What is with this name? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an awesome name…but I find so many paranormal romance authors seem to use it? Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with this choice, it’s just an observation that I, as a reader, have made.
My intense research…
…has turned up some fascinating results. Lucien, and its variant, Lucian, actually means ‘light’. An interesting name choice for characters you wouldn’t typically associate with light! In fact, the Lucien of Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series is possessed by the demon of Death and is charged with escorting souls to the afterlife, be it heaven or hell. It doesn’t seem a fitting name…until you witness the happiness he injects into Anya, the Goddess of Anarchy’s life. He brightens the darkness that has become her existence, driving back the pain of her past.
Similarly, the Lucian of Mallory Crowe’s Stealing Fire brings light into Ella’s life in the form of their adorable daughter.
Perhaps this name is used as a way of demonstrating the potential these characters possess? Its use teaches us to not simply judge a being – be they a demon or myotis (which I’m still automatically pronouncing as myxomatosis) – by their outward appearance. Perhaps, in fact, it teaches us to look within and at the person beneath a sometimes frightening exterior. Everyone has the potential to bring love, light and happiness into the life of someone else and perhaps paranormal romance authors use names such as Lucien/Lucian as a way of subtly demonstrating this.
In my third year of university, I took a fascinating class called The Language of Names and ever since then, I’ve harbored a deep interest in the names authors choose for their characters. Names are incredibly powerful things. They can empower someone, an example being Voldemort from the Harry Potter series. Voldemort, as a teen, resented having a muggle father and hated being constantly reminded of this fact by the surname he’d inherited. By renaming and essentially rebranding himself, he discarded the claim he felt his father had over him and he felt empowered by this. On the flip side, names, or rather a lack of one, can be used to devalue a person. Let’s look at the case of Curly’s wife in Of Mice and Men (phwoo, going back to GCSE English here). The reader never actually finds out her name. She’s simply referred to as ‘Curly’s wife’. She isn’t viewed as a person in and of herself. She’s property, more specifically Curly’s property and as a result is disempowered.
Perhaps I’m onto something here. Orrrrr…more than likely, I drank too much wine over lunch and have really been overthinking this.
Yeah. Hope everyone’s had a great weekend! *retreats into the shadows where I should stay with my theories*