Creating the perfect name for your roleplay character can be a true pain. Most names are already taken and you don’t want to end up with a bad rip-off such as Boromier, Qandalf or Legholas, or have an inappropriate name such as Ismellcheese, lolhobbit or x0XVANDIESELX0x. Here is a guide that will take you through finding a great first name and surname. It contains five entries in total, each one directed at one of the five races available. To look up yours, just scroll down.
To get some idea for a name, you can find name generators aplenty on the internet. There are also lots of sites that have endless lists of baby names including origin and their meaning. A few you could check out are:
A member of the Race of Men’s name relies heavily on its origin and/or nationality. This is not the case with other races. There is a huge difference between the name from a man of Bree and a man from Dale. The conventions for both the first names and the surnames are highly varied between each culture. The cultures of the four men nationalities are highly varied. So if you want a lore-appropriate name for your human, it has to be based first on your character’s chosen nationality.
Bree-landers Men of Bree The Men of Bree use simple, English-sounding names that are generally short (one or two syllables). Examples are: Rob, Gib, Nat or Cole. Yet, finding a name like that which isn’t already taken, is almost impossible. So you will need a touch of creativity here. One way of creating a name is to take one of the shorter names that already exist and extend them into a longer version. For instance, Cole could become Coleman or Colehart. Another method is to find a common surname and use that as your character’s first name, like Ward, Nichol or Bowman. The key to making a man (or woman) of Bree is to avoid names made from any type of elvish or dwarven tongue. Bree-landers use names that are strictly English, so picking a name that has some sort of meaning in a non-English tongue will not be lore-appropriate.
Women of Bree Women of Bree also have sensible, simple names. Examples of these are: Nora, Clara or Maribel. However, they are generally much easier to name than the men. They use many of the same naming conventions that female hobbits use, such as being named after flowers and having names ending in the letter –a. If names such as Nora or Clara are taken, they can be extended to Norella or Caribel.
Surnames Bree-landers are the only race of men available in the game that have a ‘true’ surname like the hobbits do. One that is passed down from father to son, given to women in marriage, etc. Bree-land surnames generally have one thing in common: most of the time they refer to plant-life and plants. Almost all of the surnames in Bree-land are the names of plants or have something to do with plant-life. For example: Ferny, Butterbur, Woodsey or Greenbush. The best way to choose a surname is to find a list of plants and create your own using the name of a flower, tree or garden plant that you enjoy (also, check out the link to the plant-life site posted above). Many of the names that are already in the game are available as well. So if you need some inspiration, have a jog around Bree to find the perfect idea for your surname.
Dale-folk Men of Dale The Men of Dale tend to use names of Anglo-Savon or Norse origin with two to three syllables long. Male names are often passed down from father to son, numbering each descendant who uses the name (for example Bain I, Bain II). This is a nice detail for those of you who plan to create families. Each family from Dale may have its own characteristics for naming. For example, one family might name all of their children beginning with the letter ‘d’ or ending in ‘-ard’. So if you are looking for a good name, it might be a good idea to use similar names for your character’s family. Brothers will often have similar names, and fathers will often pass down their names to their sons. If you are not into starting a family, but are just looking for a Dale-appropriate name, check out the Norse and Anglo Saxon sites listed above.
Women of Dale Women of Dale also have Anglo-Saxon or Norse origin names. There are very few examples of females from the area, but three given by Turbine are Ethelhild, Beornwyn and Cynwise. There is some evidence that a female can inherit the name of her father, but with a female suffix added to the end. For example, a man named Eadgar might name his daughter Eadgarwyn. This is not proven by the text, but since there is the male name ‘Beorn’ and the female ‘Beornwyn’ you can assume that it is possible.
Surnames Men and women of Dale do not use surnames like the Bree-landers. They generally go by their first name and a title if they have earned one. They may also use their family line as a surname, as in ‘Bain, son of Bard’. This you can do by using the in-game heritage system, where a player may adopt another player to acquire this title. You may also choose to make up a title as a last name. For instance Eadgar Stonebreaker or Cynwise Gianthewer might be acceptable surnames. However, it is preferable to simply forgo the surnames altogether and use a title you have acquired during the game play if you do want to have a surname.
Gondorians Men of Gondor For a man from Gondor it is common to use names from the elvish language of Sindarin. This is because the Gondorians have a connection with the elves, being the closest descendants of Númenor. Thus their names are often similar to those of elves. Examples given are Denethor, Boromir or Faramir. Like the men of Dale, children often have naming features in common (such as –mir or – thor), which you can use if you’re willing to create a family. For ideas, check out one of the links suggested above. Gondorian names contain typically two to three syllables. Women of Gondor Like the men, the women of Gondor also use Sindarin names. Turbine gives us suggestions like Ioreth or Celebwing. Common prefixes are El-, Ior-, Celeb- and Breg-. Common suffixes are –el, -eth, -wen and –wing.
