Content Type: Gaming Guides
Advice for Choosing your Skyrim character’s name…
A few nights ago, I had the privilege of helping a good friend create his very first Skyrim character. It’s taken a few years, but Jack finally got around to playing Skyrim (I guess he grew tired of me always talking smack about how great the game is). After I helped him set up a Steam account and loaded his copy of Skyrim Legendary on the PC, I pulled up a chair and watched as he started the game’s intro as a prisoner on the road to Helgen.
As soon as the Imperial soldier called the prisoner to step forward, Jack began the process of creating his character. He was familiar with my previous article The Best Skyrim Character: Warrior, Thief or Mage, (I made him read it before I came over), and he decided beforehand to play as an Argonian thief. He spent close to an hour fiddling with the huge number of customization options, refining his character to make him look just right (a thin Argonian with purple tinted skin and wicked battle scars). As soon as he accepted his character’s physical characteristics, it was time to choose his Skyrim character name.
Jack was stumped…
Creating a Skyrim character was more or less effortless up to this point. Jack had prepared before hand, and knew the race and character build he was striving for. He had a general idea of how he wanted his character to look, and selecting his Argonian’s eye color and nose shape proved to be entertaining. When it came to choosing a Skyrim character name though, my friend hit a roadblock and turned to me for help.
Now, there’s some general advice that comes to picking your character’s name in any RPG:
- Pick a name you like. You’re going to be stuck with it until you start over.
- Pick a name that helps you get into the game. In Skyrim, unlike Oblivion, you will actually see your character’s name. For example, if the Dark Brotherhood sends assassins after you, you’ll see it on the writ someone took out on you. You might not want to see “Dakilla1337” on that piece of paper.
- Steal from mythology and other fantasy franchises – Bethesda did! Cuchulainn, legendary hero of Irish legend, might be a good name for a Breton knight. Sigurd, the Norse hero that roasted a Dragon’s heart, could be a good name for a Nord warrior. And there’s a about billion potential options for the elves: steal something from Lord of the Rings, Warcraft, Warhammer, your old D&D books, or whatever else.
- Look to the Internet. The most famous Internet name generator is Fantasy Name Generators, and they have an Elder Scrolls section. Hardcore Elder Scrolls fans might not be satisfied with it’s claims to lore friendliness however, and to them I would suggest this lore friendly name generator used by the Morrowind mod Tamriel Rebuilt, as well as the remainder of this article.
The Elder Scrolls franchises’ lore is a never ending pool of madness. Fortunately, the madness is all pretty simple, especially when it comes to names.
Some races in the series have pre-established naming conventions. If you’re familiar with previous titles in the series you will have noticed that all the Orc characters have names that go like this: “Blahblah gra-Blahblah” if the characters is female, and “Blahblah gro-Blahblah” if female. The gra/gro is a gendered prefix to the last name, not totally different from the “Mc” or “Mac” you sometimes see in Irish derived last names. Just like those names, the Orc prefix probably means “daughter of/son of” whoever the last name once belonged too. With this formula you can get any Orc name by smashing together any few ugly sounding syllables and adding a gro or a gra in the middle.
Argonian names tend to come in three patterns. One is a two syllable word like “Deekus” or “Jaleen.” The second is something with a hyphen – “Jahree-Ra” or “Hie-Jun.” The third is something descriptive – “Big Head” or “Swims-Swiftly” or “Hides-in-Shadows.”
Imperials also have a naming convention. In previous titles all Imperials had Latin words as their first and last name. In Morrowind they were even grammatically correct! What this means is you can go to any online English–Latin dictionary, type in an English words and it will spit back out a suitable Imperial name. However, Skyrim expanded the Imperial’s name list by including some Italian. But the same principal still applies.
Other Elder Scrolls races stole names from real world cultures. Any French, English, or if the character is a Reachman, Celtic name will work for Bretons. Any Scandinavian sounding gobbledygook followed by a descriptive phrase like “Troll-Arms” or “the Red” will work for Nords.
