What’s in a Name?
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Naming characters is important and hard. With the Trylle Trilogy, I took special care in naming the characters in certain ways.
A lot of the names and words in the trilogy are Scandinavian influenced. Because of the basis of the story is based on Scandinavian folklore, I thought that made sense. I can’t find the exact article I read, but it was about “vitterfolk” and talked of trolls as being beautiful and ill-tempered and cunning. The article then went on to talk about changelings, and that’s the start of the trilogy.
“Wendy” is named after Peter Pan, the way she is in the book. (As is Peter in My Blood Approves. Also, Wendy’s name had she been a boy would have been “Michael” – who is Wendy’s brother in Peter Pan.)
Finn’s name almost got changed because I finished writing Switched a week before Glee came on the air, and I thought I should change it because I didn’t want people to associate him with Glee’s Finn. But I really liked the name, so I kept it.
Some names are more literal. Tove Kroner, for example. The name “Tove” comes from Tove Jansson, a Finnish author who wrote a series of books about trolls. Tove Janssoon is a woman, but when I looked up the name, they said it was unisex, and to me, it sounded more like a boy’s name. His last name “Kroner” literally translates to the word “crown.” So that might mean something….
I purposely named characters with similar names if I wanted you to associate them with each other. “Matt” and “Maggie” are the only names that start with an “M,” except for “Michael Conrad Everly.” It’s weird because the word “mansklig” also starts with an “M.”
“Aurora” and “Elora” are very similar, and so are their dispositions. “Oren,” I think, is a masculine counterpoint to that sound. They’re all “aura” sounding names.
If I wanted characters to stand out from the rest, I made of point of having names that didn’t sound like anyone else’s. So if a name is different, there’s probably a reason for it.
Introduced in Torn are several new characteres. “Duncan” is a name I’ve wanted to use for a really long time, but never have. It’s geeky yet endearing, and that is what I was going for with Duncan.
And there’s “Loki.” If you know anything about Loki in Norse mythology, that might give you a hint to what he brings to the table.
Names definitely mean something in the Trylle Trilogy. So that’s something to keep your eye on, if you’re looking for hints.