The Quick 10: Pansy O'Hara and the Near-Names of 10 Famous Characters
We’ve talked about alternate universe book titles for the past couple of days, but sometimes it’s just the characters who have undergone name changes (and in some cases, sex changes). Here are 10 of them!
1. Scarlett O’Hara was almost named Pansy. In fact, the iconic character didn’t receive her iconic name until just before the story went to print.
2. In early drafts of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly was named Connie Gustafson. That’s an entirely different character, in my opinion. Side note: Truman Capote is thought to have based Holly on several different women, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Oona Chaplin, and Walter Matthau's wife, Carol Grace. His own mother was probably also an inspiration.
3. Bram Stoker’s notes on Dracula reveal that he had been referring to his famous vampire as “Count Wampyr.” During research, Stoker came across Vlad II of Wallachia, who went by the name Vlad Dracul. He was intrigued enough to change his character’s name.
4. Similarly, Arthur Conan Doyle made notes that indicated he had been considering the name “Sherringford” for Detective Holmes.
5. If that doesn’t throw you for enough of a loop, consider this: Holmes’ assistant was originally going to be called "Ormond Sacker." Arthur Conan Doyle decided the name was a bit too bizarre and changed it to the decidedly duller “John H. Watson.”
6. Batman’s alter ego was named for Mad Anthony Wayne because the creators were looking for sturdy, historical names that suggested gentry and entitlement. Before "Wayne" was determined, Bruce Adams and Bruce Hancock were considered. Bruce, by the way, came from Scottish patriot Robert Bruce.
7. Before “Nancy Drew” was decided upon, names kicked around for the plucky young heroine included Stella Strong, Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Helen Hale and Nan Drew.
8. Small Sam, Little Larry and Puny Pete were all in the running before Charles Dickens settled on “Tiny Tim” for the sickly sad sack in A Christmas Carol.
9. Little Orphan Annie was nearly Little Orphan Otto, until Harold Gray’s publisher at the newspaper syndicate suggested his character looked more female than male and told him to stick a skirt on it.
10. It may have been a much different story if George Lucas had gone with his original “Luke Starkiller” name. Although the Skywalker name prevailed, “Starkiller” has since popped up for other characters.