vis- names. On the one hand, it could be a straight lift from "vis-" in Latin, which I think means "action" or "active force" (as in "vis major" = Act of God) but it just doesn't feel right. We really don't have names that start with a "Vis". -_- We could expand it to "Wis" so, maybe... it is linked to "Wise"? 

Meh, not too happy with either idea. Anyone wants to jump in with better ideas, go for it!

In the meantime, I'm going to pull my head out over some non-Targaryen names. Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers is a good a place to start, since he is half-Targaryen but has an easier name to figure out. On the face of it, GRRM was probably using a creative spelling for the name "Brendan", which is a Welsh/Irish/Gaelic name meaning "prince". The spelling of "Bryn" might invoke allusions to the root word for "brine" (bryne = salt liquor, salt water) or possibly "bryne" as in "burn, to burn", funnily enough. The name Brandon might be an Anglicised variation of "Brendan" that derived independently from the Welsh association of "Bran" with the crow or raven (the name Brandon itself has several independent roots). Thus, it might be the same of the two names in the WOIAF, that Brynden and Brandon are regional differences of the same name. It also draws parallels between the two as characters (a part of me has always wondered if Bran’s end game was to live a life parallel to Bloodraven’s, but in reverse).

People have done the name Bran to death with its associations with the aforementioned "raven" and "crow", as well as the possible allusion to the bran on corn, grain etc. or the play on the word "brand" as in "sword" (The Burning Brandon and all that). I don't know if there is anything much more I can add. It is a symbolic character with a suitably symbolic name.

Turning to Bran's companions, I don't know what angle to come at with Jojen. Everything about his name screams “hypocorism” to me so it is hard for me to figure out what angle to come at with it. I have a few ideas but nothing I'm confident in whatsoever — I’m going to think about this and come back to it. :dunno:

Meera has the opposite problem; its variations sprawl across several languages making the many possible roots overwhelming, especially when taking the alternative spelling "Mira" into account. Of its many associations there is "wonder", "happy/joy", "horse", "light", "peaceful", "pure", "sea"... and so on.

Personally, I think the name was picked for the following reasons: 

First, it might be a play on the word "mire", the type of wetland terrain from which the character hails.

Second, it might be phonetically alluding to the adjective "mere" = small, or the noun "mere" = poetic term for water, especially relating to (yet again) ponds, lakes, marshes, fens and moors. Earthy and watery associations abound.

Third, combining the "mire" and "mere" suggestions above, it might be that the choice to spell her name with a "meer" as opposed to "mir" was to connect it to the root word for "mere", which is "meer" = sea.

As a bonus, one of the many roots for "Mira" could be Mary or Miriam, both thought to come from the Ancient Egyptian word for "love" these days. However, a sea association popped up in old name books, too, such as "sea of sorrow", "bitter sea" or sometimes "star of the sea" gets thrown around, especially for Miriam. So, the water allusions do tie nicely back into the various word plays stated originally.

Edited by Faera

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3 hours ago, Pikachu101 said:

Good observation, Aerys also sounds like Eris the goddess of discord and strife

 

Weren't Aerys and Eris brother and sister or something in Greek myth? Either way, the allusions to these more destructive gods suits the mad king well. ^_^

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20 hours ago, Faera said:

Speaking of whom, Shireen is a real name even spelt as is. I actually went to school with a Shireen. From my understanding, it simply means "sweet", which suits her in an ironic way as she is a very sad and pitiful child yet quite endearing.

Incidentally, the Deianira story ends with Heracles's massive funeral pyre in which his mortal flesh is finally burned away and he ascends to Olympus, finally a god (I think). So, there is a little connection there too.

Just thinking about that as a possibility makes me cringe. Like saying that Daenerys is Ashara's daughter because her name has "Daene" in it and that could be connected to "Dayne".

Of the Targaryen names, I'd say the hardest ones for me to level out in my head are the Vis- names. On the one hand, it could be a straight lift from "vis-" in Latin, which I think means "action" or "active force" (as in "vis major" = Act of God) but it just doesn't feel right. We really don't have names that start with a "Vis". -_- We could expand it to "Wis" so, maybe... it is linked to "Wise"? 

Meh, not too happy with either idea. Anyone wants to jump in with better ideas, go for it!

In the meantime, I'm going to pull my head out over some non-Targaryen names. Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers is a good a place to start, since he is half-Targaryen but has an easier name to figure out. On the face of it, GRRM was probably using a creative spelling for the name "Brendan", which is a Welsh/Irish/Gaelic name meaning "prince". The spelling of "Bryn" might invoke allusions to the root word for "brine" (bryne = salt liquor, salt water) or possibly "bryne" as in "burn, to burn", funnily enough. The name Brandon might be an Anglicised variation of "Brendan" that derived independently from the Welsh association of "Bran" with the crow or raven (the name Brandon itself has several independent roots). Thus, it might be the same of the two names in the WOIAF, that Brynden and Brandon are regional differences of the same name. It also draws parallels between the two as characters (a part of me has always wondered if Bran’s end game was to live a life parallel to Bloodraven’s, but in reverse).

