Game: How do names affect our perception of characters?

Hello friends,

I have a serious post in the works, but it’s not coming as quick as I’d like. So while that’s not happening i thought I’d do a little experiment. Sometimes characters have a especially villainous or heroic name. Other times they’re more subtle. And I was wondering just how much effect they have on perception of character.

Speaking personally, I tend to carry on traits between characters with the same name. I think I even start imagining some similarities that aren’t really there. And when they are similar, well, Marcus shall always mean soldier and protector in my mind, because of several characters with those traits.

Anyway I wanted to see what you all thought of the names I have in Lady of Courage. There are a couple of villains in the book and there are a few especially noble people including the one who ends up marrying Natalia, my heroine.

So I’ll give you a list and in the comment you can tell me who you think the villains are and who the hero is. Feel free to add any other comments about them if you like.

Celino Acqui                  Justini Rizzetti             Demetrio Pavone

Taddio Orberti               Lorenzo Falco                    Luca Mondo

Orsini Rizzetti                    Ivano Naldi                Rodrigo Baldini 

Also there is a female antagonist. Guess who that is?

Eloisa Muertas                Rhesa Masi                  Valentina Orberti

Rubina Falco                Cloe Neroni                   Bettina Baldini

And in case you hadn’t noticed the names have an Italian feel to them. But you had noticed because you’re all smart people and I made it kind of obvious. And the women do not change their last names when they marry, so if people have the same last name don’t assume they’re husband and wife.

I’m looking forward to telling you bits and pieces about these people in the future. Some more than others, because of secrets and the fact that some are more significant than others. To keep those secrets for now, I’m not going to tell you what the right answers are. But I will give you all points for correct guesses of any sort and announce them at the end of the month. And I’ll add one extra question; who do you think dies?


  1. Interesting . . . My guesses are as follows:
    Hero: Either Demetrio or Luca
    Villains: Ivano and Rodrigo
    Female Villain: Valentina.
    I'm not sure if these guesses are more actual guesses or more "Which names do I think sound most villainous" but whatever.

  2. Well, there isn't anything more to guess on than the sound of the names really. If I'd included ages or pictures, it would be a different matter.

  3. Villians: Rodrigo Baldin, Taddio Orberti
    Nobles: Celino Acqui, Lorenzo Falco
    Hero: Justini Rizzetti
    Female Antagonist: Eloisa Muertas

  4. Interesting. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Hmm, fun!

    Villains: Rodrigo Baldini or Orsini Rizzetti
    Heroes: Justini Rizzetti or Demetrio Pavone or Ivano Naldi
    Female antagonist: Rhesa Masi

  6. Thanks for that, Hope.

    We've now got someone voted as a hero and a villain. Also it looks as if Rodrigo really was a bad name to give the hero. (Just kidding, he isn't the hero)

  7. Okay this is AWESOME. I totally agree that names kind of can have a specific feel to them. Is "Orsini Rizzetti" a villain!?? I feel like it could be a villainous name.😜

    Oh oh and the hardest part is when you name a villain and then read some other published book and they have a GOOD person with your villain's name!!! I FIND THAT SO HARD haha. I always end up hating the person on accident. XD

  8. Heroes: Demetrio Pavone, Taddio Orberti, Lorenzo Falco
    Villains: Luca Mondo, Justini Rizzeti, Orsini Rizzetti, Ivano Naldi, Rodrigo Baldini
    Celino Acqui might go either way.
    Given the etymology, I'm guessing Eloisa Muertes is the villaness.

  9. Well, I'm not answering that right now. But I did choose it because Orsini was the name of a prominent family is some Italian city. I think it was Venice.

    And another thing that can be SUPER annoying is if the give a despicable villain a name you really love.

  10. Ooh, everyone is getting voted. It seems that a lot of names aren't conclusive. I must be doing something right.

  11. Okay, with the guys names, any of them could be anything. They are all neat sounding names, and will gain meaning in accord with how their bearer acts; nobly of evil-ly. 😉

    With the girls, Eloisa Muertas jumps out at me, because "muertas" means death/killing, and that sounds PRETTY villainous0ish to me. 😉

  12. I admit I wasn't actually trying to give people villain or hero names to start with. So it's good to know someone thinks they could all go either way.
    And I had half forgotten Eloisa had that meaning behind her name, but I did know one, so yeah..

  13. Hero: Rodrigo Baldini
    Villain: Justini Rizzetti
    Female Antagonist: Valentina Orberti

  14. Well that's interesting. No one has suggested Rodrigo could be a hero before.

  15. Ooo, this looks fun! I'll give it a shot (even if I'm a little late for that) …

    Villains: Lorenzo Falco, Rodrigo Baldini, Orsini Rizzetti
    Hero: Celino Acqui
    Female Antagonist: Valentina Orberti

    ~ Savannah

  16. I think this would be easier with names we hear everyday and have some preconceived idea of who belongs to what name, but I'm going to go ahead and play along. I think Justini is the hero and Demetrio is the villain. The female antagonist is Rubino.

  17. Heroes: Justini, Lorenzo, Luca, Ivano, Rodrigo
    Villains:Celino, Taddio, Demetrio, Orsini
    Villainess: Cloe

  18. It probably would be easier, but I don't write books with everyday names.

  19. Oooo, interesting!

    Hero: Lorenzo Falco
    Villain: Demetrio Pavone
    Sassy brother: Luca Mondo
    Know-it-all smart boy: Ivano Naldi
    The one who doesn't get the girl: Celino Acqui
    The heroine: Rubina Falco
    The Villainess: Valentina Orberti
    The innocent who will die: Cloe Neroni
    The mean/spoiled chick: Bettina Baldini
    The angel one: Eloisa Muertas

  20. Thanks for all that feedback. I think that automatically gives you more points. And you did get some right.

    The heroine however is Natalia and she wasn't on the list.

  21. My mum has informed me that this was her comment.

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