Top Ten Tuesday (69): Character Names


Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is

Top Ten Character Names I Love

1. Reepicheep from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

2. Peepiceek from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

3. Elanor from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

4. Horatio from Hamlet and from C. S. Forester’s Hornblower series

5. Isildur from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

6. Earendil from The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

7. Corduroy from Corduroy by Don Freeman

8. Madeline from Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

9. Luthien from The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

10. Flavia from The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (69): Character Names

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I have to say, I didn’t think I had opinions on names (hence me not doing this week’s TTT), but I have to say I LOVE all the names on this list! (Although I don’t know how on earth I forgot Peepiceek existed. I guess Reepicheep is just such a big personality haha)


    • Krysta says:

      I’m glad you liked it! I was always interested in Peepiceek because I thought he had the coolest name and that made me want to know more about him! Plus, he’s second in command to Reepicheep, and I think that says a lot about his personality.


  2. David says:

    I loved “The Prisoner of Zenda”! When my reviews start up again, that’ll probably be one of the first new set. It’s basically an Errol Flynn movie in book form; real A-list adventure. However, I associate the name Flavia far more with “The Lantern Bearers.” It’s a pretty name in the right contexts, though I’d probably not name a daughter that today.

    Ah, literary names. I’ve always liked Mattimeo (from Brian Jacques’ book of the same name). And from Tolkien, so many! Ones I liked immediately: Aragorn, Elrond, Galadriel, Earendil, Thranduil, Feanor, Beren, Luthien. Names that sounded silly at first but grew on me: Finrod Felagund and Finarfin, mainly. Man, I gotta reread The Silmarillion.


    • Krysta says:

      I tried at one point to get all my friends to read The Prisoner of Zenda, but no one seemed to appreciate it as much as I did. I’ll just have to look forward to your review! Flavia, however, seems to be a more common name in literature than I would have suspected; it’s also the name of the protagonist in the Flavia de Luce series.

      I actually told myself that there had to be a limit to Tolkien names on this list, or I would have had to title it the Top Ten Names in Tolkien. Another good one–Glorfindel! A place name I cannot get behind, however–Tuna. Why Tuna? I know the accent is different, but he realized we’d all think about the canned fish, right?

      Mattimeo is a good one! I was never too fond of the Redwall books, though, so I didn’t even think about those names.


      • David says:

        It’s their loss if they can’t have fun with “The Prisoner of Zenda,” I guess. If I made a list (and perhaps I shall) of books that are just pure optimistic fun from beginning to end, this would probably be on it. Along with “Airman” by Eoin Colfer.

        Glorfindel’s another good one, yes. And Maedhros. And Celeborn (very similar in sound to “cellar door,” don’t you think?). As for Tuna, Dr. Corey Olsen (a.k.a. “The Tolkien Professor” on his website and podcast) thinks that Tolkien genuinely didn’t realize the fish connection: he was so deep into his philological world that when he was working on his names and his world, all he could see was a word’s historically philological connotations, and it may have blinded him a bit to such a mundane connotation. It’s just a theory, of course, but it’s notable that Lewis actually hints that Tolkien was likely to make such a mistake in “Out of the Silent Planet.” After all, Ransom is a philologist loosely based on Tolkien, and there’s that moment where someone points out that his name is the word for “a price paid for redemption from captivity” and Ransom can’t believe that he never realized that before. Because as a philologist specializing in Old English and the like, he knew that the English name Ransom means “Ranulf’s son” and was totally different in origin from the noun — and so he just never made the connection! So maybe that explains the isle of Tuna, eh? Because if we’re honest, tuna is an unusually beautiful-sounding word as long as you’re not thinking of fish sandwiches. (And if you’re very hungry, it might still be anyway!) Maybe say it aloud in your favorite foreign accents. That tends to improve most words. +)


        • Krysta says:

          I haven’t read anything by Eoin Colfer, so I might have to look into that some time. Have you read the sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda? It has a totally different tone.

          Celeborn! I love that name! It’s fun to say, too.

          I’m familiar with Dr. Olsen, but only listened to the first few podcasts he put up. I didn’t hear his theory on Tuna, but it’s totally possible. Or else Tolkien recognized the connection, but hoped that people would be so immersed in his world that they would forget about the fish, too. “Tuna” is really a lovely word. I just can’t help but associate it with the fish…and thus the smell. Which is not remotely lovely, in my opinion. I suppose it would be if I were starving, though. It’s all about the perspective, right? Unfortunately, I cannot manage a foreign accent to save my life. I wonder if it would be weird if I asked someone else to do it for me.


    • Krysta says:

      Whenever I think of names, I immediately think of Tolkien! I can’t believe I didn’t think of J. K. Rowling, though! You have a great list!


  3. Lisa says:

    Can’t argue with any of these! 🙂 I love the names in LOTR, etc by Tolkien (although I didn’t think to include any on my list this week!). And the kids books you mention are among my favorites — Corduroy and Madeline. And my son would definitely agree about Reepicheeep! We just finished reading the Narnia books, and Reepicheep was such a highlight. Great list!


    • Krysta says:

      Reepicheep is the best! I’m always insanely pleased he gets to appear in three books. That seems like a lot compared to some of the other characters!


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