Guild Wars Comprehensive Character Name Guide

Dominus.7013's picture

Categories: 

The five races have different naming standards. While not a requirement, a name that adheres to these standards will identify a character as a member of their race. This resource helps explain the naming conventions for each race in Guild Wars 2. If you would like to use a name generator, you can use the Fantasy Name Generators web site.
This guide is more in-depth than the Guild Wars Character Naming Conventions guide, and goes into more detail with regard to creating more culturally and lore appropriate characters. It is recommended that both guides be read for a full understanding of the Guild Wars character naming conventions.

Human Names

Humans have had the most culturally diverse civilization dating back well over a thousand years. Each continent of Tyria often featured at least three major ethnic groups, with Elona acting as an area of three provincial subcultures.

Ascalonians

The fallen Kingdom of Ascalon was the first place players ever saw in the world of Guild Wars. It was a land with a high culture of magic, art and academics. Ascalonians recognized a basic surname related to their family, and often had Northern European or Anglo-Saxon names.

General Conventions

Ascalonians seem to have the most basic of naming conventions, with a first name and a surname. In this case, the Surname indicates what family they come from (e.g., Redwold Ethelworth, Eric Thatcher). For nobility, you may want to consider terms such as Von (could work for Kurzicks too).

Krytans

Kryta, a Nation formerly ruled by the theocracy of the White Mantle, has risen to power in the past two centuries. Krytans descend from primarily Elonan stock, but there is a definite infusion of Ascalonian. Kryta is a diverse nation with many of its settlements under threat of centaur invasion.

General Conventions

A few things to note about Krytan names, is that not all of them have last names; some just go by their title, such as Justiciar Halbion or Collector Maath.

Here is what we do know:
  • Krytan names can contain double vowels.
  • Krytan names can have contractions, such as D'Allesio or D'Leod. So French surnames can also be considered.

Like most humans, the surname denotes a family relation. A thing to note here is that because of their mixed cultural background, Krytans are going to be far more varied than other human groups (e.g., Jacque D'Alessio, Guard Kara, etc).

Orrians

A lost continent and a people who now live in the Shadow of Zhaitan, the Orrians were once under the shadow of the Gods themselves. Orrians, though descending from Ascalonians, seem to have more in common name wise with the people of Vabbi in Elona. A thing to note that since the undead are invading from Orr, having an outright Orrian name may not be the best thing to advertise. It might be suggested to hide your character's lineage under the guise of Elona, or perhaps Kryta.

General Conventions

There isn't much to go on for Orrians, especially since the Cataclysm wiped out most of the living population. From what we do know, many of them seem to have Arabic or Persian influenced names. There is a Champion in GW2 named Nasir Al Tineen . This could suggested that arabic naming conventions might work for an Orrian (i.e., Nasir bin Rahim means Nasir, son of Rahim and Nasira bint Rahim means Narsira, daughter of Rahim).

For family names, you could use "Al" (roughly means "of the," or it can refer to being from a city) or just include the last name (i.e., Nasir al Arah means Nasir of Arah and Nasir Al Bahuri means Nasir of the Bahur Clan).

If you really want a very formal name, consider something like Nasira bin Rahim al Bahuri, which means Nasir son of Rahim of the Bahuri Clan.

A few other things to note:
  • Orrian names can end in a vowel for males (e.g., King Reza).
  • Orrian names can use the digraph "Kh" (e.g., Vizier Khilbron).

Imperial Canthans

Descended from the first migration of humans to come from the south into Cantha, they make up the bulk of the Dragon Empire's population. With the rise of Emperor Usoku in 1127 AE, many political dissidents and critics were cast out of the nation with the new emperor's far more militaristic rule.

General Conventions

Canthan naming seems to favor a Chinese feel, with the Japanese like names primarily occurring without a surname. For the basic construction of convention, Canthan names most likely follow the Eastern Asian style, with the family name coming before the given name (i.e., Mai is a member of the Long family, therefore her full name is Long Mai).

On the other hand, if your character's family is not a die-hard family, then following a more diluted Krytan form is fine (i.e., Mai Ling instead of Ling Mai).

Japanese names, though they do appear in abundance, very rarely occur with a surname. They seem to occur more along a singular format (i.e., Asuko, not Asuko Tori).

