In 2011, “Game of Thrones” debuted on HBO and the word “khaleesi” was uttered on national television for the first time. It’s the Dothraki word for “queen,” and a term of endearment and respect for Daenerys Targaryen, the then-child bride of Khal Drogo.
As the story followed Daenerys, we saw that she was much more than a victim. She was a survivor, a leader, a liberator, and a force to be reckoned with. These are all great qualities a parent might want associated with their daughter, so the name “Khaleesi” began appearing on the Social Security Administration’s list of Top 1,000 names.
Three years after the show debuted, 369 baby girls named “Khaleesi” were born. But more would follow…
- 2015: 341
- 2016: 373
- 2017: 467
- 2018: 560
That’s right. Last year, “Khaleesi” was the 549th most popular girl name in the United States, beating out Hanna, Ivanna, Sasha, Marie, Gloria, and Anne. Kelly and Monica? Old news. All hail Khaleesi!
But here’s the thing about naming your child after a fictional character before that character’s story is finished: it’s a terrible idea. Daenerys Targaryen is now the woman who massacred nearly a million people in a fiery bloodbath.
And it’s not like these Khaleesis, when applying for jobs, will be able to tell their future employers that they’re named after their great-aunt Khaleesi or the famous inventor, Khaleesi Mountbatten-Windsor. They are clearly and obviously named after a fictional crazy lady who boffed her nephew and burned people alive. And she could be even worse in the series finale.
Will Daenerys manage a last-second heroic turn for all those baby Khaleesis out there? Or will she somehow make things even harder for these girls? If the last episode was any indication, those 2,110 babies are in for a lifetime of deep sighs and resignation.