There's a lot more to unpack in The Good Wife's character names than you might realize

By: Start TV Staff     Posted: April 10, 2019, 3:56PM

A lot of thought went into making The Good Wife the massive hit that it was. Not only did they hire an outside legal consultant, but nearly half the writers on the show were lawyers, too. It's why the drama captured felt so real, because the show was writing about relevant political issues from a place of real experience.

It's been said that only 13 episodes into the series, the writers knew exactly how it would end, and we've already told you about the pattern in how episodes are titled that offered a clue as to when the show was ending.

It's clear, then, that The Good Wife sketched out every character's arc almost entirely very early on in the show. And while most writers have a reason for the names they give their characters, if you take a closer look at the etymology of The Good Wife's biggest characters' names, there are even more clues about each character's thematic relevance on the show.

Let's start with the star, Alicia Florrick. Depending on the source you reference, the name Alicia means either "noble" or "truth," both excellent qualities of any top TV lawyer. It shows at Alicia's core, she can't be compromised, unlike her husband Peter, whose name means "stone" or "rock." This, of course, could allude to the common idiom in any marriage that one partner is meant to be "the rock" to the other. Peter obviously comes up short of this duty, what with all his philandering, failing to make his marriage the cornerstone in his life.

Good thing for noble Alicia, Will Gardner comes along, helping her get over her failed marriage during their relationship over the show's first three seasons at least. The name Will, short for William, means "resolute protector," which is pretty fitting considering Will is one of Alicia's oldest friends who shields her from the chaos by giving her the job at his firm. Despite all the ups and downs with Alicia and his law firm partner Diane Lockhart, Will's best quality is his unwavering loyalty.

Speaking of Diane, who went on to star in the spin-off The Good Fight, has a name which means "divine," which suits the law firm partner who in many ways decides Alicia Florrick's fate. Luckily the two become fast friends. (It should be noted that "divine" also means delightful, which Christine Baranski literally always is.) In a similar vein, Alan Cumming's character Eli Gold has a name that means "ascent." For a character who goes from Peter Florrick's campaign manager to his chief of staff, knowing his name meaning could have signalled this promotion was coming for one of The Good Wife's shadiest characters. Funny enough, "ascent" is also a good way to describe how fast Eli Gold became a fan favorite character. 

And speaking of stealing the spotlight, we'd be remiss not to bring up Kalinda Sharma, whose first name means "the sun." Not only did viewers soak up every second of Kalinda's drama, but she was famously a character difficult to get close to, which has us thinking of that old saying "don't fly too close to the sun." But Kalinda also many times over the series run proves to be the only one who can shed light on solutions to win cases at the very last minute, causing the fog that hangs over the heads of the firm's best lawyers to clear when she enters the room at the 11th hour.  Either way, it was certainly a dark day when Kalinda leaves the show in scandal.

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