Ten Characters I'd Name a Pet After

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It's currently on hiatus until August 15, 2017, so this week, I'm revisiting an old topic from the archives!

Arya Stark

Arya Stark is the youngest daughter of the Stark family, who are one of the most important families in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (though you may be more familiar with the series via its current HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones). Arya is one of the series main characters in her own right, though, and over the course of the as-yet-released books and television episodes, she has grown from a relatable tomboyish little girl to a hardened teenage assassin bent of wreaking vengeance on those who have hurt her and her family. She's awesome, and she's enough of a fan favorite that the name Arya has skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade.

To read more about the name Arya, check out its Nameberry page.

Alanna of Trebond

In the brief years before I discovered and fell in love with Harry Potter, Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet was my favorite series. Those books were my very first experience with the "feminist fantasy" subgenre, and the plot of the series is thus:

A young woman named Alanna wants to become a knight, though her gender holds her back. So she trades places with her twin brother Thom; he goes to off to study magic at the convent where Alanna was intended to live, while Alanna herself becomes "Alan".

Her story was one of the first that I truly adored, and she's had such a huge influence on me ever since I first read her story. I highly recommend Song of the Lioness, as well as the rest of Tamora Pierce's Tortall books!

The name Alanna is moderately popular among babies, and it, along with the related Alan and Alana, means "handsome, cheerful". You can read more about the name Alanna here at Nameberry.

Buffy Summers

Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a cornerstone of pop culture in the late 90s and early 2000s, and it enjoys enduring popularity to this day. I came into the fandom late, being too young to have watched the show during its initial airing (since I was born in 1993, only a few years before the first season started), but it's near the peak of my favorites list nonetheless. Among the plethora of amazing female characters that the show had to offer was its titual character, Buffy Summers. A blonde, ditzy cheerleader turned kick-ass vampire slayer, she was a heroic and self-sacrificing female character who proved herself capable of keeping herself afloat in spite of PTSD, suicidal depression, and attempted sexual assault.

While some parts of the show might seem a little dated and hokey at this point in our culture, Buffy's story is still amazing in so many ways. She's strong, witty, resilient, and a great inspiration for real-world women.

The name Buffy is actually a diminutive of Elizabeth, which means "pledged to God." To read more about the name Buffy, you can find it here at Nameberry.

Cordelia Chase

Another Buffyverse character, Cordelia Chase started out on Buffy as a ditzy "rich bitch" character with her own clique of "Cordettes" and finished her run on Angel as an undeniable hero willing to sacrifice just as much as Buffy to keep the world safe. She was undeniably gorgeous, unashamedly self-confident, and brutally honest, and throughout the years of her story, she went through some of the most dynamic character growth to be found in the Buffyverse.

(On the other hand, the less said about Angel season four... the better.)

The name Cordelia means both "heart" and "daughter of the sea" and has a plethora of potential nicknames all the way from Delia or Del to Cora or Cordy. For more information on the name Cordelia, you can check out its Nameberry page.

Drusilla

For our third and final Buffyverse name, we have not one of the heroes, but one of the villains. Appearing in both Buffy and Angel, Drusilla was a powerful female vampire that burst onto the scene in Buffy season two. She and her paramour, Spike, brought to Sunnydale a sense of danger not yet scene in the story, and both of them quickly became some of my all-time favorite villains.

Drusilla's backstory was tragic. Originally a pious young Christian woman who feared her premonitions spoke of some inherent demonic nature, she became the unwitting prey of Angelus, a ceaselessly cruel vampire with a penchant for both violence and mind games. After tormenting Drusilla to the point of insanity, he turned the young woman into an immortal vampire, whereupon she became the villainess that later showed up in the story proper.

She's an intense, strange, and undeniably unhinged character who's an utter blast to watch, while her role in season two ended up diminished thanks to the unforeseen success of James Marsters's performance as Spike, every single scene she's in is improved by her presence.

The name Drusilla means "fruitful", and you can find out more about it over at Nameberry.

Scorpius Malfoy

Scorpius, as I'm sure almost all of you will know, is the name of a Harry Potter character. More accurately, Scorpius is the offspring of one Draco Malfoy, one of the most well-known Harry Potter characters; Scorpius himself only appears in the Deathly Hallows epilogue and in the spin-off play, Cursed Child (which I have strong negative feelings about, I must admit), but his given name is easily one of my favorites in the series, as is the case with all three generations of the Malfoy men.

Scorpius is an uncommon name for a person, but it is the name of a constellation.

Nymeria

As with Arya Stark above, Nymeria is the name of a character from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Unlike Arya, this particular character is not a young woman but a wolf. (Making the name perfect for a dog!)

