8 of Your Favorite Characters and Their Rough Draft Names

Remember how your English teacher taught you to write a rough draft before the final paper was due? (And remember how you never did because you always waited until the last minute?) Well, the professionals write rough drafts too. In fact, some of your favorite literary characters got name changes at the very last minute.

Charlotte of Charlotte’s Web and Hermione of Harry Potter initially had different last names. And even iconic names like Nancy Drew and Tiny Tim went through several versions in the draft stage. Click through this collection to find out their “rough draft” names.

  • Your Favorite Literary Characters Had Rough Draft Names 1 of 9
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  • Charlotte 2 of 9
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    The spider from Charlotte's Web was originally named after the Grey Cross Spider, Charlotte Epeira. But then White realized the spider he was thinking of was actually a barn spider, or Araneus cavaticus, so he changed our heroine to "Charlotte A. Cavatica." It's a small change, but to those of us bawling at the end of the book — it matters.

  • Peter, Susan, Edmund, & Lucy 3 of 9
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    It's hard to think of them as anything but Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. But originally, the Pevensie children who discovered the wardrobe leading to Narnia were called Ann, Martin, Rose, and Peter — who was the youngest.

    The Daughters of Eve were named Ann and Rose? That ain't right.

  • Gandalf 4 of 9
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    In penciled notes on early drafts of The Hobbit, Tolkien noted that "Gandalf" was the name of the chief dwarf and "Bladorthin" was the wizard. He apparently decided to revise the names, and Bladorthin ended up being the name of a dead king who is mentioned just once in all of Tolkien's writings, while Gandalf became the great wizard of Middle Earth.

    Would I be just as willing to dress up as Bladorthin the Grey for Halloween? I guess we'll never know.

    Available from Amazon for $14.49

  • Hermione 5 of 9
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    Hermione Granger was originally named Hermione Puckle, but J.K. Rowling thought "Puckle" didn't suit her. She came up with the more fitting name, "Granger," and the rest is wizarding history.

  • Nancy Drew 6 of 9
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    Carolyn Keene couldn't make up her mind about what to name the Hardy Boys' female counterpart. Before Nancy was Nancy, she was almost Stella Strong, Diana Drew, Diana Dare, Nan Nelson, Helen Hale, and Nan Drew. Throw out your baby-naming books, folks. Carolyn Keene has done the work for you. 

    Available from Amazon for $6.08

  • Tiny Tim 7 of 9
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    Charles Dickens knew he wanted a sick little guy to serve as a foil for Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. But he ran through the names "Small Sam," "Little Larry," and "Puny Pete" before he decided to go with "Tiny Tim" as the name of Bob Cratchitt's young son.

    "God bless us, every one!" I'm not sure I could take it seriously coming from Puny Pete.

    Available from Amazon for $7.19

  • Scarlett O’Hara 8 of 9
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    Scarlet O'Hara was named Pansy in early drafts of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. "Frankly my dear [PANSY], I don't give a damn." Meh.

    Available from Amazon for $13.89

  • Sherlock 9 of 9
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    Arthur Conan Doyle made notes that indicated he'd been considering the name "Sherringford" for the detective in his iconic series. THAT WOULD HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING! Not the least of which, (SPOILER), Irene Adler's password.

    Sherringford instead of Sherlock? Not bloody likely.

    Available from Amazon for $10.75

Check out Mental Floss for more literary characters that were almost named something else!

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