First of all, i would like to clarify that my question is not a duplicate of this question. I know where the title “Stormborn” comes from, but my question is why does she have it at all?

I don't recall (m)any other characters having a title that they received at birth.

I understand that people are given titles/nicknames that they earned or are given by others:

  • Jaime Lannister: The Kingslayer, given to him for killing his own king
  • Robb Stark: The Young Wolf, given to him for being a young Stark who fights a war
  • Jon Snow: King Crow, given to him by the wildlings for being the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch
  • Daenerys Targaryen: Mother of Dragons, self-proclaimed title for bringing 3 dragons into the world
  • Daenerys Targaryen: Breaker of chains, self-proclaimed title for freeing slaves in Slavers Bay

Throughout the TV series we see many people with these types of titles:

  • The Mountain
  • The Hound
  • Barristan the Bold
  • The Red Viper of Dorne
  • The Black Fish
  • Lord of Bones
  • Etc...

We know that Daenerys has many titles and she loves telling people all of them, but why did she get a title at birth? No one else seems to run around with a title about the conditions that they were born in.

Also, the storm destroyed the Targaryen fleet.. Its not as if the storm brought victory for the Targaryens.

Is there any elaboration about this anywhere?

  • 6
    It happened. I doubt that there are rules for the awarding of nicknames.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 17:40
  • I like to speculate that her mother named her such as a symbol of hope. After all, she was born healthy & well during an ultra-violent storm at a time when the Targaryen family was pretty well facing extinction.
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 18:14
  • A title is not a nickname. 'Stormborn' is just a cool nickname to inspire her supporters. A title along the lines of 'Warden of the North' or 'Lord of Casterly Rock'
    – Jeff
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 21:39

3 Answers 3


Why did Daenerys get her epithet?

The Night Daenerys was born, a huge storm raged outside Dragonstone. It was so fierce that it smashed the Royal fleet anchored in the bay. Amidst this Storm, Queen Rhaella gave birth to her youngest child who was named Daenerys. That's why she got the epithet Stormborn.

Did anyone else got such a nickname upon his/her birth?

Yes. It's just like Mance Rayder's son, Aemon, called Battleborn, Steel Song and Blood-born because he was born during the decisive Battle of Castle Black. Some people are born in something important or significant and thus get names out of it. Mance's son Aemon was born in a battle and thus is called Battleborn, and Daenerys was born in a great storm and is therefore called Stormborn.

How do you get nicknames?

Nicknames don't have to be earned by others. You can get them from your own traits or simply because of your birth if something significant happened at birth.

Aemon (Son of Mance Rayder) and Daenerys got their names because of their birth.

Daemon Blackfyre chose his own name from his sword.

Ser Duncan the tall named himself the Tall because he was well, tall.

Of the examples you cited:

  1. Jaime got his epithet from his crime of killing King Aerys. Until then, he was the Young Lion, not Kingslayer.
  2. Robb Stark got his epithet from his House's sigil, his youth and his pet direwolf.
  3. Jon Snow was awarded various names like Lord Snow, King Crow, Crow from different people.
  4. The Mountain got his name from his immense size.
  5. The Hound got his name from his House's sigil and his hound shaped helm.
  6. Barristan the Bold was given his nickname by Prince Duncan the Small for his courage of appearing in lists at very young age.
  7. Red Viper got his name due to his sinister reputation and his dabbling in poison.
  8. Black Fish chose his own name when his brother Hoster Tully once called him "Black goat of Tully flock". Brynden Tully told his brother that their sigil was a trout so he must be Black fish, not goat.
  9. Lord of Bones proclaimed himself as such. He got that name from wearing an armour made of bones.

As you can see, they all chose their names or got their names due to their traits but nothing significant happened at their births, unlike Aemon and Daenerys.


