I Am X, Son of Y

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Uzbad Khazad-dûmu
Son of Fundin

Lord of Moria)
A gravestone, The Fellowship of the Ring

Until the latter half of the 20th century, it was generally accepted that openly bearing your father's or culture's good name as a badge of honor was perfectly acceptable behavior, as it showed filial loyalty to one's roots. Not only was "Son of Y" basically your surname in ancient times, but it's also where many last names come from ("Jacobson," "MacDonald," "bin Tariq" for example).

This is exceptionally true amongst Proud Warrior Race Guy societies in Real Life, such as the Samurai of Japan and the Knights of Europe, who by custom formally stated their names followed by father, clan and lineage out of respect for the foes before battling to the death.

Expect any Proud Warrior Race Guy (or Gal) who enacts this trope to be The Stoic and admirably honorable person who is loyal to the traditions of his or her culture. They might even be the Heir to the Throne of said culture.

An increasingly common Variant B is a character who bears the name of his father and culture as a badge of pride, despite being an outcast from said culture. Bastards and children of (often wrongfully) dishonored parents are of this variant.

Note that My Name Is Inigo Montoya is almost always crossed with this trope, as one would more often than not want the subject of his vengeance to quake in terror knowing just whom they have wronged and who is about to take their lives.

See also Patronymic.

Examples of I Am X, Son of Y include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Code Geass R2, Lelouch has he makes his way to the Sword of Akasha, Lelouch says, "I am Lelouch Vi Britannia, son of the late Empress Marianne, the prince who was abandoned by his Empire!"
  • Dragonball Z: "I Am Vegeta, Prince of Saiyajin Warrior Race!!"
    • In Fusion Reborn, the Great Saiyaman reintroduces himself to the resurrected Frieza as "Son of Goku, guardian of all that is good - Gohan."
  • In Monster Princess being born a "filthy half-human bastard", bullied and ridiculed by other werewolves since childhood, does not stop Fiery Redhead Riza Wildman from proudly announcing herself before battle as "Riza Wildman, Daughter of the Werewolf Warrior Borg Wildman!!"
  • Vinland Saga: "I am Thorfinn, son of Thors"
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: "I am Nausicaa, child of King Jhil!"
    • And later, "I am Ohma, son of Nausicaa, warrior, arbitrator and judge."

Comic Books


Kelda: My name is Kelda. Born I was of light and sky and sunrises and wind. And you are...
Bill: Bill. Born of Bills.

  • In a classic "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" short story written by Alan Moore, there was Bolphunga the Unrelenting. He pursued the Green Lantern Mogo, not knowing that the seemingly uninhabited planet that he'd landed on to find Mogo was Mogo, and introduced himself as "Bolphunga, son of Boff!"


Films -- Animated

Films -- Live-Action

  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 has an overlap of this and My Name Is Inigo Montoya when the eleven-year-old O-Ren tells the man who murdered her parents as she guts him like a fish, "Look into my eyes. Do they look familiar to you. Do I look like someone...YOU MURDERED?!"
  • "Connor, Duncan and Colin Macleod of the Clan Macleod" all bear their Highlander heritage with pride, despite the fact that the first two are cast out from their families for being demons and the third being an adopted Briton.
  • In the Mortal Kombat movie:

Liu Kang: "I am Liu Kang, descendant of Kung Lao. I challenge you to Mortal Kombat. Do you accept, or yield?"


Legolas: This is no mere ranger. He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. You owe him your allegiance.



  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, modern-style family names are only used in the Shire and Bree-land. Everyone else works with patronymics.
    • One of the best examples is Thorin declaring himself in Lake-town in The Hobbit:

"I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King Under the Mountain! I return!"

    • "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn; and if by life or death I can save you, I will."
  • It's an unusual example - she hates her blood father and everything he stood for - but in The Thrawn Trilogy, when Leia Organa Solo is almost kidnapped by a Noghri commando, he is able to smell her bloodline and calls her the Mal'ary'ush, the daughter of the savior. Of course, he doesn't mean Bail Organa. After their world was poisoned, Darth Vader showed up, created peace among the clans, had droids sent down to purify some of the soil, and got them into a deep debt to the Empire. Leia ends up accepting this and even visiting the ruined Noghri homeworld to attempt to coax them away from the Empire, and when she finds the proof that they do not in fact owe the Empire for their continued existence, she introduces herself to the Imperial-loyal ruling body as Darth Vader's daughter. When they attempt to capture her, in accordance to their new overlord's commands, she holds and ignites her lightsaber using the Force, finally getting their full attention.

Leia: "I am not merely the daughter of Lord Vader. I am the Mal'ary'ush: heir to his authority and his power. I have come through many dangers to reveal the treachery that has been done to the Noghri people."

