I've noticed that Tyrion shares the letters "Ty" with his father Tywin and his grandfather Tytos. Passing down a name is common, but then there's Jaime and Cersei. Was something special meant for Tyrion? even after his mother died giving birth to him? This contradicts the fact that Tywin disdains Tyrion for "killing" his wife, so I guess not. Was it apparent that he was deformed when he was born?

Does his name have any significance? If it doesn't have any significance in the books, why would GRRM give Tyrion that name and not a "Ty" leading name to Jaime and/or Cersei?

  • 10
    Excellent observation! Knowing GRRM, this may well be significant. However, "Ty" is pronounced differently in Tyrion and Tywin, and we don't really know what kind of writing system was used for the common tongue of Westeros.
    – Dima
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 1:48
  • 6
    Speculation, but Tywin was very influenced by his wife Joanna, so she might have chosen the twins' names, while Tyrion was named according to tradition only because Tywin didn't try to push any other kind of name, due to grief.
    – Wilerson
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 3:44
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    In ADWD Barristan says that Aerys was attracted to Joanna and took certain liberties. Also, Tywin is fond of saying things like "..because I cannot prove that you are not mine" and "you are no son of mine", which may or may not be just disdain. Aerys was known to humiliate Tywin on occasion, and Tywin's disdain for Tyrion might be a reflection of it being suspected that Aerys might be his real father.
    – TLP
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 13:13
  • 12
    Ruddy 'eck, you wait 5 books and then it seems that if you turn your back for even a second, even more Targaryens pop out of the woodwork. Would it be easier to list who may not be a Targaryen by this point?
    – user8719
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 23:57
  • 2
    Are you married? Have kids? The ladies can be pretty irrational and stubborn about names. I'm sure Tywin was hoping for "Tywin Jr," but was overruled by the post-partum hormonally emotional banshee that was his wife. "Jamie" was probably the name of the handsome protagonist in some Westros romance novel. Death during childbirth gave Tywin free naming-rights leeway with Tyrion. Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 14:21

6 Answers 6


GRRM has stated his love of British (not just English) history in a lot of interviews and several of the themes/cultures are based specifically on Welsh history and mythology.

In order to understand the names, you have to appreciate that letters can have different sounds in different languages. These are anglicized versions of Celtic names in the books, so English speaking readers are able to pronounce them correctly. "Tyrion" in English is actually a Welsh name, but it is written "Tirion" in Welsh because the letters are pronounced differently. It means kind or lenient, which would link nicely to Tyrion's fondness of "Bastards, cripples and broken things...".

Dorne and it's culture, is basically Welsh culture and mediaeval Wales, but with a Mediterranean climate. That makes sense as the Celts are all descended from the Iberians, who came from the Iberian peninsular where modern Spain and Portugal are today.

There are loads of Welsh names in Ice and Fire - Bran for example was the name of one of the ancient kings of Britain...

Hope this helps! :D

  • 6
    “the Celts are all descended from the Iberians”. No. All modern (and past) evidence points to an origin in Central Europe.
    – Evpok
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 9:03
  • 5
    Alex and Evpok are both right; the Celts were thought to be descended from Iberians, but the 'Iberia' they're (supposedly) from was actually a kingdom in the Caucasus mountains--not the Iberian peninsula.
    – S. G.
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 20:38

TL;DR There's no significance to it, it's just following tradition of naming a child after famous ancestors.

Tradition of naming Children after ancestors

Although People in different regions of Westeros share some names but on the other hands we have some names which are exclusive to some regions.

House Lannister is from Westerlands. Therefore, they tend to give their children traditional Westerlander name. Also, another factor to consider is that Great Houses often name infants after some ancestor which brings a sense of continuity to the name.

For example, Brandon Stark is named after his uncle Brandon Stark. Brandon Stark (The uncle) must have been himself named after several Stark Kings named Brandons such as Brandon the Builder, Brandon the Shipwright, Brandon the burner, Brandon the Daughterless etc.

Historical Members of House Lannister with similar names

When we look at historical members of House Lannister, we see:

  1. King Tyrion I of the Rock
  2. King Tyrion II of the Rock
  3. King Tyrion III of the Rock

If we look simply for historical Lannister with names starting with the prefix Ty, we see:

  1. King Tybolt Lannister
  2. King Tywell I Lannister
  3. King Tywell II Lannister

If see more recent members of House Lannister, we see:

  1. Tytos Lannister (Note there is a Riverlander Lord, Tytos Blackwood with the same name)
  2. Tywin Lannister
  3. Tygett Lannister
  4. Tyrek Lannister
  5. Tyland Lannister

So as evident, Tyrion's named after great men of House Lannister just like many other members of other great houses are named after their ancestors. The prefix Ty seems to very common in Lannisters and appears to be unique to Westerlands.

Who named Tyrion and Why?

It is not clear who named Tyrion. His mother before dying? His father afterwards? Or someone else? So given that we do not know who named him, we can't speculate the motives behind this act.

I have been doing bit of reading the Citadel transcripts of GRRM's correspondence with the fans. I stumbled on something GRRM said about who named Tyrion.

It was most likely his father, Tywin. From So Spake Martin, Correspondence with fans:

Q: Since all of their mothers died, who gave Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister their names?

George: Mothers can name a child before birth, or during, or after, even while they are dying. Dany was most like named by her mother, Tyrion by his father, Jon by Ned.

