Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / IKnowYourTrueName

Go To



* Finnish mythology has a variation of this trope: knowing something's ''birth'' gives you power to reverse it, and gain control over it. There are hundreds of fractures of "birth-words" for various things, gathered from oral tradition. For example, knowing the Birth of Iron should allow one to treat wounds caused by an iron weapon.

to:

* Finnish mythology has a variation of this trope: knowing something's ''birth'' gives you power to reverse it, and gain control over it. There are hundreds of fractures of "birth-words" for various things, gathered from oral tradition. For example, knowing the Birth of Iron should allow one to treat wounds caused by an iron weapon. On the other hand, speaking the true name of something powerful may also call it present, which is why the most commonly used words for certain things are not their original names. For example, the word for bear, "karhu" comes from the rough texture of a bear's fur. Also, the name the sky-god of old Finnish mythology is known by nowadays is "Ukko", meaning old man, as you definitely did not want to attract the attention of the god who decides the weather every time you had to mention him in a conversation.


* ''Franchise/FateSeries'': When it comes to "Servants", they tend to have their true names hidden behind their class name, i.e "Saber", "Archer", etc. Downplayed in that it happens less for "magical" reasons and more of practical one: Servants are (typically) [[HistoricalBadassUpgrade historical/mythical people]] and thus are famous in one way or another; their abilities and weaknesses can be easily discerned just by learning their true names, so they make sure to not reveal them to anyone but their "masters". It's played straighter with their "Noble Phantasms", an item/ability that is the "crystallized legend" of the respective Servants in question; they usually have to be invoked by [[CallingYourAttacks saying its name]] if they want to use the greater extent of the Noble Phantasms' strength. Like the identities of the Servants, having other people learn of a Servant's Noble Phantasm's name can lead to them deducing the Servant's identity, so they tend to not be used until the right time.

to:

* ''Franchise/FateSeries'': When it comes to "Servants", they tend to have their true names hidden behind their class name, i.e "Saber", "Archer", etc. Downplayed in that it happens less for "magical" reasons and more of practical one: Servants are (typically) [[HistoricalBadassUpgrade historical/mythical people]] and thus are famous in one way or another; their abilities and weaknesses can be easily discerned just by learning their true names, so they make sure to not reveal them to anyone but their "masters"."Masters". It's played straighter with their "Noble Phantasms", an item/ability that is the "crystallized legend" of the respective Servants in question; they usually have to be invoked by [[CallingYourAttacks saying its name]] if they want to use the greater extent of the Noble Phantasms' strength. Like the identities of the Servants, having other people learn of a Servant's Noble Phantasm's name can lead to them deducing the Servant's identity, so they tend to not be used until the right time.

Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/TheHobbitTheBattleOfTheFiveArmies'': {{Inverted|Trope}} when Galadriel singlehandedly {{banish|ingRitual}}es the PhysicalGod Sauron from his own PlaceOfPower by declaring him "...nameless! Faceless! Formless!"


* Hanar (jellyfish people) from ''Franchise/MassEffect'' have "Face names" and "Soul names". They usually refer to themselves as "This One," however. This is just a matter of courtesy, and when asked about it they mention it is rude to use one's soul name with someone they don't know very well. At no point is it suggested that knowledge of the soul name is connected (or is believed to be connected) to some sort of power or control.

to:

* Hanar (jellyfish people) from ''Franchise/MassEffect'' have "Face names" and "Soul names". They usually refer to themselves as "This One," however. This is just a matter of courtesy, and when asked about it they mention it is rude to use one's soul name with someone they don't know very well. At no point is it suggested that knowledge of the soul name is connected (or is believed to be connected) to some sort of power or control. In ''3'', one indoctrinated Hanar's soul name is revealed to be [[LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair Regards the Works of the Enkindlers in Despair]]; his face name is appropriately [[https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/ozymandias "Zymandis"]].


* This is the underlying principle behind middle names. You can't avoid telling people your first name, and not telling your last name is inconvenient when your village has five other Johns. So what can you do to protect your kid from TheFairFolk? Give them a third, secret name (or [OverlyLongName several names]) and instruct them to not give said name to strangers. Problem solved!

to:

* This is the underlying principle behind middle names. You can't avoid telling people your first name, and not telling your last name is inconvenient when your village has five other Johns. So what can you do to protect your kid from TheFairFolk? Give them a third, secret name (or [OverlyLongName [[OverlyLongName several names]) names]]) and instruct them to not give said name to strangers. Problem solved!

Added DiffLines:

* This is the underlying principle behind middle names. You can't avoid telling people your first name, and not telling your last name is inconvenient when your village has five other Johns. So what can you do to protect your kid from TheFairFolk? Give them a third, secret name (or [OverlyLongName several names]) and instruct them to not give said name to strangers. Problem solved!