Surnames Like the Dale-folk, Gondorians mostly use titles instead of last names. One creative way is to find a name of a weapon or item your character like and use it as a surname. Another approach is to use the name of your character’s father or mother and putting – ion after it if your character is male, or –iel if your character is female.
Keep in mind that the suffic –ion means ‘Son of’ and the suffix –iel means ‘Daughter of’. So never use –iel if your character is male, and never use –ion if your character is female.
Rohirrim Men of Rohan The Men of Rohan use names that are of Anglo-Saxon origin. And they use naming conventions, prefixes and suffixes that are similar to the Dale-folk. Yet, names of the Men of Rohan tend to be longer, containing at least three syllables most of the time. Some examples given are Théoden, Théodred and Éomer. Siblings also tend to have similar names, like Théoden is the brother of Théodwyn. Common male prefixes are Éo-, Ha-, Then- and Théo-. Common suffixes are –dred, -den, -laf and –a.
Women of Rohan As with men, the Women of Rohan also take Anglo-Saxon names. The prefixes and suffixes match those of Dale-women. The ending –wyn seems very popular in Tolkien’s books. The prefixes for men and women are the same for all Rohirrim, but the suffixes show the gender. Like Éo is used both for Éomer and Éowyn, but –mer addresses a male and –wyn addresses a female. Brothers and sister are often named this way, so if you want to create Rohirrim siblings you might want to take this into account.
Surnames Like men from Dale and Gondor, the Rohirrim don’t have ‘true’ surnames but use titles. If you don’t want the hassle, you can just use the first name. But if you want to have something next to it, you could opt for either an in-game earned title or settle for something like ‘Maid of Rohan’ or ‘Steward of the Mark’ (though I wouldn’t suggest the latter, as it is too presumptuous).
Unlike the Race of Men where nationalities play a major part in providing names, this is not true for hobbits. Hobbit naming conventions are based more often by tradition and family ties. Therefore you don’t need to worry about your hobbit’s nationality when choosing a name. If you plan to make your hobbit from a certain family, it would be wise to adhere to the rules of that family. If not, there are various methods you can take to find an interesting name for your hobbit.
Male names The first type of name used is the one used by the Baggins family. The names in this family generally follow two rules: First, your name must contain two syllables. Second, it must end in the letter ‘o’. Names provided by the lore are Balbo, Frodo, Lotho and Ponto. These names are used best for a Harfoot, a hobbit that is from the middle or lower class.
The Took family also has naming traditions. A Took, like a Baggins or a Brandybuck, is often identified by the ending of his name. Being one of the richest families in the Shire, the Tooks use names that sound rich. So these would be excellent for those wealthy or high status hobbits. Common beginnings are Hildi-, Isem- or Isen-, and common endings are –ard, –grin or –bras. Examples given are Isengrim, Hildifons and Peregrin
The Brandybucks are another rich family in the Shire that also name their children to fit a more regal style. However, this family uses different naming conventions than the Tooks. The beginnings of the names vary more than the Tooks, but names commonly begin with the Ma–or Me–. Common endings for Brandybuck names are –adoc, –adas, –imas or –imac. Names provided are Meriadoc, Rorimac or Seredic.
The last family tree available for analyzing names is that one Samwise Gamgee. There is a pattern to naming in this family tree as well, but it is not as clear-cut as the others, due to the fact that like most hobbit families the Gamgees intermixed with many families of the Shire. Common beginnings for names are Hal–, Hob– and Ham–, while common endings are –wise, –fast and –man. Most hobbits that are not Tooks or Brandybucks either adopt the Baggins or the Gamgee convention of naming.
Female names Female hobbits follow a much different guideline from the males. They are usually named after a flower or a gemstone. If not, they almost always end with the letter –a (and not with an –o, which would suggest they are male and related to the Baggins). Just like the Bree women, you can pull up a list of plant-life or gemstones and pick a name you fancy. The ending –y is generally used in male names, and –ie is used for female names.
Surnames This is probably the most difficult part you’ll encounter when wanting to create a fitting last name for your character. Common names such as Baggins, Took or even Bolger are already blocked out by Turbine. Your next best bet would be to scan the little-known names from the books and use one of those, such as Longhole or Noakes. Another good way to find a name is to combine two English words, often an adjective and a noun. In particular colors are a great way to use here, and you could end up with a name such as Greywater or Greenburrow. A last method would be to scout through a list of English town names, as they provide enough ideas to come up with a suitable surname.
#11971818 Jan 19, 2016 at 04:39 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
Unlike the Race of Men, the Elves of Middle Earth have no different names depending on nationality. Regardless of where your elf is born, it will follow the same standards and sets of rules. Most of the names are taken from the language of Sindarin. This leaves you with a great opportunity to go crazy and show off your name, while others struggle with finding a name that isn’t already taken.
