History Main / IKnowYourTrueName

8th Mar '17 6:41:35 PM dmcreif
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* In ''Series/LukeCage2016'', Luke Cage isn't really his real name. He's Carl Lucas, a prison escapee living under an assumed name, who was presumed dead after his escape from Seagate. Shades, who did time with Luke and regularly gave him beatings as Rackham's enforcer, eventually recognizes Luke is Carl after seeing him fighting Cottonmouth's guys. Cottonmouth later tries to use this to blackmail Luke into either working for him or leaving Harlem, a problem that is ultimately resolved when Mariah kills Cottonmouth over an unrelated matter.

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* In ''Series/LukeCage2016'', Luke Cage isn't really his real name. He's is actually Carl Lucas, a prison escapee living under an assumed name, who was presumed dead after his escape from Seagate. Shades, who did time with Luke and regularly gave him beatings as Rackham's enforcer, eventually recognizes Luke is Carl after seeing him fighting Cottonmouth's guys.men firsthand. Cottonmouth later tries to use this to blackmail Luke into either working for him or leaving Harlem, a problem that is ultimately resolved when Mariah kills Cottonmouth over an unrelated matter. Then Willis "Diamondback" Stryker enters the show, and he knows Luke's true identity [[spoiler:because he's Luke's bastard half-brother]].
7th Mar '17 11:03:42 AM magicalfeyfenny
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** One of the more puzzling phenomena in experimental psychology is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail_party_effect people's ability to hear their own name being mentioned in a conversation across the room]] -- even when they can't hear any other part of that conversation. It presumably indicates the brain processes the stuff it "hears" first to look for significant signs like one's name and then throws away a lot of information that never gets processed further.

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** One of the more puzzling phenomena in experimental psychology is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail_party_effect people's ability to hear their own name being mentioned in a conversation across the room]] -- even when they can't hear any other part of that conversation. It presumably indicates the brain processes the stuff it "hears" first to look for significant signs like one's name and then throws away a lot of information that never gets processed further. This also happens with people who've changed their names due to familiarity (if not satisfaction) with the old name.
6th Mar '17 9:13:30 AM DocWildNole
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* In the Literature/BookOfRevelation, specifically chapter 2 verse 17, Jesus promises, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Since (in orthodox Christianity) Jesus has no need of spells, it certainly doesn't give him any ''more'' power over the receiver than he already has, and this is most likely emblematic of the absolute knowledge of the individual believer that Christ already possesses.
28th Feb '17 2:51:04 PM AthenaBlue
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* In the ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' trilogy, knowing someone's true name gives power over them - they can be controlled when their true name is used. The Kantri (dragons), for example, have long names like Khordeshkhistriakhor, but they use a diminutive of their true name for everyday use (for example, that dragon is known as Akhor), and share the true one only with their lover and possibly best friends.
* In Delia Sherman's "Grand Central Park," the main character plays truth or dare with the Queen of Central Park (a fairy). She asks the Queen to tell her her true name.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'', the narrator does not give his real name as a POW, only the official name he's using; when his daughter is born, affairs are more organized, and she is issued both a name she can use and a secret, real name.
* In Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age series, names have power, as is demonstrated in the [[WhamEpisode Wham Chapter]] of ''Blood & Iron''; Elaine [[spoiler: gives her true name -- and her soul -- away, thus rendering herself [[{{immortality}} immortal]] and therefore capable as taking over as the ''Queen of the Faeries''.]] She occasionally still answers to the name, though; magic is magic, but you still need a way of getting someone's attention across a crowded room.
* In ''Literature/{{Tithe}}'', by Holly Black, Kay forces one of TheFairFolk to tell her his true name, not quite realizing that when she uses the name he has to do anything he's commanded to do.
** Specifically, Roiben promises to tell her any three things she asks. After he plays literal genie with her out of habit/to protect her ("Shall I consider that your second question?") she asks for his name to piss him off. She only knows that fairies don't like to share their names, and finds out WHY when she uses a [[LiteralAssKissing poorly worded insult]].
* In Literature/DoraWilkSeries, the main difference between demons and other hellians is that demons are bound to serve a person who uses their full name, which is why they use nicknames in day-to-day lives. Usually, only demon's sire knows his/her true name, but in some cases he can give it to another person, and demon has no say in that matter.
* This trope is referenced in ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' - the protagonist/narrator once fools the people into thinking he has done magic, by claiming to command an evil spirit by "thine own dread name" and then just making up a long nonsensical word.
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', all sentient beings have a true name - in this case, it's their actual name, pronounced exactly as they say it. The more parts of their name you know, the more power you can hold over them. If you know their full name and can pronounce it correctly, you have a direct magical and metaphysical link to them. A doorway to their being, if you will. Of course, a doorway goes ''both'' ways. That's why Harry's BadassBoast mentions his name in full, and then adds the addendum that you should "conjure by it at your own risk."
** Harry meets [[spoiler: a Dragon named]] Ferrovax at a costume ball, and doesn't tell him his full name (going by just "Harry Dresden"). The incredibly powerful Ferrovax is able to force him to his knees with only the two names.
** Also, as the first book demonstrates, there ''is'' something more stupid than revealing your true name to your enemy: Letting him hear the true name of the demon you just summoned to kill him.
** Harry gives people nicknames. "Lash" ([[spoiler: Lasciel, the Temptress]]), "Ivy" ([[spoiler: the Archive]]), "Shagnasty" (the shapeshifter who feeds on fear), among many others. He even named [[spoiler: the Black Council]], and it probably isn't related in any way, but the only meaningful evidence to [[spoiler: their existence]] started showing up after he nicknamed them.
** Harry's habit of giving nicknames proves unexpectedly powerful as the names he gives them influence the very nature of beings like a skullbound spirit of intellect, the embodiment of all recorded knowledge, and the psychic imprint of a fallen angel. This somewhat backfires when he casually calls the archangel Uriel "Uri," and is told in emphatic terms to never do it again - that "el" is the part of Uriel's name that refers to God (the name as a whole means "Light of God" or "God is my Light") and he doesn't appreciate having it left off. There's also some FridgeHorror there: Harry ''has'' influenced things in part by giving them names, and it would be ''very bad'' if an angel as badass as Uriel [[FallenAngel were to forget the "of God" part]] for even a minute. Especially considering that other angel whose name prominently features something meaning "light".
** Keeping one's names in reserve doesn't help when dealing with [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]]. Thanks to their ''intellectus'', they automatically know the True Name of anyone they're dealing with, letting them flatten any mortal who tries to stop them from completing their tasks.

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* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AnansiBoys'', Mr. Nancy (Anansi) and his sons apply this trope in a few ways, one of which being the ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' trilogy, knowing someone's true name gives power over them - humiliation of a major villain.
* In ''Literature/AwakeInTheNightLand'' this is the reason that prevents the Lovecraftian horrors of the Night Land from having proper names, otherwise
they would be able to invade people's thoughts. Instead, they are called by their attributes, like: "The Watching Things", "The Thing That Nods", "Silent Ones", "Slowly Turning Wheel", etc.
* Jonathan Stroud's ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'': Magicians lose their names when they start training and choose new ones to be called by later on.
** Unfortunately, unlike most examples, this still doesn't work -- the new names aren't nearly as powerful as their birth names for magical purposes, but
can still be used to mess with them.
** Demons are also summoned and
controlled when their true name is used. The Kantri (dragons), for example, have long names like Khordeshkhistriakhor, but they use a diminutive of their true name for everyday use (for example, that dragon is known as Akhor), and share the true one only with their lover and possibly best friends.
* In Delia Sherman's "Grand Central Park," the main character plays truth or dare with the Queen of Central Park (a fairy). She asks the Queen to tell her her true name.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'', the narrator does not give his real name as a POW, only the official name he's using; when his daughter is born, affairs are more organized, and she is issued both a name she can use and a secret, real name.
* In Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age series, names have power, as is demonstrated in the [[WhamEpisode Wham Chapter]] of ''Blood & Iron''; Elaine [[spoiler: gives her true name -- and her soul -- away, thus rendering herself [[{{immortality}} immortal]] and therefore capable as taking over as the ''Queen of the Faeries''.]] She occasionally still answers to the name, though; magic is magic, but you still need a way of getting someone's attention across a crowded room.
* In ''Literature/{{Tithe}}'', by Holly Black, Kay forces one of TheFairFolk to tell her his true name, not quite realizing that when she uses the name he has to do anything he's commanded to do.
** Specifically, Roiben promises to tell her any three things she asks. After he plays literal genie with her out of habit/to protect her ("Shall I consider that your second question?") she asks for his name to piss him off. She only knows that fairies don't like to share
through their names, and finds out WHY when she uses a [[LiteralAssKissing poorly worded insult]].
* In Literature/DoraWilkSeries, the main difference between demons and other hellians is
though its revealed that demons are bound to serve a person who uses their full name, which is why they use nicknames in day-to-day lives. Usually, only demon's sire knows his/her true name, but in some cases he can give it to another person, and demon has no say in that matter.
* This trope is referenced in ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' - the protagonist/narrator once fools the people into thinking he has done magic, by claiming to command an evil spirit by "thine own dread name" and then just making up a long nonsensical word.
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', all sentient beings have a true name - in
this case, is less because it's their actual true name, pronounced exactly as they say it. The more parts but that when a magician first summons a demon he gives it a name, and that name can then be used to call them. Bartimaeus and many other demons also [[IHaveManyNames have many names]], but only Bartimaeus actually seems to have power over him.
* In Creator/GlenCook's ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' series, saying "I name your name, ______" with the person's True Name will strip them
of their name you know, the more power you supernatural powers. Guessing wrong about which ancient wizard you're naming can hold over them. If you know their full name and can pronounce it correctly, you have a direct magical and metaphysical link be hazardous to them. A doorway to their being, if you will. Of course, a doorway goes ''both'' ways. That's why Harry's BadassBoast mentions his name in full, and then adds the addendum that you should "conjure by it at your own risk."
** Harry meets [[spoiler: a Dragon named]] Ferrovax at a costume ball, and doesn't tell him his full name (going by just "Harry Dresden"). The incredibly
health... This is also why the most powerful Ferrovax sorcerers in the setting are universally {{Evil Sorcerer}}s. Any magic-user not willing to suppress his true name by [[KillEmAll any means necessary]] will not remain a magic-user for long. The only good wizard of sufficient power in the series is able to force him to his knees with only the two names.
** Also,
do so because, as the first book demonstrates, there ''is'' something more stupid than revealing your result of some peculiarities at the time of his birth, he has no true name to your enemy: Letting him hear the true name of the demon you just summoned to kill him.
** Harry gives people nicknames. "Lash" ([[spoiler: Lasciel, the Temptress]]), "Ivy" ([[spoiler: the Archive]]), "Shagnasty" (the shapeshifter who feeds on fear), among many others. He even named [[spoiler: the Black Council]], and it probably isn't related in any way, but the
name, only meaningful evidence to [[spoiler: their existence]] started showing up after he nicknamed them.
** Harry's habit of giving nicknames proves unexpectedly powerful as the names he gives them influence the very nature of beings like
a skullbound spirit of intellect, the embodiment of all recorded knowledge, and the psychic imprint of a fallen angel. This somewhat backfires when he casually calls the archangel Uriel "Uri," and is told in emphatic terms to never do it again - that "el" is the part of Uriel's name that refers to God (the name as a whole means "Light of God" or "God is my Light") and he doesn't appreciate having it left off. There's also some FridgeHorror there: Harry ''has'' influenced things in part by giving them names, and it would be ''very bad'' if an angel as badass as Uriel [[FallenAngel were to forget the "of God" part]] for even a minute. Especially considering that other angel whose name prominently features something meaning "light".
** Keeping one's names in reserve doesn't help when dealing with [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]]. Thanks to their ''intellectus'', they automatically know the True Name of anyone they're dealing with, letting them flatten any mortal who tries to stop them from completing their tasks.
nickname.



