Wednesday, June 8, 2016

T5W: Favorite Character Names

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T5W is a Goodreads group with over 5,000 members.  They create topical blog prompts for each Wednesday of the month.  I have just joined this month, and you can too!

June 8th Topic Description:
Fairly self-explanatory.  Names you like for whatever reason!

Number 5

Richard Gansey III
The Raven Cycle novels by Maggie Stiefvater

Gansey by EnotRobin

I am putting Gansey as my number five favorite character name for two reasons.  The first being that he is one of my all time favorite characters, and while reading, I instantly thought his name captured his character perfectly.  No other name could have done him justice.  The second reason is because after reading the Raven Boys, I went out onto the internet and discovered that nearly everybody thought his name was one of the oddest they had ever encountered.

I was confused.  But I also grew up in a town where it was very common to be called by your last name rather than your first.  (There were a lot of Chris' and Amanda's around)

The name Richard Gansey III automatically brings up images of a son from an old money family in America.  When his friends call him Gansey, you get the sense that he is an athlete and well liked.  When people call him Dick and he lets them, you get the sense that he is both powerful and mild mannered.

Number 4

Sazed, Keeper of Terris
The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn:Sazed by Firnheledien

Sazed is at once, more than a man, and also less than a man.  He was a Terrisman Steward and is a master of the magic of Feruchemy, keeping the records of a religious scholar.  His people have been beaten down, with their population both limited and controlled through breeding.  They are supposed to be obedient minded and docile, yet Sazed is a rebel.

In the beginning he seems soft spoken, wise, and powerful, as if there is not a thing in the world that could cause him to suffer--and then he suffers a great deal.  He continuously saves the day despite his belief that he is a scholar, not a warrior.

He needed a name that is able to capture the ideal of the person he is.  What he represents and what he makes possible.  Rather than just the name of a man.  And thus, the one word title of Sazed is perfect.  You toss a 'Z' into anything and it suddenly feels mysterious and powerful.

Number 3

Remus Lupin
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

January - Remus Lupin by priscellie

He's a warewolf--get it?

I totally didn't get it the first time I read The Prisoner of Azkaban, but I was 12 at the time and I'm okay with it.  The name totally gives away the fact that Remus is secretly infected with lycanthropy.

In the foundation myth of the Romans, the two brothers Romulus and Remus are abandoned in the wilderness to die, until a river carries them to a shore where they are mothered by a she-wolf, and fed by woodpeckers.  From there a shepherd and his wife take over to care for them as if they were their own. Much of what we know of this myth comes from the ancient historian Livy (Titus Livius 64/59 BC - 17AD)

The word Lupine has two definitions.  One relates to a family of flowers that are related to peas--the other describes anything wolf-like.

The name Remus Lupin, while sounding completely awesome, also shouts--I am a warewolf!

Number 2

Sirius Black
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Sirius Black by IrenHorrors

Sirius Black has been a long time favorite name of mine.  The reason comes down to the fact that I am a complete geek for the night sky, constellations, astronomy, and astrology.  Also, I formerly thought that the last name, Black, was awesome--I now feel that it is overused in literature across all genres.

I like the antithetical nature of his name.  Brightness and not-brightness.  Or, more technically, Sirius, coming from the Greek Seirios for 'burning', referencing an output of brightness and light, and Black, the absorption of light.

Sirius is one of the brightest stars in our sky and it is a part of the dog constellation, Canis Major.  And of course, we all know he can change into a dog.  His brother Regulus is named after another of the bright stars in the sky.  There are plenty more Harry Potter characters whose names come from above.

When we look into the night sky, we see only one star in its place, but Sirius is actually a binary star system made up of Sirus A and Sirius B rotating around eachother.  While it took modern man until the 19th century to realize this, as Sirius B is not view-able with the naked eye, the Dogon Tribe of Mali, West Africa, recounted knowledge of its existence to two French anthropologists in the 1930s.  The Dogon astronomical lore may be as old as 3200BC.

The star Sirius is mentioned in the ancient writing all over the world.  For example, the Egyptians called it Sothis and used it to track the flooding of the Nile.

Side note:  My favorite constellation is Orion and Canis Major is right near him.

Number 1

Lyra Belaqua--Silvertongue
The His Dark Materials Series by Philip J Pullman

Dust to Dust by Ryuutsu

Lyra is a wonderful character in an extremely smart middle-grade series.  She is rebellious, adventurous, smart, caring, and even after all she does, she remains innocent to a certain extent. 

Lyra, coming from the Latin Lyre, could be a representation of Apollo's Lyre.  And Belacqua means "beautiful water."

In this series a corrupt over structure in the form of a church is trying to stifle truth and knowledge to further the agenda of a false god and oppress the people.  People in Lyra's word have daemons who walk along side of them in companionship and represent their souls, and inherent ability to know truth.

For this reason, the Church wishes to separate children from their daemons (souls), taking from them their ability to know truth and have unique opinions, for fear of the children reaching adulthood and resisting the church.  For the children will know the oppression feels wrong, if they are allowed to think for them self.

Lyra makes the church her enemy and fights for the right of all conscious beings to obtain awareness.  The church declares her the new Eve, capable of destroying their perfect puppet world, and fights against her.

The dust in this universe which the church also wishes to oppress is some sort of consciousness and creative power free to be used by humans and the world alike.  However, it is currently behaving the wrong way and Lyra must fix the world to set this right.

This series as a whole represents ideals that are important to me.  All the topics addressed guide the way to becoming a fully functioning adult.  One who can think critically, seek happiness, care for the entire world and people beyond them self, and seek physical pleasure in non-destructive ways.  In the world which Lyra (and the others) create, humans will live productive, fulfilling, lives without the burden of fear and guilt that a rigid over structure, such as a corrupt church, creates.

It is for this reason that upon finishing His Dark Materials I decided, "If I ever have a daughter, I'm naming her Lyra."


*Honorable Mention*

OreSeur and TenSoon

The two kandra from the Mistborn series have names that are both perfectly otherworldly and fascinating.

Post header graphic made using canva. id - MAB7fn6sSgU

Thanks for reading!