Monday, February 24, 2014

The Musketeers

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I have started watching BBC's show The Musketeers, yet another screen adaption of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers. Besides the wonderful character names in the story, the opening credits of this show also provided some fun entertainment for the name-lover in me.

Alexandre Dumas was French, his 19th century novel took place in 17th century France, and the names of his four heroes were inspired by real musketeers. The famous musketeers are the secretive and noble Athos, the lover and faithful friend Aramis, and the funny and loyal Porthos. d'Artagnan is the young swordsman seeking justice and joins the three musketeers. On their adventures, they encounter the King of France, Louis XIII, his wife the Queen Anne, and the Cardinal Armand Richelieu, one who does what he thinks is best for France and becomes an enemy to the musketeers. The mysterious and calculating Milady de Winter is connected to the Cardinal and the musketeers both. Constance is married to Monsieur Bonacieux but obviously attracted to d'Artagnan, showing her allegiance to the musketeers on numerous occasions. And Captian Treville is the musketeers' leader and a great man of integrity.

While the names in the novel are authentically French, the actors portraying them in BBC's version of the story are British, or have a significant connection to Britain and names showing otherwise. Athos is played by Tom Liam Benedict Burke, born in Kent, England. Aramis is played by Santiago Cabrera, a Chilean actor who was born in Venezuela but raised mainly in England. Porthos is portrayed by Howard Charles, from the UK. And d'Artagnan is played by Luca Giuseppe "Luke" Pasqualino, born in Peterborough, England but of Italian heritage.

The villain Richelieu is portrayed by Peter Dougan Capaldi from Glasgow, Scotland to an Irish mother and an Italian father. English actor Ryan Gage plays King Louis, and Hugo Speer, who plays Captain Treville, hails from Harrogate, England. And Monsieur Bonacieux is played by Bo Poraj, born in England to Polish parents. His full name is Bohdan Poraj-Pstrokonski.

What about the ladies? These are the ones that caught my eye in the first place. Maimie McCoy, born Mary, plays Milady and is from Yorkshire, England. English actress Alexandra Dowling plays Queen Anne. And Tamla Kari, from Coventry, England, plays Constance.

I wish I knew where Tamla came from. I am a huge fan of both Tamsin and Tamar, so the name stuck out to me. Maimie is also a refreshing sight. While Mamie is the more common spelling, it is currently a less common nickname for Mary but was in the Top 100 in the United States prior to 1913.

It is interesting to note that Bohdan is the Czech and Ukranian form of Bogdan, a Polish or Slavic name. I love the nickname Bo for it. I also love seeing Benedict, Dougan and Hugo among the male actors.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite musketeer name, either from the book or the new show?

Thanks to Wikipedia and Behind the Name for help with this post.


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