Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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On Names and things…

My name search was rather difficult. A lot of people had suggestions, but few of them fit. My first intention was to pick a genre name, but it wasn't that easy to find a name appropriate to her temperament; many genre-inspired names are for warriors or sexualized characters, neither of which really fit. Worse, with the sheer amount of suggestions I was getting, I realized that whatever name I did choose would engender criticism from somebody. And the Elvish thing, while a nice idea, just wasn't working.

The name I ended up with, however, was not a suggestion. I started going through my movie collection looking for ideas. It was kind of slow going for the reasons mentioned above; it must have looked strange, me standing in front of my Blu-rays, HD-DVDs and DVDs, looking at each film and chanting off the female dramatis personae for each, but it was fruitful. Toward the end of this process, I came across a name that clicked for me on several levels. It's not obscure, but it's uncommon.

Her name is VARINIA, after Jean Simmons' character in Spartacus. Varinia was the invention of novelist Howard Fast, and she appears as a character in the 1960 film as well as the 2004 television remake (which I haven't seen, but it has a really good score by Randy Miller), but apparently does not appear in the Roman gore 'n' sex cable TV series that's on right now.

Why does this work? Well, Varinia (at least as depicted in Kubrick's film) is a woman with quiet dignity and wisdom. She is able to confound the powermad Marcus Licinius Crassus (Sir Laurence Olivier) with her simple decency. She can be reserved but also very affectionate.

Also, with the overkill included in the Varèse Sarabande box set of Alex North's score , she now has a two-disc set of covers of her theme music.
Tags: alex north, film music, stanley kubrick, varinia

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