|The original Death Knight doing what he does best.|
The original Death Knight in fantasy fiction was Lord Soth as created by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman in the Dragonlance series. He was basically a substitute for Darth Vader and a titanic juggernaut of magical power as well as a cursed knight.
Later, the title would be adopted by Arthas Menethil and his high-level minions for World of Warcraft. The setting used Arthas and the Death Knights as a substitute for Sauron and his Nazgul. Likewise, they took the fire motifs of Sauron to ice motifs.
In my book, the basic premise was the "serials number filed off" Nazgul gets back his free will and tries to gain redemption. I, too, have used ice motifs for my Sauron EXPY but that was reached independently of WOW.
Really, ice and cold being evil goes back all the way to the Vikings.
|Arthas lounging about.|
Then again, there's nothing new under the sun and while my book is about a ghostly undead knight who once served a dark lord, I went my own way with it. My creations have about as much to do with the Nazgul now as they do any other fantasy Dark Lord.
In short, my monsters were mine.
Shouldn't I name them something which gives me entitlement?
I'm not a big fan of just giving things random names, though. If it's a ghost, call it a ghost, rather than Naazadian or whatever. I also wanted the title of my book to convey what it was about at a glance. Buffy the Vampire Slayer says more or less everything you to know about the series for example.
I cycled through some names: Wight Lord, Grave Knight, Damned Knight, and so on and so on. Something like Shadow Knight got across "evil magic knight" too but Death Knight really had a punch other names lacked.
|You don't want to tick these guys off by stealing their idiom.|
So, I ended up re-naming it Wraith Knight.
Clearly, I put way too much thought into this.