Will the girl in the Netflix remake of Rebecca get a name?

Rebecca: (L to R) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Cr. KERRY BROWN/NETFLIX
Rebecca: (L to R) Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Lily James as Mrs. de Winter. Cr. KERRY BROWN/NETFLIX /
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Will we learn the name of the second Mrs. de Winter in Netflix’s Rebecca?

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare posited in a famous line from Romeo and Juliet. Names are identities, and it’s a little jarring to meet someone whose name we don’t know. Even a character in a book, which is what happens in Daphne du Maurier’s romantic suspense novel, Rebecca.

She never reveals the name of the heroine. Her first name, that is. Will the Netflix remake give her one or stay true to the book it’s based on?

What’s the girl in Rebecca called then?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is one of my top 10 all-time favorite books, and the Alfred Hitchcock adaptation is not only one of my top 10 all-time favorite movies but also perhaps my favorite Hitchcock movie.

But I’ll never forget reading something by Stephen King (perhaps it was On Writing?) and being (a) shocked he was influenced by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and (b) learning from him that the girl in Rebecca had no name.

“What? No way. That’s not true. It was…”

But what was it? I was sure she had one so I jumped up to find my copy. As I skimmed page after page I was shocked I had never noticed that before. Her first name really wasn’t ever revealed.

Why does the girl in Rebecca have no name?

Even if she had one, would we remember it? Would we confuse it with Rebecca’s? Would it make Rebecca’s less memorable and negate the impact she has on the new Mrs. de Winter and the storyline overall?

Possibly.

What do people call the girl in Rebecca then?

She starts out as being called “Dear” by the rich woman she’s a paid lady’s companion for.

During her courtship with Maxim de Winter, he calls her “you little fool.”

After she marries Maxim she’s commonly addressed as Madame de Winter, Mrs. de Winter, and the second Mrs. de Winter.

So she is named, but not in a conventional sense most of us are used to with a first name.

What will she be called in the Netflix remake of Rebecca?

Judging from the trailer, it looks like they’re staying true to the book, from its time period setting to the character names.

IMDb lists the character names as Mrs. de Winter (played by Lily James), Maxim de Winter (played by Armie Hammer), Mrs. Danvers (played by Kristin Scott Thomas), and Jack Favell (played by Sam Riley).

So it seems she’ll stay Mrs. de Winter this go around too.

However, Vanity Fair reports the Netflix remake is not a Hitchcock redo so it does look like there will be some changes in that department. It’s got big shoes to fill, because that adaptation is a classic.

We’ll find out on Oct. 21 if the Netflix rendition of Rebecca is better, worse or on par with that of the 1940 Oscar-winning classic.

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