Names To Run Away From Really Fast
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General Information

Often antagonists (and some protagonists) are of the "brown pants"1 variety. By this I mean they are physically intimidating, and psychologically terrifying, but this trope really kicks in when even the character's name is intimidating. Of course, this is ripe for subversion but the following list is of names of antagonists (and some protagonists) that you absolutely do not want to mess with.

This can also apply to places such as the "Mouth of the Beast", even if only temporarily (such as the many parts of trench systems in the Great War that were given names like "Hellfire Alley" or "Suicide Corner"). Dark sarcasm may also apply (particularly where the military are involved), with especially unpleasant spots being awarded names like "Paradise Valley". Bonus hilarity may apply if some kind of linguistic or cultural translation is needed to explain why you didn't want to go there ("We're in the Village of What????"), especially if a superficial translation makes it sound quite agreeable ("Paradise valley? Sounds nice!")2.


Orsus Zaktovir, The Butcher of Khardov (Warmachine) - in fact, anyone called The Butcher qualifies.
Fenris (Warmachine) - although the original is a lot scarier.
The Kurgan (Highlander)
Vaas Montenegro (Far Cry 3)
The Lady of Pain (Planescape)
Lolth (Legend of Drizzt)
The Leanansidhe (Dresden Files)
Azathoth (Cthulhu Mythos)
Grom Hellscream (Warcraft)
The Devil's Brood (The English Royal house of Anjou/Plantagenet3 - based on the Black Legend of Anjou)
The Butcher


TV Tropes Wiki's take

Game and Story Use

  • Yes, it's something of a cliché to give your BBEG an intimidating name, but it's a cliché that works.
    • And if you give him a doofy name, you're asking the players not to take him seriously.
    • Just try to make the character live up to the name.
    • Also, as some of the example names indicate, it can take a translation or some cultural context before you understand that the name indicates someone scary.
  • Of course, some of these names could be given tongue-in-cheek: see, for example, the subversive suggestions as to how someone might earn the name "The Butcher" - or the idea that "The Toecutter" might have been a chiropodist before he joined the outlaw biker gang.
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