Angelic Paranoia

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Names are important
Monday 12th December 2016 8:25 pm

This is the post that I haven't had time to write, but have been reminded about by The Librarians and reading a whole lot of Stargate Atlantis fic for SGA Secret Santa.

Names are important. What names people use to call each other, more so. This was interesting when I was in LOTR fandom and read and wrote Aragorn, aka man of many names. For the first two years of his life he is Aragorn. For the next eighteen he is Estel. After that it all gets a lot more complicated.

I love that in stories with Aragorn and Arwen after they're married, in private she calls him Estel. He introduced himself to her as Aragorn, but she surely would have exchanged letters and news with her father and brothers before that and the only name they could have used for him would have been Estel. Between Elrond telling him his name and Aragon becoming king (and gaining another name) I think they'd both have got used to his new (old) name. But it's such a lovely throwback to his foster family (and pretty much the only family he had growing up).

The subject of names came up on The West Wing. When Leo learnt that Bartlet had MS he called the President Jed - the first time Leo had done so since the beginning of the Presidency. It's one of the few times anyone calls him by his name except for Abby. There's an episode where a priest asks Barlet what to call him and Bartlet replies that in the Oval Office he prefers Mr President to distance himself from the hard decisions he sometimes has to make as president.

Stargate Atlantis was always interesting. There's a mixture of who calls whom by their first or last name, but the exception is Elizabeth. She calls everyone by their first name and they all call her by her first name. Well, the members of the expedition anyway, Caldwell is a notable exception. But it immediately tells you a whole lot about her command/leadership style.

And in The Librarians, Jenkins is finally unbending and managing some first names. Except to Stone, who no one calls by his first name. And Flynn, who is 'sir'. Considering he didn't like having his Annexe invaded by these people, he's come a long way to manage 'Cassandra' instead of 'Miss Cillian' and 'Eve' instead of 'Colonel'.

Sarah Jane Smith is another person with a lot of names. She started off as Sarah Jane, became Sarah, then went back to Sarah Jane. Except to Harry who is a notable exception as someone who never called her Sarah Jane (well, except for Chrissie and Gita, but they had other reasons). That he carries on calling her 'old girl' and she never really complains much is a sign that she doesn't mind all that much. Whereas in comparison, the 'SJ' that Josh throws out in the Sarah Jane Smith audios just comes across as obnoxious.

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