* In Meredith Ann Pierce's ''Literature/TheFirebringerTrilogy'', knowing someone's true name doesn't necessarily give you complete power over them - it just makes them a lot more vulnerable to other spells.
* In Creator/GlenCook's ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' series, saying "I name your name, ______" with the person's True Name will strip them of their supernatural powers. Guessing wrong about which ancient wizard you're naming can be hazardous to your health... This is also why the most powerful sorcerers in the setting are universally {{Evil Sorcerer}}s. Any magic-user not willing to suppress his true name by [[KillEmAll any means necessary]] will not remain a magic-user for long. The only good wizard of sufficient power in the series is able to do so because, as the result of some peculiarities at the time of his birth, he has no true name, only a nickname.
* The ''Literature/WizBiz''/''Wizardry'' series by Rick Cook; this also semi-averts people not realizing the best protection, as the hero is [[TrappedInAnotherWorld from another world]] and after a near-brush with revealing his true name, ''only'' goes by two different convenient nicknames. Other wizards also go by a nickname, or only a portion of their name, for the same reason. This comes in particularly handy when a bad guy sics an [[OurDemonsAreDifferent ultra-powerful demon]] onto the hero; said demon is dangerous because it can hunt and kill anyone whose name has ever been spoken in that world. This would be a perfect plan except for the "from another world" thing.
* Creator/DianeDuane's ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series has the wizardly Speech as the LanguageOfMagic. Knowing someone's true name does ''not'' let you control them, but it is needed to perform some types of spells on them. Wizards must "sign" spells with their name in the Speech, which comprise not only spoken names but personality and sense of identity. And writing the name of something differently in the Speech changes the thing so named, so they must be treated with extra care.
** Nita exploits this in the climax of ''So You Want to be a Wizard'' when she's reading from ''The Book Of Night With Moon'': [[spoiler: she rewrites the last character of [[{{Satan}} The Lone Power]]'s name so instead of being trapped as evil forever, he has the option to [[HeelFaceTurn turn back]].]]
** Another example occurs in ''A Wizard Abroad'' where to repay a debt, one of [[TheFairFolk the Sidhe]] whispers what is presumably his true name to Nita, instructing her to speak it to call for aid one time if she needs it. It comes in handy when they encounter creatures that are [[AntiMagic immune to their spells]] and speaking it calls out said fey and TheCavalry (literally).
** All of the words in the LanguageOfMagic are the true names of the things they stand for. Which makes sense, since it was the language with which reality itself was written.
** In "Wizards at War" it is revealed that The One's (God's) true name cannot be known to anyone in existence. There is so much power contained within the name itself that it could rewrite reality if misused. Because of this, one of the PowersThatBe is given the name "Guardian of the Divided Name".
* The ''[[Literature/TheTaleOfTheFive Door]]'' series, also by Diane Duane, also uses the trope. People have powerful, secret true names, though most don't know what theirs is.
* Creator/DavidEddings:
** At one point in ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', Ce'Nedra was possessed by Zandramas. Polgara forces Zandramas to admit her name, and by doing so is able to banish her. Polgara mocks Zandramas for "not knowing the power of a name." It eventually becomes apparent that Polgara was ''lying'' about this. Zandramas is better at messing with minds than Polgara is at spotting her, but is aware of her inferior education and (relatively) enormous inexperience, and is inclined to run in any direct confrontation. Polgara's bluff played to this.
** Eddings also played a different version of this game in ''Literature/TheTamuli'', in which the Child Goddess Aphrael speaks the true name of the Elene God to Patriarch Bergsten, to prove that she's ''not'' a demon.
* In Creator/MichaelEnde's ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', the Fantastica side of the plot begins with the Childlike Empress getting sick because she "needs a new name." Bastian becomes a Fantastican hero because he has the ability to name things. This is natural, as words have obvious importance when the entire world exists in a story.
** In the second [[Film/TheNeverendingStory film based on the book]], Bastian is called back to Fantasia in order to name the new threat ("The Emptiness") which should give them the power to fight it properly.
* Creator/DianaWynneJones:
** According to ''Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland'', avoiding this is the real reason so many Fantasylanders have [[PunctuationShaker apostrophes in their names]].
** In ''Literature/DrownedAmmet'', saying the lesser name of one of the gods causes an island to come up out of the sea and break your enemy's ship in half. "What happens if you say his big name?" [[spoiler:It causes a tsunami... even if you're miles from the sea.]] Unsurprisingly, he's known by his nickname, the Earth Shaker. His wife's names also have dramatic effects.
** In ''Literature/PowerOfThree'', a major threat to the Dorig and Lymen is to simply mention that one has the name of an enemy in mind, as having a person's name allows you to curse them. Ceri scoffs at the 'giants' for giving out their names so freely.

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* In Meredith Ann Pierce's ''Literature/TheFirebringerTrilogy'', knowing someone's true ''The Changing Land'', by Creator/RogerZelazny, one of the characters is a demon named Melbriniononsadsazzersteldregandishfeltselior. Usually conjurers trying to summon him messed up his name doesn't necessarily give you complete power over them - it just makes them a lot more vulnerable to other spells.
* In Creator/GlenCook's ''Literature/TheBlackCompany'' series, saying "I name your name, ______" with
during the person's True Name will strip them of their supernatural powers. Guessing wrong about summoning and binding ritual - which ancient wizard you're naming can be hazardous to your health... This is also why left the most powerful sorcerers in demon free and ready to have fun. Unfortunately for the setting are universally {{Evil Sorcerer}}s. Any magic-user not willing to suppress his true name by [[KillEmAll any means necessary]] will not remain a magic-user for long. The only good wizard of sufficient power in the series is able to do so because, as the result of some peculiarities at the time of his birth, he has no true name, only a nickname.
* The ''Literature/WizBiz''/''Wizardry'' series by Rick Cook; this also semi-averts people not realizing the best protection, as the hero is [[TrappedInAnotherWorld from
demon, another world]] and after character, wizard Baran, was from a near-brush land with revealing his true name, ''only'' goes by two different convenient nicknames. Other wizards also go by a nickname, or only a portion of their name, for the same reason. This comes in particularly handy when a bad guy sics an [[OurDemonsAreDifferent ultra-powerful demon]] onto the hero; said demon is dangerous because it can hunt and kill anyone whose name has ever been spoken in that world. This would be a perfect plan except for the "from another world" thing.
* Creator/DianeDuane's ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series has the wizardly Speech as the LanguageOfMagic. Knowing someone's true name does ''not'' let you control them, but it is needed to perform some types of spells on them. Wizards must "sign" spells with their name in the Speech, which comprise not only spoken names but personality and sense of identity. And writing
very complex language - so the name of something differently in the Speech changes the thing so named, so they must be treated demon was quite manageable for Baran.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' series by Creator/RogerZelazny, in ''Guns of Avalon'', when Strygalldwir comes to Corwin's window. He offers his name but says "Conjure
with extra care.
** Nita exploits this in
it and I will eat your liver." Only seems to apply to that certain brand of demon, though.
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos The Titans of Chaos]]'', a god casts a spell on
the climax title characters [[IHaveManyNames who have three sets of ''So You Want to be a Wizard'' when she's reading names apiece]]; he fails because one of them hid one set from him. Granted, someone named Quentin ''Nemo'' should have been a clue.
* In
''The Book Of Night With Moon'': [[spoiler: she rewrites of Three'', the last character first volume of [[{{Satan}} The Lone Power]]'s name so instead of being trapped as evil forever, he has ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'', [[SupportingLeader Prince Gwydion]] is [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou the option to [[HeelFaceTurn turn back]].]]
** Another example occurs
only one who can defeat]] [[TheDragon the Horned King]] because he's the only one who knows his real name, which is [[spoiler:never revealed]].
* Actually an important point
in ''A Wizard Abroad'' the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld'', where the Orcish-like Fammin serving the Tyrant all have names which are actually magical words used to repay a debt, force them to obey the orders. This is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch the Wrong Ones']] main source of fear and {{Angst}}.
* All of the [[WitchSpecies Insequent]] from the ''Last Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' can be compelled by their true names, and as such they usually go by imposing sounding titles (the Theomach, the Vizard, the Mahdoubt, the Harrow, the Ardent, the Auriference, etc.). It's implied that any Insequent knows (or can readily discover) any other Insequent's true name, but they go to great pains to conceal them from outsiders. Only two are revealed in the novels- ''Kenaustin Ardenol'' (the Theomach) and ''Quern Ehstrel'' (the Mahdoubt). The Ardent manages to make the Harrow back off in
one of [[TheFairFolk the Sidhe]] whispers what is presumably scene merely by threatening to reveal his true name to Nita, instructing her to speak it to call for aid one time if she needs it. It comes in handy the gathered companions.
* ''Cold Cereal'' by Adam Rex turns this into a BrickJoke. The main character is established with the name [[Theatre/{{Macbeth}} Scottish Play]]. He got his name
when they encounter creatures his father, a struggling actor, got a break that are [[AntiMagic immune to their spells]] changed his life and speaking it calls out said fey and TheCavalry (literally).
** All
promised he'd name his firstborn son after the role. At the end of the words in book, when Queen Titania uses all the LanguageOfMagic are the true heroes' names to incapacitate them, Scottish Play manages to break free of her spell because that wasn't his true name and [[TheScottishTrope that it's not supposed to be spoken out loud]].
* This trope is referenced in ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' - the protagonist/narrator once fools the people into thinking he has done magic, by claiming to command an evil spirit by "thine own dread name" and then just making up a long nonsensical word.
* Creator/SusanCooper's novel ''The Dark Is Rising'' (part of ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series). Merriman Lyon defeats Maggie the witch-girl (an agent
of the things they stand for. Which makes sense, since it was Dark) through his knowledge of her true name.
* ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', in one of its appendices, describes rune-magic in terms of true names. What a rune-magic spell does is ''change an object's name'', thus causing
the object itself to change. The Sartan and Patryn (battling WitchSpecies who use this magic) are each affected by it in different ways:
** Sartan magic emphasizes the ''spoken'' runes; as such, a Sartan's true name in their own
language with can be used to control them. Most Sartan go by pseudonyms as a result, and when [[KnightTemplar Samah]] introduces himself to a stranger by his true name, this is a sign of both his power and arrogance (since it shows he doesn't fear magical attack).
** Patryns emphasize the ''written'' runes,
which reality itself was written.
**
they tattoo on their bodies. A Patryn's true name is therefore not the spoken form but the "heart-rune" inscribed in the center of their chest. Messing with this rune can seriously screw up a Patryn's ability to work magic [[spoiler: as Haplo found out the hard way]].
*
In "Wizards at War" it is ''Literature/TheDemonsLexicon'' by Sarah Rees-Brennan, demon-summoning requires knowledge of the demon's true name. [[spoiler:In a subversion, it's eventually revealed that The One's (God's) true name cannot be known demons, who tend not to anyone in existence. There is so much power contained within the name itself that it could rewrite reality if misused. Because of this, one of the PowersThatBe is given the name "Guardian of the Divided Name".
* The ''[[Literature/TheTaleOfTheFive Door]]'' series, also by Diane Duane, also uses the trope. People have powerful, secret true names, though most
use language, don't know actually care what theirs is.
* Creator/DavidEddings:
** At one point in ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', Ce'Nedra was possessed by Zandramas. Polgara forces Zandramas to admit her name, and by doing so
name you call them--what matters is able to banish her. Polgara mocks Zandramas for "not knowing that you ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe]]'' it's the power of a demon's true name." It eventually becomes apparent that Polgara was ''lying'' about this. Zandramas is better at messing with minds than Polgara is at spotting her, but is aware of her inferior education and (relatively) enormous inexperience, and is inclined to run in any direct confrontation. Polgara's bluff played to this.
** Eddings also played a different version of this game in ''Literature/TheTamuli'', in which the Child Goddess Aphrael speaks the true name of the Elene God to Patriarch Bergsten, to prove that she's ''not'' a demon.
* In Creator/MichaelEnde's ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', the Fantastica side of the plot begins with the Childlike Empress getting sick because she "needs a new name." Bastian becomes a Fantastican hero because he has the ability to name things. This is natural, as words have obvious importance when the entire world exists in a story.
** In the second [[Film/TheNeverendingStory film based on the book]], Bastian is called back to Fantasia in order to name the new threat ("The Emptiness") which should give them the power to fight it properly.
* Creator/DianaWynneJones:
** According to ''Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland'', avoiding this is the real reason so many Fantasylanders have [[PunctuationShaker apostrophes in their names]].
** In ''Literature/DrownedAmmet'', saying the lesser name of one of the gods causes an island to come up out of the sea and break your enemy's ship in half. "What happens if you say his big name?" [[spoiler:It causes a tsunami... even if you're miles from the sea.]] Unsurprisingly, he's known by his nickname, the Earth Shaker. His wife's names also have dramatic effects.
** In ''Literature/PowerOfThree'', a major threat to the Dorig and Lymen is to simply mention that one has the name of an enemy in mind, as having a person's name allows you to curse them. Ceri scoffs at the 'giants' for giving out their names so freely.
]]



* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', it's briefly mentioned that, in the old days, students at [[WizardingSchool Unseen University]] had to "memorise the true names of everything until the brain squeaked". It's not made clear that there's any magical advantage to doing so, however. Considering the attitudes of the Unseen University faculty, it's quite likely that most of the 'learning true names' curriculum was to keep the students too busy to bother them.
** In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', it's stated that the Librarian has removed all mention of his own name from University records to prevent anyone trying to turn him back into a human. Rincewind knows it, and so the Librarian dissuades him from telling anyone -- by holding him over a ''ten-story drop''.
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'': "All things are defined by names. Change the name, and you change the thing. There is a lot more to it than that, but paracosmically that is what it boils down to..."
** A slight variation involves the fact that ''giving'' a name to something changes its nature, as in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' (with regards to Magitek Hex) "We should never have given you a name. A thing with a name is a bit more than a thing." Also comes into play when Agnes names her alter ego Perdita. She then develops a magical form of multiple personality disorder, as Perdita becomes an actual person living in Agnes' head with her and being everything Agnes wishes she could be.
* Inverted in the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' and ''Literature/FactionParadox'' novels. During the Second War in Heaven, the Time Lords battle a race of entities referred to as 'the Enemy'. The Enemy ''does'' have a true name, but the Time Lords almost never use it, as by naming the Enemy, they create the risk of the listener misunderstanding the Enemy as a physical alien race fighting the Time Lords in a physical war. The system of time we know ''(a steady progression of entropy, cause and effect, TimeyWimeyBall, etc)'' is an invention of the Time Lords, and the Second War in Heaven is fought to prevent the Enemy from replacing it with whatever system ''they'' would impose on reality. Thus, the War is so surreal and metaphysical by normal standards that naming the Enemy causes non-Time Lords who cannot understand the principles at work to view the Enemy as a hostile invading force ''(false)'', rather than a fundamentally different and opposing system of time. Thus, the Enemy is a process, an unnatural force of nature, a series of events, rather than anything concrete.
* ''Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths'': In ''Melusine'', Mildmay warns Ginevra not to use her real name when they go to meet Vey Coruscant. At one point she says ''his'' name out loud, but at the time she only knew him by an alias.
* In Literature/DoraWilkSeries, the main difference between demons and other hellians is that demons are bound to serve a person who uses their full name, which is why they use nicknames in day-to-day lives. Usually, only demon's sire knows his/her true name, but in some cases he can give it to another person, and demon has no say in that matter.
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', all sentient beings have a true name - in this case, it's their actual name, pronounced exactly as they say it. The more parts of their name you know, the more power you can hold over them. If you know their full name and can pronounce it correctly, you have a direct magical and metaphysical link to them. A doorway to their being, if you will. Of course, a doorway goes ''both'' ways. That's why Harry's BadassBoast mentions his name in full, and then adds the addendum that you should "conjure by it at your own risk."
** Harry meets [[spoiler: a Dragon named]] Ferrovax at a costume ball, and doesn't tell him his full name (going by just "Harry Dresden"). The incredibly powerful Ferrovax is able to force him to his knees with only the two names.
** Also, as the first book demonstrates, there ''is'' something more stupid than revealing your true name to your enemy: Letting him hear the true name of the demon you just summoned to kill him.
** Harry gives people nicknames. "Lash" ([[spoiler: Lasciel, the Temptress]]), "Ivy" ([[spoiler: the Archive]]), "Shagnasty" (the shapeshifter who feeds on fear), among many others. He even named [[spoiler: the Black Council]], and it probably isn't related in any way, but the only meaningful evidence to [[spoiler: their existence]] started showing up after he nicknamed them.
** Harry's habit of giving nicknames proves unexpectedly powerful as the names he gives them influence the very nature of beings like a skullbound spirit of intellect, the embodiment of all recorded knowledge, and the psychic imprint of a fallen angel. This somewhat backfires when he casually calls the archangel Uriel "Uri," and is told in emphatic terms to never do it again - that "el" is the part of Uriel's name that refers to God (the name as a whole means "Light of God" or "God is my Light") and he doesn't appreciate having it left off. There's also some FridgeHorror there: Harry ''has'' influenced things in part by giving them names, and it would be ''very bad'' if an angel as badass as Uriel [[FallenAngel were to forget the "of God" part]] for even a minute. Especially considering that other angel whose name prominently features something meaning "light".
** Keeping one's names in reserve doesn't help when dealing with [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]]. Thanks to their ''intellectus'', they automatically know the True Name of anyone they're dealing with, letting them flatten any mortal who tries to stop them from completing their tasks.
* In the (A)D&D novel ''Pool of Darkness'', a demon, due to a curse or another, had to speak his true name ''backwards'', as a VerbalTic. He used his backwards name as an alias in human form.
** In fact, that had a ''second'' fiend (a succubus) whose human form also went by an anagram of her real name, and who was forced back into her natural shape when called by the latter (though it didn't seem to otherwise interfere with her power).
* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's book ''Dying of the Light'' has a line that invokes this, when the viewpoint character's ex-girlfriend, explaining how she disliked the pet name he'd given her, says (approximately), "Give a thing a name and it will somehow come to be. All truth is in naming, and all lies as well, for nothing distorts as a false name can, a false name that changes both the appearance and the reality...."



* ''Literature/AWindInTheDoor'' by Creator/MadeleineLEngle does not treat names themselves as being important, but the very ''state'' of being Named and of having someone know your Name is extremely important (as the cherubim Proginoskes put it, "He calls them all by name, and someone has to know who He's talking about.") This is the job of Namers, because without being Named, a person cannot know who they are, and are vulnerable to someone else pushing them around. The secret to naming? [[ThePowerOfLove Love.]]
** Reversed by the Echthroi, the closest thing L'Engle had to monsters: they can "X" a person, [[FateWorseThanDeath un-Naming them]]. [[spoiler:Echthroi can be "rescued" from their state by Naming them.]]
* In ''[[Literature/GentlemanBastard The Lies of Locke Lamora]]'' by Scott Lynch, mages can mentally puppeteer anyone whose true name they know. The Bondsmage finds out the hard way that [[spoiler: Locke Lamora is ''not'' the protagonist's real name.]]

to:

* ''Literature/AWindInTheDoor'' Creator/DavidEddings:
** At one point in ''Literature/TheMalloreon'', Ce'Nedra was possessed
by Creator/MadeleineLEngle does not treat names themselves as being important, but the very ''state'' of being Named and of having someone know your Name is extremely important (as the cherubim Proginoskes put it, "He calls them all by Zandramas. Polgara forces Zandramas to admit her name, and by doing so is able to banish her. Polgara mocks Zandramas for "not knowing the power of a name." It eventually becomes apparent that Polgara was ''lying'' about this. Zandramas is better at messing with minds than Polgara is at spotting her, but is aware of her inferior education and (relatively) enormous inexperience, and is inclined to run in any direct confrontation. Polgara's bluff played to this.
** Eddings also played a different version of this game in ''Literature/TheTamuli'', in which the Child Goddess Aphrael speaks the true name of the Elene God to Patriarch Bergsten, to prove that she's ''not'' a demon.
* In the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' series, Evie is surprisingly casual about using her true name for
someone has to know who He's talking about.") This is the job of Namers, because without being Named, a person cannot know who they are, knows that magic exists and are names can be used in it.
* In Meredith Ann Pierce's ''Literature/TheFirebringerTrilogy'', knowing someone's true name doesn't necessarily give you complete power over them - it just makes them a lot more
vulnerable to someone else pushing them around. The secret to naming? [[ThePowerOfLove Love.]]
other spells.
* ''Literature/ForgottenRealms'':
** Reversed by the Echthroi, the closest thing L'Engle had to monsters: In ''Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy'', R. A. Salvatore uses true names a little differently than in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', where they can "X" a person, [[FateWorseThanDeath un-Naming them]]. [[spoiler:Echthroi can be "rescued" are different from their state the creature's given name and hard to find out, even though the books are set in the Forgotten Realms setting. (It's not the last time he gets the details wrong from the existing lore.)
** In ''The Crystal Shard'', the demon Errtu's true name, as opposed to being something hidden, is just "Errtu", the name he openly uses. He can sense the name being pronounced at a distance, though doing that gives one no power over him.
** In ''Streams of Silver'', a wizard tortures the spirit of another wizard
by Naming them.]]
using his true name.
** This was sometimes the case in ''ForgottenRealms''. Ariel Manx in the Avatar Trilogy, for example, usually uses the pseudonym Midnight as a protective measure.
* ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'':
**
In ''[[Literature/GentlemanBastard The ''The Lies of Locke Lamora]]'' by Scott Lynch, Lamora'', mages can mentally puppeteer anyone whose true name they know. The Bondsmage finds out the hard way that [[spoiler: Locke Lamora is ''not'' the protagonist's real name.]]



* Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip:
** In ''Literature/TheBellAtSealeyHead'', when Ridley Dow is caught in the magic, Emma's calling "Mr. Dow" does not lead him to the CoolGate, but Miranda Beryl's use of [[FirstNameBasis "Ridley"]] does.
** In ''Literature/TheForgottenBeastsOfEld'', Sybel must learn the true names of her beasts to bind them to her. This also proves to be her own point of weakness.
* In Creator/RobinMcKinley's ''Literature/{{Sunshine}}'', [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] use name magic. One laughs at the narrator for asking him his name, and later reveals it as a gesture of trust. Unlike most works, in ''Sunshine'', the name is the name -- or names -- you use. The narrator is as vulnerable through her nickname "Sunshine" as through her name "Rae," and more vulnerable through either of those than through her long-disused birth name "Raven Blaise."
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has many examples, so naturally so does its literature segment:
** The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''False Gods'' has Temba whisper Horus's name to his [[CoolSword warp-tainted sword]], before fighting with new skill.
** In the later novel ''Prospero Burns'', a demon is able to control all the Space Wolves present by pulling their names from Kaspar Hawser's brain. Only one marine, called Bear, is immune to the control. When Hawser later asks why the demon couldn't control Bear, he learns that the demon pulled the names from his mind, and Hawser's gotten Bear's name wrong from day one. Bear's name is actually ''Bjorn.''
** Zygmunt Molotch, the villain of the ''Literature/{{Ravenor}}'' series, can subdue an opponent by speaking their full name using a Chaos skill called "Enuncia". (He can also briefly stun them using less than their full name, but this is much less effective.)
*** Toros Revoke, of the same series, is much better at using Enuncia as a weapon. He's able to shatter bones, burst internal organs, and drive back a daemonic assassin using it.
** In ''Literature/GreyKnights'', [[spoiler:Ligeia]]'s gibberish is actually the True Name of [[spoiler:Ghargatuloth]], and [[spoiler:Alaric is the only one to realise this.]] It pays off.
** Saying the name of a greater daemon while in its presence will send them instantly back to the warp. Their ''true'' name, mind. If a greater daemon of Khorne says its name is "Bob", it's probably lying.
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Grimoire of True Names]]. Incredibly rare and potent artifacts, guarded by the Daemonhunters (who else?). In the ''Grey Knights'' novel, [[spoiler:Ligeia]] finds such a Grimoire - known as the ''Codicium Aeternium'', thought to have been lost for centuries - after the capture of a rogue Inquisitor, which sets the Grey Knights off on the quest featured in that book.
** In ''The Unremembered Empire'', a daemon tells its true name to Damon Prytanis just before it goes to kill him, believing that it already knows his true name. [[IdiotBall It didn't stop to think that Prytanis wasn't his real name]].
** Note that saying or even knowing a daemon's true name is ''not'' free. An Imperial saint lost her sainthood using a daemon's true name to banish it, which purportedly included knowing many other true names. Others have gone insane from holding a true name in their head. Even a fragment of a true name can be debilitating or lethal to the untrained.
* One series where the wizard ''does'' have a huge, unpronounceable name is Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway''.
* Creator/AndreNorton
** In ''Literature/WitchWorld'' novels, name magic is routine, and so powerful than the witches of Estcarp hide them from everyone.
** In ''Literature/DreadCompanion'', Kilda is saved from being hunted by a creature that calls the name of the hunters. Later, he tells her that they must obey their names, it is the law.
* In Scott O'Dell's ''Literature/IslandOfTheBlueDolphins'', the protagonist's father accidentally introduced himself to the captain of the hunters' ship using his secret name rather than his common name. He later fell in battle, and his people blamed the public use of his secret name for it.



* Similarly used in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' where the AntiChrist, having been accidentally brought up by a normal middle-class family, is sent a Hellhound. The Hellhound has a bit of internal monologue all about "The Naming", saying that its master's name will give it its purpose. When said Hellhound is simply named "Dog" since that's all the boy wants, however, it ends up becoming... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a dog,]] and all that the name implies. It's a happy-go-lucky, cat-chasing, normal, everyday dog.
** Pepper's proper name is Pippin Galadriel Moonchild. "There are only two ways a child can go with that name, and Pepper had chosen [[{{Tomboy}} the other one]]."
* Low caste Literature/{{Gor}}eans frequently hide their true names from others due to a fear of this trope.
* This is how the Glam works in ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki''. As Loki says "A named thing is a tamed thing". Odin actually alters Loki's nature right at the beginning by naming him.
* In ''Literature/GriffinsDaughter'', [[BigBad The Nameless One's]] true name had been stricken from the history books to keep someone from invoking this in an attempt to invoke him enslave him or claim his power.
* The Yn shamans from Creator/JanetKagan's ''Literature/{{Hellspark}}'' use name magic. The protagonist uses this to talk one down from a rage, pointing out that she doesn't actually know the true name of the person she's angry with and her curse is likely to go awry.



