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We often underestimate just how important character names are in fiction, because a good character name can serve more than just a single purpose: a well-named character can imbue the world of your movie with added originality. Would Tarantino’s movies be as interesting if he’d named Vincent Vega “Bill Jones,” for example? Nope, and that’s because – as a writer – he understands how important it is to grant characters with names that feel natural to their personalities, but remain memorable in the minds of audiences. It can be a tricky business.

When you think of some of your favourite movie characters of all-time, you’ll mostly likely find that their names are just as iconic as the movies that inhabit them. As movie-goers, though, we tend to romanticism names all out of proportion, to the point in which they start to lose all meaning – as a result, it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend that some fictional characters famous for their unique names started life with different names entirely. Here are 10 examples, all of which feature iconic movie characters who were nearly given some really awful names.

Of course, had they actually been called these names, we would just accepted them and never questioned it, which is both intriguing and… well, kind of bizarre, when you think about it.

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This article was first posted on July 25, 2013