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Game of Thrones inspires baby names


Oliver and Amelia have topped the baby name list for England and Wales in 2013

Oliver and Amelia have topped the baby name list for England and Wales in 2013

Oliver and Amelia have topped the baby name list for England and Wales in 2013

Bran, Sandor and Khaleesi may not be commonly heard in the classroom yet, but they are all names of characters from hit TV series Game Of Thrones given to babies last year.

Figures released today show that while Oliver and Amelia were the overall most common names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2013, parents are increasingly taking inspiration from fantasy films such as Twilight and Thor.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 187 baby girls named Arya last year - the same number as called Josephine, while there were 50 Khaleesis - the same that were named Peggy.

There were also seven boys called Bran - as were named Brad, while there were three Sandors - the same amount of boys that were given the name Malcolm last year.

The name Khaleesis is sure to have been inspired by the beautiful and powerful Daenerys Targaryen in Game Of Thrones. She is also known as Khaleesi - the title given to the wife of the leader of a nomadic people known as a khalasar.

Boys named Sandor could have been named after the fictional land of Westeros' most famous warriors - Sandor Clegane. He is nicknamed the Hound after his family crest which features three dogs and his brutal nature.

And those named Bran could have been named after Brandon Stark, a crippled young boy known for his ability as a "warg" - where the youngster can enter the mind of an animal and control its actions.

However, according to the ONS figures, there were no children named after other characters such as the evil Joffrey, Eddard, or Samwell.

While the Royal Family appears to have influenced parents with sons, with William, Harry and George all in the top 10 most popular names, it does not seem to have made such an impact on those with daughters, with 147 girls named Kate and just four named Eugenie - fewer than some of the Games of Thrones characters.

Mia, the name given to Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall's baby, is the 10th most popular name although as she was only born at the beginning of this year she will not have had any effect on last year's figures.

The ONS also said the full impact of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge naming the future king George might not be seen yet as he was only born midway through 2013.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of parenting site Netmums, said unusual fictional characters' names were often chosen by parents in the hope they will make their child stand out.

She added: "But on the other hand, fantasy names inspired by shows like Game of Thrones and the Twilight series are beginning to go mainstream, with babies being named after Bellatrix from Harry Potter, Renesmee from Twilight along with Tyrion and Theon from Game of Thrones.

"For parents who want something different but find fantasy names too extreme, the top option is digging deeper into the past with old names including Ronnie, Seth, Elsie and Eliza all gaining ground, following the trend set over the last few years with names including Alfie and Eleanor."

Other films and series to have had an influence include cult series Breaking Bad, which appears to have led to an increase in the number of girls named Skyler (72) while there were 58 boys called Walter.

And Harry Potter also seems to continue to inspire choices, with three girls named Bellatrix in 2013.

Celebrities such as Victoria and David Beckham remain big influences, with Harper - the name they gave their daughter in 2011 - more popular last year than ever before. More than 300 girls were given the name.

The ONS lists feature variations on spellings, so monikers such as Muhammad (15th most popular), Mohammed (23) and Mohammad (57) all appear in the top 100, but if the three were added together then the total number would be 7,445 making it the most popular boys name overall.

Likewise both Molly (35) and Mollie (71) are included.

Amelia has been in the top spot since 2011, while Oliver replaced Harry as the favourite in both 2011 and 2012.

Oscar and George replaced Alfie and Riley in the top 10 most popular boys' names, while Poppy took the place of Lily in the top 10 girls' names.

There were three new entries in the top 100 most popular girls' names in 2013.

Victoria at number 88 (up 18 places from 106), Darcy at number 93 (up 14 places from 107), and Beatrice at 95 (up 19 places from 114).

Elsie showed the largest rise within the top 100 for the second year running, gaining 23 places to number 47, while Ivy, Violet, Willow, Sofia and Mollie were also high climbers.

Hollie, Paige, Madison, Heidi and Amy showed the largest falls.

There were six new entries in the 100 most popular boys' names in 2013.

These were Teddy at number 86 (up 55 places from 141), Ibrahim at 89 (up 18 places from 107), and Ronnie in 90th place (up 15 places from 105).

Felix was 91st (up 23 places from 114), Austin was 94th (up 14 places from 108), and Albert was 99th (up 10 places from 109).

Theodore showed the largest rise within the top 100, gaining 19 places to reach number 78 while Reuben, Hugo, Elijah, Oscar and Blake were also high climbers.

Callum, Liam, Tyler, Cameron and Riley showed the largest falls within the top 100.