On the Importance of Names

“He no longer calls himself Karamarog, but Amarog,” the woman said.
“Ahhh, then his power is fading,” Predator mused.

Names are of special significance in MANY cultures. A surprising number believe in a ‘true name’ that gives power over the person. In some cultures, telling a person the ‘true name’ is basically putting your life in their hands, showing an amazing amount of trust and respect. Variations of names tell about the person, or tell stories or deeds.

In Inherent, the dragons each have longer, more intricate names that they used at the dawn of time. Although these are not secret names, they are powerful and indicative of position and power. Of the three main dragons, only Mortathes has not shortened his name over time. He is also the only one who has not consigned large portions of his personality, power or history to the scrap-heap.

Aleshan enters Cihigu in a mild approximation of sanity. By the time he leaves, he does not even remember his own name. He is Predator. His name, his purpose, his meaning.

By the end of Inherent, one dragon will have regained his name, one will have died without returning to his name. Predator might become Aleshan again… If the Marasran hunters don’t kill him. See, the Marasran believe that once a name is forgotten, the soul is beyond redemption. So it’s up to Aleshan to remember his name.

Kigen and Corri will also have assumed new names after becoming King and Witch of Jastu, and their demeanor and personality will shift to fit those new names. Kigen must earn Amalain. He must stop thinking of himself as Kigen. For Corri, her acceptance of the name Moreda is easier: the birth of a child changes her entire world-view.

The challenge is in imparting to the reader the significance of a changing name, and in making that name bring the character with it. It’s a delicate balance!

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One Response to “On the Importance of Names”

  1. ladykuro Says:

    Oh the trouble with names. I have some of my own. I wish you luck on getting that all straightened out.

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