Apparently Tywin doesn't hate Tyrion?

Tyrion's father doesn't like Tyrion because:

  1. Tyrion's birth killed love of Tywin's life.
  2. Tyrion's malformed and thus doesn't fit Tywin's high standards for Lannisters.
  3. Tyrion's deformities made Tywin a target of general ridicule and laughter. Tywin absolutely hated being laughed at.
  4. Tyrion married a commonborn girl named Tysha, thus making Tywin further ashamed.
  5. Tyrion is known to be excessive in his carnal tendencies and frequents whores. Tywin hates that as well.
  6. Tywin suspects Tyrion to be someone else's child so there's that as well.

So it is unlikely that even if Tywin named Tyrion, he had some special affection for the child.

Jaime and Cersei

As for Jaime, the only other character in Planetos that I can recall with the same name is Jaime Frey who is of course a Riverlander unlike our beloved Kingslayer. For Cersei, the only other character with the same name is Cersei Frey. These kids also have a brother named Tywin. It appear that Ser Raymund Frey named his kids to win favor of the ruling Powers.

This doesn't mean anything however. Tywin himself had following siblings:

  1. Tygett Lannister
  2. Gerion Lannister
  3. Kevan Lannister
  4. Genna Lannister

As you can see, only Tygett shares the "Ty" with Tywin while all other siblings have different names. Not to mention, Tywin's father Tytos' father's name was Gerold. There have been three Lannister Kings named Gerold and so Gerold was named after those men.

If all Lannisters were "Ty" for more than 12,000 years of their history, I suspect it would have caused much lulz for rest of the Westeros along with a lot of confusion.

Anything from the books?

Although there's no explicit significance to Tyrion's naming or anything else in the books, there's one Quote from Genna Lannister which you might find interesting in terms of Tyrion's uniqueness as compared to his siblings:

Jaime, sweetling, I have known you since you were a babe at Joanna's breast. You smile like Gerion and fight like Tyg and there's some of Kevan in you, else you would not wear that cloak...but Tyrion is Tywin's son, not you. I said so once to your father's face, and he would not speak to me for half a year.

  • 1
    I've always assumed Cersei was named after Cerion Lannister, a King of the Rock before the Landing. He's mentioned in the World of Ice and Fire. As for Jaime, there was a Jaime Corbray in the Vale before the Andal conquest (again WoIaF).
    – NyaNya
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 8:02
  • 1
    @NyaNya Lannister were originally first men who then turned to Andal in time so it is possible that the root name Jaime may have been an Andal name. As for Cerion, yes it is possible. Similarly there is a Lyn Corbray in vale and a Lynora Hill (Daughter of Jason Lannister). There is also a Tya Lannister which can be correlated to all masculine names with the prefix Ty. TLDR Yes it is possible and not unheard of e.g. Wilhelm, Wilhelmina, Victor, Victoria etc.
    – Aegon
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 9:07

Tyrion is a real name, of celtic origin, that means serios-minded, responsible, and stable, that loves the security of a home and a family.

Tytos Lannister had another "ty" son, Tygett Lannister (brother of Tywin), married to Darlessa Marbrand, and father of Tyrek Lannister.

There are a lot of "ty"s in Lannister family.


A "Ty" in the name doesn't signify anything; there are plenty of other Lannisters in the family who don't have "Ty". Or maybe it does, but if so, then GRRM hasn't explained it yet. Or maybe it doesn't, but if not, then GRRM hasn't indicated why either.

Those last two are important points - this is really just speculation on a work that's still in progress. Maybe GRRM will explain it all in the yet-to-be-published (or yet-to-be-even-written) books 6 or 7? Or maybe he won't. But until such time as the series is complete, and in the absence of any explanation in currently published books, it's never going to remain anything but speculation.

  • Given all of the other stuff that martin has released in the interim, do you really expect him to release books 6 and 7 now that the TV show will finish the story for him? I don't. He's milking the franchise for all that it's worth, which from a business perspective is sensible, though as a fan it frustrates me. Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 15:58

They are names from when the Westerlands were their own kingdom. Typically they started with Ty. Jaime and Cersei were named by their mother. Tywin ruled the kingdom but at home his wife ruled him.


While Aegon's answer gives a greater history of the Lannister naming conventions, I feel there is good possibility that Tyrion got his name from a specific ancestor for a specific reason....

That is King Tyrion II, a King of the Rock prior to the Targaryen invasion.

A later monarch, Tyrion II, was known as the Tormentor. Though a strong king, famed for prowess with his battle-axe, his true delight was torture, and it was whispered of him that he desired no woman unless he first made her bleed.

The World of Ice and Fire - The Westerlands

Now at first you might be thinking this sounds nothing like our Tyrion, but let me explain...

  • Known as the Tormentor: Our Tyrion torments his father Tywin by his very existence. "All dwarfs are bastards in their fathers' eyes".
  • Prowess with his battle-axe: Our Tyrion's weapon of choice is the battle-axe. This could be a subtle hint from out-of-universe perspective that GRRM used to link the two.
  • desired no woman unless he first made her bleed: Tyrion is blamed for killing his mother during childbirth. It is likely she bled to death.
  • 1
    desired no woman unless he first made her bleed point is kinda stretching it. For the other two, nice catch +1.
    – Aegon
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 9:36

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