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Names The Same / Literature

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  • Place example: Katherine Patterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia asserts she "just made up" the name of the kids' imaginary world, but she also acknowledges she did read C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia growing up and thinks maybe she was subconsciously thinking of the island from the books, Terebinthia, whose name was quite consciously based by Lewis on the biblical term terebinth.
  • The children's book Blubber stars a girl named Jill Brenner. Jill Brenner is also the name of the protagonist of Nothing Human, in which she's targeted by a psychopath who tortures and mutilates his victims as an offering to a Mayan god. Oh, and her boyfriend committed suicide just before the book's beginning.
  • Stephen King's Desperation has a protagonist named Peter Jackson, similar to that one director of Meet the Feebles, Bad Taste, Braindead and a few more obscure films. Desperation also has many same named characters as those in Richard Bachman's The Regulators, but of course there is more to that than one might think...
    • Peter Jackson is also the name of a cigarette company.
    • And a character in Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain.
  • Michael Crichton named the retired L.A. police captain / mentor figure from his novel Rising Sun John Connor. Given the number of cyborgs Skynet dispatched to the Los Angeles of that era, and their M.O. of searching for their targets in the phone book, a meeting would have been inevitable.
  • There is a popular series of urban fantasy novels by Patricia Briggs whose protagonist is named Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson. There is another slightly less well-known but still successful series of urban fantasy novels by Toni Andrews whose protagonist is named Mercedes "Mercy" Hollings, and every novel in Andrews's series features the word "Mercy" as part of the title.
  • Aside from involving interstellar travel, Andre Norton's Star Born and George Zebrowski's Omega Point Trilogy have only one thing in common: in each, one of the heroes is named Raf Kurbi.
  • Harry Potter
    • J. K. Rowling confirmed in an interview that, yes, she named Filch's cat Mrs. Norris after the Mrs. Norris from Mansfield Park. This would seem to require in-universe that Filch is a Jane Austen fan...
    • Probably unintentional, but Hufflepuff Zacharias Smith should not be confused with a more lovable dirty coward, who both older and a Doctor. Doctor Zachary Smith.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures feature a character named Trix MacMillan. Sound familiar? It's almost exactly the same as the real name of Trillian from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Tricia McMillan. It's especially interesting as both series are British scifi and somewhere on the sillier side of the Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness. As Trix MacMillan is merely an alias, this may in fact be a case of Character Name Alias, although this is never brought up by anybody... Or it could be a Shout-Out, as Douglas Adams was a script editor and writer for Doctor Who.
  • Little Monsters. The short-lived franchise featuring a bunch of underaged miscreants created by Danger Mouse creator Tony Garth should not be mistaken for a franchise that features literal monsters that's created by long-time kids books author Mercer Mayer. The former was only popular in the UK and parts of Europe while the latter was only popular in North America though.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier—a child beauty queen that BSC meets in Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn, and later a classmate at SMS.
    • Lampshaded in Here Come the Bridesmaids! where the narrator acknowledges that both the BSC and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan DeWitt, and no, they're not related.
  • This is the basis for the book The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. From Amazon: "In 2000, Wes Moore had recently been named a Rhodes Scholar in his final year of college at Johns Hopkins University when he read a newspaper article about another Wes Moore who was on his way to prison. It turned out that the two of them had much in common, both young black men raised in inner-city neighborhoods by single mothers. Stunned by the similarities in their names and backgrounds and the differences in their ultimate fates, the author eventually contacted the other Wes Moore and began a long relationship."
  • John Steakley's novels Armor and Vampires both feature characters named Felix and Jack Crow. Vampire$ features the caveat "This Jack Crow is no other Jack Crow; this Felix is no other Felix" on the copyright page.
  • Madeline L'Engle's book A Wrinkle in Time uses the name Megatron...several years before the G1 cartoon came out.
  • In Wuthering Heights, one character mentions being amused by another, less educated character's attempts to "read Chevy Chase". A Shout-Out to a 1980s comedian would be rather out-of-place in Wuthering Heights even if it weren't written ninety-six years before he was born, but it turns out that it's a reference to The Ballad of Chevy Chase.
  • The older-children's book Follow My Leader is about a boy who becomes blind and learns how to work with a seeing-eye dog. The boy's name? Jimmy Carter. (The book was published decades before James Earl Carter became President of the United States.)
  • Don't confuse the respectable Twilight, a Holocaust novel by Elie Wiesel, with the not-so-respectable Twilight, a book about vampires who for some reason sparkle.
  • The Dr. Seuss book Scrambled Eggs Super featured a fictional species of bird called a Grinch.
  • Both Harry Turtledove and Newt Gingrich have written (or co-authored) an Alternate History novel titled Days of Infamy about Japan pursuing a different path after Pearl Harbor.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
  • Troy Denning has written two characters with the name of Saba. The first was a human in one of his Dark Sun books who dies as a bit character. He reused the name in his Star Wars novels, as a lizard girl who has become an important secondary character.
