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The Spooky History Behind Evil Dead’s Ash Williams

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When the clueless Ash debuted in 1981’s The Evil Dead, we didn’t know much about him. Like his friends, he had found himself in an unexpectedly terrible situation. However, we do learn that his name is Ash – although we didn’t learn his last name until later. Eventually, we also learned the first letter of his middle name: J. But the “J” in Ashley J. Williams remained a mystery in live-action canon for some time.

Thankfully, Ash vs Evil Dead season 3 reveals the answer to Ash’s middle name. In the episode “Unfinished Business” we learn that the Knights of Sumeria once stopped by Brock Williams hardware store and asked about his son Ash. The mysterious man who sought out Ash revealed the hero’s middle name: Ashley Johanna Williams.

Ash, always aware of his name, opted for the shortened version of Ashley. His middle name made matters worse. He quips to the spirit of his late father, “Thanks for that name, by the way.” Giving Ash the middle name Joanna wasn’t just a ridiculous joke on Rocko’s part or a manifestation of a desire for a daughter. He used these names to build Ash’s character. “That name gave you a thick skin,” Brock snapped. While it’s funny, it’s a weird way to teach a teen to be tough. “Yeah, fat from all the hits on the playground,” Ash sneered.



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