Just this morning, I saw someone on a certain message board tell us “Tarth” is Welsh for “mist.” I checked with Google translate, and sure enough. There it is. Something tells me that was not an accident on GRRM’s part.
Some time ago, I went over what we know about Brienne’s family, and how much we don’t know. At the time, I wasn’t sure whether this shortage of information was a result of a lack of planning by GRRM, or whether he was keeping the Tarths deliberately mysterious.
The fact that their family name means “mist” should tell us a lot about that.
Before I go any further: I think it’s really weird that the books have been around this many years, and show has been running for this many years, and I’ve been following Watchers and Winter and the Wars and Politics peeps, and so much of the GoT cast, for this many months, and I’m only now finding out “Tarth” is a translation of “mist.” Surely someone should have mentioned this by now? Yet this is the first I’m hearing about it.
Still, that is what the name means. I’m bringing it up because it explains a lot about why there’s such a dearth of information on Brienne’s family, relative to what a significant character she is. We don’t know their motto. We don’t know anything about her mother. Her father’s been mentioned at least once every season on the show since Brienne appeared, yet we don’t know anything about him except his name, that Brienne is his only living child, and Blackfish seemed to think he was a good man. We know so little because GRRM has chosen to keep her family shrouded in mist for this long, and when he reveals more about her family, it’ll be significant.