Can I use the name of an unsympathetic minor character in a book?

Very strange question here.

I was reading a book, and there was a minor character named Essu, which I thought was a gorgeous name. Only problem is, the character is completely insane and eventually gets killed by her own mother as an act of mercy. ‘Unsympathetic’ isn’t really the right word here, but I couldn’t think of a better one. [name_m]Can[/name_m] I use the name in GP combos that I’ll probably never use? What about in combos that I might use? I think it could be a really cool way to connect back to my grandmother’s middle name of [name_f]Vanessa[/name_f] (if I explained it to her. . .). Thoughts?

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I think you can definitely use this name, especially since it’s only GP combos that you might never use. One small book association isn’t the end of the world – avoiding names of all unfortunate characters would be impossible. Essu is beautiful, and the honor for your grandmother makes it even better!


Absolutely, it’s already a minor character and it doesn’t sound like it’s a super popular book with a massive fandom or anything. Essu is super cute and it being an honor makes it even better



A character is just a character, at the end of the day. I think a lot of people discovered names such as [name_m]Draco[/name_m] through [name_m]Harry[/name_m] [name_m]Potter[/name_m]. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though [name_m]Draco[/name_m] was an unsavoury character, people turned the name into its own. I see no reason why Essu is any different - especially since they’re a minor character! What book is this?

Essu is adorable and I love the tie to [name_f]Vanessa[/name_f]. :slight_smile:


I think you could use it - I wouldn’t even say it had to be as a GP necessarily unless the book is super well known where you are, to the point where if you said ‘this is my baby Essu’, someone is likely to say ‘what, like [Essu from the book]?!’

Characters like people come in all varieties and one minor character called Essu shouldn’t rule out the name imo!


Totally fine to use it in GP combos. If I mainly associated the name with such a namesake it probably isn’t a name I would use for real children, but I think it’s no problem for you to consider it and try it paired with some names from your realistic list. As far as I know, Essu isn’t a well known character and I like the connection to your grandmother.

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The book is the Stormlight Archive, specifically the fourth one, [name_m]Rhythm[/name_m] of War, by [name_m]Brandon[/name_m] [name_m]Sanderson[/name_m], so I where I am lots of people have heard of it but not a lot have read it because those books are massive. The name is also only mentioned once. Thanks so much, all of you! I’m feeling much more confident now.

I’ve heard of [name_m]Brandon[/name_m] [name_m]Sanderson[/name_m] but I’ve never read the book or heard of the character Essu.

At some level, I do think it is a bit strange to use a name you only know about because of an unsympathetic association. (If it’s just for a name list on Nameberry, fine - but for a real child, I probably wouldn’t.) But at the same time, the vast majority of people out there will not have heard of the character, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a big deal. It just depends on how much the association bothers you.

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