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Heroes speculation

I've been having a few interesting discussions with people in my comments and in other peoples comments about Heroes, and so I'm bringing those together here for my own reference and also to see if anyone has thoughts about them. Also, it's an excuse to use my new Niki icon.

First of all, random_serious and I were kind of bemused that Clearly Evil Pixie's ( TM latxcvi) name is actually Eden. Is that an ironic usage? That prompted me to look up the meaning of different characters' names. Here is what I was able to find, though I don't actually speak Japanese, so if anyone can weigh in with corrections that would be great.

Niki: Depending on its derivation, it either means "victory of the people" (if From Nichola--though Nike by itself is just victory) or "true image" (if taken from Veronica).

Mohinder: great Indra (and Indra is the Vedic god of thunder, patron of warriors)

Claire: Clear, bright, famous

Michah: who is like God

Matthew: Gift of God

Nathan: giver (or if it's short for Nathaniel, God has given)

Peter: rock

Bennett: from "Benedict," meaning Blessed

Isaac: he laughs

I couldn't find specific definitions for Hiro (Hiroshi means generous, but I couldn't find Hiro by itself) or Ando (the word means "relief" if the online Japanese to English dictionary I found can be trusted), though of course Hiro must have been deliberately chosen since it sounds like Hero.

I don't know if I draw any conclusions from these names, whether they're deliberate or accidental, intentional or ironic, but it was interesting to look them up.

And behind the cut, unrelated speculation on Niki and her alter-ego that include spoilers for 1x06 (but I'm unspoiled beyond that--please don't spoil me!)

This is pretty much verbatim from something I wrote in latxcvi's journal:

I didn't realize the episode title was "Better Halves." That makes the Niki storyline more interesting to me, in a way--which half is really supposed to be the better half? I mean, obviously we sympathize with Niki, and Ikin is a murdering psychopath, but she is better at getting necessary things done than Niki.

I wonder if the Ikin persona emerged only when D.L. left? Niki had that great line "I became a different person when you left," which does seem to imply that. I guess I'm unclear on the timeline--was it that D.L. left to do the job, then Ikin framed him and killed his gang, or did he only leave after he'd been framed? If the latter, my theory won't hold, but if the former, I wonder if Ikin is somehow linked to Niki becoming an internet sex worker.

To create that sort of fantasy persona is another kind of doubling: a self that is not who you are but who other people want you to be. Maybe Ikin is the inverse of that? Or maybe she *is* the internet persona Niki created, but one that took on a life of its own? Of course, it's more likely that Ikin is just Niki's shadow self, or her id, as latxcvi has suggested, but it's sort of interesting to think that she might actually be a separate person.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
elychari
Nov. 1st, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
i have a theory that niki saw DL doing some freaky stuff and that scared her enough and brought out ikin to play.

i'm leaning more towards split personality than a completely separate person. who knows. after DL seemingly kills niki, maybe only ikin is left to avenge niki's death.
norwich36
Nov. 1st, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I agree that split personality is a lot more likely than the idea that she's entirely separate. It would be interesting if D.L. has actually killed niki and left ikin--though a little scary for the other heroes, I bet! She's already almost killed three of them.

It would make sense that the split occurred because of something DL did--it would also explain why Ikin tried to frame him.
elychari
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:12 am (UTC)
the operative word being "almost".

DL is the stronger male version of ShadowCat. and I like that Ando saved Hiro.
sadface
Nov. 1st, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
Hey, the notifications tell you the subjects now. yay!

I still don't like it *grumbles* why does she get the super power that makes her a psycho mentalist doesn't seem fair. But oooh! If she became a different person after he left, does that mean there could be a trigger to make the powers come out? I'm still not clear about the timeline for the whole 'ooh we have powers now' thing anyway, since the hinting was towards Claire having always been different but what about everyone else.

Oh god, i'm rambling. I'll stop.
norwich36
Nov. 1st, 2006 04:17 am (UTC)
I guess Claire has always been different; we don't know about Isaac; Nathan, Matt and Peter we know all discovered their powers recently, as did Hiro. I guess Niki is still up in the air. But surely if she's been losing time her whole life she would have figured it out by now?

