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 Gondorian Surnames

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Posts : 94
Join date : 2009-05-18

PostSubject: Gondorian Surnames   Sun May 31, 2009 3:14 pm

I'm currently debating giving myself a surname but I'm having trouble deciding if this is actually lore-friendly or not considering I am a man of Gondor. I've checked quite a few sources now and everytime I find something it hints more and more that Gondorians just didn't have them. There are multiple websites that suggest that surnames were common among the men of Dale and Bree but I have yet to find anything for Gondor or even Rohan for that matter, although I could be wrong on the latter.

As I'm a complete and utter lore-junkie I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of a website that explains this in detail? Smile

Who knows I may even end up with the surname Picard!! Laughing (Joking of course!)
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PostSubject: Re: Gondorian Surnames   Sun May 31, 2009 3:28 pm

Sorry for the double-post but I've just found this.

Unlike the other races, a member of the Race of Man's name relies heavily on its origin/nationality. A man from Dale's name is going to sound nothing like the name of a man from Bree. The conventions for both the first names and surnames are highly varied between each culture. This is mostly due to the fact that men live such short lives and live so far away from each other, and also due to war, which has separated members of the race greatly. The cultures of the four nationalities are so varied that if you want a lore-appropriate name for role-playing, you will have to choose the name first based on your character's chosen nationality. With the other races, this isn't as important.


Men of Bree
The Men of Bree use simple, English-sounding names that are generally short (one or two syllables). Examples are: Nat, Tom, Bill, Cole. However, chances of finding a server with any of those names open are slim. Creativity is needed to pick a name that is unique but also lore-appropriate. There are several Bree-landers with more elaborate names such as "Barliman" and "Cuthbert". A good way to find 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 common last names and use them as your character's first name such as "Ward", "Nichol", "Bowman", or "Sutton". Bree-men are probably the most difficult to name due to the common nature of their names. While it isn't strange in Bree for many people to have the same first name, it is not possible in the game. Therefore, it takes quite a bit of creativity to choose an appropriate name for your character.

Women of Bree
Women of Bree also have sensible, simple names. Examples of these names 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 "Claribel". The key to making a woman (or man) 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.

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: they generally refer to plants and plant-life. Almost all of the surnames in Bree-land are the names of plants or at least have something to do with plant-life. For example: Ferny, Butterbur, Cutleaf. The best way to choose a surname is to find a list of plants and create your own using the name of a flower or garden plant that you enjoy. Many of the names that are already in the game are available as well, so taking a jog around Bree to find the perfect surname is a good idea.


Men of Dale
The Men of Dale tend to use names of Norse or Anglo-Saxon origin. Male names are often passed down from father to son, numbering each descendant who uses the name (i.e. Bard I, Bard II). Each family in the region may have its own characteristics for naming. For instance, one family might name all of their children beginning with the letter "b", or ending in "-ain". Therefore 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. Unlike elves, who rarely name their children after elves that have already lived, there is no shame in naming a man of Dale after his grandfather or uncle.

Women of Dale
The Women of Dale also have names of Norse or Anglo-Saxon origin. 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 name "Beornwyn" one can assume that it is possible. The first names of both the men and the women of Dale are very similar to those of Rohan.

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 can be achieved using the in-game heritage system, where one playing may adopt another to acquire this title. However, it will be very difficult to find a good name for a parent character unless there is some planning involved. 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 game play.


Men of Gondor
Generally, the Men of Gondor use names from the elvish language of Sindarin. Therefore, their names are often similar to those of elves. This is because the Gondorians have a connection with elves, being the closest descendants of Númenor. Though they have been estranged form the elves over the years due to corruption and a mixing of blood, they still maintain many of the old traditions. One of them is naming. Examples of names of men from Gondor are "Denethor, Boromir, and Faramir". Notice that like the men of Dale, children often have naming features in common (such as -mir, -thor). Not all Gondorian names have to mean something in Sindarin, but almost all of them contain features from the language.

Women of Gondor
Like the men, the Women of Gondor receive Sindarin names. Examples given by Turbine are "Gilraen" and "Ioreth". Some common prefixes are "Celeb-, Breg-, El-, and Ior-" and common suffixes are "-el, -eth, -wen, and -wing".

