Jón Gnarr has decided to legally change his name from Jón Gnarr Kristinsson to Jón Gnarr while residing in the U.S, reports Nútíminn.
Last year Jón filed a formal request with the National Registry to change his name to Jón Gnarr, as he has been known for decades. The Registry rejected the request of making his middle name his surname, saying in part that “it is illegal to take up a new surname in Iceland.”
As Jón is living in the U.S as writer-in-residence at Rice University in Houston, TX, he has received a social security number granting him the right to change his name through a simple procedure costing approximately 100 USD.
Jón expressed his intent to exercise this right and has been informed by a lawyer that upon his return to Iceland he should be allowed to retain Gnarr as a last name.
Jón has been a longstanding critic of the strict Icelandic Naming Committee – which gained international attention last year after a young Icelandic girl called Harriet was unable to obtain a passport because the naming committee refused to acknowledge her name.
Yesterday RÚV reported that the name Joakim had been rejected by the Icelandic Naming Committee, despite the fact that it is a fairly common Nordic and Germanic name.
Additionally the name Elia for a girl was rejected, crushing the hopes of Iceland’s Game of Thrones fans.
The committee approves new names based on two primary factors: whether the name has some historical precedent and whether it can be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar.
Bright Future MP, Óttar Proppé, has submitted a bill to parliament proposing that the naming committee be dismantled.