  • In the Redwall series, Martin the Warrior announces himself as "Martin, son of Luke" multiple times in his eponymous book. Also spoken by Martin at least once in the books Mossflower, and The Legend of Luke.
    • It should be noted that at first, he introduces himself as "Martin, son of Luke the Warrior". It isn't until later that he introduces himself as "Martin the Warrior, son of Luke".
  • "I am Odysseus, son of Laertes." This makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • Done a lot in The Bible, sometimes with the variation of using the tribe name instead.
  • In the Prydain Chronicles, it's very common for characters to introduce themselves by the patronymic or matronymic. Protagonist Taran is deeply bothered by the fact that he's an orphan and can't introduce himself that way; he eventually comes to be known by many as Taran Wanderer.
  • In Pern, characters do not have surnames; instead, they tend to be given names which are an amalgamation of both parents' names. For example, Lord Jaxom was the son of Lord Fax and Lady Gemma. Lessa, in the first book, invokes the trope a bit more directly in response to F'lar implying she's a coward: I am the daughter of the Lord of Ruatha! I am afraid of nothing!
    • The trope is also discussed when Kylara has a son—she says—by T'bor, and names him T'kil. F'lar notes to Lessa that if she'd stuck perfectly to convention she would have named him T'lar, but that might "cause confusion," deliberately needling Lessa, whose jealousy is piqued by the promiscuous Kylara. Though he was monogamous subsequent to becoming Lessa's weyrmate, F'lar mentally concedes (but does not say) that the child could conceivably be his.
  • A Renunciate of Darkover (aka Free Amazons) takes oath to become known only as the daughter of her mother such as Jaelle N'ha Melora---Jaelle, daughter of Melora.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, this form of introduction is common in the Mid-World. In Wizard and Glass, Roland adresses the Wicked Witch Rhea as "Rhea, daughter of none", as he doesn't know who her father was. In Wolves of the Calla, Eddie, who never met his father, introduces himself as "Eddie Dean of New York, son of Wendell", while thinking: "At least that's what Ma always claimed."
  • In the Discworld novel Sourcery, wannabe barbarian her Nijel introduces himself as "Nijel the Destroyer, son of Harebut the Provision Merchant". Later, when he wants to impress a girl, he changes it to "Harebut the Mighty".
  • The mountain clansmen in A Song of Ice and Fire: Gunthor son of Gurn of the Stone Crows, Timmett son of Timmett of the Burned Men, Chella daughter of Cheyk of the Black Ears... and, when he introduces himself, Tyrion son of Tywin of the Clan Lannister (actually a noble house). The Dothraki are also fond of this; Drogo son of Bharbo et cetera.
  • The Outskirters, the Proud Warrior Race of The Steerswoman series, have three-part names of the form "X, Ysdotter (or Ysson), Z", where Y is one's mother and Z is one's great-great-...-great-grandmother, sixty-some generations back, at the inception of the culture. One is also expected to know all the intervening names, and to be able to trot out the full list from memory at appropriate ceremonial occasions. The character who gets the most page time is Bel, Margasdotter, Chanly.
  • Circle of Magic has Sandrilene fa Toren, Sandry for short, goes with this in the first book: "My name is Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, daughter of Count Mattin fer Toren and his Countess Amiliane fa Landreg. I am great-niece to His Grace Vedris IV, Duke of Emelan, and cousin to Empress Berenene of Namorn..."
  • Akane's first chapter in the web-novel Domina starts with "My name is Akane Akiyama. Daughter of Akio, son of Yoshrou. I am the last of the honorable samurai house Akiyama, founded in the first days of the Edo period."
  • The Ogier in the Wheel of Time give the names of their forbears two generations back when introducing themselves, though male Ogier give the names of their father and grandfather, while female ones give the names of their mother and grandmother.
  • The Shin from The Stormlight Archive use their father's name as part of their full name, so it would be for example X-son-X's Father. The main Shin character Szeth, though, is in disgrace and does not use his father's name (since he doesn't want to disgrace him by association)- he uses his (presumably dead) grandfather's name instead. Therefore, instead of Szeth-son-Neturo (what his name would normally be) he goes by Szeth-son-son-Vallano.
  • Dr. Tachyon's actual alien name in Wild Cards spans several thousand generations, but his first name is Tisianne brant T'sara sek Halima sek Ragnar sek Omian - "brant" probably being "son of" and "sek" being "daughter of", as his culture is matriarchal.
  • In The Enemy Papers the Dracs (and Humans who were taught Talma) sometimes recite their Master Apprentice Chain in this way.

