On Monday, the entire kingdom rejoiced as Sophie Turner and husband Joe Jonas announced the birth of their first child. But there were also rumors going about the realm.
Though Turner and Jonas didn’t announce the baby’s name, multiple outlets reported that the child is a girl named Willa. Following the news, various fans and media outlets have pointed out the name may have a connection to — what else — “Game of Thrones.”
Did Turner, who spent eight seasons as Sansa Stark on “Game of Thrones,” really name her baby after an obscure reference to the show?
The internet is dark and full of errors, so a brief investigation is coming:
There are two characters supposedly named Willa in the TV version of “Game of Thrones.” One was a young Wildling saved at Hardhome who later arrives at Castle Black. But, of the two, this seems the least likely inspiration. All of her little screen time is sans Sansa.
Another Willa does share the screen with Turner. In the final season, a northern woman named Willa hits on Tormund as the Wildling laments Jaime Lannister heading off with Brienne.
“You can touch me,” Willa says in the scene. “I’m not afraid of Wildlings.”
“Maybe you should be,” Tormund replies, all flirty-like, as Sansa looks on.
The internet brought up another option — that the name Willa could be a reference to Wylla. In Season 1, when Robert Baratheon asks about Jon Snow’s mother, Ned Stark says her name is Wylla.
So, yes, there are a few possible connections; however, the two Willas were such small parts you’d have to look up their names to even be aware of them, and Sean Bean pronounces Wylla as “Why-la,” not “Will-a.”
To be honest, it’d be more impressive if Turner and Jonas could’ve come up with a name that had no connections to “Game of Thrones” at all, a feat which seems pretty impossible.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has hundreds of characters (just counting the human ones), while author George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books have thousands. Beyond that, it doesn’t take much for “Game of Thrones” fans to break out their red string and start connecting things.
In 2014, the internet went wild after Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister, posted an Instagram of a heart made of stone. Book readers assumed it was spoiling the arrival of Lady Stoneheart, the zombified version of Catelyn Stark.
It wasn’t. Headey later said she was just drunk.
Another cantankerous Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, also got everyone riled up when holding up a stuffed animal duck during a promo and saying it was a spoiler. Fans connected the duck to Ser Rolly Duckfield and another book character, Young Griff. But in the end, the duck was fowl play.
Coster-Waldau said he was just playing a prank with a random duck. Fans made the connections all themselves.
Did Sophie Turner actually name her baby after a relatively obscure “Game of Thrones” character she saw laying game on Tormund? Respect to Willa, but ... probably not? Still, is there the slightest, minuscule, minor, however tiny, little(finger) of a chance that the reported baby name was an intentional reference?
Well (sigh) ...