Gregor for boy ruined by Game of Thrones?

My partner and I love the name Gregor for a boy. It is unusual but recognizable as a name, hints at our cultural heritage, and has some great namesakes (e.g. Gregor Mendel, geneticist). But we are totally bummed that it is also the name of one of the sociopathic villains in Game of Thrones. My question for everyone here is what are your associations with the name Gregor? Has it been completely ruined for this generation by GoT?

Replies

1
September 15, 2019 4:28 AM

for me - dont know anything about GoT.  I dont think the name would be ruined

2
September 15, 2019 8:09 AM

The most people who ever watched a Game of Thrones episode was 19.3 million, for the finale. So let's say twenty million people who followed the show enough to know who Gregor was. Book sales may add somewhat to this; the highest figures I've seen for book sales are 45 million in the US and 90 million worldwide, but that's counting all volumes and formats, so divide at least by 5 and assume a good amount of overlap with the TV show for a very rough estimate of 30 million fans of the story overall. That's less than ten percent of the US population (and a negligable percentage of the world population). And most of those will be teenagers or older, not actually your child's generation.

As someone who hasn't watched or read this series but whose spouse has, I can tell you I had no idea there was a character by that name in the series. I have heard of Khaleesi/Daenerys, mainly because of naming discussions, and Jon Snow (not sure why), and there might be a few other characters whose names I would recognize if you named them to me, but Gregor doesn't ring any GoT/SoI&F bells at all. So I suspect this won't be an issue.

3
September 19, 2019 1:50 PM

I finally remembered to ask my husband what he thought of Gregor. He's a big fan of the books, and has watched some of the show. The only association he came up with on his own was Mendel, his "favorite bean-counting geneticist". After I prompted him with George R.R. Martin he remembered the character, who he said was pretty bad but didn't seem like a big deal to him for a baby name based on the books. He thought maybe he played a bigger role in the TV show, though.

Thinking a bit harder about this, I realize my other two associations besides the pea guy are Gregorian changs and Peter Rabbit's nemesis, Farmer MacGregor. Those aren't the cheeriest of associations, but even knowing about the GoT character the name feels more "sinister-cool" to me than unusable, along the lines of Damian or Bram.

4
September 15, 2019 12:38 PM

I agree with the others. I’ve never watched the show and have no other adverse associations with the name. And even if I did, it’s hardly a name that’s synonymous with evil like Hitler or Lucifer. Even people familiar with the show would probably be able to disassociate your child from the character in a highly fantastical (I think?) show. 

5
September 15, 2019 4:01 PM

I also haven't seen/read Game of Thrones.  There are a few names I would recognize from it, but not Gregor.  I think a lot of people will just think "like Gregory" and any association will fade within a couple years.  The series isn't likely to explode into further fame after the TV series is already finished (as opposed to using a Tolkein name in the decades between the books and the movies).

6
September 16, 2019 10:32 AM

You definitely need some GoT fans to chime in here, but I'm not one of them. What I will say, however, is that Gregor is a name with a long history and multiple namesakes. Therefore, even if a GoT fan hears the name and thinks of the show, I don't think that the automatic assumption will be that you named your kid after the character. Especially if the character isn't one who would naturally gather an enthusiastic fan base. If it were a name made up for GoT or were so rare that the primary (only?) association was the character (e.g., Sansa, Khaleesi, Daenerys, Cersei, Tyrion), then I'd say that your choice would be seen as a GoT reference. However, with something like Gregor, you may get some questions, but a lighthearted, "Nope, we were inspired by Gregor Mendel; the GoT character is just a coincidence," would be easy and 100% believable. And honestly, I highly doubt that you'd need to answer that question terribly often.

7
September 16, 2019 6:04 PM

I'm sorry I have never seen an episode of GOT but I have read ALL the books. And when I saw the title of this post I literally shuddered. BUT if you love it, do it! Also, GOT is the only reference I have to that name. If I knew a little boy named Gregor first I wouldn't have that reaction to the name. 

8
September 16, 2019 10:43 PM

My only association with the name Gregor is from The Metamorphosis, the novella by Franz Kafka. Gregor is the title character, who wakes up one morning having been transformed into a giant insect (typically portrayed as a cockroach, although this is never confirmed in the story). Probably the GoT fans will recognize the name before the Kafka fans, but for those who know both, it may well be an off-putting choice!

9
September 16, 2019 10:54 PM

Okay, so to play devil's advocate I do think that it is too recognizable. I think if you want to do a name from the show, Drogon would be better. Or maybe John Snow? That would be a unique middle name for sure! I love Game of Thrones and I think I might name my kid Cersei, even though she evil LOL!! Hope this helps :)

10
September 28, 2019 9:24 PM

I have seen every episode of GOT and really enjoy the show but never read the books. I do not immediately think about GOT when I hear Gregor. I think that people will always have associations and if you really love the name, go for it regardless. 

11
October 14, 2019 2:48 PM

My primary (and really only) association with Gregor is Emperor Gregor Vorbarra, a supporting character in Lois McMaster Bujold's Hugo Award-winning science fiction series, the Vorkosigan Saga (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Series). He's very much a positive character: a quietly brilliant force for good.

But regardless of the literary associations, as others have pointed out, Gregor is a name with a long history of use in various European languages. This means that it has a lot more leeway in terms of people's assumptions or expectations than a literary invention like Khaleesi or Arwen.