Redguard names seem to a be a bit less historically inspired, but anything that sounds vaguely Arabian, North African, or common English will work well enough. Cyrus in particular is a good name for Redguards, as it was the name of the hero that led them against the Empire 600 years before Skyrim begins.
Other races, especially the elves, have vaguely fantasy names. Pick something flowly for an Altmer, something foresty for a Bosmer, something short with doubles Ls for a Dunmer, something with a K or a J and a two letter prefix for a Khajiit and you’re good to go.
Arena and Daggerfall Names
The first two games in the Elder Scrolls series generated every NPC’s name with a table of generic prefixes and suffixes that was different for every race and gender. If you’re scratching the bottom of the barrel, look up the chart for your character and find a combination you like.
As it turned out, Jack chose his Skyrim character name with the help of the fantasy name generator. After selecting his character’s Argonian race, he was able to cycle through several exotic names that seemed fitting for a denizen of Black Marsh. He found several that he liked, but finally settled on Jee-Tan Xerseus, a name that he felt worthy of a simple Argonian thief who would some day become the fabled Dragonborn, hero of Skyrim.
Have you ever needed help choosing your Skyrim character name? If so, where did you turn for inspiration? Let us know in the Speak Your Mind section below, and don’t forget to browse our latest Skyrim and Elder Scrolls wallpapers. Until next time, fellow travelers!
I made a Redguard Assassin name Ronax Whitebane.
I love to just come up with nordic sounding names. Like Orgrim, Wulrok. Stuff like that. My best character right now is Amgorak Snow-Fist. An Orc. But my best Nord is Yorgrim Storm-Fist. I don’t always use Fist at the end. But I just love Nordic sounding names. Even for females. for example Skyth.
Hi Skyth 🙂 Thanks for your comment! I seriously love the nordic examples you’ve given. For me, the names truly capture the essence of Skyrim. Great examples!
How can I name my nord as a female in skyrim
something -la. like, Edla, or Eola.
I usually start with an odd letter like X, Y or U. For instance you now have U in the name. Then you add a consonant after the letter m.
Then you take a letter that sounds good with the second letter.
Then you continue until a name sticks in your head.
Then you repeat for the surname (if you want one)
And Voilà! Uthyo Zerakki
I picked “Kril” as my name, simply because it was lore-friendly.(“Kril” means brave in “Dovahzul”) Since my character is THE *!#*$ DRGONBORN, IT ONLY SEEMS FIT. But you gus(and girls) just name your character what you like, but I strongly recomend using a word from “Dovahzul”.
Good point Kril. The Elder Scrolls franchise has a rich mythos to draw from. Lore-friendly names are definitely a nice touch.
Should I add this as a last name: Fin Dovah-Ah for my
female Bosmer, right now it’s just Areaaen. I need to know.
Could you help me out? I’m stuck with naming mine haha.
I have a Succubus named Tatiana Dragon-Bane. Just a light homomphonic pun on Dragonborn
Very nice name. Truly evokes the fantasy element of Skyrim.
I’ve played many races, my altmer is a necromancer who wears heavy armour called Legion. I’m making a godlike breton character called Vil All-Bane a werewolf/vampire hybrid who is unrivaled in all skill sets, but he refuses to assist the people of skyrim until he consolidates his power and emerges as the most powerful being to ever have walked the roads amd wilds of all tamriel
I made a Wood Elf archer. He was basically an assassin but also used the occasional two handed weapon. I wanted to start from scratch with a name. so I started with the main name Kore. (Core-Ray) So then I added the elf’s title name. I had decided that instead of a last name, he should have a title. Like Si. (Si-Core-Ray)
I use http://www.behindthename.com/names/list and pick from a region/mythology that seems like it fits the character. For example, for Nords I look to Nordic countries and mythologies; for Khajit, I look to Middle Eastern names. I get creative with the other. For example, I may choose a Native American name for a wood elf, specifically looking to east coast tribes.
I just used what seems fitting.
