Several characters in the series are known to be named after a specific individual. Likewise, some creatures, ships and locations are also named in reference to characters, places, or events.
Names often repeat in aristocratic dynasties, several of which have been active for many centuries. After so long a time, certain names simply become traditional or popular in a certain family or region, without being named after a specific person. Alternatively, someone may have a common name but it was specifically in reference to one person. For example, "Brandon Stark" has been a common name in House Stark for millennia, starting with their legendary founder Brandon the Builder. At least seventeen individual characters named "Brandon Stark" have been mentioned as of the current novels, living at various points in history. Nonetheless, the POV narrator "Bran Stark", son of Ned Stark, was stated to be specifically named after his deceased uncle, Ned's older brother Brandon Stark.
|Prince Aegon "the Uncrowned"||King Aegon I Targaryen||King Aenys I named his first son after his father.|
|King Aegon II Targaryen|
|King Aegon III Targaryen|
|King Aegon IV Targaryen||King Aegon III Targaryen||Prince Viserys Targaryen named his first son after his brother.|
|Prince Aegon Targaryen (son of Jaehaerys I)||King Aegon I Targaryen
Prince Aegon "the Uncrowned"
|Queen Alysanne Targaryen named her first son in honor of both her grandfather and older brother.|
|Prince Aegon Targaryen (son of Baelon)||King Aegon I Targaryen|
|Aemon Steelsong||Maester Aemon||Gilly thinks of naming the wildling babe in honor of the maester.|
|Maester Aemon||Prince Aemon "the Dragonknight"||King Daeron II named his grandson in honor of his uncle.|
|Princess Alyssa Targaryen||Queen Alyssa Velaryon|
|Lady Amerei Frey||Lady Amarei Crakehall (possibly)||Amerei is possibly named after her grandmother.|
|Arya Stark||Arya Flint (possibly)||Lord Eddard Stark possibly named his second daughter after his maternal grandmother.|
|Princess Baela Targaryen||Prince Baelon "the Brave"||Prince Daemon Targaryen named his daughter after his father.|
|Prince Baelon Targaryen||King Viserys I named his son after his father.|
|Prince Baelon Targaryen||Lord Baelon Targaryen|
|Prince Baelor "Breakspear"||King Baelor I Targaryen|
|Bella||Battle of the Bells|
|Bran Stark||Brandon Stark||Bran is named after his late uncle.|
|Brynden Blackwood||Brynden Rivers (possibly)||Bloodraven notes that many Bryndens have been named after him.|
|Cersei Frey||Queen Cersei Lannister (possibly)|
|Lord Corlys Velaryon||Ser Corlys Velaryon||Corlys was named after his great-granduncle.|
|Cyrelle Tarbeck||Cerelle Lannister||Lady Ellyn Tarbeck named her second daughter after Cerelle Lannister, an attack against the widowed Lord Gerold Lannister, the late Cerelle's uncle, who had been held suspect for Cerelle's death.|
|Daemon I Blackfyre||Prince Daemon Targaryen||Princess Daena Targaryen named her bastard after her grandfather.|
|Daemon II Blackfyre||Daemon I Blackfyre|
|Queen Daenerys Targaryen||Daenerys Targaryen (daughter of Aegon IV)|
|Prince Daeron "the Drunken"||King Daeron II Targaryen||King Maekar I named his first son after his father.|
|Dagon "the Drunkard"||Lord Dagon Greyjoy|
|Numerous Durran Durrandon||Durran Godsgrief||The Storm Kings of House Durrandon traditionally named their firstborn son and heir after the founder of their house.|
|Eddard Karstark||Lord Eddard Stark|
|Lord Edric Dayne||Lord Eddard Stark (possibly)||"Ned" nickname may be from "Ned" Stark, who returned House Dayne ancestral sword Dawn after combat at the tower of joy|
|Prince Gaemon Targaryen||Lord Gaemon Targaryen|
|Garin||Prince Garin the Great|
|Grazdan (fat one)||Grazdan the Great (presumably)|
|Grazdan mo Ullhor|
|Grazdan (spiked beard)|
|Grazdan (tall one)|
|Hostella Frey||Hosteen Frey (possibly)||Hostella is possibly named after her grandfather.|
|Jaime Frey||Ser Jaime Lannister (possibly)|
|Prince Joffrey Velaryon||Ser Joffrey Lonmouth||Ser Laenor Velaryon named his third son after his companion.|
|Jon Snow||Lord Jon Arryn||Lord Eddard Stark named his bastard after his foster father.|
|Laena Velaryon||Lady Laena Velaryon||Laena was named after her maternal grandmother.|
|Lyanna Mormont||Lyanna Stark|
|Lord Maegor Towers||King Maegor I Targaryen|
|Perra Frey||Perra Royce (possibly)||Perra is possibly named after her great-great-grandmother.|
|Rhaegar Frey||Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (possibly)|
|Rhaego||Prince Rhaegar Targaryen|
|Queen Rhaena Targaryen||Queen Rhaenys Targaryen||King Aenys I named his first daughter after his mother.|
|Princess Rhaena Targaryen||Princess Rhaenys Targaryen||Prince Daemon Targaryen named his daughter after her maternal grandmother.|
|Lord Rickard Karstark||Lord Rickard Stark|
|Rickon Stark||Lord Rickard Stark (possibly)||Lord Eddard Stark possibly named his youngest son after his late father.|
|Rickon Stark||Lord Rickon Stark||Lord Cregan Stark named his first son after his late father.|
|Lord Robert Arryn||King Robert I Baratheon||Lord Jon Arryn named his son after his former ward.|
|Robert Frey (son of Rhaegar)||King Robert I Baratheon (possibly)|
|Robert Frey (son of Raymund)|
|Rohanne Tarbeck||Rohanne Webber||Lady Ellyn Tarbeck named her first daughter after Rohanne Webber, as an attack against the widowed Lord Gerold Lannister.|
|Roose Ryswell||Lord Roose Bolton|
|Lord Royce Baratheon||Lord Royce Caron||Lady Elenda Baratheon named her son after her father.|
|King Royce IV Bolton||King Royce II Bolton|
|Ryella Frey||Ryella Royce (possibly)||Ryella is possibly named after her mother.|
|Stannis Seaworth||King Stannis Baratheon (possibly)||Davos Seaworth possibly named his son after his lord.|
|Steffon Seaworth||Steffon Baratheon (possibly)||Davos Seaworth possibly named his son after his lord's father.|
|Tion Frey||Tion Lannister (possibly)||Tion is possibly named after his great-uncle.|
|Tion Tarbeck||Tion Lannister||Lady Ellyn Tarbeck named Tion after her first husband, as an attack against Lord Gerold Lannister.|
|Tyrion Tanner||Tyrion Lannister||Tyrion was named by Bronn in honor of his former employer.|
