Do you prefer your henchmen be named?

Setting aside both movies and comics where you have visual references for even minor characters, what is your opinion on the labeling of henchmen in stories? Do you prefer that each of them that has dialogue has a name of some sort, or would you be happier with something like “said one of the muscle-bound creeps”? Why?

Henchmen are like all characters. If they have unique personalities, like Igor, Oddjob, or Jaws, I think they deserve a name. But if they’re just following orders, there’s no point straining the reader’s/viewer’s memory. Just find a distinguishing characteristic (steel-eyes or gravel-jaw) and refer to them by that.

Or just something basic like “said the one on the right.” They’re just part of the scenery, after all.

Depends on the story. A good detective story may have several sets of henchmen with a minor villians muscle being unamed but the big kahuna’s henchmen having distinct personalities. I like both types if done well.

It’s always best to give the henchmen personalities, but if that can be shown without a name, then it’s fine to do withoug.

I liked how the the henchmen in the Batman tv show had their names on their shirts. It made it more personal when Batman or Robin hit them with a POW! or an OOF!

I like henchmen having numbers, it’s personal, but only in an administrative way. Stormtroopers being numbered makes them scarier than red shirted ensigns for instance.

Depends on how important they are to the plot. I don’t need to know that henchman #10276 was named Mike if all he does is get shot up; but if Mike displays some surprising ingenuity and actually gives the heros trouble, I want to know who he is.

Order of the Stick has its own take on this.

I just assign numbers to mine. Makes it easier to replace them when they have to be sacrificed while I make my getaway. No emotional attachment and all that. I mean really, do you give names to lab mice?

I thought the answer was “yes”, until I realized this thread wasn’t about **naked **henchmen. :slight_smile:

Your general mook doesn’t need a name. The only henchman that needs a name is someone who’s rather important. Perhaps he’s a trusted body guard, a femme fatale, or the Mastermind’s right hand man. They’re not really the same as a mook but they’re not quite the same as the Mastermind. If they’re named hencmen that that means they’re important.


According to The Monarch (from Venture Bros.), they like it when you call them “Minions”. However, their guild licenses do say “Henchman”.

I suggest that series as a serious study on the hows, whys and varieties of the Art of Being a Henchman. :stuck_out_tongue:

You learn something new every day. I usually referred to mine as my “cat’s paw.” She seemed to like it.

You rock, I was going to quote the Monarch too, but figured no one else watched that show. BTW, has the show been cancelled or what?

“But I could never be a henchman. I’m just a normal guy between the ages of 18 and 30, a loner, and lacks ties to friends and family.”

“You, stranger, are the perfect candidate for costumed aggression!”

One of my favorite shows ever. And no, it hasn’t been cancelled, Adult Swim has announced at least two more seasons, but Doc and Jackson take their time with it–Season 2 started almost two years after Season 1 finished. If you’re interested in the progress of the show, Jackson Publick’s Blog has pretty regular updates on the progress of Season 3; the last entry says they’ve written 7 episodes and have begun production.

** paging Winston **

You’ve brought a laugh and a warm feeling to my heart. I miss that show. Thanks for the information, I’m seriously considering starting a Venture Bro’s thread now.