So now I am “Grishm” the tank ORK
Thank you! When I named them I gave them too modern names. Now I am Bjadth Swift-Hand. I made that last part by myself. 😛
I was given the nickname Silk in another MMO because of my play style. I tend to play the sneaky, thief/assassin character in RPGs and in one MMO I played a fellow league member started calling me Silk after the prince/thief in David Eddings The Belgariad and The Mallorean. It stuck for that MMO, but I liked it and started singing elsewhere even as a monogram for some of my art.
When ESO was first released on console, the first character I created I tried naming Silk, but found it already taken so I I named him SlLK (Capital S lower case L capital L capital K) since the lower case L in many fonts looks like a capital I. The second character I created in ESO I named Seide (pronounced zie-duh) which is German for silk. The third character I named Selyem (pronounced shea-ehm) which is Hungarian for silk. Both of these names were not only literal translations of the name Silk, but also sounded and looked foreign enough to make them fantasy-like.
A couple old saves I have are Hulk the 2 hand tank male Orc and Pixy the stealth archer female Bosmer.
More recently I’ve used nameberry.com for some inspiration. I have Caspar the male Khajiit assassin thief. Caspar is Persian in origin, means keeper of treasure, and sounds like Casper who is a ghost. Elodie is my pink skinned pacifist female Argonian. Elodie means marsh flower.
Future ideas: Adolph, despite being tainted by Hitler, means noble wolf and is my idea for a Nord male warrior werewolf. Hester for a spellsword crusader female Imperial (anti undead/ dremora/ vampire etc.), which means star. Griselda for a female Altmer (or Dunmer) pure mage, which means “gray fighting maid”.
what sounds better Vul Grohiik Or Vulon Grohiik
Vulon grohiik, The Night Wolf
There are also uses of he Aldmeri language, I helped my friend by making a nam from Aldmeri (The original Elven Langauge) The name I made was from Varla = Star and riel = means beautiful together it became Varlariel. I got the idea from translating Tamriel which means beautiful dawn. Hope this helps! 😀
I reckon Vulon Grohiik sounds good. Does it mean anything or is it just to sound cool? Because it definatley sounds like the name of someone you don’t wanna mess with.
Hello. I Have Some Names That Have Some Creativity 1. Ragnoth ( Kindof Sounds Like Ragnar (ragnar the red).) 2. Urgost ( If You Have Ever Played (Lord Of The Rings War In The North) The Dragon You Meet Is Named Urgost And In Skyrim You Become The (Dragonborn) So Thats The Names I Have Down 🙂
I had a great great comment about names created with words from the dragons language, but I pressed sing up instead of post comment… I feel depressive
I like names with words originated from the dovahzul, or the dragons language. Exsamples: “Aluntiid” (means future), “Usnutiid” (past), “Vodahmin” (forgotten), “Tafiir” (thief), “Kendov” (warrior), “Sizaan” (lost. In my opinion, it sounds like the argonian names), “Vahlok” (guardian), “Dilon” (dead), “Onik” or “Onikaan” (wise and wisdom, respectively), “Greind” or “Greindaal” (intelligence and intelligent, respectively), “Alok” (rise), “Vulon” (night), and many others. I personaly prefer names with nice meanings, like those above, but you can youse pretty much any word of the dovahzul. “Hesbrot” means sweetroll, for an example. You can use them for surnames, if you want to. My current character’s name is “Graham Vus Lein”. Graham (random name, and I don’t remember where is it from) Vus (nirn) Lein (mundus)
I made a high elf and named her using the generator and the Thu’um. I got Nirana Vulhil (Vulhil meaning Dark Heart) which is super pretty and awesome in my opinion.
My name in Skyrim is OLIAK 🙂
I have a few different people
my dark elf is called deathflame
my nord is called Sharelle
my imperial is called rose thorn
my agnolian is called agnolia
When I made my first Nord my inspiration for a name came from star was. I simply took the name of the planet “Alderaan” and turned it into Alderan. A few years later I decided to create a last name. Finding foreign words and English syllables I decided to go with Drakesmith (Dragon made). The finished product worked well.