Gondorians generally use titles instead of last names, like the Dale-folk. If you are bent on choosing a surname, one creative way to do it would be to find the name of a weapon or item that is somehow dear to your character and use that as a surname. However, if you want a true surname, there is one exception. You may construct a surname by taking the name of your character's father or mother and putting "-ion" after it if your character is male, and "-iel" if your character is female.

Keep in mind that the suffix "-ion" means "son of", and the suffix "-iel" means "daughter of". This means that male characters should never use the "-iel" suffix, and female characters should never use "-ion". This also means that using the "-ion" suffix and the "son of" title is redundant. In effect, the name "Elodrin Evrethion, son of Evreth" means "Elodrin son of Evreth, son of Evreth". While it's funny for people in the know, no actual self-respecting Gondorian would be running around with that name. If this doesn't suit your character, you might want to forgo the surname and just use a title.


Men of Rohan
The Men of Rohan use names that are of Anglo-Saxon origin. They use naming conventions, prefixes, and suffixes that are quite similar to the Dale-folk. However, the names of the Men of Rohan tend to be longer, around 3 syllables. Examples of names used by men from Rohan are "Eorl, Brego, Théoden, Théodred, and Éomer". There is some evidence that siblings tend to have similar names. For instance, "Théoden" is the brother of "Théodwyn", and "Éomer" is the brother of "Éowyn". Common prefixes for male name are "Éo-, Ha-, Then-, and Théo". Common suffixes are "-dred, -den, -laf, and -a".

Women of Rohan
The Women of Rohan also take Anglo-Saxon names. The prefixes and suffixes suggested by Turbine match those of the women from Dale. Based on the lore provided by Tolkien, the ending "-wyn" seems to be popular for women. The names of women also take prefixes identical to the men, but the suffixes are often different to indicate the gender of the character. For instance, "Éomer" and "Éowyn" have the prefix "Éo-" in common, but "Éowyn" has the feminine suffix. Brothers and sisters are often named this way in Rohan, so if your character has a sibling you might want to take this into account.

Like men form Dale and men from Gondor, the Rohirrim do not have surnames that are passed down in the family. Instead, they generally go exclusively by their first name and any titles that they may have accumulated in their lives. This includes "Lord of the Mark" for kings of Rohan. Therefore, unless you plan to make a custom title using the surname system it is probably best just to leave it off altogether and use a title you have earned in-game instead.

Things to keep in mind when naming your character:

The letters "z", "q", and "x" do not appear in the names of men or women. The only exception is for women of Bree who are named after flowers, such as "Azalea".
While it is not an actual option to make a character that is a Dúnedain (or ranger), some people like to role-play as one. If you want to do this, use the naming conventions of the Gondorians.
Shorter is better! In your quest to find a name that is unique but lore-appropriate you may be tempted to make it extremely long or complicated in order to make it sound authentic. However, nobody wants to try to type out "Eowingswithion" or "Harthalethiel", nor do they want to pronounce it. The point of naming a character is not to give its own identity but to give it a marker - a way for people to identify you. Don't spend hours trying to find the perfect Sindarin or Norse name that spells out the personality and significance of your character if it's going to make a complicated name that nobody in Middle Earth would actually use. In the end, it is just a name. Who your character is is defined by how you play it, not what it is called. Keep the name down to three syllables maximum unless you are sure the name is simple enough to be easily pronounced. This will make it easier on your group members an make your name more memorable.

In the end, you must choose a name that you are happy with. What other people think do not matter. This is a simple guide to find a lore-appropriate name for those who want one, but if your character's name does not perfectly match the guide, don't worry! Chances are, most people will just be happy your character isn't name "Demonxkillerz" and won't complain about what you have chosen. You will be playing with this character for a long time, so you must choose a name that you will be happy with down the road.
Tags: featured, human, lord-of-the-rings-online, lore, lorebook, lotro, naming, naming-policy, tolkien, turbine
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Class: Captain
Gender: Male

PostSubject: Re: Gondorian Surnames   Sun May 31, 2009 3:48 pm

Nice find!

It all depends on how closely you want to stick to lore to be fair, I like to see the above as a set of guidelines and certainly wouldn't jump down peoples throats for not sticking to it to the letter, but it does form a great basis for making characters.

With regards to your surname choice, Argothir I would personally would leave off a surname, but thats just me. I've always seen Gondorians and upstanding and noble, having titles rather than surnames.

Again though, nice find - thanks for sharing with the forum.

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