Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Bing

Last names

Recommended Posts

Why is Dany Stormborn? Its a cool last name, but Targaryen is much more badass. Also if a commoner in the north has a bastard would they be givin the name snow, or are bastard names reserved for noble bastards?

"Stormborn" is not a last name, it's just a moniker she gave herself because her mother gave birth to her during a storm on Dragonstone (or something like that).

"Snow" is a last name only for bastards of high birth. Commoners born out of wedlock don't need a last name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So does anyone know, if there's some consistent rule to how last names are made? Can smallfolk just assume whatever name they like? I'm guessing people had no form of identification other than their face and arms anyway, so it wouldn't be difficult.

You have to bear in mind that in Westeros (or in any medieval setting) there is no Civil Registry or any Naming institue. In most cases, as you suggest, the smallfolk can assume whatever name they like. If mister Pate wants to be known as Pate Goodlover or Pate Bulleater he can ask to be called that way (another thing is whether people will follow the trend or not).

Usually, smallfolk won't have any need for a surname, but sometimes they will. Most times it'll be when there are more people with the same name in the surrounds, that a "surname" will eventually be made up. A good example of how surnames are created takes place in A Sworn Sword, were Dunk and Egg have the challenge of differentiating between a group of men with the name Wat.

Having three Wats in the company caused confusion (...). "We should give them village names, ser", Egg suggested, "like Ser Arlan of Pennytree, your old master". That might have worked, only their villages had no names, either. "Well", said Egg, "we could call them for their crops, ser". One village sat amongst bean fields, one planted mostly barleycorn, and the third cultivated rows of cabbages, carrots, onions, turnips, and melons. No one wanted to be a Cabbage or a Turnip, so the last lot became the Melons. They ended up with four Barleycorns, two Melons, and two Beans. As the brothers Wat were both Barleycorns, some further distinction was required. When the younger brother made mention of once having fallen down the village well, Bennis dubbed him "Wet Wat", and that was that. The men were thrilled to have been given "lord's names", save for Big Rob, who could not seem to remember whether he was a Bean or a Barleycorn.

An exception of the general rule "anyone can takes the name they want" is the use of noble names. The aforementioned Pate could be the "goodlover" or the "bulleater", but even if there's no naming registry he should be warned against using the name Pate Lannister. Because using the name of a noble family implies some claim to their title (even if feble), and the actual members of the family might get angry at this.

Just something similar to this that I've been wondering about is what last name do the children of bastards have? For example, if Jon Snow were to have a legitimate child it wouldn't have the bastard name of Snow, so would it have the name of Stark, or the name of the mother, or what?

The appendix of House Frey gives us the answer to this question. The bastard Walder Rivers has sons whose surnames are still Rivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're either thinking of Aurane Waters, who is a bastard and commands the royal fleet or Rennifer Longwaters who is descended from Jon Waters and works in the Red Keep's dungeon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The appendix of House Frey gives us the answer to this question. The bastard Walder Rivers has sons whose surnames are still Rivers.

What I think LordBloodraven forgot is that the mark of the bastard is a terrible thing to have in a noble family. If that noble family never had regards for their bastard son why would they ever legitimize their bastard son's brood? I imagine that the Lords and Ladies value the life of such even more because it has even less trace of 'them' within.

My question is how far would a bastard name hold? If and Snow has a Snow who has a few Snows who in turn have Snows when does it end? Do they unite and start their own House? I was under them impression that a bastard name still had meager weight as it marked you as being part of some more or less important House or else they'd never of named you in the first place. But the main branch wouldn't want any hanger ons so they must cast them out eventually.

It was cool seeing a quote from Sworn Swords, only ever read the comic book. Thanks.

Those sons of Walder Rivers might decide to pick up a name for themselves, though. Like that guy Aurane Longwaters (?) in the books, who was mentioned to be descended from some guy with the bastard name Waters.

It's a play on a bastard name but it still doesn't remove itself from the connotation of waters. I guess as you move further down the bastard line you might even find yourself among the smallfolk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is how far would a bastard name hold? If and Snow has a Snow who has a few Snows who in turn have Snows when does it end? Do they unite and start their own House? I was under them impression that a bastard name still had meager weight as it marked you as being part of some more or less important House or else they'd never of named you in the first place. But the main branch wouldn't want any hanger ons so they must cast them out eventually.

As you suggest, we can reasonably assume that the bastard surname would remanin in use as long as it was usefult, that is, as long as the bastard line had actual realationship with the actual nobility.

