Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As some of you may already know, Robert Jordan used to make lists of words and names he liked from which, after altering them, he made up the names of his characters.
Some of the more obvious, like Artur, after King Arthur, or Bili al'Dai, for the singer Billy Holliday, revealed either mythological and historical ties, or amusing jokes.
Back in 2005, Linda went hunting in English and foreign dictionaries and encyclopedias for the possible sources of the character names, again from the obvious like Mishima (after the japanese writer Mishima Yukio) to the more obscure like Bennae Sedai (christened after a local word for 'sesame' from Jordan's American South - will she be the secret 'password' to open the treasure of the Thirteenth Depository, like Ali Baba's cavern?). Linda collected the most interesting or relevant of them in four gigantic 'What's in Name' articles for the Wotmania section, ranging from confirmed connections (a few by Robert Jordan himself, Bennae is one of those) to far more speculative ones.
The Thirteenth Depository will re-publish this material by installments, beginning today with the Introduction and the character names under the letter 'A'.
Have fun playing the Name Game!