Looking through the newly released list of the most popular baby names from last year, it's easy to spot all kinds of pop culture parallels if you're looking for them. But two names on the Social Security Administration's list of the 500 most popular have spiked in recent years in a way that correlates particularly strongly with one very popular show and one very popular movie: Arya and Elsa.
Arya didn't appear in the top 500 names in 2011, the year Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. It was ranked at 942 in 2010 and 714 in 2011. Then in 2012, the year after the show started, it shot all the way up to 412, rising to 278 in 2013, and finally 216 in the latest rankings. The homonymic name Aria has seen a similar rise in popularity the last few years, jumping from rank 353 in 2010 to 157 in 2011 and 91 in 2012. In 2014 it was the 31st most popular name for girls.
Elsa has also enjoyed a rise in popularity the last few years. Keep in mind Frozen hit theaters in late 2013, so this year's list is the first that would reliably show any influence the movie had on baby names. It was ranked at 550 in 2012 and 528 in 2013, then in 2014's numbers it jumped all the way to 286.
In an in-depth look at the rising popularity of the name "Elsa," the New York Times points out this is the first time it's cracked the top 500 since 1917. In case you're curious, Anna hasn't seen a similar rise, but maybe that has something to do with its steady popularity. It's been in the top 40 since before the year 2000.