Long before I began writing, and back when I still watched TV, I was a big fan of both the Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys TV shows.
By the way, I was the kid in 8th grade who carried around this large, fully illustrated book about Greek gods and heroes. Not only carried it around, but read it over and over again at every opportunity. I was destined to be a fan of both shows! 🙂
Anyway, TV being what it was, the writers created a couple of sidekicks for Ares, God of War, and they were Discord and Strife, who provided some good comic relief as well as a few serious moments.
In reality, I knew those two weren’t “real” Greek gods, that there was an actual Greek god or goddess who held domain over discord and strife. With nearly 25 years between my ownership of that book (the title of which I can’t even remember!) and my need for a character name while planning Arcane Solutions for NaNoWriMo 2009, I went a Googling to refresh my memory.
Eris was the name of the goddess of chaos, discord, and strife. Great name, but not one I wanted to saddle this character with.
After all, this character was a young woman who’d dealt with quite a bit of chaos in her life, and would go on to draw more chaos, discord, and strife to her while trying to make sense of not only what happened to her, but of the new world she found herself living in.
I picked “Discord”, but being me, she needed first, middle, and last names, and just “Discord” didn’t go with many of the middle names I tried. Discord went great with “Jones” however, so I knew that would be her last name.
I finally settled on “Discordia” because I liked the way it sounded and it works with my choice for her middle name: Discordia Angel Jones, aka Cordi or Discord to her friends, aka Miss Jones to nearly everyone else.
If you ever wondered how Discord got her name, now you know.
But wait, there’s more!
For some random reason, when I sat down at my desk today, I decided to Google “Discordia” and hello!
A Wikipedia article came up first, informing me that “Discordianism” is the name of the religion that worships Eris…who is also known as “Discordia.”
Not something any of the more Greek myth/gods-focused sites I’d checked ever mentioned, possibly because Eris is more of a minor player in the Greek pantheon than say, Zeus or Ares or Hera.
Or maybe because it never occurred to me to search for the names of each Greek gods’ religion. 🙂
Serendipity in action, folks.