Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/20/22: Narnian Female Names
xxxx(Narnia XXXVII)

I don’t know what the heck¬† these Pre-Raphaelite women are doing, but they’re wearing the kind of flowing, early Medieval costumes Pauline Baynes loved to depict in her drawings of Narnia.

One of the weird things about the Narnia world (not just Narnia the country) is that very few Narnian-born human women are mentioned by name.¬† Of them, the nation of Calormen has three: Aravis, Lasaraleen, and Zardeenah. (Perhaps Zardeenah doesn’t count, because she is a goddess.) The males of Calormen are mentioned a lot more — perhaps two dozen names are thrown around, admittedly much of them battle casualties from the Hermit’s scrying pool in The Horse and His Boy.

From all the other Narnian countries, there’s only a handful: Queen Swanwhite and Lady Liln, who are mentioned in passing as figures of legend; Queen Prunaprismia, who may not count because she’s a Telmarine; and Gwendoline, a town girl mentioned in Prince Caspian, who is also a Telmarine, or of Telmarine descent. Unlike the three Calormene names, the “European” women’s names are all over the place. (Note: I did conjecture about Prunaprismia and other Telmarine women’s names here.)

In fact, Lewis left out the names of even the important women characters of the books. Ramandu’s daughter, The Lady of the Green Kirtle, and Caspian’s deceased mother and old nurse don’t get names; neither did Cor and Corin’s deceased mother, or the squinty, freckled potential bride of Caspian mentioned in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, who he met in a Galman tourney. The White Witch barely got hers: her name is mentioned on a document, but not spoken. Perhaps the lack of female names is a Medieval European trope, one old storytellers were fond of using. But we don’t know for sure.

If Lewis had chosen to give endemic names to female Narnians, we need look no further than the British Victorian Age, the era of his birth and childhood, when odd-sounding names for baby girls were as much in vogue as they are today. There were plenty of Margarets and Catherines, of course, but also Alcedies, Dulcibelles, and Quillianas. These distinctive names have yet to come back into style and were likely made up by the parents. I’d think they’d work well for Narnia. From these, I randomgenned a few more.

 

Narnian Names for Human Females

Abbavenna

Abolene

Adeliza

Adnah

Alcedie

Algitha

Allida

Almatina

Alwina

Amira

Anesta

Aquilisa

Athelinda

Avonnia

Azena

Azubah

Balmena

Barbarina

Belina

Beshuma

Bethalina

Blossie

Casiphia

Celestina

Charmah

Christabella

Clelia

Clytie

Crissada

Darlotte

Damaris

Delina

Dinorah

Dorabeth

Dulcibelle

Edaine

Edelga

Edenelle

Ederica

Esterlie

Ezela

Favante

Favella

Favoretta

Felette

Flamicia

Glenova

Glenthora

Hethecca

Ianthe

Imantha

Ismena

Itherica

Jerusha

Keturah

Lauretta

Leillette

Lendella

Lenidcy

Liena

Lissiana

Lyra

Maida

Maskely

Mathulda

Melita

Merelina

Mietje

Morlena

Nephelitta

Ozelah

Pathenia

Pedora

Pembula

Querina

Quillianna

Regencia

Remincy

Salva

Sanamirah

Savilla

Tamar

Telidwen

Theolinda

Thirza

Thyra

Trianda

Trintoffy

Tryphena

Ubertha

Venua

Vesina

Wrenny

Zelaide

Zelmira

Zerlina

 

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