People have done the name Bran to death with its associations with the aforementioned "raven" and "crow", as well as the possible allusion to the bran on corn, grain etc. or the play on the word "brand" as in "sword" (The Burning Brandon and all that). I don't know if there is anything much more I can add. It is a symbolic character with a suitably symbolic name.

Turning to Bran's companions, I don't know what angle to come at with Jojen. Everything about his name screams “hypocorism” to me so it is hard for me to figure out what angle to come at with it. I have a few ideas but nothing I'm confident in whatsoever — I’m going to think about this and come back to it. :dunno:

Meera has the opposite problem; its variations sprawl across several languages making the many possible roots overwhelming, especially when taking the alternative spelling "Mira" into account. Of its many associations there is "wonder", "happy/joy", "horse", "light", "peaceful", "pure", "sea"... and so on.

Personally, I think the name was picked for the following reasons: 

First, it might be a play on the word "mire", the type of wetland terrain from which the character hails.

Second, it might be phonetically alluding to the adjective "mere" = small, or the noun "mere" = poetic term for water, especially relating to (yet again) ponds, lakes, marshes, fens and moors. Earthy and watery associations abound.

Third, combining the "mire" and "mere" suggestions above, it might be that the choice to spell her name with a "meer" as opposed to "mir" was to connect it to the root word for "mere", which is "meer" = sea.

As a bonus, one of the many roots for "Mira" could be Mary or Miriam, both thought to come from the Ancient Egyptian word for "love" these days. However, a sea association popped up in old name books, too, such as "sea of sorrow", "bitter sea" or sometimes "star of the sea" gets thrown around, especially for Miriam. So, the water allusions do tie nicely back into the various word plays stated originally.

Can't respond to most at the moment but your mention of Aerys earlier and now Vis got me thinking, could Viserys be Vis+Aerys?

On few other Targaryen names, we have, for example, Rhaella, Rhaegar, Rhaenys all starting with Rhae- and Viserys, Visenya starting with Vis-, along with the dragon Viserion, and Maegor and Maegon starting with Mae- We have also Aegor, Aerys, Aenys. Aegon fitting with the above names.

 

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Elia means "my god is Jehova" does this mean anything? If we link it to Lyanna and Jon's names, is George trying to say something... :dunno: 

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2 hours ago, Pikachu101 said:

Elia means "my god is Jehova" does this mean anything? If we link it to Lyanna and Jon's names, is George trying to say something... :dunno: 

Yep, it is the feminine form of Elijah. Not sure what he would be saying with that, though. He could have been playing with the "Eli" aspect, which can simply mean "my God" or "ascent" (as with Eli). It could also be connected to the Roman gens Aelia (Ailia), as well. That probably comes from a Latinisation of the Greek word "helios" (sun).

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50 minutes ago, Faera said:

He could have been playing with the "Eli" aspect, which can simply mean "my God"

Well it is peculiar how all three of their names are linked with God; Elia is literally “my God”, Lyanna is God’s answer, and Jon is God’s gift. I hope I’m not looking too much into this because this connection between the three names is really interesting. 

55 minutes ago, Faera said:

It could also be connected to the Roman gens Aelia (Ailia), as well. That probably comes from a Latinisation of the Greek word "helios" (sun).

You might be right there, Aelia means sun and the symbol of Dorne is a sun. But I really like the God connection with Elia’s name, who knows maybe it’s both. 

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14 hours ago, Pikachu101 said:

Well it is peculiar how all three of their names are linked with God; Elia is literally “my God”, Lyanna is God’s answer, and Jon is God’s gift. I hope I’m not looking too much into this because this connection between the three names is really interesting. 

This reminds me of a quote in AFFC;

Quote

Many a night she had watched Prince Rhaegar in the hall, playing his silver-stringed harp with those long, elegant fingers of his. Had any man ever been so beautiful? He was more than a man though. His blood was the blood of old Valyria, the blood of dragons and gods.

Interpreted loosely, the Targs come from the gods, which would include Rhaegar. 

Lazy Leo also mentioned an age for heroes and gods coming up in the AFFC prologue. 

Edited by Widow's Watch

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Roland Storm, bastard of Nightsong probably got his name from The Song of Roland.

Roland was the lord of the Breton Marches. In medieval stories he became the chief paladin of Charlemagne.

Lords of House Caron also style themselves lord of the marches.

