Written by Shaiel (Original Source) Editted by Shokenaw.1987
Now, a naming convention is just that. It is not a hard and fast rule that must always be obeyed, it’s not a law, it’s a general standard that most names follow, or by which they are measured. In the West, in the real world, the standard naming convention is . Not all people who live in the West, however, have names that follow that convention, either because they come from a cultural background with a different convention, or because they’ve changed it for some reason. Or, of course, they may have a name that follows the convention, but may instead be known by a nickname, a title, or some other name that doesn’t meet the convention.
The fact that some, or even many, names don’t meet the convention doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. For the record, my names don’t always follow the convention, but if they don’t there’s usually a reason or back story behind it.
The various races and (amongst Humans) ethnic groups draw from particular real world cultures and languages. So to name your characters appropriately, if you wish to do so, you just have to know the naming conventions for that particular race.
They are given a name to claim, which the cubs within a single warband derive their surnames, such as Fierceshot or Doomclaw.
This warband serves as the primary social group–and the only family–that a young Charr will ever know. Although cubs are aware of their lineage and their parents, adults have neither an interest nor a hand in the education, rearing, or growth of a young cub once delivered to the legion’s Fahrar. The legion (and the cub’s new warband as a part of that legion) comes before any blood ties.
The primus warband of any legion carries the name of that legion–Ash, Blood, Iron and in the case of the Gold Legion, Flame. This singular legion is hereditary, but the leader must claim the name through blood challenge–a fight between descendants of the Khan-Ur for supremacy within the legion.
Occasionally, non-descendants of the Khan-Ur join the Primus Warband, taking the name of their leader as their own, as is Charr tradition. But the leader of the Primus is always a descendant of the Khan-Ur, the foremost heir of the Legion and their rightful inheritor of the crown of leadership among the Charr.
It is also possible for Charr to leave the Warband of their youth, either due to a promotion or to perform a specific duty, or even because the Charr cannot fulfill assigned duties. A Charr moved from her original warband still holds loyalties to that first “family” (and therefore, such movements are unusual), however, that Charr must change her name and quickly learn to fit in with new companions or she will be nothing more than meat on the battlefield.
Like to use nicknames such as Pyre, Swift, Rend, Ember. The first half of the ‘surname’ is the name of the warband, and the second half is some attribute of that particular Charr. This is why in GW1, you had Pyre Fierceshot (ranger), Swift Fiercejustice (monk), Bonwor Fierceblade (warrior), Seer Fiercereign (ritualist), Gron Fierceclaw (assassin), etc; they were all members of the Fierce Warband. Given names (with only a few possible exceptions) are not from real world cultures. Related real world cultures (but not for naming, as above): the ancient Mongols, the Roman Empire. They also draw from the Industrial Age, which is not, of course, a ‘culture’.
Note: in GW2, Charr names have evolved somewhat and now draw more heavily on Latin/Roman influences.
Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda of Anet said the following on the Anet blog:
‘One of the lore elements of the game that I find the most fascinating is the cultural evolution of Charr names. In the original Guild Wars, the Charr were brutish, savage zealots, and their names reflected this, echoing growls and roars—“Maim Deathrain” “Slaug Firehide” “Kaargoth Bloodclaw” and the like. 250 years later, the Charr are the most technologically advanced race on Tyria, and their legions (though competitive as always) have fortified themselves into a far more organized and ranked force. Though the classic names are not wholly gone, most Charr names have echoed this cultural change, drawing exhaustively from classic Roman influences—and not just classical names, such as Aestiva and Gracchus, but military sources as well! A ballista is a large siege weapon that was used by ancient Roman forces—but it’s also got a fantastic ring for a Charr moniker.’
However, not all human names, even in GW1, fit that convention and I’m sure that those in GW2 won’t either. There were quite a lot of single name human NPCs in GW1, as well as those who used other patterns as well, such as Lady Engelram and her husband Lord Engelram, Jamora the Wise, Beldon the Blade, Sarah, Gwen, and Gwynn.