Live-Action TV

  • Even though his family have become dispossessed outcasts in the Klingon Empire due to his conflicting loyalties to the Federation, The First Klingon in Starfleet still calls himself "Worf, Son of Mogh". YouTube
    • Since Worf was named after his grandfather (Kirk and McCoy's lawyer in Star Trek VI), Lieutenant Worf's father would introduce himself as "Mogh, Son of Worf". Interestingly, Worf's own son Alexander introduces himself in a human manner (as Alexander Rozhenko), even when serving aboard a Klingon ship. Then again, he's 1/4 human and was raised by Worf's adopted human parents.
    • Klingon females always introduce himself as "daughter of <father's name>", never "daughter of <mother's name>", implying that male heritage is more important (same as human patronymics).
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  • "I am Tyr Anasazi of Kodiak Pride, out of Victoria by Barbarosa."
    • Unlike the typical examples, the Nietzscheans always mention their mothers along with their fathers, as both genetic lines are important to them.
  • In Babylon 5:

Ivanova: "This is the White Star Fleet. Negative on surrender...we will not stand down."
Earthforce Captain: "Who is this? Identify yourself."
Ivanova: "Who am I? I am Susan Ivanova, Commander, daughter of Andrei and Sophie Ivanov. I am the right hand of vengeance... and the boot that is going to kick your sorry ass all the way back to Earth, sweetheart! I am Death incarnate... and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."

  • Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus with 'Njorl's Saga' in which the narrator spends so much time explaining the family relationships of the characters that the story never starts.
  • A fake trailer for a "retelling" of Jesus Christ's life, by French comedians Les Inconnus, had this dialogue:

Pontius Pilate: Who are you?
Jesus: Christ, Jesus Christ. Son of God.
Pontius Pilate: Pilate, Pontius Pilate, Son of--
Jesus: a bitch!

  • Alex in Nikita, before shooting her former pimp, who'd been trying to make her admit her real identity on camera so he could collect The Mafiya bounty on her head: "I am Alexandra Udinov, daughter of Nikolai Udinov, and this is your reward."
  • In Game of Thrones Tyrion introduces the leaders of the hill tribes to his father in this way. When he gets to the mercenary Bronn he pauses, and Bronn interjects with "you wouldn't know him."
  • In Stargate Atlantis Teyla first introduces herself as Teyla, daughter of Tagan. Interestingly, her father's name is later said to be Torren, suggesting that Athosians use matronymics.


  • Jessica Andrews, "Who I am" has the lines,

I'm gonna be just fine
'Cause I know exactly who I am
I am Rosemary's granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma's still my biggest fan


Video Games

  • In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories practically overlaps with Badass Creed and possibly Catch Phrase: "I am Rozalin, the only daughter of Overlord Zenon!"
  • Final Fantasy VII - "I am Nanaki son of Seto... I am afraid of nothing... it's all right, all right. I'm Nanaki, the son of brave Seto... I'm not afraid of Sephiroth..."
  • In Luminous Arc 2, the first time Roland meet Queen Sophia. "I am Roland, son of Sir Steven."
  • In the Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles redub of Symphony of the Night, Dracula refers to Richter as "Belmont, son of Belmont".
  • In Warcraft III: "I am Thrall, son of Durotan, Warchief of the Horde."
  • Altaïr's full name in Assassin Creed is Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad, meaning "Flying One, son of Nobody". Which is strange as his father's name is revealed in a later game.
  • In Mass Effect, quarian names follower a similar line, though based on their ship as opposed to their parents. Tali'Zorah is, for example, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya when Shepard first meets her, which effectively is "Tali, of the family Zorah, passenger of the Rayya.", and later, when she is renamed to Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, this effectively translates as "Tali, of the family Zorah, crew of the Normandy." Since the difference between a passenger (One who is provided for by their ship) and crew (one who provides and contributes to their ship) exists, the identifiers of Vas and Nar are important. Other translations for Nar can be "Child of" and for Vas can be "Citizen of" or "Contributor of". She is also identified as Tali'Zorah vas Neema during Mass Effect 2.



Aragorn: I am Aragorn, son of Anduril!
DM: Anduril is your sword, dumbass.


Web Original

  • Tales of MU gives us Dee, who is incredibly proud of her lineage, traced matrilineally back quite far, which is understandable given the culture form which she hails. To mispronounce the name of, or insult one of her foremothers is to commit a grave offense to her. The early prequel chapter given to her offers a look at just how far back her lineage goes.

Delia Daella was the daughter of Daella Degra, who was the daughter of Degra Daura, who was the daughter of Daura Duala, who was the daughter of Duala Deneira, who was the daughter of Deneira Deshalla, who was the daughter of Deshalla Duquesna, who was the daughter of Duquesna Desiera, who was the daughter of Desiera Docia, who was the daughter of Docia Demara, who was the daughter of Demara Della, who was the daughter of Della Dolora, who was the daughter of Dolora Delissa, who was the daughter of Delissa Deliza, who was the daughter of Deliza Dasera, who was the daughter of Dasera Dasera, who was the daughter of Dasera Decatia, who was the daughter of Decatia Delia, who was the daughter of Delia Deshara, who was the daughter of Deshara Denala, who was the daughter of Denala d’Wyr… an unbroken chain of first daughters that went as far back as had ever been reckoned.


