Lord of the Warcraft

By Shamus Posted Friday Sep 28, 2007

Filed under: Nerd Culture 32 comments

What would Lord of the Rings be like if the Tolkein used the names of actual World of Warcraft characters? Why, it would sound like this.

My brain hurts.


From The Archives:

32 thoughts on “Lord of the Warcraft

  1. Bobcat says:


    … and ow.. Yes, that causes much pain. Make the pain go away, mommy.

  2. Browncoat says:

    Mmm…Leggo-my-ass is a much better name.

  3. Phlux says:

    …head asplode

  4. Issachar says:

    I dunno. I kind of like “Tasticakes, an Elf from the Grey Havens.”

  5. AngiePen says:

    No matter how bad it is — and yeah, it’s awful — it could’ve been worse. My husband and I both used to work for Simutronics, a company that runs online RPGs and it’s amazing how much time the staff spends bouncing characters with unacceptable names back to the character manager. [facepalm] We were stricter about names than WoW appears to be; there are a few there I’d have bounced if they’d shown up in one of our games. But players will try anything, from the stupid to the filthy to the filthy and stupid.

    Luckily we had a wide variety of languages represented among the staff and we could recognize a lot of non-English obscenities. And for whatever reason we also had a few people who could identify some of the more obscure slang terms — I remember bouncing a “Salad Tosser” back to the character manager one time, with a vulgarity warning on top of the forced reroll, then explaining to the other staffers online who were all going ?? exactly why that was vulgar. I’m sure the player who chose that name was hoping for exactly that response; too bad for him one person recognized the term. [eyeroll]


  6. The Gneech says:

    What, no N00bPwN3r?

    -The Gneech

  7. Deoxy says:

    Completely, utterly off-topic, but I absolutely have to share this somewhere, and really, most of my RL frinds arer simply not gamers (sadly), so this is the best place I can think of:

    The latest OotS is quite simply among the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life. The last two frames in specific.

    The last frame is self-explanatory, but the second-to-last frame, the one with the graph? Note the scale of the graph:

    “Evil (measured in kilonazis)”

    Kilo-Nazis? I’m literally laughing out loud at work (trying to keep it down, honest), and truly, an audible snicker here is something I usually manage to avoid, no matter what I read.


  8. roxysteve says:

    [shamus] If you want to see the bathos of really banal (but hysterically funny) names placed in a “high fantasy” setting, you absolutely have to read a Tery Pratchett “Discworld” book.

    Tell Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler I sent you (but as you value your stomach lining do not purchase or eat any of his “sausages inna bun”).


  9. TheMatt says:


    I’m more concerned about the baseline. Why does the deVille-Sauron offspring’s evil amount fluctuate? Don’t you choose a baseline as a constant.

    One theory I have is that there are Nazi in OOTP world that must waver in evilness. Thus, the evilness of deVille-Sauron must fluctuate since the unit fluctuates.

    Man, I really need my cluster job to finish. I’m analyzing comic graphs. That way lies madness (or xkcd).

  10. roxysteve says:


    That was Terry Pratchett, of course.

    Yet another round goes to Mr Brain.


  11. TheMatt says:


    ++?????++ Out of Cheese Error. Redo From Start.

  12. Burning says:

    I once proposed the rule of thumb that before picking a name you should consider whether you are comfortable with the thought that the name is the only thing people would remember about you.

    I don’t know what frightens me more: the possibility that these players never thought of that rule or the possibility that they have and these names passed the test.

    On a marginally related note, I’ve noticed that in Final Fantasy XI, a lot of Taru Taru get named after food. Not in a particularly inuendo laden way either. I’m not talking about “Hotsauce” or “Poptart.” I’m I’m seeing stuff where a list of character names could be mistaken for a shopping list. I haven’t seen “Condensedmilk” yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

  13. ngthagg says:

    Two stories:

    1) If you actually bother too read some of the agreements you make when you sign up for WoW, they explicitly state some of the rules for naming, especially what is not allowed. One of the categories is leetspeak. The example they gave was “roflcopter”. After reading all this stuff, I create my gnome mage and log in. The very first time I stepped into Ironforge, what do I see? Someone named Rofflecopter. Way to go Blizzard.