Nymeria the direwolf, though, is not the only character in the series to bear that particular name. The first such character is actually in the backstory; Nymeria was a millennia-dead warrior queen who led her people to the Spain-inspired land of Dorne. (If you're familiar with the Martell and/or Dayne houses in the story, she's their ancestor!) The name recurs later in one of her very distant descendants, Nymeria Sand, who is the bastard daughter of a non-ruling Prince of Dorne.

But, as I've said, the Nymeria I'm truly interested in is the direwolf. She's actually closely connected to the previously-mentioned Game of Thrones character, Arya. Nymeria the direwolf belonged to Arya, so much as a direwolf can belong to a person, and Arya named her after the aforementioned warrior queen.

While Nymeria is an extremely rare presence on the show, she makes more frequent appearances in the books, wherein Arya has "wolfdreams" in which she more or less possesses the direwolf for short stretches of time while it lives out its life as a pack leader in the Riverlands.

To read more about the various Ice and Fire characters called Nymeria, you can check out the wiki at Westeros.org.

Viserion or Balerion

For the final A Song of Ice and Fire name that I'd consider giving a pet, I've found myself tied between two related and similar names.

The first of these names is Viserion, which is the name of a cream-and-gold colored dragon born from an egg hatched by Daenerys Targaryen (a character who is at this point easily recognizable even to those who have never seen an episode of Game of Thrones). Born at the end of the first book/season Viserion was named for Daenerys's brother Viserys, whose name was vastly more awesome than he was himself.

The second name is in fact another dragon. Unlike Viserion, though, Balerion is not a living character at the time of Daenerys's quest to regain the Iron Throne for House Targaryen. Rather, Balerion was a massive dragon alive centuries ago, so large and fierce as to earn the moniker "the Black Dread"; he was, in fact, not only the steed upon which Daenerys's ancestor Aegon conquered Westeros, but also the beast that forged the Iron Throne she hopes to regain. Named after one of the ancient gods of Valyria, from where the Targaryen family fled during a localize Apocalypse event known as the Doom. Basically, what I'm saying is that Balerion and everything related to him--up to and including his name--is downright awesome.

With these two names, I'm genuinely not sure which I like better. Viserion is my favorite of the names given to Daenerys's dragons (the others being Drogon, named for her husband, Khal Drogo; and Rhaegal, named for her eldest brother, Prince Rhaegar), but Balerion is just amazing as a character, though he doesn't actually appear on page or on screen.

Whichever of these names you prefer, you can read about both of them at the wiki at Westeros.org. Viserion's entry is here, and Balerion's entry can be found here.

Sora Takenouchi

Diverging (mostly) from books for the end of this list, the last two names I've chosen are from what was perhaps my favorite childhood show, Digimon Adventure (and Digimon Adventure 02). A rare name in English media, Sora means "sky" in Japanese, and so it was a fitting choice for the Digimon character whose Digimon companion was in most of its incarnations a birdlike creature.

Sora herself was a kindhearted young tomboywho played soccer and bore the "Crest of Love" in spite of her initial lack of self-confidence and her strained relationship with her mother. She wasn't my favorite character on the show (that honor went to the final name on this list), but I always quite liked her, and I love her name.

To read more about Sora herself, you can check out her Digimon wikia page. For a bit more information (mostly limited to a list of other characters bearing her name), the name Sora also has an admittedly sparse Nameberry page.

Kari Kamiya
Kari, known in the Japanese version of Digimon Adventure as Yagami Hikari, was my favorite Digimon character (so long as we're excluding the one or two characters upon whom I had my very first pre-pubescent crushes). She was the younger sister of the main character, Tai, who those tangentially familiar with the series may recognize as the kid with the brown spikey hair and the goggles.

Anyway, Kari herself is a sweet, playful, and incredibly brave little girl who drives a pivotal plot during her first arc in the series and some further hints of additional importance later on in the series (though at least one arc that was teased for her never manifested into more than a plot tease), and she seems to have a very strong connection to the Digital World throughout all of her interactions with it. She is paired with a Digimon that has incarnations ranging from catlike to angelic, and she bears the "Crest of Light". Her Japanese name, Hikari, actually means "light", with Kari being a more English-friend derivative.

Kari is involved in most of my favorite Digimon plotlines and takes a central role in most of them; further, I find (or at least found as a child) her relationships with the various other characters to be compelling, and she was by far the female character to resonate the most with me. She (and the aforementioned Alanna) remains very dear to me even now.

 To read more about Kari, you can check out her Digimon wikia page.

Which of these character names would you be most likely to give a pet, child, or possession?
 
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So, what characters would you name your pets (or children, or something else entirely!) after? Let me know in the comments below, and tune in next week for another Top Ten Tuesday!

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