Top Ten Favorite Character Names


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic has us looking at our favorite character names OR talking about the most unusual ones we’ve come across. I decided to focus on my favorites, several of which come from the same series, mostly because they’re names I just really enjoy and I’m a big fan of collecting names. So below are ten of my favorites; be sure to link me up to the ones you love!

annabethI just LOVE the name of the main female lead in the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus books. It’s unique enough to be different, but not so unusual that people wouldn’t be able to pronounce it. Plus I just think it’s really beautiful!

thaliaThis is a name straight out of the Greek Myths (Thalia was one of the muses, but also one of the Graces), but it would never have been brought to my attention if Rick Riordan hadn’t chosen the name for Thalia Grace, the daughter of Zeus in his Percy Jackson books. I love it so much that I chose it for the name of my iPod.

gemmaGemma comes courtesy of the Gemma Doyle books by Libba Bray. It means “jewel” or “precious stone” which I just think is gorgeous imagery for a little girl. It’s also not very popular any longer, although actress Gemma Arterton has probably at least put it on people’s radars now, so your child wouldn’t be one of several with the same name.

iolanthePronounced eye-oh-LAN-thee (trust me, I looked it up!), this is the first name of the main character in The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, which I’ve heard all kinds of praise about. The name is also Greek, so I keep wondering if it might not be a first name for one of the female demigods running about Camp Jupiter or Camp Half-Blood.

percy2Okay, so I first became aware of the name Percy via Harry Potter, but it didn’t grow on me until I read The Lightning Thief and fell in love with the titular character. It’s another name that’s unique without being strange, and it always brings to mind one of my favorite all-time fictional characters.

luthienPart of my love for the name Lúthien is due to her story, which is told in JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. I’ve never read the actual book, choosing instead to focus on the love story between Lúthien and Beren, which I read via Wikipedia. I love that the name has a wonderful flow to it, and brings to mind something feminine and soft.

finnI love this name for a boy! It can be expanded, like Finnick from Catching Fire, or simply stand as it is, like one of the boys from The Kingdom Keepers books. Again, it’s unique without having people raise an eyebrow at it, and while I’ve heard that folks are starting to name their boys Finn – possibly because of YA readers’ love of Finnick – I’m not sure it will ever become absolutely mainstream.

lyraThis is another name that I just think is musical to the ears. It comes courtesy of the main character from the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, although it, too, has its roots in Greek Mythology (and you’ll notice I have a bit of a thing for Greek names). I’ve always thought that this would be a good name for a daughter of Apollo, because of the whole “lyre” thing. :)

celiaCelia is the main female lead in The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’ve heard it in other books as well, but I love the old-fashionedness of it, and the way the name flows off your tongue. I just think it’s really beautiful.

annaLots of characters have the name Anna – the one I read most recently was Born of Illusion by Terri Brown – but I’ve always loved the name without any character-driven connotations. There’s just something very classic about it, which is probably why it’s a name you still hear quite often. I also kind of love that it’s the same name forward and backward; not too many names can say that!

So those are my choices this week! You can probably tell that I have a thing for names that end with -a. :) Which names did you choose to feature? Please link me!


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25 Responses to Top Ten Favorite Character Names

  1. Gemma is on my list too! and I love Thalia and Lyra but totally blanked on them when I was making my list

  2. S. L. Bond says:

    The name Iolanthe is gorgeous, come to think of it. For a second I confused it with Iocaste (I think I spelled that right) from Oedipus Rex.
    I’m an equally big sucker for Greek names, so this list made me happy. :)

  3. Isa says:

    We have a few in common, I love the name Finn as well as Annabeth. Eolanthe and Lúthien are also really beautiful names. :)

  4. ChrissiReads says:

    Such pretty names. I really like the name Celia.

  5. Lucy says:

    Lovely names! Especially Iolanthe, though I imagine that would be a hard one to live with :)

    • Merin says:

      It would definitely be one that would require a lot of pronouncing for others! My name is always said incorrectly the first (several) times someone sees it, so I can definitely sympathize with anyone named Iolanthe. :)

  6. Ohmygoodness — I LOVE the name Iolanthe. It’s so pretty! And I love Gemma too, ever since reading the series. Great list!

  7. Andi ABCs says:

    I love the name Finn as well. It’s different yet has a classic feel to it.

    My TTT List

  8. Quinn says:

    I almost included Annabeth on my TTT, too. I do really like that name. It’s very friendly, and I love friendly names. I did the same thing with Percy (from either Percy Jackson or The Scarlet Pimpernel). I did like a few more names a bit more, though. Great list!!

    • Merin says:

      It never would have occurred to me to combine the two names together to get Annabeth, but it really does work wonderfully. No Renesme disaster with her! :)

  9. emziixgx says:

    I didn’t think about Finnick. That is a pretty cool name :)

  10. Love the name Thalia, haven’t really come across it before. Lyra is on my list too, I absolutely adore that name, I think it is so beautiful, My TTT

  11. Brittany says:

    Oooh so many wonderful choices! I really like Annabeth, Finn, and Celia. And Gemma too! So many books I need to read still. Yipes!

  12. I love Gemma and Finn as well! They almost made my list. Lyra did make it, I love it!
    As I scrolled down, I saw the name Merin at the end and wondered what book it was from, and realized it was your name! It is a great one, love it too. :)

  13. bebeboss666 says:

    Ohh Thalia is so pretty, I love that name. Great picks!

    My Top Ten Post!

  14. sappleby says:

    Wow, you’ve chosen some awesome names!

    My Top Ten Tuesday

  15. Cecelia says:

    Well, of course I approve of Celia!! That’s my most common nickname. I was given THE NIGHT CIRCUS two Christmases ago now, and I really need to dig into it – especially since you’ve reminded me that one of the characters has my name! Great list – thanks for sharing!

  16. Andy Estrada says:

    This week was hard for all of us over at the blog, so many amazing names to choose from! Looks like you had no trouble at all. ;) Great picks!

    Our List

    Andy @ Owl Always Be Reading

  17. Jessica says:

    I can’t believe I forgot Annabeth! I looove her name. Great list!

  18. Iolanthe is on my list as well, although one of the sites I found while searching for a pronunciation said “Yo-Lan-Thee” so I’m going with that XD Either way, it’s a beautiful name.

  19. I love Percabeth! :) Thalia is a great name too.

  20. I love Greek names too! Thalia is beautiful, and Iolanthe is growing on me (though I don’t tend to like names that start with I). Have you heard of the name Oriana? That’s one of my favorites. And it’s Greek.
    And I also like many of Tolkien’s elf names. Lutien of course, Galadriel, Udomiel. All very flowing!

  21. Pingback: October in Review | Read and Reviewed

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