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The Harry Potter books are a name lover’s dream, author J. K. Rowling being probably the most prolific and creative character namer since Charles Dickens.  Her seven Harry Potter books have an enormous cast of magical wizards and wizards-in-training, witches, ghosts, Hogwarts School professors and students–most of them named with great gusto, humor, and a genius for witty wordplay and cleverly engineered misspellings, interweaving Greek and Latin roots with skill and panache.  Like Dickens, Rowling takes delight in matching name to nature and employs symbolism as well, as for instance calling Harry‘s good and pure mother Lily.

A favorite trick of hers is drawing characters’ names from the realm of astronomy, thus producing such celestial names as:

ANDROMEDA –a constellation in the Northern sky

BELLATRIX — a star in the constellation Orion

CASSIOPEIA — another constellation in the Northern sky

DRACO  — a constellation known as Draco the Dragon

LUNA  —  the moon

POLLUX  — one of the twin stars of Gemini

SCORPIUS —  a constellation representing a scorpion

SIRIUS   — the brightest star in the night sky

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