Northern Ireland news

Surge in baby names inspired by Game Of Thrones

The actress who plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones.
Rebecca Black, PA

There was a surge in baby names inspired by the US hit fantasy television show Game Of Thrones, which reached its dramatic conclusion earlier this year.

The heroic Arya Stark found favour with some parents in Northern Ireland, where most of the scenes from the show were filmed, as well as the names Khaleesi, Oberyn, Olenna and Yara.

This is according to the Baby Names 2018 statistics published on Tuesday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

James, Noah and Grace were confirmed as the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland.

The top ten most popular first names given to babies in 2018 revealed a preference for the classics.

However, some other parents opted for more unusual names such as Axl, Blaze, Hendrix, Phoenix and Wolf for baby boys.

Disney, Hermione, Moana, Storm and Zandaya were among the girls' names.

There were 22,983 births registered in Northern Ireland during 2018, with slightly more boys (11,691) born than girls (11,292).

Since the annual reporting of baby names started in 1997, this is the second time that Grace has been the most popular girls' name, a position held jointly with Emily in 2013.

James has been the most popular boys' name in each of the past four years, joined by Noah this year for the first time.

In terms of boys' names, Jack (which held the top spot for 12 consecutive years between 2003 and 2014) comes a close third to James and Noah in popularity, followed by Charlie.

Leo joined the boys' top 10 for the first time in 2018.

When it comes to girls' names, Emily fell from the number one spot in 2017 to take second place in the 2018 top 10, with Olivia remaining in third position for the third consecutive year.

Birth registrations in 2018 included more than 900 baby names that had not been used before.

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