Baby boy: Torrhen?

What do you think of the baby boy name Torrhen?

The H is silent. I'm not good with pheonetically hyphenating but it's prounced like Tourin'

Torrhen is a character from the preface to the Game of Thrones series. He's mentioned once or twice in the television adaptation, but he isn't actually a character. I've liked the name for a while since I heard it and was wondering what other people thought.




May 28, 2015 9:12 PM

I think it'd be better as Torren, both phonetically and to avoid the word "hen" at the end, which is rather glaring in GRRM's spelling.

May 28, 2015 9:40 PM

I like that suggestion very much! Didn't consider the unintentional "hen" ending.

May 28, 2015 9:30 PM

I do like the name, but I've only ever seen it spelled Torin (I don't watch/read GoT). I like the Torin spelling much better  because it eliminates the -hen, and because it is more streamlined and clearer in pronunciation.

May 28, 2015 9:41 PM

I agree, the name could go without the "hen" ending. Thanks!

May 28, 2015 10:00 PM

I agree. Torren is better than Torrhen and Torin is best of the three.

May 28, 2015 10:03 PM

Thanks! I actually like Torren more than Torin. I wouldn't mind Ren as a nickname :)

May 28, 2015 10:26 PM

Well, it's your kid! Regardless of which spelling you choose, I think it's a great name. It fits in with current trends well (you may know that the -en/-on/-in endings are big for boys right now) and has a similar sound to other names that are more established (Tory, Tyrone, etc) but neither Torren or Torin has ranked in the top 1000 names since 1900. Congrats!

May 29, 2015 12:06 AM

It reminds me of a torrential downpour.  But I don't think that is a major problem. 

May 29, 2015 8:25 AM

Ha, that's priceless :) If he ever becomes a pro wrestler or football player or something, that could be a great reference!

May 29, 2015 2:26 AM

I like Torin, and that includes variants like Torrhen, which I'm assuming is pronounced the same.

I'd consider whether the GRRM reference is meaninful to you. Torrhen over Torin will lead to a lot of having to spell the name, and I'd only undertake that if the connection to the source was meaningful in some way. That said, my son has a very unusually spelled variant form of a more common name, also after my favorite book, and I regret nothing -- but it's a battle that I am glad we entered into expecting it, and one I'd only fight if there were an important reason beyond "just wanted a more unique spelling".

The other thing to think about with GoT is that it's not done being written yet. I'm totally on board with using literary inventions as baby names, including contemporary literature, but I would have some reservations about this particular story since we don't really know how it's going to turn out in the end, and the author is prone to changing course with characters in a dramatic fashion. Again, not a dealbreaker, but I'd want to have gamed out worst-case scenarios before choosing the name. With a minor prologue character this may be a more negligible issue, though.

Other names you might consider also include Thorin (another fantasy association, but one where the story is finished being written), Torben, Tobin, Theron, and Torsten. Also just straight-up Thor, for that matter.

May 29, 2015 8:31 AM

Thanks for all your feedback. I'm not worried about having to spell it; I've lived my life with a common name that can be spelled a handful of ways so have always been spelling it out (and don't even get me started on my last name!) Torren or Torin is only a few letters so I don't imagine it will be a headache.

I can understand your storyline concern. I've loved the name Khaleesi since the series began, and it's become somewhat of a baby name trend, but we have no idea where he character will go. The character of Torrhen is dead though, so unless some crazy alternate history emerges (then again it is GRRM) I'm not worried about that.


I really like Thorin! Though I'm not sure it trumps Torren or Torrhen for me. Thanks again!

May 29, 2015 4:25 PM

I think if you love Torrhen, then I'd use it in that form. Torren to me wouldn't be a compromise worth making -- you either have the Irish name spelled Torin, or the GRRM-homage Torrhen, and the mashups between seem less satisfying. I think you're right that you'd end up spelling it out either way... and if you considered Khaleesi but discarded it (wisely, in my opinion) because of not knowing where the character would end up, then I think you should go for broke and use Torrhen. Why should girls get all the invented-fantasy-name fun? (e.g. Eilonwy, Galadriel, Ronja...)

May 29, 2015 11:26 AM

Just a note: Tolkien did not invent the name Thorin.  It appears in the Dvergatal (catalogue of dwarves), an interpolation in the Voluspa (the poem which discusses among other things the Ragnarrok), one of the poems of the (Icelandic) Elder/Poetic/Saemundar Edda.  Almost all of Tolkien's dwarves have names taken from the Dvergatal, and Gandalf is also listed as a dwarf name there.  So Thorin as a name has been around a long time.  BTW Finn is another name on the dwarf list.

May 29, 2015 2:14 PM

I was aware of Thorin's use in the Edda, too, and that makes it a more compelling name to use for me -- long history of use and not just the contemporary literature association, although Mr Oakenshield is definitely the most prominent Thorin that comes to mind. I did not know about Gandalf and the other Tolkein dwarf names having the same source... thanks, Miriam! I look forward to impressing my LOTR-buff spouse over dinner tonight!

May 29, 2015 1:53 PM

"the author is prone to changing course with characters in a dramatic fashion"

I guess that's the nice way of saying "can't be bothered to keep his characters consistent". Or "is under the mistaken impression that pulling a 180 in his characterizations is equivalent to author bravery, when in actual fact it's a sign of author incompetence".

(In case you can't tell, I absolutely detest, abhor, and despise GRRM's writing. To put it mildly.)