* In Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Winterlands'' series (that begins with ''Literature/{{Dragonsbane}}''), everything, even inanimate objects, have true names. Any spell stronger than basic telepathy (which can be used to discover someone's true name) requires you to Know Your Target's True Name, and you have to power the spell by "sourcing" [[{{Mana}} energy]] from things you know the true names of. [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Our Dragons Are Immune To Magic]] because nobody can figure out what their true names are. [[spoiler:It turns out that dragons' true names are MagicMusic.]]
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', it's briefly mentioned that, in the old days, students at [[WizardingSchool Unseen University]] had to "memorise the true names of everything until the brain squeaked". It's not made clear that there's any magical advantage to doing so, however. Considering the attitudes of the Unseen University faculty, it's quite likely that most of the 'learning true names' curriculum was to keep the students too busy to bother them.
** In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', it's stated that the Librarian has removed all mention of his own name from University records to prevent anyone trying to turn him back into a human. Rincewind knows it, and so the Librarian dissuades him from telling anyone -- by holding him over a ''ten-story drop''.
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'': "All things are defined by names. Change the name, and you change the thing. There is a lot more to it than that, but paracosmically that is what it boils down to..."
** A slight variation involves the fact that ''giving'' a name to something changes its nature, as in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' (with regards to Magitek Hex) "We should never have given you a name. A thing with a name is a bit more than a thing." Also comes into play when Agnes names her alter ego Perdita. She then develops a magical form of multiple personality disorder, as Perdita becomes an actual person living in Agnes' head with her and being everything Agnes wishes she could be.
* Similarly used in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' where the AntiChrist, having been accidentally brought up by a normal middle-class family, is sent a Hellhound. The Hellhound has a bit of internal monologue all about "The Naming", saying that its master's name will give it its purpose. When said Hellhound is simply named "Dog" since that's all the boy wants, however, it ends up becoming... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a dog,]] and all that the name implies. It's a happy-go-lucky, cat-chasing, normal, everyday dog.
** Pepper's proper name is Pippin Galadriel Moonchild. "There are only two ways a child can go with that name, and Pepper had chosen [[{{Tomboy}} the other one]]."
* Creator/SpiderRobinson once wrote of a wizard so ancient that he guided the evolution of humanity in such a way that modern larynxes simply can't form the sound of his True Name.

to:

* In Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Winterlands'' series (that begins with ''Literature/{{Dragonsbane}}''), everything, even inanimate objects, have true names. Any spell stronger than basic telepathy (which can be used to discover ''Literature/TheIronDragonsDaughter'', knowing someone's - or even some''thing's'' - true name) requires name can give you to Know Your Target's True Name, and you have to almost total power over that someone. Main character Jane, being a human not of that realm, doesn't have a "true name".
* In Scott O'Dell's ''Literature/IslandOfTheBlueDolphins'',
the spell by "sourcing" [[{{Mana}} energy]] from things you know protagonist's father accidentally introduced himself to the true names of. [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Our Dragons Are Immune To Magic]] because nobody can figure out captain of the hunters' ship using his secret name rather than his common name. He later fell in battle, and his people blamed the public use of his secret name for it.
* The reason why it's so hard for the title magicians in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'' to find and summon the Raven King is that they have no idea
what their true names are. [[spoiler:It turns out his real name is. [[spoiler:They ultimately settle for a ritual that dragons' true names are MagicMusic.summons "the king", using items of personal significance to the Raven King in it, so that there is only one possible king they could possibly be referring to.]]
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', it's briefly mentioned that, in Creator/DianaWynneJones:
** According to ''Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland'', avoiding this is
the old days, students at [[WizardingSchool Unseen University]] had to "memorise real reason so many Fantasylanders have [[PunctuationShaker apostrophes in their names]].
** In ''Literature/DrownedAmmet'', saying
the true names lesser name of everything until the brain squeaked". It's not made clear that there's any magical advantage to doing so, however. Considering the attitudes one of the Unseen University faculty, it's quite likely that most gods causes an island to come up out of the 'learning true names' curriculum was to keep sea and break your enemy's ship in half. "What happens if you say his big name?" [[spoiler:It causes a tsunami... even if you're miles from the students too busy to bother them.
sea.]] Unsurprisingly, he's known by his nickname, the Earth Shaker. His wife's names also have dramatic effects.
** In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', it's stated that ''Literature/PowerOfThree'', a major threat to the Librarian has removed all Dorig and Lymen is to simply mention of his own name from University records to prevent anyone trying to turn him back into a human. Rincewind knows it, and so the Librarian dissuades him from telling anyone -- by holding him over a ''ten-story drop''.
** In ''Discworld/{{Pyramids}}'': "All things are defined by names. Change the name, and you change the thing. There is a lot more to it than that, but paracosmically
that is what it boils down to..."
** A slight variation involves the fact that ''giving'' a name to something changes its nature, as in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' (with regards to Magitek Hex) "We should never have given you a name. A thing with a name is a bit more than a thing." Also comes into play when Agnes names her alter ego Perdita. She then develops a magical form of multiple personality disorder, as Perdita becomes an actual person living in Agnes' head with her and being everything Agnes wishes she could be.
* Similarly used in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' where the AntiChrist, having been accidentally brought up by a normal middle-class family, is sent a Hellhound. The Hellhound
one has a bit of internal monologue all about "The Naming", saying that its master's name will give it its purpose. When said Hellhound is simply named "Dog" since that's all the boy wants, however, it ends up becoming... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a dog,]] and all that the name implies. It's of an enemy in mind, as having a happy-go-lucky, cat-chasing, normal, everyday dog.
** Pepper's proper
person's name allows you to curse them. Ceri scoffs at the 'giants' for giving out their names so freely.
* In the first book of ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles,'' this
is Pippin Galadriel Moonchild. "There are only two ways a child can go with that how the heroes [[spoiler:manage to enslave Set]].
** They also use this to [[spoiler:revive Ra and save the world, but Set tricks them to return his true name to him along the way, thereby losing their control over him]] in the third book.
** Also in the third book, Sadie has to convince [[spoiler: an barely conscious and dying Carter to give her his secret
name, and Pepper had chosen [[{{Tomboy}} the other one]]."
* Creator/SpiderRobinson once wrote of a wizard
or "ren", so ancient that he guided the evolution of humanity in such she can use a way that modern larynxes simply can't form the sound of healing spell and save his True Name.life.]]



* Jonathan Stroud's ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'': Magicians lose their names when they start training and choose new ones to be called by later on.
** Unfortunately, unlike most examples, this still doesn't work -- the new names aren't nearly as powerful as their birth names for magical purposes, but can still be used to mess with them.
** Demons are also summoned and controlled through their names, though its revealed that this is less because it's their true name, but that when a magician first summons a demon he gives it name, and that name can then be used to call them. Bartimaeus and many other demons also [[IHaveManyNames have many names]], but only Bartimaeus actually seems to have power over him.

to:

* Jonathan Stroud's ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'': Magicians lose their names when they start training and choose new ones to be called by later on.
** Unfortunately, unlike most examples, this still
In ''Literature/{{Krabat}}''. Fortunately, TheHero doesn't work -- know the new names aren't nearly as powerful as their birth names for magical purposes, but can still be used real name of the girl who's able to mess with them.
** Demons are also summoned and controlled through their names, though its revealed
save him. (Another one wasn't that this lucky.)
* In the short story ''[[http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/equoid Equoid]]'', of ''Literature/TheLaundrySeries'', the narrator comments on how "Bob Howard"
is less just a pseudonym he's calling himself in the reports; because it's their he would never do something as daft as write his true name, name on paper and "give extradimensional identity thieves the keys to our souls."
* ''Literature/AWindInTheDoor'' by Creator/MadeleineLEngle does not treat names themselves as being important,
but that when a magician first summons a demon he gives it the very ''state'' of being Named and of having someone know your Name is extremely important (as the cherubim Proginoskes put it, "He calls them all by name, and that name someone has to know who He's talking about.") This is the job of Namers, because without being Named, a person cannot know who they are, and are vulnerable to someone else pushing them around. The secret to naming? [[ThePowerOfLove Love.]]
** Reversed by the Echthroi, the closest thing L'Engle had to monsters: they
can then "X" a person, [[FateWorseThanDeath un-Naming them]]. [[spoiler:Echthroi can be used to call them. Bartimaeus and many other demons also [[IHaveManyNames have many names]], but only Bartimaeus actually seems to have power over him."rescued" from their state by Naming them.]]



* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' series by Creator/RogerZelazny, in ''Guns of Avalon'', when Strygalldwir comes to Corwin's window. He offers his name but says "Conjure with it and I will eat your liver." Only seems to apply to that certain brand of demon, though.
* In ''The Changing Land'', also by Creator/RogerZelazny, one of the characters is a demon named Melbriniononsadsazzersteldregandishfeltselior. Usually conjurers trying to summon him messed up his name during the summoning and binding ritual - which left the demon free and ready to have fun. Unfortunately for the demon, another character, wizard Baran, was from a land with very complex language - so the name of the demon was quite manageable for Baran.
* ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', in one of its appendices, describes rune-magic in terms of true names. What a rune-magic spell does is ''change an object's name'', thus causing the object itself to change. The Sartan and Patryn (battling WitchSpecies who use this magic) are each affected by it in different ways:
** Sartan magic emphasizes the ''spoken'' runes; as such, a Sartan's true name in their own language can be used to control them. Most Sartan go by pseudonyms as a result, and when [[KnightTemplar Samah]] introduces himself to a stranger by his true name, this is a sign of both his power and arrogance (since it shows he doesn't fear magical attack).
** Patryns emphasize the ''written'' runes, which they tattoo on their bodies. A Patryn's true name is therefore not the spoken form but the "heart-rune" inscribed in the center of their chest. Messing with this rune can seriously screw up a Patryn's ability to work magic [[spoiler: as Haplo found out the hard way]].
* A major part of the mythology of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', and the reason why the magically inclined go by self-referential nicknames. In the ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' books, everyone has a True Name (theoretically; the only known listing of them was destroyed) and a Given Name (your full given name, e.g. on a birth certificate), and may also take a Taken Name.
** Your Given Name can give someone else power over your actions... to an extent, sorta like hypnotic suggestion. Taking a new name seals your given name, preventing its misuse. However, if someone else learns your True Name, they gain absolute command over you. However, if you learn your own true name (but not as a result of a command), you gain a direct link to magic itself and turn into a PhysicalGod. It's generally advised to then use a magical ritual to seal your True Name to prevent others manipulating you.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/NewJediOrder: Traitor'' has an interesting bit of philosophy that seems to be the inversion of this trope: its proponent states that in naming a thing, you limit it, and in doing so you are saying a half-truth, or worse, a lie.
** At least superficially, this view of words somewhat matches up with a few religions and philosophies, like Zen. If the universe is One whole, then the mere act of trying to describe the Oneness, or one's experience of it, divides and diminishes it into misleading categories.
** There is also the Firrerreo race introduced in the novel ''The Crystal Star'', who have a superstition about speaking someone's name out loud in order to have authority over them. As a result, they never tell others their real name unless necessary, revealing another Firrerreo's name is considered a sign of grave disrespect, and one of the highest displays of respect is to ''not'' use the name of a Firrerreo even though you know it.
** Conversely, there's the Gand race, for whom the name you use ''to refer to yourself'' is a significant indication of how important you are. If you're just another schlub, you refer to yourself as "Gand" (as in "Gand went to the store today"). If you're slightly more important or recognizable, you can use your last name ("Obama went to the store today"). If you're a major figure, you can use just your first name. Only individuals who have achieved truly staggering feats or become exceptionally important can use pronouns like "I" or "me", since it's assumed that everyone will already know who this person is. If you're feeling ashamed or have committed a faux pas, you might go down a step or two, to indicate that you acknowledge your mistake.
* In the (A)D&D novel ''Pool of Darkness'', a demon, due to a curse or another, had to speak his true name ''backwards'', as a VerbalTic. He used his backwards name as an alias in human form.
** In fact, that had a ''second'' fiend (a succubus) whose human form also went by an anagram of her real name, and who was forced back into her natural shape when called by the latter (though it didn't seem to otherwise interfere with her power).
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos The Titans of Chaos]]'', a god casts a spell on the title characters [[IHaveManyNames who have three sets of names apiece]]; he fails because one of them hid one set from him. Granted, someone named Quentin ''Nemo'' should have been a clue.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' focuses heavily on this. Actually learning the names of things, though, is regarded as really, really difficult, and unless a person actually understands the name, he will only hear the common name for the object. Kvothe badly wants to study naming, but is refused by the [[BunnyEarsLawyer somewhat-loopy but brilliant]] Master Namer.
** At one point, Kvothe calls the Name of the Wind in mindless fury against Ambrose Jakis.
** Tamborlin the Great was known to have the Name of most or all things, and his exploits were correspondingly astounding.
** In the sequel, much more of Naming is revealed. One of the Masters of the Arcanum calmly sticks his hand in fire and plays with the coals after speaking the Name of Fire. Many things have names, as evidenced in the variety of first Names that Elodin's class had found.
** As with much of magic in the series, it's one a scale of AwesomeButImpractical - mundane solutions are almost always best when possible, but Sympathy and Alchemy can do some things that can't be done a mundane way, and Naming can do some things even those arts can't.
** Duels between Namers are terrifying things. A Namer with two or three names can tear up the surrounding area for miles with impunity.
** In the very distant past, not only were there people know knew the Names of things, but those who ''created'' new Names. It was a time when humanity had godlike powers and ''created new realms''.

to:

* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'' series by Creator/RogerZelazny, in ''Guns of Avalon'', when Strygalldwir comes to Corwin's window. He offers his name but says "Conjure with it and I will eat your liver." Only seems to apply to that certain brand of demon, though.
* In ''The Changing Land'', also ''Literature/TheLostYearsOfMerlin'' series, by Creator/RogerZelazny, T.A Barron, names are very important, magically; Naming is even one of the characters is a demon named Melbriniononsadsazzersteldregandishfeltselior. Usually conjurers trying to summon him messed up his name during Seven Songs of Magic. If someone knows the summoning and binding ritual - which left the demon free and ready to have fun. Unfortunately for the demon, another character, wizard Baran, was from a land with very complex language - so the name of the demon was quite manageable for Baran.
* ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'', in one of its appendices, describes rune-magic in terms of true names. What a rune-magic spell does is ''change an object's name'', thus causing the object itself to change. The Sartan and Patryn (battling WitchSpecies who use this magic) are each affected by it in different ways:
** Sartan magic emphasizes the ''spoken'' runes; as such, a Sartan's
true name in their own language can be used to of someone or something, they have control them. Most Sartan go by pseudonyms as a result, and when [[KnightTemplar Samah]] introduces himself to a stranger by his true name, this is a sign of both his power and arrogance (since over it shows he doesn't fear magical attack).
** Patryns emphasize
(only Merlin knows the ''written'' runes, which they tattoo on their bodies. A Patryn's true name is therefore not the spoken form but the "heart-rune" inscribed in the center of their chest. Messing with this rune can seriously screw up a Patryn's ability to work magic [[spoiler: as Haplo found out the hard way]].
* A major part of the mythology of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', and the reason why the magically inclined go by self-referential nicknames. In the ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' books, everyone has a True Name (theoretically;
Excalibur]], so he's the only known listing of them was destroyed) and a Given Name (your full given name, e.g. on a birth certificate), and may one with total control over it. Merlin also take a Taken Name.
** Your Given Name can give someone else power over your actions... to an extent, sorta like hypnotic suggestion. Taking a new name seals your given name, preventing its misuse. However, if someone else
learns your True Name, they gain absolute command over you. However, if you learn your his own true name (but not as a result of a command), you gain a direct link to magic itself and turn into a PhysicalGod. It's generally advised to then use a magical ritual to seal your True Name to prevent others manipulating you.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/NewJediOrder: Traitor'' has an interesting bit of philosophy that seems to be
at the inversion end of this trope: its proponent states that in naming a thing, you limit it, and in doing so you are saying a half-truth, or worse, a lie.
** At least superficially, this view of words somewhat matches up with a few religions and philosophies, like Zen. If
the universe is last book.
*
One whole, then series where the mere act of trying to describe the Oneness, or one's experience of it, divides and diminishes it into misleading categories.
** There is also the Firrerreo race introduced in the novel ''The Crystal Star'', who
wizard ''does'' have a superstition about speaking someone's name out loud in order to have authority over them. As a result, they never tell others their real name unless necessary, revealing another Firrerreo's huge, unpronounceable name is considered a sign of grave disrespect, and one of the highest displays of respect is to ''not'' use the name of a Firrerreo even though you know it.
** Conversely, there's the Gand race, for whom the name you use ''to refer to yourself'' is a significant indication of how important you are. If you're just another schlub, you refer to yourself as "Gand" (as in "Gand went to the store today"). If you're slightly more important or recognizable, you can use your last name ("Obama went to the store today"). If you're a major figure, you can use just your first name. Only individuals who have achieved truly staggering feats or become exceptionally important can use pronouns like "I" or "me", since it's assumed that everyone will already know who this person is. If you're feeling ashamed or have committed a faux pas, you might go down a step or two, to indicate that you acknowledge your mistake.
* In the (A)D&D novel ''Pool of Darkness'', a demon, due to a curse or another, had to speak his true name ''backwards'', as a VerbalTic. He used his backwards name as an alias in human form.
** In fact, that had a ''second'' fiend (a succubus) whose human form also went by an anagram of her real name, and who was forced back into her natural shape when called by the latter (though it didn't seem to otherwise interfere with her power).
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/ChroniclesOfChaos The Titans of Chaos]]'', a god casts a spell on the title characters [[IHaveManyNames who have three sets of names apiece]]; he fails because one of them hid one set from him. Granted, someone named Quentin ''Nemo'' should have been a clue.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' focuses heavily on this. Actually learning the names of things, though, is regarded as really, really difficult, and unless a person actually understands the name, he will only hear the common name for the object. Kvothe badly wants to study naming, but is refused by the [[BunnyEarsLawyer somewhat-loopy but brilliant]] Master Namer.
** At one point, Kvothe calls the Name of the Wind in mindless fury against Ambrose Jakis.
** Tamborlin the Great was known to have the Name of most or all things, and his exploits were correspondingly astounding.
** In the sequel, much more of Naming is revealed. One of the Masters of the Arcanum calmly sticks his hand in fire and plays with the coals after speaking the Name of Fire. Many things have names, as evidenced in the variety of first Names that Elodin's class had found.
** As with much of magic in the series, it's one a scale of AwesomeButImpractical - mundane solutions are almost always best when possible, but Sympathy and Alchemy can do some things that can't be done a mundane way, and Naming can do some things even those arts can't.
** Duels between Namers are terrifying things. A Namer with two or three names can tear up the surrounding area for miles with impunity.
** In the very distant past, not only were there people know knew the Names of things, but those who ''created'' new Names. It was a time when humanity had godlike powers and ''created new realms''.
Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/TheMagicGoesAway''.



* In the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' series, Evie is surprisingly casual about using her true name for someone who knows that magic exists and names can be used in it.
* This was sometimes the case in ''ForgottenRealms''. Ariel Manx in the Avatar Trilogy, for example, usually uses the pseudonym Midnight as a protective measure.
* The Yn shamans from Creator/JanetKagan's ''Literature/{{Hellspark}}'' use name magic. The protagonist uses this to talk one down from a rage, pointing out that she doesn't actually know the true name of the person she's angry with and her curse is likely to go awry.
* In ''Literature/TheIronDragonsDaughter'', knowing someone's - or even some''thing's'' - true name can give you almost total power over that someone. Main character Jane, being a human not of that realm, doesn't have a "true name".
* Invoked, referenced, and played as straight as a non-fantasy can play it in Creator/VernorVinge proto-{{Cyberpunk}} story, ''Literature/TrueNames'', in which the dangers of using your real name on the Internet is a major plot point. Criminal hackers (computer wizards) must keep their identities hidden from each other or risk blackmail or worse.
* The reason why it's so hard for the title magicians in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'' to find and summon the Raven King is that they have no idea what his real name is. [[spoiler:They ultimately settle for a ritual that summons "the king", using items of personal significance to the Raven King in it, so that there is only one possible king they could possibly be referring to.]]
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AnansiBoys'', Mr. Nancy (Anansi) and his sons apply this trope in a few ways, one of which being the humiliation of a major villain.

to:

* In the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' series, Evie is surprisingly casual about using her true name for someone ''Literature/MaledictionTrilogy'' anyone who knows that magic exists and names can be used in it.
* This was sometimes the case in ''ForgottenRealms''. Ariel Manx in the Avatar Trilogy, for example, usually uses the pseudonym Midnight as
a protective measure.
* The Yn shamans from Creator/JanetKagan's ''Literature/{{Hellspark}}'' use name magic. The protagonist uses this to talk one down from a rage, pointing out that she doesn't actually know the true name of the person she's angry with and her curse is likely to go awry.
* In ''Literature/TheIronDragonsDaughter'', knowing someone's - or even some''thing's'' -
troll's true name can give you almost total power over that someone. Main character Jane, being a human not of that realm, doesn't have a "true name".
* Invoked, referenced, and played as straight as a non-fantasy can play it in Creator/VernorVinge proto-{{Cyberpunk}} story, ''Literature/TrueNames'', in which
them an order the dangers of using your real troll must obey. Therefore, willingly giving up one's name on to another is the Internet sign of ultimate trust.
* Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip:
** In ''Literature/TheBellAtSealeyHead'', when Ridley Dow
is a major plot point. Criminal hackers (computer wizards) must keep their identities hidden from each other or risk blackmail or worse.
* The reason why it's so hard for
caught in the title magicians in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'' to find and summon the Raven King is that they have no idea what his real name is. [[spoiler:They ultimately settle for a ritual that summons "the king", using items of personal significance magic, Emma's calling "Mr. Dow" does not lead him to the Raven King in it, so that there is only one possible king they could possibly be referring to.]]
*
CoolGate, but Miranda Beryl's use of [[FirstNameBasis "Ridley"]] does.
**
In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/AnansiBoys'', Mr. Nancy (Anansi) and his sons apply this trope in a few ways, one of which being ''Literature/TheForgottenBeastsOfEld'', Sybel must learn the humiliation true names of a major villain.her beasts to bind them to her. This also proves to be her own point of weakness.



* In ''Literature/TheDemonsLexicon'' by Sarah Rees-Brennan, demon-summoning requires knowledge of the demon's true name. [[spoiler:In a subversion, it's eventually revealed that demons, who tend not to use language, don't actually care what name you call them--what matters is that you ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe]]'' it's the demon's true name.]]
* Creator/SusanCooper's novel ''The Dark Is Rising'' (part of ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series). Merriman Lyon defeats Maggie the witch-girl (an agent of the Dark) through his knowledge of her true name.
* In Creator/CateTiernan's series ''Literature/{{Sweep}}'', everything has a true name, from plants to people. One of the main characters actually finds out her fathers true name and [[spoiler: uses it to put a binding spell on him so the other characters can strip him of his powers.]]
* Low caste Literature/{{Gor}}eans frequently hide their true names from others due to a fear of this trope.

to:

* In ''Literature/TheDemonsLexicon'' by Sarah Rees-Brennan, demon-summoning requires knowledge of the demon's Everybody has true name. [[spoiler:In a subversion, it's eventually revealed that demons, who tend not to use language, don't actually care what name you call them--what matters is that you ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe]]'' it's names in ''Literature/{{Messenger}}'', and they're given by the demon's psychic Leader. This is a benevolent version as the true name.]]
* Creator/SusanCooper's novel ''The Dark Is Rising'' (part of ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' series). Merriman Lyon defeats Maggie
names help people discover their purpose in Village (eg. the witch-girl (an agent of the Dark) through man now called Mentor becomes a schoolteacher), although they do seem to hold some power as seen when Matty is easily able to rein in his knowledge of her puppy after using its true name.
* In Creator/CateTiernan's series ''Literature/{{Sweep}}'', everything has Teresa Frohock's ''Literature/MiserereAnAutumnTale'', telling your name is dangerous. And you need to force a demon to tell you its name to exorcize it.
* ''Lierature/ModernTalesOfFaerie'': In ''Literature/{{Tithe}}'', Kay forces one of TheFairFolk to tell her his
true name, from plants not quite realizing that when she uses the name he has to people. do anything he's commanded to do.
** Specifically, Roiben promises to tell her any three things she asks. After he plays literal genie with her out of habit/to protect her ("Shall I consider that your second question?") she asks for his name to piss him off. She only knows that fairies don't like to share their names, and finds out WHY when she uses a [[LiteralAssKissing poorly worded insult]].
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheWind'' focuses heavily on this. Actually learning the names of things, though, is regarded as really, really difficult, and unless a person actually understands the name, he will only hear the common name for the object. Kvothe badly wants to study naming, but is refused by the [[BunnyEarsLawyer somewhat-loopy but brilliant]] Master Namer.
** At one point, Kvothe calls the Name of the Wind in mindless fury against Ambrose Jakis.
** Tamborlin the Great was known to have the Name of most or all things, and his exploits were correspondingly astounding.
** In the sequel, much more of Naming is revealed.
One of the main characters actually finds out her fathers true name Masters of the Arcanum calmly sticks his hand in fire and [[spoiler: uses it to put a binding spell on him so plays with the other characters coals after speaking the Name of Fire. Many things have names, as evidenced in the variety of first Names that Elodin's class had found.
** As with much of magic in the series, it's one a scale of AwesomeButImpractical - mundane solutions are almost always best when possible, but Sympathy and Alchemy
can strip him of his powers.]]
* Low caste Literature/{{Gor}}eans frequently hide their true
do some things that can't be done a mundane way, and Naming can do some things even those arts can't.
** Duels between Namers are terrifying things. A Namer with two or three
names from others due to a fear can tear up the surrounding area for miles with impunity.
** In the very distant past, not only were there people know knew the Names
of this trope.things, but those who ''created'' new Names. It was a time when humanity had godlike powers and ''created new realms''.



* In ''[[Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths Melusine]]'', Mildmay warns Ginevra not to use her real name when they go to meet Vey Coruscant. At one point she says ''his'' name out loud, but at the time she only knew him by an alias.
* In ''The Book of Three'', the first volume of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'', [[SupportingLeader Prince Gwydion]] is [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou the only one who can defeat]] [[TheDragon the Horned King]] because he's the only one who knows his real name, which is [[spoiler:never revealed]].

to:

* In ''[[Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths Melusine]]'', Mildmay warns Ginevra not to use her real name when they go to meet Vey Coruscant. At one point she says ''his'' name out loud, but at Creator/MichaelEnde's ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'', the time she only knew him by an alias.
* In ''The Book
Fantastica side of Three'', the first volume of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'', [[SupportingLeader Prince Gwydion]] is [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou plot begins with the only one who can defeat]] [[TheDragon the Horned King]] Childlike Empress getting sick because he's she "needs a new name." Bastian becomes a Fantastican hero because he has the only one who knows his real name, ability to name things. This is natural, as words have obvious importance when the entire world exists in a story.
** In the second [[Film/TheNeverendingStory film based on the book]], Bastian is called back to Fantasia in order to name the new threat ("The Emptiness")
which is [[spoiler:never revealed]].should give them the power to fight it properly.



