Sunday, January 6, 2013

Evanora

Rachel Weiss gets her evil on!

If you've been to the movies in the past couple of weeks (and if you haven't, I highly recommend 'Wreck It Ralph'!) you've probably seen the trailer for the latest Wizard of Oz movie, 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'. The movie is due out in March and looks like it is going to be a visually sumptuous event. The fabulous Sam Raimi directs, James Franco stars as Oz, and the story is a prequel of sorts - the background story for Oz before Dorothy Gale lands on the scene.

All the hype aside, one of the things that caught my attention was the three enchantresses of the movie. We all know Glinda, this time around played by Michelle Williams, who we recognise as the good witch of the South. However traditionally Glinda was the only witch named by the author Frank L Baum (I think), meaning that people creating adaptations have been able to name the other witches as they please. And this time around the writers have gone with Theodora (played by Mila Kunis) and Evanora (Rachel Weiss). Some may be a little disappointed that they are not, well, "glitzier" names, but I think they both strike a good balance between fanciful and classical. After all, the original story was first published in 1900.

Theodora is an existing name meaning 'gift of god'. It's probably my favourite of the many "Dora" names, and Bewitching Names did a great profile of it over a year ago when she first heard the movie was going to be made.

But it was Evanora that I found the more interesting of the two, as I have never seen or heard it before. For this reason, it already makes the character more mysterious than the others. As the trailer tries to make it ambiguous as to whether these two will ultimately be good or bad witches, a bit of mystery is a good thing. I've heard though that Evanora ultimately becomes the Wicked Witch of the East, which makes me think that the "Ev" start to her name is a hint at the evil that is to come from this character.

We could make a few guesses at where Evanora came from, and what it means. My main thoughts are:

  • A combination of Eva and Nora (well, duh) producing a possible meaning of 'light and life'
  • A combination of Evan and Nora, producing a possible meaning of 'the lord is gracious with life'
  • Ev for evil combined with Annora, producing a meaning of 'evil honour'

I have to say that the third is my favourite explanation for a witch. It's also a lot subtler than the names given to the wicked witches in 'The Wiz' - Evamene and Evilene. If I were ever to name a child Evanora though, I'd go with one of the first two explanations!

Unfortunately I don't think that being associated with witches is going to help either Theodora's or Evanora's popularity, which is a shame as they are both lovely and rarely used names. It looks like it's going to be a fantastic movie though - both Rachel Weiss and Mila Kunis are usually fantastic, as are James Franco and Michelle Williams. Here's hoping it's as good as the trailer makes it look!


3 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see this. Evanora is very pretty. I wonder how long it will take before I see one on a birth announcement.

    Sarah

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  2. I love both names and actually have an aunt and a cousin who are named Evanora. So I for one, am excited to see this name used in a movie! :)

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    1. I'm guessing they probably are too :)

      Nice to hear that it's a super rare gem that the writers have uncovered, rather than something they invented. It's such a beautiful name.

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