Even if werewolves are different from series to series
, they tend to be easy to spot because of the one thing they typically have in common across all works: their meaningful names are almost always
a reference to the werewolf myth.
Typically, your fictional werewolf will have his name based on...
- The scientific name for the gray wolf, canis lupus
- Foreign words for wolf, such as lobo.
- Fenrir, the monstrous wolf from Norse Mythology
- The German name Wolfgang
- Romulus or Remus, the twin founders of Rome said to have been suckled from a wolf's teat.
- Fangs or claws, because wolves have them.
- The words "Moon" or "Silver", or variations thereof, often via foreign languages or mythology; Luna, Diana, Selene...
- Just the word wolf, because writers can be lazy sometimes.
Werewolves aren't required
to have wolf-related names, but if you're in a supernatural setting and you meet a guy named Romulus Wolfgang, you can bet that he gets hairier when the full moon rises.
A subtrope of Meaningful Name
and Our Werewolves Are Different
- The Lobo Brothers and Maximus Lobo from the Marvel Universe.
- Anthony Lupus from the The DCU.
- Scud The Disposable Assassin made fun of this: Scud has to hijack a space shuttle, one of whose members is secretly a werewolf. All of the astronauts have names like "Lupin," "Mike Wolfman," "Ted Howls-at-the-moon" and so on, just to obfuscate which of them it is.
- Jack Russell from Werewolf by Night in the Marvel Universe shares his name with a breed of terrier.
- Remus Lupin and Fenrir Greyback from the Harry Potter series.
- Canis Wolfborn (and every Space Wolf that doesn't have a Viking name). And then there are those like Ragnar Blackmane.
- Parodied in Discworld: Big Fido the poodle spends his time extolling the virtues of wild wolves, claiming they have names like Quickfang. The actual werewolf knows this is BS, as wolves don't think of themselves that way. Indeed, in The Fifth Elephant we learn they have names like Arsehole.
- Mocked in Curse of the Wolfgirl by Kalix. Kalix, a real werewolf from family of werewolves who have no wolf-y sounding names finds a comic about a werewolf called "Arabella Wolf" and finds it incredibly unlikely and insulting that a girl is called "wolf" long before she becomes a werewolf.
- Anthony Boucher's The Compleat Werewolf has a wizard lampshade the hell out of this, pointing out that the titular character is named "Wolf Wolfe".
- Prince Wulfric from Heir Apparent by Vivian Van Velde.
Manga and Anime
- The Munsters' wolfboy son, Edward Wolfgang Munster.
- Oz, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is in a band named Dingoes Ate My Baby, or "Dingoes" (read: wild dog) for short. The band existed long before Oz became a werewolf, though: it was mentioned in the unaired pilot, while Oz wasn't bitten until halfway through season 2.
- In Kamen Rider 555, there's Takumi Inui. Inu means dog, and we find out why it's a Meaningful Name mid-season. The same goes for his Kamen Rider Decade counterpart, Takumi Ogami, which is close to Okami, meaning wolf.
- Mason Greyback from Wizards of Waverly Place.
- Akira Inugami from Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest. 'Inu' meaning dog, and 'gami' being a variant of 'kami', meaning spirit/daemon. So effectively wolf-spirit.
- Kiba (fang), Toboe (howl), Hige (whisker), and Tsume (claw) from Wolf's Rain. They're not exactly werewolves so much as wolves psychically disguised as humans, but same difference.
- King Lycaon of Acadia, from Ovid's Metamorphosis. His name means wolf. Guess what Jupiter turns him into for the sin of cannibalism. Go on, guess.
- Monster High has Clawdeen Wolf, her brother Clawd, and her sister Howleen.
- Golden Sun: The Lost Age has the city of Garoh (a reference to the French word garou), which is populated entirely by werewolves.
- Fenrich from Disgaea 4
- Darkstalkers: Jon Talbain is named "Gallon" in Japan-"Flench" for "werewolf."
- Fang from The Lost Vikings is a werewolf.
- Touhou has Kagerou Imaizumi, whose given name means "Shadow Wolf" and whose family name is a reference to a well-known Japanese zoologist who studied the now-extinct Japanese wolf.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have the twin Companions members Farkas and Vilkas, which mean 'wolf' in Hungarian and Lithuanian respectively. In addition, there's Kodlak Whitemane, whose first name comes from the word for "werewolf" in some Slavic languages.
- World of Warcraft's Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas.
- Samantha Wolf in The Wotch, better known as "Wolfie" to her friends. Jason thinks it's way too obvious that she's the werewolf, but he's wrong.
- Skin Horse has Julie Rome (as in Romulus), Sergeant Willoughby and Lucy (sounds a bit like lupine or lycan). There's even a theme-named werewolf victim: Private Hood.