10 Best TV Characters Who Go By Multiple Names

Saul Goodman from Better Call Saul and Jerry from Parks & Rec split image.

A name helps to identify a person or character in any medium, as a description of a personality or appearance does little to establish a personal connection. Yet many characters in film and television go by many names beyond simple, affectionate nicknames, who still forge connections with their audiences.

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Changing between names and aliases is commonly used by spies and criminals looking to avoid compromising or implicating their true selves. These aliases and disguises often work wonders, but they always come with an element of tension as the audience waits for dishonesty to have consequences. However, there are also cases of television characters being called multiple names for comedic effect or due to misunderstandings, making for an interesting mixture of instances.



10 Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul)

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Better Call Saul thrived as a perfect example of how a spinoff of a huge show should be executed. While the world that Breaking Bad built helped it tremendously, its success ultimately came from its titular main character, Saul Goodman. However, Saul Goodman was just the business moniker for the criminal defense lawyer and con artist Jimmy McGill.

As a con artist and generally shady guy, Jimmy assumed other identities and aliases, including Gene Takavic. In fact, becoming Gene helped Jimmy escape the mess that he and Walter White left at the end of Breaking Bad. Whether he was Slippin’ Jimmy, Gene Takavic, or Saul Goodman, Bob Odenkirk sure knows how to sell a character.

9 Mr. Wednesday (American Gods)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Wednesday/Odin in American Gods leaning against a pole.

Ian McShane is a familiar face who commands every scene of any film or show he is ever in, whether it is Game of Thrones, John Wick, or American Gods. In American Gods, he played Mr. Wednesday, a con man and American deity who was actually Odin.

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McShane’s powerful performance as Wednesday hit new heights in the first season finale, with his iconic quote listing all his titles before revealing his identity as Odin himself. He drops names like Glad-of-War, One-Eye, and All-Father, while “As many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die” perfectly sums up his formidable reputation and power.

8 Sauron (The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Halbrand becomes Sauron in The Rings of Power.

Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power brought The Lord of the Rings fans back into the beloved world as a prequel series following Middle-Earth’s Second Age. Younger versions of familiar characters Galadriel and Elrond were quickly established among the show’s main characters, but another familiar name of the franchise only revealed his true identity at the end of the first season.

Halbrand was believed to be the King of the Southlands but was eventually discovered to have been Sauron all along. Both Halbrand and Sauron have their own nicknames and titles but are ultimately one and the same. With his true identity discovered, Sauron will leave Halbrand behind in the coming seasons as he hatches schemes from Mordor and beyond.

7 Sarah Walker (Chuck)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sarah Walker tries to keep Chuck alive.

Chuck captured the hearts and minds of most who watched it, as the action-comedy spy-drama had a contagious charm that accompanied the action and intensities of a spy show. While Chuck Bartowski was the show’s main focus, John Casey and Sarah Walker were present throughout as Chuck’s handlers, with the latter being a romantic interest for Chuck.

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As a spy and CIA operative, Walker went through many aliases throughout the show, and while most were obviously for work, her real identity became clouded. She was recognized numerous times from her time as Jennifer Burton and later revealed that her real name was Sam. She will always be called Sarah Walker Bartowski for lovers of Chuck, but this spy certainly had a long list of names.

6 Cassian Andor (Andor)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Diego Luna as Cassian Andor looking over his shoulder on Andor.

Cassian Andor left such an impact with his valiant sacrifice in Rogue One that he earned a spinoff series of his earlier years, with Diego Luna returning. The series explores more of Andor‘s shady past as he engages in various illegal activities.

Aliases are generally commonplace with criminals, and the titular character went through multiple forged identities and fake names, from Keef Girgo to Clem. His real name is actually Kassa, as he was a Kenari orphan, only to later be raised on Ferrix and adopted by scavengers. Andor has had to change himself as much as necessary in order to survive, with his skills allowing him to make that ultimate sacrifice in stealing the Death Star plans in Rogue One.

5 Harold Finch (Person Of Interest)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Harold Finch takes on many identities in Person of Interest; Harold sitting at desk.

Jonathan Nolan’s Person of Interest is a fascinating sci-fi crime drama, with a premise centering around “the Machine” and how it can predict terrorist attacks. The genius behind this invention is Harold Finch, a reclusive billionaire who loses track of the long list of aliases he has accrued.

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Most of Harold’s alternate identities keep his first name and have a species of bird as the surname, with Wren and Crane being recurring choices. Harold isn’t even the only character from Person of Interest to take on multiple aliases, as Reese and Root also have their own long lists of alternate identities.

4 Eobard Thawne (The Flash)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Eobard Thawne Reverse Flash pointing while threatening someone in The Flash.

While any show or movie about superheroes has plenty of characters with numerous aliases and identities, The Flash has some especially interesting and complex examples. Barry Allen is the main example as The Flash, but his archenemy Eobard Thawne has a list of his own aliases.

Thawne arrived from the future thanks to the introduction of time travel and became a time criminal known as Reverse-Flash, forged by hatred of his idol, The Flash. On Earth-1, Thawne even killed and assumed the identity of Dr. Harrison Wells as a means to get close to and mentor Flash, as he wanted to use the latter’s Speed Force to return to his time. Dark Flash and The Man In Yellow are other names he was called at some point in the series.

3 Cheryl Tunt (Archer)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Cheryl Tunt has many names in Archer; Cheryl wearing pearls and staring off.

Cheryl Tunt is one of the main characters in Archer, having been there since the very beginning, from working at ISIS to the Figgis Agency after the former’s dissolution. Cheryl has always been loud, eccentric, and a general nuisance, but what hasn’t stayed consistent is her name.

Cheryl initially went by Carol after Sterling Archer mistakenly started calling her that. She proceeded to change her name frequently to the point where she became confused and couldn’t remember her true name. In later seasons, she went by Carina, Cristal, and Cherlene, with the latter being her country singer persona.

2 Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jon Snow looks to his right in Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones has many examples of characters with multiple names, but each one has its own relevance in the conversation. Daenerys Targaryen had the long list of titles that preceded her name but ultimately stayed as Daenerys Targaryen throughout. Arya Stark gained access to faces and identities through her training with the Faceless Men, but there was no real meaning behind them.

Bran Stark and Theon actually took on different names and identities in the Three-Eyed Raven and Reek, respectively, but Jon Snow is the most interesting and popular example. Jon Snow was called various nicknames throughout Game of Thrones, from “The Bastard of Winterfell” to King Crow, but his true heritage and identity are where it gets interesting. Jon was revealed to be the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, with the name of Aegon Targaryen, making him the real heir to the Iron Throne ahead of Daenerys.

1 Garry Gergich (Parks & Recreation)

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Jerry Gergich from Park and Rec smiling with glasses tucked into his sweatervest.

Garry Gergich existed in Parks & Recreation as a co-worker with a mysterious personal life who essentially got teased by everyone else. This was ultimately what contributed to him being called so many different names over the course of the entire show.

Garry was his actual name, but through misunderstandings and teasing, he went through the likes of Jerry, Larry, and Terry, to name a few. Even his surname didn’t escape the renaming, as Gengurch popped up on more than one occasion. Despite the confusion around his name, Jim O’Heir’s character actually had one of the happiest and most-fulfilling lives; his colleagues just didn’t care to ask him about it too often.

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