    2) My gaming group has had problems with names. One former member was named Serge. Our DM, for convenience and to assist in making secret rolls, would ask for the current skill bonus for a few skills before we would start our session. One of the skills was search. Much fun was had with the similarity in sound. Character names are also a problem. I like to play asian themed characters, and I like to use authentic names. I work with a Vietnamese guy named Tim Nguyen once, and he pronounced his last name “Win”. I decided to borrow the name, but didn’t communicate the pronounciation very well. It ended up more as “When” than “Win”. Whenever the DM would ask me what my character was doing, he’d say “When?” and all of us would reply, “Now!”, much to his aggravation. The next character I made I came up with a whole bunch of creative names like “Watt” and “Ware” but the DM regected all of them for some reason.

  14. Jochi says:

    I read that and wondered at the scale.
    Units of Evil?
    I always thought kill-a-Nazi was a Good thing.

  15. Eric says:

    roxysteve: At least the Discworld names made sense. The Duck Man, having a duck on his head, was appropriately named. “Bloody Stupid” Johnson, too.

    But this excerpt…

    I don’t see how “Chicknwaffls” could describe anyone or their character, unless they’re playing a half-chicken wafflemancer or something.

    Also, Deoxy: I almost missed that this morning, but was lucky enough to catch it. Lols ensued. Creating arbitrary units of measure is almost always awesome (see Futurama’s “Mega-Fonzies”)

  16. Jochi says:

    You’d be surprised. In the SCA, like in more-strictly-just-LARPing environments, people pick their own names that live with them forever. There was a guy from the Lakes area somewhere who called himself Osis of the Livery. Osis is a valid medieval name; the heralds let him have his way. His objective, of course, was to become a knight and be called Sir Osis.

  17. Nais says:

    Well, don't forget RL names, guys. They can be equally strange sometimes. A friend of mine showed me some names he found in phone book the other day to make me believe they are genuine. (Some of their names are much more explicit then Salad Tosser… Much, much more…)

    Would you ban them from this world? And make them live in Second life, if they accept them there… ^^

    I really don’t understand why GM should stop someone from naming his character the way that person wants, as long as it isn’t related to genitalia. Personally, I prefer seeing and chating w/ Roflecopter then Legggolllaaas… Although, it’s nice to have players tagged in a way, so you never invite Legggolllaaas in party… :)=

  18. Mordaedil says:

    When it comes to names, people on the internet seems to be the least imaginative bunch, mostly due to an early period of immaturity.

    When I first started online, I went by the name of “Fulgore84” everywhere. Yeah, my favorite Killer Instinct character and year of birth, really clever. Then in 2003 I made a new name my trademark, Mordaedil. Been using it ever since and it makes me feel smug knowing full well that no matter where I go online, no-one will have it. Because it’s mine, my invention and only a select few people “get it”.

    Anyone else tempted to take the step to getting a new name to avoid being regarded as internet retards?

  19. Matt Norwood says:

    I kind of liked it, actually. The names were Dickensian. It read a lot like Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast trilogy, which I believe stands up to Tolkein’s stuff pretty favorably. I certainly preferred the names to the “fantasy” convention of aping Tolkein to fill in every detail of a non-Tolkein, medieval European “fantasy” world.

  20. GreyDuck says:

    Eh. If I got a new “Internet name” I’d have to register a new domain. Call me lazy.

    OT: Shamus, you owe me a new brain. Ow.

  21. Rich says:

    Now this may be a minority opinion… But I think Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast was a far better series than Lord of the Rings. Gormenghast was an intricate work of art. LotR was… less so. I like them both though. YMMV

    Purely a personal opinion and not meant to be a challenge to anybody on a personal level, mkay?

  22. Rask says:

    You should have mentioned that they were using player character names, and not NPC names.

    Now I’d like to read it with WoW NPC names…

  23. M says:

    Hey, I just joined WoW (still on a trial account), and so far my highest character is a Tauren named “Mahui”…if that has any double-entendre dirty meaning, I don’t know about it.