You have me pinned! How sweet! I should do that, I suppose--I keep forget to do it even for conversations I manually check back on all the time.

I'm hoping Niki's superpower is more than just being psycho, though. Maybe she can split off other parts of herself? Or bilocate? Or something cooler than being a psychokiller, anyway.
cinderella81
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:11 am (UTC)
This show just has me so intrigued!!! With every episode, it owns me more and more!
norwich36
Nov. 1st, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Oh, totally!
random_serious
Nov. 1st, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
I think DL stepped off the job because of cold feet, and then Ikin stepped in because DL says that someone came in, and knew the plan and then the crew was killed, and he was framed. So Ikin existed before DL left. But what is weird is that Ikin framed DL, when she could have chosen any member of that crew. Niki loves DL, but Ikin distrusts him. Weird.

And it might be that Niki can see Ikin as a separate person, but she really isn't, not yet anyway. DL said that Niki got up in the middle of the night, which would imply that Niki and Ikin share a body, at least for now.
norwich36
Nov. 1st, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm hoping we find out soon what Ikin has against DL.

I guess I didn't mean "separate people" as in "having separate bodies," since we already know from the last episode that Ikin is using Niki's body, from when she had sex with Nathan--I meant "something other than just an alternative personality of Niki's." For all we know she could be a downloadable computer virus who can take over bodies. Or some being that lives in a mirror dimension and can take over bodies. Both are probably very unlikely, I realize.

Though maybe Niki's real power is the ability to move via mirrors/reflections/cameras? That would be a cool power, once she harnasses Ikin's abilities, assuming she is ever able to do that and assuming Ikin *is* a fragmented part of herself.
supacat
Nov. 1st, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
I won't be able to tell what Hiro and Ando's names mean until I see their name kanji written down; a Japanese name can be 'spelled' in different ways, using different kanji, and this changes the meaning. (Not sure if we've seen their name kanji on the show? Do you have a screencap?)

The kanji for the name Hiro that I see a lot is 祐 which means 'help'. Another common name kanji for Hiro is 比呂 (the first kanji means 'compare' and the second is 'spine', but my Japanese isn't good enough to know what overall impression these kanji give when written together). However, it's possible that Hiro's name kanji is different again, perhaps his parents chose a more unusual kanji to 'spell' his name.

Ando is such a rare name I've never heard it before, and I haven't been able to find it on a name website. (If you ask me, it sounds like he's called "and".)

Reposted because I deleted out of sleepy missclicking, first time round there was a link to a Japanese language name website, which should be in your inbox, I think, if you're interested (I'm too zzzZZZzzz to chase it up, sorry!).
supacat
Nov. 1st, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
which should be in your inbox

Er, I mean, because the comment still goes to you even if I sleepily deleted it. I think. (fuzzy) Okay, bed now.
supacat
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
If you ask me, it sounds like he's called "and".

Sorry, I'm writing this delirious with tiredness. I should probably explain that this is because "ando" is actually the Japanese pronounciation of the ampersand sign (&). While there's a completely different Japanese word meaning 'and', if it's written as "&" then Japanese pronounce it 'ando'.

(Also not sure he'd be called 'Ando' with the meaning 'relief' because that word is spelled 安堵 and I've never seen 安 in a boy's name. It's a very female kanji. But I could be wrong. It would be hilarious if he was called that, because it's really "Oh thank god!" kind of relief.) *g*
norwich36
Nov. 1st, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Are those question marks symbols that just aren't showing up for me?

It's possible that we have seen their names written in kanji, but if so I have not noticed.
supacat
Nov. 2nd, 2006 02:01 am (UTC)
I guess the kanji aren't showing up (your browser may not be able to view Japanese text). You could always try changing the text/view/encoding to one of the Japanese options, like JIS, but it's, er, probably not worth it. :-)
veradeath
Dec. 5th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
Have you tried this site?

http://behindthename.com/
norwich36
Dec. 5th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks--I have checked out that website already when I was looking up names.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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