Last week whilst looking at a Wikipedia page, I saw a reference to a notable historical figure Nicholas Flamel. The name struck a chord, as I’ve read the Harry Potter books a number of times, and I was suprised to see such a person existed.

It turns out that Nicholas Flamel is a legendary alchemist, and was concerned with finding the Philosopher’s stone, a means of obtaining immortality. For those who haven’t read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the charachter by the same name is clearly intended to be the same.

This is hardly newsworthy, and I’m not the first person to notice - however it was a fresh reminder of how much I enjoy finding and recognising hidden references and other subtle wordplay in fiction where it’s otherwise unexpected (sorry, that means your historically-based fiction isn’t counted).

I’m curious if anyone else has a favourite reference like this, or a subtle play on words like Hiro Protagonist?