Western Animation

  • In the Fantastic Four cartoon, Thor introduces himself as "Thor, Son of Odin." Thing answers, "Son of Odin, eh? Thou has ticked off Ben Grimm, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grimm!"
    • In the Thor film, the titular character introduces himself as Thor Odinson, which amounts to the same thing.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender "My name is Zuko! Son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai! Prince of the Fire Nation, and heir to the throne!" (of course he was in the middle of a land the Fire Nation had been waging war upon for a century)

Real Life

  • "Son of ____" was more or less how one identified himself before last names became common practice; many family names in many languages actually come from such patronymics, which is why they so often end with "____son" or equivalent - Johnson (as in "John's Son"), for example. And many others have prefix that means "[descendant] of ____".
    • Every Armenian surname translates to "Son of-" whatever the name may be.
    • O'Brien comes from Ó Briain and means "Descendant of Brian." If you want an example of an Irish name that does follow the "son of..." pattern, try McMahon (Irish form Mac Mathuna).
    • And then there's also the female forms, both married and unmarried. For an unmarried woman, it would change from Ó Dubhda, for example, to Ní Dhubhda, or from Mac Mathuna to Nic Mhathuna, meaning "daughter of the grandson/female descendant of Dubh" and "daughter of the son of the bear," respectively. And if she married into that name, it'd be Uí Dhubhda (wife of the grandson/descendant of Dubh) and Mhic Mhathuna (wife of the son of the bear), repectively.
    • A lot of Spanish surnames ending in '-ez' or '-az' also come from patronymics: Sanchez (son of Sancho), Rodriguez (son of Rodrigo), Fernandez (son of Fernando), Diaz (son of Diego), etc. El Cid, for instance, was Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, son of Diego Lainez and father of Diego Rodriguez.
  • Iceland is the only land in the western world where people commonly don't have surnames, with some few exceptions, mostly for foreigners. To tell each other apart, people add X, son of Y or daughter of Y ("-son" and "-dóttir," respectively) to their names. It's however not a surname and people address each other and are listed in phone books by their given names.
    • And addressing someone by their patronym or matronym is culturally insensitive. The president should be called Ólafur, Ólafur Ragnar, or Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, never just Grímsson. The former president should be called Vigdís or Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, never just Finnbogadóttir.
  • In Russia, patronymics are still parts of names, like middle names in English.
    • In fact, the respectful way of addressing someone is in the form of "name patronymic" with the surname omitted (unless the person is being introduced, in which case it's either in the "name patronymic surname" format or as "surname name patronymic" which is what all official forms require).
      • A curious example: everyone in the Bolshevik Party and then Communist Party was addressed as "Comrade [Last Name][1]", including "Comrade Stalin". Stalin maintained this rule, with one exception: he addressed Shaposhnikov as "Boris Mikhailovitch" and allowed him to reciprocate.
  • "Dracula", Vlad III's nickname and the inspiration for Bram Stoker's infamous vampire, means "son of the devil" or "son of the dragon" depending on how you translate things from Romanian.
  • In Jewish Torah services and certain blessings, people will be called by "[Hebrew Name], (female)bat/(male)ben [Name of Father]". Traditionally, converts called to the Torah give their parents' names as Abraham and Sarah, the first ancestors of the Jewish people.
    • Just to make this complicated though, this is reversed if someone is sick, then they are prayed for as the child of their mother.
    • Originally, it was exclusively male, but after the Romans came through, that was ... not feasible. When you have a reasonable fraction of the population born to single mothers, rules like that just have to go. However, they haven't totally given up the male-line issues. For example, you're Jewish if your mother's Jewish, but you inherit your Biblical tribal affiliation from your father.
  • As mentioned above, Arabic names also get this treatment, with "ibn" or "bin" used for sons and "bint" used for daughters.
  • Historical example; circa 600 BC, thousands of landless Greek soldiers became soldiers for hire in the Egyptian army. Some graffiti found at the Abu Simbel temples in Egypt reads, "Archon, son of Amoibichos, and Ax, son of Nobody, wrote me."
  • The notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal's real name is Ilyich Ramírez Sánchez. That translates into "son of Elijah, son of Ramiro, son of Sancho." Now whose son he is? His father (José Altagarcia Ramírez-Navas) and his mother (Elba Maria Sánchez), and he and his brothers were named after Vladimir Lenin.
  • Ancient Rome had a naming convention known as filiation, in which an individual's full name included the name of his father, his grandfather, and (sometimes) the voting tribe he belonged to. Considering that most Roman males drew from a very shallow pool of first names, this could help distinguish a man on official records from his identically-named third cousin.
  1. whether real or the accepted pseudonym