|Tywin Frey||Lord Tywin Lannister (possibly)||Tywin is possibly named after his uncle.|
|Tywin Frey (son of Raymund)|
|King Viserys II Targaryen||King Viserys I Targaryen|
|Many named Walder or Walda Frey||Lord Walder Frey||Many Freys name their sons Walder and daughters Walda hoping that the lord will favor them.|
|Balerion||The Valyrian god Balerion|
|"Bastard's girls"||Various women||Ramsay's dogs are all named after peasant girls he hunted, raped, and killed.|
|Maester||Maester Aemon (possibly)||The mule was possibly named after Egg's brother.|
|Meraxes||The Valyrian god Meraxes|
|Nymeria||Princess Nymeria||Arya Stark names her direwolf after one of her heroes.|
|Rhaegal||Prince Rhaegar Targaryen|
|Stranger||The Stranger||Sandor Clegane named his horse after the death aspect of the Seven-Faced God.|
|Syrax||The Valyrian god Syrax|
|Vhagar||The Valyrian god Vhagar|
|Viserion||Prince Viserys Targaryen|
Behind the Scenes
George R.R. Martin has explained in interviews that he made it a point to include characters with the same name in the A Song of Ice & Fire series, as part of his overall reaction to the limits imposed on his storytelling when he was working in the television industry. Networks were concerned that audiences would get confused by characters with the same name, but Martin felt this was unrealistic - not only because there would probably be more than one character named "Robert" in an entire country, but because names tend to repeat in real-life royal dynasties. In Martin's own words:
Martin: I wrote these books, never dreaming they would be filmed or made. It was almost a reaction to my tenure in Hollywood. 'I'm just going to do this as big as I want.' But I broke a lot of rules in writing these books, that you're taught as a writer, that I certainly was taught. But at certain point I thought, 'To hell with those rules'.
Interviewer: What rules?Martin: Well, having so many characters, for one. Having similar names. Stuff like that. I remember as a little baby writer I was taught never have two characters whose names begin with the same letter because people will get them confused. And I realized I was going to have more than 26 characters, so that would have to go out the window. - And also I was reading a lot of history. [People said], 'Never have two characters with the same letter? Certainly never have two characters with the same name.' But then I'm saying, 'That's so unrealistic'. I mean, English history is entirely composed of Henrys and Edwards. There's endless Henrys and Edwards, and you know, not only kings, who at least get numbers, but the guys who never become king. They're princes, and then they die. They're not even distinguished by numbers and it's very hard to keep all these guys straight. But that's the way history actually was. Families using the same name over again. And I like that element of verisimilitude, [so] I adopted that.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- The Rogue Prince.
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign—Jaehaerys and Alysanne—Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 60, Jon VIII.
- Fire & Blood, The Long Reign — Jaehaerys and Alysanne—Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne — Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- The Sworn Sword.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 69, Bran VII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 34, Bran III.
- Several Freys born before Robert's Rebellion have Targaryen names (2 Aegon, 1 Aenys and 1 Rhaegar) and their issue, born after the war, have names echoing the new Baratheon-Lannister regime (2 Robert, 2 Tywin, 1 Jaime and 1 Cersei).
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire: The Westerlands (unabridged). georgerrmartin.com
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands: House Lannister Under the Dragons.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
- The Mystery Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 15, Davos II.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 26, The Wayward Bride.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: House Durrandon.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 53, Bran VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 6, Catelyn II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 27, Daenerys III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents — The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 46, Daenerys V.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 20, Catelyn III.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons — A Son for a Son.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 32, Reek III.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The North: The Kings of Winter.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 59, Catelyn IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 7, Arya I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 47, Arya IX.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 31, Brienne VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 58, Davos III.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 56, The Iron Suitor.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 24, Theon II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 18, The Iron Captain.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 59, Sansa IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons — The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 63, Davos VI.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 59, Tyrion XIII.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - War and Peace and Cattle Shows.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Men of the Stormlands.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 26, Jon III.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 11, Jaime II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Westerlands.
- Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 48, Jaime I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 57, Sansa V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
- Anders, Charlie Jane. "George R.R. Martin: The Complete Unedited Interview." Observation Deck. 23 Jul 2013.