Game of Thrones has given some distinct names to the world, but one surprising character in particular has served as the inspiration for many newborns' names in recent years.
Game of Thrones examines characters in moral gray areas making impossible choices in a brutal fantasy world. The results are often unflattering, with our heroes making bad choices and then paying for them in spades. This is more evidence than anywhere in the character of Theon Greyjoy, yet for some reason, his name has become incredibly popular with new parents, according to the BBC.
The "Theon" boom began in 2014, when 18 boys in the U.K. and 15 boys in the U.S. were given the name. For context, this was the year after Theon was tortured and renamed Reek. In April of 2014, Season 5 began, and Theon continued his pitiful streek, even taking part in the torture of Sansa Stark at times. However, he saw some slight redemption at the end of the year by helping her escape from Ramsay Bolton.
There is no word on how many people have been named Theon in the years since, though the popularity of the name is confusing to some. Theon is a tragic character, who spends his childhood as the ward and hostage of the Stark family. He is treated honorably, but he still turns on the family at the first chance he gets, storming the walls of Winterfell himself and then murdering two farm boys, whom he pretends are Bran and Rickon Stark.
Theon is likely better known for his over-the-top consequences, however. He is taken prisoner by Ramsay Snow and tortured for several seasons. Theon is partially flayed, maimed and castrated in some of the show's most twisted scenes of all time. He is also brainwashed, actually helping Ramsay to secure a tighter and tighter hold on the kingdom of the north.
Theon actually thwarts his own rescue at one point, refusing to leave with his sister Yara when she breaks into Winterfell to save him. She then gives him up for dead, and only the repeated insistence of Sansa eventually snaps Theon out of his brainwashing. Even after that, however, he is a pitiful character. Theon allows Yara to be captured by his uncle's forces, and takes a punch in the face just about every time he is on screen.
In Season 7, he rallies a few Ironborn men to help him save Yara in an over-the-top scene, where another man is unable to take him down with a kick to the groin because he has been castrated. This scene has inspired some face-palming memes from fans for being a little too on the nose.
After everything he has suffered and all the mistakes he has made, it is a surprise that Theon has become such a popular name. Still, hopefully the boys who have it will grow up to be humble, and not make the same mistakes as their namesake.