* Literature/QuantumGravity: True Names ''exist'' and ''work'' on all sapient species...while in Alfheim, home to the elves. They work on elves anywhere, but especially in Alfheim. It's the type of power that makes the target do something, though the exact power has yet to be confirmed: It made a target do something he didn't ''want'' to, but was [[ExactWords worded very specifically]] and whether the action went against his nature is unknown.

to:

* Literature/QuantumGravity: Creator/AndreNorton
** In ''Literature/WitchWorld'' novels, name magic is routine, and so powerful than the witches of Estcarp hide them from everyone.
** In ''Literature/DreadCompanion'', Kilda is saved from being hunted by a creature that calls the name of the hunters. Later, he tells her that they must obey their names, it is the law.
* Stina Leicht uses both this and WordsCanBreakMyBones in ''Of Blood and Honey''. Using someone's true name gives you power over them; you can call them to you or command them. [[spoiler: However, it has to be their complete true name: Liam's parents survive Henry's trap because Henry doesn't know Liam's full name, and thus Liam can resist long enough to break through the stone circle.]]
* Though not strictly necessary, knowing the true name of a spirit you're trying to use necromancy to bind in ''Literature/TheOldKingdom'' adds power to the spell. [[EnigmaticMinion Chlorr of the Mask]] serves [[EvilSorcerer Hedge]] in part because she was bound "by her secret name" [[spoiler: Clariel]], and in the last book Lirael is able to dispose of a Greater Dead spirit with relative ease owing in part to her using a quick spell to discover its name before it could attack her.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/OperationChaos'', the narrator does not give his real name as a POW, only the official name he's using; when his daughter is born, affairs are more organized, and she is issued both a name she can use and a secret, real name.
* In ''Literature/{{Orion}}'' by Ben Bova, the title character attempts to introduce himself to a stone-age tribe. Due to belief in this trope, things go very badly.
* ''Literature/{{Paranormalcy}}''[='s=] Faeries run by this trope, which, when combined with AdultsAreUseless (or Adults-Are-Too-Pigheaded-To-Realize-The-Consequences) leads to some serious trouble. Especially since some of the Faeries are resentful about it and are all to willing to get revenge in any way [[ExactWords they]] [[JackassGenie can]]. A good example is [[StalkerWithACrush Reth]], who does a pretty spectacular job at twisting every command given to him, though he's not particularly nasty... [[spoiler: until later.]]
* In Elizabeth Bear's Promethean Age series, names have power, as is demonstrated in the [[WhamEpisode Wham Chapter]] of ''Blood & Iron''; Elaine [[spoiler: gives her true name -- and her soul -- away, thus rendering herself [[{{immortality}} immortal]] and therefore capable as taking over as the ''Queen of the Faeries''.]] She occasionally still answers to the name, though; magic is magic, but you still need a way of getting someone's attention across a crowded room.
* ''Literature/QuantumGravity'':
True Names ''exist'' and ''work'' on all sapient species...species ... while in Alfheim, home to the elves. They work on elves anywhere, but especially in Alfheim. It's the type of power that makes the target do something, though the exact power has yet to be confirmed: It made a target do something he didn't ''want'' to, but was [[ExactWords worded very specifically]] and whether the action went against his nature is unknown.unknown.
* ''Literature/TheQuantumThief: Fractal Prince'' features a scifi variation of this trope in the City of Sirr, where True Names are a part of an elaborate control system that allows baseline humans limited use of certain posthuman technologies that should be too complicated for them to operate, while simultaneously keeping them inaccessible to the posthuman Sobornost who would forcefully assimilate the city if it was unprotected.



* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's book ''Dying of the Light'' has a line that invokes this, when the viewpoint character's ex-girlfriend, explaining how she disliked the pet name he'd given her, says (approximately), "Give a thing a name and it will somehow come to be. All truth is in naming, and all lies as well, for nothing distorts as a false name can, a false name that changes both the appearance and the reality...."
* ''Literature/{{Paranormalcy}}'s'' Faeries run by this trope, which, when combined with AdultsAreUseless (or Adults-Are-Too-Pigheaded-To-Realize-The-Consequences) leads to some serious trouble. Especially since some of the Faeries are resentful about it and are all to willing to get revenge in any way [[ExactWords they]] [[JackassGenie can]]. A good example is [[StalkerWithACrush Reth]], who does a pretty spectacular job at twisting every command given to him, though he's not particularly nasty... [[spoiler: until later.]]
* Inverted in the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' and ''Literature/FactionParadox'' novels. During the Second War in Heaven, the Time Lords battle a race of entities referred to as 'the Enemy'. The Enemy ''does'' have a true name, but the Time Lords almost never use it, as by naming the Enemy, they create the risk of the listener misunderstanding the Enemy as a physical alien race fighting the Time Lords in a physical war. The system of time we know ''(a steady progression of entropy, cause and effect, TimeyWimeyBall, etc)'' is an invention of the Time Lords, and the Second War in Heaven is fought to prevent the Enemy from replacing it with whatever system ''they'' would impose on reality. Thus, the War is so surreal and metaphysical by normal standards that naming the Enemy causes non-Time Lords who cannot understand the principles at work to view the Enemy as a hostile invading force ''(false)'', rather than a fundamentally different and opposing system of time. Thus, the Enemy is a process, an unnatural force of nature, a series of events, rather than anything concrete.
* Elizabeth Haydon's ''Literature/SymphonyOfAges'' novels live on this trope. Especially in her first three books of the series, true names are bandied about or kept secret so they can't be abused as plot points practically every five pages.
* In ''Literature/TheLostYearsOfMerlin'' series, by T.A Barron, names are very important, magically; Naming is even one of the Seven Songs of Magic. If someone knows the true name of someone or something, they have control over it (only Merlin knows the true name of [[spoiler: Excalibur]], so he's the only one with total control over it. Merlin also learns his own true name at the end of the last book.
* In the first book of ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles,'' this is how the heroes [[spoiler:manage to enslave Set]].
** They also use this to [[spoiler:revive Ra and save the world, but Set tricks them to return his true name to him along the way, thereby losing their control over him]] in the third book.
** Also in the third book, Sadie has to convince [[spoiler: an barely conscious and dying Carter to give her his secret name, or "ren", so that she can use a healing spell and save his life.]]
* Actually an important point in the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld'', where the Orcish-like Fammin serving the Tyrant all have names which are actually magical words used to force them to obey the orders. This is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch the Wrong Ones']] main source of fear and {{Angst}}.

to:

* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's book ''Dying Creator/SpiderRobinson once wrote of the Light'' has a line wizard so ancient that invokes this, when he guided the viewpoint character's ex-girlfriend, explaining how she disliked the pet name he'd given her, says (approximately), "Give a thing a name and it will somehow come to be. All truth is evolution of humanity in naming, and all lies as well, for nothing distorts as such a false name can, a false name way that changes both the appearance and the reality...."
* ''Literature/{{Paranormalcy}}'s'' Faeries run by this trope, which, when combined with AdultsAreUseless (or Adults-Are-Too-Pigheaded-To-Realize-The-Consequences) leads to some serious trouble. Especially since some of the Faeries are resentful about it and are all to willing to get revenge in any way [[ExactWords they]] [[JackassGenie can]]. A good example is [[StalkerWithACrush Reth]], who does a pretty spectacular job at twisting every command given to him, though he's not particularly nasty... [[spoiler: until later.]]
* Inverted in the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse ''Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures'' and ''Literature/FactionParadox'' novels. During the Second War in Heaven, the Time Lords battle a race of entities referred to as 'the Enemy'. The Enemy ''does'' have a true name, but the Time Lords almost never use it, as by naming the Enemy, they create the risk of the listener misunderstanding the Enemy as a physical alien race fighting the Time Lords in a physical war. The system of time we know ''(a steady progression of entropy, cause and effect, TimeyWimeyBall, etc)'' is an invention of the Time Lords, and the Second War in Heaven is fought to prevent the Enemy from replacing it with whatever system ''they'' would impose on reality. Thus, the War is so surreal and metaphysical by normal standards that naming the Enemy causes non-Time Lords who cannot understand the principles at work to view the Enemy as a hostile invading force ''(false)'', rather than a fundamentally different and opposing system of time. Thus, the Enemy is a process, an unnatural force of nature, a series of events, rather than anything concrete.
* Elizabeth Haydon's ''Literature/SymphonyOfAges'' novels live on this trope. Especially in her first three books of the series, true names are bandied about or kept secret so they
modern larynxes simply can't be abused as plot points practically every five pages.
* In ''Literature/TheLostYearsOfMerlin'' series, by T.A Barron, names are very important, magically; Naming is even one of
form the Seven Songs sound of Magic. If someone knows the true name of someone or something, they have control over it (only Merlin knows the true name of [[spoiler: Excalibur]], so he's the only one with total control over it. Merlin also learns his own true name at the end of the last book.
* In the first book of ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles,'' this is how the heroes [[spoiler:manage to enslave Set]].
** They also use this to [[spoiler:revive Ra and save the world, but Set tricks them to return his true name to him along the way, thereby losing their control over him]] in the third book.
** Also in the third book, Sadie has to convince [[spoiler: an barely conscious and dying Carter to give her his secret name, or "ren", so that she can use a healing spell and save his life.]]
* Actually an important point in the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheEmergedWorld'', where the Orcish-like Fammin serving the Tyrant all have names which are actually magical words used to force them to obey the orders. This is [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch the Wrong Ones']] main source of fear and {{Angst}}.
True Name.



* The short story "True Names" by Creator/HarryTurtledove is a parody of this trope. It's set AfterTheEnd in "Eastexas", where the remnants of the American people have reverted to ignorant barbarism. A tribal shaman finds a book about taxonomic classification and believes the scientific Greek names given for animals to be their 'true names' that grant the one who knows them power over them.
* In ''Literature/{{Krabat}}''. Fortunately, TheHero doesn't know the real name of the girl who's able to save him. (Another one wasn't that lucky.)
* Stina Leicht uses both this and WordsCanBreakMyBones in "Of Blood and Honey". Using someone's true name gives you power over them; you can call them to you or command them. [[spoiler: However, it has to be their complete true name: Liam's parents survive Henry's trap because Henry doesn't know Liam's full name, and thus Liam can resist long enough to break through the stone circle.]]
* In Teresa Frohock's ''Literature/MiserereAnAutumnTale'', telling your name is dangerous. And you need to force a demon to tell you its name to exorcize it.
* In ''Literature/GriffinsDaughter'', [[BigBad The Nameless One's]] true name had been stricken from the history books to keep someone from invoking this in an attempt to invoke him enslave him or claim his power.
* ''[[Literature/TheQuantumThief Fractal Prince]]'' features a scifi variation of this trope in the City of Sirr, where True Names are a part of an elaborate control system that allows baseline humans limited use of certain posthuman technologies that should be too complicated for them to operate, while simultaneously keeping them inaccessible to the posthuman Sobornost who would forcefully assimilate the city if it was unprotected.
* ''Cold Cereal'' by Adam Rex turns this into a BrickJoke. The main character is established with the name [[Theatre/MacBeth Scottish Play]]. He got his name when his father, a struggling actor, got a break that changed his life and promised he'd name his firstborn son after the role. At the end of the book, when Queen Titania uses all the heroes' names to incapacitate them, Scottish Play manages to break free of her spell because that wasn't his true name and [[TheScottishTrope that it's not supposed to be spoken out loud]].

to:

* The short story "True Names" by Creator/HarryTurtledove is a parody of this trope. It's set AfterTheEnd in "Eastexas", where the remnants of the American people have reverted to ignorant barbarism. A tribal shaman finds a book about taxonomic classification and believes the scientific Greek names given for animals to be their 'true names' that grant the one who knows them power over them.
* In ''Literature/{{Krabat}}''. Fortunately, TheHero doesn't know Delia Sherman's "Grand Central Park", the real name of main character plays truth or dare with the girl who's able to save him. (Another one wasn't that lucky.)
* Stina Leicht uses both this and WordsCanBreakMyBones in "Of Blood and Honey". Using someone's true name gives you power over them; you can call them to you or command them. [[spoiler: However, it has to be their complete true name: Liam's parents survive Henry's trap because Henry doesn't know Liam's full name, and thus Liam can resist long enough to break through
Queen of Central Park (a fairy). She asks the stone circle.]]
* In Teresa Frohock's ''Literature/MiserereAnAutumnTale'', telling your name is dangerous. And you need to force a demon
Queen to tell you its name to exorcize it.
* In ''Literature/GriffinsDaughter'', [[BigBad The Nameless One's]]
her her true name had been stricken from name.
* A major part of
the history books to keep someone from invoking this in an attempt to invoke him enslave him or claim his power.mythology of ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'', and the reason why the magically inclined go by self-referential nicknames. In the ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' books, everyone has a True Name (theoretically; the only known listing of them was destroyed) and a Given Name (your full given name, e.g. on a birth certificate), and may also take a Taken Name.
* ''[[Literature/TheQuantumThief Fractal Prince]]'' features ** Your Given Name can give someone else power over your actions... to an extent, sorta like hypnotic suggestion. Taking a scifi variation of this trope in the City of Sirr, where new name seals your given name, preventing its misuse. However, if someone else learns your True Names are a part of an elaborate control system that allows baseline humans limited use of certain posthuman technologies that should be too complicated for them to operate, while simultaneously keeping them inaccessible to the posthuman Sobornost who would forcefully assimilate the city Name, they gain absolute command over you. However, if it was unprotected.
* ''Cold Cereal'' by Adam Rex turns this into a BrickJoke. The main character is established with the name [[Theatre/MacBeth Scottish Play]]. He got his name when his father, a struggling actor, got a break that changed his life and promised he'd name his firstborn son after the role. At the end of the book, when Queen Titania uses all the heroes' names to incapacitate them, Scottish Play manages to break free of her spell because that wasn't his
you learn your own true name (but not as a result of a command), you gain a direct link to magic itself and [[TheScottishTrope that it's not supposed turn into a PhysicalGod. It's generally advised to be spoken out loud]].then use a magical ritual to seal your True Name to prevent others manipulating you.



