Final Fantasy XIV implemented the new races Viera and Hrothgar with the recently-released Shadowbringer expansion, and today Square Enix released a relevant resource for players who embraced them.
The publisher released on the official forums two posts illustrating the naming conventions for both Viera and Hrothgar, providing players with (obviously optional) guidelines to name their characters in lore-friendly ways.
You can find them below.
The Rava and Veena clans share many traditions, naming practices among them. Thus, a Viera’s forename is not indicative of the clan to which she belongs─rather, it is the lifestyle she leads that determines whether she bears a “forest” or “city” forename.
Traditional Viera forenames given at birth are also referred to as “forest names,” as they are used by those Viera still residing in their homeland─which is the Golmore Jungle, in the case of the Rava, or the forest skirting the Skatay Range for the Veena. Forest names resemble real-world Icelandic names and are pronounced similarly─in the names “Theja,” and “Nojra,” for instance, the “j” sounds more like an English “i.”
In practice, however, one will rarely encounter a Viera using her forest name, as those who choose to leave their homes and strike out into the wider world will generally choose new “city names” for themselves to mark their parting from the traditional Viera way of life. These chosen names are often inspired by the names of other races they encounter, or simply things that they like, such as “Cherry” or “Morning Glory,” and so vary widely between individuals. Incidentally, “Fran” is one such name.
- Forest names include:
In the Viera’s forest homeland, surnames are taken from the name of the village of one’s birth. As such, the most common surnames are the names of the largest Viera villages. However, as with forenames, surnames are generally discarded or replaced once one chooses to venture into the wider world.
- Common Rava surnames include:
- Common Veena surnames include:
Hrothgar forenames are similar to old Slavic names, though certain lexemes differ─most notably, the Hrothgar word for “glory” is “thgar” rather than “slav,” so the former proliferates where one might be used to seeing the latter in real-world names (e.g. “Vladithgar”).
- For example:
“Clans” and Surnames
Though Hrothgar form their own clan-like communities, they, as a race, cannot be divided into distinct “clans” with separate traditions and features. They are instead most often sorted into the categories of “Helion” and “Lost,” according to their social status─but these labels, too, were imposed by scholars of the other races rather than the Hrothgar themselves, and have unfortunately led to certain misconceptions, such as the popular belief that Helions always have golden fur.
As the difference between “clans” and these categories that apply to Hrothgar is admittedly somewhat difficult to understand, we have updated the in-game character creation text to more clearly convey the distinction, but have also opted to explain the lore behind this categorization more thoroughly here, along with their naming conventions.
Helions are those Hrothgar currently living in service to a queen, and were so named for how their lives appear to revolve around the queen much as celestial bodies circle the sun. (Incidentally, in real-world terms “helions” specifically refers to meteoroids that began their lives as part of a sun-grazing comet, but the people of Hydaelyn have no means of making such fine astronomical distinctions.)
Hrothgar surnames are traditionally based on the name of the clan’s female, or “queen.” If the queen is still living, as is the case when it comes to Helions, her name will be prefaced by “A,” meaning “on” in the sense of “in service to,” to form the male surname of her subjects.
- For example:
– The Lost
The Lost are those Hrothgar who have found themselves bereft of their queen and─typically after a lengthy period of mourning─struck out on their own. (Like “lost” comets that can no longer be found following their previous orbital patterns, one might say.) Accordingly, their surnames are altered by removing the initial “A” and appending “sch,” meaning “lost,” to their erstwhile queen’s name.
- For example:
Final Fantasy XIV has a very strong roleplay community, mostly centered around the Balmung server and the Crystal datacenter, and this kind of data can certainly help roleplayers pick the names for their characters, or at least provide a solid starting point.
If you’re interested in the game (which has recently been updated to version 5.01), you can read our review of the latest expansion Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and our article explaining why it features the best story among all the tales told by the Final Fantasy series.
Final Fantasy XIV is currently available for PS4 and PC.
[Thanks for the tip: Adel]