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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Names In Harry Potter
First posted on Insideadog November 16 2011
Have you ever wondered what writers have in mind when they name their characters?
I’m going to take a look at some names in the Harry Potter books because there are so many that are appropriate for the characters.
Let’s start with the staff at Hogwarts.
Albus Dumbledore means “White Bumblebee”.
Professor McGonagall’s first name is Minerva – the Roman goddess of wisdom, which certainly seems to suit this wise lady.
The school nurse is Poppy Pomfrey – poppy, in the old days, was used as a painkiller.
The Herbology teacher is Pomona Sprout. Apart from the obvious “sprout”, Pomona was the Roman goddess of orchards and fruit. How appropriate is that?
Professor Remus Lupin is a werewolf. Remus was the name of one of the twin founders of Rome, who were raised by a she-wolf and “Lupin” is connected with “lupine”, wolflike.
The school caretaker, Argus Filch, has a name taken from Greek mythology; Argus was a guardian of the goddess Hera’s herds. He had a hundred eyes. What better name to call a character who is always spying on the students? To filch something is to steal it.
All the members of Sirius Black’s family have starry names, but his is so appropriate. Sirius is the Dog Star and combined with Black, it’s “Black Dog” which is his Animagus shape.
Bad boy Draco Malfoy has a name that means “Dragon Bad Faith” – nice!
The Minister of Magic is Cornelius Fudge. To fudge something is to cheat on it in a sneaky way. Another meaning is “to fail to perform as expected” or “to avoid commitment”. All of them work for me as a description of Cornelius Fudge.
Voldemort means “ flight from death” or “steal from death” which makes sense for a man who wants so badly to avoid dying.
There are stacks more over-the-top names with meaning in the books and all I can say is, J.K.Rowling must have had great fun choosing them!
Speaking of choosing, how about another cast member for the Ranger's Apprentice movie? For the role of Gilan, that yummy former apprentice of Halt's, I think I'll have Orlando Bloom. :-)