Sorry, I know this has nothing to do with names...

May 29, 2015 3:57 PM

I'm afraid I can't say I'm entirely glad you chose this place as one to reveal your opinion about someone not the topic of this thread...

By Fly
May 29, 2015 6:37 AM

If I were to guess at a "standard spelling", I'd probably say Torren. But if someone were to tell me it and I needed to write it down, it is the kind of name where I would definitely ask about the spelling first.

i don't have a problem with any of the variants, and it's actually quite a nice name I think.

May 29, 2015 12:02 PM

Torrhen fits perfectly into the current baby landscape with 2 syllables ending in N. However a problem arises at any sign of a stuffy nose: Torrhen becomes "Torrid". Not a word I personally would want associated with my child. Although if he becomes an explicit comedian, "A Torrhen Affair" might be a good name for his HBO special.  

May 29, 2015 4:03 PM

If the accent is on the first syllable, I'd expect to spell it "Toren", like "Soren" (which is an acceptable Anglicization of a Danish name and a Japanese name). I can't think of a spelling that would indicate an accent on the second syllable, to be honest.

It seems like a pretty wearable real-world name, though, as fantasy names go. I wouldn't blink if I saw "Toren" on my student roster. :)

May 29, 2015 8:54 PM

Full disclosure: I am the only one on the planet who is not familiar with the books or the TV show. 

I've read enough blog posts to understand why one might be cautious in using a character's name, as a pp mentioned.

I'll also confess that I don't understand how to say this name. From reading the thread, I have the idea that it is meant to be be like Soren, or Tor (like thor minus the h) +en, but your mention of Tourin' at the top, makes me think I have it wrong, and it's meant to sound like tour as in a trip at the front. 

In any case, I agree it fits right in with currently stylish names.

It reminds me a bit of Torrence (sp?) or Talon, which I think each had the teensiest bit of popularity briefly in the wake of some less high brow shows a while back.

I do know a Torsten, which others have mentioned.

May 29, 2015 9:05 PM

Ha, as I said in the original post, I'm not worried because the character is from a preface. He's dead now xD

Perhaps the confusion with Tourin' come from different dialect lol. I'm from New Jersey and there's a slight difference in pronounciation with many things when I visit friends in other states. But you're right, it is much like Thor without the H.


Thanks for you feedback!

May 29, 2015 11:31 PM

Nope, you aren't the only one!  What I know about the books/TV show is what I've learned on these forums.  

As someone who didn't know about the character, the "hen" spelling did make me want to say it Tore-hen, which I don't care for.  I can get on board with Torren/Torin and actually prefer the Torin spelling.  I agree Ren would make a great nickname.

May 30, 2015 5:28 PM

I'm also not really familiar with the books or such.

I have a friend looking at using Torin for her second son, due in August. I'm not sure if she is aware of the association. I'll have to check with her.

She likes that her first son's name is not top 1000 for his year.

Off to research more for her. :-) 

May 30, 2015 6:32 PM

It's not an association that she would need to worry about, especially as Torin. These are epics with a cast of thousands, and this is a minor character in the prologue.

June 29, 2015 1:19 AM

Good to know. Thanks.

May 29, 2015 9:52 PM

I actually have a friend whose nephew is named Torren (I'm sure of the spelling because I saw a picture in which they all wore t-shirts with their names spelled out and I asked her about it). She said his parents complain that many people, upon reading the name, think that their son is a girl, but that the boy himself doesn't seem to mind this.

May 30, 2015 12:18 AM

I like the name, but I also prefer a simpler spelling, such as Torren, Torin. GRRM likes to spell names in crazy ways, but I don't think that means we have to follow suit if we like them, (For example, you'd never spell the name Peter like Petyr Baelish does).

I really do like the name, and I also love GOT. That being said, even though he's a minor character, he isn't that great. He was "The King That Knelt". He took a bunch of men to war against the Targaryens, thousands of men died in the march, and then when he got there he decided not to try and defend the north anyways.

Now all that doesn't really matter unless you're a really avid fan of the show and/or books. It's got a great sound.

June 29, 2015 9:49 AM

Depends on your POV. I think that the character, who lived 300 years before the events covered on the TV show, is our sterling example of why and how the Starks, the Kings of Winter, have ruled the North for 8,000 years. They are the honorable house, theh ouse that cares for their people, whether providing Winterfell as shelter in the winters or, in Torrhen's case, realizing when a war could not be won and capitulating early and avoiding heavy losses of people, forests, farmlands, and strongholds. And he won a good peace: As Wardens of the North, the Starks have spent the past three centuries essentially still being kings, as the southrons generally can't be bothered to come up that far and the North essentially has self-rule. No army has ever come that far north and before Robert Baratheon, I believe only one king (and memeorably, his wife, Good Queen Alysane) ever even visited. Torrhen's wisdom kept the North from becoming another Field of Fire.

So, back to the OP, this is a GoT character name where we can feel comfortable that there won't be some big twist or revelation that will change how we see the name, as it's a name from the distant past. (Compare to, say, Rhaegar, from the near past, where we're waiting to see if he was a rapist, an adulterer, or a bigamist, in his dealings with Lyanna Stark. ;-) ) Yes, Torren or Torin are good spelling options.

By Suse
June 29, 2015 2:09 AM

I really like Torrhen, and I love the spelling too.  I am also someone wtih a very common first name and last name, so I always lean towards the different and unique.