Harry Potter: 10 Character Names You Didn't Realise Were Huge Clues

What's in a name? In the Harry Potter world, an awful lot!

Minerva McGonagall Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

What's in a name?

JK Rowling echoes writers such as Charles Dickens himself in enjoying offbeat names that actually carry weight and tell us about the character’s, well, character. Though some of her creations are named more conventionally - she named Aunt Petunia simply because it was a name ‘I always gave unpleasant characters in games of make believe I played with my sister, Di' - some were chosen very precisely.

In Harry Potter, both minor and major characters are given names that carry either a subtle – or not so subtle – hint of what is to come from them. Long after the publication of The Deathly Hallows, Rowling even gave an in-universe explanation for the frequency with which parents knew just exactly what to name their offspring: that some old-school wizard families visited ‘a Naming Seer’ who exchanged visions of the future for sacks of gold.

You can decide for yourself whether this is a fascinating detail that adds even more depth to her world or merely another instance of drawing too much light onto a quirk and taking away the mystery.

You won't find the most obvious names like Remus ‘Famous Wolf Wolf-Like’ Lupin here, but instead some of the less obvious but still as revealing examples from the Harry Potter works.

10. Rita Skeeter

Minerva McGonagall Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Everyone’s favourite magical journalist, Rita Skeeter caused trouble wherever she went. In the books, at least, this is due to her ability to turn into a beetle and spy on her subjects. Not only is there a pleasing sense of rhythm to her name, but ‘skeeter’ is a slang term for a mosquito in many parts of the English speaking world.

This, of course, reflects not only her insectoid transformations but also the fact that, like so many reporters, she buzzes around all over the place causing irritation.

Coincidentally, The Help was written after the conclusion of the Harry Potter series, but main character Eugenia dreams of being a journalist… and is nicknamed Skeeter.

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Reader, cinema lover, gamer, TV watcher. Teacher too. Years of caring too much (is that possible?) about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, WWE, Stephen King books, Game of Thrones and gaming will influence my writing.