Last year, 560 female babies were named Khaleesi, making it the 549th most popular name for girls in the US.
Moms who named their baby daughter Khaleesi are shrugging off the character’s dark turn in Episode 5 of the final season of Game of Thrones, saying it doesn’t affect how they feel about the name. I’m just gonna warn you now, this whole post hinges on spoilers for the episode, so here’s your chance to click away.
In Season 8 Episode 5, which aired Sunday night, Daenerys Targaryen, aka Khaleesi, decided to burn thousands of innocent civilians who were trying to surrender.The move, to put it mildly, went against her character thus far in the show. Her character, in fact, has been so popular that hundreds of babies have been named after her since the show began airing in 2011.
Last year, 560 female babies were named Khaleesi, making it the 549th most popular name for girls in the US.There were also 20 baby girls named Khalessi, 15 named Khaleesia, 10 named Khalesi, five named Khaleesie, and five named Khalessy.People also name their daughters after her using her actual name, like the 163 female babies named Daenerys. There were also eight baby girls named Daenarys and seven named Danerys.The most popular Game of Thrones–related name is Arya, which jumped from #942 in 2010 to #119 in 2018. The more traditional spelling of the name, Aria, is currently the country’s 19th-most-popular name.
So, when Dany went from a noble warrior to a genocidal «Mad Queen,» many people wondered what mothers of baby Khaleesis thought about her character arc.
BuzzFeed News talked to a few moms who named their daughters Khaleesi, and all seemed pretty unbothered by the character’s murderous rampage.
Channy is mom to an 11-month-old Khaleesi. She said the episode was «intense» but she wasn’t upset with the storyline.
«She’s going for what she wants,» Channy said.
Neither was Nikki Sotto, mom to Khaleesi Lila. She said the episode didn’t change her opinion of the name at all, adding she and her husband picked it because they like the meaning: «queen.»
Sotto did say that she was «yelling at the TV the whole time» she watched the episode.
«What girl hasn’t overreacted when they see their whole world crumbling around them?» she said. «I feel for her. I’m just bummed Jon and her have to be related. I wanted them to live happily ever after.»
Another mom of a Khaleesi, Shay, told BuzzFeed News that she hasn’t watched the episode yet because she is waiting for her husband to come back from deployment to watch it with him.
She said she named her daughter after the character because she admired her.
«The name is unique and I also wanted her to be like Khaleesi,» she said, «strong woman and rock her world and everyone obeying her.»
Other beings named Khaleesi, aka humans on behalf of their pets, also posted on social media defending their namesake.
«In case you wondered, No…Humommy does not regret naming me khaleesi cause I’m still a Queen,» «wrote» one Khaleesi kitty on Instagram.