Kurzicks

A forest dwelling people that once ruled the Echovald forest, the Kurzicks were a religious group believing in not only the Five Gods (most likely later Six), but also their Saints. The Kurzicks were unique, like the Luxons, as culturally and linguistically they share no commonality with the mainland Canthans. Separated into different clannish Houses, they were ruled by a Council of Nobles made up of the five primary Houses of the Kurzick Nation.

Naming Conventions

Like most, if not all, human cultures in Tyria, the Kurzicks have a given or first name and then a last name. The last name is usually the name taken from their House, which is often descended from an important ancestor or possibly a Kurzick saint. Some Kurzicks only have a given name, which could suggest a lack of affiliation with an existing House (i.e., Ludwig Karloff means Ludwig of House Karloff and Ludwig Ludwig of no house).

Another thing to consider is the usage of the name marker "zu" (e.g., zu Heltzer). This seems to mean "Of the House" (i.e., Ludwig zu Karloff means Ludwig of the House Karloff).

Or you could possibly use the equally possible "von" which is used in Germanic names to denote nobility (e.g., Ludwig von Karloff).

When it comes to Kurzick names, it is highly suggested that you avoid using the names of the Former Great Houses, including Houses Durnheim, zu Heltzer, Lutgardis, Vasburg, and Brauer. These groups constitute important lineages that, if referred to by a character, would possibly be a serious abuse of the public RP environment. It is the same as saying you are related to the Krytan Royal family.

Luxons

A former seafaring people that once championed the waves of the Unending Ocean, the Luxons are rumored to be relatives or distant cousins of the Margonite civilization (which collapsed in 0 AE). A culture separated into three Clans that were once ruled by a Captain and a Champion. The Luxons favored a nomadic lifestyle and leadership gained through strength.

General Conventions

Unlike other human societies, the Luxons do not seem to put much emphasis on surname with singular names being more popular. Most Luxons seem to go by a singular name or by a title bestowed upon them (e.g., Attis, Champion Attis, Elder Attis, etc). However a Luxon could possibly identify openly with their clan (e.g., Attis of the Crab) or could possibly have a descriptive title (e.g., Attis the Strong).

With surnames (which seem to be in a slightly smaller portion of the population), one could try something like Attis Achilleus

Some Luxon names seem to have an almost Italian usage of their vowels. This doesn't mean that they have Italian like names, but that using Italian to influence a Greek name would be a good way to add a personal spin on one's Luxon character.

Some Luxons do have surnames which seem to be the name of their father (e.g., Attis Ekarus, the son of Seaguard Ekarus).

Elonians

They are a nation split in three, that was once ruled by the Primeval Kings, and the likes of Turai Ossa. The Land of the Golden Sun was a place united in culture, but divided in nationality. Each province of Elona had it's established traditions, history and subculture. This led to not only differences in how they were ruled, but also slight differences in the names of each province. The Istani were a maritime people, while the Kournans were militaristic, and the Vabbians were rich and artful.

General Conventions

The Elonians use a first and last name like most of humanity. Their surname, it seems, often implies membership within a Clan or Tribe, not necessarily just a family. Some simply go by a job title, a singular name, or a simple family. Many of these names often also use the combination of a vowel, and then an "h" (i.e., Dendeh Alam means Dendeh of the Alam family or the Alam Clan).

Humans from Lion's Arch and the Corsairs

The Corsairs were a group that once sailed the Unending Ocean in a similar fashion to the Luxons before the Jade Wind. Made up of many different folk, the Corsairs were a force to be reckoned with throughout Elonian History. By the time of GW2, their legacy can be seen in the Culture and the construction of the Free City of Lion's Arch.

General Conventions

The People of Lion's Arch are a mixed bag; a melting pot of culture from across Tyria. A human here is more likely to have more varied names, such as Cezar the Quick or Shing Blackmaw.

Norn Names

They are Norn, former hunters and heroes of the far North now cast down by the Ice Dragon Jormag. Split into two major centers of culture, the Norn fight on one day hoping to reclaim their lost homeland.

Norn and Family

Before we begin to consider Norn names, the one looming thing to consider is family. Norn in general do not have a concept of family names (a bit like the Luxons). They do not have clans or tribes or any form of extensive family system, except for the Homestead. Some Norn families will care about one's lineage (e.g., Olaf, Seventh Son of Olaf), while others do not.