* In ''Fanfic/CuckooBird,'' a ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' fic where Izuku and Midoriya are both [[ChangelingTale changelings]], this is a concern when magical creatures are involved, though it's noted that ''knowing'' someone's name isn't the same as "having" it--it has to be specifically given or traded. Izuku was tricked into giving his name to an elf named Beck when he was a child, and as a result still has to do whatever he says. Otherwise he uses "Deku" was interacting with supernatural beings.

to:

* In ''Fanfic/CuckooBird,'' a ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' fic where Izuku and Midoriya are both is a [[ChangelingTale changelings]], changeling]], this is a concern when magical creatures are involved, though it's noted that ''knowing'' someone's name isn't the same as "having" it--it has to be specifically given or traded. Izuku was tricked into giving his name to an elf named Beck when he was a child, and as a result still has to do whatever he says. Otherwise he uses "Deku" was interacting with supernatural beings.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Fanfic/CuckooBird,'' a ''Manga/MyHeroAcademia'' fic where Izuku and Midoriya are both [[ChangelingTale changelings]], this is a concern when magical creatures are involved, though it's noted that ''knowing'' someone's name isn't the same as "having" it--it has to be specifically given or traded. Izuku was tricked into giving his name to an elf named Beck when he was a child, and as a result still has to do whatever he says. Otherwise he uses "Deku" was interacting with supernatural beings.


* In the United States, one's Social Security Number is effectively a TrueName. They are designed to be unique, used only when unambiguous identification is necessary, and if someone else gets it they can cause some problems. [[note]] US [=SSNs=] are technically not unique to a person. They are recycled after a period of time. Thus, while a number will be unique to a ''living'' person at any time, it's entirely possible that your SSN was once held by a person long-dead. After all, there's only 1 billion possible SSN combinations ; in a country of 300+ million alive right now (and 10+ million new births/immigrants each year), reuse is inevitable (and there have been well publicized cases of confusion). Also, you ''can'' get your SSN changed under certain circumstances. [[/note]]

to:

* In the United States, one's Social Security Number is effectively a TrueName. They are designed to be unique, used only when unambiguous identification is necessary, and if someone else gets it they can cause some problems.problems, to the point that people do not share them with even their closest friends or family members. [[note]] US [=SSNs=] are technically not unique to a person. They are recycled after a period of time. Thus, while a number will be unique to a ''living'' person at any time, it's entirely possible that your SSN was once held by a person long-dead. After all, there's only 1 billion possible SSN combinations ; in a country of 300+ million alive right now (and 10+ million new births/immigrants each year), reuse is inevitable (and there have been well publicized cases of confusion). Also, you ''can'' get your SSN changed under certain circumstances. [[/note]]


* The {{Creator/Confuci|us}}an doctrine of the "Rectification of Names", which can be summed up in the proverb "The Beginning of Wisdom lies in calling things by their proper names." It's purpose was to prevent PoorCommunicationKills, which Confucius believed would snowball into [[ApocalypseHow societal collapse]] if left unchecked. Other sources (this is not the place to decide between interpretations) would have it that it was even closer to the trope in that it actually meant the rectification of ''things'' so that they matched their ''names'', because the names had separate metaphysical power and the world would only work if things in it matched them. A ruler not acting as a ruler should was not only acting in ways that didn't work, but this was tied to the fact that he was not realising the essence of rulership properly.

to:

* The {{Creator/Confuci|us}}an doctrine of the "Rectification of Names", which can be summed up in the proverb "The Beginning of Wisdom lies in calling things by their proper names." It's Its purpose was to prevent PoorCommunicationKills, which Confucius believed would snowball into [[ApocalypseHow societal collapse]] if left unchecked. Other sources (this is not the place to decide between interpretations) would have it that it was even closer to the trope in that it actually meant the rectification of ''things'' so that they matched their ''names'', because the names had separate metaphysical power and the world would only work if things in it matched them. A ruler not acting as a ruler should was not only acting in ways that didn't work, but this was tied to the fact that he was not realising the essence of rulership properly.


* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', the demon Kozoaku gains power whenever somebody says his true name properly. Gwen points out that in that case, maybe people shouldn't be ''shouting it from every street corner''. [[spoiler: So the gods magically changed his true name to TheUnpronounceable K'Z'K.]]

to:

* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', the demon Kozoaku gains power whenever somebody says his true name properly. Gwen Gwynn points out that in that case, maybe people shouldn't be ''shouting it from every street corner''. [[spoiler: So the gods magically changed his true name to TheUnpronounceable K'Z'K.]]


** It's revealed in the chapter "First Generation Ninja American" that [[spoiler: his grandfather, a ninja who posessed wizard magic, sacrificed Doc's name to protect him from being cursed by a ghost wizard. Granted, Doc still remembers his name, but he is the only one who does; not even his parents remember his real name.]]

to:

** It's revealed in the chapter "First Generation Ninja American" that [[spoiler: his grandfather, a ninja who posessed wizard magic, sacrificed Doc's name to protect him from being cursed by a ghost wizard. Granted, Doc still remembers his name, as does his clone, but he is the only one who nobody else does; not even his parents remember his real name.]]