    Some of the names in FFXI are clever but truly weird, though. I’m pretty sure I saw an Elvaan (who run to about eight or nine feet tall) named “Pintsize” once.

  24. Susano says:

    Back when I was in the SCA I had a great idea for my persona’s name. Use my given name (it’s allowed) and my father’s first name with “son” added. Then I looked at the result. My name is Michael. My father’s is Jack.

  25. Phlux says:

    Upon further reflection I am revising my comments of “head asplode”. That section, if I recall correctly, is from the Council of Elrond. That part of the book makes my head asplode all on its own.

    It’s page after page of name-dropping, bickering and meandering pointlessness. Needs to be 2 pages, tops.

    Peter Jackson’s greatest contribution to Lord of the Rings may very well have been trimming that scene down to 5 minutes of essential dialogue and Gimli breaking an axe. The fellowship forms and we get onto the good stuff.

  26. Rick says:

    “Strange as it may seem, they give D&D characters nowadays very peculiar names. Now, in my group, Hu’s the barbarian, Watt’s the wizard, and I. Dun Gno’s the bard…”
    “You know the characters’ names?”
    “Well, then, who’s the barbarian?”
    “I mean the character’s name, playing the barbarian.”
    “The barbarian.”
    “Hu is the barbarian.”
    “Well what are you askin’ me for?”
    “I’m not asking you, I’m telling you: Hu is the barbarian.”
    “I’m asking you: who’s the barbarian?”
    “That’s the man’s name!”
    “That’s whose name?”

    (Thanks to ngthagg for inspiring this little bit of lunacy, and apologies to Abbott and Costello.)

  27. Zaxares says:

    I dunno about you, but the idea of the King of the Elves named Roxyrooroo doesn’t sound TOO far fetched. :P

  28. roxysteve says:

    [Eric] Sometimes the sense it makes is not very sensible when you come right down to it. Take Cohen the Barbarian as an example.

    But of course, taking the logical to the absurd is the sine qua non of the entire series (although I have to admit I haven’t actually read the eponymous one you star in, owing to a juvenile and entirely unwarrented bias against “joint effort” books at the time it was published).

    Speaking of juveniles, you could do worse than have a gander at “The Amazing Maurice and His Talented Rodents“, “The Wee Free Men” and “A Hat Full of Sky” (those last two must be read in order for full enjoyment). They are intended for younger readers (sophisticated younger readers, I should say) but go down well in an older intellect too.


  29. Telas says:

    To parrot roxysteve, ANYTHING Terry Pratchett has written is probably very good. Everything I’ve read so far has been intelligent, funny, and touching.

  30. Jadawin says:

    “Upon further reflection I am revising my comments of “head asplode”. That section, if I recall correctly, is from the Council of Elrond. That part of the book makes my head asplode all on its own.

    It's page after page of name-dropping, bickering and meandering pointlessness. Needs to be 2 pages, tops.

    Peter Jackson's greatest contribution to Lord of the Rings may very well have been trimming that scene down to 5 minutes of essential dialogue and Gimli breaking an axe. The fellowship forms and we get onto the good stuff.”

    Never mind that it sets the stage for all of the “good stuff”. Fortunately for you, Salvatore is very prolific so you will always have something to read.

  31. Belzi.ET says:

    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I’m a WoW-gamer. And some of the names are really awful.
    But on the other side, Blizzard created a whole World with their own naming-system. There are some good names too.
    Like a dwarf named Firebeard (of course his beard is red). Or one of the greatest heros in the history of Warcraft is named Uther Lightbringer. He was a Paladin fighting against the scourge (an army of undead “slaves”).

    Before I began gaming WoW, I didn’t knew alot about the whole history behind it (just knew LotR at this time).
    So I named my dwarf Bronkje Bronakson. The second part of the name isn’t displayed anywhere in the game, but as I’m interested in role-play my character has a past and a full name.

    And by the way. Great blog, Shamus. Most of your articles are very amusing and interesting.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.