Norns not caring much for an extended lineage does not mean they do not care for recognizing their family. Conventionally, the Norn take their name inspiration from the Nordic peoples of Earth. In that regard we must identify the concept of given name and after-name.

Your given name is the one you call yourself or the name given to you by your parents. Your fore-name, or after-name, is the aspect that relates to family, acts as an honorific, or is a title. Therefore, Norn recognize family in this manner:

  • Male norn may end their after-name in either -sson or -son with the first part being their father or in some cases their mother (whomever they identify most).
  • Female norn may end their after-name either in -dottir or -dottr. Such as with their male compatriots, the first part of is made up of a parent.
  • Another thing they might do is use the suffix -kin to possibly reference their relation to a parent or family member, or perhaps even an ancestor (i.e., Eir Stegalkin means Eir, kin, or family, of Stegal; note that this is an inference).

Norn First Names

At the core of the Norn way of life is the story or the legend that they construct for themselves. By creating a legend, their name will live forever and their legacy will carve a path for other Norn to follow. At the core of it all is one's name, something one must cherish, for if you don't, how will you live forever?

Norn first names are inspired by the ancient tribes of the Far North, and of heroes such as Thor the Thunderer, or Beowful, the Slayer of Grendal.

The Honorific and Lion's Arch Norn

Not all Norn names will follow the simple feel of the after-name. Some names will be forged in battle, and the crucible, of the threat of Jormag. Those who earn the legend might take another name as those who hope to prove it. This is an honorific or a title. Honorifics or titles can be found in many ways among the Norn. In some ways, these could also be a form of descriptor.

  • Descriptors come in the form of after-names, such as Proudfist, Farhunter, or Shadowstalker.
  • A descriptor title could relate to their chosen spirit, such as Oxfist or Ravenheart.
  • An Honorific might appear in many forms, such as Magnus the Blood-Handed.

The Norn of Lion's Arch seem to have names that do not constitute the normal, usual form of Norn naming. Two known names include Magnus (a roman name), and Sangjo. It would seem that Norn that do not follow the normal form would be seen as more of those following the racial melting pot of Lion's Arch.

Charr Names

Many years ago, the Charr were united in a vast Empire that was ruled by the greatest warrior they would ever see, the Khan-Ur. After his death, the Charr fell into internal warfare, until the Flame Legion's oppression arose to control them for an era. Then came Pyre Fierceshot, and later Kalla Scorchrazor, and at the Plains of Golghein, the High Legoins threw off their oppressors, and began the work for a new age.

The Fahrar and the Warband

At the core of a young charr's life is the Fahrar, or a form of creche or boot camp, controlled by a High Legion. Each Legion controls one or many of these places, and from each will be trained the next generation of Charr Soldiers. Within the Fahrar, an older Charr, known as a Primus, overlooks a group of young charr, forced together through common cause and trial. These groupings over time, after they have proven themselves, will claim a name that will form the basis of their Warband.

Warbands are charr family, and they are the core of Charr naming. From a warband comes your warband-name, or your last name, as a Charr. The name of a warband often implies its purpose, its legion, or what it is best at.

Examples:

  • The Ember warband is good with heavy guns, explosives and overall killing Goldies (Gold Legion or Flame Legion).
  • The Ghost Warband is from the Ash Legion, and is trained in wet work (killing targets) and recon.
  • The Blade Warband is trained and excels in frontal assault, and wishes to prove itself above all others.

Warbands are often assigned a duty or oversee an general area within the Charr military. The Junk warband might be in charge of scrapping while another might be part of a mining contingent. The Warband name can also occur as a prefix "Fistshaker" and a suffix "Proudfist" with both Charr being in the "Fist" warband.

A Warband can have the name of other warbands, which means there are many Ghost Warbands, and many Blade Warbands. A name of a Warband is not reserved for any legion, except for that of the Primus Warband.

The Primus Warband

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.

Ecology of the Charr

To be a member of the Primus Warband means several things. First, it means that you, as a Charr, are related to, or are a descendant of, the Khan-Ur. Second, it means that you are in the Warband, or the, "family," of the Imperator of your legion. For this reason it is suggested that players avoid the follow names for their Charr warbands.