  • There's a book called Rescuing Seneca Crane by Susan Ruholt, centered around a character who is completely different in every way from Seneca Crane of The Hunger Games.
    • For one, Ruholt's Seneca Crane probably doesn't have The Beard.
  • The number of people who have released autobiographies titled My Story is far too numerous to list on this wiki.
  • "Torak" is both the prehistoric protagonist of fantasy book series The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness and the God of Evil in fantasy book series The Belgariad.
    • The former Torak has a wolf named "Wolf" as a companion. The latter has a sorcerer named Belgarath, who goes by the nickname "Wolf" in the first book, as a nemesis.
  • One of the protagonists of John Bellairs' novel The Face In The Frost is a wizard named Prospero. When he is introduced, the narration immediately notes "and not the one you're thinking of."
  • US pop starlet Jessica Simpson shares her name with a girl who gets kidnapped in Laurie R. King's Sherlock Holmes novel The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
  • US singer-songwriter Natalie Cole shares a name with a character in WJ Burley's DS Wycliffe novel, Wycliffe in Paul's Court.
  • US science fiction writer and mathematician Rudy Rucker served an extremely brief stint in jail, during which time he shared a cell with an unrelated prisoner called Other Rucker.
  • In Battle Royale, two students in Shuya's class have the family name of Nakagawa: Noriko, his companion and eventual love interest; and Yuka, one of Yukie Utsumi's friends. Also, in the film adaptation, one student, Yukiko Kitano, shares her family name with the teacher Kitano (portrayed by Takeshi Kitano).
  • Patricia Wentworth's detective novel, Miss Silver Intervenes, features a character called Mary Bell, who shares a name with a British convicted killer, and an anime character who is the protagonist of Floral Magician Mary Bell.
  • Around 500 BCE, a Chinese general called Sun Zi (pronounced "Soon Zih"; known in the West as Sun Tzu via the Cantonese reading of his name) famously wrote a treatise on military strategy known as The Art of War, which has found much use in fields other than war. 2,000 years later, an Italian diplomat, civil servant, and militia officer by the name of Niccolò Machiavelli wrote a treatise on military strategy, which he called...The Art of War. He also wrote this other book about how to maintain power as an absolute monarch that has found much use in fields other than politics. One wonders...
    • Though this is largely a result of English translation laziness. Sun Tzu's "Art of War" is actually "Sun Tzu's Methods of War" in Chinese, while Machiavelli's is "On the Art of War" in Italian. This trope is entirely avoided in numerous other languages, which kept at least one of the titles directly translated.
  • An immensely powerful and immensely difficult to kill necromancer named Heinrich Kemmler figures strongly in the backstory of The Dresden Files. He shares a name with a similarly dangerous and hard-to-kill necromancer named Heinrich Kemmler from Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
  • The Tattler is the name of a tabloid... In both Red Dragon and in They Thirst. Both were horror novels released in 1981, by different authors.
  • In Paul Robinson's Instrument of God, police catch a rapist named Cesar Chavez. Lampshaded when he mentions he is not the man who helped migrant farm workers.
  • Both Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke wrote short stories called "Nightfall".
  • In the Light Novel L: change the WorLd, L rescues a little boy named Near, who is the Sole Survivor of a horrific plague unleashed upon his village back in Thailand by a Mad Scientist. There is another character named Near in the Death Note series proper, but it doesn't seem that those two characters are in any way related.
  • "Miss Honey" is the name of a schoolteacher, but is she a bear who teaches in Busytown, or a human who teaches in Englandnote ?
  • Larry Niven's Known Space series includes a short story named "Flatlander" and an unrelated novel also named Flatlander. (In-universe, "flatlander" is the nickname for people born on a particular planet; the protagonist of the novel is a flatlander, while the short story is about a character from another planet meeting and befriending a flatlander.)
  • The Eldar are either those elves who journeyed West to the Undying Lands of Valinor, or a race of Space Elves in a galaxy plunged in eternal war.
  • Balerion: a huge, fierce black dragon of the first Targaryen kings or a Psychopathic Manchild king outwitted by Klapaucius
  • Both His Dark Materials and Harry Potter have a Professor Trelawney.
  • Both the Aeon 14 novel franchise and The Jessica Keller Chronicles feature a major character by the name of Jessica Keller. The former, written by M.D. Cooper, is a Space Police officer-turned-covert operative, a borderline nymphomaniac, and bright purple. The latter is a more typical Military Science Fiction fleet commander heroine.
  • Little Bear is either an actual little bear or an 18th-century Iroquois warrior.
  • The Story of Danny Dunn by Bryce Courtenay and the Danny Dunn and the... series by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams are not about the same person.


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