While there are no canon rules for such nicknames, we can however determine a basic set of how people do get these names from these examples:

  1. Significance of events around birth
  2. Some great deed
  3. Some great crime
  4. Some physical feature
  5. Some sort of knowledge
  6. Personal choice
  7. Some outlook trait
  8. Insulting epithet based on some physical disability or low birth etc
  9. Dynasty's sigil
  • 1
    @Blackwood The answer is right there with another example of Aemon Steelsong. You get the name because people around you give it to you because something significant happened at your birth.
    – Aegon
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 17:46
  • 1
    one more for the "How do you get nicknames?" list - shouting "I am [name] [long list of desired nicknames]" before setting your dragons on anyone who disagrees Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 8:30

The answer is, unfortunately, rather boring.

Dany was born as her mother and brother were hiding on Dragonstone from the Baratheon rebellion. The day she was born, there was a major storm over Dragonstone, and it sunk the bulk of the remaining Targaryen fleet.

Thus, she was born during a storm, but it was an incredibly violent and important storm.

Because it was a significant event in her life, she was given that title from the beginning. It's likely that it was taken as a kind of omen about her future, and the title sounds impressive enough now that she has taken to using it often.

Most people in Westeros don't have birth-related nicknames, most likely, because nothing particular interesting happened on the day they were born.


The original question has a logical fallacy. In any real or fictional medieval or pseudo medieval setting a "title" is a phrase that announces a persons legal claim or "title" to rule a particular area with a particular rank and the particular powers that more or less go with that particular rank and territory.

See the introduction of the website Titles of European Hereditary rulers: http://eurulers.altervista.org/[1]

For example Emperor Leopold I (reigned 1658-1705) used the official titles:

Leopoldus, divina favente clementia Electus Romanorum Imperator semper Augustus, ac Germaniae, Hungariae, Bohemiae, Dalmatiae, Croatiae, Sclavoniae, etc. Rex, Archidux Austriae, Dux Burgundiae, Brabantiae, Styriae, Carinthiae, Carniolae etc. Marchio Moraviae, Dux Lucemburgiae ac superioris et inferioris Silesiae, Wirtembergae et Teckae, Princeps Sueviae, Comes Habspurgi, Tyrolis, Ferretis, Kyburgi et Goritiae, Landgravius Alsatiae, Marchio S. Romani Imperii Burgoviae, ac superioris et inferioris Lusatiae, Dominus Marchiae Sclavonicae, Portus Naonis et Salinarum etc.

That roughly translate as:

Emperor of the Romans; King in Germany, of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Luxemburg, the Upper & Lower Silesia, Württemberg & Teck; Prince of Swabia, Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Ferrette, Kyburg, Gorizia; Landgrave of Alsace; Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, of Burgau, the Upper & Lower Lusatia; Lord of the Wendish March, Pordenone, Salins;


Those titles listed the lands that Leopold I ruled or claimed the right to rule and the ranks associated with ruling those territories.

But the "title" of "Stormborn" and other "titles" listed by the OP are really nicknames as other answers have mentioned. Nicknames do not give anyone any sort of legal claim to rule in any specific territory or rule over any specific persons.

Even nicknames that are given in the same form as European territorial titles do not give the right to rule.

For example, the great baseball player George Herman "Babe" Ruth (1895-1948) had the nickname "Sultan of Swat". in those days there actually was a semi independent realm of Swat, in modern Pakistan. Calling Ruth the "Sultan of Swat" didn't give him the right to rule Swat.

Abdul Ghauffur Khan ruled Swat as Akhund until 1878, being the subject of Edmund Lear's poem "The Akhund of Swat". The next ruler was Seyd Abdul-Jabbbar Shah from 1915 to 1917. Miangul Abdul Waddud ruled using the exalted title of Badshah from 1917-1926 and the title of Wali from 1926-1949.

  • 2
    This seems so needlessly pedantic that I almost downvoted. One meaning of 'title' is simply "a descriptive name".
    – DCShannon
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 1:06

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