Added DiffLines:

* ''Franchise/FateSeries'': When it comes to "Servants", they tend to have their true names hidden behind their class name, i.e "Saber", "Archer", etc. Downplayed in that it happens less for "magical" reasons and more of practical one: Servants are (typically) [[HistoricalBadassUpgrade historical/mythical people]] and thus are famous in one way or another; their abilities and weaknesses can be easily discerned just by learning their true names, so they make sure to not reveal them to anyone but their "masters". It's played straighter with their "Noble Phantasms", an item/ability that is the "crystallized legend" of the respective Servants in question; they usually have to be invoked by [[CallingYourAttacks saying its name]] if they want to use the greater extent of the Noble Phantasms' strength. Like the identities of the Servants, having other people learn of a Servant's Noble Phantasm's name can lead to them deducing the Servant's identity, so they tend to not be used until the right time.


This is a version of FunctionalMagic that revolves around the use of "true names." A true name perfectly describes something's essential nature; knowing a true name gives one power over the owner of the name. In some portrayals, using a person's true name forces them to obey your commands. In others, a true name gives you a connection to the name's owner that allows you to work magic on them from a distance. Sometimes, a person's true name is needed if you want to work any magic on them at all.

In some stories, all creatures have true names, whereas others limit the use of true names to certain ''kinds'' of creatures, such as fairies, demons, or dragons. As a rule, objects do not have true names--but even that rule isn't obeyed by all universes.

A person's true name might be self-determined, or bestowed on them by someone else--possibly in a religious or magical ritual. In works which feature true names prominently, people tend to guard them jealously, and will even have [[IHaveManyNames a second name]] (or two or three or more, depending on the character's age) for everyday use.

to:

This is a version of FunctionalMagic that revolves around the use of "true names." names". A true name perfectly describes something's essential nature; knowing a true name gives one power over the owner of the name. In some portrayals, using a person's true name forces them to obey your commands. In others, a true name gives you a connection to the name's owner that allows you to work magic on them from a distance. Sometimes, a person's true name is needed if you want to work any magic on them at all.

In some stories, all creatures have true names, whereas others limit the use of true names to certain ''kinds'' of creatures, such as fairies, demons, or dragons. As a rule, objects do not have true names--but names but even that rule isn't obeyed by all universes.

A person's true name might be self-determined, or bestowed on them by someone else--possibly else possibly in a religious or magical ritual. In works which feature true names prominently, people tend to guard them jealously, and will even have [[IHaveManyNames a second name]] (or two or three or more, depending on the character's age) for everyday use.



Often a subtrope of ThePowerOfLanguage. Contrast SpeakOfTheDevil, where saying a name summons the named entity, but doesn't confer any power or control over it -- in fact, speaking said name may actually [[TheScottishTrope give that entity power over YOU]]! Likewise, the true name of an EldritchAbomination or similarly twisting being may prove to be [[BrownNote extremely dangerous to mortal minds]].

to:

Often a subtrope of ThePowerOfLanguage. Contrast SpeakOfTheDevil, where saying a name summons the named entity, but doesn't confer any power or control over it -- in fact, speaking said name may actually [[TheScottishTrope give that entity power over YOU]]! Likewise, the true name of an EldritchAbomination or similarly twisting being may prove to be [[BrownNote extremely dangerous to mortal minds]].



[[folder:Fan Fic]]

to:

[[folder:Fan Fic]][[folder:Fanfiction]]



[[folder:Film - Animated]]

to:

[[folder:Film - Animated]]



[[folder:Film - Live Action]]

to:

[[folder:Film - Live Action]] Live-Action]]



* 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.

to:

* In ''Film/{{Split}}'', speaking Kevin's {{full name| ultimatum}} name|Ultimatum}} forces Kevin to the surface for a few moments... until all the other personalities try to seize control.



** Inverted in [[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.]]

to:

** Inverted in [[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 "There's only one reason" why he reason I 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 ''anyone'' my name. There's only one "time" when he could tell anyone his name. This, plus River's use time I could." It is eventually revealed that at least part of the Tenth Doctor's grim CatchPhrase for people reason he knows are going comes to die ("I'm sorry, I'm so sorry") leads trust her enough to the theory that she will be present at his death.
**
tell her this is because [[spoiler:he marries her]].
***
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 "killing" a fake Doctor, not him.]]



** Averted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor "The Name of the Doctor"]], which appears to be setting this trope up as TheReveal. Turns out we never discover the Doctor's real name and he states that it was never important; the name he ''chose'' was The Doctor. [[MeaningfulName "The name you choose, it's like a promise you make."]]

to:

** Averted in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor "The Name of the Doctor"]], which appears to be setting this trope up as TheReveal. Turns out we never discover the Doctor's real name and he states that it was never important; the name he ''chose'' was The Doctor."The Doctor". [[MeaningfulName "The name you choose, it's like a promise you make."]]

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Webcomic/{{Kukuburi}}'', it's ''giving an entity a name'' that boosts their power.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 749

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report