Let's say Lord Royce fathers Jon Stone. He will be raised in some noble houshold. Later Jon's sons might serve as household guards, or stewards, for Lord Royce's heir. Perhaps the grandons would need to look for fortune as hedge knights. But at one time those "stones" will have no one on the Royce family who admits any kind of kinship to them, and the surname will be useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That makes more than enough sense.

Because being linked to the family, bastard or not, allows for some entitlement.

What were the Blackfyres compromised off apart from Daemon(Daeron?) who was legitimized by his dad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you suggest, we can reasonably assume that the bastard surname would remanin in use as long as it was usefult, that is, as long as the bastard line had actual realationship with the actual nobility.

Let's say Lord Royce fathers Jon Stone. He will be raised in some noble houshold. Later Jon's sons might serve as household guards, or stewards, for Lord Royce's heir. Perhaps the grandons would need to look for fortune as hedge knights. But at one time those "stones" will have no one on the Royce family who admits any kind of kinship to them, and the surname will be useless.

Yeah, this is pretty much how I imagined it. Bastards and their children might still hold some status, but sooner or later down the line, the bastard's descendants will either lose their ties to the nobility altogether, or (less commonly) become legitimate nobles through marriage, knighthood, or a minor lordship. To a lesser extent, the same holds true for any legitimate descendants of a Lord who are low in the line of inheritance, though they're much more likely to be granted lands somewhere or married off to some other noble house.

What I think LordBloodraven forgot is that the mark of the bastard is a terrible thing to have in a noble family. If that noble family never had regards for their bastard son why would they ever legitimize their bastard son's brood? I imagine that the Lords and Ladies value the life of such even more because it has even less trace of 'them' within.

I think you misunderstood what he was saying. He wasn't referring to legitimitzed children of bastards, he was referring to legitimate children of bastards, i.e. children who are born in wedlock to a bastard parent. Not that it really matters, there's no real penalty for being a "double" bastard and no real benefit to being a "trueborn" Snow or Rivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you misunderstood what he was saying. He wasn't referring to legitimitzed children of bastards, he was referring to legitimate children of bastards, i.e. children who are born in wedlock to a bastard parent. Not that it really matters, there's no real penalty for being a "double" bastard and no real benefit to being a "trueborn" Snow or Rivers.

I honestly believe that they would consider the child of a bastard just as bad as the bastard even if the child is born legitimately because that child is still coming from tainted stock insofar as the worldview of nobles is concerned.

From what we've seen there is a common belief that bastards are a sort of abomination and are inherently bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait...you said that a commoner's kid out of wedlock doesn't matter, but kids of bastards have names. How are kids of bastards not commoners

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've also seen bastards becoming major knights and sometimes stewards in their fathers' households, and even stand to challenge a distant relative for their fathers' seats.

- Ser Rolland Storm, bastard of Lord Byron Caron, and commanding a ship for him at Blackwater, and eventually the garrison at Dragonstone. Said to be pretender to his father's seat, in the absence of any living heirs.

- Ser Cedrik Storm, bastard of Lord Ralph Buckler of Bronzegate, who jousts in tourneys against Ser Barristan Badass.

- Garse and Garrett Flowers, two Goldcloak recruits to get their father, Garth Tyrell for Master of Coin under Tywin's second Handship.

- Ser Robert Flowers, a bastard admitted to the Kingsguard at some point in the uncertain past.

That's all I could find on short notice, but it looks like simply being a bastard doesn't necessarily diminish your opportunities for success and even knighthood in Westeros. Of course, it's all on a case-by-case basis. Benjen remarks to Jon that other bastards can often become masters-of-arms or sit on a lord or the King's Small Council, in addition to gaining honors in combat and tourneys.

Jon Snow's experience is definitely an anomaly; other bastards might be raised separately by a household, or be kept out in a village or with the servants before they're given any kind of training. Instead, he was raised the same manner as the legitimate Starks and given every opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon Snow's experience is definitely an anomaly; other bastards might be raised separately by a household, or be kept out in a village or with the servants before they're given any kind of training. Instead, he was raised the same manner as the legitimate Starks and given every opportunity.

That's pretty much what Roose Bolton does with Ramsay. He provides for his bastard, but has nothing to do with him otherwise. Roose seems likely to have done exactly what was thought to be the correct thing, no more, no less.

That's all I could find on short notice, but it looks like simply being a bastard doesn't necessarily diminish your opportunities for success and even knighthood in Westeros. Of course, it's all on a case-by-case basis. Benjen remarks to Jon that other bastards can often become masters-of-arms or sit on a lord or the King's Small Council, in addition to gaining honors in combat and tourneys.

I think that's the wrong way to phrase it. It absolutely diminishes your oppurtunities. The examples we have of bastards rising to high positions are all unique circumstances.

