What's In a Name? The Handles, Names and Passwords of Mr. Robot, Analyzed
What’s in a name? Or a password, for that matter? Sometimes they are meaningless, but not on Mr. Robot. Fernando Vera once looked up his name, along with Elliot’s, and thought they had something in common there. (Vera thinks his means “brave traveler” -- which became his Twitter handle as “brvtrvllr” -- while Elliot’s meant “brave and true.”) Since Elliot’s been stealing user names and passwords, let’s try to crack the code of a few others from the show. (Remember, when all else fails, try "holidayarmadillo.”)
Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek)
Besides meaning “brave and true,” Elliot’s name has Biblical connotations, derived from Elijah, effectively translating to God or Jesus, while “Alderson” means son of the wise warrior, or, alternatively, son of the old army. Elliot also uses the alias “Sam Sepiol,” and Sam is another Hebrew name that means God, while “Sepiol” means reclusive. (Or it could just be a combo of the names of show creator Sam Esmail and USA Network development exec Alex Sepiol!)
On a pop culture level, Elliot Alderson’s name reminds us of Kurt Vonnegut’s mentally imbalance do-gooder in God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Steven Spielberg’s troubled boy in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and the Wachowski’s hacker hero in The Matrix. Elliot’s very careful with his anonymous accounts and passwords, but we got a split-second view of him firing off an email to E-Corp from a Protonmail account: falkensmaze. Falken’s Maze is from the movie War Games, where “the only winning move is not to play.”
Darlene Anderson (Carly Chaikin)
Derived from darling, dearling, or other variations of “little dear one.” Her IRC handle is “D0loresH4ze,” which is a reference to the twelve-year-old character in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita. She further enforces the reference by wearing the character’s heart sunglasses from the Stanley Kubrick film (and we see a poster from the film during Angela’s sessions with the Dark Army). The reference is connected to how many of the characters in Lolita engage in games and puzzles. Darlene also gives Angela the “Joshua” password -- another War Games reference, this one the backdoor password to the U.S. Government’s War Operation Plan Response.
Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday)
Okay, so Angela might be an angel… or a messenger. Angels aren’t always innocent, though. And if she’s working with “God” (i.e. Elliot’s Mr. Robot), then perhaps she is God’s messenger of sorts. Moss, a green plant without any roots. She uses some interesting aliases, though. On Wickr, she’s Claudia Kincaid, a reference to the twelve-year-old runaway in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. And when she logs on as “Frank Bowman,” that could be a reference to two characters from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström)
Tyrell is derived from the Scandinavian battle god Tyr, and Tyrell sees the 5/9 hack as the night he and Elliot became gods together. Tyrell might also be a Blade Runner reference -- Dr. Eldon Tyrell and his Tyrell Corporation were responsible for the creation of the replicants, or humanoid robots.
Zhi Zhang (B.D. Wong)
China’s Minister of State Security is also the leader of the Dark Army, who uses the alias and password wh1ter0se, a reference to an anti-Nazi resistance movement, the White Rose, as well as an anagram for “otherwise.” We don’t know yet which Dark Army member this belongs to, but Elliot uncovered at least one alias and password -– user “garyhost” and password “hunter2.” Hmm…
Dominique DiPierro (Grace Gummer)
The FBI agent also has a religious-sounding name. “Dominique” means “of the Lord.” Even when she’s assigned to be a Dark Army operative.
Gideon Goddard (Michael Gill)
“Gideon” means destroyer or warrior, while “Goddard” means hard spear.
Shama Biswas (Sunita Mani)
Her hacker name was Tr3nton, which is derived from the town in New Jersey.
Leslie Romero (Ron Cephas Jones)
“Romero” refers to pilgrim on a religious journey. His password is a line from Curtis Mayfield’s “Don’t Worry”: “And If there’s hell below/We’re all gonna go.”
Have more interpretations of the names from Mr. Robot? Tweet them to @WhoIsMrRobot!