Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Top Ten Best Character Names

I haven't done one of these posts in a while, but the theme of this weeks Top Ten Tuesday is top ten best character names and I love names. Partly it's because I'm a writer, so I sort of collect names, partly because I just love names in general (the etymology of names, the trend of them, etc.).

I'm probably going to cheat with some of these and have some be a book with a group of the best character names rather than have just 10 individual names.

Top 10 Best Character Names 
(or books with the best character names)

1. Harry Potter series:

  • I would have just included Hermione (which has Shakespeare and Greek Mythology literary origins too) but I think the series as a whole does quite well with names (I mean, except for Albus Severus -- poor fictional kid). The names in general just fit so well with the characters and usually gave hints about their character. Like Luna (means moon, it's such a dreamy name and so fitting), or Sirius (a star know as the "dog star"), Severus (means "stern"), Draco Malfoy (Draco meaning dragon/serpent, and the prefix -mal meaning bad/wrong). 
2. The Twilight series:
  • Not only were the names very good at creating a distinction between the immortal characters and the mortals, there were just some beautiful name choices in general: Isabella, Alice (double points for the Wonderland connotations too), Jasper, Rosalie, Esme... Renesme was the one that ruined an otherwise good list of names (totally Stephenie Meyer's Albus Severus).
3. Gwendolyn Shepherd from The Ruby Red series by Kerstin Gier. I adore the name Gwendolyn...they actually, for some inexplicable reason, changed the name to Gwyneth in the English translation (which I hate). But her original name? Lovely and balanced out really well with a simple surname.

4. Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska. Maybe the name does add to the manic pixie dream girl thing the character had going on, and maybe it's a really weird name and probably sounds quite tacky for someone who lives in or near Alaska (in the way names like London and Ireland would sound tacky and weird to me)...but it stuck with me. I also love the use of nicknames in the book, not a lot of books seem to do the nickname thing but my friend group and I used nicknames and I liked that.

5. The Mortal Instruments series.
  • This one is actually less about the first names and more about the surnames. I love the surnames from this series: Wayland, Fairchild, Morgenstern, Lewis, Fray... The first names are nice enough, but the surnames are what make the names memorable. 
6. Sarah Dessen books.
  • Sarah's books have some of my favourite character names from books: Remy, Halley, Scarlett, Dexter, Auden, Harriet, Olivia, Stella, Owen, Wes, Ruby l...
7. Karou and Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I just really liked that name pairing. *shrug*

8. Ava Lavender from The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I don't like those names individually, but the name as a whole just works so well and it sounds just as whimsical as the story and character.

9. The Hunger Games.
  • I don't necessarily love these names in the way that I think they'd be good for an actual real child...but the names were very distinctive and memorable. Katniss Everdeen, Primrose Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Peeta Mellark, Finnick Odair, Cinna... And they all fit well together (it bugs me when an author has say, Gaelic inspired names and then randomly has an out of place name that sticks out, especially if it follows a different set of pronunciation rules).
10. Alanna from The Lionness Quartet. I haven't actually read this book yet and it's less because I love the name and more because it's my name and I pretty much never find characters with my name (funnily enough, the character is also a short redhead like me).

Honourable mention: A Thousand Splendid suns with Laila, Tariq and Mariam -- lovely names.

Second honourable mention, because why not: Shakespeare. Dude was good at names: Viola, Olivia, Helena, Lysander, Demetrius, Ariel...the list was too long to include.


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