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Publication details for Dr Sara L. UckelmanUckelman, Sara L., Murphey, Sonia & Percer, Joseph (2017). What's in a Name? History and Fantasy in Game of Thrones. In Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood. Pavlac, Brian A. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 241-250.
- Publication type: Chapter in book
- ISSN/ISBN: 9781119249429 (paperback), 9781119249443
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
Nowhere is the border between history and fantasy more blurred than in people's perceptions of names. People often assume that names in modern fantasy stories are medieval in origin. Some fault for this assumption can be laid at the feet of the Father of Fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien, because many of his names are in fact genuine medieval names, and many of those which are not are explicitly marked out as such, originating in his constructed Elvish languages. A natural conclusion then is that fantasy names which are not otherwise identified as fantasy are plausibly medieval. This chapter discusses names in the Game of Thrones books and television series, and shows that this conclusion is not warranted. It considers not only the historicity of individual name elements, but also the patterns of the complete names, and their similarity to medieval naming patterns and practices.