This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.
Klingons in Star Trek may have a patronymic ("Worf, son of Mogh").
: Klingons don't have last names, if i remember correctly.
: Technically, they do. They have a name, and a 'son of' or 'of the house' name, or both.
Kawa: Odo has a full name, Odo Ital. It's a Bajoran transcription of the Cardassian label on his container, Odo'Ital. "Unknown Specimen" if I remember correctly.
To make them sound more warrior guyish, the Norse did it as well.
Your Obedient Serpent
thinks that the examples given really lack a sense of cultural perspective. The personal name/family name pattern is a relatively recent development even in Anglophone cultures, and is far from universal even in Europe. The trope makes sense if you're talking about characters in a in a society in which personal name/family name (or vice versa) is the norm — Max from Dark Angel
and Heathcliff from Whuthering Heights
are good examples, as was Wilson from Home Improvement
and Kramer from Seinfeld
, at least until the later seasons. If you're pointing at whole cultures or time periods, it turns into "lookit the funny furriners who don't even have proper names."
: Does Kyon from Haruhi count? He has a name; we just don't know it.
- The main character on Dark Angel was named Max, with no last name (she did use the last name Guevara on occasion, but she made this up). Her fellow X5s (Zack, Alec, Ben, etc) also had only one name, as did the dogboy Joshua.
But... but... she made the name 'Max' up too. They all made their names up, in the sense that they didn't have birth certificates. I don't see how the last name is any different.
- A few "mysterious" characters follow this trope in Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Godot (though his full name is revealed later), Iris, and Bikini, for example, are referred to by Only One Name even in court. We can assume that Iris gave up her family name when she joined the temple, although whether it was the patronymic Hawthorne or the matronymic Fey, we never know.
Iris was never a Hawthorne, that was the surname of the family that his father remarried and Dahlia took. Remember that Valerie Hawthorne was already the daughter of the woman Dahlia's father married. And that was why he left Iris at the temple.
Ouroboros: Wolverine's real name is James Howlett, it's been confirmed, it's been used in casual conversation in the comic books. Even the movies called him 'James Logan' in the end. Not an example.