like probably everyone else and their mother, I got myself The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim! And what can I say? I loved Morrowind, I had so much fun with Oblivion, and Skyrim is just so cool and…epic. Simply epic. The soundtrack, textures, design, world-building, amount of quests and tasks, the amount of freedom the player has…stunning!
But, with the setting comes - for me, at least - the problem of naming one’s characters. I like to stay as close to the ‘roots’/’setting’/’vibe’ as possible, which is why I put a lot of consideration into naming the characters that I make. Because of that, I compiled some sources and resources on names for ‘Skyrim’-characters. Mainly I researched names suitable for a Nord, but I also have some general sources and tips.
The list(s) may be interesting for those like me, who like to chose their character’s name(s) according to the mood of a game, or those who simply want some inspiration for their characters’ names.
-> If you can, look at past games for inspiration. If you do not possess any of the previous games, or aren’t willing to look/re-install etc, check out the various ‘Elder Scrolls’-wikis: http://www.uesp.net/, http://elderscrolls.wikia.com, etc. You can either
a) Just copy the exact name of a minor/major NPCs of a previous game of the same race and sex/gender; that way, you can be sure it fits 100% to the names of the NPCs of the same race.
b) Recombine or reinterpret, change or rearrange names of characters of previous installments; for example, take the first name of one character, and the last name of another. Or create female form of a male name, or the other way around, etc. If you stick with the race, it should ‘fit’.
-> You can also, of course, write/type down a list of previous names of one race, compare them and collect the differences and similarities between the names of one race and sex/gender, and create your own names out of those ‘rules’ or guidelines.
Name Generators - General:
http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/?p=modding_data/ngen - generates a selection of names for the different races of Tamriel, for both genders/sexes. The selection is, as far as I have experienced, limited, but of course, the same tips as above apply to these names as well; they can be re-arranged, shortened, recombined, changed.
Name Generators - Specific - Imperials:
http://www.behindthename.com/random/ - Select all possible ‘Roman’, and possibly ‘Greek’, names. As far as I am aware, Imperial names are very close to or directly Latin/Roman names.
Name Generators - Specific - Nord:
http://www.behindthename.com/random/ - Again this generator, but this time, select ‘Norse Myth’, as well as Finnish, Swedish, German, Ancient Germanic, etc., since Nord names seem to be based on or directly taken from Norse/Germanic names.
http://www.behindthename.com/ - Check out the lists of ‘Finnish’, ‘Frisian’, ‘German’, ‘Norwegian’, ‘Germanic Mythology’, ‘Norse Mythology’, ‘Finnish Mythology’, ‘Ancient Germanic’ and ‘Ancient Scandinavian’ names (list of name lists may not be complete) for names. They are very extensive, and offer also references to the relations to other names, alternative spellings, meanings and origins of the names, which may enable you to even give your character a name that matches the character’s personality, profession, etc.
http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/ - Chose your list of interest depending on the race of your character; Europe-Scandinavia, and parts of Europe-Medieval and Europe-Western should offer you names and their meanings and origins for Nord characters.
http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names.htm - Extensive lists of names and generators both. While seemingly created for naming pets, these names should also work for game characters.
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONNames.shtml - A page that offers extensive advice and info on Old Norse naming techniques/naming techniques in the Viking Age. Very interesting in itself, very helpful for naming a character in the game, but it requires some reading time.
http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/language/English-Old_Norse.pdf - English-Old Norse dictionary (pdf.-format). If one wants to use Old Norse words as character names, this is a nice source. Especially useful if one wants to give their character a ‘meaningful’ name, in my opinion.
http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/eieol/norol-BF-X.html - Another English-Old Norse dictionary, this time in form of a web-page.
(PS: Some of these pages may even hold names or terms that you encounter in the game - I recall seeing ‘Jarl’ and/or ‘Draugr’ in them somewhere…)
That is, so far, all I have managed to find.
I am thankful for any kind of additional sources, info, generators, comments. Since the game has been out for about a month now, and I have only one character so far, I am always thankful for name sources for future characters.
I also am no expert on Old Norse and Germanic/Norse languages, and did not want to spend needlessly long to search for a nice name for my character, therefore some of the information may be slightly ‘superficial’.
I hope I could help you with this list. Have fun playing the game!