Vignette Stonemoss Carnival Row
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All the ridiculous Carnival Row names, ranked by ridiculousness

Contributed by
Sep 6, 2019

The new Amazon series Carnival Row is not the first fantasy series to inject mind-bogglingly bizarre names into the public consciousness, nor will it be the last. But some of the names attached to the show’s various human and magical characters are so utterly unusual (yet, often, so blatantly obvious) that you can’t help but take notice.

While watching the series, which premiered Aug. 30 and was renewed for a second season even before that, we marveled at the beautiful production and costume design, and were taken by the story's metaphors... but we also couldn’t help but take note of all the names that just kept popping up. There are some doozies. So many doozies, in fact, that even J.K. Rowling, queen of eyebrow-raising magical names, might have something to say about it.

So we decided to rank the most ridiculous Carnival Row names by ridiculousness.

**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Carnival Row Season 1.**

Afissa Carnival Row

Afissa

This is a name I’d give to my Skyrim character or something relatively harmless from a fantasy character name generator. I’ll let it slide.
 

Tourmaline Carnival Row

Tourmaline Larou

A tourmaline is a really pretty and colorful gemstone. Tourmaline Larou, which sounds like a stage name I’d give a character growing up in early 20th-century New Orleans, is a beautiful name — maybe a bit too much, but appropriately so for this character.

Sergeant Dombey Carnival Row

Sergeant Dombey

Looks like a really messed up misspelling of “dummy,” which I like.

Constable Cuppins Carnival Row

Constable Cuppins

Alliteration is good. Honestly, this one’s almost cute, like an animated children's TV show character. I like it.

Runyan Millworthy Carnival Row

Runyan Millworthy

Runyan sounds like “bunion,” which is barely something I can abide by. A bit industrious-sounding. Ridiculous but overall harmless.

Carnival Row

Agreus Astrayon

Ridiculous, but not in a way that inspires anger in me. It’s a perfectly fantasy-esque name. I’m unsure if the use of the word “stray” is purposeful in his last name, but I’ll give this character the benefit of the doubt.

Sophie Longerbane Carnival Row

Sophie Longerbane

The word “bane” in her last name shoulda tipped us all off about Sophie’s intentions. Seriously.

Jonah Breakspear Carnival Row

Jonah Breakspear

The Breakspears certainly broke apart throughout the series...

I’m already so tired.

At least Jonah is a perfectly average name, though, which is why he’s the least offensive of the Breakspears.

Absalom Breakspear Carnival Row Jared Harris

Absalom Breakspear

Absalom is a Biblical name — he was one of King David’s sons who eventually rebelled against his father and was later killed...

So... maybe this name was a sort of warning about where this character’s arc would take him, which is clever... but Breakspear is still ridiculous.

Spurnrose siblings Carnival Row

Imogen Spurnrose & Ezra Spurnrose

Seriously, as harmless as some of the human names seem to be, there’s so much hidden meaning in all their last names that it makes me want to throw (very heavy) SAT vocabulary books at them.

“Spurn” means “reject with disdain or contempt.” And what did Imogen and Ezra do when their new neighbor moved in? That’s right.

They’re tied, though, because their first names are equally reasonable.

Piety Breakspear Carnival Row

Piety Breakspear

Y’all know what “piety” means, right? More often than not, the connotation of a “pious” person is inherently negative, referring to one so unyielding in their beliefs that they’re impossible to reason with. Very unpleasant.

This Piety certainly, uh, weaponized her beliefs.

Nigel Winetrout Carnival Row

Nigel Winetrout

I can’t.

Carnival Row Orlando Bloom

Rycroft Philostrate

I’d also go by “Philo” if my name were Rycroft Philostrate. Rycroft isn’t that bad, but mixing it with that last name...

Given that Philo was abandoned at an early age and grew up in an orphanage, I’d like to know if he was given this name by some cruel caretaker who hated children or if he chose it in order to make himself feel important. Philostrate sounds equally important and douchey. 

And while I can’t imagine Shakespeare exists in the world of Carnival Row, it’s worth noting that Philostrate is one of the Bard’s characters.

Vignette Stonemoss Carnival Row

Vignette Stonemoss

Way too on the nose. Just... too much.

This guarded, literal manic pixie dream girl is named after a picture with darkened edges that slowly lightens toward the center. And Stonemoss implies something that is both hard and soft in equal measure. 

Darkasher take me now.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.

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