14 Unexpected Facts About Our Favorite Characters That Might Make Us Say, “Is That Really True?”

There are characters in movies and literature that are perhaps known to everyone. But still, there are facts about them that we somehow manage to miss out on. All because we tend to remember some details incorrectly, while other details get transformed in the process of creating a screen version. As a result, the age of the characters, the meaning of their names, and other things turn into an amusing discovery.

We at Bright Side decided to figure out what details about our favorite characters we have never been aware of.

Lord Voldemort is not as young as he seems to be.

Despite his seeming youth, the famous villain Lord Voldemort was 71 by the end of the story. Perhaps the wizard has preserved so well because he had disembodied after his fight with Lily Potter. Parts of his soul were kept in the Horcruxes until the magician returned to the mortal world 13 years later.

The name Gandalf has a translation.

The wizard’s real name was Olórin. When he arrived in Middle-earth, he became Gandalf. Tolkien took this word from the ancient Scandinavian language. It consists of 2 parts: gandr and alfr. It can be translated as staff-elf.

Snow White left her home at the age of 7.

Officially, Disney’s Snow White is the youngest princess. She is only 14 years old. In the fairy-tale version, she was 7 when she had to run away from her home because of her evil stepmother. 10 years later, the Queen finds out that the girl is alive. This means that Snow White is supposed to be shown as a very young girl in the screen version.

Initially, Red Riding Hood’s headwear was a different color.

The legends and fairytales about Little Red Riding Hood were there before the appearance of Charles Perrault’s version. In those versions, she was also wearing a hat or a hood. In those times, a grown-up girl who was ready for marriage was supposed to cover her hair, which meant she wasn’t a little girl any longer. In some legends, this part of her outfit was a golden color.

A writer created the name “Wendy.”

It seems James Barrie came up with a new female name when he was writing Peter Pan. It was his childhood friend, Margaret Henley, who would slightly mispronounce words at a young age, who inspired him to create this name. After the release of the play and the book, parents started to use “Wendy” as a first name for their daughters.

Dracula wasn’t afraid of the light.

It is filmmakers who attributed the fear of light to this gloomy character. In his novel, Bram Stoker didn’t mention that the sun was fatal for vampires. In the original version, Dracula would simply lose a part of his magic power during daylight hours. That’s why he preferred to lead a night-owl lifestyle — it was more convenient.

No one denounced Mulan.

In the original legend, Mulan was never denounced by her comrades. She had successfully been serving in the army for 12 years and only after leaving the service did she invite her friends to her home, where she appeared in her true look.

The name Aslan translates to “lion.”

The names of some of the characters from Clive Lewis’ series of books called The Chronicles of Narnia have a meaning. Thus, the main protagonist Aslan Lion was named by adding Lion to the Turkish word Aslan, which also means “lion.”

Pocahontas wasn’t in love with John Smith.

The real Pocahontas and John Smith were bonded by friendship. There was no way this romance could develop because she was about 12 years old at the time of their meeting. It’s likely that she had an utterly different name. Pocahontas sounds more like a family nickname, which translates as “Little Playful One.” Unfortunately, her real name is unknown, but when she married Englishman, John Rolfe, she took the name Rebecca.

The Three Musketeers really existed and they were all relatives.

The characters of the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas had real prototypes. Moreover, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis were relatives in real life. Athos was written off Armand de Sillègue d’Athos and was related to the Musketeers’ captain, De Tréville.

The prototype for Aramis had the name Henri d’Aramitz. He was also Armand’s distant relative because De Tréville was his cousin. The name Porthos was Isaac de Portau. Isaac and Henri became relatives because of a marriage between their families. It’s likely that Dumas wanted to get rid of this complicated pile of relative connections and simplified it by making them all friends.

Loki is Hela’s father, not her brother.

Many people are familiar with the adventures of this cunning god thanks to the movies from the Marvel Universe. But the biography of the Scandinavian sagas’ character differs a lot from the story of the screen character. Thus, Hela, who became his elder sister in Marvel’s plot, was actually the god’s daughter. Moreover, Loki managed to become a mother in some legends — he gave life to Sleipnir, Odin’s horse.

The name “Desdemona” translates as “unfortunate.”

The famous play by William Shakespeare, Othello, was based on the work of the Italian author Giraldi Cinthio. In the original source, all the characters besides Desdemona didn’t have names. The name of the main female character was translated as “ill-fated” or “unfortunate” from Greek. Perhaps it reflected how her husband perceived this poor young lady.

Winnie-the-Pooh could’ve been a girl.

The book version of the famous teddy bear had every chance at being a girl. The thing is, its stuffed prototype was named by the story’s author’s son, Alan Milne, after Winnie, a female black bear (whose real name was Winnipeg) that the boy saw at the London Zoo. However, in the literature version, the author calls the bear “he” which eliminates any questions about his gender.

Chewbacca is about 200 years old.

Han Solo’s fluffy companion is in fact much older than his friend. At the moment of the start of the story, the Wookiee was about 200 years old. This is a race of long-livers, they live on average about 400 years. The name Chewbacca has Russian roots and comes from the word “dog” which sounds like “sobaka” in Russian.

Are you aware of any interesting and little-known facts about literary characters?

Preview photo credit Red Riding Hood / Warner Bros.
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