Just like in actual medievel Europe, where William the Bastard became Duke of Normandy because there wasn't any other plausible heir. He also had a powerful uncle who was a Bishop and thus unable to take the ducal throne himself. William was lucky to survive to become a great soldier and was able to defeat his Norman lords and nearby rivals, putting himself in charge of Normandy.

Then he was lucky enough to invade England at just the right time and was able to defeat Harold Godwinson and he's a king, despite being the duke's bastard son with the daughter of a tanner. That's the kind of longshot things that need to happen.

War and fighting are always great levelers in Westeros as in the real world. Knighthood is extended to anyone who proves worthy of it, along with a lot of people who get it because their daddies are lords. If Samwell Tarly had a more conventional dad, we'd have had Ser Samwell running around the reach, fainting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait...you said that a commoner's kid out of wedlock doesn't matter, but kids of bastards have names. How are kids of bastards not commoners

Because at least one of the parents would still be a bastard born of noble blood. There's also a precedent for marrying off bastards to other bastards, or even occasionally to minor trueborn nobles. Joy Hill and Walder Rivers are a good example of this.

Now, two or three generations down the line, the descendants of a bastard will effectively become commoners most of the time, since by that point they'd have no ties left to their ancestral house. But a bastard's immediate children, and possibly even his or her grandchildren, tend to be treated as being a step above the smallfolk.

I honestly believe that they would consider the child of a bastard just as bad as the bastard even if the child is born legitimately because that child is still coming from tainted stock insofar as the worldview of nobles is concerned.

From what we've seen there is a common belief that bastards are a sort of abomination and are inherently bad.

Yes and no. It really depends on a lot of factors. Bastards like Edric Storm who were born to two noble parents seem to be treated much better than "baseborn" bastards, who have the taint of common blood. Where the bastard is born makes a difference too, since the people of the North and Dorne don't seem to care nearly as much about bastardy as the Andal kingdoms. There's also the attitude of the lord or lady the bastard was born to, which probably makes the biggest difference of all: Ned treated Jon unusually well even by Northern standards, while Euron was exceptionally and disgustingly cruel to his baseborn offspring, treating them as little more than chattel.

I think that's the wrong way to phrase it. It absolutely diminishes your oppurtunities. The examples we have of bastards rising to high positions are all unique circumstances.

True, though most bastards still have much better opportunities than commoners do. It's very rare for lords or ladies to raise bastards as their own sons or daughters the way Ned and Oberyn did, but nobles are still expected to provide some degree of care for their bastard children. This means that bastards typically have at least some economic support from their parent, and they're usually given some measure of training and education too. That automatically puts them ahead of most peasants, and makes it much easier for them to become soldiers, knights, craftsmen, merchants, advisors, priests, or scholars.

Of course, this is all dependent on a bastard being acknowledged as the offspring of a noble. If you're talking about bastards who aren't acknowledged then I agree that they're no better off than commoners, that's why most of Robert's children were living on the streets of King's Landing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere in the books that Lannisters descend from Lann The Trickster (the one who earned them Casterly Rock from the Casterlys) through the female line. I can only assume their House name somehow is derived from Lann.

My take on it has always been that it is derived from a sister of Lann, or rather the sister of a descendant of Lann, like Lancel. And then Lancel's Sister became Lannister, like Karlon's Hold Starks, became Karstarks. And itwas through this marriage that Casterly Rock was passed. Though I admit that is a lot of assumptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just something similar to this that I've been wondering about is what last name do the children of bastards have? For example, if Jon Snow were to have a legitimate child it wouldn't have the bastard name of Snow, so would it have the name of Stark, or the name of the mother, or what?

The given example I read was if a Waters has a legitimate son, the son might give himself the surname Longwaters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to bear in mind that in Westeros (or in any medieval setting) there is no Civil Registry or any Naming institue.

France´s College d´Armes was founded in 1407. Burgundy followed suit with their separate Toison d´Or King of Arms. Scotland had their first Lord Lyon by 1399. In England, Court of Chivalry was called at need at least since 14th century (in some of the Edward III-s campaigns, minor nobles mobilized from distant parts of England met and found they had independently adopted same arms - this needed judging), first Ireland King of Arms was appointed in 1392, and College of Arms was founded on permanent basis in 1484.

You may have heralds specifically charged with keeping lists of nobles, lists and arms - or the lords may not bother with them. But in either case, the governments might not bother with full lists of of commoners - unless they levy head taxes rather than just land taxes, because if head taxes are due then failing to register births and migrations is tax evasion.

The appendix of House Frey gives us the answer to this question. The bastard Walder Rivers has sons whose surnames are still Rivers.

How old are the sons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×