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Let's do Mance. His surname is self-explanatory and is done so in the books, given to him because he was born in the midst of a raid on a wildling camp. The name 'Mance' could be from the Latin "manus" meaning 'good' and deriving from the name Manius or it could be related to the Latin word, "mancus", meaning 'defective' or 'maimed'.

Another fun possibility is that it was inspired by the word "mansed" (from the Middle English word "a'manse" ) = To absol, curse, damn or excommunicate.

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4 hours ago, Faera said:

Let's do Mance. His surname is self-explanatory and is done so in the books, given to him because he was born in the midst of a raid on a wildling camp. The name 'Mance' could be from the Latin "manus" meaning 'good' and deriving from the name Manius or it could be related to the Latin word, "mancus", meaning 'defective' or 'maimed'.

Another fun possibility is that it was inspired by the word "mansed" (from the Middle English word "a'manse" ) = To absol, curse, damn or excommunicate.

In my head Mance was always something along the lines of Mannis, don't know why though:unsure:

 With you mentioning Rayder, it occured to me, some "i"s are turned into "y"s but not all. I am curious, is there any specific reason for it besides flavor?

 

Robb is dimunitive form of Robert, which means "shining glory". Robin/Robyn is also a dimunitive form of Robert, but Robyn is also a small brown bird with a red breast.  I wonder if the little bird will fly. Through a moon door perhaps?

 

Edited by Corvo the Crow

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40 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

In my head Mance was always something along the lines of Mannis, don't know why though:unsure:

 

Mannis means = "Great", so it's similar to Manus, in that regard.

It is also a well-known meme about a very well-known character in that-which-shall-not-be-named.
 

40 minutes ago, Corvo the Crow said:

 With you mentioning Rayder, it occured to me, some "i"s are turned into "y"s but not all. I am curious, is there any specific reason for it besides flavor?

2

Not really, it is probably just stylistic. In Middle English, "y" is frequently used in place of what would be an "i" in modern English. I'm fairly certain I have seen "rayd" offered as a pre-standardised spelling of "raid" in the Oxford English Dictionary. The only other thing I can offer is that "raid" is also the Scotts word for "road" -- but the book makes it clear he was named for the synonym of "incursion".

At a stretch, maybe it is supposed to invoke the Old English word, 'raeden', which is where the word 'read' derives from.  I don't really think it has anything to do with Rayder at all.

"Raeden" had a lot of uses, meaning, "to advise, to discuss, to deliberate, to rule etc." as well as "to help, to solve (of riddles or problems), to interpret etc." Needless to say, I think this links much better to the characters with the House name "Reed" as a neat double meaning -- the plant and the OE word 'raeden'.

Edited by Faera

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4 minutes ago, Faera said:

Mannis means = "Great", so it's similar to Manus, in that regard.

It is also a well-known meme about a very well-known character in that-which-shall-not-be-named.

Yes abomination was where I got the mannis from but I'm still unsure how I connected the two of them ^_^

4 minutes ago, Faera said:

Not really, it is probably just stylistic. In Middle English, "y" is frequently used in place of what would be an "i" in modern English. I'm fairly certain I have seen "rayd" offered as a pre-standardised spelling of "raid" in the Oxford English Dictionary. The only other thing I can offer is that "raid" is also the Scotts word for "road" -- but the book makes it clear he was named for the synonym of "incursion".

Could it be that "common tongue" is also getting standardised with the appearance of septons and maesters?

4 minutes ago, Faera said:

At a stretch, maybe it is supposed to invoke the Old English word, 'raeden', which is where the word 'read' derives from.  I don't really think it has anything to do with Rayder at all.

"Raeden" had a lot of uses, meaning, "to advise, to discuss, to deliberate, to rule etc." as well as "to help, to solve (of riddles or problems), to interpret etc." Needless to say, I think this links much better to the characters with the House name "Reed" as a neat double meaning -- the plant and the OE word 'raeden'.

It is interesting; I opened a thread some months ago on Mance somehow being very knowledgable on military stuff, so I think it may be possible.

 

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10 hours ago, Faera said:

The name 'Mance' could be from the Latin "manus" meaning 'good' 

That's very interesting! My mother tongue is protuguese where the word "manso" sounds a lot like Mance. Manso comes from the Latin root "manus" and it means "acusttumed with the hand". The translations would be something like docile, meek, gentle. It's used specially for dogs and wild animals. Every time you approach an animal you don't know you'd ask the owener: "is it manso?" as a way to know if you can come close to it without being attacked. 

That's very ironic to me. Could it mean Mance Rayder is a docile raider? That he's not so wild after all? 

Edited by Lady Dacey

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Stark= "Brave one" or "Strong One"

Brandon = "Of the Beacon Hill"

So Brandon Stark could be translated as "Brave One of the Beacon Hill"

Almost like, the bravest one of some House Hightower, chosen to fight the Long Night as the Last Hero.

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