  • Blood
  • Flame or Gold

To claim these names is to say you are above other players, even if it is unintentional. Not unlike claiming relation to human royalty.

Additional Notes

  • Charr male names mostly end in a consonant, but may, in uncommon circumstances, end in a vowel. However, they never end in a double vowel (Dinky).
  • Charr names may use double vowels between two consonants (Vatlaaw).
  • Female Charr names mostly end in an open syllable, meaning it ends with a vowel. They, unlike male names, may end in two vowels (Balthea Havocbringer).

Archaic and Modern Charr Names

As the Charr have retaken their lives from the Flame Legion centuries before, and retaken Ascalon from the Humans, they have undergone a cultural, and partially linguistic, evolution. Where once they roamed in partial camps, they now reside in grand industrial fortresses and mechanical outpost towns. Over time this has led to a change in their naming practices, a change from the archaic, harsher names such as Hrangmar (a flame legion fortress), to the more modern names, such as Ligacus Aquilo (A waypoint in the Black Citadel).

The Older Feel of Charr Naming

Charr names in general have always been harsh sounding; names such as Vatlaaw, Burr, and Phang. These older names are of an older time, and while still prevalent, are slowly being moved out of usage. Names from languages such as Mongol or other Northern steppe peoples might offer a good source of names, especially with such terms as Khan-Ur (the mongolians have a related term, that being, Gur-Khan, or Khagan).

The Newer Feel of Charr Naming

With the evolution of the Charr race from the formerly violent barbarians under the Flame Legion, they have risen into glory and now lead with their clockwork technology. With this rise in technology and organization, the Charr have seen a change from the harsher names of the past, to more disciplined names for the future. More disciplined names for the Charr seem to favor a Roman (Latin), or even Greek flavor.

Gladium and those without Warband Names

Those without a warband are simply called Gladium, as they are the outcasts of the Charr race. Many who lack a warband might still carry the name of their warband, or in other cases take up a name of their own choosing. This is not to say that choosing a name of their own marks a Charr as a Gladium, only that many Gladium take such names. For even if a Charr joins a warband, they are not forced to take the name, only be a part of it. Few charr do in fact take up names such as Nemetes the Strong or Galar the Quick.

As a Charr grows in rank, they might even change their names. Once in a low ranking, Blade Warband might become the Centurion of a higher warband, and thus take the name of the Staff Warband. Other cases show that some charr even take descriptive names such as Red Eye the Unholy, if they are high enough rank.

Asura Names

The highly intelligent Asura once dwelt in magnificent cities, such as lost Quora Sum, that rivaled the lavish design that is now found in Rata Sum. Driven above ground after seeing their thousands year old civilization die in mere moments, the Asura found themselves in an alien world. Now, after centuries of rebuilding, they have re-established themselves as a racial power in Tyria with their technology and the aide it gives to the other races.

The Basics of Asuran Names

The Asura have a somewhat alien feel to them, meaning that their names do not sound much like any other naming convention in Tyria. That is because their names, to outsides, can be downright peculiar (not to them at least, bookah). The first thing many will notice is, their names are short, or that they just sound abrupt.

The major building block of the Asura name is the question, "Is it male or is it female?" The basics of Asuran names states that:

  • Female names usually end in a vowel (e.g., Tekka).
  • Male names often end in a consonant (e.g., Tekk).
  • Asuran names often contain a double vowel.
  • Singular syllable names seem to be the most common, but Asuran names can contain two syllables (e.g., Lummox or Telekk). In some cases they can even contain three syllables, but they never (based on what is currently provided in the lore) exceed three syllables.
  • In other cases, Asuran names do not need to include the double consonant (they are still the majority style), and they just sound abrupt or, as Jeff Grub described, as a sort of comic book sound. This means that Names such as Tzark (he is in the Catacombs dungeon) and Tlick are viable names.

Inspiration for Asuran Names

The Occupation over Family

Unlike the other races, the Asura have no naming convention that relates to a given family, a bloodline, or any form of lineage. They simply do not think it is that important. To an Asura, one's family is where one is spawned, and the beloved (maybe) early education of one's life. They do care about their family, but as it has been shown it is not the same exchange one would see among humans, a Norn, or even the Charr and their warbandmates. No, the Asura care more about what they have done, or the krewe they are working with at that point.

