What makes a character name a favorite? I could have picked names that were attached to characters I love. That makes them favorites. Instead I picked names that were interesting to me for other reasons…
Uriah Heep (David Copperfield by Charles Dickens)
My list of names couldn’t be complete without something from Dickens. He is the king of the crazy names! So descriptive. Uriah Heep is so very meek, and ‘umble, by his own admission. Just a harmless little accountant. In truth, he is a conniving, evil creature. When his wickedness finally get called out by Mr. Micawber you just want to laugh and applaud.
‘Approach me again, you — you — you Heep of infamy, gasped Mr. Micawber, and if your head is human, I’ll break it.’
Heep of infamy! I love it. Best name and best payoff ever!
El-ahrairah (Watership Down by Richard Adams)
His name means “Prince with a thousand enemies”. He is the tricksiest, canniest rabbit in all rabbit-dom. His clever ways earned his family a blessing from Lord Frith that would ensure his people would never die…
El-ahrairah, your people can not rule the world, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.
I love the way his name lends this mythic quality to the character. He’s a rabbit Robin Hood, or Aladdin of the Arabian Nights. It’s perfection.
Thursday Next (The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde)
It’s not just that she’s a Literary Detective (best job ever am-i-right?). It’s not just that she consistently kicks behind, though there’s that too. She also has a genetically engineered dodo as a pet and she can book jump into another book at will. Can I just die now of jealousy? Her name though … once you read this book, you will never forget it. It creates so much interest, and so many questions. What a clever man Mr. Fforde is.
Myfanwy Thomas (The Rook by Daniel O’Malley)
No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is a picture of Emily Blunt. Well, there are no pictures of Myfanwy Thomas on the internet, Ms.Blunt is just who I would love to play Myfanwy if there were ever a big budget movie made. And there should be a big budget movie made. Myfanwy (pronounced like Tiffany) is a fabulous character. Her name is un-forgetable, even though she is in fact forgotten. She starts the novel in the middle of a rainstorm, surrounded by bodies wearing purple gloves. She has no idea who she is or why she’s been beaten within an inch of her life. What a start! It only gets better. Myfanwy is a lot of name .. for a lot of person. Two people in fact. Ok, just read the book.
Daenerys Targaryen (A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin)
Daenerys, Stormborn, Khaleesi, Unburnt, Mother of Dragons. So much name for such a little thing. I love how immediately foreign her name is. It’s unworldly, weighty and magical from the first time you read it. Her story lives up to her name, and the history contained in her name, so much Westerosi history in that name. I wonder how well she can live up to it.
Well that’s my list. Hope you liked it. Please let me know what you thought! See you next Wednesday!