Throughout their lives, elves obtain more than one name. Yay for you! The first name they receive by their father, which might have similar features to other elves in the family (for instance Elrond is the father of Elladan and Elrohir, both names starting with the same prefix as their father’s). Elves receive another name from their mother. This one is more personal and it is used among their closest friends. Later in life, they may receive a name that reflects upon their deeds and life experiences. And finally, elves may choose a name for themselves. So all in all, that would be a total of four names you can give your character, thus making it unique and stand out more. In general the names are two to three syllables. Keep in mind that the suffix –ion means ‘son of’ while ‘–iel’ stands for ‘daughter of’.
Male elves Male elves have Sindarin names. There are quite a lot of name generators on the internet that can provide you with meanings to certain names, so make sure to check them out. I’ve listed some above. Combining several meanings is a great way to come up with a name.
Common prefixes for male elves are: Adan – man Aeg – sharp point Am – up, upon Aran – king Bara – fiery, eager Beleg – mighty Celeb – silver Curu – skill El – star Fela – cave Gal – light Gil – bright Piin – little Tar – tough Thurin – hidden Ul – odor
Common suffixes for male elves are: adan – man adar – father born – hot, red dir – male person dor – land, region ion – son of las – leaf thalion – hero thir - face
Female elves Unlike the other races, female elves share the exact same naming conventions as male elves. While some prefixes and suffixes are different, there is no separate method for naming females from males. Do note that the –wyn and the –wen endings might look the same, but that the –wyn is mostly reserved for the women of Rohan (and some Dale). So if you like to make a female elf, use the –wen instead.
Common prefixes for female elves are: And – long Ar – noble or high female Celeb – silver Edhel – elf Fan – cloud Galadh – tree Hir – master Mel – love Mor – dark, night Nim – small, white Sael – wise Tinu – spark
Common suffixes for female elves are: anor – sun dis – bride el – star iel – daughter of wen – female riel – probably another form of –iel uil – seaweed
Surnames Like many others, elves do not take surnames like the hobbits of Bree-folk. Generally their first name is followed by a title such as the name of their parent or an achievement earned. Watch out that you don’t use the letter ‘k’ as this does not exist in Sindarin. Instead use the letter ‘c’ for a the hard ‘k’ sound and the letter ‘s’ for the ‘s’ sound.
Khuzdul is the language of the dwarves. When a dwarf is born, he is granted a name by his parents in this language. However, the dwarves are extremely secretive about their language. Their Khuzdul name is usually known only to themselves and their immediate friends and family, and therefore is rarely shared with anyone. Keep this in mind when picking a name, as a dwarf would never share his private name with an outsider.
Male dwarves Male dwarven names are pretty straight forward. They are of Norse origin and tend to be short, no longer than two syllables. Common suffixes for dwarf names are –ori, –íon, –imli, –alin and –orin. These are usually preceded by a single consonant like ‘G’, ‘K’, ‘T’ or ‘L’. Or by clusters such as ‘Dw’, ‘Thr’ or ‘Dr’. Make sure to say your chosen name out loud. If it feels difficult to say, it is propably too complicated. Thus names such as Dlíon or Gkori should be refrained from.
Female dwarves Female dwarves use the same naming convention as their male counterparts. Therefore their names should not distinguish their gender. In general, anything you fancy in the Norse language and that has no more than two syllables should suffice. So go with what you feel is good enough.
Surnames Dwarves do have surnames, but it is not the kind that is passed down from father to son. Instead, dwarven surnames usually say something about the dwarf. That could be his profession, an interesting weapon he possesses or something that he or she has done in life. For instance in the case of Thorin Oakenshield, he used a branch from an oak tree during battle to defend himself. Thus naming himself Oakenshield afterwards to commemorate the event. Dwarves take particular pride in their crafting and their armor, so picking out something like ‘Stonebreaker’ or ‘Ironhammer’ or ‘Strongbow’. Keep in mind that dwarves prefer strength, solidity and physical power over other things. They also aren’t the merry-go-jolly type, nor are they great in sharing their feelings with outsiders. So those should not reflect in their naming.
#11971830 Jan 19, 2016 at 04:44 PM · Edited over 3 years ago
As a word after: In the end, no one can or should tell you what name you are to give your character. It is up to you to create one that you are happy with, no matter what other people think. This is a simple guide to find a lore-appropriate name for those that want one, but it is by no means a set of rules that you must live by! You will be playing with your character for a long time, hopefully, so you must choose a name you are still happy with down the road. And so long as your character isn't named Demonxkillerz, most people won't complain at all.
Good luck on creating a name, and if you feel like you're stuck, feel free to poke me in-game.