|Paul Blackthorne as Harry Dresden in 'The Dresden Files' TV show
Most fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genre will immediately know why Dresden has made the list. One of my favourite book series is 'The Dresden Files', written by Jim Butcher (the new book 'Cold Days' is due out November 27!). 'The Dresden Files' also had a short run as a TV series adaptation on the SciFi channel in 2007. As a fan of the books, I can understand why it only lasted one season - there were too many differentiations from the books to win over the established readers, and those concessions meant the show lost a lot of the charm the books had that the show needed to win new fans.
'The Dresden Files' are about the adventures of Harry Dresden, a wizard living in modern day Chicago who makes a living as a private investigator, specialising in the paranormal. Because he does a lot of work with the police department, he is often referred to as Dresden rather than Harry. I also love the back story behind his full name. Dresden was born on Halloween (another Halloween link for this name!), and his father was a magician. Not so much a bonafide wizard, but a Las Vegas style stage magician, and he chose his sons names for other magicians that he admired. His full name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden - Harry for Harry Houdini, Blackstone for Harry Blackstone Sr. and Copperfield for David Copperfield.
The character of Dresden is a bit smart mouthed, very brave and daring, and often makes rash decisions due to his need to protect others, especially those he loves or those who cannot protect themselves. One of the most appealing things about him is that he is not an infallible character who runs around saving people easily. He sometimes gets it wrong - he makes mistakes and often gets beat up physically and mentally, but he keeps trying. He's an admirable and relatable character, and because of the associations with the books and the character Dresden is starting to get a lot more attention as a name.
Obviously I fall into the camp of people who think this is a cool name because of the Harry Dresden association, however not everyone feels this way because of the history of the most famous Dresden. The German city of Dresden was once an extremely beautiful city, sometimes called the Jewel box. However towards the end of World War 2 the city was bombed by Allied forces, which resulted in the destruction of the beautiful baroque and rococo city centre.
While it may be hard for some to get past this tragic connection, the city has been recovering, so it could be said that there is no reason why the name Dresden can't be reclaimed for more positive meanings now - such as for naming beautiful babies.
Dresden is a German name and means 'people of the riverside forest', a meaning that conjures images of serenity. While I think of it as a boys name because of Harry Dresden, it is a name that people are discussing as a possible boys or girls name. Most place names are fairly unisex, so I don't see why Dresden wouldn't be either. It's also a refreshing option for people wanting to honor a German heritage or connection.
What do you think? Maybe you are secretly considering the name and just aren't sure it's actually usable. I think it is, and could be a real winner.