I promised this post, and have duly been digging around ever since. The Artemis Fowl series of books are written by Eoin Cowlfer and first came to a Waterstones near you back in 2001. The last one is making an appearance later on this year, and I’m sure I’ve heard talks about turning the series into a film too. Think you should be getting excited about The Hunger Games becoming a film and the potential naming inspirations? I’m apparently already thinking ahead of the game by the looks of it given that this series of books has been described as the new Harry Potter – and that’s one series of books which put several names on the map. Of course, Mr. Cowlfer prefers to refer to the series as Die Hard With Fairies. Nevertheless, here’s a quick look at some of the more notable names from the books.
Artemis Fowl revolves around the antics of a teenage mastermind by the name of Artemis – a male teenage mastermind. It may seem odd to those with preconceptions that Artemis is a female name – the character himself mentions the gender dispute a few times – but Artemis was good enough to be given to one of Alex James’ twin sons. During the books, Artemis takes on an alter-ego named Orion, who is almost his exact opposite – notably being carefree and optimistic. Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, whilst Orion is the name of a legendary Greek hunter.
Another fascinating name from the Fowl family is Angeline – the name of Artemis‘ mother (his father is also called Artemis). It’s a French variation of the name Angela, which ultimately means messenger.
At one stage in the series, Artemis came face to face with what one could describe as his female equivalent – it may therefore come as no surprise that her name also has links with mythology, Minerva; the Roman goddess of war and wisdom. Minerva has a brother named Beau and parents named Gaspard and Penny.
One of the main villains who makes frequent appearance throughout the series is a narcissistic pixie genius (in other words, the pixie equivalent of Artemis) by the name of Opal. But she isn’t truely like Artemis, given that Cowlfer has described her as being an insane, power-mad pixie. She first appears alongside a character named Briar, whom we mentioned last weekend.
A rivalry exists between Opal and good-guy centaur Foaly – who also happens to be married to a lady centaur named Caballine. I take Foaly to be a play on the English word foal, and as for Caballine – another English word meaning of or pertaining to a horse.
A main character I’ve yet to mention is a spirited elf by the name of Holly. The name Holly is hugely popular in England&Wales – she was actually the most popular name given to girls born in December 2010 – but she ranks at #25 when the whole year is taken into account. Her mother was called the equally botanical Coral – who could see somewhat of a revival in the wake of sister Coraline.