Fantasy tavern names

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThey’ve been questing for weeks. They are sore, hungry and in desperate need of rest. As darkness begins to close about them, they spot some lights emanating from a small building just ahead. They quicken their pace, eager to find somewhere they can get off their feet and fill their bellies. As they get closer they begin to hear the faint sound of pipes cheerfully playing within. The sound of laughter and singing is audible and their spirits soar as they know they’ve found an inn. Before they enter, they look up and notice a small sign swinging from a pair rusted chains. The sign reads in ornately carved letters, “[Insert Fantasy Tavern Name Here]”.

The Dancing Badger? The Smug Unicorn? Maybe it’s not named after an animal at all. Finish this classic scene from one of a thousand fantasy novels we’ve all read, and name the tavern. You can also share your favorite taverns from books you’ve read in the past.


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JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit’s staff September 2009 – September 2012) Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on Tolkien. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. Justin lives in a small home near the river with his wife, their baby daughter, and Norman, a mildly smelly dog. He doesn’t have much time for reviewing anymore, but he still shows up here occasionally to let us know how he feels about stuff.

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22 comments

  1. The Nutmeg of Consolation

    It’s a ship’s name from Patrick O’Brian’s book of the same name but I always thought it would be a great tavern name.

  2. Here is a few I thought of quickly.

    The repentant rake – Inn built in the former house of a gigalo who after being almost killed a jealous husband, gave up everything to become a friar. The former rake is the patron saint of the tavern)

    The broken Buttress – Inn that looks like it could collapse at any moment.

    Poor noble’s tiltyard – (Tiltyard is a jousting or competitive fighting arena, poor nobles usually couldn’t fight in an actual tiltyard, only the rich and influential can)

    Garth of Godale (roughly translates to Beer garden, godale being a type of Ale, garth meaning Garden)

    Dead Earl’s Cesspit – I know I would want to eat there and stay for the night :)

  3. The Bent Weasel

    It’s a nickname for a pub in Houston (closed now) that was called:

    The Crooked Ferret

    If I ever write a fantasy that has a pub/bar/tavern, you’ll see one or both of those names. So far as I’m aware the name of the pub was not based on any fantasy book/theme.

    :>)

  4. The Hole in the Wall
    The Old Soak

  5. The Drunken Draggin’.

  6. SandyG265 /

    The Spotted Hog

    The Drunken Wench

  7. As a nod to Diana Wynne Jones–Stews R Us. Or perhaps Ye Old Stewe Pote.

  8. The Drunken Boar

  9. @Kat Hooper–LOVE it! Very wittily penned!

  10. The Garrulous Groundhog
    The Flatulent Fox
    The Peripatetic Porcupine

  11. Sean /

    The Swords and Plowshares. (inspired by Magic the Gathering CCG)

  12. RE Garrett /

    I’ve always fancied the name, “The Hobbling Wombat.” Not only is it adequately bizarre, it has a nice rhythm to it.

  13. @Jason I loved yours, too!!!

  14. Classic: The Silver Eel

    My forthcoming story (“Devotion”) in Black Gate has The Red Boar. I’d like to use The Wounded Hart one day, though. RR

  15. I’d go with The Drunken Swallow. It works on so many levels, well two, and lends itself to an easy stylized sign.

  16. The Barren Barrel

  17. Kieran /

    The Cliched Convenience

  18. I always thought I’d like hanging out in The Vulgar Unicorn from Thieves’ World. Just the name alone is intriguing enough.

  19. Ooh, I like the Drunkin’ Swallow!

  20. Sarah /

    I like the Hobbling Wombat and the Garrulous Groundhog.

  21. Mandy /

    Easing the Badger from the Dragon Reborn – what an amazingly euphemistic name!

  22. Charlotte, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks. Please contact me (Tim) with your choice and a US address.

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