I can't help but love the weird names in Game of Thrones. I'm pretty sure "Qotho" is unpronounceable, but it's still great. There's no reason for it to be Petyr Baelish rather than just "Peter," but as Brooklyn parents will attest, the more Y's, the merrier. By that same token, "Olyvar," which is ridiculous, delights me.
Names are important in Game of Thrones, often signposting the Houses, ethnicity, parentage, or the allegiances of the citizens of Westeros and Essos. And fans love them! There are hundreds of babies named Arya and Sansa out there, the BBC reports. It's relatively easy to coin your own GOT moniker, too — as comedian Matt Lucas joked on Twitter, "just make up a word" for your first name and "again, just anything" for your last. ("Porrell Breth" is what he came up with.) That being said, there are many Westeros name generators around to help you add random consonants to normal names if you're feeling stuck (I got "Kenyse Oldflowers," long may she reign).
Which brings me to my question: Why is Daenerys Targaryen so bad at naming things herself?
I ask because Dany has one of the most impressive names in all of Game of Thrones, and you'd think she'd have inherited some ounce of creativity. Last I remember, her full title goes something like: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, First of Her Name, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, the Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, and the Breaker of Chains. And breathe! That's 48 words long, which puts even His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular to shame.
Dany, though, has a problem (actually, she has several problems at the moment, but for the sake of argument, we're focusing on just one). She is terrible, terrible at naming things.
Consider the fact that she had the opportunity to name three legendary dragons something really cool, like "Sheepstealer" or "Cannibal," and she settled instead on Rhaegal, Viserion — after her abusive brother — and, wait for it, Drogon. Yes, Khaleesi honored her dead husband, Khal Drogo, with a dragon named after his memory, but she also, and I cannot stress this enough, has a dragon named Drogon.
As Dany herself tells us in A Clash of Kings, Aegon Targaryen's dragons were named for the gods of Old Valyria: "Visenya's dragon was Vhagar, Rhaenys had Meraxes, and Aegon rode Balerion, the Black Dread." When Dany's bloodrider, Aggo, politely suggests that Dany name her largest dragon "Balerion" because it appears the Black Dread has "come again," Dany shuts him down:
"It may be as you say, blood of my blood," Dany replied gravely, "but he shall have a new name for this new life. I would name them all for those the gods have taken. The green one shall be Rhaegal, for my valiant brother who died on the green banks of the Trident. The cream-and-gold I call Viserion. Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. His dragon will do what he could not."
"And the black beast?" asked Ser Jorah Mormont.
"The black," she said, "is Drogon." [A Clash of Kings]
Drogon the dragon! Okay, enough.
The point is, Dany could have done so much better. Dip into Game of Thrones lore and you find that the dragons that came before had much more impressive names, including the aforementioned Sheepstealer. There's also Morghul (sounds tough!), Vermithrax (a delicious mouthful!), and, lest we neglect a chance to replace an "I" with a "Y," Sunfyre and Dreamfyre.
All are considerably better options than naming a precious dragon after a brother who threatened to let 40,000 men and their horses rape you "if that was what it took to get my army." It's no wonder how Viserion's fate turned out! Rhaegal, too, is an odd name, seeing as Dany's brother Rhaegar is most famous for allegedly kidnapping and raping Lyanna Stark and thereby launching the very war that resulted in the death of Dany's father and Rhaegar, as well as the Targaryen's loss of the Iron Throne.
Disastrously, the legacy of Dany's terrible ability to name things has entered the real world. A Game of Thrones-loving entomologist reportedly named three new beetle species Gymnetis drogoni, Gymnetis rhaegali, and Gymnetis viserioni, in Latinized tribute to Dany's dragons. And to think, we could have instead had a Gymnetis sheepstealerus (abigeus? I'm not quite sure, my Latin is rusty).
Rather than inflict any more lousy names on innocent dragons, Daenerys ought to stick to what she's good at: emancipating slaves, burning enemies alive, and walking through fire when she needs to impress someone.
This seems like as good a time as any to mention that Daenerys refers to her silver horse as "the silver." I suppose we can at least be thankful it wasn't Horso.