* All of the [[WitchSpecies Insequent]] from the ''Last Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' can be compelled by their true names, and as such they usually go by imposing sounding titles (the Theomach, the Vizard, the Mahdoubt, the Harrow, the Ardent, the Auriference, etc.). It's implied that any Insequent knows (or can readily discover) any other Insequent's true name, but they go to great pains to conceal them from outsiders. Only two are revealed in the novels- ''Kenaustin Ardenol'' (the Theomach) and ''Quern Ehstrel'' (the Mahdoubt). The Ardent manages to make the Harrow back off in one scene merely by threatening to reveal his true name to the gathered companions.
* In ''Literature/{{Orion}}'' by Ben Bova, the title character attempts to introduce himself to a stone-age tribe. Due to belief in this trope, things go very badly.
* In the short story ''[[http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/equoid Equoid]]'', of ''Literature/TheLaundrySeries'', the narrator comments on how "Bob Howard" is just a pseudonym he's calling himself in the reports; because he would never do something as daft as write his true name on paper and "give extradimensional identity thieves the keys to our souls."
* Everybody has true names in ''Literature/{{Messenger}}'', and they're given by the psychic Leader. This is a benevolent version as the true names help people discover their purpose in Village (eg. the man now called Mentor becomes a schoolteacher), although they do seem to hold some power as seen when Matty is easily able to rein in his puppy after using its true name.
* In ''Literature/TheIcewindDaleTrilogy'', R. A. Salvatore uses true names a little differently than in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', where they are different from the creature's given name and hard to find out, even though the books are set in the Forgotten Realms setting. (It's not the last time he gets the details wrong from the existing lore.)
** In ''The Crystal Shard'', the demon Errtu's true name, as opposed to being something hidden, is just "Errtu", the name he openly uses. He can sense the name being pronounced at a distance, though doing that gives one no power over him.
** In ''Streams of Silver'', a wizard tortures the spirit of another wizard by using his true name.
* Though not strictly necessary, knowing the true name of a spirit you're trying to use necromancy to bind in ''Literature/TheOldKingdom'' adds power to the spell. [[EnigmaticMinion Chlorr of the Mask]] serves [[EvilSorcerer Hedge]] in part because she was bound "by her secret name" [[spoiler: Clariel]], and in the last book Lirael is able to dispose of a Greater Dead spirit with relative ease owing in part to her using a quick spell to discover its name before it could attack her.
* In ''Literature/AwakeInTheNightLand'' this is the reason that prevents the lovecraftian horrors of the Night Land from having proper names, otherwise they would be able to invade people's thoughts. Instead, they are called by their attributes, like: "The Watching Things", "The Thing That Nods", "Silent Ones", "Slowly Turning Wheel", etc.



* This is how the Glam works in ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki''. As Loki says "A named thing is a tamed thing". Odin actually alters Loki's nature right at the beginning by naming him.
* In ''Literature/MaledictionTrilogy'' anyone who knows a troll's true name can give them an order the troll must obey. Therefore, willingly giving up one's name to another is the sign of ultimate trust.

to:

* This is how ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'':
**''Literature/NewJediOrder: Traitor'' has an interesting bit of philosophy that seems to be
the Glam works inversion of this trope: its proponent states that in ''Literature/TheGospelOfLoki''. naming a thing, you limit it, and in doing so you are saying a half-truth, or worse, a lie.
*** At least superficially, this view of words somewhat matches up with a few religions and philosophies, like Zen. If the universe is One whole, then the mere act of trying to describe the Oneness, or one's experience of it, divides and diminishes it into misleading categories.
** There is also the Firrerreo race introduced in the novel ''The Crystal Star'', who have a superstition about speaking someone's name out loud in order to have authority over them.
As Loki says "A named thing a result, they never tell others their real name unless necessary, revealing another Firrerreo's name is considered a sign of grave disrespect, and one of the highest displays of respect is to ''not'' use the name of a Firrerreo even though you know it.
** Conversely, there's the Gand race, for whom the name you use ''to refer to yourself''
is a tamed thing". Odin significant indication of how important you are. If you're just another schlub, you refer to yourself as "Gand" (as in "Gand went to the store today"). If you're slightly more important or recognizable, you can use your last name ("Obama went to the store today"). If you're a major figure, you can use just your first name. Only individuals who have achieved truly staggering feats or become exceptionally important can use pronouns like "I" or "me", since it's assumed that everyone will already know who this person is. If you're feeling ashamed or have committed a faux pas, you might go down a step or two, to indicate that you acknowledge your mistake.
* In Creator/RobinMcKinley's ''Literature/{{Sunshine}}'', [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] use name magic. One laughs at the narrator for asking him his name, and later reveals it as a gesture of trust. Unlike most works, in ''Sunshine'', the name is the name -- or names -- you use. The narrator is as vulnerable through her nickname "Sunshine" as through her name "Rae," and more vulnerable through either of those than through her long-disused birth name "Raven Blaise."
* In Creator/CateTiernan's series ''Literature/{{Sweep}}'', everything has a true name, from plants to people. One of the main characters
actually alters Loki's nature right at finds out her fathers true name and [[spoiler: uses it to put a binding spell on him so the beginning by naming him.
other characters can strip him of his powers.]]
* Elizabeth Haydon's ''Literature/SymphonyOfAges'' novels live on this trope. Especially in her first three books of the series, true names are bandied about or kept secret so they can't be abused as plot points practically every five pages.
* In ''Literature/MaledictionTrilogy'' anyone the ''Literature/TalesOfKolmar'' trilogy, knowing someone's true name gives power over them - they can be controlled when their true name is used. The Kantri (dragons), for example, have long names like Khordeshkhistriakhor, but they use a diminutive of their true name for everyday use (for example, that dragon is known as Akhor), and share the true one only with their lover and possibly best friends.
* The ''[[Literature/TheTaleOfTheFive Door]]'' series, also by Diane Duane, also uses the trope. People have powerful, secret true names, though most don't know what theirs is.
* Invoked, referenced, and played as straight as a non-fantasy can play it in Creator/VernorVinge proto-{{Cyberpunk}} story, ''Literature/TrueNames'', in which the dangers of using your real name on the Internet is a major plot point. Criminal hackers (computer wizards) must keep their identities hidden from each other or risk blackmail or worse.
* The short story "True Names" by Creator/HarryTurtledove is a parody of this trope. It's set AfterTheEnd in "Eastexas", where the remnants of the American people have reverted to ignorant barbarism. A tribal shaman finds a book about taxonomic classification and believes the scientific Greek names given for animals to be their 'true names' that grant the one
who knows them power over them.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has many examples, so naturally so does its literature segment:
** The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novel ''False Gods'' has Temba whisper Horus's name to his [[CoolSword warp-tainted sword]], before fighting with new skill.
** In the later novel ''Prospero Burns'',
a troll's demon is able to control all the Space Wolves present by pulling their names from Kaspar Hawser's brain. Only one marine, called Bear, is immune to the control. When Hawser later asks why the demon couldn't control Bear, he learns that the demon pulled the names from his mind, and Hawser's gotten Bear's name wrong from day one. Bear's name is actually ''Bjorn.''
** Zygmunt Molotch, the villain of the ''Literature/{{Ravenor}}'' series, can subdue an opponent by speaking their full name using a Chaos skill called "Enuncia". (He can also briefly stun them using less than their full name, but this is much less effective.)
*** Toros Revoke, of the same series, is much better at using Enuncia as a weapon. He's able to shatter bones, burst internal organs, and drive back a daemonic assassin using it.
** In ''Literature/GreyKnights'', [[spoiler:Ligeia]]'s gibberish is actually the True Name of [[spoiler:Ghargatuloth]], and [[spoiler:Alaric is the only one to realise this.]] It pays off.
** Saying the name of a greater daemon while in its presence will send them instantly back to the warp. Their ''true'' name, mind. If a greater daemon of Khorne says its name is "Bob", it's probably lying.
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Grimoire of True Names]]. Incredibly rare and potent artifacts, guarded by the Daemonhunters (who else?). In the ''Grey Knights'' novel, [[spoiler:Ligeia]] finds such a Grimoire - known as the ''Codicium Aeternium'', thought to have been lost for centuries - after the capture of a rogue Inquisitor, which sets the Grey Knights off on the quest featured in that book.
** In ''The Unremembered Empire'', a daemon tells its true name to Damon Prytanis just before it goes to kill him, believing that it already knows his true name. [[IdiotBall It didn't stop to think that Prytanis wasn't his real name]].
** Note that saying or even knowing a daemon's true name is ''not'' free. An Imperial saint lost her sainthood using a daemon's true name to banish it, which purportedly included knowing many other true names. Others have gone insane from holding a true name in their head. Even a fragment of a
true name can give them an order be debilitating or lethal to the troll untrained.
* In Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Winterlands'' series (that begins with ''Literature/{{Dragonsbane}}''), everything, even inanimate objects, have true names. Any spell stronger than basic telepathy (which can be used to discover someone's true name) requires you to Know Your Target's True Name, and you have to power the spell by "sourcing" [[{{Mana}} energy]] from things you know the true names of. [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Our Dragons Are Immune To Magic]] because nobody can figure out what their true names are. [[spoiler:It turns out that dragons' true names are MagicMusic.]]
* The ''Literature/WizBiz''/''Wizardry'' series by Rick Cook; this also semi-averts people not realizing the best protection, as the hero is [[TrappedInAnotherWorld from another world]] and after a near-brush with revealing his true name, ''only'' goes by two different convenient nicknames. Other wizards also go by a nickname, or only a portion of their name, for the same reason. This comes in particularly handy when a bad guy sics an [[OurDemonsAreDifferent ultra-powerful demon]] onto the hero; said demon is dangerous because it can hunt and kill anyone whose name has ever been spoken in that world. This would be a perfect plan except for the "from another world" thing.
* Creator/DianeDuane's ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series has the wizardly Speech as the LanguageOfMagic. Knowing someone's true name does ''not'' let you control them, but it is needed to perform some types of spells on them. Wizards
must obey. Therefore, willingly giving up one's "sign" spells with their name in the Speech, which comprise not only spoken names but personality and sense of identity. And writing the name of something differently in the Speech changes the thing so named, so they must be treated with extra care.
** Nita exploits this in the climax of ''So You Want to be a Wizard'' when she's reading from ''The Book Of Night With Moon'': [[spoiler: she rewrites the last character of [[{{Satan}} The Lone Power]]'s name so instead of being trapped as evil forever, he has the option to [[HeelFaceTurn turn back]].]]
** Another example occurs in ''A Wizard Abroad'' where to repay a debt, one of [[TheFairFolk the Sidhe]] whispers what is presumably his true
name to another is Nita, instructing her to speak it to call for aid one time if she needs it. It comes in handy when they encounter creatures that are [[AntiMagic immune to their spells]] and speaking it calls out said fey and TheCavalry (literally).
** All of
the sign words in the LanguageOfMagic are the true names of ultimate trust.the things they stand for. Which makes sense, since it was the language with which reality itself was written.
** In "Wizards at War" it is revealed that The One's (God's) true name cannot be known to anyone in existence. There is so much power contained within the name itself that it could rewrite reality if misused. Because of this, one of the PowersThatBe is given the name "Guardian of the Divided Name".



* In the eighth season of ''Series/TwentyFour'', Dana Walsh receives a call from her ex-boyfriend revealing that he knows that her true name is Jenny Scott, and forces her to work with him under threat of revealing it. Since she's a convicted felon [[spoiler:and TheMole inside CTU]], she does as he says in order to keep him quiet.



* In ''Series/LukeCage2016'', Luke Cage isn't really his real name. He's Carl Lucas, a prison escapee living under an assumed name, who was presumed dead after his escape from Seagate. Shades, who did time with Luke and regularly gave him beatings as Rackham's enforcer, eventually recognizes Luke is Carl after seeing him fighting Cottonmouth's guys. Cottonmouth later tries to use this to blackmail Luke into either working for him or leaving Harlem, a problem that is ultimately resolved when Mariah kills Cottonmouth over an unrelated matter.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', many Druids and Creatures of the Old Religion refer to Merlin by his true name of "Emrys".
-->'''Merlin:''' Why does he call me ''Emrys''?\\
'''Dragon:''' Because ''that'' is your name?
* In ''Series/MythQuest'', Matt tells his daughter Cleo that since she took the place of Isis, she has all the powers of Isis, which came from Isis' discovery of Ra's true name.



* ''Series/OnceUponATime'':
** In the Pilot, Snow White and Prince Charming are warned against revealing their names to the imprisoned BigBad Rumplestiltskin.
-->'''Guard:''' If he knows your name he'll have power over you.\\
'''Rumplestiltskin:''' ''Snow White and Prince Charming.'' You insult me. Step into the light and take off those ridiculous robes.
** Rumpelstiltskin himself is susceptible to being controlled this way, but only if you're holding the Dark One's dagger.



* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', knowing a supernatural being's name or mark allows you to forcefully summon them to your location.



* In the eighth season of ''Series/TwentyFour'', Dana Walsh receives a call from her ex-boyfriend revealing that he knows that her true name is Jenny Scott, and forces her to work with him under threat of revealing it. Since she's a convicted felon [[spoiler:and TheMole inside CTU]], she does as he says in order to keep him quiet.
* In ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'', many Druids and Creatures of the Old Religion refer to Merlin by his true name of "Emrys".
-->'''Merlin:''' Why does he call me ''Emrys''?\\
'''Dragon:''' Because ''that'' is your name?
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'':
** In the Pilot, Snow White and Prince Charming are warned against revealing their names to the imprisoned BigBad Rumplestiltskin.
-->'''Guard:''' If he knows your name he'll have power over you.\\
'''Rumplestiltskin:''' ''Snow White and Prince Charming.'' You insult me. Step into the light and take off those ridiculous robes.
** Rumpelstiltskin himself is susceptible to being controlled this way, but only if you're holding the Dark One's dagger.
* In ''Series/MythQuest'', Matt tells his daughter Cleo that since she took the place of Isis, she has all the powers of Isis, which came from Isis' discovery of Ra's true name.
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', knowing a supernatural being's name or mark allows you to forcefully summon them to your location.
* In ''Series/LukeCage2016'', Luke Cage isn't really his real name. He's Carl Lucas, a prison escapee living under an assumed name, who was presumed dead after his escape from Seagate. Shades, who did time with Luke and regularly gave him beatings as Rackham's enforcer, eventually recognizes Luke is Carl after seeing him fighting Cottonmouth's guys. Cottonmouth later tries to use this to blackmail Luke into either working for him or leaving Harlem, a problem that is ultimately resolved when Mariah kills Cottonmouth over an unrelated matter.
28th Feb '17 2:11:40 PM AthenaBlue
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* In a sketch on ''Alexei Sayle's Stuff'' involving a Masonic Lodge style religious cult [[MundaneMadeAwesome based around pencils]], mention is made of "The Great Architect of the universe, whose name we cannot say... for it was written in pencil and got a bit smudged."



* In an episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' where Ivanova was using an alien supermachine to telepathically search for the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien First Ones]], she accidentally astrally ran into the Shadows. She tried to escape, but had trouble breaking contact:
-->'''Ivanova:''' I can't. It... it knows I'm here. It knows my name!
* Paige from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' has the power to 'orb' objects by focusing on and verbalizing them. This proves to hold a prominent weakness in the episode "Sense and Sense Ability" when the Crone renders her unable to speak and hence to use her power.



** The Carrionites, who are implied to be the inspiration for the witches in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and possibly this whole true-name thing. Unfortunately, with them, ItOnlyWorksOnce. Apparently it also works in reverse, as the Carrionites try to overcome the Doctor by this means, but are unable to discover his true name.
** Inverted in the Series 4 episode "Silence in The Library" when the Doctor finds out that archaeologist River Song knows his real name (not just "The Doctor"). He flat-out says that "there's only one reason" why he would ever tell anyone his name, with their conversations and River's comments to Donna making the ''implication'' (but only the implication!) that River could be [[spoiler: his future wife]]. He also adds that there is only one 'time' when he could tell anyone his name. This, plus River's use of the Tenth Doctor's grim CatchPhrase for people he knows are going to die ("I'm sorry, I'm so sorry") leads to the theory that she will be present at his death.
** In "The Wedding of River Song", The Doctor claims to have whispered his name into River Song's ear. However, [[spoiler:he really whispered "Look into my eyes"; doing so revealed to her that she would be killing a fake Doctor, not him.]]



** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode "The Shakespeare Code"]] has the Carrionites, who are implied to be the inspiration for the witches in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and possibly this whole true-name thing. Unfortunately, with them, ItOnlyWorksOnce. Apparently it also works in reverse, as the Carrionites try to overcome the Doctor by this means, but are unable to discover his true name.
** Inverted in the Series 4 episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E9ForestOfTheDead "Forest of the Dead"]], when the Doctor finds out that archaeologist River Song knows his real name (not just "The Doctor"). He flat-out says that "there's only one reason" why he would ever tell anyone his name, with their conversations and River's comments to Donna making the ''implication'' (but only the implication!) that River could be [[spoiler: his future wife]]. He also adds that there is only one 'time' when he could tell anyone his name. This, plus River's use of the Tenth Doctor's grim CatchPhrase for people he knows are going to die ("I'm sorry, I'm so sorry") leads to the theory that she will be present at his death.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E13TheWeddingOfRiverSong "The Wedding of River Song"]], the Doctor claims to have whispered his name into River Song's ear. However, [[spoiler:he really whispered "Look into my eyes"; doing so revealed to her that she would be killing a fake Doctor, not him.]]



** According to Clara, "The Doctor" ''is'' his true name, because it's the name he chose for himself that describes who he is and what he does. [[spoiler: The Time Lords seem to agree because, despite remaining in their pocket universe, they send him an extra regeneration cycle when she points this out.]]
** Implied in "Flatline", where the last thing the Doctor does before he can defeat the monsters (defined by their formlessness and incomprehensibility) is announce a name for them.
* Paige from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' has the power to 'orb' objects by focusing on and verbalizing them. This proves to hold a prominent weakness in the episode "Sense and Sense Ability" when the Crone renders her unable to speak and hence to use her power.

to:

** [[Recap/DoctorWho2013CSTheTimeOfTheDoctor "The Time of the Doctor"]]: According to Clara, "The Doctor" ''is'' his true name, because it's the name he chose for himself that describes who he is and what he does. [[spoiler: The Time Lords seem to agree because, despite remaining in their pocket universe, they send him an extra regeneration cycle when she points this out.]]
** Implied in "Flatline", [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E9Flatline "Flatline"]], where the last thing the Doctor does before he can defeat the monsters (defined by their formlessness and incomprehensibility) is announce a name for them.
* Paige from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' has the power to 'orb' objects by focusing on and verbalizing them. This proves to hold a prominent weakness in the In an episode "Sense of ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', the episode's villain, an information broker, manages to coerce Callen (whose first name is unknown by all, including him, with the exception of the fact that it starts with G) to obey his instructions by saying "I know what the 'G' stands for". The instructions nearly get Callen killed because the broker ordered him to stand in for the broker in dealing with some troublesome clients. Later, when Callen and Sense Ability" the team find the broker's hideout, Callen gets the chance to learn for himself what the G stands for when he finds a file labelled "Callen, G" but is forced to abandon the file when the Crone renders her unable to speak broker's security measures trigger [[OutrunTheFireball explosives/incendiary devices that destroy all the files and hence to use her power.equipment in the base.]]



* A [[CutawayGag sketch]] on ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' showed two demons in Hell complaining about their own names being too weird. Apparently they could only be summoned to Earth to collect souls if a mortal said their names, and this unlucky pair were called Orgo and Ftumch. Thanks to a misprint in a newspaper Rick reads aloud Ftumch manifests, and after failing to claim Neil and Vyvyan settles for a guy who had come to award one of the flatmates with a car through a contest.



* In an episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' where Ivanova was using an alien supermachine to telepathically search for the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien First Ones]], she accidentally astrally ran into the Shadows. She tried to escape, but had trouble breaking contact:
-->'''Ivanova:''' I can't. It... it knows I'm here. It knows my name!
* In a sketch on ''Alexei Sayle's Stuff'' involving a Masonic Lodge style religious cult [[MundaneMadeAwesome based around pencils]], mention is made of "The Great Architect of the universe, whose name we cannot say... for it was written in pencil and got a bit smudged."
* In an episode of ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', the episode's villain, an information broker, manages to coerce Callen (whose first name is unknown by all, including him, with the exception of the fact that it starts with G) to obey his instructions by saying "I know what the 'G' stands for". The instructions nearly get Callen killed because the broker ordered him to stand in for the broker in dealing with some troublesome clients. Later, when Callen and the team find the broker's hideout, Callen gets the chance to learn for himself what the G stands for when he finds a file labelled "Callen, G" but is forced to abandon the file when the broker's security measures trigger [[OutrunTheFireball explosives/incendiary devices that destroy all the files and equipment in the base.]]

to:

* In an episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' where Ivanova was using an alien supermachine A [[CutawayGag sketch]] on ''Series/TheYoungOnes'' showed two demons in Hell complaining about their own names being too weird. Apparently they could only be summoned to telepathically search Earth to collect souls if a mortal said their names, and this unlucky pair were called Orgo and Ftumch. Thanks to a misprint in a newspaper Rick reads aloud Ftumch manifests, and after failing to claim Neil and Vyvyan settles for the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien First Ones]], she accidentally astrally ran into the Shadows. She tried to escape, but a guy who had trouble breaking contact:
-->'''Ivanova:''' I can't. It... it knows I'm here. It knows my name!
* In a sketch on ''Alexei Sayle's Stuff'' involving a Masonic Lodge style religious cult [[MundaneMadeAwesome based around pencils]], mention is made of "The Great Architect
come to award one of the universe, whose name we cannot say... for it was written in pencil and got a bit smudged."
* In an episode of ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', the episode's villain, an information broker, manages to coerce Callen (whose first name is unknown by all, including him,
flatmates with the exception of the fact that it starts with G) to obey his instructions by saying "I know what the 'G' stands for". The instructions nearly get Callen killed because the broker ordered him to stand in for the broker in dealing with some troublesome clients. Later, when Callen and the team find the broker's hideout, Callen gets the chance to learn for himself what the G stands for when he finds a file labelled "Callen, G" but is forced to abandon the file when the broker's security measures trigger [[OutrunTheFireball explosives/incendiary devices that destroy all the files and equipment in the base.]]car through a contest.
18th Feb '17 10:54:36 PM Tamfang
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** Your Given Name can give someone else power over your actions... to an extent, sorta like hypnotic suggestion. Taking a new name seals your given name, preventing its misuse. However, if someone else learns your True Name, they gain absolute command over you. However, if you learn your own true name (But not as a result of a command), you gain a direct link to magic itself and turn into a PhysicalGod. It's generally advised to then use a magical ritual to seal your True Name to prevent others manipulating you.

to:

** Your Given Name can give someone else power over your actions... to an extent, sorta like hypnotic suggestion. Taking a new name seals your given name, preventing its misuse. However, if someone else learns your True Name, they gain absolute command over you. However, if you learn your own true name (But (but not as a result of a command), you gain a direct link to magic itself and turn into a PhysicalGod. It's generally advised to then use a magical ritual to seal your True Name to prevent others manipulating you.
18th Feb '17 10:52:10 PM Tamfang
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Added DiffLines:

*** Sauron is older than the World, so his true name may be impossible to pronounce; at any rate it isn't ''Sauron''  that's what the Elves call him. When he was manipulating the kings of Númenor he called himself ''Annatar'', Lord of Gifts.
18th Feb '17 10:48:15 PM Tamfang
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** Dwarves in Tolkien are [[AllThereInTheManual described as]] having true names in Khuzdul, which they never reveal, not even on their gravestones. The names they are known by (Thorin, Balin and so on) are by-names.

to:

** Dwarves in Tolkien are [[AllThereInTheManual described as]] having true names in Khuzdul, which they never reveal, not even on their gravestones. The names they are known by (Thorin, Balin and so on) are by-names.by-names, taken (as is 'Gandalf') from the languages of Men of Rhovanion (represented as Scandinavian in Tolkien's 'translation', because their relation to Hobbitish is analogous to the relation of Scandinavian to English).
10th Feb '17 4:30:31 AM VampireBuddha
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Film/{{Split}}'', speaking Kevin's {{full name| ultimatum}} forces Kevin to the surface for a few moments... until all the other personalities try to seize control.
18th Jan '17 3:02:58 PM Nithael
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-->-- '''Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin''', ''[[{{Literature/Earthsea}} The Rule of Names]]''

to:

-->-- '''Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin''', ''[[{{Literature/Earthsea}} ''[[Literature/{{Earthsea}} The Rule of Names]]''



* [[http://www.bogleech.com/halloween/hall15-nightmares2.html *TV Static Noise*]], one of the nightmare entities submitted to {{Bogleech}}'s annual 'draw your nightmares' events, is an unusual variation in that, within the narrative of the nightmare in which it appears, it doesn't possess a true name, but apparently believes that if it is given one it could escape into the waking world. As such, it attempts to coerce the dreamer into naming it. Upon hearing the story, [[TemptingFate Bog immediately names it]] [[FluffyTheTerrible Dorothy.]]

to:

* [[http://www.bogleech.com/halloween/hall15-nightmares2.html *TV Static Noise*]], one of the nightmare entities submitted to {{Bogleech}}'s Website/{{Bogleech}}'s annual 'draw your nightmares' events, is an unusual variation in that, within the narrative of the nightmare in which it appears, it doesn't possess a true name, but apparently believes that if it is given one it could escape into the waking world. As such, it attempts to coerce the dreamer into naming it. Upon hearing the story, [[TemptingFate Bog immediately names it]] [[FluffyTheTerrible Dorothy.]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.IKnowYourTrueName