Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names


Top Ten Tuesday was create The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hi and welcome to my contribution for this weeks Top Ten Tuesday! This week was a fun one, I have really just gone for the names of characters that I have remembered most frequently over the years or that I liked for a particular reason. I really hope you enjoy reading my list!

1.The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling


Summary: from Goodreads

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!


There are so many names I love in the Harry Potter series because they mostly have great meaning behind them. Sirius is the dog star and the brightest star in the sky which ties in with his animagus form. Remus Lupin has so many connotations with his being a werewolf. Severus means ‘stern’ which certainly works for him and Bellatrix means ‘female warrior’ which is again perfect for her character. My favourite name in the series though, is Minerva McGonagall. Minerva is the Roman Goddess of wisdom and war in mythology. I love that it’s a strong and perfect name for one of my favourite characters. I also love that its a Scottish surname as I’m a Scot myself!

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Summary: from Goodreads

Here is a novel, glamorous, ironical, compassionate – a marvelous fusion into unity of the curious incongruities of the life of the period – which reveals a hero like no other – one who could live at no other time and in no other place. But he will live as a character, we surmise, as long as the memory of any reader lasts.

It is the story of this Jay Gatsby who came so mysteriously to West Egg, of his sumptuous entertainments, and of his love for Daisy Buchanan – a story that ranges from pure lyrical beauty to sheer brutal realism, and is infused with a sense of the strangeness of human circumstance in a heedless universe.


I really liked the Great Gatsby when I read it, despite not really finding any of the characters particularly pleasant. I think there are some great names in the novel that suit their characters perfectly. I think Jordan Baker’s name is perfect, its a name that can be used for a man or woman which works for her as she is not typically feminine. I also love the name Daisy Buchanan. Its a non-complicated very feminine, pretty name which makes Daisy’s character seem sweet and kind. She is not really these things, in fact she is materialistic and shallow but the name works so well for seeing her character through Jay Gatsby’s eyes.

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


Summary: from Goodreads

Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch.


I think novels with names as titles make the names themselves particularly memorable. I love Russian names, I find them really fun to attempt to say correctly. There are some great names in this sprawling novel. Anna’s name is beautiful and perfect for her glamorous character and Vronsky’s name is suitably heroic and dramatic. I also like that a lot of the characters in Anna Karenina have nicknames. Princess Ekaterina is ‘Kitty’ which really suits her and Princess Darya is ‘Dolly’. I simply think that since it’s such an epic novel there is great scope for some fantastic names.

4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier


Summary: from Goodreads

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.


Another case of a name for a title. I love that in Rebecca we never get to find out the new Mrs de Winter’s first name, it gives Rebecca herself so much more power as a character and makes her name all the more memorable. I also love the surname ‘de Winter’ just because it is so perfectly posh and ostentatious which befits the owner of a manor such as Manderley.

5. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


Summary: from Goodreads

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


As I have said before on this blog, I am obsessed with mythology of all kinds but I am definitely most familiar with Greek mythology and the story of the Trojan war in particular. There are so many great names in Greek mythology that have now become names we see everyday in modern times. Names like Helen, Paris and Hector are widely used today. I just find all the names made famous by the Iliad fascinating. My favourite is probably the titular Achilles as I like his story and find it so interesting that it is now a part of the human body (the achilles tendon) and a saying – someones ‘achilles heel’ is their weakness as it was the weak point in Achilles’ body and the reason he died in Greek mythology.

6. Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri


Summary: from Goodreads


Dante Torre spent eleven young years in captivity – held by a man known only as The Father – before outwitting his abductor. Now working for the police force, Torre’s methods are unorthodox but his brilliance is clear. When a young child goes missing in similar circumstances in Rome, Torre must confront the demons of his past to attempt to solve the case.

Paired with Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a fierce, warrior-like detective still reeling from having survived a bloody catastrophe, all evidence suggests The Father is active after being dormant for decades, and that he’s looking forward to a reunion with Dante…


I love this book and it’s sequel, Kill the Angel which is probably why I love the names of the main characters so much. I love an alliterative name like Colomba Caselli which just rolls off the tongue and fits her really well. I also like the other main character’s name – Dante Torre, I have no idea if the author was think of Dante’s Inferno when he decided on the name but it is what always springs to my mind when I read Dante’s first name. The book is set in Italy though, and Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet from the middle ages so I think its a fair assumption to make, plus I like the Italian connection.

7. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


Summary: from Goodreads

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.


I loved this book and the characters in it. My favourite of the names in The Wicked Deep are those of the three sisters drowned for being witches two centuries before the book’s events. Their names are Marguerite, Aurora and Hazel. I think Marguerite is such a gorgeous and quite imperious name which definitely suits the eldest sister who is haughty and power-hungry. I also adore the name Aurora, mostly because I am Disney obsessed and so automatically associate the name with the Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty. I also just think its a really pretty name, what else can I say!? I don’t love the name Hazel quite as much but I do think it fits the characters more pleasant and kind nature when compared with her sisters.

8. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin


Summary: from Goodreads

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.


I haven’t read all of this series, only the first three books and I have watched the series since it began. I love the creativity used when Martin created the names of his characters. I’m not sure what my favourite is as I like so many of them. I love Arya and Sansa which I think are both lovely and such unusual names. I also love the names Tyrion and Daenerys. I think what I also enjoy about the names in this series is that they are often variations of popular names in our world – Jaime instead of Jamie, Petyr instead of Peter and Catelyn instead of Caitlin. It is clever and makes the names recognisable but still different.

9. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt


Summary: from Goodreads

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.


The Sisters Brother is one of my favourite books so I will use any excuse to bring it up as I feel its quite underrated. I absolutely love the title, it’s witty, clever and fun. The names Eli and Charlie Sisters are great, they fit the Western feel of the book but are also just a little different which makes the comedy and cleverness of this book clear. I also found the names from this time period which I don’t read about a lot are really interesting.

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Summary: from Goodreads

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Thus memorably begins Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice–Austen’s own ‘darling child’–tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.


The names from this hugely famous novel are so well known that they have spawned many adaptions like Bridget Jones’ Diary. I love the classic names of the Bennet girls – Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Katherine (Kitty) and Lydia – they are all so traditional and typical of the period. My favourite name in Pride and Prejudice though, has to be Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy himself. He is definitely one of my book boyfriends and Fitzwilliam is just not a name we see enough of in our modern times. It is so haughty and posh and perfect for Darcy’s character. I love it.

So thats it – my list of the top ten best character names, I’m sure loads of people have gone for more unusual choices and I can’t wait to read them but I just decided to go with the names that I like most and find most memorable. I hope you enjoyed it and please do comment what you think of my choices and what yours would be!

38 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Best Character Names

  1. Jordanne says:

    Great list! Your interpretation of this week’s prompt was way more interesting than mine! Hahahaha.I love the meanings behind J.K.’s name but then when anyone puts that much thought into the naming of characters it’s always so much better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amber says:

    I’ve always loved Hazel as a witch name. Any tree names, actually… Rowan, Ash, etc. All good. 🙂 I haven’t read the Wicked Deep yet, though! >.<

    Liked by 1 person

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