I named my character in Dovahzul as ” Kul Se Gol ” Son Of the Earth , (I love the Earth element) though my character’s nickname is Kul :p
Anyways this wikia will help you , http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Language
I am currently playing a khajiit named maximus poodakis after my daughter calling our cat maxy poo lol. I can only imagine my character being raised in cyrodiil by an imperial farmer who thought he was a simple house cat at birth.
I love naming my RPG characters. I give it a lot of thought and try to make each one mean something to me. This is a purely subjective endeavour and it helps to immerse myself in the stories. (Sometimes I choose silly names when not planning to spend much time playing certain characters, but then end up carrying on with them. “Betty Swumkrak” of Dark Souls fame is one such example.)
My first ever Elder Scrolls character was a male Redguard in Morrowind. As a trained horticulturist with a love of plants, many of the names I come up with have a botanical aspect. He was called “Corylus Hayward”, inspired by the corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’).
Another source of inspiration comes from family names. This has given me some favourites. “Zachariah Hood” was my main character in Skyrim on the PS3. A Bosmer archer at heart but eventually, as you may have experienced, undisputed all-powerful master of everything by the end of the game.
Sometimes I come up with oblique names inspired by tenuous links to the general nature of the new character. For example, as an alt on PS3 Skyrim, I thought it would be jolly to break from tradition and play an evil character. I created a scary Argonian male who then headed straight for Broken Fang Cave to contract vampirism before joining the Dark Brotherhood. He also became a devoted servant to any Daedric Prince who happened by. It was fun. He was called “Anunnaki Nibiru”, simply because he was a scary reptile who kept to the shadows (inspired by a mashup of loony conspiracy theories about a race of malevolent puppet master lizard people, Anunnaki, living on the secret Planet X, Nibiru, spelling slavery and doom for all humankind). Random, but I think it worked because he became a strong memorable character for me. And the name just sounds a bit lizardy.
I could go on for ages about a whole bunch of my characters over the years, but I’ll finish with my most recent. PS4 Skyrim only has one character for me (clocked up way over 1000 hours on this game since 2011 so just one more play-through methinks) and I opted for an authentic Elder Scrolls name to honour the series. My female Dunmer character dabbles in everything but excels in alchemy, enchanting, smithing and, of course, stealthy archery. She cannot abide the Nords’ anti-Elf values and so has joined the Imperials against the Stormcloaks. She has no desire to become a vampire, werewolf, thief or assassin. Her name is “Lolinah Aldoran” (“Lolli”, to her family and friends) and is proud wife to Derkeethus and adoptive mother to Francois Beaufort and Lucia. They all live happily together in Lakeview Manor. I chose Lolli’s name from a comprehensive Elder Scrolls list I found on t’internet. Her first name is one of the possible randomly generated female Dunmer names from Arena and Daggerfall. Her family name is also from Arena and Daggerfall but is shared by one male Dunmer outlaw hiding out under the city of Windhelm in ESO, so I switched two of the letters around (from “Adloran” to “Aldoran”) as not to associate her with a ne’er-do-well. It’s also nice to phonetically share the name of Princess Leia’s home planet, may it rest in peace.
I plan on making a Nord hunter (bounty, beast, monster, still unsure) named Björn Iron-Skull. Iron-Skull for two reasons, 1) the metal skull is to show he is tough to kill, 2) he is hard headed and stubborn as a mule. I chose Björn because it’s the only Nordic name I can think of that’s not in the game (as far as I know)
Hello i almost always play either a khajiit or argonian. Right now i’am playing a argonian named. GEEM-kajin Rulsu-umluft. And i am playing as a spell sword and i try to get a good roleplay gling on but it’s not easy!
I alter NPC names. For my female Khajiit thief I altered Zaynabi (a caravaneer and fence) to get Taynaba. I like J’zaka, Gulush-Ei, Delia Herius, Niruiel, and Calam.
Your articles amazing. Thank you so much.
I am a fan of bane and overall batman and I want to have babe in the name some how for skyrim but I also want to stay true to the world of skyrim I need help on a name