By not having family, Asura turn to another thing to show relation to in their names: their work. Yes, Asura care more about their achievements, and this shows in how they refer to themselves.

  • Krew Leader Makk
  • Inventor Dexx
  • Master Gekkit (meaning he might have an apprentice)

Other Asura might introduce themselves by a more formal name denoting a current project, or area of expertise.

  • Mogg of Economical Splicing Theory
  • Mogg of Alchemical Enterprise

In other cases the Asura may just reference an honorific.

  • Mogg the Inquisitive
  • Mogg the Eccentric

And for those who might desire other names? Well they do exist. Some Asura even take up humanish names; however, they are often forgotten by a society that considers them eccentric, bookah loving, weirdos.

Sylvari Names

They are the Children of the Pale Tree and the youngest major race in modern Tyria. Emerging from the Tarnish Coast just twenty-three years ago, the strange plant-like people soon spread throughout Tyria with each generation following the Twelve Firstborn.

The Inspiration Behind Sylvari Names

The Sylvari are a strange race, one that in many ways is almost human, but in other ways, their planty exterior belies their alien nature. They are a race that were all born from a tree, meaning they lack the bonds of family that other races have. This means last names that show family relation do not really exist; they aren't necessarily considered (more on last names later) when a Sylvari is born. In fact, it seems from birth that either the Pale Tree names the individual, or more likely, that Sylvari simply name themselves after Awakening from the dream.

The inspiration for this mysterious new race comes from several sources, including Irish Mythology, Welsh Folklore, and Arthurian Legend. The Tablet-following Sylvari of the Grove (called Dream Sylvari by some), and their conflict with the Nightmare Court (called Nightmare Sylvari by some), mirrors the conflict between the irish Faerie courts of the Seelie and Unseelie (Seleigh and Unseleigh in Irish). The chilvarious knight feel of the Sylvari is definitely seen in the stories of , while their ritualism and unearthly feel is mirror in the Irish Sidhe or the Welsh Tylwyth Teg.

Most stories from the Celtic annals are the stories of passion and drama. In many ways, that can be seen in the Sylvari, as at the same time they have expanded beyond that to become their own entity unto themselves.

Non-Celtic Sources

For those seeking for a non-Celtic influence Sylvari name here are some good sources:

Sylvari Evolution and Naming

As a Sylvari experiences the world, their perception of it will change. Consider how old a Sylvari is, and what they have seen. What did they first encounter after leaving the grove, and how long where they there? These factors are something to take into one's pondering as the decision to change the Sylvari's original name appears. This is a truth that should be considered, as a species that wishes to experience will often most likely reflect that in how they identify themselves. This form of identification will require an event to provide reasoning for a change. This can be a random encounter, some kind of revelation, or simply a process of realization of one's character.

This means that the notion of last name may come as a factor for some Sylvari. This doesn't mean they will attempt to take a family name; although a Sylvari group mimicking a family might do such a thing. Very likely, a Sylvari will create a title or honorific (i.e., Neil an Sealgaire means Neil the Hunter and Neil Firewalker could mean that he is an elementalist).

Using Group or Place related Titles

A final source for names is not necessarily a form of identification through an event, but where a Sylvari is from. In many ways, their origin, or a place they hold ties to, will matter quite a bit to a Sylvari. Often Sylvari identify themselves via their cycle, leading to a simple introduction (e.g., Dara of the Night).

Sylvari could also identify themselves by their home region or alignment to the Tablet or the Nightmare (e.g., Dara of the Dream, Dara of the Nightmare, Dara of the Grove, Dara of Caledon Forest).

Sylvari might also identify themselves by the occupation or services they offer (i.e., Warden Dara means this Sylvari is a defender of the Grove, while Knight Dara of Agony means they are a knight of the Nightmare Court).

This content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and originally appeared on the Guild Wars 2 Roleplay Wiki (link to original wiki document). It has been republished here because the wiki's subscription has expired. Some formatting modifications, as well as grammatical and spelling corrections, have been made to this document. Footnotes referencing dead links have been removed. The original copyright and trademark notices have been removed from the document, as they appear at the bottom of this web site.

Tags: 

Public Attachments: