|Liliandil, played by Aussie actress Laura Brent
In 'The Chronicles of Narnia' series, there appears a character in the books with no name. She is known simply as Ramandu's daughter - Ramandu being a star - and although her role is small, it is also quite important. In 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' she is the guardian of her father's island, the one with Aslan's table upon which the seven swords must be lain as part of Caspians' quest. She provides the necessary information to enable Caspian to complete his task. We then later learn in 'The Silver Chair' that Caspian married Ramandu's daughter and she bore him the son Rillian. Yet C.S Lewis left her nameless.
That changed in 2010 when the movie 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' was released. For this movie she was given a name by Douglas Gresham, executive producer on the movie and stepson of C.S Lewis. And that name was Liliandil.
Pronounced as lil-ee-AHN-dell in the movie, it's hard to find evidence of the precise thought process behind the creation of this name. For all we know C.S Lewis himself made it up when he was telling a young Douglas bedtime stories. But overall the response to the choice has been fairly positive from fans, who find it to be well suited to the character. Here are a few theories as to why this name works so well for Ramandu's daughter:
- It's mysterious and feminine sounding;
- and also evocatively ethereal (she is a half star, after all);
- the name is reminiscent of the imagery of the sea of lilies that must be sailed though to reach Aslan's land in 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'; and
- it has similar sounds to Rilian, her son's name.
As far as "invented" names go, this is quite a pretty one. It's also not unimaginable to see this (or alternative spelling Lilliandil) on a little girl, mainly because it just feels like an elaboration of Lily or Lilian. Both of which could be used as nicknames, or even Dell or Della for that matter. It has a soft, romantic feeling to it, and it would be a nice way to have a Narnian connection without using one of the more well recognised names.
What do you think - is Liliandil a hit or a miss?