So, although the human naming convention is for multiple names, with the different human cultures using different conventions and drawing from different cultures, it is by no means unusual for single names, typical fantasy names, or descriptive names to occur. And they are all still lore-friendly. So I officially withdraw my only half-joking comments on a single name human. I guess I hadn’t really stopped to think all that out bit by bit.
With humans, you just use the appropriate cultural human naming conventions. Although everyone is now in Kryta, many of those living there now are the descendants of refugees from the other continents and nations, who fled to Kryta. So what we have is a cultural melting pot, with the people coming from a number of different national/ethnic backgrounds.
Ascalonian: English, with some other northern European names thrown in.
Kurzick: German Gothic.
Luxon: Mediterranean, mostly Greek.
Canthan: Asian, mostly Chinese, but some Japanese, Korean, etc.
Orrian: Arabian, Hebrew, Farsi (Persian).
Krytan: overall European, primarily southern/southwestern/western Europe.
Vabbian: Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi.
Istan: North African.
Kournan: Eastern and sub-Saharan Africa.
I did find a quote where they talked about the Asuran naming convention of one name – and compared it to the human convention and how some Asura used more than one name in order to fit in with human naming conventions [included below]. This does, at least, show by implication that the convention is for humans to use more than one name.
Posted 16 February 2010 – 10:53 PM
This is what our lore masters, Jeff Grubb and Ree Soesbee, had to say about Asuran naming conventions:
“The Asura do not have last names or surnames. They may take on honorifics (“The Mighty”) or titles (“Councilor”), but the nature of family is different among them (as seen by Vekk and Gadd). Their names tend to sound like a SFX from Mad Magaine (Ker-Flunk!). Male names tend to end in a consonant. Female names tend to end in a vowel.”
“The Asura are ‘not from around here,’ so their names do sound a little odd to human ears. Usually, their names consist of a short, sharp first name of one or two syllables (‘Vekk’). Those with two-syllable first names, particularly if the second syllable being a -a or -i (Vekka, Vekki) tend to be female – or get teased horribly in Asuran primary studies schools.
In social usage, Asurans follow the human tradition of Jobname Name (‘Crew Leader Zeen’) rather than having a last name as humans would identify it. To the Asurans, their job title and their krewe are the most important distinctors that one can have. It’s typical for an Asura to use his krewe’s name as a last name when dealing with humans, although this can also sound funny to those used to Krytan conventions – Fivv of Universal Necrotics, or Blira of Hyperthetical Industries.
There are a few instances in the two hundred plus years between GW1 and GW2 where unconventional Asura have taken on a more ‘human’ naming pattern in order to better socialize with their targets… er… friends. Those instances are rare and fairly uncommon, and other Asura make a habit of conveniently ‘forgetting’ about their friend’s embarrassing eccentricity.”
Often use double letters, particularly consonants.
Female names end in a vowel, especially ‘a’ or ‘i’. Male names end in a consonant.
(They)Don’t have family names (surnames), but they may use honorifics (The Mighty) or titles (Councillor), or a pattern of Jobname Name (Krewe Leader Zeen), or use their krewe’s name (Fivv of Universal Necrotics, Blira of Hyperthetical Industries).
They may take a more human naming pattern ‘in order to better socialize with their targets … err … friends’. In cases such as this, which are rare, other Asura tend to ignore the Human surname, which is seen as an embarrassing eccentricity. Are usually a ‘short, sharp first name of one or two syllables’.
Related real world cultures: Norse, Viking, 9th Century Germanic.
May have a ‘title-like’ surname such as ‘the Guardian’
May have a typical fantasy surname such as Truthseeker, Poundfist, Shadowhunter.
May use a patronymic – the father’s given name + either ‘son’ or ‘dottir’.
Have only one name – no surname.
Related real world cultures: Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic.
Use plant names as well as Celtic/Gaelic names.
Name Ideas for All Races: http://forums.ashenfold.com/showthread.php?tid=486&pid=2491#pid2491
Guild Wars 2 Guru Thread: http://www.guildwars2guru.com/topic/11186-gw2-character-naming-resources/