In Game of Thrones, bastards of highborns, like kings or lords are given bastard names like Snow in the North, and Sand in Dorne. So these names are given due to the region they are born in or the area the father belonged to.

Suppose if some Stark or Bolton had a bastard with some Dorne lady and that boy was raised in Dorne, what will be his last name?

  • 2
    Excellent question. Good to clear some of these vague circumstances...
    – Möoz
    Apr 20, 2015 at 0:13

3 Answers 3


Probably he (or she) is named after the place they are first raised in. Case in point: Jon Snow. Jon was not born in the North, but (if a popular theory is to be believed) in Dorne. Yet he is given the Northern name for Bastards. Also, a father's lineage is not taken into consideration. Case in point: King Robert's bastards. Only one of them holds the Stormlands bastard name: Edric Storm who was raised in Storm's End. On the other hand we have Mya Stone who is widely known to be Robert's bastard, but is given the name of the Vale bastards.

  • I'm pretty sure it's the father's choice, the default however is the place. Apr 20, 2015 at 8:51

So Spake Martin:

Bastard names are given only to bastards with at least one parent of high birth. So the bastard child of two peasants would have no surname at all.

Thus a bastard name like "Snow" or "Rivers" is simultaneously a stigma and a mark of distinction. The whole thing with bastard names is custom, not law.

The highborn parent can bestow the usual name, a new one of his/her own devising, or none at all.

According to the wiki:

As the surname is applied depending on the region where the bastard is raised, bastards who are half-siblings may have different surnames. For example, Robert Baratheon's eldest bastard, born in the Vale, is called Mya Stone while his bastard from the Stormlands is called Edric Storm.


Suppose if some Stark or Bolton had a bastard with some Dorne lady and that boy was raised in Dorne, what will be his last name?

It depends on where the child was born. If the child was born in Dorne, it will be 'Sand.' If they were born in the North, then it will be 'Snow.'

I'm basing this on S07E07, "The Dragon and the Wolf". In that episode, Bran Stark says of Jon Snow to Sam:

He was born in a tower in Dorne.
His last name isn't really Snow, it's Sand.
Dornish bastards are named Sand.

At that point, Bran Stark (as the Three-Eyed Raven) had a vision of Jon Snow's real parents but is yet to have a vision that they were married. This suggests that the bastard child's surname is based on the region the child was born in, rather than where their parents are from, or where they grew up or were raised.

Case in point: Jon Snow. Bran knew this of him at this point:

  • father is from the Crownlands
  • mother is from the North
  • grew up in the North
  • born in Dorne

Bran knew all this, so he corrected Jon Snow's surname from 'Snow' to 'Sand.'

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