Monday, 7 November 2016
Kings and Queens
Another post on naming, which is one of the things which has to feel right. There are quite a lot of names for fairy kings and queens; due to the shape of my story, I needed several. Most of them are so thoroughly stamped with one particular interpretation that they’re unusable. You can’t have characters called Oberon and Titania without causing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to pop into people’s heads. Fortunately, there are a fair number of names for entities both good and bad; Herlechin is one of the names for the leader of the Wild Hunt – he gave his name to Harlequin, that ambiguous figure, and gave me a name for a drow king, a variant form, Herluin. Similarly Irodis is a version of Herodias, one of the names which was used for the goddess of the witches in the middle ages. Ilmatar comes from somewhere completely different, the Finnish Kalevala, where she is a female spirit of the air. I also took the name to bits to give me a word for silver, ilmar, and an intensive, -tar, meaning ‘great’ or ‘super-‘. I used two enormously ancient names for figures in the back story, Atasiu and Devinda; Ata being Father (pater in Latin, athair in old Irish), and siu, sky; the same elements as in Ju-piter, or the ancient Indian (Vedic) Dyaus Piter, reversed. Devinda is White Goddess, ‘de’ being ‘goddess’, as in Latin ‘dea’, and ‘windos’ an old Celtic word for ‘white’ associated with a variety of legendary figures. Arcas I invented after going round a variety of possibilities, and Bran sort of came with the story due to the legends which associate Bran, ravens, and the Tower of London.