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152 votes

Why does everyone call Hagrid by his last name?

Those that don't know him from school call him Hagrid because he tells them to. ‘Call me Hagrid,’ he said, ‘everyone does. An’ like I told yeh, I’m Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts – yeh’ll know all about ...
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139 votes
Accepted

Why does everyone call Hagrid by his last name?

Hagrid is virtually the only occupant of a 'middle ground' in the Hogwarts hierarchy. The two principal 'classes' (for want of a better word) at Hogwarts are the pupils and the staff. Within the ...
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106 votes

Why do Hogwarts teachers have such strange names?

Out of universe, JKR quite obviously wanted to show their personalities. Albus is the Latin word for white, whose defining visual trait is his white hair and beard Severus coming from severe, he's ...
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106 votes
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Why is Sauron's name similar to the Greek/Latin word for "lizard"?

Interestingly this exact situation is covered in a draft letter Tolkien wrote dated August 1967. Tolkien notes that there is no connection merely "chance" or as suggested, a coincidence. It ...
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95 votes
Accepted

Why did JK Rowling choose the name 'Harry'?

She just really liked the name. Rowling was asked this question in a 2000 live interview on Scholastic.com; her response was: Question: From where did you get the name for Harry Potter? Rowling: '...
83 votes
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Why is the name "Rigel", and especially "Rigel VII", used in multiple universes?

Because it's a bright "star" (it's actually a group of stars, and the 7th brightest in the night sky) and its name is familiar with budding star gazers. It's also enormous and placed in the obvious ...
78 votes
Accepted

Why does Sauron not permit his followers to use his name?

Although I don't believe it's ever explicitly stated, I think it's clear that the purpose is to give Sauron's name an air of mystique among his servants, thus instilling a greater fear of Sauron ...
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77 votes

How is the name "Gandalf" pronounced?

Who better to ask than the professor himself, here he is reading the opening to the Fellowship of the Ring. At 00:23 he says "'No' said Gandalf..." Tolkien seems to pronounce it as most would expect (...
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71 votes

Why are the names Sauron and Saruman so similar?

As far as I can tell there's no major etymological connection between them. Obviously Tolkien wrote the languages (Quenya/Sindarin) on which both names are supposedly based but I've seen no evidence ...
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67 votes

Why isn't the First Order the Second Order?

Pure speculation, but I'd like to point out that an in-universe answer may relate to the use of "first" in a context other than to mean chronologically, but instead to mean "primary", or "foremost". ...
66 votes
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Is there a reason the Wachowskis chose the names Smith and Anderson?

You might find this page useful. It details even vague connections, themes and references that each name in The Matrix has, including some for Thomas A. Anderson, those mainly being: Thomas means "...
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64 votes

Where did using "Luna" as the future name for the moon come from?

Primarily, 'moon' is too general. Luna refers to Earth's moon, not other moons, of other planets. People outside SF&F have no reason to think about any other moons, for the most part, so saying '...
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64 votes
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How many times are the words "Harry" and/or "Harry Potter" spoken in the Harry Potter movies?

Assuming the subtitles haven't missed any instances, Harry Potter's full name occurs 134 times in total. 17 times in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 26 times in Harry Potter and the Chamber ...
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63 votes
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Why is the name Strider considered offensive?

"Strider" wasn't an insulting name Aragorn was known to the people of Bree as a stern outsider who kept to himself. That was enough for him to be looked on with suspicion even by good people like ...
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61 votes
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First uses of names having power?

The idea of a true name being linked to the essence of an individual or object's being is an ancient philosophical and mystical concept predating the novel, and the fantasy and science fiction genres. ...
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58 votes

Is there a reason the Wachowskis chose the names Smith and Anderson?

I'm unclear whether it's a case of the tail wagging the dog, but it's notable that Agent Smith's car (in Matrix Reloaded) has the plate IS5416 (Isiah 54:16) "Behold, I have created the smith who ...
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56 votes
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Did Tolkien give Thranduil his name?

Thranduil is, indeed, a name invented by J. R. R. Tolkien himself. There was also a strange Elf clad in green and brown, Legolas, a messenger from his father, Thranduil, the King of the Elves of ...
56 votes
Accepted

What's the relationship among the many uses of the name "Praxis" in sci-fi?

Background: In the comments to this question, Who wrote "Ode to Spot" and Data's other poem? @Praxis questioned why I hadn't accepted his answer yet and it was suggested that that it ...
54 votes
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How did Gandalf get each of his various names?

Not the specifics, unfortunately. Much of what we know comes from Unfinished Tales: Mithrandir [T]he last-comer was named among the Elves Mithrandir, the Grey Pilgrim, for he dwelt in no place, ...
54 votes
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Did Luke Skywalker ever refer to Obi-Wan as "Uncle Ben?"

The nice thing about e-Books: searches. The phrase "Uncle Ben" does not appear in the Star Wars novelization. There are 55 instances of "uncle" and all of them refer to Uncle Owen. Thanks to Valorum, ...
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54 votes

Why was Luke "Red Five"?

From the Wookieepedia Red Five was the call sign for the fifth member of Red Squadron. After the Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker who flew as Red Five during the Battle of Yavin destroyed the first Death ...
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54 votes
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Where did using "Luna" as the future name for the moon come from?

The reason why people in a science-fiction future would call the moon Luna is explained in Seeds' answer. If, like most people today, you only know about one moon, you can just call it the moon. If ...
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51 votes
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What was Darth Maul's birth name?

As far as we know, Maul is Darth Maul's pre-Sith name. He was born a Nightbrother and has brothers with similarly evil-sounding names: Savage Opress and Feral. Maul's last name may be considered "...
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49 votes
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Is Harry Potter's real name Henry?

No, his real name is Harry James Potter, not Henry. There's no evidence that his real name is Henry. Throughout the book he is always called Harry. And his official O.W.L results address him as Harry....
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48 votes
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Does Ron ever introduce himself as "Ronald Weasley" in Harry Potter?

Textually, we learn that Ron is short for Ronald in the middle of the first book, when Dumbledore and Harry speak about the Mirror of Erised. ‘Yes and no,’ said Dumbledore quietly. ‘It shows us ...
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48 votes
Accepted

Was the name "Thanos" derived from "Thanatos", the name of the Greek god of death?

Yes, "Thanos" is indeed derived from the name "Thanatos", the name of the Freudian concept of death drive (which in turn is named after the Thanatos of myth), according to Vulture: ...
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47 votes
Accepted

What are the origins of the names "Just Read The Instructions" and "Of Course I Still Love You"?

Most of the culture ships are named after punchlines to jokes about war, violence, and excessive use of force. There seems to be an implication in the novels that the names of GCUs are less violence ...
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45 votes
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Why was Marvin called "the paranoid android"?

Quite simply because it rhymes. There is no suggestion that Marvin is clinically paranoid anywhere in the series. Zaphod Beeblebrox is the first person to use the epithet in the radio series. Also, ...
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45 votes

Why do Hogwarts teachers have such strange names?

Name choices in wizarding families will be different from non-wizarding ones. In addition, names go in and out of fashion, and we can expect different naming trends in different generations. Bear in ...
45 votes
Accepted

What does the TIE designation used in the Empire's starfighters names mean?

TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine - sub-light propulsion technology behind these small fighter/bomber crafts. TIE itself is not initially associated with the Empire, but the Empire commissioned these ...
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