The History of the Name Bran

Castell Dinas Bran near Llangollen
Castell Dinas Bran near Llangollen

“Bran” is one of those names everyone has heard but sees relatively little use. The meaning of Brân is “raven or crow” and is more likely found in place names such as Dinas Bran, or Crow Castle, in Wales. While it is a good, solid name, the popularity of Brân always seems to be just outside the baby name lists, but is seen a lot in fantasy novels and stories, usually attached to a man known for his physical strength.

In Welsh legend Bran the Blessed, also known as Bendigeid Vran, was the son of the god Lyr but without any worshippers of his own. He was a semi-humanized giant whose particular portfolio was regeneration. Later Welsh legends describe him as a king of Britain who was slain while invading Ireland, and he is linked to the Castell Dinas Bran.

Famous People Called Brân

The Brân name is currently best known from the “Game of Thrones” series on HBO, as the crippled psychic son of Ned Stark. There are a number of different famous Brans, such as Bran Ferren, who is responsible for the visual effects of “Little Shop of Horrors” and Bran Van Burkleo who did the soundtrack of “Y Tu Mama Tambien”. The Brân name has a long history, and will hopefully see more use.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and origin of other Welsh boys’ names.

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